Biochemical Engineering news
- bioProcessUK presents inaugural Peter Dunnill Award
- UCL undergraduates win gold medal at International Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) competition hosted by MIT
- BiCE Team Win 2010 IChemE Innovation and Excellence Award
- The new EPSRC Centre launch in November 2011
- New MBI Courses Launched for 2011-2012
- UG Design Project Poster Session with Industrialists - 16th December 2011
- Platinum award for UCL synthetic biology competition student project
- Ashok Kumar Fellowship prize
- Abbott Innovation University Challenge Success
- Students on Course for a Career in Biochemical Engineering
- UCL- CPI: INDUSTRIAL BIOTECHNOLOGY TRAINING COLLABORATION
- Department Leads HEFCE Catalyst Fund Proposal to Enhance Therapeutic Discovery and Biomanufacture
Abbott Innovation University Challenge Success
11 July 2012
A team made up of 4 UCL Biochemical Engineering students (Freedanz Ferdinandz, Ali Versi, Udit Varma, Si U Sou) and 2 UCL Biotechnology students (Kheng Ng, Khai Kong) won 1st prize in the 2012 Abbott Innovation University Challenge worth $10,000. The team put forward a concept paper to address the Abbott Challenge on: ‘Identification and support of patients with pancreatic exocrine insufficiency’.
Below the team recount their experience:
“ We decided to embark upon the Abbott challenge as we felt it was just up our street having spent a significant amount of time during our degree dealing with tasks related to the (bio-) pharmaceutical industry. This would be the sector in which we were all hoping to work and therefore such an opportunity would provide us with a taste of problems faced in the industry.
A choice of six projects was available to select from ranging from social media application in clinical and business contexts to wild card ideas. We selected the option which we felt was most relevant to Abbott’s current product line. Abbott has already introduced a treatment for Pancreatic Exocrine Insufficiency into the market - a pancreatic enzyme supplement, CREONR. However, diagnostics which accurately confer dosage in a convenient manner are wanting. Our mission was to generate ideas for diagnostics which remedies the current predicament. The submission took the form of a concise concept paper detailing our ideas and describing how they would be implemented into Abbott’s current portfolio in addition to how the ideas would fair in the clinical environment. We provided a range of ideas, starting with simple and cheap solutions with a short development time, ranging to more complex solutions involving biosensors and biophysics requiring a more significant development time.
As 3rd year students we already had a hefty schedule to conform to and therefore we did not have enough time available for the submission as we would have liked. Even though everyone contributed as much as he could we were afraid that other competitors would create a better and more detailed product due to more time available. So it was a fabulous surprise to hear a few weeks later that we had been selected by the jury board to present our ideas to several heads of departments of Abbott in Basel via teleconference. This meant that our submission had come top in the UK and was in the top 5 globally. After our presentation we received coaching based on the feedback from the jury board of our submission and the feedback from the presentation.
The coaching was delivered by the head of gastroenterology and women’s health at Abbott pointing out how the amalgamation of the scientific skills of the biotechnology students with the engineering and business skills of the biochemical engineers was one key to our success. He also gave valuable insights into hurdles our ideas may face during manufacturing and regulation, which drove us to opt for our simpler idea, which would forgo many issues taxing the other ideas.
Upon receiving the feedback we had to resubmit our concept paper with consideration of our coaching session. We also created an animation of our chosen idea, showing its basic principle of function and its implementation in the clinical environment. This was done during the exam period and close to the submission deadline of the Biochemical Engineering Design Project- again we had to reach our limits and push ourselves being motivated by our common aim: winning the Abbott University Challenge 2012. And the harder and the more we worked, we became more and more confident that we could actually make it happen.
Our success was announced at the last day of our term (and for many the end of their degree). We were sitting in the University of London Union and enjoying ourselves in an emotional but light-hearted atmosphere when the e-mail notification caused deafening cheers for several minutes – a memorable moment. It was appropriate that our final Design Project presentation and the announcement of our victory fell on the same day since the challenge reflected our journey through the third year as Biochemical Engineers - a journey full of personal development where our staff of life was decidedness, patience, dedication, persistence and motivation.
Yes - moments of hope and moments of desperation gave distinction to the journey. A journey full of small battles – battles which resulted in personal growth.
But most importantly it was a journey we didn’t have to take on our own and where team-work was a major key to success.
The Abbott University Challenge was indeed not only an academically enriching experience – it was moreover a bonding adventure with our close friends and an appropriate completion of our fascination three years of university.”
For further information, please contact Dr Suzy Farid at firstname.lastname@example.org
Page last modified on 11 jul 12 15:30