From Pfizer to ACD/Labs, then PepsiCo and back to ACD/Labs, Andrew Anderson’s extensive work experience across different positions and fields makes him a great resource for career advice. Following part one and part two of our “5 Questions with Andrew Anderson” series, he shared a number of tips he has picked up during his time in the pharma, software and food & beverage industries.
We’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the value of Computer Assisted Structure Elucidation (CASE) around here lately. There’s a good reason for that: we’ve been doing a lot of work on CASE for the last 18 years, and the work is only accelerating. So it’s worthwhile to reassess every now and then. Much goes into improving software like this to take on ever-more complex tasks, and to do those tasks ever more effectively.
If you’ve had the pleasure to meet Andrew Anderson, you would know that he’s quite passionate about his work at ACD/Labs. When I sat down with him earlier this month, he had a lot to say about innovation within both the industry and our company. In part one of our two part series, Andrew shared how his previous role at PepsiCo has influenced his work at ACD/labs. He also discussed what’s different about the company since his return late last year. Now, in the second part of our conversation, Andrew shares his thoughts on ACD/Labs’ greatest contributions as well as where he predicts—or hopes—the company and industry will be in the next five years. Enjoy!
Towards the end of 2015, Andrew Anderson rejoined ACD/Labs after an almost decade long hiatus to pursue roles at PepsiCo and Symyx. Upon his return, Andrew took the time to tell us a bit about his experience away from ACD/Labs and why he decided to come back.
In my past life, before ACD/Labs, I was an organic/medicinal chemist. I share this because it’s relevant to the topic. My first responsibility at ACD/Labs was to create materials to support our PhysChem product line. Many of the descriptors that made up the products I was charged with talking about—such as pKa, solubility, etc.—were first introduced to me by Mr. Jackson, my chemistry teacher in secondary school (high school). The others I learned about during my BSc and PhD—logP (from Lipinski’s rule-of-5), for example. I will confess, however, that when I was asked in my interview how I applied/considered logD values in my research I was completely stumped. What’s logD? I’d never heard of it!
There is widespread agreement that going digital will help us manage data better, make us more productive, more innovative and ultimately enable us to make smarter decisions—all the way from the bench to the boardroom. Yet, we remain relatively early in the transition from paper to paperless lab, despite the need for organizations to become more innovative and more competitive.
As the Analytica Trade Fair in Munich came to a close in April, I realized that I had witnessed a tradeshow unlike many others in our industry today. It is probably the largest meeting I’ve participated in with 35,000 visitors and 1,244 exhibitors from 40 countries. The exhibition space spanned five halls in which any and every type of organization linked with laboratory research was represented. Analytica seems to have withstood shrinking travel budgets, mergers and acquisitions, and challenges that have hit the tradeshow circuit In fact, this year’s venue was so large I wish I had taken my trainers (sneakers) to traverse the exhibition space.
Join us at ASMS 2016 where we announce the launch of a new solution related to metabolite identification that I’m personally very excited about sharing with the scientific community. In addition to the launch of our new product, ACD/Labs will be exhibiting at booth #701, participating in a presentation, and hosting a seminar.
The R&D industry has been evolving for decades to make the process of discovering new compounds and formulations in the laboratory easier and more effective. Today, innovative trends, focused predominantly around data and technology, encourage changes that aim to improve efficiencies across the industry. A couple of current trends we’re observing include open innovation (or externalization), as well as big data.
With the help of ACD/Labs’ software, PharmaSea researchers have dereplicated more than 300 extracts, and, as a result, have identified 10 novel compounds that merit further research. Prof. Marcel Jaspars, head of the Marine Biodiscovery Centre at the University of Aberdeen, and project leader of PharmaSea, discusses the PharmaSea project in detail here.