Preparing today’s students for the
biotechnology workforce of tomorrow
Life Sciences Career Development Pilot Project
A project of the MassBioEd Foundation
and its flagship program, BioTeach
Suzanne Grillo, Program Manager
Metro South/West Regional Employment Board
Copyright © 2007 by Metro S/W REB
Massachusetts Biotechnology Industry Overview
What is Biotechnology?
Bio—the use of biological
problems or make
a collection of technologies that capitalize on the attributes of cells
Example: their manufacturing capabilities
put biological molecules to work for us
Example: DNA and proteins
Altering live cells and putting them to work.
1953 James Watson and Francis Crick, using crucial evidence
gathered by Rosalind Franklin, discover the double-helix
structure of DNA.
1973 California biochemists Stanley Cohen and Herbert Boyer
create the first recombinant DNA organism, work that forms
the basis for modern biotechnology.
1975 Scientists gathered at the Asilomar Conference
recommend the National Institutes of Health provide guidelines
for recombinant DNA research.
1976-77 The Cambridge City Council holds hearings on the safety
of recombinant DNA research and passes the country’s first
ordinance regulating the work.
1978 Harvard University professor Walter Gilbert, MIT professor
Phillip Sharp, and others found the biotechnology company Biogen
(now Biogen Idec Inc.).
1980 The US Supreme Court rules in Diamond v. Chakrabarty
that genetically engineered microorganisms can be patented.
1980 The Bayh-Dole Act allows universities to hold patents on
federally funded research.
1981 Genzyme Corp. sets up shop on the 17th floor of a building
1982 The Food and Drug Administration approves the first
biotechnology therapy, a human insulin drug made by
1982 Whitehead Institute is founded in Cambridge. It becomes a
leading research center, and provided about one