Review by Valérie Chataignier

Seminar C: From Soap to Drugs and Back, via Quality Assurance & Standard
Operating Procedures; Dr. Karen Tkaczyk

Dr. Karen Tkaczyk deftly polymerized a number of topics across the diverse domains of her cosmetic/pharmaceutical/chemical experience from the perspective of the technical translator. Seminar C, “From Soap to Drugs and Back via QA and SOPs,” held Wednesday morning at the ATA Conference in the "Mile High" city of Denver was indeed a refreshing overview and cross-section of this broad industry.

Conjuring up the trials and tribulations in translating handwritten records and tackling terminological obstacles, she emphasized strengthening one’s field-specific research techniques, finding images on the Internet, and conferring with colleagues when in doubt. Dr. Tkaczyk’s sparkling presentation cleared up technical terminology and writing style and included a generous hand-out list of resources and references for the chemical industry.

Concepts across the spectrum of methodologies and equipment used in the cosmetic/chemical industry were covered in Part I. Here, Dr. T. succinctly clarified complicated technology and concepts with extraordinary effervescent clarity, making transparent both theory and application for a wide range of laboratory and manufacturing instrumentation. Enriched with more sources and references, Part II was an overview of QA/QC, the product review process, document control, scale-up, and production complete with colorful anecdotes and helpful pointers.

In essence, Dr. Tkaczyk gave a vibrant and colorful presentation that non-comedogenically stocked the translator’s shelf with aids for "clarifying, foaming, solubilizing, and emulsifying" away the blocks and impediments to quality technical translation.

Valérie E. Châtaignier has been a freelance French to English (US) translator specializing in biomedicine and the life sciences since 2001. After six years of service and training in the U.S. Navy at Bethesda Naval Medical Center, she worked for several years as a clinical/research chemist and now resides in the "Silicon Valley" of Northern California. Valerie holds bachelor degrees in Zoology and Microbiology/Medical Technology and an M.S. in Environmental Science and Policy. When not translating she enjoys long hikes in the redwoods or reading French literature by a fire, both with chihuahua "Étoile" at her side. vchataigne@aol.com

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