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UCC student reports on visit to Janssen Sciences Ireland

29 Mar 2018
Ciara Dunne, Team lead Cell Culture, BioCork 2 project at Janssen Sciences Ireland UC —and also a UCC graduate (BSc Biochemistry & MSc Biotechnology) — presented to members of the UCC Biochemistry and Biotechnology Society on the Janssen company.

On Tuesday 26th February, a group of 50 UCC students from third and fourth year biochemistry, 3rd year microbiology and the biotechnology masters, travelled to the Janssen (Johnson&Johnson) plant down in Ringaskiddy. This was as part of an event organised by the UCC Biochemistry and Biotechnology society.

On arrival, we were met by former UCC student Ciara Dunne who assisted in organising the tour and were given a short presentation on the history of the company, the products they manufactured along with an overview of the manufacturing process.

UCC students from third and fourth year biochemistry, 3rd year microbiology and the biotechnology masters on a tour of the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) Sciences facility at Ringaskiddy, Co. Cork. The visit was organised the UCC Biochemistry and Biotechnology Society.

UCC students from third and fourth year biochemistry, 3rd year microbiology and the biotechnology masters on a tour of the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) Sciences facility at Ringaskiddy, Co. Cork. The visit was organised the UCC Biochemistry and Biotechnology Society.

Next, we we taken on a tour of the upstream and downstream processing and manufacturing suites. There were both permanent and disposable equipment in different suites which we learned each have their own benefits and disadvantages with regards cost, sterility and efficiency. We were able to see exactly where and how the cells are scaled-up and grown in the bioreactors in the upstream process and then how when the conditions are altered the cells will start to produce the desired product. In the downstream process we saw the chromatography columns and filtration membranes used to purify and concentrate the product to the desired levels for packaging and administration. Once the tour was finished we had an opportunity to ask some final questions and got an insight into what working in the biochemistry laboratories would involve.

UCC students from third and fourth year biochemistry, 3rd year microbiology and the biotechnology masters who took part in a visit to the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) Sciences plant at Ringaskiddy, Co. Cork. The visit was organised the UCC Biochemistry and Biotechnology Society.

UCC students from third and fourth year biochemistry, 3rd year microbiology and the biotechnology masters who took part in a visit to the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) Sciences plant at Ringaskiddy, Co. Cork. The visit was organised the UCC Biochemistry and Biotechnology Society.

Overall, I believe this was an extremely beneficial and educational trip for us students because we gained exposure to the environment which many of us may work in the future. Most of us had never been in a biopharmaceutical plant before and had only seen pictures in lectures, so it was an eye-opening experience for many of us to see the scale of the production that occurs in Janssen. Talking to some students after the trip, there were some who had a different expectation about what working in this sector would be like, which has now led them to re-think future plans. In addition to this, we picked up some interview tips and what the company values in their employees, which will be very beneficial for us all during job application processes.

I would like to thank Ciara Dunne and her colleagues for giving up their day to take us on the tour and educate us on their manufacturing process.

Orla Brosnan
4th year Biochemistry, UCC.

School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology

Scoil na Bithcheimice agus na Cillbhitheolaíochta

University College Cork, Western Road, Cork.

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