News from Montgomery
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Since the sequencing of the human genome in Rockville, Md., in 2001, biotechnology has become so popular in Maryland, the state is ranked third nationwide in the number of biotechnology firms, and the industry employs more than 16,000 statewide in private companies alone. Now, to assist area businesses by providing a similarly burgeoning workforce, the University of Maryland University College (UMUC) and Montgomery College (MC), a multi-campus community college in Montgomery County, Maryland, are teaming up to "sequence" an expedited path for students to careers in biotechnology.
The two are working to establish an articulation agreement that will enable MC graduates who hold an associate in applied science degree in biotechnology to transfer up to 61 credits from MC toward a UMUC bachelor of technology and professional studies in biotechnology degree.
Biotechnology students gain technical and scientific knowledge in their studies at the two-year college and through higher-level coursework at UMUC and a field internship, expand their knowledge and experience, in preparation for careers in the biotechnology industry. Students learn principles of biotechnology, cell biology, genetics, microbiology, and molecular biology; perform standard laboratory procedures used in academic, industry, and government biotechnology and molecular biology labs; and apply the principles of biotechnology to modern-day problems in fields from medicine and public health to agriculture and environmental science.
Last fall, Montgomery County and Maryland officials appropriated $6 million for a land purchase that sets the stage for development of a 40-acre life science and technology business park at MC’s Germantown campus, modeled after the nationally renowned Shady Grove Life Sciences Center, also in Montgomery County. Montgomery College will also develop a state-of-the-art biotechnology education center on the campus, to allow for a significant expansion of its current biotechnology program, as well as other science and technology programs.
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