Stayce Beck, PhD, MPH
"[FDA is] one of the few places where your work is really at the crossroads of cutting-edge technology, patient care, tough scientific questions, and regulatory science ..." -- Dr. Stayce Beck, branch chief, new mother, and chemical engineer.
Q: Why should a scientist consider FDA as a place to work?
Stayce Beck: I would tell them that FDA is an outstanding place to work. It's one of the few places where your work is really at the crossroads of cutting-edge technology, patient care, tough scientific questions and regulatory science, with its unique legal challenges. Every day you tackle new challenges that keep you on your toes. What I love is that you can actually see what an incredible impact your work has on people living in the United States.
Q: What keeps you at FDA?
SB: I love the impact that my work has on patients and finding unique ways to solve the many challenges that we face. It's very rewarding to talk to patients using the devices that FDA regulates to better understand their needs and then working with companies to make sure that they are doing the things they should to ensure that those patient needs are met.
FDA is also a great place for women who are serious about pursuing their scientific career and want to have a family. FDA strongly supports work-life balance. At FDA's White Oak headquarters we have a daycare center so I can drop off my baby in the morning and get right to work.
Q: How is the science learned with your degree used at FDA (specific to product/Center)?
SB: I have a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, a PhD in Biomedical Science from the University of California and an MPH in Epidemiology from the University of Maryland. The work that I do at FDA is really at the intersection of these three fields. My chemical engineering is helpful for evaluating manufacturing processes and my biomedical science work helps me to better understand the important physiology behind how diabetes devices work to help people living with diabetes better manage this disease. Also, the general scientific methods that I've learned help me to better evaluate novel medical devices.
Q: How is science conducted at FDA unique from science conducted at the National Institutes of Health, academia, or industry?
SB: FDA is different from NIH, academia, and industry in that each of those places work on one aspect of product development, whether it be basic or clinical research, or manufacturing, or product development. At FDA, on the other hand, we get to work on all of those things, as well as regulatory science. We see a tremendous breadth of different products here, which really helps us to learn very quickly. It makes our job interesting as well as challenging. We get to see how these basic science and clinical advances get applied to make medical treatments and devices and how these can make differences in people's lives.