The BioTECH Quarterly
Novartis site tour showcases research facilities
By Ali Alhassani ’08,
On the afternoon of Friday, October 21, 18 members of the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) were given the privilege to tour the Global Headquarters of Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research.
Located a mere two blocks down Massachusetts Avenue from MIT, the 500,000 square foot facility is a testament to cutting-edge medical research that Novartis pursues. This state-of-the-art facility houses oncology research, discovery chemistry, functional genomics, human genetics, the models of disease center, and molecular pathways research. It also serves as the command center for all the other Novartis Institutes in New Jersey, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Austria, and Japan.
The first thing one notices upon entering the building is how organized and spotlessly clean the lab facilities are. Empty boxes left in the hallways are picked up by janitors every hour. The lab benches are all carefully organized; the professional scientists can easily find anything they need. Intricate machinery is maintained round the clock.
The complex also includes a food court replete with myriad lunch options that all employees and guests of Novartis can enjoy. Next to the food court is a truly beautiful auditorium containing only handmade, extremely comfortable seats imported from Germany! Aimed to please potential investors and executives and to hold press conferences, this hall outshines the likes of 10-250, 26-100, and even 32-123.
Students on the tour recognized a tangible difference between academic and industrial research. Novartis does however collaborate closely with MIT and the Broad Institute. With such an amazing place so close to MIT, one thing is certain: if anyone is looking for a summer internship at a biotech company specializing in drug discovery, Novartis is a great place to start..
This site tour was organized by Ling Xu ’07, BMES VP of Industrial Relations, and kindly hosted by Dr. Daniel Liberman of Novartis. Our thanks also go to J.-F. Hamel and Prof. Linda Griffith for facilitating the logistics of this visit.For an online virtual tour of the Cambridge facility of Novartis, visit www.nibr.norvartis.com.
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