Gregory De Crescenzo, full professor in Polytechnique Montréal’s Department of Chemical Engineering, has obtained a grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) program CREATE to launch a program to train highly qualified staff in the field of nano-medicine.
The funding allotted to Professor De Crescenzo through the Collaborative Research and Training Experience Program (CREATE) will serve to establish a training program on Process Engineering of Emerging Nano-Medicines, or PrEEmiuM, in order to train chemical engineering and pharmacy students in Canada.
Nano-medicines consist of therapeutic molecules as the active ingredient, which are carried by nanoparticles measuring from a few dozen to a few hundred nanometres, to directly treat cells, tissues and organs. This approach provides better targeting, produces increased efficiency and reduces side effects as compared to classic medications.
The six-year PrEEmiuM program, directed by Professor De Crescenzo, aims to provide tools, knowledge and highly qualified employees to Canada’s pharmaceutical industry in order to convert the strong potential of nano-medicines into a reality for patients.
Among other things, the program will establish a co-creation environment bringing together researchers and students from Polytechnique Montréal, Université de Montréal, Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS), Université Laval, McGill University and University of Waterloo, as well as researchers from the National Research Council Canada and pharmaceutical corporations.
In the first phase, students who have graduated from engineering and pharmacy programs will be paired up for their master’s or doctorate to help engineering students become more familiar with the pharmaceutical field and vice versa. In the long term, the constructivist training approach established as part of the project will be transferable to other fields that require diverse forms of expertise to converge.