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Featured Alumni and Faculty

Fordham Nurse Monitors Drug Safety

Julia McGinnityThe next time you pick up a prescription from the pharmacy, Julia McGinnity, FCLC ’87, might have had something to do with making sure that you can take it safely.

She is senior manager of quality risk management and pharmacovigilance auditing at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, a firm based in Tarrytown, N.Y. At the biopharmaceutical company, she not only audits Regeneron’s products for adverse effects, but she also created a new role for herself, overseeing risk management for the company. McGinnity says she is not a scientist or a researcher, but rather works alongside scientists and researchers to rigorously monitor drug safety and mitigate risk.

A registered nurse, McGinnity says that in her current role she is helping others in a more indirect, but no less crucial, context. She says that many consumers are unaware of the efforts that the pharmaceutical industry takes to keep patients safe. 

Working for the common good is something she learned at Fordham, where she studied anthropology while working full time and commuting.

She credits her diverse academic coursework in psychology, history, and visual anthropology, for building a strong intellectual foundation for her career in the pharmaceutical industry.

Her most valuable memories as an undergraduate involve her relationships with faculty members. She says one such faculty member, Stewart Guthrie, Ph.D., professor emeritus of anthropology, helped her cultivate vital communication skills, including effective interviewing and clear writing.

After graduation, McGinnity worked at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital as corporate director of quality assurance. She later moved to the New York City Law Department, and then to positions at Pfizer and Roche. At Pfizer, she was responsible for monitoring the safety of drugs already on the market and also helped assess data integrity in pharmaceutical clinical trials. At Roche, she started and led a quality analysis team focused on adverse event reporting for Roche’s products.

Above all, McGinnity says her professional career revolves around “making things better for patients.”

Michael Rametta

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