OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - 21

COVER

Elizabeth Csaszar, P.Eng., CCRM, helps
develop technologies and processes that
reduce the cost and increase the efficiency of lifesaving cell and gene therapies, so
these regenerative medicine-based treatments can be taken from the laboratory to
patients.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR INTERESTS
GROWING UP?
I was always one of those kids that liked science and math
and probably felt that I was going to peruse something in
that area - for a while I wanted to be a doctor. I sort of knew
what an engineer was but didn't fully understand what that
meant in terms of job options.
TELL US WHERE YOU WENT TO SCHOOL AND WHAT
DEGREE YOU EARNED?
I did my undergraduate degree at Queen's University in
engineering chemistry - which was a program that was a
subset of chemical engineering but that involved more
pure chemistry. I think that I knew that I wanted to pursue
something in that realm, I always had an interest in the
health sciences as well, but at the time there weren't a
lot of opportunities to pursue a bio-medical engineering
program. So, I opted for a chemical engineering program
but continued to be interested in biology and thought
about how I could combine that degree with a more
biological focus.
WHAT IS THE COMPANY YOU WORK FOR AND WHAT
DO THEY SPECIALIZE IN?
CCRM is a non-profit organization in Toronto that focuses
on cell and gene therapy and regenerative medicine.
CCRM commercializes cell and gene therapies to help
bring those therapies to the clinic and to patients.
WHAT IS THE PROBLEM YOUR TRYING TO SOLVE?
One of the big problems in our field is that the clinical
success of some of these cell and gene therapies are moving
quite quickly, which is fantastic, but manufacturing them is
very challenging. These are living therapies that are much
more complicated to manufacture than more traditional
drugs. One of the things that we are trying to do at CCRM
is assisting with manufacturing these therapies to try to
keep the production up to pace with what's happening in
the clinic.

"One of the projects that I'm
most proud of is something that I
initially began pursuing during my PhD, it's a
technology to help treat blood cancers."
WHAT MAKES YOUR WORK SO FULFILLING?
The work that we're doing is very fulfilling because
we can quite tangibly see the technologies that we're
developing move into the clinic. We're also able to see
some of the clinical outcomes of those therapies and then
see the manufacturing solutions that we're developing
implemented in those therapies. It's exciting and inspiring.
CAN YOU SHARE ANY STORIES OF HOW YOU'VE
MADE A DIRECT IMPACT ON PEOPLE'S LIVES?
One example would be a technology that I started initially
started pursuing during my PhD, which is a technology
to help treat blood cancers. This technology was further
developed at CCRM and ultimately lead to a spin-off
company. That company is now pursuing a combination of
technologies in a clinical trial. To see that it's actually being
used to treat patients in that clinical trial has been really
rewarding.
IN YOUR OWN WORDS, WHAT DOES ENGINEERING
REPRESENT AND STAND FOR?
Engineering is all about problem solving. It's about
connecting the science to solve and answer real life
problems. Regardless of what engineering discipline
you're talking about or what the challenge is, it's really that
problem solving that defines engineering.
June 2018

THE VOICE

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of OSPE - The Voice - June 2018

Table of Contents
OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - Cover1
OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - Cover2
OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - Table of Contents
OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - 4
OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - 5
OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - 6
OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - 7
OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - 8
OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - 9
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OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - 11
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OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - 35
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OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - 37
OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - 38
OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - Cover3
OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - Cover4
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