pharmaceutical lab 311.
(photo credit: Judy Siegel-Itzkovich)
Four laboratories, the first of their kind in Israel, for research, development
and teaching of pharmaceutical engineering, were opened on Sunday at the
Jerusalem College of Engineering.
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The four labs, built at a cost of $3
million and covering 500 square meters, will immediately serve the 32 current
fourth-year engineering students (40 percent of them women) at the college in the
capital’s Ramat Beit Hakerem neighborhood; the rest of the 300 current students
in the pharmaceutical engineering faculty.
Two-thirds of the money was
donated by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. and the Foundation for
Development and Progress. The labs were built and equipped during the summer
vacation and include state-of-the-art equipment.
Graduates are likely to
find jobs immediately in Jerusalem’s biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries
and outside the capital as well.
The four labs enable work in
pharmaceutical technology, chemical technology, analytical chemistry and
The first is meant for the preparation of tablets and
capsules, while the second will allow students to use specialized instruments
that imitate the processes in the human digestive track.
chemistry unit will be used for quality control for testing drugs, and the
biotech lab will enable students to produce proteins, grow cultures and explore
genetic engineering in the same way it is done in the pharmaceutical
Students will learn about chemical engineering processes and
conduct experiments that will not harm the environment.
In the future,
said Jerusalem College of Engineering president Uzi Wexler, the labs will
provide services for the pharmaceutical and chemical industries so that
production processes that currently pollute will be conducted in an
Teva CEO Shlomo Yanai said at the ceremony that
“this is an important step for Teva and will advance education and health in
Teva, the world’s leading generic medicine producer and a leader
in the development of drugs for multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease,
among others, has been in Jerusalem since 1901, with another branch in Petah
Yanai said the labs will link academic work and drug
“Teva is waiting for you,” he told the pharmaceutical
engineering students who attended.
Prof. Manuel Trajtenberg, chairman of
the Council for Higher Education, said the event made the day a
“This doesn’t happen every day,” he said. “The labs represent a
significant expansion of training for future pharmaceutical engineers. What
semiconductors were in the second half of the 20th century, pharmaceutical
development will be in the 21st. This is only beginning.”
said he hoped the facility would advance biotechnology in Jerusalem, which needs
more workplaces for skilled employees, and serve as an important link between
the academic sector and industry.