Alumni Story: Contributing to the COVID Vaccine | 校友故事: 为研发新冠疫苗做出贡献

Published on 2021-01-11

Daniel Price's education at Dulwich Pudong solidified his passion for scientific discovery, leading him to a career within Merck Life Sciences, where his team supports companies bringing the COVID vaccine to the world.

Ten years ago, Daniel Price’s family moved from the United Kingdom to Shanghai where he very quickly found himself at home within the Dulwich Pudong community.

Daniel’s entry into Senior School not only offered him a myriad of experiences in rugby, jazz orchestra, theatre and as academic Prefect, it nurtured his curiosity in science. His education at Dulwich Pudong solidified his passion for scientific discovery, leading him to a career within Merck Life Sciences, where his team supports companies bringing the COVID vaccine to the world.

merck

 

Passion for Science

“From as early as I can remember, I wanted to be a doctor. I would like to say this stemmed from a desire to help people, but if I am being honest, I was always more interested in the science underpinning medicine,” Daniel recalls.

“Throughout my education, chemistry, biology and physics classes were always those I looked forward to most. At Dulwich Pudong I especially enjoyed my investigations and experimental work as part of HL Biology and Chemistry, under the expert instruction of Mrs. Lincoln and Mrs. Wood. I also very much enjoyed working towards my IB diploma at Dulwich.”

Chinese Academy of Sciences

After graduating from Dulwich in 2012, Daniel served as a research associate at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The initial connection came in Mrs. Wood’s Chemistry class which Dulwich Pudong parent Raymond C. Stevens visited as a guest speaker.

Daniel shares, “Ray is a hugely successful researcher and entrepreneur whose children attended Dulwich Pudong at the time. He volunteered to come into our chemistry class to give us an introduction to drug discovery and offered one of us the opportunity to come and work with him in the Chinese Academy of Sciences—I was the lucky one!”

The transformative experience instilled in Daniel a lifelong passion for drug discovery and development.

Path to PhD

Daniel attended university and graduate school and gained valuable experience along the way.

Sharing his experience, Daniel reflects, “My number one piece of advice for anybody wanting to enter industry is to get experience as early as possible – before or during your studies. For those studying in the UK, look for courses that offer a ‘year in industry.’ I opted for this during my chemistry degree and spent one year working in a pharmaceutical development lab in Pfizer – and it has helped me a great deal in my career. During this year in industry, I worked on solubility enhancement of drug molecules using silica-based technology. This work was conducted in collaboration with Merck in Germany. The outcome of this research project was so successful that, after completing my master in chemistry in Leeds, Merck offered fund my PhD in Germany on the same topic. The research for my PhD was completed in about two years, and I was then offered a job in the scientific marketing organization of Merck Life Science.”

daniel graduations

Technologies of the Future

In his current role at Merck, Daniel is responsible for strategy and marketing for a portfolio of Merck products that are used in life-saving medications across the world.

“My team and I are also responsible for scouting technologies for the future. One example of this is 3D printing – I am currently leading a project to develop a business strategy for 3D printing of tablets, so in the future it is possible our medicines will be printed for us directly at the point of purchase!”

Daniel further shares about the transformative technology projects he leads, “Another interesting project I am leading aims to understand how machine learning and artificial intelligence will be used to accelerate drug development.”

Contributing to the COVID Vaccine

For this Dulwich Pudong alumni, 2020 has been an extremely busy year.

Daniel reveals, “We are fortunate enough to have played a direct role in the race towards a COVID vaccine. I am part of a team that provides ingredients (we call them excipients) for medications. This includes tablets, creams, eye drops, and injections! Unfortunately, the specific details are confidential, but we are working directly with most major companies working to bring the vaccine to the world. If you receive a COVID-19 vaccine in the coming months, then chances are we contributed to its development and it contains our products!”

Future Ambitions

Daniel credits a holistic blend of scientific expertise with mastery of soft skills such as communication as a key differentiator in the highly competitive field of science. While already accomplished in his career he aims to further evolve into an executive management position within the life science industry.

He also hopes his current work with Merck may indeed afford him with the opportunity to return to Shanghai with his wife whom he met here.

“Fortunately we have a large office in Shanghai and I am able to travel back for work. In fact, there is a chance that my family and I will have the opportunity to move back to Shanghai in the future with my job – and that is what you call a full circle!”

The Dulwich Pudong community looks forward to welcoming that happy homecoming.

family

十年前,Daniel Price随家人从英国搬到了上海,并很快融入了浦东德威学校温暖的大家庭。

就读中学部后,Daniel同学不仅在橄榄球、爵士乐、戏剧方面有了丰富的涉猎,同时作为一名领袖生,他对科学领域也产生了浓厚的兴趣。在浦东德威学校不同凡响的教育模式下,他更坚定了对科学新发现的探索,也奠定了今后供职于默克集团的专业基础,在默克的生命科学研究部,Daniel和他的团队正参与支持公司研发新冠病毒疫苗,有望为全世界人民带来福音。 

热爱科学的少年

“从我记事的时候起,我就一直渴望成为一名医生。我想说这主要出于帮助他人的愿望——好吧,说实话,其实我更感兴趣的是支撑医学的科学技术。” Daniel回忆道。“在我的学生生涯中,化学、生物和物理一直是我最热衷的科目。就读浦东德威学校时,我尤其喜欢在Lincoln老师和Wood老师的高等生物和化学课上,根据她们的专业指导,完成各项研究和实验。同时,为了取得IB文凭而不懈努力也是我在德威学校的一段难忘回忆。” 

中科院工作机遇

2012年,从德威毕业后,Daniel成为了中国科学院的一名副研究员。最初的契机出现在Wood老师的一堂化学课上。当时,浦东德威的学生家长Raymond C. Stevens先生受邀作为演讲嘉宾莅临课堂。

Daniel分享道, “Ray是一个非常成功的研究员兼创业者,当时他的孩子们也在德威上学。他主动来到我们的化学课堂上,向我们介绍药品研发,并且还提供了一个珍贵的名额,被选中的学生可以和他一起在中科院共事——最后,我有幸成为了那个幸运儿!” 

正是这段不同凡响的珍贵经历,让Daniel心中燃起了对于药物研发工作的热切向往。

博士学位成功之道

​此后,Daniel接连完成了本科和研究生阶段的学习,并且积累了大量专业经验。

谈到个人心得时,Daniel这样说道, “经过这一年在辉瑞公司的工作经历,我参与了一个利用硅基技术提高药物分子溶解度的项目。项目是与德国默克公司合作开展的,最后取得了丰硕的成果。在我完成了利兹大学的学业后,默克公司决定出资赞助我在德国开展同一课题的博士学位研究。完成博士学位的学习花了约两年时间,随后我得到了来自默克生命科学提供的工作邀请。辉瑞公司的工作经历,以及利兹大学的药物化学进修为Daniel之后在法兰克福大学学习制药技术奠定了基础。” 

技术变革引领未来救死扶伤新理念

Daniel目前供职于默克集团,负责该公司全球救生医药产品组合的战略营销。

“我和我的团队负责未来新技术的开创与研发,其中之一是3D打印—目前,我正带领团队开展关于药品3D打印的企业战略项目,将来有望实现在药品订购的同时,直接完成药品打印!”

同时,Daniel还为我们介绍了他所领导的变革性技术成果,“目前,我还带头开展了另一个有趣的项目,旨在了解如何通过机械学习及人工智能来加速药物研发。”

对于新冠疫苗的直接贡献

对于这位德威校友,2020年是极为忙碌的一年。

他回忆道,“我们很幸运地在赶制新冠疫苗的过程中发挥了直接作用。我所在的团队负责为药品提供原料(我们称之为‘赋形剂’),其中包括片剂、药膏、滴眼液、注射剂等。不过遗憾的是,具体细节属于机密资料。我们与所有龙头企业紧密合作,致力于将疫苗推向全球。在未来数月内,如果你接种了新冠疫苗,那么很可能那里面有我们的一份功劳,或者其中含有我们公司的产品!”

未来志向

Daniel不但扎实地掌握了科学知识,也具备一系列极佳的软技能。出色的沟通能力让他在竞争激烈的科学界拥有了独特的优势。尽管在事业上已有不俗成就,但他仍期望接下来能晋升至“生命科学行业的执行管理岗位”。

目前在默克公司的工作很可能会给他携妻子回上海生活的机会。而Daniel与妻子的相遇也是在这座城市。

“幸运的是,我们在上海有一家很大的办事处,让我有机会再次回到这里。事实上,将来我和我的家人很可能会因为工作而再度回到上海生活——这也许就是你们常说的缘分吧!”

而上海浦东德威也翘首以盼昔日学子学成归来!