JUNE 2019

John Doyle learns new mammalian cell culture technique, as Melanie Scully from Thrive Biosciences supervises

MLSC Grant for New Cell Culture Lab at Academy

In April, GMGI was selected as one of eleven recipients to receive capital grant funding from the Baker-Polito Administration and the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center. Projects selected support advances in human health, accelerate innovation in the areas of clinical and translational research, and expand the capacity of life sciences development and job growth in the area. This is the second MLSC capital grant awarded to GMGI. The first MLSC grant funded the buildout of the new research institute at 417 Main Street in Gloucester.

GMGI’s $174,383 grant will assist in building out and equipping a new, state-of-the-art cell culture laboratory at the Gloucester Biotechnology Academy teaching facility in Blackburn Industrial Park. “It will enable us to expand our program offerings and comprehensively train our students to meet the needs of the area’s life sciences companies,” said Michele May, GMGI Board Chair.

Over the past two years, Academy instructors have monitored job descriptions and biotech industry trends to make sure our curriculum adequately prepares students for the job market. It quickly became apparent that mammalian cell culture is a technique that many employers are looking for in new hires. Bacterial cell culture has been part of the Academy curriculum for the past three years. However, mammalian cell culture research requires a dedicated space with more specialized equipment.

To prepare for the new cell culture laboratory, Academy instructors visited Thrive Biosciences to learn about cell culture techniques. Academy instructors spent approximately fifteen hours over the course of a week learning and practicing cell culture techniques under the guidance of Dr. Melanie Scully and Ms. Olivia Piscitello, a current Gloucester Biotechnology Academy student interning at Thrive. The experience helped Academy instructors design the cell culture laboratory and curriculum. Giving students experience with this widely used laboratory technique will make them more valuable as interns, and give them a new set of skills that is attractive to potential employers.

The Academy instructors would like to thank the Life Sciences Consortium of the North Shore, Thrive Biosciences, Dr. Melanie Scully and Olivia Piscitello for making this experience possible. We would also like to thank the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center for providing the funding for the buildout of the new cell culture laboratory.

Site of future mammalian cell culture lab at Gloucester Biotechnology Academy

Lead Teacher Elizabeth Brannon practices her mammalian cell culture technique at Thrive Biosciences

Academy graduate Olivia Piscitello looks on as John Doyle practices at the hood

Our mission is to conduct world-class marine biotechnology research which expands the regional economy.

Gloucester Marine
Genomics Institute

417 Main Street
Gloucester, MA 01930

Gloucester Biotechnology

55 Blackburn Center
Gloucester, MA 01930

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