Skip to main content

North Carolina Tabs $64.5 Million for Bioprocessing Training, Education

NEW YORK, Aug. 19 (GenomeWeb News) -- Two North Carolina universities and the state community colleges will share $64.5 million in funds to create a worker-training program in biomanufacturing and bioprocessing, organizations in the state announced last week.

Of these funds $60 million will come from Golden LEAF (Long-term Economic Advancement Foundation), a North Carolina organization set up to disburse an expected  $2.3 billion in total funds from tobacco settlements. The North Carolina Biotechnology Center has pledged to kick in another $4.5 million from industry.

 

North Carolina State University will receive $36 million to construct and staff a bioprocessing training factory; North Carolina Central University in Durham will receive $19.1 million to establish a undergraduate and graduate curriculum in bioinformatics and biomedicine; and the state's community colleges will receive $9.4 million to establish worker training classes that will feed the NC State factory.

 

The funding is seen as a strategic economic development investment, creating a highly-trained pool of workers to attract more pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms to a state that already claims over 150 of these firms already.

 

Bioprocessing and manufacturing -- fermentation, purification and separation -- is at the heart of manufacturing biologically-based products for use in pharmaceutical and biotechnology processes. It consists of upstream processing - the culturing of cells and microorganisms - and downstream - the separation and refinement of bioproducts for end use.

 

However, it is also an evolving multidisciplinary field that combines bioinformatics, metabolic engineering, and high-throughput combinatorial biosynthesis and microsystems engineering. For the microarray industry, for instance, bioprocessing may mean the in vitro fabrication and manipulation of single-and multi-enzyme systems on a biochip in a step to achieving the vision of engineering metabolic pathways at the microscale, according to conference presentation by Jonathan Dordick, the chairman of chemical engineering department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

The Scan

Response Too Slow, Cautious

A new report criticizes the global response to the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, Nature News reports.

Pushed a Bit Later

Novavax has pushed back its timeline for filing for authorization for its SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, according to Bloomberg.

AMA Announces Anti-Racism Effort

The Associated Press reports that the American Medical Association has released a plan to address systemic racism in healthcare.

Nucleic Acids Research Papers on miRMaster 2.0, MutationTaster2021, LipidSuite

In Nucleic Acids Research this week: tool to examine small non-coding RNAs, approach to predict ramifications of DNA variants, and more.