Dr. Allison Ortigosa is the Executive Director of Technical Operations at Merck & Co., Inc., supporting the commercial manufacture of life-saving medicines at the Elkton, Virginia pharmaceutical manufacturing plant. She received her PhD in 2003 in the lab of Dr. Gregory Reinhart studying the allosteric regulation of phosphofructokinase through the use strategically placed amino acid mutations and classic enzyme kinetic studies. It is during these years that Allison’s passion for science (and coffee) truly began and the thrill of solving technical challenges with hard-sought data. Allison then went on to study the allosteric regulation of ribonucleotide reductase in the lab of Dr. JoAnne Stubbe as a post-doctoral fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and ultimately joined Merck & Co., Inc. as a scientist in 2009. For the last 10 years, Allison has been involved in the development, commercialization and manufacture of biologic and vaccine products, applying a lot of the technical and problem solving skills she learned while she was a graduate student and post-doctoral fellow.
Allison’s advice to current grad students:
“Don’t ever lose sight of why you pursued graduate school in the first place. That passion will sustain you not only through graduation, but throughout your career.”