One example where academia benefits from improved connectivity with pharma is the Georgia Tech cell manufacturing facility in Atlanta, where WSP provided MEP engineering services. Completed in June 2018, this laboratory facilitates the manufacture of cells for cell therapies, engineered tissues, medical devices, drug discovery and chip models used to simulate organ systems.
“The advances in synthetic cell manufacturing in the last 2 to 3 years is astounding,” Rome said. “This facility can create spray-on cells, among many other things. This is perfect for burn victims and the way they make the cells, there is no chance of rejection by the patient.”
The education challenge includes architectural clients.
“Like lab planning, the planning of a facility that manufactures a biological product – even in small amounts – is a scientific skill set typically not found in architecture firms,” Smith said. “Once you explain the drivers behind the convergence, people begin to understand; but this occurs on nearly a one-on-one basis.”
But when that understanding among all stakeholders is reached, it can lead to very satisfying results.
“Personally, there is no other industry as rewarding as the life science industry,” Connor said. “Helping people overcome debilitating diseases by helping our clients to research and develop those cures is immensely rewarding.”
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