Chemists in the Real World

 

William Doub, Research Chemist



William Doub studied analytical chemistry, electrochemistry, and bioinorganic chemistry in graduate school. Now he uses these skills at the FDA to continue doing just what he loves most—research! He develops methods for in vitro characterization of inhalation drug products.

“There are multiple purposes for in vitro characterization: 1) to provide evidence that all batches of a particular product meet appropriate specifications; 2) to enable correlation between in vitro and in vivo (i.e., clinical) results; 3) to offer rapid explanation (and possible remedies) for product failures,” Doub says. “The impetus for doing in vitro testing is that it is more precise and much less expensive than is in vivo testing.”

Doub credits the ACS most for the networking opportunities that membership provides.

Today, he is a Research Chemist with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

What's a typical day on the job like?

  • General email: 5%
  • Mission-specific email: 2-3%, although some "general" email would qualify as mission specific, because part of my mission is to evaluate new technology that might be applied to the analysis of drug products (specifically, but not limited to, inhalation products).
  • Literature review: 25%
  • Planning research studies: 25%
  • Writing reports, manuscripts, posters: 10%
  • Directing research studies: 20%
  • Meetings/Training: 10%
  • Typically, every day is unique. I have other duties, such as assisting other chemists to write requisitions for new instrumentation that, at times, can take 50-70% of my day.

Are there any apps/software/instrumentation/tools that you can't live without?

Software: Word, Excel, Acrobat, JMP, Power Point.  Instrumentation: various instruments for particle size determination (LLS, PDA, PCS, impaction); specialized instrumentation for characterization of aerosol plumes; HPLC, HPLC-MS

Describe your work environment.

I have my own office with a laptop PC and tablet PC (for instrumentation network), two monitors (one switchable between the two PCs), a document scanner, a VOIP phone, and the lab equipment listed above.

Does your job follow a typical 9-to-5 schedule?

Including work at home, I work 50-60 hours per week. The environment is fairly relaxed.

What is your best productivity trick?

Focus!

Do you have any special talents or traits that make you a great fit for your job?

I am very organized.

What essential habit do you have now that you wish you'd started much earlier?

I wish I had studied more statistical data treatment so as to better understand the significance of differing results for altered samples and results obtained from different methods.

What is your favorite ACS resource?

ACS journals.