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There is a growing demand for skilled life sciences workers in Maryland, particularly Montgomery County, where 75 percent of the state’s more than 2,300 biotech companies are located.

To meet this demand, Montgomery College and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, developed a new degree program to be offered at The Universities at Shady Grove (USG), creating opportunities for students of all backgrounds to pursue high-demand careers in the life sciences.

The four-year Translational Life Science Technology (TLST) program, leading to a bachelor of science degree from UMBC, trains students in the fundamentals of biochemistry, cell biology, epidemiology, statistics, lab instrumentation, and biochemical engineering, as well as give students opportunities to develop sought-after skills such as analytical thinking, teamwork, and data evaluation. Courses began in fall 2018.

Students start the first two years of coursework for the TLST program at Montgomery College’s state-of-the-art Bioscience Education Center on the Germantown Campus, where they learn valuable industry-based skills such as polymerase chain reaction, gel electrophoresis, gene cloning, mass spectroscopy and chromatography. Successful completion of the curricula results in an AAS in biotechnology or other associate’s degree tracks from Montgomery College.

Students can finish the last two years of TLST coursework at USG’s Biomedical Sciences and Engineering Education Building in Rockville, scheduled for completion in 2019.

From left: Dr. Stewart Edelstein (USG), Dean Bill LaCourse (UMBC), Dr. Sanjay Rai (MC), VP/Provost Margaret Latimer (MC), and Prof. Collins Jones (MC)

UMBC’s collaboration with Montgomery College adds to the university’s growing list of active partnerships with Maryland community colleges that support the success of Maryland students. “The collaboration between two great institutions, Montgomery College and UMBC, provides a national model for developing a pathway to a bachelor’s degree,” says Dr. Sanjay Rai, senior vice president for academic affairs at Montgomery College. “This degree program is the first of its kind in Maryland and is specifically designed to provide the skilled talent needed to support the region’s growing bioscience and biotechnology industry,” says Stewart Edelstein, executive director of The Universities at Shady Grove, a regional higher education center that hosts courses offered by nine Maryland institutions.

More information is available at the Translational Life Science Technology website.

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