URI Pharmaceutical Development Institute continues mission during pandemic, offering online training for pharmaceutical, biotech firms

Institute experts provide custom online workforce training for industry partners

Media Contact: Patrick Luce, 401-874-4046 |

KINGSTON, R.I. — July 28, 2020 — The University of Rhode Island Pharmaceutical Development Institute continues to provide critical workforce training for pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms during the coronavirus pandemic, offering a suite of online experiences for industry partners.

The Institute, part of the URI College of Pharmacy, provides training for the existing biopharmaceutical workforce and prepares the next generation of biotech workers. The Institute’s team of specialists has extensive industry and education experience and ordinarily offer scheduled courses in a combination of classroom, lab and good manufacturing practice spaces. During the pandemic, the Institute is continuing to provide the critical training, developing fully online experiences that offer the same expertise industry partners have come to expect, just from a distance.

“We in the Institute are committed to advancing the biopharmaceutical and biomanufacturing industry,” said Beth Zielinski-Habershaw, coordinator of training. “Even during these difficult times, when in-person education is difficult or impossible, we are continuing to provide the expert training pharmaceutical and biotech firms need. Especially during these times, the biotech industry is critical to public health, and we remain dedicated to helping advance their important mission.”

Current online courses include the following. For more information and to register, visit uripdi.thinkific.com.

  • Upstream Aseptic Processing

This course is designed for biopharmaceutical manufacturers to ensure that their employees, who are working in upstream processing, have clear understandings of and technical acumen for aseptic cell culture and scale-up. Lectures and hands-on laboratories prepare participants to work effectively in upstream bioprocessing suites which include maintenance and monitoring of aseptic environments while culturing mammalian cells.

  • Best Practices in Cleaning and Environmental Monitoring

This course introduces biopharmaceutical personnel to best practices, regulatory expectations and industry trends in the disciplines of facility cleaning, validation and environmental monitoring. Instruction and hands-on laboratory work focus on essential industry guidance protocols that govern the effectiveness of cleaning procedures. Course materials cover facility cleaning methodologies, environmental monitoring and validation procedures, and include extensive hands-on exercises using the Institute’s state-of-the-art certified Good Manufacturing Practice facility. Additionally, environmental monitoring theories and methods are implemented in order to validate cleaning processes in order to ensure that participants understand and are capable of implementing the actions needed to achieve industry standards.

  • Introduction to Cosmetics Development

The course addresses the basics for formulating and developing elegant and functional cosmetic products. The course is a great steppingstone toward exploring the vast world of cosmetics. This introductory course presents participants with an overview of the theory and rationale behind designing cosmetic preparations. It covers skin structure and skin needs, functional raw material, formulation development, and regulations. Additionally, the course covers three major examples of cosmetic products: moisturizers, sunscreens and some make-up products.

In addition to scheduled courses, the Institute’s experts can create custom foundational courses designed to meet an industry partner’s specific needs.

“The idea is that we custom design. It’s not a general course; it’s custom-made for the client’s specific needs,” said Saleh Allababidi, Ph.D., senior development scientist with the Institute. “We get approached by companies that would like training on specific items to become better equipped to develop their new concept. Through the special training, we help them put things into perspective. We have the ability to custom design courses and workshops, covering a wide spectrum of topics ranging from nutraceuticals and cosmetics, to pharmaceuticals and biopharmaceuticals.”

The Institute includes a world-class Good Manufacturing Practice facility and separate Analytical and Stability Testing Laboratory to provide vital process and product development, custom manufacturing for biotech startups, quality control, analytical testing, and education for current and future industry leaders. The Institute facilitates the development of new pharmaceutics and nutraceutics by researchers at URI and their academic and industry partners, engages private partners to enhance the economic development of the region’s pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, and provides a world-class teaching and training facility for faculty, students and the biotech/pharmaceutical industry.

The Institute is Rhode Island’s only university-affiliated good manufacturing practice facility. The 7,000 square-foot GMP manufacturing lab is located on the lower level of Avedisian Hall on the Kingston campus. It is supported by the 1,500 square-foot testing laboratory on Avedisian Hall’s third floor.