Releases @ TCC
BIOTECH INFORMATION FIRM LAUNCHES TRAINING SATELLITE AT TCC
Unique partnership will bring scientists, engineers from around
the world to Hampton Roads
A cell culture
incubator moves into TCC’s Norfolk labs this month,
donated by WilBio as part of the company’s new training
satellite at TCC.
Va. – (Sept. 14, 2005) – The Williamsburg BioProcessing
Foundation (WilBio) will base its new WilBio Institute for BioProcess
Technology at Tidewater Community College, announces WilBio Chairman
Keith Carson and TCC President Deborah M. DiCroce.
“There is nothing like this partnership anywhere in Virginia,
and possibly in the U.S.,” Carson says. “It has great
potential for developing Hampton Roads as a source of high-tech
training and workforce development.”
“TCC has identified biotechnology as an important industry
with unmet education needs in the region,” says President
DiCroce. “WilBio’s presence at TCC, and their generous
gift of equipment, will benefit our faculty and students as they
witness crucial training for scientists around the world.”
When WilBio Institute’s inaugural training course, Antibody
Purification, takes place Oct. 20-22, it will be housed in a laboratory
and classroom on TCC’s downtown Norfolk Campus. “Students
are coming from all over the U.S. and Canada,” Carson explains.
“At future courses we expect students from Asia and Europe.”
Another WilBio course is set for April 6-8, 2006, at TCC. The
October course is sold out.
TCC faculty and students will be able to use the equipment and
technology from these courses as the college considers its own
training program in biotechnology. TCC already uses biotechnology
procedures, such as DNA gel electrophoresis, in science classes
and labs. “Working with WilBio and witnessing their training
will give students a larger window into the field,” says
Quintin Bullock, TCC Norfolk Campus provost.
A research-intensive industry, biotechnology employs cellular
and biomolecular processes to solve problems or make products.
Since the early 1990s, the biotechnology industry has seen an
explosion of growth, especially in agriculture, energy, environmental
science, health care and manufacturing. According to the national
Biotechnology Industry Organization, U.S. health-care biotech
revenues increased from $8 billion in 1992 to $39 billion in 2003.
In 2004, the Hampton Roads Research Partnership (HRRP) chose bioscience
as one of four technology clusters to promote business and economic
development. “It is certainly our hope that the biotech
industry grows in Hampton Roads,” adds H. Lee Beach Jr.,
HRRP’s executive director. “Partnerships such as WilBio
and TCC will go a long way toward making that happen.”
“This is an extremely positive partnership that will help
provide a skilled workforce to the region’s biotech industry,”
says William Wasilenko, dean of research at Eastern Virginia Medical
School. “And it complements the growing variety of biotech
opportunities in Virginia.”
He adds, “This will be good for the Hampton Roads economy.
With time, it could serve as a magnet for recruiting biotech companies
to the region.”
Notably, the courses offered by WilBio on TCC’s Norfolk
Campus will complement Norfolk’s commitment to the biotechnology
industry, best evidenced through a 22,000-square-foot biotechnology
incubator recently built by the city.
Founded in 1994, the Williamsburg BioProcessing Foundation conducts
a variety of biotech conferences around the world, such as Viral
Vectors and Vaccines held Sept. 5-7 in Singapore, and the Cell
and Tissue BioProcessing Conference scheduled later this month
in Newport Beach, Calif. The foundation also co-sponsors the U.S.
Food and Drug Administration’s annual Science Forum, along
with producing the peer-reviewed BioProcessing Journal.
To help launch the WilBio training partnership, the Virginia Community
College System Institute of Excellence for Advanced Technology
awarded TCC a grant of $44,425 last year.
Tidewater Community College
is the second largest of the 23 community colleges in the Commonwealth
of Virginia, enrolling more than 36,000 students annually. The 37th
largest in the nation’s 1,600 community-college network, TCC
ranks among the 50 fastest-growing large community colleges. Founded
in 1968 as a part of the Virginia Community College System, the
college serves the South Hampton Roads region with campuses in Chesapeake,
Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach as well as the TCC Jeanne
and George Roper Performing Arts Center in the theater district
in downtown Norfolk, the Visual Arts Center in Olde Towne Portsmouth
and a regional Advanced Technology Center in Virginia Beach. Forty-four
percent of the region’s residents attending a college or university
in Virginia last fall were enrolled at TCC. For more information,