BME and Hitachi Chemical Collaborate on Grad-Level Bioengineering Course

Hitachi Chemical Advanced Therapeutics Solutions, LLC (HCATS), a U.S. subsidiary of Hitachi Chemical Co. Ltd. that engages in contract manufacturing and development of regenerative medicine products, and Rutgers University–New Brunswick’s School of Engineering today announced a collaboration to launch a graduate-level course, “Integrative Molecular and Cellular Bioengineering.” The new course launched this Fall 2018 semester, with select employees of HCATS included among the students participating in the course.

Led by Biju Parekkadan, associate professor of biomedical engineering at Rutgers School of Engineering, the course will focus on the integration of engineering and mathematical principles with molecular and cell biology for the development of bioprocesses involved in the manufacture and use of human cell and gene therapeutics.

More specifically, the course will emphasize a quantitative understanding of large-scale human cell culture, cell separations, viral/non-viral gene manufacture, cell purification, combination cell-device products, cell formulation/preservation, clinical trials, and more.

According to Parekkadan, who spearheads the collaborative program, the course leverages HCATS’ almost 20 years of industry experience with that of Rutgers’ leading experts to provide students with a comprehensive learning experience that incorporates academic and industry expertise and perspectives.

“In designing a course that uniquely integrates both the academic and industry spectrums of molecular and cellular bioengineering, we are providing students with a depth of knowledge that will prepare them as innovators and contributors in this exciting, 21st century field,” said Parekkadan.

The course brings industry experts in the NJ/NY/PA region as guest lecturers, including Robert A. Preti, president and CEO of HCATS and general manager of the Hitachi Chemical Regenerative Medicine Business Sector; Brian Hampson, vice president, Global Manufacturing Sciences and Technology of HCATS; and Thomas Heathman, business leader, Manufacturing Development, Technology Development & GTP Services of HCATS.

As part of the collaboration, students enrolled in the course will engage in practical exploration and tour the HCATS’ commercial cell therapy manufacturing facility in Allendale, New Jersey.

“This collaboration with the academic community allows our bioengineering experts to share the experiences they’ve accumulated over their careers and provide both deep and broad industry perspective for three current employees of HCATS as well as many looking to begin careers in the cellular therapy industry who attend the course,” said Preti. “We look forward to reaching students who share in the HCATS’ vision of achieving a world in which transformative cell-based therapeutics are accessible to all patients.”