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International Master in Neuroscience’s students visit Lek-Novartis

31 January, 2020

For the first time since the company Lek became part of the international pharmaceutical company Novartis, a group of 50 students from the University of Trieste were welcomed for a visit to the Mengeš site, near Ljubljana. This was a unique opportunity for students of the International Master in Neuroscience of the University of Trieste, the first master's degree course in Italy in neuroscience, entirely taught in English. The visit is part of an intense week of lectures and practical exercises held at the University of Trieste and Area Science Park-Trieste, for the course called "Applied Neurosciences". This week allows students to familiarize with the industrial approaches used for the treatment and diagnosis of diseases of the nervous system and to understand the industrial process. Moreover, by providing a closer look to the state of the art in the research, not only through the lectures but also through informal meetings with experts of large global pharmaceutical companies and small biotech companies, it allows the student to get a concrete idea of the professions of the future. The idea of promoting the encounter with the world of work already within a university teaching course came in the year 2009 - explains prof. Enrico Tongiorgi, course coordinator - and in these 11 years we have seen great changes in the pharmaceutical industry. Until 10 years ago, the market was dominated by chemically synthetized molecules of large pharmaceutical companies, while today there are numerous companies that create biologically inspired drugs consisting of antibodies, proteins, biopolymers and gene therapy.

During the visit to Novartis in Slovenia, which will organize this year the 10th Regional Biocamp, the students were guided by Dr. Debora Buzzi, technologist in the production plant in Mengeš, through both the research and development centers and the production plants. Students representatives Arianna Scorpioni e Catello Guida, after the visit have said: “By studying books it is difficult to imagine the various ways in which professionals can fit into the complex world of our economy because the paths we imagine are few and stereotyped.” “Seeing with our own eyes the laboratories of LEK where the drugs of one of the largest multinationals in the sector are developed and being able to speak face-to-face with its employees was a unique experience that each one of us will keep and that has helped to broaden our view on the world and our future.”