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Focus on pharmacy alumni: Nicole McCardy

Focus on pharmacy alumni: Nicole McCardy


Class of 2016 alumnus Nicole McCardy is profiled in the Sept. 2018 issue of BRIO, a national teen magazine with a focus on faith. McCardy is a high energy research and development chemist for Dermazone Solutions, a life science company that through its proprietary nanotechnologies, engineers all-natural particles around key active and bioactive ingredients to make topical and oral formulations.

Tell us about your job? 

My official title is Formulation Scientist II. I work for a pharmaceutical company that produces prescription, over the counter, medical devices, and cosmetic topical products. We are a contract manufacturing company that goes straight from the concept/development of a product to producing it in large quantities and filling them into their final packaging on our site. We also have our own line of high-end skin care products that utilize a patented nanotechnology delivery system to enhance product efficacy.

The company I currently work for is on the smaller side, which gives me the opportunity to work with a variety of product types, including medical devices, neutraceuticals, topical skin cosmetics, prescription topical drugs and beverages. I have a number of projects that I am responsible to develop from an idea that is proposed to a fully functional product that can eventually be launched to the market. This work can include making batches, sourcing ingredients, conducting tests, working with different departments for the launch and so much more.

What interested you in cosmetic sciences? 
Growing up, I had acne issues with my skin, as I’m sure many people can relate to. When choosing products, I would always read the back of the bottle and do my own research to see what works. This led me to develop natural remedies for my skin. When I shared this passion with one of my professors as an undergraduate, she told me about the Society of Cosmetic Chemists (a professional organization dedicated to the advancement of cosmetic science) and the advanced programs available in this field. She was definitely pivotal in why I entered the field of chemistry I am currently in. She even drove me three hours away to visit my graduate school of choice, which was the University of Cincinnati.

What is your educational background? 
I received my BA in Chemistry in 2014 from Taylor University in Upland, Indiana. In 2016, I received my MS in Pharmaceutical Sciences from UC with emphasis in cosmetic science.

Why did you choose UC? 
UC has a wonderful and well-known MS and PhD program in cosmetic science. The professors are known nationwide for their contributions to the field. I also had the opportunity to visit the school with my professor and check out the facilities firsthand.

What message do you send to someone thinking about the cosmetic sciences as a profession?  
Cosmetic science is definitely an interesting field to be a part of. You will never quite understand the level of work and detail that goes into items you use every day until you enter this field. In addition, there are many areas that you can get into, such as sales, marketing, regulatory affairs and research and development. The field itself is niche, but once you get into it, it’s an entire community and network, which I have found fun and exciting. In general, cosmetics and such are always constantly changing. There are always new actives and ideas trending and innovation happening. I’ve definitely worked with some interesting compounds already in my career. If you like being challenged, and doing something different every day than this may be a good field for you!

Photo credit: Grace Weimer

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