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From Penn State University to Bern and Lengnau

Dr. Ali Demirci visits CSL Behring Switzerland for a research semester in industry


The exchange and networking with top research in the field of biotechnology are of essential importance for CSL Behring. The company's high innovative capacity is based on a wide range of collaborations with leading international institutes and inspires the next generation of biotech engineers to develop life-saving therapies for rare diseases.

During a research semester, Dr. Ali Demirci, Professor of Bioprocess Engineering at Pennsylvania State University, became acquainted with day-to-day research at the major development sites of the CSL Group in Europe: Bern, Lengnau and Marburg (Germany).

Research and industry at eye level

Dr. Demirci has been a lecturer in bioprocess engineering in the USA for 20 years. "I really appreciate what CSL Behring is doing. Not only for me, but also for the next generation of biotech experts," said Dr. Demirci. During his visits, he gained new insights into bioenergetics, bioreactor and fermentation processes, which he will incorporate into teaching in the future, says Demirci. During his stay at CSL Behring, Demirci also shared his expertise and experience and held a short lecture series on fermentation processes, which he developed at Pennsylvania State University. Interest of the CSL Behring staff in Bern, Lengnau and Marburg was great.

The exchange with Dr. Demirci and the partnership with Pennsylvania State University are a prime example of a network highly beneficial to all parties involved. "It was impressive," says Demirci. "Of course, I learned a lot from a technical and scientific point of view; but I also learned first-hand how organized and efficient CSL Behring works.”

For Demirci, this is one of the most important findings from his study vacation: "I will not only share the technical content I was allowed to learn here with my colleagues and students. But also the renewed awareness of how important it is to prepare students for the demands of the working world". According to the biotech expert, everyone who trains young people must be familiar with current developments and practices in the industry. "The sooner students learn to manage projects and think economically, the easier it will be for them to take the step into everyday working life".

Knowledge transfer as a win-win situation

The partnership between CSL Behring and Pennsylvania State University is aimed at preparing the next generation of biotech experts for work in leading companies in the industry. A multidisciplinary curriculum provides students with both theoretical basics and practical experience. CSL Behring has donated a state-of-the-art fermentation plant to the campus specifically for this purpose. It gives students the opportunity to use the same modern equipment as is being used in leading biotech manufacturing sites worldwide. A win-win situation: young scientists are optimally prepared for the professional world, and CSL Behring benefits from the excellent training of potential future employees.


Ali Demirci givingFermentation classes
Professor Ali Demirci during his Fermentation classes