Manager, Analytical R&D
Veronica Irizarry describes herself as a born leader, a talent she refined as a student pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry at Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico. Veronica became president of her school’s chapter of the American Chemical Society, and as a member of the university’s Maximizing Access to Research Careers she had the opportunity to visit the National Institutes of Health in Washington, D.C. She has had the chance to hone her leadership skills as the Team Leader of Analytical Research & Development, Method Transfer, and Validation at Pharmaceutics International, Inc. (Pii) where she oversees a team of three. In the 11 years she has spent at Pii, Veronica says she is most proud of the work she did on projects related to stopping addiction and treating cancer.
Veronica actually began her career at Pii as a senior chemist and still enjoys performing benchwork in the lab as much as she can. “I love to help out in the lab whenever I can,” she says. “I love to teach and I love to share everything I know.”
She credits everything she knows to the scientist positions she held at Johnson & Johnson (J&J) in Puerto Rico. She landed the job at J&J right after graduating from college. “I was with J&J for seven years and my work there has been the basis of my career,” she says.
When J&J decided to close the site where Veronica was working, she and her husband decided to move to the United States. She applied her J&J knowledge to a contract chemist position at Becton Dickinson. She spent a year working to optimize analytical methods for oligonucleotides before starting her position at Pii.
When Veronica is not at Pii, you may find her cuddled up with a good book or with her five-year-old grandson. “He loves dinosaurs and uses phonetics to teach me how to properly pronounce their names,” she laughs. Together, they have watched all of the Jurassic Park movies.
Veronica’s pride in her grandson is evident, but she is also proud of herself. “I have molded my path and I am proud of all I have accomplished,” she says. “I am really in love with my career.”