The University of Ottawa partners with CASTL and The Ottawa Hospital to ready students for careers in biomanufacturing

The University of Ottawa partners with CASTL and The Ottawa Hospital to ready students for careers in biomanufacturing

In photo: Jennifer Quizi, PhD, Investigator and Director, Biotherapeutics Manufacturing Centre, The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and Sven Ansorge, Associate Director of Technical Training and Site Manager, Montreal, CASTL.


Ottawa, ON - The University of Ottawa (uOttawa) has partnered with The Ottawa Hospital’s Biotherapeutics Manufacturing Centre (OHRI) and the Canadian Alliance for Skills and Training in Life Sciences (CASTL) to deliver a customized course as part of the university’s Microprogram in Biomanufacturing. Biomanufacturing is a rapidly growing industry that is critical for the production of new vaccines, gene therapies and cell therapies. 

The 12-week course entitled “Principles of Biopharmaceutical Process Development and Biomanufacturing Science” is aimed at MSc Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology students within the Faculty of Medicine. This collaborative course design will help the OHRI and uOttawa train more biosciences students and build on the region’s smart health, biotherapeutics and precision medicine advantage to support improved patient care, healthcare delivery, and to enable rapid commercialization of “made-in-Ottawa” health innovations. 

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 will also gain an understanding of how products move through upstream and downstream processes and the challenges of each phase of development. As part of the course, students have the unique opportunity to experience a biomanufacturing environment firsthand through interactive tours at The Ottawa Hospital’s Biotherapeutic Manufacturing Centre. Upon course completion, students will earn three graduate credits towards the nine-credit Microprogram in Biomanufacturing.

The Ottawa Hospital’s Biotherapeutics Manufacturing Centre is the most experienced and successful facility of its kind in Canada, and we fill a critical gap in Ontario’s life sciences ecosystem.

Dr. Duncan Stewart
Executive Vice-President of Research at the Ottawa Hospital and professor at the University of Ottawa

The microprogram receives funding through the Canadian Pandemic Preparedness Hub (CP2H), co-led by the University of Ottawa (in partnership with The Ottawa Hospital) and McMaster University. It is one of the five research hubs part of the integrated Canada Biomedical Research Fund (CBRF) and Biosciences Research Infrastructure Fund (BRIF) funding opportunity totalling $10 million. 

CP2H will be a strategic partner to enable Canada to become internationally competitive in the translation of novel biotherapeutic discoveries from academic laboratories and industry settings into clinical testing and commercialization. The Hub will link private sector with intellectual capital, physical infrastructure, manufacturing capacity and experiential training programs like this one. It is a unique collaboration between industry, academia, government, and healthcare institutions that will allow Canada to pivot quickly and protect the health of Canadians should another epidemic or pandemic emerge.

Sylvain Charbonneau
Vice-President, Research and Innovation at the University of Ottawa

The course curriculum was developed by CASTL’s global partner, the industry-leading National Institute for Bioprocessing Research & Training (NIBRT) and will be delivered by CASTL’s industry-expert trainers. Students will receive valuable training that delivers a comprehensive, immersive, and engaging overview of all aspects related to biopharmaceutical manufacturing/bioprocessing including upstream processing; downstream processing and product release, regulatory considerations, good manufacturing practices (GMP), quality assurance (QA), fill-finish, aseptic processing, and facility design. 

Thanks to this new course students will be equipped with the industry-applicable knowledge and skills required to be part of the fast-growing pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical, and biotechnology workforce in Ottawa and beyond.

As part of its academic partnership programs, CASTL collaborates with post-secondary institutions to support the delivery of educational programming related to bioscience with a focus on biopharmaceutical manufacturing. CASTL is expanding its academic partnerships across Canada as part of its strategy to support talent pool development for the biomanufacturing ecosystem.

CASTL delivers on the industry demand for individuals who are work-ready to enter, thrive, and be successful in careers in life sciences. Through partnerships like this with the University of Ottawa and The Ottawa Hospital, we expose students to biopharma manufacturing-specific content, encouraging their interest in this fast-growing sector. We are excited about this partnership and look forward to working with its students and faculty.

Penny Walsh-McGuire
Executive Director at CASTL

For more information about CASTL’s academic partner programs contact Magdalena Mahlstedt, Director of Academic Partnerships & Special Projects.


Media Contact:
Stéfanie Bolduc
Director of Marketing & Communications, CASTL

University of Ottawa
Isabelle Mailloux
Manager, Media Relations

Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Jenn Ganton
Director, Communications and Public Relations


The Canadian Alliance for Skills and Training in Life Sciences (CASTL) is a national skills and training organization formed to address the talent needs of the Canadian life sciences sector. Specializing in biopharmaceutical manufacturing, CASTL delivers on the economic and sectoral demand for individuals who have the technical skills to enter, thrive and meet the needs of the fast-growing Canadian biomanufacturing industry. With multiple GMP-like biomanufacturing training facilities, CASTL provides industry informed practical hands-on training, theoretical knowledge and e-learning. CASTL is the exclusive provider of the National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT) licensed training programs in Canada. Based in Ireland, NIBRT develops and delivers state-of-the-art training and education programs for the world’s leading biopharmaceutical manufacturing companies and partner academic institutions. CASTL is supported by National Lead Partner adMare BioInnovations and its adMare Academy. The adMare Academy is dedicated to providing the specialized training required to foster the next generation of highly qualified personnel who will drive the growth of Canadian life science companies.

About the University of Ottawa 
Rooted in our bilingual and Francophone DNA, we are evolving at the intersection of many cultures. Located in Canada’s capital, a gateway to the world, we possess a unique platform to respond with energy, creativity, and scale to the global challenges and opportunities our world offers. With an active focus on equity, diversity, and inclusion, we will thrive like never before. 

Already in this new millennium we have rocketed into the top 1% of the world’s 20,000+ universities with our research reputation. We have doubled our enrolment with students from across Canada, as well as from 147 countries around the globe, choosing uOttawa. 

Our international influence is surging, with institutional partnerships in Europe, Asia and Africa multiplying rapidly – including membership in the U7 Alliance of world universities. 

Meanwhile our research and programs in Cybertech, health, science, social justice, sustainability, education, and entrepreneurship continue to impact communities across Canada and around the globe every single day. Our scientists and academicians are driving progress in ethical AI and technology development, in clean growth and innovation and in action- oriented research on aging, active and healthy living, lifelong learning, and well-being, to name but a few. 

At uOttawa we are driven by the urge to challenge the status quo, the will to make an impact, and the ambition to become a catalyst for change. 
About The Ottawa Hospital’s Biomanufacturing Centre
The Ottawa Hospital’s Biotherapeutics Manufacturing Centre (BMC) is the most experienced and successful facility of its kind in Canada, having manufactured more than 20 different cell and virus-based products for human clinical trials in Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia. With eight manufacturing suites and 40 full-time staff, BMC offers a full range of services to both academic and corporate partners, all done according to Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) standards. Founded in 2006, BMC has been supported by the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Ontario Research Fund, BioCanRx and generous donors to The Ottawa Hospital Foundation.

Back to news list

Unlock a world of knowledge.
Subscribe to our newsletter today.

Sign up