AstraZeneca strengthens partnership with SASTRA University

AstraZeneca India Pvt Ltd (AZIPL), the Global Capability Centre (GCC) of AstraZeneca, joined hands with SASTRA Deemed University, Thanjavur to develop a curriculum on Clinical Research & Development as part of its three-year MoU with the University. The tie-up aims to strengthen the industry academia collaboration through research and development activities and fostering young talent in the country and equip and empower them for the real world. As part of this collaboration, SASTRA University is all set to launch a six-month elective course for students on Clinical Research and Development.

AstraZeneca’s India Clinical Data and Insights team led in building a prospective programme to bridge the skill gap and improve employment opportunities for students by incorporating industry-relevant curriculum as a part of the programme. The curriculum offers an introduction to various aspects of clinical research and development, covering biostatistics, data management, information technology, computer science, and medical informatics in the development of drugs, vaccines, or medical devices. The programme is a six-month elective course for students to benefit and build their knowledge in this stream and provide a platform for students into the world of clinical research.

Highlighting the need of the programme, Siva Padmanabhan, Managing Director, AstraZeneca India Private Limited (AZIPL) and Head of Global Innovation & Technology Centre, Chennai said, “At AstraZeneca, we believe in the power of collaboration between industry and academia. By synergizing real-world expertise with cutting-edge research, this curriculum aims to equip students with practical skills and knowledge. The partnership with SASTRA not only empowers the next generation of professionals but also bridges the gap between theory and practice. Together we are shaping a workforce that can thrive in today’s rapidly evolving landscape, driving innovation and transforming industries.”

Ram Mudaliar, Senior Director (India CDI Lead), Clinical Data & Insights (CDI) at AstraZeneca said, “Healthcare environment is becoming increasingly complex and to meet the changing demands of the clinical trial environment, we are always finding ways to innovate to improve outcomes by leveraging data, digital and AI. Such cohesive ways of working together will pave way for a more efficient and transformative era in clinical trials. At AZ we constantly strive towards developing better capabilities and building a strong leadership pipeline and believe this collaboration will benefit both the student community and the clinical research ecosystem at large.

Anuradha Kumar, Head HR, Global Innovation & Technology Centre, Chennai, and R&D Bangalore sites said, “Our partnership with Sastra to launch a course is the 1st of its kind in our organization. We are excited about the collaboration, and we are confident that this course would provide students a deeper and practical exposure.”

Prof. S. Vaidhyasubramaniam, Vice Chancellor, SASTRA Deemed University, said, “This MoU symbolises the coherent synergy between AstraZeneca and SASTRA to promote innovation & technology leadership through research & capability building. We are delighted to partner with AstraZeneca in empowering the students with a research-backed skills programme. While theoretical knowledge plays a crucial role in the development of students’ expertise, equipping them with deeper understanding and connection to the industry is equally important. Collaborating with AstraZeneca will ensure that students receive first hand expertise in a complex industry like Science and Pharma. This initiative will help the next gen to scale themselves to the changing needs of the pharma world.”

Upon successful completion of the course, students will acquire a comprehensive understanding of the ethical principles essential in the realm of clinical research. They will also gain the ability to articulate the application of clinical sciences in drug discovery, as well as classify different clinical drug applications and differentiate clinical trials for drugs, vaccines, and medical devices. Moreover, students will get proficient in articulating strategies for managing, integrating, reviewing, validating, and visualizing clinical data.

They will be taught about various regulatory authorities and the associated procedures governing clinical research. This course will also develop expertise in performing statistical calculations required for conducting clinical trials and will be able to elucidate the latest trends using real-life case studies, enabling them to stay abreast of emerging developments in the field.

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