Emma Simmons - Pharmaceutical statistician

Since graduating with an MSc in Medical Statistics and IT, I have worked for a contract research organisation (CRO) as a statistician. A CRO is a company providing research, development, manufacturing and marketing services to pharmaceutical, biotechnology or medical devices companies. Since I started working for Quintiles, my current employer, I have been involved in the analysis of data from clinical trials in a wide range of therapeutic areas, from migraine to diabetes, and from breast cancer to multiple sclerosis. As a statistical team leader, I’m responsible for a team of statisticians and statistical programmers.

My role includes designing clinical trials, planning, performing and reviewing statistical analyses and being the primary statistical contact for my customers. A career as a statistician in the pharmaceutical industry, whatever kind of company you choose to work for, has much to offer: a diverse and challenging future with plenty of opportunity to develop a variety of skills, in theoretical statistics or in management, and apply these to a more in-depth knowledge of drug development. Working with people from many disciplines and seeing how statistics can help make a real difference to people’s lives is thoroughly rewarding and I get a real sense of achievement at the end of a day at work.

Take a look at our guide to becoming a pharmaceutical statistician.