Biotechnology will transform society for the better.
BIOTECHNOLOGY: What was once the domain of science fiction novels and blockbuster movies is rapidly becoming a bigger and bigger part of our lives and economy. Recent advances in computer science, DNA sequencing, and genome engineering technologies are poised to revolutionize the industry and usher in a new era of prosperity. Miraculous cures for deadly diseases, rice enriched with vitamin A to fight global malnutrition, and glowing fish for sale in pet stores are all examples of modern biotechnology and represent only the tip of the iceberg for what's to come. Beyond improving the human condition, biotechnology will also be used to restore the environment and heal a planet damaged by more than a 150 years of intense industrialization. So how can you or your child get involved? You need the skills to find and create functional DNA.
The big problem for the biotech industry
The chart above was made from nationally reported averages for the time spent in undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate studies in the life sciences. The big problem for the biotech industry is that the traditional educational path followed by students to acquire the skills necessary to find and create functional DNA takes too long and costs too much. At the Great Lakes Biotech Academy we are developing a new type of learning experience that will provide all the skills necessary to find and create functional DNA in a 12 week intense training program.
Yes, only 12 weeks... we know it sounds crazy.
BUT IT'S NOT. Dramatic technological improvements in computer software, DNA sequencing, and DNA assembly make it easier than ever to find and identify functional DNA. It is literally 100,000 times cheaper to sequence a genome today than it was 20 years ago. The reason so many people are still spending 15+ years in school is that the educational system hasn't kept up with the technology. Most life sciences degree programs focus extensively on the scientific history and theory of a very specific discipline of biology. This approach is useful and necessary if one's career aspiration is to become a professor, but not if you want to prototype new ideas rapidly.
The three pillars of our approach
- Core skills training in biotechnology via The Fellows Program
- Apprenticeship style mentoring for Fellows Program graduates
- Dramatically lowering the costs to perform basic biotech research
At the Great Lakes Biotech Academy we are developing a new and holistic educational program, outside the traditional path, to provide young people with the skills they need to prototype their great ideas. Our programs are not a substitute for an advanced degree; they are a launching platform for talented young people to participate in the biotech industry. If you are passionate about science and interested in biotechnology we hope to hear from you soon.