Derek Lowe, an Arkansan by birth, got his BA from Hendrix College and his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Duke before spending time in Germany on a Humboldt Fellowship on his post-doc. He's worked for several major pharmaceutical companies since 1989 on drug discovery projects against schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. His blog, In the Pipeline, is located at www.corante.com/pipeline and is an awfully good read.
Dr. Ali M. Afnan is the president of Step Change Pharma, Inc., a consultancy targeting the development and delivery of Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Excellence. Dr. Afnan was recruited in May 2003 by CDER at FDA to join the Agency's PAT and Drug Product Quality initiatives. He was a member of the PAT steering team and a co-author of the PAT Guidance. He had also been a member of the core team responsible for drafting and finalizing the most recent Guidance from FDA on Process Validation. Dr. Afnan has received several FDA and CDER level awards. He left the FDA in March 2010