Mehrafarin Dehkordi, Ph.D.
ANALYTICAL SUPPORT SCIENTIST II
Dr. Mehrafarin (Afi) Dehkordi is an Analytical Support Scientist II at Catalent’s Swindon UK facility. She holds a doctorate in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Bath, England.
As part of the analytical support team, Dr. Dehkordi ensures maintenance, calibration and qualification requirements are met for all lab equipment across the QC and Analytical Development laboratories. She ensures the data integrity requirements are performed in accordance with site and corporate standard operating procedures and cGMP practices, along with safeguarding testing procedures and ensuring batches are released to patients on time.
Dr. Dehkordi specializes in analytical chemistry and provides technical knowledge and ‘hands on’ support. Further, she offers guidance during investigations and instrument troubleshooting, event investigations and change controls.
Discover what drives Dr. Dehkordi’s passion for analytical science and chemistry. Access her published works
Get to know this “Catalyst” in drug development.
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A CONVERSATION WITH MEHRAFARIN DEHKORDI PH.D.
What sparked your interest in analytical science?
My doctorate is based on dynamic combinatorial chemistry; my research involved the synthesis of novel materials and studying their intra- and intermolecular interactions using a variety of analytical techniques, such as NMR, HPLC, LCMS and Circular Dichroism (CD). Throughout the process I was responsible for supervising multiple concurrent projects, as well as the management of the group lab and maintenance and training of users on several pieces of equipment (HPLC, LC-MS, NMR, CD and microwave reactors). All of this gave me hands on experience with different instruments and techniques and I am fortunate to use my knowledge in my current role as an analytical support scientist.
Explain what role you play at the Swindon site.
Working as a member of the Analytical Support team involves an array of responsibilities. I provide technical knowledge and ‘hands on’ support for laboratory equipment repair and troubleshooting along with managing the Service Providers (e.g., managing contracts, renewals and EH&S & quality agreements). Essentially, this entails managing relationships with contractors, ensuring GMP & Safety requirements are met and the documentation received from the contractor is reviewed and approved, all in a timely manner to minimize equipment downtime.
What role does your team play in the product development process at Swindon facility?
There are many moving parts when it comes to getting a molecule from the clinic to the market. After the molecule is developed, every instrument our team utilizes must provide the most precise data for our customers. All instruments need to operate on a 24/7 schedule and any downtime could affect testing and release date of a product. The accuracy and precision in maintaining and calibrating the instrument is key in our work to keep equipment running to get the testing done on time. The Analytical Support team was recently involved in introducing Empower3 (new chromatography software) into the QC and analytical laboratory. The team faced many challenges throughout the process, but we overcame them and managed to do the transition of 40 HPLCs with this new system, all while performing the maintenance on other equipment in both laboratories.
What ways do you feel you (or your team) help drive Catalent’s Patient First mission?
Every detail matters. Every data point needs to be accurate. Every instrument must be as precise as possible. Every time I step into the laboratory to work on a project, I always think of the patient who will eventually receive this medication. At Catalent, I know that the quality of my work has a direct effect on those who will someday be given this treatment.