KGI President Shares in Celebration of Biocon Academy Alumni Day
Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) President Sheldon Schuster shared in Biocon Academy Alumni Day celebrations in Bangalore, India, on March 18.
“It was a wonderful opportunity to meet the alumni of the unique Biocon-KGI certificate program, which we have been successfully running in India over the past three years,” Schuster said. “I am proud of the contribution the program is making towards enriching the life sciences ecosystem in India by producing highly skilled bioscientists. I am confident that these bright young men and women who have graduated from the Biocon Academy will contribute immensely to the global life sciences industry through their knowledge, talent, and passion.”
Biocon Academy’s flagship certificate program in bioscience, in collaboration with KGI, is an 18-week program, delivered by renowned faculty from KGI. It includes classroom sessions in the areas of drug development, research and development, and quality and regulatory affairs; coupling these sessions with experiential ones at Biocon makes this program unique.
With Schuster and Biocon founder Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw spearheading a panel discussion at the Alumni Day, the group discussed the transformative economic impact of biotechnology.
Among the many topics covered, Schuster and Mazumdar-Shaw talked about the application of contemporary biotechnology and entrepreneurial opportunities that offer a range of differentiated and specialized products and services for consumers in India and overseas.
The two inspiring speakers also shared stories of their challenges and successes, while motivating the students with several leadership lessons.
Addressing alumni, Mazumdar-Shaw said: “To exploit the potential of biotechnology, we need scientists, thinkers, and innovators. Through Biocon Academy, we are enabling young minds to be curiosity-driven and out-of-the-box thinkers to partake in the journey of transforming India through the power of biotechnology. I am excited to see this bunch of young and passionate graduates who have made a right choice to opt for a specialized course to make a difference in life sciences.”
Joining Schuster and Mazumdar-Shaw in the panel were Dr. Jitendra Kumar, managing director, Bangalore Bioinnovation Centre (BBC); Amit Chopra, managing director, Thermo Fisher Scientific, India; Dr. Pratima Khandelwal, professor and head of the Department of Biotechnology, New Horizon College of Engineering; and Dr. Suman Kapur, dean of International Programs and Collaboration Division and senior professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, BITS, Pilani.
The panellists spoke about the new science of nutrigenomics, which signals the approaching era of personalized nutrition, along with existing personalized medicines. Also featured in the discussion were food safety, food security, and the role of industry, academia, and government in tapping these emerging issues.
More than 100 graduates of the academy attended the Alumni Day celebrations to reminisce and relive the fun days they had spent at their alma mater.
Sourav Chatterji, an alumnus of the Biocon-KGI program, said: “Nothing is more gratifying than coming back to one’s alma mater. The Biocon-KGI program showed me a clear direction on what I have to do. The program enhanced my practical knowledge and aligned it with that of the biotech industry’s requirements. Coming from a research background in microbiology, I knew the theoretical and technical aspect but could never understand how to translate my knowledge with the requirements of the industry. That is where the Biocon-KGI program came to my aid.”
Biocon Academy leverages Biocon’s rich industry experience and the subject expertise of international education partners to empower biotechnology and engineering graduates with advanced learning and industrial proficiency through essential job-skills development in order to build a promising career in the biotech industry.