NEW BRUNSWICK/PISCATAWAY, N.J. A Rutgers graduate student in biostatistics is the first recipient of a doctoral fellowship funded by Pfizer, Inc., a leading pharmaceutical and consumer products company. The company is also funding a series of professional seminars for graduate students and faculty in the Rutgers statistics department.
Valued at $300,000 over five years, Pfizer's commitment reflects the ever-increasing integration of mathematics into the life sciences, from research and development to the commercialization of medicines and biotechnology.
The student, Andrew Magyar, is in his first year of doctoral study at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. The Pfizer fellowship will provide him a stipend, research support and summer internships with the company.
"Statistics is very much an applied science, so my summer work at Pfizer will help me learn what kinds of career opportunities are available," Magyar said. "I also hope to get ideas for dissertation topics while working with Pfizer statisticians and scientists."
Presenting the award to Magyar during a ceremony at Rutgers Friday, Oct. 13, were Frank Caridi, executive director, statistics, at Pfizer Research and Development, and Michael Pazzani, vice president for research and graduate and professional education at Rutgers.
"Major pharmaceutical companies employ hundreds of Ph.D. statisticians to work in all aspects of the industry, from drug discovery to clinical trials and product marketing," Pazzani said. "By funding this fellowship, Pfizer is investing in developing highly qualified statisticians who can serve their industry and the broader biomedical sector cornerstones of New Jersey's economy and drivers of its future growth."
Pazzani noted that nearly three-quarters of the students earning doctorates in statistics at Rutgers will go on to careers in the pharmaceutical industry.