Andrew Toye Ojo, a recent PhD graduate from U of T’s Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, is impacting patient care with his advanced knowledge of pharmaceutical sciences and a career in health care consulting.
Ojo grew up in Toronto and earned a Bachelor of Engineering in at McMaster University in Hamilton. He knew he wanted to pursue graduate work in a field where he could make a difference for patients.
“My work at that point was primarily focused on plastics manufacturing, and I wanted to have a bit more of an impact and leverage my biomedical sciences and healthcare background,” he says.
He became interested in the research of Ping Lee, professor at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, on pharmaceutical manufacturing and development of new approaches for the delivery of poorly water-soluble drug. He found the work blended his interests in engineering and patient care.
Ojo began his PhD in pharmaceutical sciences with the Lee lab in 2014, studying how drugs can be dissolved into plastics to improve deliverability. His thesis research focused on determining the stability of these systems and the impact of instability on their performance.
Ojo says he enjoyed the learning environment at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy because of both the faculty and students.
“The faculty — not just my supervisor, but many other professors as well — were great to work with, brainstorm ideas with, and talk to about my future career and aspirations,” he says. “I had the opportunity to be a TA with a number of them, and they provided valuable support and mentorship.”
Ojo also served several years on the Pharmaceutical Sciences Graduate Student Association as the networking director, organizing symposiums for graduate students to present their research and events for students to connect with alumni.
Toward the end of his degree, Ojo considered a career in pharmaceutical consulting. He completed a short internship at a health care consultancy firm, and after successfully defending his thesis in September, he began work as an associate consultant at ZS Associates, which primarily serves pharmaceutical and medical device companies.
“I was always interested in consulting as one way to pursue my interest in pharmacy. You work on a lot of new products and learn about cutting edge science with a lot of potential for impact,” he says. “While I’m a little less connected to bench top science than I was at a lab, I enjoy that I’m able to help change patient care.”
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