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Peace students got a first-hand look at potential careers in Biology during a visit to the Biomanufacturing Training and Education Center at North Carolina State University last month.
Winnell Newman, Manager of Student Programs, hosted 18 Peace Microbiology (BIO 350) students who toured the facility and were shown the basics of chromatography and how to purify commercially-useful proteins from bacteria like E. coli.
"The students got to see the industrial application of principles I describe in class and use in lab," Peace professor Joe Wolf said. "They get to see that mastering these techniques and other skills can lead to jobs."
During the tour of the facility students were able to see a computerized 30-Liter and 300-Liter fermentation tanks for batch culturing E. coli and other microorganisms up close.
Wolf said the students were impressed by the size of the facility and how applicable their skills were on the job. While some of the jargon used by employees was industry-specific, Wolf said, the students had a working knowledge of the fundamentals and could follow the conversations on genetic engineering, microbial culture, and protein purification.
The relationship between BTEC and Peace could expand in the future as Wolf is working with Career Services and Academic Advising to make it possible for students to take courses at BTEC and earn a certificate in Biomanufacturing while satisfying the College’s internship requirement.
At the very least, Wolf expects to make the trip again.
"It’s not something we’ve done before," Wolf said, "but based on the strong positive feedback, I’m considering doing it again in Microbiology."