For the fourth year, Nicaragua has been implementing a career guidance project to popularize high-tech professions: BioNica.

The project involves several stages of development and serves to support the training of personnel not only for MECHNIKOV, but also for the whole country.
With the arrival of MECHNIKOV in the region, the opportunity arose for the emergence of new professions, which, in turn, require highly qualified workers with special knowledge and skills.

BioNica is implemented taking into account the development vectors of modern Russia and is aimed at increasing the participation of young specialists in the scientific environment: schoolchildren and students, attracting teachers and representatives of the profession, as well as scientists, to project activities. from the St. Petersburg Institute of Vaccines and MECHNIKOV.

There are currently three key Nicaraguan universities involved in the project: UNAN Managua, UNAN León and UCN. The BioNica project is recognized and in high demand in the region. Today, five graduates participating in the project work in the laboratories and production workshops of MECHNIKOV.
Achievement stories
Career, development, status: student dreams come true
Mario Cajina
Melisa Oviedo
Andrés Pérez
24 years old, from Monimbo,
Mario Cajina
I practice the profession of Pharmaceutical Chemist, graduated from UNAN Managua.

I characterize myself for being a responsible and hard-working person. I fight against every obstacle that stands in my way in order to fulfill my dreams and reach increasingly difficult goals. I like to share my knowledge with anyone who is interested in learning about a specific topic.

My decision to dedicate my life to the pharmaceutical industry is due to the fact that from a very young age I was very passionate about chemistry. I could say that since high school I loved observing all kinds of chemical reactions within the labs at my school. Over time my passion for getting to know this interesting world more closely grew. Another reason that influenced my decision was the humanitarian feeling, somehow I wanted to provide society with a better quality of life. And it was at this moment that I thought that by studying my exciting career I could fulfill all my goals. Behind every drug there is a great pharmacist.

It was a difficult decision because it is a career in which you must be constantly updated. However, it was my passion.

Once I almost almost finished m y degree, I was lucky to know the BioNICA project, which came into my life in an unexpected way and left me totally surprised due to various reasons. I was fortunate to have been selected to participate in this project thanks to which I have been able to gain unique and impressive experiences and which has made me fall even more in love with my professional career. It can be said that it even somehow motivated me to continue fighting for my dreams.

This project, from its very beginning until now, has helped me develop skills that I put into practice both in my current job and in my personal life. Thanks to each of the project specialists who gave us talks, the BioNICA project made me better understand the world of the biopharmaceutical industry and it is exactly thanks to this project that I was able to start working in one of the most prestigious biopharmaceutical companies at the regional level , Latin American Institute of Biotechnology MECHNIKOV. I had the opportunity to take a trip to Russia to train in such biotechnological topics as: Sanitary registration of biological products, Purification of proteins by Chromatography, Good Manufacturing Practices and Preclinical Testing.

Being in the BioNICA project I have felt much more spirited to want to continue learning more about the world of biotechnology. I think that in order to attract more resources and motivate all the young people who have decided to study Pharmaceutical Chemistry or another career similar to Biotechnology, more universities could be involved through this project.

I have high expectations of this project and in the future I hope to continue growing professionally and mainly to become a scientist recognized worldwide. I hope I can fulfill this dream, as I am very passionate about conducting research and having the opportunity to develop new biopharmaceutical products.

To conclude this short article, I want to call the attention of all the young people who have come this far, to tell them not to give up because of any obstacle that stands in their way. Although it is even more difficult to reach your goal, you must persevere until you reach and achieve what you set out to do. If you have decided to study a career that includes biotechnology, I invite you to be part of our BioNICA family in order to make you grow as a professional and exploit all your skills that you have not yet discovered.

25 years old, from the city of León

Melisa Oviedo
My name is Melisa Oviedo, I am from the city of León, I am 25 years old, and I have a degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from UNAN-León.

My decision to study pharmaceutical chemistry is due to the fact that since I was little I grew up in the family of medics. Thus, pharmaceutical chemistry became the inspiration and motivation of my life, awakening my interest in learning more about the process involved in creating medicines and biological products that help improve the quality of life of human beings.

When studying the degree I was passionate about the preparation, conservation and presentation of chemical and biological synthesis drugs, the quality analyzes that are performed on the drugs, the correct care given to patients at the time of dispensing their medication and raising awareness to consumers about the rational use of it.

Now that I work as an assistant in regulatory affairs, I was joined by the enthusiasm of knowing about the regulations that govern the pharmaceutical industry in different countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, the Latin American Institute of Biotechnology MECHNIKOV, has given me the opportunity to train in the scope of regulatory affairs, especially in the sanitary registration of biological products, good manufacturing practices and management of post-registration changes and batch release.

The knowledge of the regulations by countries and the review of the technical documents that are part of the Dossier, allowed us to better understand all the stages of the production process, the analyzes that are carried out on the product and also the pre-clinical and clinical studies that form part of the entire registration file.

Today, thanks to the support and trust that my colleagues in Saint Petersburg and the MECHNIKOV Institute have given me, I am able to master the process of preparing, submitting, handling and continually reviewing the registration dossier and the batch release process.

Therefore, the diverse world of pharmaceutical chemistry motivates me to continue knowing each of its fields until I become a multifaceted professional who can successfully perform in any area of ​​the pharmaceutical industry.

The BioNICA project came into my life when I was in my final year of my undergraduate degree, and it captivated me as a project that promotes the multidisciplinary nature of biotechnology. Sharing my knowledge as a volunteer for the BioNICA project reaffirmed my professional choice.

My experience at BioNICA was very significant: I had the opportunity to interact with high school students, learn about great scientists who contributed great discoveries and innovations that to this day are still very important in humanity and science, such as the discovery of the penicillin by Alexander Fleming, pauperization and vaccine development by Louis Pasteur among others. We also developed chemical and microbiology laboratory practices such as the development of a technique for chlorophyll extraction, fermentation and bacterial cultivation.

This project motivated me to continue growing professionally, to believe in myself and to continue improving abd contributing my knowledge to public health. This project opened the doors of a great institution, such as the Instituto MECHNIKOV, S.A.

22 years old, from the city of León

Andrés Pérez
My name is Andrés Josué Pérez Cáceres, I am from the
city ​​León. I am 22 years old and my profession is a chemist
pharmacist, but by vocation I am a lover of research and
innovation: from a very young age I have always been struck by the
what of things. I remember times when as a child I played with
hygiene items in the house, I imagined things and wondered
to myself Why does it have that color? What gives them that smell
characteristic? and this without number of questions was the beginning of me
vocational and professional odyssey that continues to this day and
I hope it goes ahead.

When they ask me, what defines me as a person? my answer

is always the following: it is a great commitment of mine to what I

passionate, it is never giving up and never abandoning my dreams. I decided to study pharmaceutical chemistry because I consider that we pharmacists are the guardians of health since behind any medicine you take for one disease or another there are different pharmacists who produce it and control that its quality is at the highest level so that when the

medicine reaches your hands, be a totally appropriate product. Without a doubt, we can say that we are guardians of health, we work under the shadows in laboratories giving our best to take care of the health and that of young lovers of science and human life

During the last 2 years of my university career, in addition to conducting personal research on pharmaceutical and nutriaceutical products, I managed to work as an assistant student, an intern at the UNAN-León Quality Control Laboratory.

One afternoon in October 2018, I was invited to a meeting organized by PhD Helena Kazakova to be a participant in the BioNICA project. A few days later I was interviewed to participate in this great project that would change my life with a 360 degree turn. Everything was so exciting that the only thing I remember is that at the end of the interview, PhD Helena Kazakova told me Welcome to BioNICA Andrés! and those were the words that would not only change my academic life but also my personal life. From that moment we began to train ourselves in biotechnology issues through conferences with specialists in this field.

Little by little the project became a great family: during its development we managed to acquire knowledge that is unique in the country and that some time later I was able to share with the students of UNAN-Managua. Thanks to my outstanding participation in the BioNICA project I was able to become part of the work team of the Latin American Institute of Biotechnology Mechnikov, a place where I have shared and acquired knowledge with the different Russian and Nicaraguan specialists, I have learned in more depth about the principles of GMP, biological products and an infinity of other things that years ago I never thought I would get to know. For me, the BioNICA project not only helped me in the acquisition of new knowledge, but also gave me a great family who are each one of the project's ambassadors, people with whom I have shared experiences and with whom I currently work in the different areas of the Mechnikov Institute.

Currently I work in the Microbiology Laboratory of the Quality Control Division, where I have been able to deepen my knowledge in the field of microbiology and learn about different microbiological processes that are carried out on the vaccine. The fact of having this knowledge makes me feel enthusiastic since none of this would be a fact today, if it were not thanks to the BioNICA project. My big dream is to become a pharmaceutical technologist in order to design new biopharmaceutical products. I know that to reach my dream I will have to do a very long journey, but I will not give up until I achieve it and it is what keeps me motivated every day to continue giving 100% of myself. BioNICA has made it possible to have an exchange of knowledge with specialists from the IICVSSP (Institute for Scientific Research of Vaccines and Serums of Saint Petersburg) on ​​different topics in the pharmaceutical field, thanks to which we can continue to train as professionals in the biotechnology field.

To end this little interview, I want to encourage you to always give your best and strive to achieve what you want. It is to this day and I still remember those words that resonate every time I go to the Mechnikov Institute, because every day I live a dream and I want you to share that dream too. Cheer up! If you are a crazy science lover like me and you are willing to do your best, I invite you to become part of this great family

Here we wait for you in our BioNICA family!

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