Amanda Dang Contributes to Pharmaceutical Development While Promoting Inclusion and Diversity
Senior Research Scientist I
Formulation and Process Development
Location: Foster City
Joined Gilead: July 2019
Amanda Dang, Senior Research Scientist, Formulation and Process Development, helps develop and manufacture Gilead’s investigational medicines and approved therapies. Learn how our mission inspired her to join Gilead and how she helps make a difference in Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities.
Q: What drew you to your field and how did you come to work at Gilead?
I studied Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Washington and was interested in how my degree could be applied to the field of biotechnology. However, I knew little about careers in the industry. Fortunately, I met a professor who suggested that I apply to the doctoral program at UC Davis.
There, I researched synthetic cell membranes with that same professor, who imbued in me an enthusiasm for solving complex scientific problems by approaching them as the sum of fundamental underlying principles. I also became very involved with student organizations focused on inclusion and diversity, which cemented my desire to work for an organization committed to those values.
I was drawn to Gilead after meeting with current employees who were driven and passionate about bringing therapeutics to people in need. I also felt like this could be a place where I could leverage my strengths to make meaningful contributions to the field. I applied, and the rest is history.
Q: What is it like working in Formulation and Process Development (FPD)?
Our FPD team is focused on developing and manufacturing high-quality drug products for use in clinical trials, as well as commercial settings. At early stages of development, we work closely with research teams to evaluate and identify lead therapeutic candidates. Then we collaborate with colleagues from other functional areas in our Pharmaceutical Development and Manufacturing department to evaluate dosage forms, such as tablets and injectables, and establish robust processes that can be scaled and replicated at manufacturing facilities around the world.
I’ve gained an encyclopedic amount of knowledge about drug development and yet I still seem to learn something new every day. I’m grateful to be at a place now where I can make meaningful scientific contributions and drive impactful programs forward.
Q: How would you describe the company’s culture?
Gilead’s culture is dynamic, data-driven and values-oriented. Executing on our commitment to patients requires hard work, agile thinking and scientific innovation. It also requires that we uphold Gilead’s Core Values – Integrity, Inclusion, Teamwork, Excellence and Accountability.
Q: What do the company’s efforts to prioritize equity, inclusion and diversity mean to you?
Equity, inclusion and diversity are deeply intertwined with employee wellbeing and the company’s ability to build the high-performing teams needed to navigate the challenges associated with pharmaceutical development. It means a lot to me to see the company take that seriously.
I’ve been honored to serve as the Community Outreach Pillar Lead in our Gilead Asian Interest Network (GAIN) employee resource group. As part of this work, we also look outside of Gilead to see how we can make a difference in AAPI communities. During AAPI Heritage Month in May, we select several nonprofit organizations providing crucial services to Asian communities worldwide for an employee giving 2:1 match campaign, supported by the Gilead Foundation’s Giving Together program. Gilead’s support for AAPI Heritage Month activities, including this campaign, demonstrates the company’s commitment to supporting AAPI employees and the causes that matter to us.
Q: Why is working at Gilead more than ‘just a job’?
I feel the impact of my work every day. Sometimes that comes from seeing a medicine get one step closer to being available to patients because of my scientific and strategic contributions. Other times, it comes from seeing colleagues thrive because of my efforts to make our team more supportive and inclusive. Not every day is perfect, but each is marked by having made some positive difference. Over and over, I’ve witnessed our teams overcome tremendous odds with ingenuity, determination and support for one another during difficult times.
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