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  1. FDA Science Jobs and Scientific Professional Development

Tricia Johnson, MA, Chemist

"[FDA offers] stability and a career path with many diverse opportunities for professional growth.  The agency recognizes that I'm more than just a chemist and that we are all multi-talented.”—Tricia Johnson, MA, Chemist, Office of Science, Division of Product Science, FDA Center for Tobacco Products

Photo of Tricia Johnson

Q: Why did you seek a career at FDA?

Tricia Johnson: After spending 15 years in the pharmaceutical industry, I wanted to know more of the "behind the scenes" operations of food and drug regulations. Although I was done with making pharmaceutical drugs, it was time for me to hang up my lab coat and explore other opportunities in the field of chemistry. I have a love of science and enjoy my role as a chemist here at the Center for Tobacco Products.

Q: What does FDA offer that you can't find elsewhere?

TJ: FDA offers stability and a career path with many diverse opportunities for professional growth.  The agency recognizes that I'm more than just a chemist and that we are all multi-talented.

Q: What surprises you most about working at FDA?

TJ: The commitment to getting the facts right and the consideration we give to public comments to help inform our decisions about food and drugs.

Q: What do you value most about working at FDA?

TJ: I value my professional relationships most of all. I know that I can seek out colleagues in areas of expertise outside of my knowledge.

Q: How is the science conducted at FDA different from science conducted at NIH (or other federal agencies, academia, or industry? 

TJ: The science we conduct at FDA—regulatory science—is the last line of defense before the agency approves or denies the marketing of food and drugs in the U. S. When I worked in the pharmaceutical industry, FDA was considered the premier authority in approving drugs on the U. S. market.