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News & Press: Member News

Member Spotlight: Fionnuala O’Driscoll

Tuesday, December 10, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Luke Van Meter
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The Member Spotlight Q&A is part of an ongoing CASSS series, in which we invite members to meet other members of the CASSS Community.

The Member Spotlight is an ongoing Q&A series focused on getting to know the CASSS community. Today’s spotlight shines
on Fionnuala O’Driscoll, Regulatory Affairs Lead at Eli Lilly and Company.

Q. How long have you been with your current organization and/or position?
I have worked in Regulatory for over 20 years and have been with Eli Lilly in Kinsale for 6 years now. Previously I worked in a number of different companies including J&J, Fournier (now Abbvie) and Organon in the UK

Q. What was your motivation to volunteer with CASSS?
The first CMC Strategy forum I attended was in Sorrento in 2014 and I was really impressed with the conference. In particular the interaction between Industry and Regulators was so open and I really learned a lot. I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t heard of the conference before that. I got the opportunity to be part of the organizing committee when the conference was held in Killarney in Ireland and I haven’t looked back since. I still think it is the best conference to attend for learning and interaction and is my go-to conference every year.

Q. Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Cork, Ireland. I am the youngest of a family of six with four brothers and a sister. We lived outside the city and in the summer we used to go to West Cork where my father grew up. We had the best of both worlds with both city and country living and have really fond memories of both.

Q. What do you do to relax? Do you have any hobbies?
I do a lot of walking and cycling but my favourite pastime is tennis. I play about three times a week when I can. It’s a great sport for physical fitness but is also a very mental game which certainly keeps it interesting.

Q. What's your favorite type of food?
I love Italian food and chocolate of course.

Q. Do you speak any languages besides English?
I can speak Irish quite well as we learned it in school. We often speak Irish on holidays as you can be pretty sure people around you won’t understand what you are saying!

Q. Do you have any children? Pets?
I don’t have children but have wonderful nephews and nieces that I really enjoy spending time with. I have really enjoyed watching them grow up and they are all so different in their own ways they open your eyes to a whole different world. I also get to spoil them and I am still their “cool” Aunty.

Q. What’s your favorite type of music?
I like all sorts of music particularly the ones that you can sing along to at the top of your voice!

Q. What was the last movie you saw in the theater or book you read and loved?
The last movie I saw was “A Star is Born”. I watched it on a recent flight to the US and I like it so much I watched it again on the way home. The music is great and both Bradley Cooper and Lady Ga Ga were amazing. No great life changing messages in it just a really good movie to watch. I am currently reading “Becoming” by Michelle Obama she is an amazing lady and it is a great read so far.

Q. What famous person do you admire and why?
I have huge admiration for Ellen MacArthur. In 2005 she became the fatest solo female sailor to circumnavigate the globe. She got there through sheer guts and determination and to me is a most amazing feat. She set up the Ellen MacArthur foundation taking young people recovering from serious illnesses such as cancer and leukemia on sailing trips to reinvigorate their sense of confidence and self-worth. More recently I have come to admire Theresa May. I may not agree with all she is doing but I can’t help but admire her perseverance and courage in very difficult circumstances.

Q. What’s your favorite destination to travel to?
I like travelling to new places I don’t have a particular favourite but if I had to pick it would probably be Italy, see above re food!

Q. What would people be surprised to know about you?
Not sure there is too much people don’t know. I was an Irish dancer and won a few competitions when I was young.


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