Earlier this semester, Rong Wang, professor of chemistry, brought a group of 23 undergraduate and graduate students to Baxter International in Deerfield, Illinois, to give them a glimpse of life as a scientist in industry. Baxter makes products to treat hemophilia, kidney disease, immune disorders, and other chronic and acute medical conditions. The group toured an exhibition room and several chemistry labs where scientists explained how they contribute to product invention and quality control, and how they address customer requests.
Students were most impressed by the home hemodialysis device, which enables treatments in the patient’s home; a nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) lab that houses multiple NMR spectrometers with resolutions ranging from 60 MHz to 800 MHz; a scanning electron microscope (SEM) lab; and a mass spectrometry room. They were also introduced to a range of advanced characterization methods for forensic investigation of harmful impurities present in the compounded drug products.
“It was an amazing experience,” commented one student, noting the space and range of high-profile equipment. “I was really impressed by the passion of the staff there,” said another. “They really enjoy their work.”