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People Story

Agnieszka Marcinowicz

Senior Manager of Pharmacokinetics, Ohio

Every challenge is a chance to grow

In Poland, I studied engineering in college. I really enjoyed the science, and my professors encouraged me to get a PhD. I started out in organic chemistry but found I was more interested in the instruments, so I switched to physical chemistry. I wanted to do my post-doctoral fellowship in the United States, in order to be exposed to different technologies; I came to the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.

Although I really enjoyed working in the lab, I realized I wanted to be closer to the patients, to feel like I was having a bigger impact on them. So, I joined a small biotech company, a startup, working on cancer research and drug development. I was able to start at the beginning of the drug development process, searching for the right molecule, developing assays, and writing reports. Then we progressed into animal studies and then studies in patients; I assumed full responsibility across them all. I was very lucky to be able to touch every part of the drug development pipeline; I learned so much, but then it was time to move on.

I joined a global contract research organization as a pharmacokineticist. I worked on trials studying healthy volunteers, drug impairment, and special populations. After a couple of years, I had exhausted all the avenues for growth and learning in that role. Then I joined Premier Consulting.

Combining pharmacokinetics with the regulatory component is a fascinating challenge that brings so much of my expertise together, and I also work with the broader Premier Research team on clinical trials, thinking about feasibility studies and how to best design efficacy end points. Because I have experience in both nonclinical and clinical trials, I am able to review protocols and address patient enrollment issues, which is helpful to our clients. We work across many different projects and therapeutic areas, thinking outside the box to provide novel solutions when issues arise. With the right circumstances, we will devise a credibly aggressive approach to the FDA—and very often the agency agrees. It’s always a learning experience to see what they support and where they hold back. Whenever we get noteworthy feedback (positive or negative), we share it with the broader group. That helps all our clients save time and money and helps patients avoid unnecessary or excessive testing.

I love the challenges and the opportunities for continuous professional growth. I also love the teamwork. It helps us move projects faster and farther, providing more expertise by bringing together experts from different fields. Even though we are based throughout the world—Australia, Canada, the US Midwest and West Coast, Europe—we all really work cohesively. When we come together, and everyone shares their insights, we develop much better solutions; one person just cannot anticipate all the possible issues or outcomes. It is good for our clients, and it also helps me develop, learning from my colleagues.

I work very hard, but I see how much the company appreciates the work I put in. People are grateful; the company also acknowledges the effort. I have already been promoted once, and I am looking forward to future developments as well. I don’t like staying still, and at Premier I have the opportunity to grow. I think I am valued here as a person and as an employee, and that definitely makes Premier Consulting a good place to be.