Austin Combest, Pharm.D., joined PPD in 2010 and is senior director of information and clinical science in global product development. Dr. Combest is board certified in oncology and a board-certified oncology pharmacist (BCOP) in North Carolina.
Dr. Combest is also an adjunct assistant professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Eshelman School of Pharmacy and directs the UNC/PPD drug development and clinical research fellowship program for therapeutically focused Pharm.D. and Ph.D.-level scientists. An alumnus of that program, he mentors up-and-coming scientists, instilling his passion about the rapidly developing new paradigm in the immuno-oncology landscape that harnesses patients’ own immune systems to unmask cancer’s defense mechanisms. Dr. Combest believes clinical trials remain the best way to test the optimal combinations and sequencing of immunotherapy advances and traditional cytotoxic and targeted therapies. His personal goal is to increase the proportion of patients who become long-term responders across a variety of cancers and to ensure that future oncology pharmacists are actively engaged in supporting that goal. As a licensed, board-certified oncology pharmacist, Dr. Combest provides medical consultation and strategic input into the development and conduct of hematology/oncology studies.
Following his own two-year UNC/PPD fellowship, Dr. Combest joined PPD in 2010 as a clinical scientist and was promoted to his current leadership role in 2015. His therapeutic expertise in hematology/oncology is focused on pharmacokinetics and pharmacology, pharmaceutics, nanoparticles/biologics/biosimilars, immunotherapy, epidemiology, and pharmacogenomics. His clinical experience encompasses all phases of drug development from preclinical through Phase IV studies.
Dr. Combest holds a Bachelor of Science in molecular biology from East Carolina University, and a Master of Business Administration and a doctorate in pharmacy, both from Shenandoah University in Virginia.