Leading scientists in the field discussed the issue of training, meeting in the wording of “MG”
Biotechnology – this is the discipline which, as a physicist in the middle of last century, is today the scientific and technical progress. All over the world at the turn of the centuries, it is booming, it invested huge amounts of money. Obtained by genetic engineering medicine and food – these achievements have included biotechnology in our lives, but tomorrow this number may increase exponentially. Therefore, training for biotechnology should be a priority in education.
At the initiative of the Society of bio technologists in Russia, the Union of the biotechnology industry and the “Medicine of the newspaper” with the support of the party “United Russia” in the wording of “MG” held “round table” on “Training in medical biotechnology.” It was attended by Head of the Department of Microbiology, Virology and Immunology MMA. Sechenov, president of the Society bio technologists Russian Academy of Medical Sciences Anatoliy Vorobyev, director of the State Scientific Center of Antibiotics, Professor Ivan Vasilenko, chief researcher at the Institute of Biochemistry and Physiology of Microorganisms. G.K.Skryabina Academy of Sciences (Pushchino), Corresponding Member of RAS KALAKUTSKY Lev, head of the Laboratory of the Institute of General Genetics. Professor Nikolai Vavilov Sciences Yankovsky, Head of the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Virology, Stavropol State Medical Academy, Professor Victoria Pozharsky.Great “round table” vice-president of the Society Russian biotechnologists, executive director of the Union of the biotechnology industry Raif, Professor Basil and editor of the science and medical education, “MG” Fyodor Smirnov.
F.Smirnov. We would like to dwell on the issue of training for the biotechnology, this is the most important area of science, and discuss how the current education system meets the needs of today and tomorrow, because the situation is changing quite rapidly.
R.Vasilov. In the editorial “Medical Newspaper” was going to circle the most competent experts in biotechnology, and we invite them to the interested conversation.
A. Sparrow. Biotechnology – is an integrated science that defines the scientific and technical progress. This is the opinion of leading scientists, including Nobel laureates Russian academics Alferov and Ginsburg. Biotechnology – the only discipline that combines fundamental and applied science, as well as production. The results of development are urgently needed to improve the quality of life.
In Soviet times, biotechnology was with us at a very high level, and we have the range of biotechnology products are not inferior to the advanced, Western countries. There have been several rulings of the Central Committee and the Council of Ministers on the development of the industry that followed. However, the restructuring of all fell apart. Now there is no agency that would deal with the problems of biotechnology.
In this situation, we are scientists working in biotechnology, took the initiative and created a society of bio technologists. Great help to us in this party had a “United Russia” and personally one of its leaders – Oleg Morozov. Without their support we would not be able to gather representatives of the Pushchino 47 Russian regions. Such consolidation specialists working in different areas of biotechnology – medical, agricultural, veterinary, food and vital.
Once upon a time in our country was going strong development of the industry under the slogan: “Technique is everything,” then he was replaced by another: “Cadres decide everything.” Now the situation is like the field of biotechnology. We need to develop industrial, technical resources, and as for people who need to master this difficult technique, yet there are experts that can teach it. But soon they may not stay – or to retire, or leave abroad. Questions of technical equipment and training must be addressed in parallel. While no one can say exactly how many and what experts in the field of biotechnology, we need to prepare. In the MMA. Sechenov, the leading medical universities in Russia, is chair of biotechnology, but it is preparing a limited circle of specialists, mainly the remaining work on it. A uniform training program there. Such training, as it seems to me shall pass on the basis of the total biotechnology centers like the one that works in Pushchino.
L.Kalakutsky. Biotechnology – is not just a science, but a very large and important sphere of human activity that has a lot of aspects. According to one of the many definitions of biotechnology is the use of biological information. Find information comes in different laboratories, with the participation of physicists, mathematicians, chemists and biologists. Therefore, professionals working in the major biotech companies, should have knowledge of different scientific disciplines – is, for example, “hybrid” chemist and expert in the field of intellectual property, or a biologist and expert in computer science.
Development to launch the production of biotechnological products require significantly more expensive than the pursuit of science, and more persistent over time. It takes a lot of time before one or the other biotechnological product is placed at the disposal of society. We have this chain sometimes imagine is not very clear and begin to do some development, considering them to be useful, but not appreciating at the same prospects. However, if you can not provide the development stages, the formation of the product and its market launch, the scientific work is just the satisfaction of curiosity of the scientist at public expense. Such activities are generally useful, as no other driving incentive than the desire to uncover the secrets of human nature, based on no science. But at the heart of biotechnology should be based, and additional incentives linked to the demand by society of its achievements. Our chronic problem of introducing scientific achievements into practice and production must be addressed in the light of contemporary realities. And education is extremely important. Must be a generational change.
Today, the training of specialists in the field of biotechnology involving many agencies, as well as the educational system in recent years, research centers, including the Academy of Sciences.Lecturer and researcher typically teach what they know. On the one hand, if you need to solve problems recruiting new staff, it’s good, but at the same time, if you look in the distant future, there are some dangers. Matrix is obtained by the reproduction of professionals. Even Einstein said that not only do we speak the language, but language speaks us. The one language that is taught, – the language of textbooks, with sufficient age. But there will be more in demand in the future – just the matrix or the symbiosis of knowledge, I was talking about?
I was once struck by statistics that in the U.S. the average age of students is 47 years old. The fact that there is a student of each student. Experts are constantly replenish the baggage of his knowledge while working on various courses extending from two weeks to a year.
If we asked biotech companies about which specialists they need, they would give us some information. But I’m not sure that this information will be given taking into account the fact that these enterprises will be required after 5-10 years. If, for example, 10 years ago in Moscow, conducted a survey about how much to produce cell phones, it would have been a number close to zero. And now they come to the market more than a million a year. This is an indicator of how society reacts to innovation. Engage in the process of evaluating the prospects of the matrix need not only professionals but also consumers who are evolving before our eyes.
R.Vasilov. The mechanism of the involvement of consumers in the adjustment of this model have already worked out abroad.
L.Kalakutsky. That’s right, but not all of our overseas work, to be adapted to Russian conditions. From the consumer would like to have greater activity and greater competence in these matters. I personally have heard how, after an innovative workshop which was attended by representatives of business, one of them said to another: “I understood only the verbs, and even then not everything.” The bridge of mutual understanding should be built on both sides.
N.Yankovsky. The big problem in the field of training in biotechnology – a literature study. Publisher “The World” has ceased to exist, and there are no more an organization that would put its main objective the publication is well-established in the West, scientific and educational literature in Russian. The fact that the publishing house “Mir” issued until last year, will live for several years, but eventually the gap will increase, because a wide range of domestic literature on biotechnology will not be soon.
Publisher “Nature” published a six-volume encyclopedia genome – a basic guide for all professionals working in this field. Modern textbooks go, accompanied by the visual range, and one of the major Western pharmaceutical companies has produced an educational program on the genetics of non-advertising nature. The program is designed to train professionals working in different countries in the field of biotechnology. It is built on several levels of depth – from simple to complex. This program is translated into Russian, and in the very near future, the CD will be available to her in our country.
I am a member of the World Council for the Exploration of the human genome, and there rukovozhu Commission on Education. At my initiative, has compiled a list of six speakers who can give lectures in 22 languages free of charge, under the cover only direct costs. These lectures will be posted on the Internet. They are focused on ordinary people – not experts in genetics, because the general view of members of the World Council for the Exploration of the genome, while the area is not perceived by consumers to the extent that generated by genomics research product would be in demand. Present or waiting for something unattainable or unreasonable fears. The purpose of our committee – to form the general public a more rational view and the correct attitude towards genomics. You do not have to overload consumers of scientific information. People work at the computer, not realizing how it works, and so they have to learn to enjoy the achievements of biotechnology.
R.Vasilov. You did not think hard to make a list of local lecturers?
N.Yankovsky. Unfortunately, the Russian scientists who are ready to take on this burden, it was a little bit. This additional investment of time and effort, and not everyone even knows how good expert lectures, especially for the general public.
I give lectures on general biology at the Moscow Physical-Technical Institute and a lecturer there in front of the task of bringing its rate to a shared set of slides. If this practice spreads to other schools, it would be a good educational resource that will appear in our country, in the absence of modern textbooks.
A. Sparrow. This lecture should focus library in one tsentre.N.Yankovsky. Yes, but there is also the possibility of distance learning via the Internet. In the West, are increasingly moving away from the traditional form of lectures in the auditorium. For example, in Japan, even the lectures are given at the stations, and the people it is extremely interesting. In the UK there are scientific café, where do messages Nobel Prize winners and guests listen to them over a beer. With hardly imagine how such practices can be implemented in our country, but such direct communication with the lecturer’s audience is the right attitude of people to complex scientific problems.
I perceive with concern about the fact that in our country and abroad, there are private labs that do DNA diagnosis of diseases. People want to get this information about yourself, but it can be probabilistic in nature, and in some cases simply be ill-founded, that might discredit the DNA technology before they enter into practice. The need for these forms now, and I fear that to us will hear charges of unfair unfounded predictions of experts.
R.Vasilov. What do you think, as far as critical to the domestic biotechnology problem of “brain drain”?
N.Yankovsky. In my experience, plenty of people who want to go into science, no. Of course, many dream of a scientific career in the West, but there are scientists who are engaged in science just because they live without it may not. The issue is that the payment of their labor was raised to such a size that would allow these people to exist. But in spite of economic difficulties, the scientific level theses in recent years has not decreased. Professionals who want to leave, you would type the actual level, while the rest is just interesting. Securing people in science depends not on us but on the state of affairs in the state. Although even today defended their post-graduate students at our institution receive a salary of 800-1000 dollars, without leaving the country. They go to work on a specialty in commercial structures, or receive foreign grants.
I.Vasilenko. At one time in the USSR has already taken steps to integrate education in the field of biotechnology in the CMEA countries. From this experience can be learned many useful things, as are the requirements to professionals, created a few large centers for biotechnology, and some of them are still working on a global level.
In the last 13-15 years, the Russian biotech science lived their lives, and production – his, and they do not intersect. According to my estimates, the shortage of engineering personnel in the medical industry is 30-40 thousand people. And all the country’s higher education institutions produce annually no more than 1,000 professionals in biotechnology, of which the company can get into the best part of the fourth, despite the fact that there are wage level is high enough. The growing shortage of engineers, biologists, geneticists, chemists – a problem not only our country but around the world. I keep a few courses in college and did not know firsthand that today find a job abroad graduates in these fields is not difficult. Therefore the problem of “brain drain” is associated not only with low living standards in Russia, but also a shortage of qualified experts in the field of biotechnology in the world.
Students in recent years has changed dramatically. If you have not only younger but also on the upper classes prospered shkolyarstvo, now a huge motivation for the young. But there is a fundamental problem – the things they teach. After all, a real demand for the knowledge that students are now receiving, appears 10-15 years after graduation. Of course, the necessary feedback and interaction with production workers, keeping track of current trends. For example, recently there was an acute need for quality management professionals, and they are currently not prepared any university. Russia seeks WTO, and we need to teach students the rules of GMP.
We conduct training courses for employees of the plants. The level of their training, unfortunately, is very low. Students such knowledge now no one gives, and it is a serious gap. The relationship between universities, science and industry should be required area, which discusses these issues. In education should remain a healthy conservatism, it is impossible to change things quickly, but some evolution is required.
Just like that, without the administrative burden, improve the skills are extremely difficult. For doctors requires certification every five years, and rightly so. For specialists in biotechnology should be the same order. But the places where they can improve their skills, very little. If we do not begin to solve the problem of training, then every year the shortage of specialists will affect more and more.Those who manages finances for education and decision-makers are far from it. Hence, we need them to form.
Russia should not become a country that produced only shirpotrebnuyu products. Biotechnology – a high-tech sphere, maximizing profitability and high levels of economic development and living.All the advanced countries, such technologies are left at home, kicking off mass production to Southeast Asia. However, collecting only the computers and cars, we can not achieve a high standard of living. We need to develop knowledge-intensive industries, including biotechnology holds a leading position.
To go to the GMP, to be checked by experts of enterprises, diplomas and certification are accepted by the international community. We do not have such experts or organizations under whose auspices they might work. Authorized transfer to GMP to January 1, 2005 is unrealistic. This requires a significant investment, and not only. GMP – is the culture of production and management, which can not enter into an administrative order. This is similar to creating a scientific school – on the orders of such things can be done. I recently conducted technology audit on one of the Russian pharmaceutical factories, a number of sites which have moved to the GMP. This assumes that the flow chart, where it should be fixed thoroughly every step of the technological cycle of production. It turned out that the card is filled once a week and in the opposite direction … And this is directly related to the problem of education that we are discussing today.
R.Vasilov. Earlier there was an ordering system for training, and universities know exactly how many engineers, chemists, biologists, they need to release. Now none of this information does not own. It is not known how many and what the country needs specialists will be in 5-10 years. Ivan Vasilenko said a shortage of tens of thousands of professionals in the field of biotechnology, and it is quite possible that the time will come when we will have to bring in specialists from abroad, repeating what did Peter I. They will have to pay much more than ours.
So, companies are suffering due to lack of training, colleges do not have to train them sufficient financial base and the confidence that these specialists will be in demand. We often say that the market will regulate everything, but this is not always possible to agree. Do you think that what should be a system of training activities for biotechnology?
I.Vasilenko. I have repeatedly talked with colleagues from Denmark, Holland, Germany and other countries. There is the problem of assessing the state of the labor market is simple – is ordered in marketing or consulting firm. In the major Western countries ministries of information on the needs of the industry to have a frame. In Russia, the consulting firms that could analyze the situation on the labor market, no.
For many years I worked in the admissions office and I can say that when you communicate with the student, often behind him are the parents, and the young man did not understand what he wants. And if the information on the staffing requirements published in the mainstream press, it would help guide the prospective students in choosing a profession, to create an image of a specialty.
R.Vasilov. A large company may pay for training for themselves and even to open their own college. But biotechnology is to a large extent – a small and medium business …
L.Kalakutsky. At a conference in Pushchino, I was asked to report on the teaching of biotechnology. I talked about the dangers of rely solely on one order, which we can get from companies, and it would be good to try to use the additional experience. For example, Moscow has the mass of agencies involved in search and selection of personnel, and with them it would be helpful to get in touch. The day after that report, I got a call from a recruiter and offered cooperation. When I looked at the jobs they sent, it was convinced that the ocean is not necessary to go – here, near Moscow, experts in the field of biotechnology offer transatlantic pay. I offer these jobs to several graduate students, at first they are interested in them, but when we are talking about a set of necessary requirements, markedly diminished enthusiasm. This is for me a signal that we are not a comprehensive training, because people are afraid of those requirements that impose them by employers. I think that recruitment agencies should be required to interact and enter your address additional training, for example, by the same GMP.
V.Pozharskaya. Requires a program of training, which could be interested entrepreneurs to invest. We need to team up with manufacturers and create a fund to train specialists in biotechnology. No bailouts will not work. As for the small improvements, which said Lev Kalakutsky, then I both hands. The graduate should possess the necessary minimum of knowledge to be able to continue his training in biotechnology and scientific elite of the future need to cook for 15 years to come.
I.Vasilenko. The young man graduated from high school is usually in the 21-22 year, and the greatest flowering of creativity usually comes after 35. That is, the person uses the knowledge that he was in high school, after 15 years.
V.Pozharskaya. Yes, and these years specialist should not think like him to make ends meet and feed their families. From person to receive a free education at the university should be a contract under which he must work out 2-3 years at a specific location.
A. Sparrow. I must say that the current level of students is much higher than before. At our Academy has a faculty for training scientific and pedagogical personnel. There are trained elite guys who are 10 years after graduation are doctors of science.
There is another way of education – a foreign firm. For example, one of the U.S. biotech companies interested in distributing their products in Russia, arranged and paid by the department of nutrition MMA training courses for bio technologists. In Russia, the Union of enterprises of the biotechnology industry, there are wealthy people, and they may also be able to participate in the training of bio technologists.
I.Vasilenko. On the basis of the State Scientific Center of Antibiotics operates a training center for advanced training of specialists. In the year we are 40 to 50 students. Some are, of course, interfere with work, but to train personnel without regard to the practice impossible. In Soviet times, I went to all the pharmaceutical industry’s practice of passing students. Unfortunately, I can not lead the students in any one company – where they do not want to take.
A. Sparrow. It should take an example from medical education, which has a three-tier system. At our academy, there are four schools that teach the employees of our academy. They teach future medical manual, specialists in preventive health business and pharmacists. The most distinguished graduates come to college without examination. The second stage – training at the academy, and the third – post-graduate specialization.
R.Vasilov. Giant plans to implement in the field of education is unlikely. But small business, smart, specific and necessary. To do this, set up businesses and the Union of the biotechnology industry. We have a website on the Internet, where electronic communication is active professionals.
I.Vasilenko. Indeed, the “Plans Community” outlook does not currently have. We must start with the information support of educational activities, and it is very important is the role of the Society bio technologists.
V.Pozharskaya. Basic disciplines and theoretical frameworks that are taught the future of biotechnology, should be much more succinct than Institutional program. If we do not prepare the thinking of scientists, the biotechnology in Russia is unlikely to develop. This is not a mass training, but such people must exist.
A. Sparrow. We all come to the same conclusion – we need to create a system of education and training for biotechnology, and here, again, should not be missed pre-university training. In biotechnology, there are different areas – medical, veterinary, agricultural, food, and our task – to consolidate them, because the basic principles of biotechnology are the same. The specialist should have a basic education of the direction in which it will work. Required curriculum for each of them, relevant departments in universities.
The Company bio technologists have a section on education, and it should be strengthened by experts, including those sitting here. It has to develop certain activities on the basis of the proposals that were made in our “round table”. At the upcoming conference on biotechnology in Kazan in June this year, is scheduled to report to training. And I would have appealed to the Government with an information letter about the situation in this area.
R.Vasilov. During our discussion, we were not able to address all the issues of training in the field of medical biotechnology. Our task was to find the main problems and propose solutions. Even making a small step, we should see something that we’re going to come. And we’re going to come to restore the broken relationship between the three main links of the chain – science, education, manufacturing.
Can we now talk about the training that will be needed in 10-15 years? There is only one recipe – the gap between science and practice should not be. We must unite not technically and physically under one roof. The main center of gravity moves towards the creation of research universities, especially in high technology areas such as biotechnology. These universities are already operating in the field of technical sciences, and we must learn from this experience. The second very important point – mid-level training, that is, engineers and technologists who work in manufacturing. The Company and the Union of Russian bio technologists biotechnology industry enterprises should develop a mechanism to prepare such cadres. Special mention should be talented young people, this piece goods. As for the “brain drain”, then this problem we will not be in the economic growth, decent wages professionals. But even in this situation, you can save the country’s skilled workforce. The fact that Russia already has a whole science laboratories on the synthesis of substances for Western pharmaceutical companies. Wages of their employees in line with European standards.
Among the practical recommendations made at our “round table” – evaluation of labor market in the biotechnology and training programs. This will also engage bio technologists Society of Russia.Finally, as already noted here, along with the training we need to educate the general public. And here the great role of the media, including the highly respected “newspaper of Medicine,” where we are gathered today.
F.Smirnov. Thanks to all participants of our “round table” for the substantive and important exchange of views. “MY” plans in the future to pay very close attention to the problems of biotechnology and invited to talk on the subject of all interested professionals.