In each issue of the update, we will be profiling Nordion’s gamma experts. In this edition, meet Emily Craven, Manager, Sterilization Science and Carlo Coppola, Associate Director, Sterilization Science and Director, Gamma Centre of Excellence
How long have you been at Nordion?
Emily: I started with Nordion in June 2009
Carlo: I have been with Nordion for just over 8 months.
When and how did you get involved or interested in irradiation/sterilization science?
Emily: My interest in irradiation actually started back while I was doing my degree in Engineering Physics. I had a summer job with a company that made electron beam irradiators which sparked my interest in the industry and the technology. I then decided to take as many nuclear physics courses as the university would let me, and even did my fourth year thesis on an implantable radiation dosimeter! I have been very fortunate in my career to have had experience in electron beam, x-ray and gamma irradiators. My interest in Sterilization Science started with my role here as the radiation physicist, looking at the neat ways that we can design systems to deliver precise doses and unique processes to products, and wanting to understand more about what happens to the products as a result of the radiation, both chemically and biologically.
Carlo: Although I have only been with Nordion for a short time, my background is in radiopharmaceutical manufacturing, therefore sterilization has always been a part of my career. The main method of sterilization I was involved in was steam sterilization but I have always been interested in using gamma due to the nature of the products I manufactured.
What’s been the biggest transformation you’ve seen in the sterilization business since you started, or what do you anticipate this will be?
Emily: The sterilization of single-use medical disposables is a well established and mature business which is well served by traditional large scale gamma irradiators designed for throughput and efficiency. However, there is a transformation going on right now where medical devices are becoming more and more sophisticated, with combination devices that can contain pharmaceuticals or biologics and which present unique challenges to sterilization. As a result, we are seeing a trend towards new models of dose delivery which put more emphasis on uniformity of dose and flexibility of processing. With sterilization science, we hope to work with companies to gain a better understanding of how we can design systems and processes to meet their specific challenges.
Carlo: For me, the biggest transformation I’ve seen is Nordion’s renewed commitment to gamma sterilization. It has always been a core business for the company, but the launch of the new Gamma Center of Excellence shows Nordion’s commitment to promoting the use of gamma in both sterilization and research. I think educating the public about the benefits of using gamma for a broader use, from food to material transformation, will be the biggest change moving forward.
What are the three most important things you aim for when working with Nordion’s customers?
Emily: The three most important things I aim for are to listen, to learn and to grow. We need to listen to our customers and collaborators to really understand the needs and the challenges they face. We want to learn together, using our expertise, our customer’s perspective, and an innovative approach to problem solving. Finally, the ultimate goal is to help both Nordion and our customers grow our business through new process development and intelligent solutions to bringing safe and healthy products to the market.
Carlo: The three most important things are to understand customer needs, educate the customer about what gamma can do for them, and provide the customer with the means to perform research, showing that gamma is compatible with their product and can be a viable sterilization process for them.
Contact Carlo for general inquiries and price estimates:
Tel: +1 450 687 5165 Ext. 4490
Contact Emily for research and collaboration inquiries
Tel: +1 613 592 3400 Ext. 2044