Student: I am a final year EngD student in Biochemical Engineering. I completed a BSc in Biotechnology at Reading University in 2002, then worked in cGMP manufacturing for Lonza Biologics, Slough. I came to UCL in 2003 to study an MSc in Biochemical Engineering and began the EngD in 2004. Company: MedImmune, until recently known as Cambridge Antibody Technology (CAT). Founded 1990, floated LSE (1997) and NASDAQ (2000). A biotechnology company, part of the AstraZeneca group. They have approximately 350 employees and are based in Cambridge, UK.
Background: To determine the means whereby small scale experiments can be used to optimise the way in which bioprocesses are run and the product is formulated to maintain the authenticity of the biomolecules. My work has specifically focused on understanding and minimising the effect of interfacial and shear effects on monoclonal antibodies.
The challenge: To develop a device which can mimic the interfacial and shear effects that can cause degradation and aggregation of proteins during bioprocessing. The aim has also been to try and achieve a greater understanding of the mechanisms by which these effects cause aggregation.
Issues that arose were: It was necessary for me to use a number of analytical techniques that I was unfamiliar with. These included SDS-PAGE, IEF, HPLC, and mass spectrometry. The company supplied hands-on training which was supervised by experts in the techniques.
Result: I am now able to make use of the necessary analytical techniques required for my project, and the company benefits from the analytical data from my experiments which they are familiar with and they are able to contribute towards their interpretation.
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