Joan Fitzgerald retired in 2012 following a long career in the pharmaceutical industry where she reached executive level and gained considerable managerial experience both in Ireland and in the US. In the three years following her early retirement she worked as an independent consultant with a number of pharmaceutical companies in Europe before returning to academic life where she is currently completing a PhD in Cognitive Genomics in National University of Ireland Galway. Joan obtained a BSc (Hons) in Microbiology from UCD in 1976.
In her professional career, she served in a number of positions with Allergan Inc. from 1978 to 2012, rising to Vice President of the company in 2008. In this role, she was responsible for overseeing the Worldwide QA Biologics function. Earlier positions with Allergan included Quality Assurance Director, Botox Facility, Project Manager - Pharma Facility, and Microbiology Supervisor. She had also previously worked with other pharmaceutical companies, including Travenol Laboratories Ltd. and Bimeda Chemicals.