Learner Perspectives: BMSc student Pam Dorjee on vaccine manufacturing

“Believe in science." 

With several family members in the health care field, including her mother who is a nurse, BMSc student Pam Dorjee has witnessed the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic from a different vantage point.

“It made me appreciate the importance of vaccines and the innovative health care solutions needed to alleviate the hardships that frontline health care workers face,” she said. “I was truly inspired by the hard work that I saw my mother put in as a nurse. Delving into vaccine manufacturing was another step in helping prevent future health care crises.”

As part of Western’s Science Internship program, Dorjee is working with Sanofi Pasteur in Toronto, the pharmaceutical company’s vaccine division. She supports a number of ongoing projects in the Manufacturing Technology department.

“I’ve learned a lot about the pharmaceutical industry and have been exposed to different departments that aid in the production of vaccines,” she said.

Obtaining real, hands-on experience in the workforce has been a welcome shake-up from the classroom says Dorjee. The Internship program facilitates full-time, paid placements for undergraduate Science and Basic Medical Science students for a period of between eight to 16 months following the third year of study. Graduation is delayed by one year while students acquire work experience and professional skills.  

“Vaccine manufacturing is a fascinating process, and it continues to prove how far science has come," said Dorjee.