MassBioEd Honors Champions for Biotechnology Education at Fourth Annual Awards Reception

Nov 22, 2019

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

November 22, 2019 (CAMBRIDGE, MA) — The Massachusetts Biotechnology Education Foundation (MassBioEd) hosted its fourth annual Champions for Biotechnology Education Awards Reception on November 20th at The UMass Club to celebrate and recognize the outstanding advocacy for and support of biotechnology educational programs in Massachusetts. 2019 honorees include Dr. John Maraganore, CEO of Alnylam, Dr. Laurie Jackson-Grusby, a biotechnology teacher at Brockton High School, and Thermo Fisher Scientific.

“We were honored to recognize this year’s outstanding Champions for Biotechnology Education at our annual Champions event, which sheds light on the impact that extraordinary dedication to STEM education and mentoring has on the life sciences community,” said Sunny Schwartz, Executive Director of the MassBioEd Foundation. “With demand for workers increasing and the number of students entering college stagnating, it is important for MassBioEd and our partners to focus on ways to increase the flow of new talent into the life sciences industry.”

MassBioEd Chairman Christopher Murphy, Vice President/General Manager, Viral Vector Services, Thermo Fisher Scientific, presented the Individual Award to Laurie Keating, Chief Legal Officer, Alnylam, who accepted on behalf of Dr. John Maragnore. Dr. John Maraganore has been an advocate of innovation and mentorship in the life sciences throughout his career. He serves as co-chair of the Henri A. Termeer Tribute committee, dedicated to commemorating and honoring the legacy of Henri Termeer, the former CEO of Genzyme. As a component of this legacy, the MassBioEd Henri A. Termeer Biotechnology and Life Science Educator Grant recognizes dedicated life science teachers from Massachusetts schools who mentor their students in answering and more importantly, asking rich questions in the spirit of scientific excellence. In addition to this work, as CEO of Alnylam, John and his company have championed numerous initiatives focused on mentorship and STEM including hosting a MassBioEd Career Exploration Day and being active participants in the Cambridge Science Festival.

Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Michael Kennealy presented the Organization Award to Daniel Shine, Senior Vice President, who accepted on behalf of Thermo Fisher Scientific. Thermo Fisher Scientific is committed to inspiring a new generation of innovators and believe that any opportunity to work with students is a chance to ignite that spark in the next great scientists, engineers, thinkers and leaders. Their educational programming and partnerships provide opportunities for their colleagues to engage with the communities in which they live and work and share their knowledge and experience. Through their signature STEM education programs, students can connect with their colleagues through hands-on and team-based activities that highlight their technologies, make connections to careers in STEM and demonstrate how Thermo Fisher Scientific impacts the world.

Belinda Termeer presented the Educator Award, accepted by Dr. Laurie Jackson-Grusby. Dr. Laurie Jackson-Grusby brings experimental expertise and outstanding mentoring skills from over 20 years of teaching experience and research in molecular biology and genetics to her work as a high school teacher. Laurie began teaching at Brockton High School in 2017, where she continues to guide students through engaging lessons and capstone project presentations, including the freshmen Synthetic Biology Expo and Senior Independent Lab Research in Antibiotic Discovery, which in 2020 will be at Tufts Medical School. Outside of the classroom, she co-leads the Brockton cohort of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center Apprenticeship Challenge. The after-school 10-week training program prepares 24 primarily underrepresented students for work in academic or commercial life sciences laboratories as summer interns. She also participates in ongoing workshops and seminars, which models life-long learning for her students. Laurie has created a novel Health Care Innovation Pathway at Brockton to help students navigate to STEM careers that will feed into and diversify the Biotechnology ecosystem of the Commonwealth.

The event also raises funds for MassBioEd, which is focused on building the region’s life sciences workforce through high-quality education and workforce development programs. Sponsors for the reception included Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Biogen, Sanofi Genzyme, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Patriot’s Place, Foley Hoag, Sunovion, Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, and Takeda Pharmaceuticals.

About the MassBioEd Foundation

Massachusetts Biotechnology Education Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, was founded in 2001 by the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council with the goal of growing and developing talent in the Massachusetts life sciences workforce. In this time, we have evolved into a key link connecting students, educators, and professionals to the exciting opportunities within the life sciences industry.

Through our programs and opportunities, we aim to cultivate a field of experts who are diverse, well educated, and inspired to solve the world’s most vexing challenges. We help educators, professionals, and companies navigate the life science industry by keeping a pulse on workforce trends and providing insights into its growth and evolution. Our programs and events also shed light on professional opportunities, creating avenues for individuals to find their way into the life sciences pipeline so they can lead prosperous careers in the industry.

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