Drug Discovery 101 Workshop at FIMM

At the end of May, FIMM staff members had a great opportunity to join an inspiring hands-on workshop on pharmaceutical drug discovery process organised by Bayer Finland! The participants got a feel for what work is like in the pharmaceutical industry by being a part of a multi-team drug development project.

The workshop offered a unique view into and hands-on simulation of different functions that make up a pharmaceutical company, such as project management, drug discovery and preclinical development, medical affairs, clinical development, marketing and regulatory affairs. The participants each got to choose a table/function and in a short time learn the main responsibilities and key decision points for the chosen functions. Each table contributed their point of view to the global management team, who jointly made the tough calls on which assets to continue developing and which ones to axe. The simulation was partly based on real situations and actual scenarios, and it was highly engaging, energetic and educational.

The workshop was hosted by FIMMPOD and the FIMM PhD and Postdoc council and led by Bayer representatives Jutta Lindborg (Head Clinical Project Management - Women’s Health II), Luiz Giorgiani (Head Clinical Data Management RED II), Juho-Matti Renko (Medical Advisor), Tuija Sikanen (Stakeholder Engagement Specialist), Tarja Jalava (Head Clinical Project Management II - Oncology SBU) and Mahesh Tambe (Study Manager Trainee - Oncology SBU). Warm thanks to everybody who made this great training opportunity possible!

Experiences from the workshop

The workshop organized by Bayer was a unique experience that provided a comprehensive view of pharmaceutical operations and drug development decision-making. It surpassed any other learning opportunity I encountered during my time in university education. The real-world scenarios offered a practical perspective, bridging the gap between academia and industry.

Dimitrios Tsallos, Doctoral Researcher


I really enjoyed the course. It provided me a unique and novel perspective on the processes and mindsets required in the pharmaceutical industry… To me, the interactive exercise, where the department head had to discuss each drug and in the end allocate a limited budget to the different projects, was the highlight of the course. It required us to think strategically and make informed decisions for the company's benefit.

Franziska Bentz, Doctoral Researcher


Great to experience the different angles of drug discovery and feel the power of teamwork. It was enjoyable to make decisions in time pressure even when the departments had different views during the simulation process. The simulation was very well planned and executed, thank you Bayer!

Tanja Ruokoranta, Project manager