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Discovery & Development Drug Delivery

Painting the Future of Drug Delivery

From war to drug delivery. Tell us more…

I always loved science and I knew from an early age that I wanted to go into something related to biotech. But when I was younger, I also wanted to serve – and figured that was best while I was still young! My original plan was to serve for around five years and then go off to grad school to begin my second career. 

After high school, I went straight into the military academy, where I majored in chemistry and life sciences. Normally, when you graduate from the military academy at West Point, you enter military service, but I was able to obtain the Hertz Foundation Fellowship, which allowed me to spend two years at graduate school. I then went back into regular military service, serving in infantry and cavalry units. While deployed in Baghdad, Iraq, I saw many serious injuries – injuries that would influence my research later down the line. After deployment, I used the remaining years of support from the Hertz Foundation Fellowship to do a PhD at MIT – so I was on active duty the whole time I was studying.

I was fortunate enough to have the flexibility within the military to pursue assignments that were technical in nature; I was able to serve in the Research and Development Command for the US Army, which allowed me to continue with military service while completing three technically connected programs within the biopharma space.

A military career and a scientific career are not a very common combination – and actually I don’t recommend it because of the difficulties of navigating the requirements for each – but it worked out for me.

Luis Alvarez describes the precision targeting of proteins for tissue regeneration to Bill Gates at the 2009 Hertz Foundation Symposium.
Figure 3. Materials are coated in one step with with bioactive proteins.

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About the Author

James Strachan

Over the course of my Biomedical Sciences degree it dawned on me that my goal of becoming a scientist didn’t quite mesh with my lack of affinity for lab work. Thinking on my decision to pursue biology rather than English at age 15 – despite an aptitude for the latter – I realized that science writing was a way to combine what I loved with what I was good at.

From there I set out to gather as much freelancing experience as I could, spending 2 years developing scientific content for International Innovation, before completing an MSc in Science Communication. After gaining invaluable experience in supporting the communications efforts of CERN and IN-PART, I joined Texere – where I am focused on producing consistently engaging, cutting-edge and innovative content for our specialist audiences around the world.

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