Visit to Bayer 2015

On September 29th, the students of the IGSN were invited by Dr. Klaus-Dieter Bremm to visit the research campus of Bayer HealthCare in Wuppertal. Bayer HealthCare is a global player in the pharmaceutical industry and spends more than 2 billion Euros per year on research and development. We arrived with great excitement at the campus at the Aprather Weg in Wuppertal, one of Bayer's main research facilities in pharmaceutical development, which mainly focuses on cardiac diseases. Dr. Klaus-Dieter Bremm, who is a member of the IGSN advisory board, gave us a warm welcome after our arrival at the impressive campus.

Dr. Bremm started off giving by us an interesting overview of the history of Bayer and the research campus in Wuppertal, where today around 1.300 scientists are employed. Additionally, we learned about how challenging and cost intensive the development of new drugs has become. Dr Bremm highlighted how Bayer uses new and innovative methods to tackle different diseases.

After the seminar, our group set out to explore some facilities of the research campus. We had the chance to visit the impressive high throughput screening laboratory. Since the establishment of a new assay, more than 4 million compounds can be screened to identify novel lead compounds. In the laboratory, we were given an insight into the handling of compound libraries as well as the screening procedure, which uses automated robots and innovative screening systems.

Last but not least, we had a final meeting with Dr. Bremm to discuss our experiences during the visit and career opportunities at Bayer. Dr. Bremm gave us interesting insights into his personal career at Bayer and the many fascinating opportunities a career in industry can offer. We had the chance to see how scientists from many different disciplines are required to face the challenges of modern drug development and how research in industry differs from research in academia.

All in all, the trip to Bayer was a great experience, giving us the chance to learn about the research in one of the world's largest pharma companies. We would like to sincerely thank Bayer and Dr. Klaus-Dieter Bremm for this exciting opportunity and the great discussions we had during the afternoon.

Text by David Gnutt

IGSN students, IGSN speakers and our host Dr. Klaus-Dieter Bremm sitting around a conference table