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Meet the Scientist: Shanté Jackson

SEKISUI XenoTech (SXT) may be known as a leader in providing ADME/DMPK and Drug-Drug Interaction studies and test systems, but that’s only because of the talented team of scientists who work at the core of our business. In that light, we wanted to take the opportunity to introduce you to another important member of that team, Shanté Jackson. Shanté is a Research Scientist who joined SXT in 2017 and serves as a Drug Inhibition and Drug Metabolism Study Director and Drug Transport Lead Scientist for multiple nonclinical, drug interaction-related contract studies. So let’s get to know more about her!

What responsibilities do you have as a Research Scientist; what does your role entail?

As a Research Scientist, I’m responsible for overseeing some of our definitive and screening studies from the time of protocol finalization to report finalization. Some of the responsibilities that go along with this role entail ensuring all involved team analysts are properly trained on the protocol, assays are performed in accordance with GLP (good laboratory practice) standards, regulatory guidance agencies and the company SOPs, troubleshooting any unanticipated events in the assay or anomalies observed during sample analysis and/or data review and ensuring all study data is accurately reflected in the study report/data summary.

Another major responsibility of this role is client interaction and customer service – ensuring that our clients are updated on the progress of their studies throughout and being available to answer any questions or concerns the client may have. As well, in times when clients may have additional questions about the compound that they would like to investigate, I am able to provide guidance on additional work that may be performed in order to obtain the answers being sought out.

Outside of the business aspect, this role allows a lot of room for learning opportunities – be it getting to attend a conference on a new leading scientific topic or being trained by fellow colleagues on scientific background for processes and studies relevant to the company – giving an environment that sparks communication and questions, leading to innovation within the company and amongst the employees.

What do you like about being a Research Scientist?

I love being able to oversee a study from start to finish, interacting with clients and learning new things with them about their compounds. Aside from being able to help our global population just by being in the pharmaceutical research industry, I’m able to engage in wonderful scientific conversations with our clients from all over the world – and hopefully leave an impression on them as they do on me. I love hearing about when compounds go to market, or seeing commercials for certain medications and being able to identify with the manufacturer. By doing my job in a company of what seems few compared to the world, I’m able to touch millions – could I ask for anything better?

Why did you want to work for SXT; what keeps you coming back to work?

I’ve always been a person big on atmosphere. If the “temperature” in a room is off, I’m bound to notice. One of the things that first grabbed my attention with SXT was that the recruiter specifically mentioned that SXT likes to pride themselves on being a work family and creating that type of environment. Being able to work with people that I not only respect on a professional level but also on a personal level has been something near and dear to my heart.

What studies most interest you and why?

Right now, I find the metabolism studies to be quite interesting for me. It is always amazing to see the differences in the way different compounds are metabolized, or even the differences in the way the same compound is metabolized but by different species or test systems, for example. I’ve always had a love for science and an awe for nature, so each day at work is a new intriguing lesson for me and an opportunity to learn something I didn’t know the day before.

Over the course of the going on 4 years that I have worked with SXT, I feel like there is a vast variety of studies, challenges and projects that come up daily. Part of being only one member in a company full of good people and teammates means that the things I encounter that I may be unfamiliar with, I don’t have to truly tackle alone. Troubleshooting and brainstorming, both on my own and with my coworkers, has been an integral part of not only the innate teamwork necessary in this field, but also my personal development and professional growth within the field.

About the Authors

Michael Millhollen received his bachelor's degree in Visual Communications from the University of Kansas and has over 20 years of experience in marketing and communications. As Global Marketing Manager, he is dedicated to the objective of sharing SEKISUI XenoTech’s scientific expertise and knowledge with scientists around the world.

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