Amanda Pluntze

Research Chemist, Bend, Oregon, USA

Have you ever wondered how your GPS works? Or how a color can appear in different pigments? Or what Spray-Dried Dispersion technology actually does? These are the types of scientific questions that have always interested me, and have led to my career at Capsugel’s Bend, Oregon, facility.

As a research chemist in Capsugel’s Research & Development (R&D) group, science comes second-nature to me. I spend my days researching a variety of pharmaceutical industry challenges. My work helps to keep Capsugel at the forefront of the industry and to improve products that will ultimately improve patients’ lives.

I’m currently focusing on Capsugel’s pediatric platform, formulating medications in such a way that they are more patient-compliant. In the case of pediatric formulations, this means taste-masking the medicine and making it smaller so that young patients are more likely to abide by the dosage. I enjoy the large scope of projects and breadth of experiences that I get in my role. No two projects – nor days in the lab – are the same. I pull inspiration from chemistry work in other fields and apply those ideas and concepts to my work in pharmaceuticals. And while I am a chemist, I have to take into consideration engineering and biological aspects in order to develop a viable product.

When I’m not researching new ways to formulate customers’ products, I enjoy coming up with creative ways to explain difficult concepts. In 2016, I competed in the Chemistry Champions Contest, a nation-wide contest hosted by the American Chemical Society (ACS) that challenges chemists from all over the U.S. to explain, in less than three minutes, scientific concepts in a way that anyone from any background can understand. At the semi-final round in Washington, D.C., I presented Spray-Dried Dispersion technology using video games to explain the concept.

One of the best things Capsugel offers to its colleagues is the opportunity to expand their skill sets, cultivate their talents and experience something new.

We are able to expand our horizons professionally, which in turn results in greater innovation and success for the company.