Careers start here, with Manchester's
exciting new biotechnology major
Orthopedic engineering, drug testing, DNA research,
forensic CSI-type analysis, quality control … the futures are as diverse
as the coursework for students majoring in biotechnology at Manchester College.
a surge in demand for
non-medical technicians who have broad training in the laboratory
sciences, the College has designed a biotechnology major to serve
industry, governmental agencies and private testing laboratories.
Key is real-world experience: research and required
internships in the final year of the program, said Professor David P.
Kreps, chair of the Department of Biology. Students may train with a
state agency like the Department of Natural Resources, an area
orthopedic manufacturer or a private drug-testing lab, for example. In
addition, students may work side-by-side with
faculty on their projects and research grants.
“This is fantastic news for the college. This major
will become highly marketable,” said Earle R. Hanlin, vice
president/human resources for DePuy Orthopaedics Inc., based in Warsaw.
"The next major
breakthrough in the treatment of osteoarthritis and soft tissue injury
will most likely come from advances in biotechnology,” said Hanlin. “Orthopaedic
companies and research centers around the world are working feverishly
to unlock the science that will induce tissue regeneration. The day will
come when we will be able to regrow tendons, ligaments and cartilage in
the human body.
“It's an exciting
time in biotechnology and the demand will continue well into the
Manchester’s new major is interdisciplinary, combining
core coursework in biology, physics, chemistry and math with engaging
laboratory studies in genetics, cellular and molecular biology, DNA
science, forensic analysis and plant taxonomy, for example.
The College’s life sciences offerings are so
extensive, only one additional course was needed to develop the new
major, Dr. Kreps said. “We already had a lot of technical courses – we
just needed to repackage them.” In designing the major, the College
asked potential employers what skills they require of
laboratory technicians, and about available internships and the
job market for graduates with a degree in biotechnology.
MC’s new major is designed for flexibility, adapting
to the needs of the individual student. Core courses cover the basic
skill requirements common to the diverse career opportunities available
to laboratory technicians. The skill set or analyzing pharmaceuticals,
for example, is different from skills used testing orthopedic equipment.
The studies are rigorous, to enable students to pursue graduate school
if they wish.
With summer and January Session studies and
internship, students could complete their degree in three years,
entering the workforce or graduate school early.
continues to offer a major in medical technology that equips graduates
to work in clinical laboratories. Seniors in that program intern a year
in a clinic at one of the College’s affiliated hospitals and take a
comprehensive exam. The College also offers a highly successful pre-med
program to prepare students for application to medical school.
For more about studying for careers in the life
sciences at Manchester College, visit