PDA Letter Article

PDA Annual Meeting 2023: Student Voices

by Ashutosh Anand, GSK

The 2023 PDA Annual Meeting in April at New Orleans, Louisiana, saw five student awardees of the prestigious PDA Global Pharmaceutical Student (GPS) scholarship be a part of the foremost gathering in pharmaceutical manufacturing, focusing on cutting-edge science and technology. The 2023 theme, "Back to the Future: Learning from The Past in A Patient-Centric World," emphasized the pivotal link between patients and manufacturing, offering a platform for knowledge exchange, innovative modalities, and practical solutions across diverse areas of expertise for industry professionals and students alike.

Student Testimonials

Click here and meet the five GPS scholarship awardees, who also gave insight on their experiences during the conference below:

Anuksha Gulati: “The 2023 PDA Annual Meeting had diverse sessions, ranging from unmet needs in modern biotech to regulatory hurdles for drug development, mitigating supply chain risks and beyond.”

"Two sessions that stood out to me include the discussion on gaps in meeting healthcare needs for rare diseases and how it pointed out the need for us to fill in these gaps, and the discussion on Moore's law in biomanufacturing, and how the biotech industry is moving towards new modalities of therapeutics, and what can we really do to prepare for these manufacturing challenges."

Danisha Ramirez: “The panels we attended reminded me that patients are the reason why biotech has come this far and how what we do every day helps save a life somewhere in the world. The discussions after the panels are nothing like what you get from reading an article or blog post. You get real people in real-time.”

“PDA has made an investment in us by supporting this experience, which now allows us as students to make a more informed and better investment into our future, and for that, I will always be grateful.”

Hannah Snell: “Upon arriving at the conference, all the scholarship winners were assigned to a mentor. The connection and relationship I built with my mentor is one that I will have forever. I could ask her for professional expertise on career life, personal questions, and just life expertise.”

“I encourage all students that are the slightest bit interested in anything pharma-related, whether sales, engineering, or sanitation, to get involved with the GPS network and PDA to expand and meet professionals and students on a global scale.”

Rajdip (Raj) Sen: “Participating in the conference was truly enriching, as it allowed me to showcase my work, engage in numerous meaningful presentations by industry experts, and actively participate in various networking events with peers and senior professionals. With around one year of experience in the CAR T-Cell industry, I was genuinely fascinated to learn about the latest advancements in the cell and gene therapy field from the experts who were presented at the conference.”

Robin Usselman: “During the Vendor Tour, I learned how important contamination control products are for cleanrooms. I learned how disinfectant processes and products must be validated to show that they are effective and how these cleaning and disinfection programs play an important role in a facility’s contamination control strategy.”

“Thanks to the scholarship, I had the opportunity to meet with technical experts, quality leaders, and fellow early career professionals while being able to join interactive educational sessions to learn about innovations within the pharma industry.”

Key Takeaways:

  1. Diverse learning experiences: The conference provides a broad spectrum of sessions, from addressing unmet healthcare needs to discussing Moore's law in biomanufacturing.
  2. Real-world impact: The panels emphasize the link between patients and manufacturing to showcase the real-world impact of the work on patients' lives.
  3. Investment in future: PDA's support is recognized as an excellent investment in students, empowering them to make informed decisions about their future.
  4. Global networking: Amazing opportunities for global networking and mentorship connections.


The testimonials collectively paint a vibrant picture of the enriching experiences students had at the 2023 PDA Annual Meeting, reinforcing the importance of industry engagement, mentorship, and continuous learning.

With the upcoming 2024 PDA Annual Meeting in Long Beach, California, around the corner, students are encouraged to participate in this year’s expanded student program. For more information or interested candidates, complete and submit the application form here. The deadline is February 18.

For companies or individuals looking to donate to the PDA Foundation to support students attending the 2024 PDA GPS Student Experience at the 2024 PDA Annual Meeting, please contact [email protected].

To stay informed on new programs, subscribe to PDA Newsletter and follow the PDA Global Pharmaceutical Student Network Page on LinkedIn.