Biotechnology is a field that has seen significant growth in global employment. In Indiana, jobs in the Biotechnology sector have increased by 12% over the last five years.
At Ivy Tech Community College, the Biotechnology Program prepares students for careers in a variety of life science and manufacturing settings like research, pharmaceutical, and quality control. Due to the extent of their education, Ivy Tech students are able to launch directly into high-paying jobs after graduation at industry giants like Eli Lilly, Dow Agroscience, Cook Pharmica, and Midwest Compliance Laboratories.
Andrew Breite is the Director of Quality Assurance at Indianapolis company ViaCyte. VitaCyte manufactures purified enzyme reagents used to recover cells from tissue by degrading the extracellular matrix. Recovered cells are used in basic research, pharmaceutical development studies, and clinical therapies such as transplantation.
VitaCyte maintains regular contact with the Biotechnology Program Chair, Dr. Don Pappas, at Ivy Tech. Previously, VitaCyte has also hired Ivy Tech Biotech graduates directly or through internship programs through the college.
“The manufacturing process and quality control testing performed at VitaCyte are complex and require meticulous attention to detail, expertise in reporting and interpreting results and the ability to monitor trends over time,” Breite said. “The graduates of the Biotech Program at Ivy Tech are trained to understand the controlled manufacturing environment and adapt to a rigorous quality management system. They are typically very eager to contribute and quite receptive to understand exactly how they contribute value to the organization.”
Programs that focus on protein bioprocessing, quality management, and regulatory framework understanding are beneficial for people hoping to pursue a career in a biotechnology company that explores things like cell recovery, such as VitaCyte. The Biotechnology Program at Ivy Tech strives to equip students with these skills and more through real-world experienced professors and state-of-the-art laboratories that are equipped with instrumentation and supplies for effective hands-on learning.
“[Ivy Tech] graduates of the biotechnology program have been or are employed [at VitaCyte] in manufacturing and quality control operations or in process development roles.” Breite said. “These roles are at the very heart of the VitaCyte value added product features and critical to revenue generation for the company. In these roles, employees are engaged in protein column chromatography purification, bioprocessing, aseptic fill-finish processes, and a variety of analytical testing procedures.”
With nearly 58,000 Hoosiers working in the life sciences industry, Indiana is one of the top ten states for producing life sciences employees. If a potentially ground-breaking career in biotechnology sounds like something you might want to pursue, visit (insert link) for more information about the Biotech Program at Ivy Tech. For more information about VitaCyte and the exciting science happening there, visit VitaCyte.com.