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biotechnology program at montgomery college

Biotechnology Program

Supported by the Paul Peck Applied Science and Technology Center


MC Biotech Open-House Thursday, November 10, 2016, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. om the BE Building lobby (Germantown Campus)

Curious about Biotechnology? Find out how the Biotechnology Program prepares people for the local biotech industry. Tour the biotechnology labs and learn about our classes in nucleic acid methods, protein biology and immunology. Visit our cGMP training suite and discover why our students excel in cell culture and biomanufacturing skills. 

We also run workshops and non-credit classes. Learn about BioTRAIN and consdier taking a short course in business communication or protein purification. And, find out why bench and research scientists learn advanced techniques such as CRISPR, FACS, RNA-Seq, next-generation sequencing (NGS) AND reprogramming iPSC through the Bio-Trac training programs. Whether you're getting ready for college, considering a career change, or interested in learning new skills, check out MC Biotech.


The Germantown Campus is located in upper Montgomery County, Maryland, just east of I-270.                                           

By Car: Take I-270 to Exit 15 East (Route 118). Continue to the second traffic light Observation Drive; turn right onto campus.      

By Metro: Take Red Line to Shady Grove station and transfer to Ride-On Route 55 to on-campus stop.                                  

By Bus: The campus is served by Ride-On Bus with connections to Metrorail.                                                           

Parking Information: During the event, guests may park in any white-lined spaces in the campus parking lots.

Contact: Troy Shaw or 240-567-2076

Bio-Trac Partners with Montgomery College to provide advanced hands-on Biotechnology Workshops

Bio-Trac in partnership with Montgomery College, is proud to offer graduate/post graduate level hands-on laboratory training workshops for research scientists within the Pinkney Innovation Complex for Science and Technology (PIC MC), an integrated academic, business and research campus. 

The workshops will be held at the Germantown Campus' state-of-the-art Bioscience Education Center. Montgomery College has a longstanding biotechnology program. Thousands of graduates of the program have qualified for work in the Maryland biotechnology industry. The program is the lead in he BIOTrain partnership dedicated to delivering relevant training to entry level and incumbent professionals. 

Excellence in Biotechnology Training Team taught by active research scientists and innovators from leading research institutes (NIH, JHU, Georgetown LCRC, EVMS, USDA, and the FDA) and private industry, Bio-Trac courses deliver instruction on current research methodologies.

Sample offerings: RNA-Seq and Computational Analysis, Next Generation Sequencing (NGS), Flow Cytometry (FACS), Gene Editing with CRISPR, NGS and Metagenomics, Proteomics; Stem Cell (iPSC from Neural Cardiomyocytes), Cell Line Authentication, Vaccine Development, Real-Time, Quantitative and Digital PCR. 

Initial Offering - Flow Cytometry: Principles, Methods and Applications (FACS) ( June 28-July 1, 2016 - Registration underway. This four-day program is ideal for those who are looking for an in-depth, hands-on introduction to Flow Cytometry. 

The instructors will focus on a broad spectrum of flow cytometric topics, discuss examples from various research applications, provide technical protocols for flow cytometric sample preparation, as well as data analysis, trouble shooting and experimental design. Attendees will have hands-on experience on three different flow platforms (Becton Dickinson, Mitenyi and Bio-Rad) as well as exposure to three software analysis programs. 

Serving the BioHealth Capital Region ( for 30 years. 

Bio-Trac is excited to partner with Montgomery College and together build on our rich history of delivering quality biotechnology training to the MD/VA/DC scientific community. Originally conducted at the NIH (1985-2014). Bio-Trac has provided hands-on training to over 16,000 research scientists from our expansive catalog of 70+ unique workshops. 

See more information at #sthash.63uoLhej,dpuf

Montgomery College is a public, open admissions community with campuses in Germantown, Rockville, and Takoma Park/ Silver Spring, plus workforce development/ continuing education centers and off-site programs throughout Montgomery County, Md. The college serves nearly 60.000 students a year, through both credit and noncredit programs, in more than 130 areas of study. 

Montgomery College Signs MOU with KeyGene

On April 30, the College signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with KeyGene, a corporation with offices in Rockville. Keygene assists breeding companies with crop development, or put more simply, their aim is for a green gene revolution.

Montgomery college and KeyGene is expanding on their partnership already begun with BIOTrain and internships. KeyGene will develop and deliver new educational opportunities outlining the features and benefits of modern techniques in agricultural molecular biology, including those that have been pioneered by KeyGene and their partners over the last 25 years. This will include a seminar on the current state of GMO properties and use since this topic is of broad interest in our community.

The purpose of the MOU is to close skill gaps, enable entry into the biotech industry and advancement for those already in the industry. Montgomery College and KeyGene share the goal of providing the best workforce education and training. This includes developing internship and job opportunities within KeyGene that can be available for qualified Montgomery College students and graduates. KeyGene has already hired two MC biotech students.  

Montgomery College Biotechnology Faculty in Japan

Professor of Biotechnology Lori Kelman spent the summer of 2013 in Japan. Her husband, Zvi Kelman, NIST, was awarded a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science fellowship. During that time she worked with Sonoko and Yoshizumi Ishino at Kyushu University and gave talks at Kyushu and Kumamoto Universities.
An article from that work, "The Archaeal DNA Replication Machinery: Past, Present and Future," was published in Genes and Genetic Systems (December 2013). The review describes how Archaea, single-celled extremophilic organisms, were once grouped evolutionarily with bacteria. But they were shown in 1977 to be a separate domain of life and became a model system for DNA replication studies, helping scientists understand the differences between bacteria and eukaryotes. The paper was selected as the cover art for the issue.
CoverKelman2013 - (7.89KB. pdf)

Montgomery College Expands in Life Sciences Field

GERMANTOWN, Md. — When Montgomery College students come back to the Germantown campus this fall, a new 140,000-square-foot Bioscience Education Center will be waiting for them. as part of a plan to advance the Montgomery County area in the technology and life science industries. The $87.9 million project was supported by the state of Maryland and Montgomery County as part of their goals to advance the area in the technology and life sciences industries.
To read the full article please visit

The Biotechnology AAS at Montgomery College now transfers to Washington Adventist University for a bachelor’s degree in biology.

The Articulation Agreement is to establish collaboration between WAU and MC to facilitate the transfer and degree completion of students earning the Associate of Applied Science in Biotechnology at MC to the Bachelor of Science in Biology at WAU. This provides a systematic plan for students to continue their higher education beyond MC.   

MdBio Foundation Renews Support for Montgomery College Biotechnology Students

In total, over the last six years, the foundation has provided grants totaling $60,000, which has allowed the College to award 65 scholarships to deserving students. Recipients of the MdBio Scholarship demonstrate both strong academic accomplishment by earning a minimum grade point average of 2.5 and financial need.

Campus Conversations- Kimberly White

Kimberly White, a 2012 graduate of the Biotechnology Program, was featured in Campus Conversations and Insights Magazine.  Hear how this mother of 5 got hands-on experience to update her skills before returning to the workforce. 

Please click to watch her  video.

Montgomery College Awarded $100,000 from GlaxoSmithKline to Benefit the Biotechnology Programs

Montgomery College received a $100,000 grant from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), a leading pharmaceutical and healthcare company that recently acquired Rockville-based biotechnology company, Human Genome Sciences (HGS). The grant will create the GSK Biotechnology & Bio-manufacturing Endowed Scholarship to support Montgomery College's efforts to help ensure a highly-trained pipeline of employees for the Maryland biotechnology workforce.
"Educating and training for 21st century jobs is essential to the long-term economic growth of our industry and our country," said Mary Linda Andrews, Director, Community Partnerships, GlaxoSmithKline. "GSK is proud to partner with Montgomery College as they continue their tradition of providing state-of-the-art educational opportunity for students."
"We are pleased to partner with GlaxoSmithKline and to continue our work with its Montgomery County site to provide high quality education for our biotechnology and biomanufacturing students," said Dr. DeRionne Pollard, president of Montgomery College. "Scholarships are crucial to helping promising students with financial need pursue their academic and career dreams. We are grateful to GlaxoSmithKline for its generous support."

MdBio Foundation Awards $10,000 Grant to Montgomery College for Biotech Scholarships

The MdBio Foundation is providing a $10,000 grant to support the MdBio Scholarship for students working toward their certificate or associate's degree in biotechnology at the Germantown Campus. The foundation is a private charitable organization that provides and supports bioscience awareness, education, and workforce development in the state of Maryland.

The MdBio Foundation made an initial $20,000 commitment to establish the scholarship in 2007. A second grant of $10,000 was provided in 2010 and this third award of $10,000 brings the total support to $40,000. More than 40 MdBio Scholarships have been awarded to students since 2007, helping to train the future workforce for the region's biotechnology sector.

MdBio Foundation is also a partner with Montgomery College on a number of educational projects to inspire interest in science among K-12 students.

MC Biotechnology Program Recognized by Director of Maryland Biotechnology Center

If you stop Montgomery College President DeRionne Pollard or Vice President and Provost Sanjay Rai on the street and ask them about the importance of growing science and biotechnology programs, like the ones at MC, they will likely tell you the same thing.

The state of Maryland must do so if it hopes to attract and maintain a thriving life sciences program.

Judith Britz, executive director of the Maryland Biotechnology Center, agrees, and she was quoted in the Gazette community newspaper commending the state of Maryland for having one of the highest concentrations of employees with Ph.D.s in the world. She credits the quality educational programs in this area with contributing to that trend. She specifically names Montgomery College as an outstanding institution that produces graduates who are qualified to work at all levels in the industry either immediately upon graduation at MC or after continued university-level study.

Congratulations to the Biotechnology Program for this outstanding recognition!

To read the full article on the trends of the local biotech field, please visit
Elizabeth S. Homan

Montgomery College’s Germantown Campus to Receive Donation of State-of-the-Art Biotechnology Equipment from QIAGEN

qiagensizedMontgomery College was selected to receive a research and diagnostic instrument from QIAGEN, a global biotechnology industry leader and one of Montgomery County’s fast-growing biotech companies. The College’s Germantown Campus will receive a QIAcube for use biotechnology and biology programs.

The QIAcube, which has a list price of $16,800, is a closed architecture liquid handling platform that is capable of almost fully automating the processing of 12 samples per run. Montgomery College is one of the higher education institutions in the region to receive a QIAGEN instrument.

The Biotechnology Program at Montgomery College provides state-of-the-art educational opportunities in applied biotechnology and bioscience, integrating laboratory and classroom instruction.

From left to right, Vice President of Advancement David Sears, Professor and Chair of Natural Sciences Lori Kelman, Vice President and Provost of the Germantown Campus Sanjay Rai, Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations Rose Garvin-Aquilino.
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Montgomery College Secures $10,000 Gift from the MdBio Foundation for Biotechnology Scholarships 

Montgomery College has received a $10,000 gift from the MdBio Foundation, a private charitable organization that provides and supports bioscience awareness, education and workforce development in the state of Maryland. The gift will support the MdBio Scholarship for students working toward their certificate or associate's degree in biotechnology at the Germantown Campus of Montgomery College.

The MdBio Foundation made an initial $20,000 commitment to establish the scholarship in 2007, and 21 Montgomery College students have received financial support over the past three years. The College and the MdBio Foundation have also partnered on a number of educational projects to inspire interest in science among K-12 students. To see the full story  click here.

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Students' Success 

Three students in the Biotechnology Program, Brandon Jones, Micah Pezdirtz, and Jonathan Swiantek, created a video entitled “Maxwell Ranger” (based upon “Power Rangers”) and entered it in the Promega Maxwell 16 video contest.  In their video, Zordon is dying from a space infection and it’s up to the Maxwell Ranger (Jones) to defeat the contamination monster (Pezdirtz) and generate results for the scientist (Swiantek).  The video was selected as the winning entry and Montgomery College received a Maxwell 16 robot as the prize!

The “Maxwell Ranger extended cut” video can be viewed at: 

Information on the Promega Maxwell 16 can be found at: 

Congratulations Brandon, Micah, and Jonathan!

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Last updated: 6/6/16

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