People are the chemistry: Tammy and Del Schumacher
At Lancaster Labs, we believe that our people provide our strength. Their dedication to quality, professional competence and hard work are the key elements 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.
Chemists Tammy and Del Schumacher have collectively contributed more than 51 years of dedication and scientific expertise to Lancaster Laboratories. Del began his journey with Lancaster Laboratories in 1979 and Tammy in 1985. Tammy and Del both started working in environmental testing and later branched out into the Pharmaceuticals and Biopharmaceuticals Departments.
What is the scope of your group?
Tammy - The Biochemistry Group is continuously exploring new, smarter and more efficient ways to probe macromolecules in a GMP environment. The backdrop of our group is a GMP analytical setting, but we need to address proteomic related issues from many angles and for a wide variety of clients. We work largely with peptides, proteins and antibodies in a very dynamic and rapidly developing environment. Every product and/or product matrix is different, hence, we need to develop and/or adapt current analytical capabilities (chromatography, mass spectrometry and electrophoresis just to name a few) to the products we test and clients we work with. Most of our clients are developing new and exciting technologies aimed at alleviating disease and human suffering. My group provides the analytical support to help our clients in their paths forward. The dynamic nature of our group makes my job exciting, challenging and fun!
Del – The Method Development and Validation Group performs as named: method development and validation of pharmaceutical testing methods, primarily relating to more traditional drug chemistry now referred to as small molecule organics since the development of biopharm macromolecule drugs. Some of the work can be more straightforward such as performing the validation parameters for client methods that are well structured but may have not been fully validated with respect to full GMP compliance. On the other extreme, we may be starting from scratch with literary research to investigate a potential approach to performing assay or tracking impurities on a drug in early development. The work involves a lot of creativity and problem solving skills, which I find very rewarding. The scope often goes beyond the traditional capsule/tablet concept for dissolution, assay, and impurities testing. We are also involved in new technologies with the testing of medical devices/implants, replacement aerosols used for drug delivery and the characterization of extractable/leachable residuals from less traditional drug containers such as syringes and intravenous solution bags.
And when you’re not working?
Tammy - I love to cook and entertain. Del and I have a core group of friends that we love to take weekend trips with. Whether its wine tasting, skiing or backpacking, we have a lot of fun together. Our 14-year-old daughter is of course another highlight of our lives!
Del – I enjoy landscaping and working on Bonsai trees and orchids. I also enjoy playing harmonica in Jam sessions with other musicians. I like to improvise in Bluegrass and other roots music formats. These forms of creativity are so different from my work challenges, I find them very rewarding.