2015-04-11 / The Bullhorn

RCS Biotech II class takes on Biogen Idec

By Hannah Lunsford

RCS biotechnology students recently visited Biogen Idec in Durham. RCS biotechnology students recently visited Biogen Idec in Durham. On Friday, March 27, the Roxboro Community School (RCS) biotechnology II class visited Biogen Idec in Research Triangle Park.

Biotechnology II teacher Gina Lunsford said, “I took the students to Biogen Idec because in biotechnology II, we not only study about plants and animals, but also about medical biotechnology. This was a good opportunity for the students to see how a pharmaceutical company makes prescription drugs.”

Biogen Idec is a global technology company specializing in discovering, developing and delivering therapies used in many of today’s medicines.

The group of 15 biotechnology II students were led by Brandon Moore, cell culture engineer; Brad Stanley, Ph.D. in molecular biophysics and biochemistry and Sethu Siva, purification engineer.

Moore’s department optimizes cells to make proteins — upstream — and then sends the cells to Siva’s department, where the cells are cleared of impurities — downstream.

Biogen is responsible for a newly developed drug that could be a possible cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Before it goes on the market, there will be large scale clinical trials. The average time for such trials is 10 years.

Lunsford said, “I think it’s important for students to see life outside of the classroom and witness people at their jobs being hands-on. This helps students get a better idea for the careers and opportunities that are available.”

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