2005 Principal Investigator – Melanie Lenahan, Ph.D. National Science Foundation ATE grant “Quality Matters: Advancing the Biotechnology Program at RVCC”, $371,000 www.nsf.gov
Biotechnology Program @ RVCC
As one of the leading biotechnology clusters in the nation, and the headquarters for 15 of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies, New Jersey has earned its reputation as "the nation's medicine cabinet." Home to more than 100 biotechnology companies that employ nearly 8,000 workers, New Jersey boasts the highest concentration of pharmaceutical companies in the nation as well as the highest per capita rate of scientists, engineers, and technicians.- Source: NewJerseyLifeScience.com
Biotechnology Mission Statement From sky gasoline prices, global warming, food shortages, and disease, the world faces a number of major problems. Below is a clip of a talk by Jim Greenwood, President and CEO, of the Biotechnology Industry Organization. In this clip, he calls biotechnology scientists "perpetual optimists." "We refuse," he says, "to accept that there is nothing we can do. We envision a world free of disease, free of hunger, and free of pollution." The industry, one of the few bright spots in a dismal economy, is expected to do for the 21st Century what computers did for the 20th Century. It will have a major impact on the fuel we use, the food we eat and the medicines we take.
Raritan Valley Community College is preparing students to work in the emerging biotechnology field, and helping to provide career opportunities, with its degree programs in biotechnology. The two-year Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree program in Biotechnology is designed for students interested in entering the workforce immediately after graduation. The two-year Associate of Science (AS) degree program in Biotechnology prepares students for transfer to a four-year college or university. Many of the courses in the programs are offered day, evenings and weekends.
The primary use of biotechnology in New Jersey is in the production of biopharmaceuticals, research, and diagnostics. RVCC’s biotechnology program prepares individuals to become the highly-skilled technicians needed to support the growing life science and pharmaceutical research efforts in Central New Jersey.
Curriculum The Biotechnology curriculum is designed to meet the increasing demands of skilled laboratory technicians in various fields of biological and chemical technology. Course work emphasizes biology, chemistry, mathematics and technical communications. To support the Biotech program's goals, RVCC has constructed a new Institute for Biotechnology Education (IBE) which includes over 2500 square feet or lab and classroom space dedicated to biotechnology instruction.
Graduates may find employment in various areas of industry including research and development, quality control/quality assurance and manufacturing.
Faculty RVCC instructors have extensive experience in microbiology, molecular genetics, cell/tissue culture, biochemistry, organic chemistry and specialized laboratory techniques. Most faculty teaching in the program hold a doctorate degree in their field of expertise.