One of the unique features of the PPD program is the requirement of a full-time summer internship. The internships are considered full-time employment, they are twelve weeks in length and the students are paid. These internships are available at area pharmaceutical companies or biotechnology firms and provide the students with hands-on experience about the pharmaceutical industry.

Prior to becoming eligible for a summer internship all students must complete a full year of organic chemistry, courses in cell physiology, genetics, recombinant DNA methodology the introductory course in PPD (PPD 481) in order to have a full understanding of the industry and the science involved with pharmaceutical research. A full spectrum of internships are available, including bench science projects in drug synthesis, drug design, and drug metabolism studies in animals. In addition, other internships are available in data analysis and statistics, regulatory affairs, medical affairs, epidemiology, and safety monitoring of drugs. These internships are available in a wide area of study in order to better prepare the student for the varied opportunities in the industry. While only one internship is required, a second summer internship is highly recommended, preferably in a different area of the industry. Many of the students have continued their internships during the school year on a part-time basis. Several of these internships have continued following graduation as full-time employment.

In addition to the course work necessary as a prerequisite for an internship, students are provided with extra seminars to prepare for the internship selection process. Seminars are offered in both resume writing and interviewing skills and are presented by a member of the PPD faculty committee who is also on faculty with the business school. In the past two years, the PPD program has been fortunate to have the assistance of two CEO's of local industry with years of experience. They have donated their time to assist our students with their resumes, not only by participating in the seminar, but every student is assigned one as corporate mentor who reviews their resumes and offers suggestions for improvement. The completed resumes are collected by the PPD program and sent to companies who wish to sponsor an intern. In turn the companies forward job descriptions to the PPD office. All job descriptions are made available for PPD students to examine. While students choose their top choices, the companies review the resumes and select students for interview. The PPD office holds an interview day where corporate mentors and human resources personnel come to the university to interview the students. For companies who prefer or cannot attend the interview day, some interviews are conducted by phone or onsite at the company. Students are also encouraged to apply to other summer internship with pharmaceutical companies that either have not supplied job descriptions, or for general internships that are not specified for WCU students.

Previous internships have been concerned with drug formulation, medicinal chemistry, preclinical studies, medical and regulatory affairs, drug safety, data analysis, statistics, and medical writing, as well as marketing and sales. Numerous area industries have employed WCU student interns including:

Absorption Systems 
Accugenix, Inc. 
Agilent Technologies 
Centocor, Inc. 
Cephalon, Inc. 
Cytokine PharmaSciences, Inc. 
Endo Pharmaceuticals 
ICON Clinical Research 
Molecular Targeting Technologies Inc. (MTTI) 
NuPathe, Inc. 
Nuron Biotech 
Particle Sciences 
PPD, Inc. 
Progenra, Inc. 
ProMetrics, Inc. 
Puresyn, Inc. 
Reaction Biology 
Therakos, Inc. 
Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc. 
ViroPharma, Inc. 
Wistar Institute, University of the Sciences 

Last year we placed our first international intern with ICON Clinical Research in Warsaw, Poland. This past fall we placed another student at the University of Glasgow for a full year abroad in association with Controlled Therapeutics, an affiliated company of Cytokine PharmaSciences.

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