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Jan 28, 2021


Virtual Event

Women in Industry - Session II

We are excited to talk with women from various careers in industry about their experience in the workforce. We will learn about different career paths, the benefits of big vs small companies, how to work-life balance, the different challenges women face in industry, and so much more!

Women in Industry - Session II

Time & Location

Thursday, January 28, 2021

11:00 PM

Virtual Event

About the Event

Kristina Najjar is currently a Senior Scientist in the Department of Pharmacokinetics, Pharmacodynamics and Drug Metabolism (PPDM) at Merck. In her current role, she supports in vivo PK/PD studies and develops novel in vitro based assays that aim to help understand the Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism and Excretion (ADME) properties of the next generation biologics in Merck’s discovery portfolio. Prior to this role, she also worked in the Biopharmaceutics and Specialty Dosage Forms department, where she supported the early drug development pipeline for respiratory products. She completed her Ph.D. in Biochemistry & Biophysics from Texas A&M University, where she specialized in cell biology and peptide/protein chemistry. During her Ph.D. career, she developed a state of the art cell penetrating peptide (CPP), named dfTAT, and demonstrated its use for the delivery of a variety of cell-impermeable macromolecules, including enzymes and antibodies, into the cytosolic space of numerous mammalian cell types. Following this, she identified the molecular features that are essential to achieve efficient cellular penetration. Utilizing a combination of in cellulo and in vitro assays, she assessed the impact of chirality, proteolytic degradation, and charge density on CPP endosomal escape activity. Prior to her Ph.D. work, Kristina obtained her B.S. in Biochemistry at the University of Texas at Austin. Currently, she aims to apply her scientific knowledge and skillset to enable advancement of Merck’s drug discovery pipeline. Outside of work Kristina enjoys music, hiking and traveling to new places.

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