Graduate Program Focuses on Pharmaceutical Technology

New Graduate Program Focuses On Pharmaceutical Technology


In an effort to educate students about the role of technology in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, the Wesley J. Howe School of Technology Management at Stevens Institute of Technology (Hoboken, NJ) has created a new graduate program in pharmaceutical technology management.

“There had been an interest in developing a program focused on the pharmaceutical industry,” says Joel Dobbs, program director of pharmaceutical technology management at Stevens Institute. “The Wesley J. Howe School focuses on the area of technology management and organizations that derive economic value through technology, which certainly describes the pharmaceutical business.”

Last fall, the school met with 16 senior pharmaceutical executives and leading industry consultants to determine what skills students will need to become leaders in the pharmaceutical industry, as well as to learn more about the challenges that companies are facing, which future employees will need to prepare to handle.

“One of the big things that came across universally was that the companies needed people who really understood the pharmaceutical business soup to nuts,” Dobbs says. “They want people who can understand how to translate technological possibilities into business benefits and can develop strategies that can exploit the technologies that are emerging.”

To meet this need, the school created a graduate certificate program with four courses, “Managing Technology and Innovation,” “Managing Pharmaceutical Research and Development,” “Sales, Marketing and Supply Chain Management,” and “Introduction to Pharmaceutical Manufacturing.” The courses also can be taken as part of masters degree programs with a concentration in pharmaceutical technology management.

Students will learn about the strategic management of technology and overall drug development process. Courses use case studies documenting real situations and how pharmaceutical manufacturers have approached various dilemmas. Compliance and anti-counterfeiting measures are also covered extensively, according to Dobbs. The school also is in talks with major pharmaceutical companies to teach classes from their sites in the evenings to give students a first hand look at what goes into a successful manufacturing plant.

The new curriculum will launch in September 2005. According to Dobbs, there has been a significant interest in the program.

–George Koroneos