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A word from John Newby, CEO, Virginia Bio: This blog provides an update on upcoming events and important information that impacts our community, and spotlights industry leaders from state-of-the-art companies and research institutions driving the future of bioscience around the state, our region and our world.


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Undergraduate Biotechnology B.S. program at James Madison University.

Posted By Jeff Gallagher, Tuesday, April 29, 2014

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.  

I 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 state.


Best regards,


Jeff Gallagher


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.

Tags:  degree  students 

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