Meet the Avanti Team - Philip Morris, PhD.

Posted on August 21, 2023

Phillip Morris

Avanti's core identity lies in delivering lipids of unparalleled purity alongside top-notch customer service. Yet, what truly distinguishes Avanti is our extraordinary team. To celebrate their remarkable efforts, we are delighted to present a unique employee each month. Whether they are chemists, engineers, or GMP operators, every team member significantly contributes to Avanti's achievements. Come along on this adventure as we take pride in spotlighting the exceptional individuals who are the driving force behind Avanti's greatness!

This month, Dr. Philip Morris, our Senior Process Development Manager sits down with us to answer a few questions!

1. What do you do? I am the Senior Process Development Manager overseeing the Process Chemistry, Process Engineering, and Technical Writing groups within the cGMP Manufacturing Department. As a whole, we are responsible for developing the synthetic routes and documentation required for the full life cycle of Avanti’s cGMP products from early development through validation and commercialization, as well as equipment qualification and cleaning validation. In addition, we serve as Subject Matter Experts and work closely with the Manufacturing group to resolve any issues that arise during production.

2. Why did you choose Avanti? The community of chemists in the Birmingham area is fairly small and I had always known chemists over the years that worked at Avanti. After growing bored with retirement and deciding to go back to work, I reached out to Steve Burgess and soon thereafter had lunch with Steve, Walt, Dale and Chris to talk about joining the company. I spent the rest of the afternoon talking and touring with Dale and I came away with the feeling that Avanti would be a good fit for me. I joined Avanti four years ago this past May and it is one of the best decisions I have ever made.

3. What is your favorite part of your job? I mostly enjoy working with my team every day and am very proud of all they accomplish. My team members are all quite a bit younger than me and I get a lot of satisfaction out of seeing them grow in their careers and take on more responsibilities. I also feel that Avanti has a very positive company culture and I find the work challenging.

4. What is most rewarding about your job? I love what I do and I really like the folks I work with. On a daily basis, our group is presented with a diverse range of problems which gives me an opportunity to put my skills and experience to work. I get a great amount of personal satisfaction from knowing that the majority of the products that come out of my team and Avanti as a whole continue to have a real and tangible impact on patient’s lives.

5. Favorite movie? Best in Show is my favorite movie. It is a comedy/mockumentary about show dogs and their owners.

6. What led you to this career and what advice do you have for people considering it? I was interested in science as a kid and by the time I was in high school I knew I wanted to be an organic chemist which I described to family and friends as a molecular architect. I would advise anyone with an interest in chemistry to find a mentor that can help with networking and that can make introductions to others in the field. Having access to others with differing expertise that you can draw on will ultimately increase your value as an employee. Always strive to do well-thought-out experiments that can be defended, be open to others that may have different opinions, and always be transparent and honest with your data.

7. What kind of music do you listen to? I listen to an eclectic mix of music ranging from Appalachian Mountain music, bluegrass, folk and rock.

8. How do you like to spend your time outside of work? I collect early American clocks and am currently serving my second term as a Director at the American Clock & Watch Museum in Columbia, PA. I also enjoy writing and have just published my second book entitled S-Town Exquisite Clocks: Celebrating the Artistry of John B. McLemore, Horologist, which is based on the popular podcast, S-Town. My wife and I are avid gardeners and spend a great deal of time during the summer working in our yard. We also enjoy fine dining and consider ourselves lucky to live in an area with so many great restaurants.

9. Favorite holiday and why? My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. For more than thirty years, my wife and I have hosted Thanksgiving at our home for both sides of the family. We have great food, but we really enjoy having a day to spend together.