Industrial Doctorate Centre: Bioprocessing Engineering Leadership

Lead Research Organisation: University College London
Department Name: Biochemical Engineering


The broad theme of the research training addresses the most rapidly developing parts of the bio-centred pharmaceutical and healthcare biotech industry. It meets specific training needs defined by the industry-led bioProcessUK and the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry. The Centre proposal aligns with the EPSRC Delivery Plan 2008/9 to 2010/11, which notes pharmaceuticals as one of the UK's most dynamic industries. The EPSRC Next-Generation Healthcare theme is to link appropriate engineering and physical science research to the work of healthcare partners for improved translation of research output into clinical products and services. We address this directly. The bio-centred pharmaceutical sector is composed of three parts which the Centre will address:- More selective small molecule drugs produced using biocatalysis integrated with chemistry;- Biopharmaceutical therapeutic proteins and vaccines;- Human cell-based therapies.In each case new bioprocessing challenges are now being posed by the use of extensive molecular engineering to enhance the clinical outcome and the training proposed addresses the new challenges. Though one of the UK's most research intensive industries, pharmaceuticals is under intense strain due to:- Increasing global competition from lower cost countries;- The greater difficulty of bringing through increasingly complex medicines, for many of which the process of production is more difficult; - Pressure by governments to reduce the price paid by easing entry of generic copies and reducing drug reimbursement levels. These developments demand constant innovation and the Industrial Doctorate Training Centre will address the intellectual development and rigorous training of those who will lead on bioprocessing aspects. The activity will be conducted alongside the EPSRC Innovative Manufacturing Research Centre for Bioprocessing which an international review concluded leads the world in its approach to an increasingly important area .


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