CASTL Delivers Intro to Biopharma Manufacturing Course for UBC’s SBME

CASTL Delivers Intro to Biopharma Manufacturing Course for UBC’s SBME

For some students, the summer months are an opportunity to leave their studies behind. For over 70 students at the University of British Columbia School of Biomedical Engineering (UBC SBME), this past summer has been an opportunity to take an intensive 17-week course titled Introduction to Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing.  The Canadian Alliance for Skills and Training in Life Sciences (CASTL) delivered the course, which provided students with a foundational overview of the complete biopharmaceutical manufacturing process.

As part of its Academic Partnership Program, CASTL collaborates with post-secondary institutions to support the delivery of educational programming related to bioscience with a focus on biopharmaceutical manufacturing. The UBC SBME course delivery is the first time CASTL has partnered with a Canadian university to deliver a course in biopharmaceutical manufacturing to undergraduate students.

The base curriculum was developed by CASTL’s global partner the industry-leading National Institute for Bioprocessing Research & Training (NIBRT) and delivered by CASTL trainers. The course was designed to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the scientific and engineering challenges present in the manufacturing of biopharmaceutical products. In addition to learning the fundamental theoretical concepts associated with biopharmaceutical manufacturing, students also gained an understanding of how products move through upstream and downstream processes and the challenges of each phase of development.

“By partnering with CASTL to deliver the biopharmaceutical manufacturing and bioprocessing course, our students received valuable industry-led training that will improve their employability and competitiveness in Canada’s pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical, and biotechnology workforce. SBME graduates can look forward to a wide range of career opportunities in a large and rapidly expanding industry, and are well-positioned to support Canada’s growing bioeconomy,” said Dr. Peter Cripton, UBC SBME’s Director Pro Tem

Prior to taking the course, just over 70% of students were not familiar with the biopharmaceutical manufacturing industry. After completing the course, 96% of students indicated an interest in pursuing a career in biopharmaceutical manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, or biopharmaceuticals.

As part of the course, students were encouraged to participate in an evaluation of the course content and delivery.

• “The uniqueness of the course is its greatest strength. It delivered ample information that I doubt I could find elsewhere,” stated one student’s evaluation.

• “The course was delivered by people who have recent experience in relevant industry, so I can be sure that all the information that was delivered will be important to me in the future,” indicated another student.

• “I think one of the strengths of the course is the stories we hear from people directly in the industry. It makes it easier for us to get an actual perspective and understand the material more readily,” said a third student.

CASTL is expanding its academic partnerships across Canada as part of its strategy to support talent pool development for the biomanufacturing ecosystem. Academic partnerships are enhanced by CASTL’s industry partnerships in delivering training. This summer, as part of the UBC SBME course, AbCellera management guest lectured on the topic of facility design.

“It is our goal at CASTL to deliver on the industry demand for individuals who are work-ready to enter, thrive, and be successful in their careers. Through partnerships like this with the University of British Columbia, students gain knowledge and are exposed to biopharma manufacturing-specific content. This encourages interest in this fast-growing sector and provides students with a competitive edge,” said Penny Walsh-McGuire, CASTL Executive Director. “We were pleased to work with UBC SBME and their students in delivering this program.”

For more information on CASTL’s Academic Partner program contact Wendy McIsaac, Director of Academic Partnerships & Special Projects

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