Maaike graduated as a biotechnologist at Wageningen University with the specialization ‘process technology’. She talks about her first job.
"I worked as (bio-) process technologist at the business unit Sanquin Pharmaceutical Services (SPS) which is part of Sanquin. Sanquin keeps itself busy with the well-known blood bank activities but also in research, diagnostics and the preparation of human plasma products. Almost all of these activities are based on blood."
"My unit however was not involved with blood, but with protein production using animal cell culture and purification of the proteins produced. These activities are carried out on behalf of various pharmaceutical companies but also internally for Sanquin. My work consisted of a good mix of practical activities and office work. The latter included amongst other the conception and design of new processes or process steps (in teams) and translating them into workable protocols. Moreover I kept myself busy with validation studies and the corresponding reports. Partly because SPS is busy with different projects, the work was very varied and challenging. Given that our activities often led to products that ultimately serve as a medicine, they were produced under strict pharmaceutical conditions. This GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) standards required sometime to get used to, every little detail was well documented and traceable. Moreover, I know now that even plastic gloves have a certain shelf life. That was quite different from the research environment that I was used to! "