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If your company is based in Massachusetts, consider applying for the Express Program grant at least 21 days before the course start date. If approved, the Express Program will either partially or fully cover the cost of your training after course completion based on your company size. Read more about the program here.

Member Rate applies for MassBio Member Company, Other State Bioscience Association Member Company, MassCONNECT Company, or Unemployed Individual


Science of Biotech 101 is designed for the non-scientist. The class acts as a survey of the basic biological processes that are foundational to the biopharma and life sciences industry. Participants will apply their new understanding of basic cell and molecular biology to the work of life sciences companies that research and develop therapies and products to improve lives, enhance agriculture, and decrease the dependence on fossil fuels.


  1. Monday, September 20th, 2021 9:00-11:30 AM EST
  2. Wednesday, September 22nd, 2021 9:00-11:30 AM EST
  3. Thursday, September 23rd, 2021 9:00-11:30 AM EST


Session 1:  Introductions Industry Overview The Raw Materials of Biotechnology: Protein and Cells Industry Applications: The Raw Materials of Biotechnology: DNA
Session 2: Molecular Biology: From DNA to Protein Genetics: Chromosomes, Genes and Genomes Industry Applications
Session 3: Genetic Engineering The Immune System Industry Applications: Mitigating Disease


Michelle Mischke, PhD
Director of Biotechnology Education Programs, MassBioEd
Michelle joined the MassBioEd team in March of 2014 as the Director of Biotechnology Education Programs. She came to the organization with extensive research, teaching, and administrative experience. She taught a range of undergraduate biology courses at MIT and was a course coordinator and content developer for 7.00x, the first large online biology course offered by edX. While at MIT, she was involved in K-12 science outreach and education programs. Michelle holds a B.A. in both Biology and Chemistry from Colorado State University and a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Prior to joining the Department of Biology at MIT, she worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University.  Michelle joined MassBioEd to refocus on life sciences education and to work with teachers to improve science literacy and encourage student interest in the life sciences and biotechnology. 

Sowmya Chary, MD, MMSc
Associate Medical Director, Global Medical Safety and R&D, Biogen

Sowmya is an Associate Medical Director in Global Medical Safety at Biogen, focusing in the Neuromuscular and Movement Disorders Therapeutic Area. A Massachusetts native, she completed her medical training at Sri Ramachandra University in India and received her Master of Medical Sciences in Clinical Investigation from Harvard Medical School. She completed her thesis work at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital on sex-specific differences in metabolomic profiles and responses to intervention in the critically ill. Sowmya is a 2021-2022 Fellow at the Harvard Medical School Center for Bioethics and serves on the Boston Board of Peer Health Exchange, an organization improving health equity and outcomes for young people in under-resourced communities. She is a passionate educator and mentor and has given numerous talks on navigating career paths and roles in the biotechnology/pharmaceutical industry. She brings her medical, research, and industry expertise to the classroom to create an engaging and collaborative learning environment.