Alumni Spotlight- Hawasatu Dumbuya

Hawasatu Dumbuya, L'Oreal

My graduate school experience was challenging but self-rewarding.  I owe my achievements to the Molecular Pharmacology & Physiology program, Office of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies, and IMSD.  IMSD provided me opportunities to grow as a professional and a community of amazing, similar-minded individuals. I gained extensive experience in working in a team setting to deliver class/module instructions, and I strongly believe that these experiences helped me. improve my soft skills, such as communication, teamwork and problem solving, which are skills that I use every day in my current position.  My advisor, Dr. Elena Oancea, gave me a significant degree of intellectual freedom. Towards the end of my Ph.D., I wanted my next step to be away from the bench, to expand my background as a cell biologist, while carrying out multidisciplinary research projects in a collaborative environment. For these reasons, I sought industrial research positions. After learning about L’Oreal and their research that directly contributed to their innovation pipeline, it appealed to me. I currently lead the USA Clinical Innovation team efforts on developing novel concepts, methods and protocols for clinical evaluations of actives for photoprotection and pigmentation.  Every time, the in vitro and/or formulations labs have a new active for photoprotection or pigmentation, such as sunscreens or whitening agents, I am responsible to review the in vitro dossier of the active to understand its molecular mechanism of action, and then to lead the clinical research studies to evaluate for efficacy.