Pancasila University begins collaboration with University of California Berkeley
On Tuesday, the Pharmacy department at Pancasila University hosted a hybrid seminar titled In-depth talk about University of California Berkeley with speakers from the University of California Berkeley (UCB), George Anwar and Matthew P Sherburne.
The speakers began by introducing the history of the UCB, its scope of research and previous projects by experts at the UCB. One of the studies presented during the session was Microphysiological System (tissue chips) for Drug Development, Gene Editing and Environmental Screening. Both experts in Material Sciences, Anwar and Sherburne explained that organs on a chip used in the research contained heart tissue derived from adult stem cells, which could replace the use of animal tissue normally used as models in drug safety research.
They further explained that high failure rates in drug development was associated with overreliance on non-human animal models used during safety and efficacy testing. In the research, experts tried to create in-vitro models of human heart and liver tissue. Then, at the Jay Keasling Laboratory at the UCB, they successfully engineered artemisinin precursor and artemisinic acid, which can be easily converted into artemisinin.
The seminar was the first stage of the collaboration between the two universities. Students of Pancasila University and other universities were eager to join the seminar both offline and on Zoom, as the UCB carries a strong reputation with its ranking number four among the best global universities.
In the opening ceremony, the dean of the Pharmacy department at Pancasila University, Syamsudin remarked that the seminar was the first step in an agreement with UCB that entailed exchanges between lecturers and students, graduate school applications, joint researchers, guest lecturers, postdoctoral professor visits and courses, as well as other special programs.
Pancasila University rector Edie Toet Hendratno expressed his pride at seeing the department become host to the UCB’s visit to Indonesia. He hoped that the collaboration would extend beyond the Pharmacy department, and to other departments at the University of Indonesia. University-to-university cooperation like with the UCB, he continued, would not be limited to academic processes but also develop further according to the mutually agreed work program.
Also in attendance were board of director members of sole sponsor PT Natura Nuswantara Nirmala (Nucleus Farma), Henryanto Komala and Cipto Kokadir. Cipto, who is also a UCB graduate, said that collaboration opportunities were open for academics at Pancasila University and the UCB. The board of directors added that technological innovation and product development research were the basis for university collaboration. Product development by experts in their fields increases public confidence in using research-based products, according to Nucleus Farma CEO Edward Basillianus.
Throughout the event, speakers and guests of honor gave their appreciation to committee members from Pancasila University, namely chairperson Greesty F Swandiny and moderator Deni Rahmat.