Our members are a dynamic combination of freelancers, employees, and job seekers and include those who write, edit, or develop medical materials for a wide range of audiences, including:
- Patient education brochures, news articles, web content, and books
- Journal articles and continuing education monographs
- Regulatory documents supporting drug and device research and development
- Sales training and marketing materials
Our target audiences include the general public, patients, press, health care professionals, government agencies including the Food and Drug Administration, contract research organizations, pharmaceutical industry, research scientists, and institutions.
Some of us have backgrounds with strong medical or science experience while others have solid writing or journalism experience. Together we share our love for writing, science, and medicine.
Meet Our Current Board of Directors
Demetrius Carter, MBA:
As the President of the AMWA Carolinas Chapter, Demetrius Carter aspires to expand the medical writing community in the Carolinas. Having worked in the pharmaceutical industry for many years, he has experience in all stages of drug development and understands the value of the end process, which is why he enjoys medical writing. In May 2022, Demetrius led a talk at the AMWA Carolinas Chapter Conference addressing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the medical writing field, which is one of his central professional interests. Demetrius wants any interested writers to know that there is no single path to medical writing, as he believes that passion and skill can lead anyone to be successful in the field. Demetrius encourages people to explore this career regardless of their personal or professional background, and he hopes to enrich the professional community of medical writers through the greater inclusion of individuals from a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences.
Kim Jochman, PhD, RAC:
Kim Jochman is the Past President of the AMWA Carolinas Chapter (2021-2022). After she completed her PhD in neuroscience and undertook 2 postdoctoral research positions, she became interested in medical writing, and has now been working in the field for over 14 years. As a regulatory writer in a management position, Kim enjoys learning new things and creating a positive impact on her colleagues, who she feels are incredibly smart, hard-working, and scientifically engaged. In the future, she hopes that different types of technology can be integrated for smoother communication of data from clinical trials. She also hopes that more people learn about careers in medical writing. By working to establish an entry-level training program at her company, Kim has dedicated herself to helping the industry grow and attract diverse talent. For people who are interested in pursuing a career in medical writing, Kim recommends looking for entry-level medical writing programs, as well as exploring classes and trainings online and even volunteering to write for venues such as professional association blogs or university websites to hone writing skills.
Jenni Pickett, PhD:
Jenni Pickett is the President-Elect for AMWA Carolinas, and she recently served as the Social Media Coordinator (2019 -2022) and on the AMWA Carolinas Conference Committee (2020 – present). Her focus areas within medical writing are regulatory documents and plain-language writing. Jenni previously worked in a scientific capacity in the pharmaceutical industry, and her transition to medical writing allows her to play a role in the final stages of the drug-development process. As an advocate for diversity in the medical writing community, Jenni believes that many paths can lead to a successful career, and she also believes in the importance of networking and connecting with others to create a community. In order to help others enter the field and advance their careers, Jenni has compiled a list of free or low-cost resources, which can be found on her website: https://jennipickett.com/2019/05/01/free-and-low-cost-education-for-medical-writers-and-pharma-scientists/
Nina Oshiokpekhai, PharmD:
Nina Oshiokpekhai is the Secretary for the AMWA Carolinas Chapter. From a young age, Nina knew that she wanted to pursue a career in the sciences, which led her toward medical writing. An advocate for change in the medical writing community, Nina wishes to improve the accuracy and applicability of clinical studies by ensuring the inclusion of diverse communities. She wants to explore how medical tools and examinations exclude people of color and to improve those systems, creating a more inclusive healthcare system. As a freelance medical writer, Nina values the communities of writers and healthcare professionals she works with, as she can connect with people and learn new information every day. Medical writing is a growing field, but to Nina, the community will always feel close, and some of her closest friends have come through these connections. For those considering medical or scientific writing, Nina advises an open mind and flexibility to absorb information and remain open to feedback. Networking is also very important, and she would like to emphasize the welcoming community of medical writers in AMWA as the best place to discover more about the profession.
Simone Otto, PhD:
Simone Otto is currently the Treasurer of the AMWA Carolinas. Before she entered the field, Simone worked in fashion design. An emerging interest in science led her to pursue a PhD in neuroscience, after which she moved to North Carolina for a postdoctoral position. Deciding not to pursue a career in academia after her postdoc, she began working as a medical writer. Simone loves working with diverse teams to develop documents that aim to better human health, and she feels that her work allows her to gain new knowledge while also making an impact on patients in need. Simone is looking forward to seeing how artificial intelligence is integrated into the field in the future, helping to eliminate repetitive work and give writers more space to do innovative writing. For people who are interested in working as medical writers, Simone recommends gaining experience in writing medical documents wherever possible, and she also believes that networking is essential.
Ishita Chatterjee, PhD:
In the role of Communications Coordinator for the AMWA Carolinas Chapter, Ishita Chatterjee reaches out to newcomers in the field and spreads the word about medical writing and the AMWA community. Ishita has always been interested in science; as a child, she loved writing and science, and medical writing allows her to explore those two interests. Ishita previously worked as a researcher in academia, and she loves being able to make connections with cutting-edge scientific research in her current work. Working as a medical writer allows Ishita to use her scientific skills while also overseeing the development and execution of writing projects, and she feels that her scientific and managerial input matters as a medical writer, whether she is leading a team or writing a draft. She loves the flexibility that the career affords, and the positive work-life balance allows her to spend time with her family. Ishita advises those interested in medical writing to reach out and connect with the AMWA community.
Shengjie Xu, PhD:
Shengjie Xu serves as the Webmaster for the AMWA Carolinas Chapter. Shengjie’s ongstanding interest in science led her to pursue a PhD in immunology. From her experience in basic bench research at the molecular and genetic levels, she became interested in the drug development process. After years of research and exposure to clinical trials, Shengjie became a regulatory medical writer supporting the drug approval process at a pharmaceutical company. She loves the exposure to rigorous scientific research and data interpretation that the medical writing field affords, and she is always amazed by the talented coworkers on her multifunctional teams. Working as a medical writer gives her flexibility, allowing her to have work-life balance. For people who are interested in the field, Shengjie suggests that they find the specific branch of medical writing that interests them most, and then gain practical skills through shadowing or internship experience.
Luisa Giannangelo, MBA:
Luisa Giannangelo is currently the Member Liaison for AMWA Carolinas. New to medical writing, she brings over 15 years of work experience in healthcare to her career as a regulatory medical writer. She spent the majority of her career as a hospital pharmacist after receiving a pharmacy degree in Montreal. She also completed her MBA at Wichita State University. Writing was always of interest to her during her career, and she is excited by the current opportunity to pursue medical writing. Luisa has an interest in chronic pain and is hoping to write in this important and rewarding field while continuing to learn more about the impact of the opioid epidemic on pain management and the patient experience. Luisa completed the Regulatory Writing Certificate program at the University of Chicago as well as a mentorship program in Medical Writing with the Drug Information Association (DIA). Going back to school and changing professions is no small feat, and she is proud to continue her education as she advances her career. She advises anyone interested in the field to seek out a mentor as soon as they can, and says her keys to success have been staying positive and continuing to learn.
Amber Carr, PhD, MWC:
Amber Carr is currently the Student Volunteer Coordinator for AMWA Carolinas. Amber has always been interested in both science and the humanities, and medical writing provides her with a rewarding way to combine these interests. After obtaining her PhD in chemistry, Amber pursued teaching positions that allowed her to hone her skills in science communication for both specialist and nonspecialist audiences. She then transitioned to educational writing for pharma sales representatives and medical science liaisons, where she learned more about clinical trials and was inspired to pursue a career as a regulatory medical writer. Amber feels that this is a rewarding career that provides her with constant learning opportunities and allows her to make an impact on patients’ lives. For people who are looking to enter the field, she recommends seeking out opportunities to write about science and medicine in the local community and taking online courses in clinical research, such as those offered by the NIH.
Abigail Agoglia, PhD:
Abigail Agoglia is currently the Chair of the Conference Committee for AMWA Carolinas. She received a BS in Neuroscience from SUNY-Binghamton University, then moved to North Carolina to attain a PhD from the University of North Carolina. Although she loved bench science and research with rodents, her allergies eventually drove her out of that line of work. A year into her postdoc, she began exploring alternatives and discovered medical writing. Having loved writing since she was a child, her only regret is not joining the field sooner! Abigail currently works as a regulatory writer, primarily working on New Drug Applications. She has always had a niche interest in rare and orphan diseases, and specifically enjoys her work on applications for new treatments of these conditions. She loves the variety of her day-to-day job, working on a range of different projects with diverse teams. She also loves the challenge of writing on a team with the support of subject matter experts and enjoys the satisfaction of delivering exactly what the team had in mind. She can’t emphasize enough how incredible, supportive, and helpful the AMWA Carolinas community has been, and would advise anyone interested in medical writing to involve themselves and discover more about the profession.
Laura Tibaquirá is currently the Social Media Manager Coordinator for AMWA Carolinas. She works as a clinical technical editor and is a certified life sciences editor. She loves that her job lets her act like an “investigator” for each new piece she edits — understanding the narrative, constructing a seamless flow of ideas, and making sure the data are presented clearly and accurately. She also does a lot of work refining style and grammar, and helps create style guides for others to use. As an occasional freelance editor, she does translation work for students looking to publish papers in the United States. Prior to her career in medical writing, Laura was a teacher for almost 7 years in Bogotá, Colombia, where she currently resides. In her current editing career, she loves the variety of work and the opportunity to work with a wide range of people. She is always excited to see the impact her editing can have on new treatments and technologies, which can reach patients and save more lives. She appreciates the opportunity to be a part of AMWA, which has opened the door for her to learn more about the association and field. She hopes to eventually help establish a presence for AMWA in Latin America. Laura advises anyone interested in medical writing to seek out organizations that will support them, and to keep an open mind to working with diverse groups of people.