Four new leading-edge laboratories have been established at the Jerusalem College of Engineering (JCE) following a dedication ceremony on Sunday, November 28th, 2010. These Pharmaceutical Engineering laboratories were established due to the generous support of TEVA Pharmaceutical Industries, Ltd. and the Foundation for Development and Progress, who each donated $1 million.
TEVA’s CEO Shlomo Yanai commented: “We are pleased to cooperate with JCE as part of TEVA’s commitment to advancing scientific education in Israel. The College exhibits excellence in higher education and in the field of pharmaceutical engineering.”
At a total cost of $3 million, the laboratories, spanning 500 square meters, will enrich third- and fourth-year students in JCE’s Department of Pharmaceutical Engineering. In 2008, JCE opened a Department of Pharmaceutical Engineering, in cooperation with TEVA, in order to educate and train high-skilled pharmaceutical engineers for the growing industry. This department is one of a kind in Israel in which graduates receive a B.Sc. degree in Pharmaceutical Engineering. These four new labs will expose JCE students to the dynamic techniques and processes of an advancing pharmaceutical industry, preparing them to become well-trained engineers.
Over the last decade, the development of drugs and biological materials has dramatically accelerated in Israel, particularly in Jerusalem. Approximately 25% of Israel’s biotechnological plants are located in Jerusalem, where 40% of research in this field takes place.
JCE President Uzi Wexler: “We provide students every possible opportunity so that they can easily integrate into the workforce as engineers that will spearhead the pharmaceutical industry. We are therefore committed to establishing cutting-edge laboratories in which students are exposed to the relevant equipment that is in line with the rapidly developing pharmaceutical industry.”
In addition to JCE’s top management, those present at the event included: the CEO of TEVA, Shlomo Yanai; Lili Peyser from the Foundation for Development and Progress; Chairman of the Planning and Budgeting Committee of the Israel Council for Higher Education, Professor Manuel Trachtenberg; and Amir Elstein, Chairman of Israel Corp as well as Chairman of JCE’s Board of Governors and a member of the Board of Directors at TEVA.
The laboratories were equipped with the latest technology, similar to the most advanced pharmaceutical laboratories in the world. Dr. Baruch Gershon, former Head of Developing Processes at TEVA and international expert on pharmaceutical technology, was consulted regarding the laboratories and closely cooperated with Professor Haim Gilon, Chair of JCE’s Department of Pharmaceutical Engineering, and Dr. Aharon Schwartz, Vice President of New Ventures at TEVA.
Prof. Gilon explained the unique function of each of these four labs:
The Pharmaceutical Technology Laboratory is geared towards preparing tablets and capsules, and the lab is equipped with instruments that imitate the processes of the human digestive track.
The Chemical Technology Laboratory is where students will learn about chemical engineering processes. The laboratory is equipped with chemical reactors that are connected to computer systems that monitor experiment results. This is a green laboratory, meaning that all of the processes and experiments conducted within the lab will not harm the environment. In the future, this laboratory will provide services for the pharmaceutical and chemical industry so that current polluting production processes will be conducted in an environmentally-friendly fashion.
The Analytical Chemistry Laboratory is an analytical laboratory for quality control in which drugs can be tested.
The Biotechnology Laboratory is where students can produce protein, grow cultures and explore genetic engineering in the same way that it is done in the pharmaceutical industry.
Read about the opening of the laboratories in the Jerusalem Post