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Dan Lewis

Currently getting through all your amazing questions sorry I've been behind.

Favourite Thing: Thinking up new ideas to further scientific research.

My CV

Education:

University of Hertfordshire

Qualifications:

BSc (Hons) Pharmacology

Work History:

Pfizer, Intertek, GSK

Current Job:

Associate Scientist

Employer:

GSK

About Me

A creative science nerd with a love of travelling and the arts.

A wannabe rockstar who fell into science and never looked back. Born and raised in Hertfordshire with family from Grenada and Ireland I have a love for the world and for people. I enjoy watching movies and socialising with friends and am avid Game of Thrones fan, I tried watching Breaking Bad but would get distracted with all the chemistry equations.

When I am not working I like to plan my next adventure, be it a road trip through America or summiting Everest’s base camp. I have visited nearly all of Asia and western Europe and my plan is to travelling the America’s this year. I enjoy writing scripts and acting and when I was at university I was the Station Manager of the radio station, where music plays a large part of my life. I have been a bassist in a band for 10 years but we are currently on hiatus as my drummer has moved to Japan and the guitarist is currently working for the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador. My favourite food has to be BBQ, and I mean everything associated with BBQ food, I generally like food cooked outside in the sun.

My Work

Analytical Formulation Chemist/ Associate Scientist.

At Intertek I analysed pharmaceutical products/compounds and helped in pharmaceutical manufacturing and development of new drugs for clients with trying to formulate a stable compound that can be used in humans. I would run different stability testing on the compounds to check that they would not break down in different climates around the world, an important analyse to check that the strength of the drug people are taking is exactly what it says on the packaging. Much of my work focussed on Inhalation devices for example asthma inhalers and how the drug can reach different areas of the lungs and the correct amount of drug is absorbed in the body.

My new job at GlaxoSmithKline will include conducting formulation and manufacturing process development studies. Depending on the stage of the project, these may be in support of evaluating product feasibility, through to designing and manufacturing products for clinical trials, demonstrating product robustness ahead of regulatory file and helping in Global Manufacturing launches.

My Typical Day

Analysing compounds and thinking about how to make them better.

My job does not really have a typical day as it changes all the time.

I normally get in around 9am and check how well the analyse worked the previous night (analysis is normally conducted on a High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) machine that takes a few hours to analyse compounds). I then address what is needed next in the project. This may include conducting visual assessment on compound suspensions (liquid drugs) or setting up to fire Emitted Dose (E.D.) or Next Generation Impactor (N.G.I) a mechanical version of a human throat and lungs that kind of look like a serving tray with dishes. If this is the case I will prepare everything necessary for the experiments and fire the inhaler into the equipment. From here I will wash all the trays into volumetric and pour them in vials ready for further analyse.

Most of the time I might be working in manufacturing where I will be experimenting with applications of stability of drugs for scale up design for mass production. This could be calculating how much of a certain excipient (filler that coats the active drug) is needed to make sure the drug dissolves in the body at a certain time. This is known as calculating the Pharmacokinetics (PK) of the drug and links with the degree I studied at university.

What I'd do with the money

Create a science event open to everyone

I would like to create a large science event that anyone can attend and show a hands on approach to the different STEM disciplines that are done everyday. I want to be able to show what happens at the different stages from drug creation to approval to the person benefiting from taking the drug. I would like to show how fun the creation of new drugs is and how easy it is to come up with a brilliant idea that can go on and help billions of people.

My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

Extrovert, Dreamer, Wanderer

Who is your favourite singer or band?

Swedish House Mafia

What's your favourite food?

Anything cooked on a BBQ grill

What is the most fun thing you've done?

Riding motorcycles around northern Vietnam

What did you want to be after you left school?

Originally a film director but had a change of thought and went back to school

Were you ever in trouble at school?

All the time, I was a bit of a rebel.

What was your favourite subject at school?

Hmmm that a tough one, maybe Biology

What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?

Having my work approved to be used in people

What or who inspired you to become a scientist?

Maybe my chemistry teacher or physicist Richard Feynman

If you weren't a scientist, what would you be?

A writer

If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!

Live life to the maximum, Keep laughing and always eat good food.

Tell us a joke.

Well, I tried to tell a chemistry joke at work the other day. There was no reaction.

Other stuff

Work photos: