Bioanalysis Zone

Expert panel: Chris Holliman (Pfizer)


Holliman expert panel pageChris Holliman is the Director of Pfizer’s Global Non-Regulated, Small-Molecule, Bioanalytical Research Group. His group provides drug quantification from biomatrices in support of Pfizer’s global small molecule discovery portfolio. His group’s efforts encompass logistics, bioanalysis and process continuous improvement through the development of IT networking tools, bioanalytical research and automation, and the application of Lean Six Sigma tools.

His group’s current interests include, micro-sampling and analysis, the application of high-resolution mass spectrometry, and green bioanalytical approaches such as the use of supercritical fluid and micro-flow chromatography.

Chris has led regulated and non-regulated small-molecule bioanalytical groups at Pfizer for the last 15 years. He received his Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Nebraska, focusing on Fourier-transform mass spectrometry cell design, and served as a National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington D.C.


Short interview

1. What are your main areas of interest within bioanalysis?

Right now I’m interested in small volume analysis. I’ve always been interested in the application of high-resolution mass spectrometry and I’m excited to see what the pharmaceutical industry will do with the broader availability of the lower-cost high-resolution platforms.


2. Describe your current role in under 20 words.


I lead a team of 13 bioanalysts. We provide quantitative analysis from in vivo studies  for Pfizer’s global discovery programs.


3. How many years of experience do you have in the bioanalytical field?


I’ve been in the bioanalytical field for 17 years.


4. What was the subject of your college major/undergraduate degree?


I received a bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry from Southern Illinois University (IL, USA).



5. How many organizations have you worked at?


If you count mergers and acquisitions, I’ve worked for 5 different organizations. I started in a CRO and have worked for Searle, Pharmacia, and two sites at Pfizer.



6. How many languages do you speak?


I only speak English but I understand quite a bit of French. My wife is from Brussels Belgium and her native language is French.


7. How many papers have you published in total?


21 Publications.


8. Which conferences have you attended in the past year?


Applied Pharmaceutical Analysis, Boston.


9. Which countries have you visited in the past year?


Over the last year I have visited Belgium, France, and Canada.



10. What social media tools do you use?


I’m not much into social media. I use LinkedIn but that’s about it. I guess I’m starting to date myself because I’m more of an e-mail, phone call type of guy



11. Coffee or tea? How many cups a day?


Definitely coffee. Two cups in the morning, one cup when I arrive at the lab, and a cup of decaf in the afternoon on tough days.


12. Make mine a … (favorite drink)


….Tanqueray and Tonic. If I could I would replace my coffee with it, two in the morning, one when I arrive at lab, and one in the afternoon on tough days.


13. If I weren’t a bioanalyst I would be… (alternative career)


For a long time I wanted to study medicine. If I didn’t work for a pharmaceutical company I think I would have some role at a hospital such as a doctor, physician assistant or nurse. The most rewarding part of my job is when I hear patient testimonials or friends tell me how the treatments we’ve developed have improved their lives.


13. You’d be surprised to know that I…

still make ice-cream the old-fashioned way, in an oak bucket with a hand-cranked can. It’s a family tradition and I remember watching my great grandfather making ice cream this way. I still have the oak bucket that my grandfather used. To make ice-cream in my family with a motorized machine could get you disowned, it has to be hand cranked.




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