Claudia De Novaes Davidson Autobiography

I was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I first came to the United States in 1981, and  fell in love with this country. Since that time, my dream was to come to the U.S. to study and develop a better quality of life for myself.  My dream took a while to become true, because immediately after my first visit, I lost my father, the sole support of my family.  Seven years later my first and only daughter was born. By then I had already finished my bachelor’s degree, graduating from Universidade Federal Fluminense school of  Pharmacy. I worked for eleven years as manager of a Pharmacy Leme pharmacy, one of the oldest chains of pharmacies in Rio de Janeiro.


            At the beginning of 1997, I was very frustrated by not being able to support my daughter and myself despite working over time. I decided to return to the U.S. to study, in order to improve my English. For three months, my daughter and I stayed with an American family in California, so that I could study English at the Language Center of the Pacific at Irvine Valley College. My experience in living in California was so wonderful that I decided to come back the following year, and attended the UCI International English Language Program for another three months. By then I was determined to raise my daughter here, and to move here permanently.  It took three years to organize, plan and satisfy all the requirements to enter the U.S. as an international student – as well as to convince my family that it was a good decision. With an F1 Visa to study at Irvine Valley College, I arrived in the U.S. in 2001 with my daughter. I graduated from the Honors Program at Irvine Valley College with an Associate degree in Arts. While attending IVC, I met my future husband through a friend, and in 2004 we were married.


            In 2006, I attended the Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program at Santa Ana Community College to understand the pharmaceutical profession as practiced in the United States. While in this program, I was exposed to the process of drug development in the United States, an area that barely exists in my native country. I am very interested in the process of drug development, beginning with preclinical research, moving into clinical trials and extending through premarket approvals, manufacturing, labeling and advertising to postmarking surveillance. As part of the certificate program, I completed an off-site externship in the inpatient Pharmacy at Saddleback Memorial Hospital. In addition, I completed an off-site externship in the Sterile Product Inpatient Pharmacy at University of California, Orange Medical Center.  Finally In 2011, after my daughter’s graduation from UCI, I began investigating master’s programs relevant to a pharmacy background. The Masters in Biotechnology offered by CSUF, with concentration in Regulatory Affairs/Clinical Trials/Quality Assurance, was the opportunity that I was looking for. This program offers an in-depth understanding of Regulatory Affairs, the regulations and laws pertaining to the drug development processes.


In 2012, I was accepted in the Masters in Biotechnology offered by CSUF. I graduated in the summer of 2014. I worked as a intern at Gilead Sciences, in San Dimas, CA from 2013 to 2014. Gilead is a biopharmaceutical company whose core business are the discovery, development and commercialization of medicines in areas of unmet medical need. This experience was very important for me because it gave me practical experience working on a project in cooperation with a biotech company. Pharmacists do not normally participate in drug development prior to its release to the public, or in the on-going manufacture of the drug. This experience took me backstage where I could observe some of the meticulous activity required before a drug is released to the public. My work at Gilead culminated in a final project, “Experimental and Theoretical Raman Spectroscopy of Aztreonam in the Solid State: Applications in Identification (ID) Testing”, and paper, “FT-NIR Spectrometric Determination of Moisture Content of Lyophilized Biopharmaceutical Formulations/Raman Spectroscopic Characterization of API”. This effort led to the incorporation of incoming API characterization, utilizing handheld Raman Spectroscopy instrumentation, in the quality control inspection process.