Translational Safety Scientist, Amgen

Apr 13, 2023
Translational Safety Scientist, Amgen

An alum of the 2020 SMDP Biotech Scholar cohort, Samira Brooks, PhD, is a Translational Safety Scientist at Amgen. As the Translational Safety Scientist, Samira supports nonclinical safety studies for IND filing and clinical trials. She also provides scientific and team leadership for drug development projects and ensures team accountability, commitment, and alignment.

What is the highest degree you have earned and what can you tell us about your academic path?

PhD. I obtained my B.S. in Biology from Bowie State University in 2009 and my PhD in Toxicology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2015. My PhD work focused on developing a molecular prognostic tool for clear cell renal cell carcinoma subtypes. I subsequently completed a postdoctoral fellowship at UNC but within a different laboratory, where I studied cadmium-induced epigenetic changes and associated impact on pre-eclampsia. From 2017-2021, I worked at the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, in Bethesda Maryland as a Cancer Prevention Postdoctoral Research Fellow. In that position, I studied iron-associated kidney cancer risk while completing a Master of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University.

Where do you work now and what is your company about?

I work at Amgen which is one of the world’s leading independent biopharmaceutical companies. Amgen’s mission is to serve patients, especially those suffering from serious illnesses, by discovering, developing, manufacturing, and delivering innovative human therapeutics. Amgen focuses on areas of high unmet medical need and leverages its expertise to strive for solutions that improve health outcomes and dramatically improve people’s lives.

How did you first learn about the company?

I first learned about Amgen through SMDP. During my year of training, Amgen hosted informational sessions that allowed scholars to meet and interact with senior management to gain additional perspective about the organization and career opportunities at Amgen.

What do you like most about the company?

I like that it’s a value-based company that is deeply rooted in science and innovation. I appreciate that the company does not only help patients by focusing on addressing serious diseases but also helps to reduce the social and economic burden of disease in society.

What skills make you successful in your role and why did you choose this role?

My ability to stay organized, analyze and interpret data and communicate clearly have made me successful in my role. I chose this role because it was challenging, and it allowed me to develop new skillsets and be engaged throughout the entire drug development process.

How do you define success?

Meeting needs and accomplishing goals that not only enrich yourself and the organization, but also helps others in the local and global environments.

What's the most fulfilling aspect of your job?

It’s pivotal role in providing safe and effective medicines to patients worldwide. 

What advice do you have for students and job seekers?

Seek roles that speak to your passion where you are completing tasks that do not feel like work. Loving what you do is very important for getting you through those tough workdays.