THE NANO SCIENCE AND ITS CONTRIBUTION IN TREATING CANCER

Nanoscience involves the study of the control of matter on an atomic and molecular scale. This molecular level investigation is at a range usually below 100 nm. In simple terms, a nanometer is one billionth of a meter and the properties of materials at this atomic or subatomic level differ significantly from properties of the same materials at larger sizes. Although, the initial properties of nano materials studied were for its physical, mechanical, electrical, magnetic, chemical and biological applications, recently, attention has been geared towards its pharmaceutical application, especially in the area of drug delivery. According to the definition from NNI (National Nanotechnology Initiative), nanoparticles are structures of sizes ranging from 1 to 100 nm in at least one dimension. However, the prefix “nano” is commonly used for particles that are up to several hundred nanometers in size. Nanocarriers with optimized physicochemical and biological properties are taken up by cells more easily than larger molecules, so they can be successfully used as delivery tools for currently available bioactive compounds.

Cell-specific targeting can be achieved by attaching drugs to individually designed carriers. Recent developments in nanotechnology have shown that nanoparticles (structures smaller than 100 nm in at least one dimension) have a great potential as drug carriers. Due to their small sizes, the nanostructures exhibit unique physicochemical and biological properties (e.g., an enhanced reactive area as well as an ability to cross cell and tissue barriers) that make them a favorable material for biomedical applications. It is difficult to use large size materials in drug delivery because of their poor bioavailability, in vivo solubility, stability, intestinal absorption, sustained and targeted delivery, plasma fluctuations, therapeutic effectiveness etc. To overcome these challenges nanodrug delivery have been designed through the development and fabrication of nanostructures. Nanoparticles have the ability to penetrate tissues, and are easily taken up by cells, which allows efficient delivery of drugs to target site of action. Uptake of nanostructures has been reported to be 15–250 times greater than that of microparticles in the 1–10 um range. Nanoparticles can mimic or alter biological processes (e.g., infection, tissue engineering, de novo synthesis, etc. These devices include, but not limited to, functionalized carbon nanotubes, nanofibers, self-assembling polymeric nano constructs, nanomembranes, and nano-sized silicon chips for drug, protein, nucleic acid, or peptide delivery and release, and biosensors and laboratory diagnostics. Various polymers have been used in the design of drug delivery system as they can effectively deliver the drug to a target site and thus increase the therapeutic benefit, while minimizing side effects. The controlled release (CR) of pharmacologically active agents to the specific site of action at the therapeutically optimal rateand dose regimen has been a major goal in designing such devices. The drug is dissolved, entrapped, encapsulated or attached to a NP matrix and depending upon the method of preparation, nanoparticles, nanospheres or nanocapsules can be obtained. Nanocapsules are vesicular systems in which the drug is confined to a cavity surrounded by a unique polymer membrane, while nanospheres are matrix systems in which the drug is physically and uniformly dispersed. Biodegradable polymeric nanoparticles have attracted considerable attention as potential drug delivery devices in view of their applications in the controlled release of drugs, their ability to target particular organs/tissues, as carriers of DNA in gene therapy, and in their ability to deliver proteins, peptides and genes through a per oral route of administration. Recent advances in the application of nanotechnology in medicine, often referred to as nanomedicine, may revolutionize our approach to healthcare. Cancer nanotechnology is a relatively novel interdisciplinary area of comprehensive research that combines the basic sciences, like biology and chemistry, with engineering and medicine. Nanotechnology involves creating and utilizing the constructs of variable chemistry and architecture with dimensions at the nanoscale level comparable to those of biomolecules or biological vesicles in the human body. Operating with sub-molecular interactions, it offers the potential for unique and novel approaches with a broad spectrum of applications in cancer treatment including areas such as diagnostics, therapeutics, and prognostics.

Nanotechnology also opens pathways to developing new and efficient therapeutic approaches to cancer treatment that can overcome numerous barriers posed by the human body compared to conventional approaches. Improvement in chemotherapeutic delivery through enhanced solubility and prolonged retention time has been the focus of research in nanomedicine. The submicroscopic size and flexibility of nanoparticles offer the promise of selective tumor access. Formulated from a variety of substances, nanoparticles are configured to transport myriad substances in a controlled and targeted fashion to malignant cells while minimizing the damage to normal cells. They are designed and developed to take advantage of the morphology and characteristics of a malignant tumor, such as leaky tumor vasculature, specific cell surface antigen expression, and rapid proliferation.

Nanotechnology offers a revolutionary role in both diagnostics (imaging, immune-detection) and treatment (radiation therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, thermotherapy, photodynamic therapy, and anti-angiogenesis). Moreover, nanoparticles may be designed to offer a multifunctional approach operating simultaneously as an effective and efficient anticancer drug as well as an imaging material to evaluate the efficacy of the drug for treatment follow-up. In recent years, nanomedicine has exhibited strong promise and progress in radically changing the approach to cancer detection and treatment.

What is Biochemistry- more of Biology or more of Chemistry

After your 10+2 examination, it is the time to choose your carrier path and you need to decide on a subject for your under graduation study. You need to choose a subject wisely, which you can fall in love with, has a good job perspective, a versatile curriculum and you can have a carrier that is fulfilling to your intellectual and curious mind and most importantly serves society in a way that no other profession can substitute it. Here I am going to suggest to you the subject Biochemistry.

Now before you sought ‘Eureka’ and jump into this Biochemical soup; let us understand what Biochemistry really is and what the carrier opportunities are for a student studying Biochemistry. First, let us understand if Biochemistry is more of chemistry or Biology or if both of them in equivalent. The subject Chemistry mostly deals with atoms and molecules, which are the constituents of our whole universe. Chemistry describes the different properties of every individual element in the periodic table, also describes how the atomic-level structure of those elements is responsible for these special characteristics. By doing so, it opens up new possibilities to design new materials and molecules with novel functions that have never existed in our universe or some improved version of the existing materials. Therefore, chemistry discovers the basic theories or rules of chemical science to invent new materials and molecules. These rules are followed by every element and chemical reaction in nature including all the living entities. The subject Biochemistry uses those rules to explain all the reactions and phenomena of the biological world.  Consider us, Humans, the way our eyes see light follows the basic rules of photochemistry, the way we breadth it follows basic chemical rules of diffusion and osmosis. All the metabolic reaction that generates energy, produces biomolecules, polymerization of DNA, RNA and proteins follow basic rules of chemical reactions. So, you may ask, is there anything special in Biochemistry or it is just that old chemistry in a new wrapper? Biochemistry deals with the structure and functions of bio-macromolecules, which are more complex than simple elementary chemistry. Biological reactions are remarkably accurate, specific (Stereospecific/regiospecific), and high yield. Moreover, all the reactions occur at 37 degrees centigrade with no scope of heating or cooling. Therefore, although the biochemical reactions are following basic elementary chemical principles, it uses sophisticated biological machinery (like ribosome to synthesize proteins, motor proteins for cellular transport and different enzymes for biochemical synthesis, etc) to make the reactions more efficient. The subject Biochemistry deals with these machinery to explain how it works and how malfunction of it can cause a deadly disease. The scope of biochemistry extends even further to identify or invent molecules that have medicinal properties to cure the disease.  So, therefore, the subject biochemistry has the equivalent amount of Biology and Chemistry and also includes small parts of Physics too. However, the curriculum for B. Sc Biochemistry includes associated subjects like Microbiology, Cell Biology, Biotechnology, Molecular biology, Recombinant DNA technology, Immunology, Human Physiology, Genetics, etc. So, as a whole, the course Biochemistry has little more Biology than Chemistry.

You might be wondering after you finished your B. Sc in Biochemistry, what are the jobs that are available to you.  Now a day, Indian bio-industries are growing like never before and everyone knows these names like Serum Institute of India, Bharat Biotech, and Biocon. These big bio-industries which produces vaccine, enzymes, antibody-based immunotherapy for cancer (Biologics), etc recruits Biochemistry undergraduates. All medicine companies like Dr. reddy’s laboratories, Cipla, Aurobindo Pharma, Lupin limited, etc recruit Biochemistry undergraduates as laboratory associates as well as medical representatives. Different food processing, breweries and bioprocess companies recruit Biochemistry undergraduates as quality control experts. Other than industry, you can appear for all those government jobs that require a bachelor’s degree.

However, the most interesting and intense carrier opportunity a Biochemistry undergraduate can have is pursuing higher study and research. There are different competitive examinations like National eligibility test (NET) and Graduate aptitude test for engineers (GATE) after you complete your M. Sc in Biochemistry to join a research lab as a PhD student in India. Alternatively, you can appear in Graduate Record Examination (GRE)/ Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and choose to go abroad (USA, Germany, Canada, UK, Singapore, etc) to pursue your PhD. The focus of research in Biochemistry lab all over the world are mainly to understand the molecular basis of life. The area like protein Biochemistry identifies and understands proteins and enzymes and characterizes the function and their role in a biochemical reaction. Structural Biology is the area to understand the three-dimensional structures of bio-machineries at atomic level resolution using sophisticated techniques like X-ray crystallography, cryo-electron microscopy and NMR. Researchers are also working on cell biology, cancer biology, synthetic biology/bio-printing, antibiotic resistance, drug discovery, Bioinformatics/computational biology, immunology/antibody engineering, Virology/vaccine development, Bioelectronics/Biosensor and many more interesting topics.      

Although we know a lot about basic chemistry that explains some of the most complex phenomena in the universe but unfortunately, we still do not know everything about ourselves and the biological systems around us. We need thousands of trained biochemists (like you would be) to solve the most challenging problems in biological science. Right now burning problems are antibiotic resistance in pathogenic bacteria, the development of therapeutics for diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s, resolving unknowns about the human brain and its functions, etc.  We need biochemists to contribute to our current development of gene therapy techniques to cure diseases associated with congenital genetic disorders like Haemophilia, Muscular dystrophy, Thalassemia, and many more. You can also contribute to human sustainability in the era of environmental crisis by implementing genetic engineering to improve food production, recycling water using microorganisms, developing new ways to control heavy metal and plastic pollution, development of biofuel/Hydrogen/microbial fuel cells as an alternative to overcome fast depletion of natural fuel resources, etc.  Please keep in mind that the path of biological research is not smooth at all; you have to be prepared for continuous failure, unsuccessful experiments and plans, sleepless nights, irregular lunch and diners and many more. However, the role you are going to serve as a Biochemist for the benefit of humankind is unique and invaluable for the well-being of all of us.

biochemistry
Figure: The mechanism of inhibition of the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase from SARS-CoV-2 by remdesivir have been discovered using cryo-electron microscopy technique which is associated with structural biology and students with a degree in Biochemistry can participate similar kind of research.

How to Make Pharmacy Graduate Resume

Pharmacists are at a pinnacle in the ability to manage, cure and prevent disease. Today, the pharmacist plays an essential role as part of the healthcare management team along with doctors. The post covid episode of the market produce a huge requirement of fresher students in healthcare management system especially in sterile manufacturing like vaccine or other injectables like monoclonal antibodies. India practically ensures a bright future for the fresher students who are entering the profession. Sooner the fourth-year students will graduate from Pharmacy school. There is only one step left between the students and the job of their dreams. And there should not be any mistake for getting ready for the interview. Foremost part to entry through the gateway to get those positions in industry required one small document the Resume. Listed below are some basic steps involved in writing of a standard quality resume:

  1. The resume should represent about the candidate but it should do so in a certain format and cover specific areas sometimes specified by the school also.
  2. The information in resume should be clear, succinct and mistake-free. grammatical errors that a fresh pair of eyes might catch that’s why review by other persons is needed. using white or off-white paper for your resume is essential.
  3. Reachable contact numbers and email id should be provided along with the full name.
  4. Any kind of unethical practice like exaggerating or claiming things like research activities or scholarships that you are not involved with can put candidates blacklisted to the company, that’s why fabrication of the resume unethically is not good and unwise.
  5. Try to incorporate the research activities you have done in your b. schooling in your resume. If you have published any review or research article in peer review journal may be with your teachers or you have received any prize please mention. There is nothing wrong with describing these or any awards you have received.
  6. get register your name in students’ pharmaceutical associations or may be in IPA, IPGA etc. this kind of membership also increases the friend circle of the newcomer.
  7. Place the most important information about yourself first, but make sure your honours and awards are near the top of the list as well. Describe anything different about your strong point like leadership capability that will allow you to get interested to the recruiter.
  8. If you’re appearing for an interview where experience is mandatory for a particular field just make caps or bold the areas related to that.
  9. In the cover letter the reason for applying the job is required to mention and which should be brief and to the point. Sometimes the recruiter asked to mention the exact position applied like executive or sr. executive so that also should be written.
  10. Though the length of your resume varies depending on an individual’s experiences, but generally it should be within one page or two maxima. All the details you are providing should be pointwise and in a brief manner. The skill and strength should be mentioned in case of fresher candidate and using the powerful words like Detail-orientated, Communication, Time-management, Empathy, Teamwork 
  11. References can be provided along with the addresses and mobile numbers but better to give the contacts of some senior faculty or managers you know.
  12. some other points should not get missed out like experience in MS word, excel, and database management system etc. and reverse chronological order for writing.
  13. Lastly the status of the pharmacy license of PCI should also be mentioned.

PHARMACY EDUCATION IN INDIA

Pharmacy is a versatile, dynamic, and fast-growing profession with a wide range of professional opportunities. With the enormous advancement in this field, it became one of the primary pillars of global healthcare. Centrally regulated education policies in India, pharma education became more specific in its target. Pharmacists contribute to their workforce in different areas of healthcare and society starting from medical shops to research and development. Maximum therapeutic benefit from their treatment and medicine is the primary concern of a pharmacist. Many pharmacists work behind the screen to run a smooth healthcare system and face the unbound challenges of healthcare. The pharmacy profession has been ranked by Gallup poll (USA) as one of the trustworthy professions. The third-largest professional to provide healthcare services in the world is the pharmacist.  

The pharmacy word has been coined from the Greek word ‘Pharmacon’ which means drug. The demand of a defined pharma education has increased by identifying the complexity of medicine and their formulations and the criticality of making the medicines. In the ancient era, pharmacists are entitled to help physicians. Nearly at 1240 AD, the pharmacy has separated from medicine to fulfil the requirement of skill, knowledge, and responsibility to manufacture medicine. There are other systems of medicine also in practice in India like Ayurveda, Sidha, and Unani where the separate skilled pharmacist demand also came into existence. Pharmacy education in India was certified level offered in Goa by the Portuguese in 1842 and the university level education started in 1937 at Banaras Hindu University (BHU). Since then, several universities, and colleges are offering courses across the country. The first Pharmacy college in Asia was established in 1842 in Goa, India. Prof. M L Schroof is called the father of Pharmacy education in India. The Pharmacy act 1948 regulates the Pharmacy profession in India and as per Sec 3 of this act the Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) has established which regulates the Pharmacy education in India. The courses like Diploma in Pharmacy (D. Pharm), Bachelor of Pharmacy (B. Pharm), Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm. D.), and Master of Pharmacy (M. Pharm) is offered by different colleges in India.  

Diploma in Pharmacy: Minimum requirement is 10+2 Science stream. It’s a 2-year full-time course with 500 hours of hospital training. 

Bachelor of Pharmacy:  Minimum requirement is 10+2 Science stream (PCM/PCB/PCMB). It’s a four years full-time course. After D. Pharm 3 years course (Lateral entry at 2nd year) 

Doctor of Pharmacy: Minimum requirement is 10+2 Science stream (PCM/PCB/PCMB) or D. Pharm. It is a six-year course including one year internship. After B.Pharm direct admission of 4th year of Pharm D. 

Master of Pharmacy: Minimum requirement is B. Pharm from a PCI-recognized institution. It’s a two years full-time program. The specializations are Pharmaceutics, Pharmaceutical Analysis, Pharmacology, Pharmacy Practice, Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, Industrial Pharmacy, Pharmacognosy, Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Regulatory Affairs, and Quality assurance.  

Ph.D. in Pharmacy: Minimum requirement is M. Pharm. It can be full-time or part-time. The minimum duration is three years.   

The Pharmacy education in India is well defined with wide range of career opportunities. It is also a divine profession associated directly with core healthcare system. The professions also include production of medicine, direct health care manger as clinical and hospital pharmacist, educationist, government job, research and development, analytical chemist etc. Choosing Pharmacy profession is definitely a wise decision towards a perfect career and a divine job.  

EXPLORE A CAREER AS A MEDICAL LABORATORY TECHNICIAN

What is the Medical Lab Technology? 

Bachelor in Medical Lab Technology is a 3-year undergraduate course designed to equip eligible candidates with an advanced learning in both routine and sophisticated laboratory diagnostic procedures. Students enrolled to the course are taught to perform tests that aid in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. 

Eligibility Criteria  

  • Students who wish to enrol B.Sc. MLT course have to qualify their 10+2 in the area of science. 
  • The candidate should pass their 10+2 with a minimum percentage of 50 or equivalent (depends on different colleges) from the recognized education board in the country.  

Career opportunities for the students  

  • Laboratory technologist at pharmaceutical laboratories, Pathology labs, Public Health Laboratories, Hospitals, Research and product development etc. 
  • Research Scholar/Scientist 
  • Blood Bank 
  • Medical Officer 
  • Laboratory Manager 
  • Assistant Professor 
  • Laboratory Technician at Government Hospitals by HRB recruitments 

EXPLORE A CAREER AS A OPTOMETRIST 

What is Optometry? 

  • A health care profession that involves examining the eyes and applicable visual system for defects or abnormalities as well as prescribing the correction for refractive error with glasses or contact lenses and treatment of the diseases. 
  • Duration Of Course: 3 years  theory +1 year internship In reputed hospital  

Eligibility Criteria  

  • Students who wish to pursue B. Optom course have to qualify their 10+2 in the area of science. 
  • The candidate should pass their 10+2 with a minimum aggregate of 50% marks or equivalent (depends on different colleges) from the recognized education board.  

Career opportunities for the students: 

  • Students after completing their 4 year Bachelor in Optometry Course can work in 
  • Reputed Eye Hospital 
  • Start their own Private Practice 
  • Work as a Consultant Optometrist in Retail Outlet 
  • Consultant Optometrist in Multi-national Companies 
  • Research Optometrist 
  • Assistant Professor and Professor in Reputed Optometry Colleges across the countries. 

Clinching a Gleam of Optimism in Pharma Domain during Pre and Post Covid-19 era; Silver Lining in Dark Cloud

 Prologues 

The shadowy coronavirus eruption in the Chinese city Wuhan by December 2019, now called as COVID-19, and its reckless blowout to several other countries, jeopardizes thousands of lives, led to a medical emergency all over the world. The pandemic has catalysed the development of novel coronavirus drugs or vaccines across pharmaceutical, biotech companies and research organisations. Currently, there are no definite vaccines or treatments. However, there are numerous clinical trials by several pharmaceutical companies is ongoing to achieve a potential treatment. 

Outbursts 

From an economic perspective, the key issue is not just the number of cases of COVID-19, but the level of disruption to economies from containment measures 

-Ben May, Head of Global Macro Research at Oxford Economics. 

The virus outburst has transformed as one of the prime threats to the worldwide economy and financial markets. Several outbreak effects are: 

  • Global stocks of hit 
  • Declining crash of oil prices   
  • High recession risk 
  • Turn to advanced and fruitful technology 
  • Hardest hit in tourism throughout the world 
  • Visibility of lockdowns mere consequence 
  • Unemployment of a large section of common people 

Governments around the world have admonished workforces to continue from home whereas possible. The travel industry has been dreadfully damaged. Stockholders dread that the outbreak of the coronavirus will extinguish the economic growth and that governmental authority may not be enough to halt the decline. 

Pharmacists and Pharmacies; the Frontline of Public Health  

As an increasing number of countries and towns are in lockdown condition, millions of public are in isolation and are maintaining social distancing inside their homes. It has indeed observed all over the globe that the pharmacy professionals are acting frontline roles enormously. Pharmacists are a fundamental element of healthcare providing extraordinary services in the earlier pandemics and health calamity also. 

Community pharmacists and their teams remain on the front of public health during the outbreak by serving as direct access for patients, keen-sighted patients and reducing the patients’ load on health practices. Community pharmacists also endure to play their uninterrupted action for consistent supplies of medication as well as other needful supporting. The International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) has dispensed a pack of 10 synopses for guidance on COVID-19. Other pharmaceutical association has also providing guidelines and needful documents for the solidification and attentiveness of the community pharmacies as front line health care workers in the global health crisis. 

Pharmacies around the world are one of the few places that are kept open for public service even during the strict lockdowns. 

A Wakeup Call for Pharma Industry Globally 

As economies around the world are suffering from the impact of Covid-19 and many business faces the challenges but pharmaceutical businesses captivating step in the Covid-19 fight. Such as Eli Lilly and Gilead are farsighted growth on the market and a novel torrent of invention in the communicable disease scenery as the treatment approval for a Covid-19 cure takes off. Other pharmaceutical companies also following ensemble during the Covid-19 pandemic and using their individual proficiencies to alleviate the cargo of coronavirus. As more clinical trials are performing, novel therapies may achieve. However, during this financial regression and global health fears, the contribution of pharmaceutical firms is on the mark and their impression on the competition against the virus will not be simply forgotten. The perception of large revenues coming from newly established drugs will face amplified inspection in a time of global pandemic as an outcome of communal and competitive pressures. 

 Pharmaceutical scenario in India 

India is a chief provider of low-priced drugs all over the world and is truly recognized as the ‘Pharmacy of the World’.  It ranks 3rd, worldwide for pharmaceutical production by volume, 13th by value and accounts for about 10% of the world’s production by volume and 1.5% by value. 50% of the United States’ generic drug needs are met by India. The Indian pharma industry aspires to become the world’s largest supplier of drugs by 2030. All major pharma industries have come all together to aid with knowledge and sharing information to safeguard production of medications critical to tackle coronavirus. Alembic is operating at 80% formulation capacity and its API plant is operational at around 60-70% capacity. Similarly, Zydus, a foremost manufacturer of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) has already augmented its capacity to produce both the API and the other formulation manifold. Additionally, other reputed and other companies is also prioritising the manufacturing of drugs that are in high demand now, like azithromycin.  A few weeks ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi cleared HCQ supplies from India to countries like the US, Brazil and Israel. 

Rays of Hope Amidst 

The role and necessity of pharmacist is reshaping its approach towards society. Now Their true value is exposed due to their services towards masses including utmost care, psychological support etc. 

There are substantial global exertions proceeding to diagnose, cure and avert infections from the virus. Pharmaceutical firms are working universally to battle Covid-19 from scientific data gained from eras of knowledge with comparable viruses and undertaking novel inventories of research to identify additional potential treatments for R&D. 

References: 

  1. https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019 
  2. https://thebluecircle.co/2020/05/04/covid-19-a-wakeup-call-for-indias-pharma-industry/ 
  3. https://www.bbc.com/news/business-51706225 Bukhari, Nadia, Huma Rasheed, and Bismah Nayyer. “Pharmacists at the frontline beating the COVID-19 pandemic.” (2020): 1-4 
  4. https://www.pharmaceutical-technology.com/comment/covid-19-pharmaceutical-companies-impact/ 

Microbiologist: A prominent career choice for biology students

Biology aspirants at School level:

While the interest in studying biology at School level starts with understanding cells, both plants and animals, it takes a peak during the study of human system. While traditional zoology, botany and physiology creates the base for understanding biology, advancements in the form of microbiology, immunology, biotechnology, recombinant DNA technology etc. paves the path of inquisitiveness among the biology lovers at the school level. This lead to the selection of medical or non-medical biological subjects as career option for the aspirant biologists.

Exploring the less known world:

Microbiology has always been frontrunner among the choice of such biology-aspirants for their studies at undergraduate level beyond medical education (Refer: https://adamasuniversity.ac.in/microbiologyplus-the-most-promising-career-path-beyond-medical-education/ ).

‘Knowing the unknown and seeing the unseen” has been the trend of human acumen since the inception of human race. Microbiology stimulates this, with the challenge of finding novel microorganism (bacteria, virus, protozoa, algae etc.) and a plethora of their magnificent properties. Till date the share of known microorganisms has not even reached 1% posing immense prospect for the future. The microbial world extends from the hottest region of the world to the coolest, from the top of the Everest to the Mariana trench and from the gut of human to the solar panel. Diversity of microorganisms holds the key and charm to study the subject.

Knowledge, Skill and Competency development:

Striking balance between diversity as well as specialization is important during the selection of stream/ subject to be opted for career. The three major focus on the 3-4 year undergraduate degree as well as 1-2 years of post-graduate degree lies in the development of theoretical knowledge, technical skills and more importantly competency as life-long learner. Studies in microbiology provides a well-balanced blending of these enhancing theoretical knowledge to strive for innovation, hands-on skills to work in an industry/ research as well as gain like skills and competency to remain relevant and updated despite rapid technological evolution.

Curriculum:

Studies in microbiology at undergraduate as well as post graduate level is generally divided into several courses as mentioned in the following:

  • Fundamental Courses: Bacteriology, Virology, Biochemistry etc.
  • Advanced Courses: Immunology, molecular Biology, microbial genetics etc.
  • Applied Courses: Food and Dairy Microbiology, Medical Microbiology, Agricultural Microbiology, Industrial Microbiology etc.
  • Skill Enhancement Courses: Quality Control & Quality Assurance, Vaccine Technology, Bioinformatics, Intellectual Property Right (IPR) etc.

Most academic institutions follow a Choice Based Credit System (CBCS) to design their curriculum of Microbiology. However, a few institutions also offer ‘Outcome Based Education’, a student centric educational model employed to maximize learning outcome of the enrolled students.

Infrastructure, facility and Instructors:

Studies in microbiology require sophisticated instruments, well-equipped laboratories and well trained instructors to create a strong base for the students. Unfortunately, many institutions lack these facilities and treat it alongside other conventional subjects. The major requirements in supporting all round development of a microbiologists includes (not limited to):

  • Laboratory Facility (Basic): Laboratory with Bio-Safety Level: I (BSL-I)
  • Instruments (Basic): Microscope, Autoclave, Laminar Air Flow, Centrifuge etc.
  • Instruments (Sophisticated): -80°C freezer, Phase contrast microscope, UV-Vis Spectrophotometer, HPLC etc.
  • Facility: Animal Cell Culture, Plant Tissue Culture, Animal House etc.
  • Co curricular Facility: Tinkering Lab, Incubation Centre, Fabrication Lab etc.

technicians trained in microbiology. However, most of the institutes run the UG and PG program in microbiology employing faculty members from other domain of biology (e.g. botany, zoology etc.) not having requisite exposure and expertise in the core domains of microbiology. The emergence of microbiology as a specialized field of biology also demands the involvement and guidance of personnel from the field of microbiology for proper dissemination of knowledge and skill of aspirant microbiologists. People having relevant industrial exposure adds on significant weightage in terms of leveraging benefit to the students.

Career path:

Despite of the abundance of open source information and higher digital access/ literacy, career path remains unclear to most students at the entry level to graduation. Over rated courses, glorified outcome and rationalizing odd success stories make students a victim during admissions. The following career path of microbiologists are stated to uncover the potential strength as well as challenges to be faced:

  • Teaching: ‘Teacher shapes the future of the coming generation’ This still motivates a lot of students to take up teaching at various level viz. school, college or university as their preferred profession. Microbiology graduates are not only eligible to appear for most of the school level recruitment process (e.g. School Service Commission, WB) they find it ease during exam and highly relevant during teaching. Joining colleges (both govt. or private) after the completion of M.Sc. in Microbiology is a lucrative option while clearing NET (National Eligibility Test)is highly competitive. Teaching at university level having independent research career, guiding Ph.D. students is also highly sought after career.
  • Researcher/Scientists: Most of the students of microbiology aspire to pursue Ph.D. on completion of their M.Sc. and conduct research for creation of knowledge towards human and societal development. There are plenty of research institutes, universities offering position of Junior Research Fellow (JRF), Senior Research Fellow (SRF) in the domain of microbiology (e.g. IISER, IIT, Bose Institute, NIBMG, IACS, IICB etc.). Research funding is mostly obtained from government through Department of Science & Technology (DST), Department of Biotechnology (DBT) Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) etc. The researchers receive good amount of fellowship during the PhD tenure, through these schemes. After completion of PhD, students join institutes as senior researchers or scientists. Alternatively, they continue their research as Post-Doctoral Fellow in India or Abroad. The offer of fellowship at this level is attractive and often higher than the salary offered through regular employment.
  • Industry: While knowledge is created at the university level, its implementation is seen in the industry. There is a boom of biotechnology and allied industries that require trained microbiologists at various level. UG level students are employed as Trainee, laboratory technicians etc. in the Quality Control, production department. While students completing M.Sc. are recruited as QC executive, microbiologists etc. Students having Ph.D. are mostly employed in the R&D division. It is to be emphasized that all pharmaceutical, food, biotech industries have definite requirements of microbiologists as a part of regulatory compliances. Hence, there lies a constant need of microbiologists at various industries.
  • Entrepreneurship: The present generation of students have found a suitable solution to the problem of unemployment by the creation of start-up employing their domain knowledge or interest. Several innovative ideas in the form of product or service has led to the development of enterprise making the students ‘job creators rather than job seekers’. Microbiology has enough scope of developing products related to medical, agricultural and also of inter-disciplinary nature that can be nurtured in the incubation facility in creating a start-up. The Govt. is constantly encouraging such activities with various financial and regulatory support through creation of proper start-up ecosystem at the higher educational institutions.

Thus, Microbiology offers enough scope of quenching thirst for knowledge, ignition towards innovation and having a successful career. However, the success highly depends on the quality of training obtained during academic tenure and perseverance.

Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Technology: A Guide to Skilled Technicians

What is Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Technology (BSc MLT) Program?
Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Technology (BSc MLT) is an undergraduate course of 3 years, which is divided into six semesters (two semesters per academic year). It is a paramedical program that offers practical and theoretical knowledge related to the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of various kinds of ailments and health problems through various clinical laboratory tests. Students will get an exposure regarding how to perform the analysis of different body fluids during their course of study which includes haematological, bacteriological, immunological, chemical, histopathological and microscopical evaluation.

 

Admission Criteria:
Students must have scored a minimum of 55% marks in their higher secondary examination in science stream and should have Physics, Chemistry and Biology or Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Biology as their compulsory subjects in 12th standard to be eligible for admission. Adamas University offering BSc MLT courses provides admission to the students on the basis of entrance examination conducted by the institute. However, students are also eligible for direct admission based on merit.

 

Objectives:
The main objective of the course is to provide a comprehensive knowledge to the students with respect to various techniques of testing that are conducted as a part of diagnosis of various diseases such as blood test, blood typing, urine analysis and other tests without any errors. The course includes the study of diagnosing a disease by utilizing a clinical laboratory. It also involves a proper analysis of the reports of laboratory tests required to treat a particular disease using the best medical procedures and facilities. In the modern era of medical science, treatment for any disease is completely reliant on the diagnostic tests performed in the laboratory. This highlights the significance of this program in the medical and health sector. For various job positions after completion of this course, the average annual salary ranges from INR 2 Lakhs to 6 lakhs per annum. However, the salary keeps on increasing with experience and expertise.

 

Course Highlights:
• Program- Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Technology
• Abbreviation- BSc MLT
• Level- Graduate
• Duration- 3 year
• Eligibility- 10+2 from any recognized education board
• Admission Process- Entrance exam and merit-based
• Possible Job Positions- Medical Laboratory Technician, Medical Laboratory Technologist, Clinical Laboratory Technician, Lab Technologist, Biochemist, Phlebotomist, Medical Phlebotomist, Clinical Laboratory Technologist, etc.
• Expected Average Salary- INR 2 lakhs to 6 lakhs per annum.

 

Why study BSc MLT?
BSc MLT is one of the perfect courses for those students who want to make themselves skilled professionals in medical field because in this course the students will go through the relevant training and gain the required skill set to work efficiently in medical sector. Medical science is one of the finest areas which is in high demand and a career in the same is chosen by candidates with an interest in the healthcare sector. Medical lab technicians play a crucial role in the conduction of various activities related to the diagnostic and pathology laboratories. BSc MLT syllabus consists of subjects that inculcate the skills in the students required to handle advanced equipments so as to perform accurate laboratory tests. This course empowers the students to go for various educational, hospital, governmental sectors as they can run a laboratory, consultancy services as well as health care centres. This enables the graduates to opt for higher degree programs in various specializations which can include any of the following:
• Master of Science (M. Sc) in Medical Technology.
• Master of Science (M. Sc) in Nuclear Medicine Technology.
• Master of Science (M. Sc) in Medical Imaging Technology.
• Master of Science (M. Sc) in Nuclear Medicine Technology.
• Master of Science (M. Sc) in Medical Lab Technology
• Master of Science (M. Sc) in Medical Lab Technology.
• Master of Science (M. Sc) in Medical Technology.
• Master of Science (M. Sc) in Medical Imaging Technology.

 

Scope:
Graduates have immense opportunities to establish their career in different spheres after completion of the course. The academic and technical proficiencies of the technician determine the job opportunities in this area. Graduates have numerous scope of working as Phlebotomist, Medical Laboratory Technologist, Clinical Laboratory Technician, Lab Technologist, Biochemist and Medical Phlebotomist, Clinical Laboratory Technologist, Medical Laboratory Technician. A skilled and efficient graduate in this field is liable to acquire challenging positions in different hospitals in public or private sectors such as emergency centres, blood donor centres, laboratories, etc.

 

The scope of this course is very wide. After BSc MLT course, candidates have ample of great opportunities in many fields anywhere in the world. The scope linked to the course includes the following:
• A career in this field is amongst the most challenging and satisfying careers in today’s market. Everyday, a technician/technologist gets to learn something new, which is great for their career.
• A number of Medical Laboratory Technicians can find employment in pathology labs, research labs, urology labs, pharmaceutical sector, hospitals and in many other areas.
• Apart from the above opportunities, an aspirant can also pursue a career in the education field as a lecturer. With passing years, the course has multiplied in terms of what a student learns during the course, thereby multiplying the scope as well. The scope has significantly expanded and a number of opportunities have been on the rise.
• The Medical Laboratory Technology field includes areas such as blood banking, clinical chemistry, haematology, immunology, microbiology, cytotechnology, urine analysis, blood sampling, etc. There are innumerable fields that can serve as suitable career options for the graduates.
• BSc MLT provides ample job opportunities in the healthcare sector. Every hospital and healthcare sector needs clinical lab technicians to detect problems and diseases affecting the patients. Hence, it is creating more job opportunities for the graduates of BSc MLT. Medical Laboratory Technology profession has a positive impact on people’s health.

School of Pharmaceutical Technology: The Centre for Pharmaceutical Excellence

Adamas University, the largest award winning University in Eastern India, is the perfect destination for aspiring students who wish to pursue excellence in their chosen field in a secured, nature friendly, vast campus which can truly be their second home. The School of Pharmaceutical Technology (SOPT) was established amidst a lush green campus at the Adamas Knowledge City on Barasat-Barrackpore road, about 13 km away from Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Airport, Kolkata. SOPT was set up with a vision to create and disseminate knowledge for producing quality health care professionals with a global standard.

Vision and Mission:

  • Inspiring and educating the future pharmacists and scientists with contemporary knowledge and skills to build up a strong platform for a healthcare system, matching the global standards.
  • Creating a potential student pool by provision of dynamic educational experience embedded with contemporary knowledge and technical skills thus empowering them to become future leaders.
  • Development of tie-ups with the experts in the field, pharmaceutical technologists in the industry and regulatory bodies to meet the existing regional and global needs.
  • Organization of conferences, workshops, seminars and special invited lectures with the participation of experts from academic institutions, research institutions, industries and regulatory authorities.
  • Shaping the undergraduate, postgraduate and research scholars to emerge as the next generation scientists, advanced practitioners and educators.
  • Investigation of innovative research in pharmaceutical sciences while embracing the value of interdisciplinary networks.
  • Escalation of the performance level of students and teaching methodologies at par with the global standards.
  • Promotion of professional skill development for students to enhance their employability potential.
  • Bridging the gap between University’s educational curricula and the knowledge and skill requirements of pharmaceutical industries which is concurrent to the goal of the University.

Salient Aspects:

  • Outstanding and experienced faculty members from diverse areas of pharmaceutical field with industry as well as academic background.
  • State-of-the-art laboratory infrastructure equipped with all the necessary instruments to acquire hands-on training experience.
  • Mentorship program with an aim to monitor and improve the attendance and performance of students in the class, discussing the areas of strengths and weaknesses, consultation to address the weak areas.
  • Mentor-student meets, Dean-mentor meets, Dean-student meets, Parent-mentor meets.
  • Inclusion of wide variety of extra-curricular and cultural activities favouring holistic development of the child backed up psychological counselling/ one to one mentoring as and when needed to monitor the stress window of the student.
  • Speculating industry and institute interaction.
  • Strong research oriented team with large number of papers published in journals and conferences of repute.
  • Focusing on academic growth of students and faculties by conducting conferences, workshops, seminars in collaboration with industry.
  • Incorporation of a strong teaching-learning process with an objective to improve the pharmaceutical skills of students.
  • Constitution of various committees including faculties and students to streamline the administration of the entire university which in consultation with the Dean, plan and execute various programs for the smooth functioning and general development of the institution.
  • Nomination of student members by the respective mentors based on academic and overall record.
  • Organization of frequent industrial visits and internships at some of the best pharmaceutical companies in India to emphasize on the application of knowledge from a practical perspective.
  • 6 of our students have qualified Graduate Pharmacy Aptitude Test (GPAT) which is a national level entrance examination for entry into M. Pharm programmes. Additionally, two students have qualified NIPER Joint Entrance Examination conducted by National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) which is one of the most renowned and prestigious pharmacy institutions in the country.
  • About 60 of our alumni have opted for higher education programs such as Bachelor of Pharmacy and Master of Pharmacy.

Training and Placement Cell:

  • Arranges industrial training/ internships/tours for students. Students have completed internship from various reputed organizations like Alkem Laboratories, Zuventus Healthcare Ltd., Lupin Ltd., Mankind Pharma, Pure and Cure Healthcare Pvt. Ltd., Ipca Laboratories.
  • Invites various pharmaceutical companies for campus recruitments. Students have been selected by top pharmaceutical recruiters like Cipla Limited, Wipro Limited, Apollo Hospitals, Medopharm Pvt. Ltd., APCER Life Sciences, Alembic Pharmaceuticals Ltd.
  • Organizes programs like mock interviews, group discussions, case studies, etc. to make the students prepared for the industry.

Why Pharmacy?

Pharmacy is the science and technique of preparing and dispensing drugs. It is a health profession that links health sciences with chemical sciences and aims to ensure the safe and effective use of pharmaceutical agents. The role of pharmacist, nowadays, is not only restricted to mere traditional roles, such as compounding and dispensing medications but is much more than that. The advances made in pharmaceutical technology in past few decades has expanded the horizon to include more modern services related to health care such as clinical services, reviewing medications for safety and efficacy, providing drug information, employing modern techniques for manufacture of formulations, designing delivery systems, meeting quality assurance demands and its control. Today, the qualified pharmaceutical technologist skilled with modern techniques and knowledge is required to be engaged in the manufacture, distribution, marketing, quality control and assurance, regulatory authorities and in post marketing operations like pharmacovigilance, clinical trials, etc. A career in the pharmaceutical sciences is full of opportunities. There is a high demand for skilled, competent and motivated workforce and manpower which will continue to be at the pinnacle of importance, both in safe and effective delivery of healthcare as well as in fueling the growth of the pharmaceutical industry in India.

What is the Scope?

The need of skilled manpower in the pharmaceutical industry ranges widely from research and development, quality assurance, intellectual property, manufacturing, sales and marketing. Today, the pharmaceutical industry is, in fact, struggling to retain talent in all these areas, even with lucrative compensation packages, talent development programs alongwith offering a bright career path. This is mainly because the demand for talent outweighs its supply. With several health issues on the rise, the requirement for pharmaceuticals is a never ending process which mandates the continual demand of skilled professionals in this field. Pharmaceutical industry has the potential to attract a large number of talents even during any global financial meltdown, as the industry is virtually recession proof.

Programs Offered:

The programs offered by the school are Diploma in Pharmacy (D. Pharm), Bachelor of Pharmacy (B. Pharm) and Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Technology (BSc MLT).  The Diploma in Pharmacy is of two academic year duration, while Bachelor of Pharmacy is a four year course and Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Technology is a three year program. Additionally, Master of Pharmacy (M. Pharm) program in Pharmaceutics will also be implemented from the upcoming academic year.