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Increasing understanding of the role of engineering in vaccine development and manufacture: A collaborative project between UCL-Oxford Future Vaccine Manufacturing Research Hub (Vax-Hub) and UK secondary schools

Morris, Stephen A; Vaiarelli, Ludovica; De Sa Magalhaes, Salome; Micheletti, Martina; (2023) Increasing understanding of the role of engineering in vaccine development and manufacture: A collaborative project between UCL-Oxford Future Vaccine Manufacturing Research Hub (Vax-Hub) and UK secondary schools. Presented at: 17th Vaccine Congress, Glasgow, UK. Green open access

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Abstract

Bioprocess engineering plays a central role in taking vaccines from laboratory development to manufacture for clinical trials and scale up for mass vaccination programs. However, public knowledge and appreciation of this essential role is low, perceptions of vaccine development focusing on scientists in research labs and clinicians administering the vaccine. There is little appreciation of the need for mass-production in factories and the engineering processes involved. This knowledge gap became especially evident during the COVID19 pandemic. The bioprocessing industry is currently in need of qualified personnel, yet students considering their career options are often unaware of these opportunities. In 2022 Vax-Hub, funded by the Department of Health and Social Care via the UK Vaccine network initiated an outreach program to develop a collaborative approach with secondary schools in the London area with aims of: Reducing vaccine hesitancy by joining conversations to address the community’s concerns, increasing our understanding of the reasons behind hesitancy. Increasing awareness of the role of engineering in vaccine development and production – filling the knowledge gap regarding how research is translated from lab studies to commercialisation and clinic. Our programs are tailored to the requirements of the school partner and designed for interaction with school years 9 – 13. Our strategy is to establish interactive long-term partnerships involving: Teacher training in modern vaccine development and manufacture. Workshops in schools introducing biochemical engineering, vaccine manufacture, and career opportunities. Workshops providing practical laboratory skills held at the school and UCL Dept. of Biochemical Engineering. Mini research projects for school groups. During the past year this has resulted in successful development of on-going relationships with two educational institutions. Analysis of feedback from teachers and students indicated that the program is of benefit. Both institutions indicated a positive intention to continue involvement. The program is currently being rolled out further.

Type: Poster
Title: Increasing understanding of the role of engineering in vaccine development and manufacture: A collaborative project between UCL-Oxford Future Vaccine Manufacturing Research Hub (Vax-Hub) and UK secondary schools
Event: 17th Vaccine Congress
Location: Glasgow, UK
Dates: 24 - 27 September 2023
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: https://www.ssrn.com/index.cfm/en/medrn/ads/102720...
Language: English
Keywords: Vaccine manufacture, Schools education, Outreach
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Biochemical Engineering
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10187144
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