Wednesday, December 11, 2019
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Horizon Campus Provides Education for Future Pharma and Biotech Leaders

Dr. ThusithaGajanayake, Head of the Department, Faculty of Science at Horizon Campus described opportunities in new fields of work that will give rise in the future and the skills required.
He also showcased Horizons plans for training the potential workforce required for this sector and said “It’s an exciting time to be in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries and human resources for these industries will constitute as one of the most important assets, since they will determine the potentiality and creativity of how efficiently the industry is managed.”
A futuristic industry: Providing insights about the future industry opportunities that will arise he stated that the dramatic advances made in medical biotechnology with the production of vaccines employing recombinant DNA methods for genetic engineering applications in the treatment of hereditable and communicable diseases, represents Sri Lanka with a cost-effective alternative to the prescription of expensive original products, where local pharmaceutical companies can manufacture equally good medications rather than importing it. Many leading pharmaceutical companies in the country he said have already commenced exploring opportunities in this area and have established well equipped laboratories to carry out further research and development.
He pointed out this means that scientists with skills from directly supporting the development of new drugs to biological research can play fundamental roles in the pharmaceutical industry.
“All biotech and pharmaceutical companies need experts in the pharmaceutical sciences for a variety of tasks. The formulation and delivery of drugs and the development of new devices for distribution are big areas now and will be even bigger in the next five years.”
Developing in-demand skills: Dr. Gajanayake explained that Horizon Campus engages lecturers from both faculty and industry, thereby giving access to top people in the field who bring an unprecedented range of subject expertise.
Students learn the drug discovery process and steps that a pharmaceutical or biotech company goes through to discover a new therapeutic drug.
They learn major aspects of the drug discovery process, starting with target selection, to compound screening to designing lead candidates and understanding the various drug discovery tools and methods that are used for finding, identifying and designing a new drug.
They are able to play an active role in scientific and medical research and use sound practical experience to develop new products. Harnessing Research Excellence: Additionally, the program also involves workshops and case studies that will provide exposure to up-to-date problems and enhance problem solving and team-work in a way that simulates an industrial setting. A research project assigned will give research experience and the opportunity to carry out novel research and enhance practical skills, analytical thinking and independence.
He further commented “medical and pharmaceutical theory combined with extensive lab work means that our graduates have a solid foundation on which to build when embarking on careers in biotechnology .
It gives them the ability to play an integral part in tackling problems to help provide adequate solutions to overcome diseases and to find novel treatments for patients.”
Dr. Gajanayake concluded “With practice-oriented teaching being a cornerstone of our education, serving to develop and enhance students skills necessary to practice the profession of Pharmacy and Biotechnology in any setting, the overall aim is that we produce a workforce with the skills and knowledge to participate effectively in the creation and growth of Sri Lanka’s pharmaceutical industry.
The 10th Intake for Diploma and Bachelors of Sciences (Hons) in Biotechnology is scheduled for September 2018 and interested parties can obtain further information by visiting www.horioncampus.edu.lk

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