Everything you could imagine is real – Sneha Naik & Savia Torres* Carmel College for Women, Nuvem, Goa
“Everything you could imagine is real”. These words of Pablo Picasso come true for the T.Y. B.Sc. students of the Department of Chemistry, Carmel College for Women, Nuvem, Goa during the academic year 2013-14. The year turns out to be a memorable one as a group of 15 students guided by Ms. Sneha Naik and Dr. Savia Torres were given the opportunity to synthesize Pharmaceutical impurities for VerGo Pharma Research, Verna, Goa Joy is thankfulness and our joy is the best expression of thanks we can offer to Dr. Nitin Borkar, ex-CEO, VerGo Pharma Research, Verna, Goa for initiating the spark of this collaboration and allowing our students to work on this research project. 15 pharmaceutical impurities related to 11 different drugs were selected so that every student gets an opportunity to synthesize, purify and analyzeone pharmaceutical impurity. Our fifteen students were divided into 3 groups of 5 students each. Each group was also designated with a group leader. Although, each student had to synthesize one impurity, every student in their group had to work as a team towards the completion of 5 impurities for each group.
Ms. Mavel J. Fernandes (group leader), Ms. Rajni H. Helawar, Ms. Angela R. Serrao, Ms. Valanie L. Rodrigues and Ms. Audry Xavier worked on Synthesisof Selected Pharmaceutical Impurities of Amitraz , Dithranol, Bifonazole, Entacopone And Buclizine Hydrochloride
Ms. Ayesha Sheikh (group leader), Ms. Roshan Baptista, Ms. Krishnapriya .K.C, Ms. Swezel mascarenhas and Ms. Diksha Naik worked on Synthesis of Pharmaceutical Impurities of Hymechromone
Ms Sanchia Mesquita (group leader), Ms. Marilyn D’Mello, Ms. Venzila D’Silva, Ms. Natasha Pinto, Ms. Mayuri Naik worked on Synthesisof Selected Pharmaceutical Impurities of Alprazolam, Fluorescein Sodium, Cinnarizine, Ambroxol and Benzyl Penicillin Benzathine. The major part of the synthetic work on these 15 pharmaceutical impurities was done at the well equipped Dr. S. C. Bhattacharya Laboratory, VerGo Pharma Research, Verna during 10 Sundays and 1 Saturday (total time ≈ 84 hrs). In all 9 pharmaceutical impurities and 4 intermediates were successfully prepared and submitted to VerGo Pharma Research.
These students got an exposure for the first time to R& D facilities and hand-on experiences of working in a research lab environment. This collaboration helped the students to perform some reactions like oxidation, reduction, condensation, N- and C-alkylation, esterfication, formylation, etc. for the 1 st time although it was taught to them in theory. They also learnt the art of being specific and quick while handling compounds sensitive to moisture and light. Monitoring of reaction by TLC and extraction, purification techniques like Column Chromatography was a unique learning experience to them. They also handled instruments like
magnetic stirrer cum hot-plates, rotary evaporators, UV chamber, etc. Students realized the importance of planning, time management, team work, synthesis, analysis and the integrity of the results and data they collected which will certainly help them in their future career in chemistry.
Chemistry is an experimental science and hence hands-on experiences form the most important part of learning Chemistry. However, in the existing curriculum of our colleges thereis wide gap between what is taught in class and what is practiced in the laboratory. This unique initiative has certainly bridged this gap as it has helped the students to get a true insight into the
chemical process and understand it better.
The help, cooperation and support rendered by Prof S K Paknikar, Dr. Vidyadhar Jadhav and his CSL team towards our students are highly appreciated.