School of Biomedical Sciences

James Chapman

James Chapman

BSc Pharmacology – Graduated July 2014 with an Upper Second Class Honours Degree

Current Position: Process Technologist, GlaxoSmithKline

I particularly enjoyed the enthusiasm and dedication that resonated from all of the lecturers. This coupled with a diverse and intriguing set of taught modules provided a fantastic insight into the world of science.

Practical sessions were well thought out and covered a huge scope of topics; varying from studying the intricacies of the human brain to determining the concentration of paracetamol in saliva.

All of this based in a vibrant and picturesque city provided the perfect university experience.

During my time at Newcastle I did my best to make the most of the opportunities and experiences available to me. With the invaluable help and guidance of Dr Armstrong I did a year in industry at GlaxoSmithKline between my second and third year.

This involved working on a high profile project integrating new dermatological pharmaceuticals in to the business. This allowed me to develop a wide range of skills and gain some hands-on experience in the pharmaceutical industry whilst knowing I was making a real difference to the lives of our patients.

As a consequence of this placement I was fortunate enough to be offered a job in the Consumer Healthcare R&D Division at GSK when I finished my degree. This is where I find myself today and therefore I cannot advocate the value of an industrial placement enough.

During my third year I also took on the role of an Employability Ambassador for the Biomedical Sciences. This allowed me to share my experiences with fellow students and meet a whole host of people from different scientific backgrounds.

On a daily basis I find myself applying the knowledge and skills I gained from all stages of my degree at Newcastle, in particular my third year project which I did at the Northern Institute for Cancer Research.

This was an amazing opportunity. It provided the opportunity to work alongside and under the supervision of some of the world’s most renowned and leading scientists.

This project focused on developing effective communication, the ability to manage time and workload, and acquiring important laboratory experience. I've found all of these to be essential skills to possess when working in the pharmaceutical industry.