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Manufacture Facilities, Bioprocessing - Single Use Systems, Bioprocessing - Upstream & Downstream, Profession

Innovation in Biopharma Education

It was Saint Patrick’s Day 2016 when J&J’s Mary Lynne Bercik was listening to Dominic Carolan, CEO of Ireland’s National Institute of Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT) at DCAT in New York City. Carolan was explaining NIBRT’s approach to training the biopharmaceutical workforce of the future. NIBRT is a fully functional pilot manufacturing facility dedicated to training and research (see sidebar, “Who or what is NIBRT?”). Bercik, who had graduated from Thomas Jefferson University’s business school, wondered whether it might be possible to mirror NIBRT’s efforts in the US – the “spark” that ultimately led to the Jefferson Institute for Bioprocessing (JIB), which is now up and running just years two since the collaboration was first announced in 2017.

The JIB delivers NIBRTs curriculum in Philadelphia. And, like NIBRT, it is open to industry professionals who want to take part in workshops and courses, as well as graduate and undergraduate students in bioprocess engineering – one difference is that Jefferson, being a university, can incorporate courses into its degree programs. 

Following our coverage of the Jefferson-NIBRT collaboration last year (1), we speak once again to Ron Kander, Executive Dean of Jefferson’s Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce, and to the new Executive Director and Head of the Jefferson Institute for Bioprocessing, Parviz Shamlou, to find out how the institute launched so quickly – and their plans are for the future.

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About the Author

James Strachan

Over the course of my Biomedical Sciences degree it dawned on me that my goal of becoming a scientist didn’t quite mesh with my lack of affinity for lab work. Thinking on my decision to pursue biology rather than English at age 15 – despite an aptitude for the latter – I realized that science writing was a way to combine what I loved with what I was good at.

From there I set out to gather as much freelancing experience as I could, spending 2 years developing scientific content for International Innovation, before completing an MSc in Science Communication. After gaining invaluable experience in supporting the communications efforts of CERN and IN-PART, I joined Texere – where I am focused on producing consistently engaging, cutting-edge and innovative content for our specialist audiences around the world.

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