MassBioEd Honors Champions for Biotechnology Education at Second Annual Awards Reception

Nov 01, 2017

Reception to celebrate and recognize three individuals and one company for outstanding advocacy for and support of biotechnology educational programs in Massachusetts

November 1, 2017 (CAMBRIDGE, MA) — The Massachusetts Biotechnology Education Foundation (MassBioEd) will host its second annual Champions for Biotechnology Education Awards Reception on November 8th at the UMass Club to celebrate and recognize the outstanding advocacy for and support of biotechnology educational programs in Massachusetts. 2017 honorees include Dr. Jeffrey Leiden , Chairman, President and CEO of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, David Enos and Eric Leigh, two Gloucester High School (GHS) science teachers, and Sanofi Genzyme.

“Each awardee’s extraordinary efforts have helped advance students in our region toward the incredible opportunities of careers in the life sciences,” said Peter Abair, Executive Director of MassBioEd. “We’re honored to shine a light on their contributions as Champions for biotechnology education.”

During his time at Vertex, Dr. Leiden has initiated and supported a number of STEM education initiatives to inspire and equip the next generation of leaders in science and medicine. These programs include the establishment of Vertex’s onsite Learning Lab and long-term partnership with Boston Public Schools. He has also made valuable contributions to STEM education across the state as Co-Chair of Massachusetts Governor Baker’s STEM Advisory Council.

“Like most of my scientist friends, I got hooked on science by my outstanding 5th grade teacher. Developing the next generation of science is all about capturing the imagination of kids early and showing them how much fun science can be,” said Dr. Leiden. “So it’s a special honor for me to receive this award from the MassBioEd Foundation, and I look forward to continuing our partnership to bring hands-on learning opportunities in STEAM to many more students across the Commonwealth.”

Dedicated educators, David and Eric, are committed to providing students high quality, engaging and relevant life sciences curriculum that prepares them for the 21st century. They developed a Biotechnology class at Gloucester High School and continue to work towards their goal of building it into a full-year course and certificate program. They also recruit students into Gloucester Biotechnology Academy vocational program, which helps to illuminate biotechnology career pathways for high school graduates. 

Eric and David describe the vision for the future of life sciences education at GHS to be one where “more students get the opportunity to learn 21st century science skills through hands-on lab activities, we equip and motivate an increasing number of students to pursue careers in the growing field, teachers are better equipped to teach hands-on science with state of the art equipment and strong professional development, and GHS becomes a regional magnet school through school choice for students who are interested in STEM.”

The biopharmaceutical company with the largest presence in Massachusetts and a long history of community engagement,Sanofi Genzyme has supported numerous philanthropic efforts over the years, such as the Science Club for Girls and Cradles to Crayons. Sanofi Genzyme has been an instrumental partner for MassBioEd in expanding its education programs.

“The heart of what we do as an industry is finding the best scientific and medical solutions to the unmet needs of patients. And at the heart of these scientific discoveries is curiosity,” said Bill Sibold, Executive Vice President and Head of Sanofi Genzyme. “Through our long-term partnership with MassBioEd and other STEM programs supporting students of all ages, we hope to instill and foster curiosity in students who may become scientists and inspire more future discoveries and solutions for patients.”

The event also raises funds for MassBioEd, which is focused on building the region’s life sciences workforce through innovative education and workforce programs.

Register for the reception here.


About the MassBioEd Foundation

The MassBioEd Foundation (MassBioEd), engages teachers, inspires students and guides the life sciences workforce. A 501(c)(3) charitable non-profit organization, MassBioEd is focused on growing educational capacity in the life sciences. Through its BioTeach program, MassBioEd provides teacher professional development workshops and mentoring, student experiential learning and career exploration opportunities, and funds to public schools for lab supplies and equipment. MassBioEd also provides analysis of job trends in the industry to guide students, educators and industry.


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