In March 2019, members of Bio-Link and the AC2 Bio-Link Regional Center participated in a panel at the annual ABRF conference. The ABRF stands for the Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities. These are the laboratories at Universities, companies, and research institutions, that provide core services like DNA sequencing, imaging, and proteomics. Panelists discussed the role of community colleges in educating the biotechnology workforce and some of the innovative strategies for providing students with hands-on experience such as contract service labs, and community college incubators. College-run contract service labs and core labs at academic institutions have many features in common so there was a lot to discuss.
This October, at the Western Association of Core Directors meeting, the Diversity Working Group of Bioimaging North America (an international network of microscopists) went a step further and launched Core Connect.
Core Connect's mission is to increase diversity in science by generating and supporting key connections. Internships and jobs at biomedical cores are excellent launching pads for science careers, while community college biotech programs are vital sources of phenomenal new scientists from underrepresented and under-supported populations.
Core Connect will work to connect Bio-Link education programs with core facilities at universities and biotech companies across multiple disciplines, including genomics, biochemistry and imaging. If you would like to be part of this important, exciting new venture please contact Dr. Gisele Giorgi (project co-lead, ggiorgi @ peralta.edu) or Professor Feather Ives (project co-lead/coordinator feathermerritt @ gmail.com), from the Bio-Link program at Merritt College.
View presentations from the March 2019 ABRF conference - ABRF 2019 Panel Overview - Dr. Todd Smith, Digital World Biology - Bioscience Contract Service Work in Community Colleges - Dr. Linnea Fletcher, Austin Community College, PI InnovATEBIO - Contract Service Organizations - Abbe Kesterson, Blue Grass Community and Technical College - Austin Community College Bioscience Incubator - Dr. Tyler Drake - Consortium for the Advanced Manufacturing of Cell and Tissue Based Product - Dr. Thomas Tubon, Madison College