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#RisingStars - Samsam Hussein


Please introduce yourself and what you do

My name is Samsam Hussein, and I’m currently an intern in Global Medical Affairs at Gilead Sciences. I graduated from Brunel University with a bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Science, and I’m hoping to start my master's degree this upcoming autumn.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

I work in medical affairs, specialising in oncology with a focus on specific indications such as TNBC and HR+/HER2- breast cancer. What I enjoy most about my role is the opportunity to delve deeply into intricate knowledge about specific disease types. Through my work, I've gained extensive insight into Gilead's oncology antibody drug conjugate Trodelvy, as well as a comprehensive understanding of the clinical trial process and regulatory frameworks within the pharmaceutical industry. Working in medical affairs has allowed me to collaborate across functions within my company, enabling interactions with commercial, legal, and medical information teams. Additionally, I've enjoyed the chance to attend dinners and events with colleagues, enhancing my interpersonal skills and confidence while being part of a large organisation.


What was your route into industry from education?

I completed my A-Levels in Biology, Chemistry, and History before applying for Biomedical Science at university. I began my degree at Brunel University. It was during my time at university that I first encountered the pharmaceutical industry and gained a deeper insight into it through Black Pharma’s Cultivate programme with GSK. Developing an interest in medical affairs, I took the opportunity to intern in this field when it arose, and I began working at Gilead in October 2023.


Did you always aspire to work in pharma?

During my placement year at Brunel, I undertook a placement as a clinical research assistant at the Royal Brompton and Harefield Trust, specialising in cardiology. With experience in the public sector and the NHS, I was keen to explore different opportunities in science as a graduate student. Working at Gilead provided the perfect chance to gain insight into the industry and opened my eyes to the various career pathways available within it.


Has your experience in pharma been what you expected or has it been different?

Entering the pharmaceutical industry, I anticipated a high level of work and encountering highly intelligent individuals, both of which I indeed experienced. However, what pleasantly surprised me was the exceptional work culture at Gilead, where everyone was willing to offer help and education regardless of the question. Additionally, I had the opportunity to interact with people from diverse backgrounds, exposing me to various perspectives and cultures that I may not have encountered otherwise outside of working for a global company.


What are your future aspirations with your career in pharma?

I hope to complete further studies while also exploring different sectors within the pharmaceutical industry until I decide to specialise, so I’m open-minded about the future.


What tips would you give a new starter interested in getting into pharma

I would advise them to network within their universities and join organisations like Black Pharma to meet like-minded individuals while also gaining a better understanding of the industry.


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