People are the Chemistry: Weihong Wang
At Lancaster Laboratories, we believe that our people provide our strength. Their dedication to quality, professional competence and hard work is the key element in the company’s success. In this regular feature, we introduce you to some of the people who have helped make Lancaster Labs an industry leader.
Dr. Weihong Wang is manager of Lancaster Labs’ Molecular and Cell Biology Department. With a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Science and Technology in China, Weihong came to the U.S. and earned a Ph.D. in molecular and cell biology from Brandeis University. She furthered her education with post doctoral work in molecular medicine/cell and molecular science at Harvard University. She joined Lancaster Labs in early 2009 with nine years of experience in biopharmaceutical drug development and characterization at leading pharmaceutical companies. “It’s very encouraging to work in an environment that not only is a GMP facility with good systems in place, but mostly, has people working together to achieve a common goal of serving the client,” says Weihong.
What does your current job entail?
I am responsible for overall management of the Molecular and Cell Biology Services Department to ensure testing turnaround time and all quality metrics are met. More specifically, this includes serving as direct liaison to clients, overseeing in- house assay development/validation projects and client specific projects and maintaining our GMP laboratory. My senior staff and I also try to keep close monitoring of emerging technologies, industry trends and regulatory expectations so we can better serve our clients.
What is the scope of your group?
We are a team of 10 people, including three Ph.D. level scientists. All our analysts are trained in multiple assays in the Molecular and Cell Biology area. With our experienced scientists, we can provide different services to our clients, depending on their specific needs. For example, for a small or virtual company that does not have in-house assay development capabilities, we can develop from scratch a potency or residual assay that is suitable for release testing or stability studies. For other clients who have an R&D method but lack experience in method validation, we can optimize the methods prior to validation to ensure assay performance. We will work closely with our clients to develop a program that best suits their needs and helps shorten the development time of their drug candidates.
How would you characterize your leadership style?
I’d like to be able to bring the best out of everyone in the team. I think it is important to recognize that people have different personalities and working styles and take advantage of that instead of trying to mold everyone into the same shape. Also, I believe honest feedback is critical. Management needs to let people on the team know where they do well and where they need to improve so they understand the expectations and feel in control.
What awards/special corporate recognitions have you or your group received?
Our department received the Labs’ Triple Crown Award for four consecutive months (June-September) for meeting our department revenue goal and quality and TAT metrics. We were challenged with high-volume testing on top of multiple in-house assay development projects. Everyone in the department worked together and put in many weekend hours to get the testing done on time. I am so fortunate to be part of a great team that is energetic, goal orientated and self motivating!
How does your group’s work impact/benefit society?
Our team performs the release testing of biopharmaceutical drugs, and our work ensures that drugs that are released to the public are effective and are free of contaminants that may cause detrimental effects if administered to patients. This is a great responsibility.