True to its commitment of Adding value and enhancing skills, Biocon Academy is one of its kind, Centre of Excellence for Advanced Learning in Applied Biosciences addressing the skill deficit by enhancing the employability of Biotech Graduates. With an aim to make biotech graduates ‘Industry-ready’, the Academy has an intensive course format consisting of Customized Curriculum modules attuned to the industry requirement. The students at the academy undergo well planned Functional visits to enable Hands on Learning, Biocon Plant visits to aid understanding of various functions in a Biotech Organization, and Special Training modules focused on development of Soft Skills. Such a comprehensive learning model ensures nurturing of ‘Biotech Graduates’ for a seamlessly transition into ‘Biotech Professionals’
As a part of the Functional Visit Module, we recently visited the Institute of Biotechnology and Bioinformatics (IBAB), Bangalore. This week long functional visit which forms the critical part of the well-designed program format focuses on providing hands on learning experience at State-of-the-art labs. The training at IBAB Labs was very insightful and included the following elements:
i) Introduction to important tools of molecular biology
ii) Discussions on relevant experiments
iii) Interpretation of results
The visit provided us with an exposure to applications of molecular biology techniques in an extremely simplified manner. Indeed, here lies the difference between theory and practicality of the subjects. We were taught how to perform the isolation of plasmids and its analysis by Agarose gel electrophoresis technique. The training progressed into the second day with all of us totally geared up to master the techniques that were demonstrated to us by the instructors. We were given an impeccable introduction to Restriction Enzyme Digestion. The entire activity was designed to enhance and appreciate the DNA structure, restriction enzyme digestion of DNA, analysis of digested DNA by agarose gel electrophoresis, and finally performing cloning and transforming experiments.
The functional visit at IBAB also offered an opportunity to learn about the basic functionalities of Polymerase chain reaction (PCR), Analysis & Interpretation of results. Furthermore, the practical training of Cloning and transformation of E. coli added a spark to our excitement for learning. The basic principle, reagents used and procedure involved in this exceptional technique were explained in a methodical manner. Moreover, we were introduced to the fermentation principle and the various types of bioreactors used along with their applications. The faculty at IBAB helped us to gain profound knowledge of the entire concept of fermentation through appropriate explanations and demonstrations.
The efforts put together by Dr. Shivkumar and his doctoral students were commendable as they ensured that we gain maximum learning through these sessions. It was an absolute delight to witness the ocean of knowledge that Dr. Shiva Kumar possesses in the field of Biotechnology. This experience has encouraged us to stay dedicated on the path of perseverance and endeavour to pursue upcoming opportunities in the fast evolving BioWorld.
The one week intensive training at IBAB gave us immense experience about the application of research concepts in an industrial set-up. At the end of it, there was a greater sense of commitment from each one of us to rededicate our self to the cause and the purpose for which Biocon is serving the community, by managing and operating the Academy.
Written by: Rabia Inaas, Biocon-KGI Certificate program in Biosciences