Back to Blog Alumni Spotlight: Dr Laura Agresta MSDD Graduate Blog Share Share on FacebookFollow us on LinkedInShare on PinterestShare via Email UC MSDD Alumni Working in Clinical Research and Patient Care Dr. Laura Agresta is a pediatric oncologist at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, where she splits her time primarily between clinical research and patient care. UC Online recently talked with Dr. Agesta about her experience at the University of Cincinnati and the Drug Development Programs. She provided her perspective on how the program helped her career in clinical research. Q: How has your degree helped you in your career? As a clinical oncology researcher, I focus on the translation of novel anti-cancer agents into the pediatric arena. Through the MSDD courses, I learned the technicalities of preclinical drug development, particularly the legal regulations and processes, which among other things, improved my ability to predict what clinically important information might not be included in an FDA-approved drug’s label. I acquired a deeper understanding of how to best analyze a drug’s pharmacologic properties in preparation for clinical trials, an essential skill for clinical researchers sadly under-emphasized in medical school, residency, and fellowship. I learned discrete, practical skills, including different strategies to calculate first in human dosing, depending on how the preclinical safety studies had been performed. In addition, courses that emphasized the history and politics of domestic and international regulations and guidelines helped the advocacy components of my clinical research. Q: Who is the MSDD program a good fit for? The MSDD program courses are well designed to be useful and accessible to students from a wide range of educational backgrounds. In addition to physicians developing careers in early phase clinical trials, scientists working on drug development in the laboratory, pharmacists working in research settings or clinical/research hybrid settings, clinical research assistants, clinical trial regulatory specialists are all people who might find this program useful. It is also worth mentioning that the faculty come from a variety of backgrounds from academia to the pharmaceutical industry, which represent excellent networking opportunities. Learn More About the Drug Development Programs with UC Online The Pharmaceutics and Drug Development program from the University of Cincinnati James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy is truly flexible and fully online. Accelerate your career while gaining a clearer vision of drug development for all phases of research from regulatory, pre-clinical to clinical, and beyond with a program built for busy working professionals in the field. Learn More about the Drug Development program with UC Online.