COVID-19 vaccine development: research and job opportunities in Biotechnology | Adamas University

COVID-19 vaccine development: research and job opportunities in Biotechnology

Adamas University Biotechnology, Career, Covid-19

COVID-19 vaccine development: research and job opportunities in Biotechnology

Scholar members: Ms. Sanjukta Dey, Ms. Samanwita Das, and Ms. Arunima Saha, Department of Biotechnology, School of Life Science and Biotechnology, Adamas University

General Introduction: COVID-19

The world health organization (WHO) was informed of the prevalence of pneumonia of a unique cause which was detected in Wuhan, China on the 31st of December 2019. Later scientists came to know that the causal organism was a new fatal virus strain of Coronavirus family, which was named SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2) that causes a respiratory disease termed COVID-19 (Coronavirus Infectious Disease 2019). Since then, COVID-19 has spread around the world covering every continent and the World Health Organization has declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 30 January 2020 following the announcement of a worldwide pandemic from 11th March 2020. Treatment unavailability of this fatal coronavirus (COVID 19) has already caused more than 600,000 deaths and the curve is on the rise.

Figure 1: COVID-19 World Map by WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION MARCH 24, 2020, SOURCE: [ https://scitechdaily.com/covid-19-world-map-372757-confirmed-cases-190-countries-16231-deaths/]

Although few re-purposing old drugs are already used to prevent coronavirus presently, there is no specific promising treatment along with any vaccine for preventing COVID-19. Therefore, developing a dedicated vaccine has never been as dire a need as in the present time when the survival of the human race is in danger. It is a do-die situation – we come back with a glorious victory or we give in to COVID-19. 

Vaccination: the only way to win the war against Covid-19

To understand how vaccine development can be a prospective area of research and can be a sector offering job opportunity we must first understand what is a VACCINE? As a kid, we have all been immunized with various vaccines. Vaccine and immune system are correlated (with the high association) and is used as a tool for fighting infectious diseases. To define a vaccine – it is a biological formulation of weakened microbes, its toxins and/or one of the surface antigens – anything which can elicit a weak immune response against the pathogen and /or antigen while giving our body the acquired immunity and preparing our immune system to fight future incidence of the disease. It can be used both as prophylactic (preventive) or as therapeutic (post pathology) and are undoubtedly one of the greatest discoveries of all time. Vaccination has helped us eradicate and/or fight deadly infectious diseases in the past. However, the unavailability of vaccines for the treatment of fatal diseases has caused problems and driven global attention towards the production of safer, easier, and more effective vaccines. There are three types of methods through which vaccines can be produced. They are the cell-based vaccines, the egg-based vaccines, and investigational-manufacturing systems based vaccine production. Traditional vaccines consist of inactivated or attenuated pathogens and are not entirely safe and may carry the risk of regressing to virulence, as well as other difficulties in terms of antigenic variability between species, low levels of immunogenicity and possible gene transfer to wild-type strains. Henceforth the greatest public health challenge of this millennium is to develop a safe, easy to manufacture and transport, and cost-effective vaccine to protect suffering mankind from this highly infectious and transmissible disease. Unfortunately, the researchers have little knowledge of the molecular details of SARS-CoV-2 infection, especially into the specific effective molecular targets which are developing broadly and acting as the antiviral therapeutics against SARS-CoV-2. Therefore, the path for vaccine development will require extensive research work, not only in terms of efficacy but also safety. More than 90 vaccines are being developed against SARS-CoV-2 by research teams in companies and universities across the world. Researchers are tracing several different strategies, some of which haven’t been considered as the production method of a licensed vaccine before. For safety trials, some volunteers have been taken and they are subjected to the trials by injecting formulations conducted by six groups; others also have started testing in animals.

Mode of action: How Vaccine recognize and develop immunity, Source [https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-01221-y]

Vaccine development can be a job opportunity for students of biotechnology:

India is reorganized as a mega bio-diversity country and biotechnology offers opportunities to convert our biological resources into economic wealth and employment opportunities.

The Biotech Industry in India is witnessing a robust growth rate. The estimated valuation of the industry was at US$ 7 billion in FY15, which is expected to grow at 30.46 percent

Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) to US$ 100billion by FY25.

In the present pandemic condition, the power of biotechnology can be used in industries that use biological systems for the production of useful entities like the production of new vaccines to eradicate the Corona virus. These recent job opportunities in industries can activate their working powers to produce new vaccines to eradicate the Corona virus. Students of biotechnology can avail of a variety of careers in the basic area of research and development of a vaccine, it’s production, clinical trials, and distribution of vaccine to the public. Students having biotechnology as their background study can attain the basic research jobs as resource person that focuses to understand mechanisms of increasing immunity to protect the people from the dreadful infectious virus. Biotechnology students can get medical training for understanding mechanisms in increasing immunity which will guide them regarding the development of vaccines for combating infectious diseases. Medical biotechnology offers many students an important chance for the Indian industry for establishing strong pharmaceutical sector, which helps in growing several small and medium biotechnology companies, with a large network of research institutes, universities, and medical schools for production of the low cost of products and their evaluation. Bioinformatics helps the students who hold out strong expectations of reducing the cost and time of development of new products such as new drugs and vaccines for controlling infectious diseases like COVID 19.

 

Join School of Life Science and Biotechnology, Adamas University: Be a COVID 19 Warrior

 

School of Life Science and Biotechnology, Adamas University has different biological sectors under its canopy catering to various specialized outcome-based education in biotechnology. Dreaming to be a global biotechnologist and securing a research-based job especially at this devastating situation when unemployment is a burning problem may come into a reality in the School of Life Sciences and Biotechnology where eminent and qualified professors nurture and shape the students with academic knowledge and lab-based lessons. Moreover, with an efficient Placement Department and Incubation Center Adamas University provides Biotech students with curated placement options in established Biotech Firms and Biotech Startup Companies across the country.

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