Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Gloucester Marine Genomics Institute Launches Biotechnology Training Academy

This week I had the pleasure of touring the state of the art facility of the newest biotechnology center in the state; the Gloucester Marine Genomics Institute’s academy to train new workers in techniques that are the foundation for laboratory best practices for bioscience.

Leading the tour of the 3,200-square-foot facility where Chris Munkholm, Director of GMGI and board member Michelle May. We were joined by Bob Coughlin, CEO of Mass Bio, a not-for-profit organization that represents more than 700 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, and other organizations involved in life sciences and healthcare in the state and Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante.

Representative Ferrante and I collaborated in securing $150,000 through the House and Senate budget process for the Institute to develop and implement a middle skills workforce training program. This funding will assist with creating a career ladder for workers not necasarily interested in pursuing a college degree.

GMGI’s efforts will make Cape Ann a hub for biotechnology and create a network of companies and industries that can advance innovations that will benefit our economy, enhance the health and wellbeing of residents, and expand our knowledge of the fisheries.

The Institute, which seeks to accelerate our understanding of marine genomics, has hosted several science forums, pioneered modern research in commercial fisheries such as the cod genome sequencing project, and has attracted strong support from government, corporate and academic institutions. Founded in 2013 by three scientists with world-class experience in the sciences of genomics Greg Verdine, Marc Vidal and David Walt along with Gloucester businesswoman Sheree Zizik are taking great strides to leverage resources from the region and the state to make Cape Ann a leader in biotechnology.