Chemistry and Forensic Science Grad Analyzes Materials Used for Medications

Earlier this year, Erika Wisniewski began a dream job at GlaxoSmithKline in the Washington, D.C. area, where she inspects and analyzes the raw materials that go into medicines we take and has a hands-on role in making the drugs safe. 

Wisniewski works in GSK’s raw-material laboratory, testing the materials in the production process batch by batch and making sure they contain what the label claims. One of the key medicines she works with is Benlysta, which treats lupus. 

“I like the challenge of it because there’s always something to continuously learn,” Wisniewski says. “Being in pharma, I have a direct impact on somebody’s life with the medicine." 

“Patients are going to live happier lives that way,” she says. An

Wisniewski earned a degree in Chemistry and Forensic Science at SHU, and she initially thought she would get a job in the forensics area. After doing a pharmaceutical internship in West Virginia, she realized that was her best path. 

She looks back with gratitude to her advisor, Dr. Diana Hoover, who helped Wisniewski learn quickly through all the time spent in the lab. 

Wisniewski got more than an education at Seton Hill: She met her future husband, too. She and Matthew Malacane, who also graduated in 2016, were married in September 2019 in Saint Joseph Chapel. 

Seton Hill’s young alumni are making their mark on the world through their work in science and healthcare, finance and business, industry, entertainment and service to those in need. The Fall/Winter 2019 edition of Seton Hill’s Forward magazine featured 30 of these alumni, all under the age of 30. You can find all of their stories here on Seton Hill’s site (just look for the “30 Under 30” icon).