Shay Wingate is a current student in the Master of Science (MS) in Regulatory Science program at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy.
Shay earned his Bachelor of Science in environmental science from North Carolina Central University (NCCU). He developed a strong understanding of the importance of safe delivery and production of products at Merck Pharmaceuticals, where he currently works in vaccine manufacture.
What inspired your interest in regulatory science?
As someone who currently works in the pharmaceutical industry, I know firsthand the importance of drug safety. It is a growing area that is steadily improving each year. Having a strong knowledge of drug and biologic properties, drug and biologic quality, and patients’ biology, are essential to understanding why certain medications are more effective than others.
With my master’s degree in regulatory science, I plan to bridge my academic knowledge with the knowledge that I have acquired as a working professional to help improve new and existing products in research and development. My goal is to determine why some medications are more efficacious than others, and to ultimately reduce the severity and frequency of adverse events caused by the less effective drugs and biologics, while maintaining the safety and efficacy of those products.
What interested you most about the MS in Regulatory Science program at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy?
My current work in vaccine manufacturing at Merck Pharmaceuticals has provided me with a great appreciation of how important it is to patients that we safely produce and deliver their medications. When I discovered that the MS in Regulatory Science program at the School of Pharmacy would offer me the opportunity to expand my knowledge about the major areas of drug product and biologics regulation, I knew it was the right program for me. In my previous studies, I was often told what to do, but never provided with an explanation about why we were doing it that way. Since enrolling in this program, I’ve found that I am now learning the “why.”
How would you describe your experience since being admitted to the program?
My experience since being admitted to the program has been very positive. At first, I was concerned about how I would adjust to going back to school while still working 12 hours each day and being on-call. However, I have found that the program truly supports working professionals with varying work schedules. The lectures and assignments offered through the program are designed to accommodate everyone’s schedules, and are taught by faculty, industry professionals, and governmental officials who provide valuable insight about both the material being covered as well as students’ professional careers. Student-led discussions and group interactions on assignments are equally as beneficial as the lectures.
What is your advice to prospective students who might be considering whether or not to apply to this program?
I encourage prospective students who are willing to be challenged and ready to gain an improved understanding of the multiple disciplines associated with regulating drugs and biologics to consider the MS in Regulatory Science program at the School of Pharmacy. I recommend that prospective students speak with current students in the program to gain additional insight about the program’s emphasis on teamwork, collaboration, and diverse academic and professional backgrounds in the areas of pharmacy, biology, regulatory science, and many others.