Development Chemist | Youth Central

Merylyn, 28

Developing generic drugs such as antibiotics, painkillers and antineoplastics are the basis of Merylyn's job. Find out more:

Fact file

Job description:  Develops a variety of generic drugs for the pharmaceutical industry.

Subjects studied: Mathematics (Change and Approximation), English, Physics, Chemistry and Legal Studies.

Further training: Merylyn has a Bachelor of Applied Chemistry (3 years full-time) from RMIT, and a
Certificate IV in Information Technology (3 years part-time) from Holmesglen TAFE.

Salary: $40,000 - $65,000 a year.


Merylyn Abud is a developmental scientist working for the pharmaceutical company, Mayne Pharma. In this role, Merylyn is responsible for developing generic drugs, including painkillers, antibiotics and antineoplastics which can be used to treat people suffering from various illnesses.

People need to be confident that pharmacutical drugs are safe and have few unwanted or harmful side-effects. In her day to day work, Merylyn spends much time carrying out the extensive tests and trials on drugs that ensure they are stable and comply with Health regulations.

It is important to understand the effect of pharmacuticals on tissues, organs and the bodily functions of humans. Any toxic impurities produced when the drugs sit in storage are also identified. Much of Merylyn's time is also spent communicating with colleagues.

"I moved into pharmaceuticals as I thought this would lead to a more interesting career path with more opportunities".

Merylyn enjoys performing laboratory studies, problem solving and has the opportunity to occasionally travel overseas.  But perhaps best of all is the fact that at the end of day, she is "positively contributing to society by helping to reduce the cost of pharmaceuticals."

"It's very interesting doing different tasks everyday. There are always new technologies to learn. There's approximately 50 percent lab work and 50 percent desk work which is a good balance"

Job specs

A development chemist applies the findings of research chemists to develop new products or improve existing processes.

Personal requirements

  • Enjoy scientific activities
  • Able to think logically and creatively
  • Aptitude for accurate work
  • Enjoy laboratory or field work and research
  • Patience, perseverance and an enquiring mind

Getting started

Find out more about a career as a development chemist:

Minerals Council of Australia
PO Box 4497 Kingston, ACT 2604
Tel: (02) 6233 0600

Find out more about this career path at (Note: free registration is required to access the myfuture site).