SBEx Open Session
Introduction to Pharmaceutical Biotechnology
by Elmega Gracia Elisabeth
On August 6, 2021, the Study Research Division of SBE UISC held a webinar called “SBEx Open Session” on the topic of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology. This Open Session is the peak of the entire SBEx event for the members of SBE UISC. Before this Open Session was held, SBEx has been conducted for the staff of SBE UISC in the form of a roadshow, where two staff from the Study Research Division along with the deputy director of the division, Auzan Luthfi, would visit each division in the society during their division meeting.
The event, attended by 106 people, began with a few warm words from the president, Afina Zamara. Afterward, as the event proceeded, six speakers — all staff of the Study Research Division — took turns in presenting their own portion of the event. Ayu Andani started the material with an explanation about the Upstream Processing of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing subtopic. Nicholas Baruna concluded the subtopic with a description of Downstream Processing, ending the whole manufacturing process with a tight and thorough quality control.
The next subtopic was about Pharmaceuticals Products, opened by Chico Xavier with an exposition on Recombinant Proteins and Vaccines. Nabila Azka, the fourth speaker, then took the stage and gave a talk on monoclonal antibodies, complete with how they work and how they are produced. The next pharmaceutical product is Cell Therapy, namely embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells. Yosep Dhimas completed his description of this product with a comparison of the two. This well-illustrated material presentation is wrapped up with the last speaker, Lulu Habibah, giving an explanation on Gene Therapy, a method used to alter the course of a medical condition or disease.
As per its name, after the presentation of the materials has ended, the Study Research Division opened a Question and Answer (QnA) session where attendees can submit a question through a provided sli.do link. The speakers will then answer the question, aided by Auzan Luthfi, according to their own corresponding subtopics. The staff have admitted to answering the questions sometimes can be quite nerve-wracking as they hope to give the best possible answers to each of the questions and clear confusion.
The speakers of this SBEx Open Session also mentioned that they are glad and thrilled to do this event, even though it is not easy at first. Chico Xavier and Yosep Dhimas have both said that they faced challenges in understanding the materials as this is a relatively new topic for them. Another matter that they have to overcome is how to simplify the topic so they can conduct a concise presentation that is understandable by all the attendees. Even so, the speakers have admitted that the whole SBEx event is a success.
This SBEx Open Session is a clear realization of the Study Research and Professional Education divisions’ goal of educating the members of SBE UISC about biological engineering, specifically pharmaceutical biotechnology. The Study Research Division has expressed their hope that those who attend this event can have a clearer understanding of the basics of pharmaceutical biotechnology and are able to use the knowledge they have gained to their advantage, whether it might be in their studies, career paths, or both.