Members and friends of Virginia Bio,
It’s my privilege to travel the state and meet hundreds of
companies, research institutions, and individuals who are doing
fascinating innovative work and making valuable contributions to our
economy and to the health and well-being of people around the globe.
Starting today, every month in this newsletter I’ll take a short look at
an outstanding member of Virginia’s bioscience community.
begin with a focus on the foundation for future success of our companies
and our industry - bringing well-trained, well-educated new people into
the industry, and highlight the undergraduate Biotechnology B.S.
program at James Madison University. Virginia enjoys many great
teaching and research institutions, and the Virginia Bio Foundation is
committed to focused efforts to help promote STEM-H education and
training, and facilitating school to industry connections. This program
is surely one of our finest and most innovative.
If you have attended any of our biotech and beer social functions
in Charlottesville or the Valley, even in Richmond and Blacksburg, chances are
you have met students from the undergraduate
Biotechnology B.S. program at James Madison University. If you’ve talked to any of the companies
across the state which have hired young people from the program, you know how
highly they speak of them. Last Fall I spent
an evening with the Virginia Bio JMU Student Chapter, and some 40 students
turned out on a cold stormy night to meet someone from the business side. This administrators and teachers of this
program deserve our praise and admiration, along with the students. It is a gem.
The Director is Dr. Marta Bechtel.
The Biotechnology B.S. program is inter-disciplinary among three
departments: Biology, Chemistry, and Integrated Science and Technology.
The program requires a strong curriculum in foundation in science and math,
followed by "Biotechnology Transition
Courses” such as "Biotechnology and Industry”, plus 15 credits of upper level
courses shaped by the student’s specific goals and interests, and which can
include Regulatory Issue in
Biotechnology, the Business of Biotechnology, and Medical Biotechnology and Computer
Applications in Biotechnology.
For more information see the overview of the program, and degree requirements.
In order to help grow connections between the Biotechnology B.S. program at JMU
and industry companies and research institutions, on Thursday April 24 Virginia
Bio will partner with JMU and Cadence, Inc to hold a Biotech and Beer social
event at JMU from 5:30 – 7:30 pm. Our Biotech and Beer gatherings are casual,
fun and a great way to network. On this
night a bonus will be an extra large number of enthusiastic, focused and talented students,
their faculty and administrators. You
will get to see firsthand what the students are doing and capable of, and
perhaps get a lead on an intern or employee in the months and years ahead. And we’ll spare them the drive across
PS - On April 3, I’m sharing a "fly-over” of the
state’s regions and players at the monthly Virginia Bioscience
Commercialization luncheon. Even if you
can’t make it to Richmond for the event, remember the event is live streamed and
available on our website afterwards on the website in archive.