Breakthroughs that change patients’ lives


Ensuring that #ScienceWillWin against any challenge

 

Breakthroughs define what we do every day at Pfizer. We're committed to stepping up and working to solve some of the largest healthcare challenges facing our society.

We're at a moment of unprecedented change and recent advances in medicine have highlighted awareness and appreciation of science. As we work towards a way out of the pandemic, our teams are focusing on delivering more breakthroughs by evaluating new methods and ways of working to create better efficiencies, more sustainable manufacturing and ultimately aiming to create life-changing medicines for evolving patient needs.

Each success, whether routine or once-in-a-lifetime, is a step forward in ensuring #ScienceWillWin and each is a breakthrough that can change patients’ lives.

 

People at Pfizer make science matter

People at Pfizer make science matter

What makes a breakthrough?

Vaccines. Treatments. Cures. These are things that might come to mind when you think of breakthroughs.

But breakthroughs can be big or small, monumental or minor but each and every one makes a difference to someone’s life.

As a company of scientists, Pfizer has unrivalled knowledge, experience, and a commitment to creating breakthroughs.

Our breakthroughs are helping transform our relationship with healthcare and build a resilient and healthy population.

Why does science matter?

Our society and healthcare system are facing major challenges as we move into a new era of healthcare.

Science has never been more important than it is now. And the opportunities to change patients' lives have never been so evident.

#ScienceWillWin because we need it to keep pushing the boundaries, turning the ordinary into the extraordinary and delivering new, pioneering breakthroughs that could change patients’ lives.

Discover what a breakthrough means to those that make them possible

Discover a breakthrough

Meet the pioneering people behind our successes

Meet the people behind our successes

Valentina

"The power of what I do comes from doing it together with my colleagues, it’s the power of people coming together and sharing ideas."

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Valentina has always been curious about how things work. From playing with childhood science kits, Valentina has since advanced to become a vital chemical engineer in Pfizer’s FAST Group. With that natural curiosity, Valentina seeks new and smarter ways to create medicines and is a firm believer in using science to create a better society.

 

Your work is vital in creating breakthroughs that change patients’ lives, but what does your job involve?
As a chemical engineer within Pfizer’s FAST Group, my job is a bit like being a chef cooking a meal. You have the raw ingredients, and you must find a way to mix them. Our job is to find the right recipe to create a drug and to find the right pot in which to manufacture it. In this case, the pot is a tubular reactor. With a reactor, you input the raw ingredients on one side and get the final product on the other. Our job is to find reactors that work better so that we can produce pharmaceuticals faster and more efficiently, lowering cost, energy consumption and that use fewer materials. In our team, we are constantly looking for ways to revolutionise the way medicines are made. It’s all about working smarter, not harder.

 

The benefits of science to the world have never been more important, but what inspires you?
I’m inspired by a constant curiosity to try to discover new things and by the knowledge that science has been built brick by brick. Science will always move forward, and it can only get better as we understand more about the world around us. My role is important because it’s combined with the roles of so many other people working with Pfizer. During these challenging times, the power of us working together on a breakthrough that will change peoples’ lives has been inspiring.

 

What encouraged you to choose this career path and how do you encourage others?
As a child, I just loved science. My parents used to buy me those little kits, the kind where you do experiments with small tubes and dyes. I just loved mixing different things and seeing what I could create - I always wanted to do something differently from the other kids.

At school, I always did well in science but when it came to choosing what I wanted to study at university, I just didn’t know, so I enrolled in law school. I quickly realised that it wasn’t for me, so I switched and applied to be a chemical engineer. Once I started the course, I knew straight away that this was the right fit. It just came naturally to me. Chemical engineering is hard, and some of the subjects are tough, but as hard as it was, I just loved it and would throw myself into everything.

That same curiosity I had as a kid still drives me today. I get the same excitement at making some sort of advancement or learning something that I didn’t know before. As a scientist, I hope to inspire people and make them believe that everything is possible through science.

 

As a society, we’re facing major healthcare challenges. How do you feel that you make a difference?
We live in a society in which we are threatened by many different diseases and viruses, as we have unfortunately learned over the past couple of years. My role helps the pharmaceutical industry to keep growing and not stagnate. I make a difference by helping fight the diseases that are threatening humanity. However, I couldn’t do what I do all by myself. The power of what I do comes from working with my colleagues, coming together, sharing thoughts and ideas and that’s what brings us to pioneer breakthroughs that ultimately change peoples’ lives. I’m very proud of my work at Pfizer because we never sit still. Pfizer always encourages you to give your perspective, and that’s valuable because different ideas, and diversity of thought, will bring about the changes we need.

 

Breakthroughs can be big or small, be immediate or take time, but what does a “breakthrough” mean to you?
To me, a breakthrough is all about discovering and enabling a process that wasn’t possible before. For example, using a new technology that can help us produce a drug that wouldn’t have been possible using traditional means. It’s about maximising the moment and innovating and finding new ways to change our society.

 

Karen

"Science opens our minds to what we didn’t know was possible. We need it to understand how things work and overcome any challenges."

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With over 16 years working at Pfizer, Karen engages with scientists around the world to set the groundwork for future breakthroughs. With her team at Cambridge, Karen collaborates with public and private organisations to drive change in the healthcare ecosystem. Here, she tells us what creating breakthroughs means to her.

 

Your work is vital in creating breakthroughs that change patients’ lives, but what does your job involve?
I’m responsible for facilitating global engagement between different scientists and organisations. As a senior director, I help to pull all the dots and threads together for some of our biggest and most exciting public-private partnerships. As part of Pfizer’s Emerging Research Science and Innovation team we’re integrated with lots of teams around the world, either involved in healthcare, pharmaceuticals, or academics, to ensure smooth, efficient, and collaborative engagement so we can all solve some of the biggest healthcare challenges facing us and deliver the best outcomes for patients.

 

The benefits of science to the world have never been more important but what inspires you?
There are two main inspirations to me within my work. Firstly, the work I do matters to many healthcare areas and makes a major difference. We work across many projects, whether focused on cancer, anti-infectives, or rare diseases [or others], and they’re all tied together by the fact that solving their respective challenges can truly have a positive impact on peoples’ lives.

My work also allows me to engage and learn from lots of people, including Pfizer colleagues, external scientists, or the next generation of people who want to pioneer breakthroughs. Sharing and learning with these diverse groups is what inspires me every day.

 

What encouraged you to choose this career path and how do you encourage others?
My love for biology started it all. It was my favourite school subject so I studied it at university and eventually gained a masters. I wanted to embark on an exciting healthcare career and I’m proud of everything I’ve done and continue to pioneer even 20 years later.

I’ve always followed my passion and I enjoy encouraging others to find and follow theirs. To this end, I act as a mentor to new Pfizer colleagues, support our undergraduate and internship programmes, and lead a local ‘women in healthcare’ network, all to encourage others to discover the same satisfaction and impact that I have.

 

As a society, we’re facing major healthcare challenges. How do you feel that you make a difference?
I’m driven to find out how everything works, how nature works, how people are. Science brings that all together and if you’re naturally curious like I am, once you dig down and start understanding the challenges we’re facing, you can start working to solve them.

On a project, we could have around 30 partners involved, but to really deliver the breakthroughs that are needed we all need to be working effectively together to solve a common problem. That’s where I and my team come in, we facilitate that. And, what we work on can range from uncovering how something like a disease progresses to starting to think about how we can slow its progress and eventually creating a breakthrough that can stop it from even starting in the first place.

 

Breakthroughs can be big or small, be immediate or take time, but what does a “breakthrough” mean to you?
Breakthroughs really do define what I do every day. No single organisation can solve all the world’s healthcare problems by itself, and it is instead only through collaboration that life-changing breakthroughs may be achieved in the future. Pfizer routinely steps up to play its part in this global network of change-makers, and I’m therefore lucky enough to feel that every project I begin could well result in a hugely significant breakthrough.

 

Sophie

"As scientists, we have to ensure people are aware of the importance of medicines and science during these challenging times"

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Inspired by a family friend, Sophie utilised her natural interest in science and maths to embark on a career in chemical engineering. Since joining the Pfizer team five years ago, Sophie has been instrumental in using new technologies to create breakthroughs. She’s determined to use science to make a difference and discusses what her role at Sandwich involves.

 

Your work is vital in creating breakthroughs that change patients’ lives, but what does your job involve?
I work as part of the FAST Team at Pfizer so on a day-to-day basis, I look at new technologies and manufacturing processes to pioneer new ways to deliver drugs to patients more efficiently and sustainably. We look to challenge the traditional way of doing things and manufacturing drugs whilst still tailoring our efforts as much as possible to patients’ individual needs.

 

The benefits of science to the world have never been more important but what inspires you?
Simply put, my passion and major inspiration is to help people. This underpins everything I do, whether it be through my volunteer work as part of a search and rescue team, or through my work at Pfizer where I can help people every day. Working in the FAST Team specifically means that I am laser-focused on innovating within science, introducing new technologies, and delivering breakthroughs all with the end goal of trying to help patients.

 

What encouraged you to choose this career path and how do you encourage others?
My passion for this kind of work started at school. I was always interested in science and maths and wanted to find a way in which I could make use of my talents and make a positive difference. I was directed towards chemical engineering by a family friend who worked in the sector and explained to me the value that their work added to the world around them.
From there it was a done deal for me, and when speaking to those interested in entering the sector, I always emphasise the positive impact of the work you do, as well as the excitement of being at the cutting edge of science and technology.

 

As a society, we’re facing major healthcare challenges. How do you feel that you make a difference?
Science in its entirety is such an important driving force in improving treatments and medicines, but I am particularly fortunate in that my work is specifically focused on delivering healthcare improvements. I get genuine satisfaction from knowing that the work I’m doing is giving us access to areas of science we haven’t been able to reach before, making use of niche technologies that have historically been overlooked, and ultimately helping patients.

 

Breakthroughs can be big or small, be immediate or take time, but what does a “breakthrough” mean to you?
There are few other areas where a breakthrough is such a common occurrence. This could mean something small, such as a minor change to make a manufacturing process more efficient, or it could be something much more impactful, like developing the means to treat a disease or illness which was previously untreatable. Regardless of scale, it is hugely exciting every time we find a breakthrough, and the first thing I think about is the impact that our work is going to have on someone’s life and that of their family.

 

Luke

"Science has an integral role in our society, when we're walking along the street now, everywhere we look you can see the positive impact of science"

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A long-time passion to understand how the human body works has fuelled Luke’s drive to develop healthcare breakthroughs. Luke started his journey with Pfizer whilst at university and so far, his career has taken him to India and even proudly playing an important role in the pandemic.

 

Your work is vital in creating breakthroughs that change patients’ lives, but what does your job involve?
Understanding data is a very important part of my job, particularly in the sense of a clinical trial. We need the data to tell us the facts about how well a medicine or vaccine, is working – it must be a scientific fact that is objective and verifiable.

I was invited to be part of the clinical studies initiated during the COVID-19 pandemic, which was incredible. Despite the team predominately working remotely, we had a real sense of community and myself and other clinical scientists started to use the data from the study to answer very important questions.

Teamwork is essential to what I do. We don’t face what we’re trying to do, or overcome, alone and particularly when it’s an “all hands on deck” affair, you feel really privileged to work with such intelligent and passionate people.

 

The benefits of science to the world have never been more important, but what inspires you?
Science has a really important role in our society. I think it’s quite difficult to comprehend the journey that we have been on over the past two years. If we cast our minds back to the start of the pandemic, there was a lot of fear and uncertainty but science and hard work have helped us return to normalcy. It makes me feel incredibly proud that I’ve played a role in that mission and the moment I saw family members – some of whom work for the NHS – receive a vaccine it was not just a huge relief at how far we had come in such a short time, but something that I will remember forever.

 

What encouraged you to choose this career path and how do you encourage others?
When I was growing up, I always played a lot of sport and was very active. All our family holidays were based around doing activities and being outdoors and I started to naturally develop a very keen interest in how the body works. As I got older, I studied GCSEs and A-Levels that only enhanced my curiosity and when it came to choosing a university course, I went into pharmacology. Understanding how body systems work then pushed me to learn how medicines and vaccines influence those systems.

If you asked me as a child if I saw myself as one day working at Pfizer, I wouldn’t have believed you, but I’ve known that I’ve always wanted to make a difference somehow. I’m driven to contribute to something – to something bigger than myself – and I’m able to do that every day in my role. Everyone has their own journey, if you’re passionate about it and if you stick to it, you’ll end up in the right place.

 

As a society, we’re facing major healthcare challenges. How do you feel that you make a difference?
Science holds the answers and solutions to the challenges we’re facing today. I don’t doubt that science will win because it’s constantly evolving and never sits still. Pfizer harnesses that so that all of us are moving forward and constantly asking ourselves what is possible and what can we do to overcome the challenges.

Each of us here makes a difference and an impact in our own way. We’re driving innovations forward and those innovations enable us to have the freedoms we treasure. When we’re walking along the street now, everywhere we look, you can see the positive impact of science. It may not be entirely obvious all the time, but it is there. The amazing thing about working at Pfizer is that we play a part in making that happen. We have the passion to constantly deliver the best for the people that we serve.

 

Breakthroughs can be big or small, be immediate or take time, but what does a “breakthrough” mean to you?
The determination and perseverance to overcome anything in our way. That’s what a breakthrough means to me and why I believe science will always win. A few years ago, I don’t think anyone could have predicted what we have all been through with the pandemic, but because of science, perseverance, and determination - never accepting no for an answer - we've been able to come through to the other side.

Recent experience has shown me that the people that we serve are those special to us - they're our parents, grandparents, friends. I think what Pfizer does incredibly well is encouraging an attitude in us all that we “can do it”. We can deliver breakthroughs, big or small, that make a meaningful difference to everyone.

 

Discover a career of new possibilities and ensure #ScienceWillWin


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PP-PFE-GBR-4347 / March 2022