Every June, an incredible event takes place.
Biotechnology educators gather in Berkeley, California, from across the US, to discuss new trends in biotechnology education, learn from each other and share information about educating students for the biotechnology workforce.
There are tours of local biotech companies like Genentech and local research institutes like the cancer center at UCSF. New kits and techniques can be tried and practiced in hands-on workshops. And instructors get to practice new bioinformatics techniques like analyzing Next Generation DNA sequencing data or working with ... Read more
Over the years, I've seen many biotechnology education programs at community colleges embrace outreach to high schools as part of their mission. This kind of enthusiasm for outreach seems unique to biotech. No other kind of science or engineering program seems to do this sort of thing, at least not on the nationwide basis that I've seen demonstrated in biotechnology.
And yet, even though I've always admired and often participated in these efforts, some aspects are a little puzzling.
How do the colleges reconcile the energy spent in outreach efforts with the energy spent ... Read more
In part I, I wrote about the shortage of technicians in the biotechnology industry and the general awareness that this problem is getting worse. This part will address the challenge of getting more students into programs that will prepare them for jobs in the biotech field. I've also been asked to write a bit more about finding jobs in companies, that post will be a bit later. Before proceeding, there are two points that need a bit of discussion. The first point is the whether there's a ... Read more