SCF Biotechnology Students Assist in New College Research Project

(Bradenton, Fla., June 25, 2014) — State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) Biotechnology Program Director Dr. Matt Thomas’ students gained practical experience this summer by generating DNA for New College of Florida (NCF) student Conor Zhang’s senior thesis.

Under the direction of NCF Associate Professor of Biochemistry Dr. Katherine Walstrom, Zhang is studying proteins involved the metabolism of C. elegans nematodes that allow them to live longer and survive in harsh environments. Because the worms’ metabolic reactions are similar to humans, his research has implications for longevity in humans.

SCF students amplified and isolated the region of the worms’ genetic makeup that codes for the protein Zhang is interested in studying.  Using the materials prepared by SCF students, the protein will be grown in bacteria and isolated for use in Zhang’s research.

“One segment of the biotech industry is providing services to academia and research organizations. Students got to experience the process of completing a product from start to finish and practicing sound biotechnology techniques to ensure the product’s quality and accuracy,” Thomas said.

Professors in SCF’s Biotechnology Program train students in advanced molecular biology techniques used in both research and industrial environments. All of SCF’s biotechnology graduates have successfully landed jobs in the field after gaining valuable on-the-job experience during internships with local biotechnology companies.

To learn more about SCF’s Biotechnology Program, prospective students are invited to attend an Open House 4-6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 20, at SCF Bradenton, 5840 26th St. W., building 26, room 220, where they will have the opportunity to tour the biotechnology laboratory.

Faculty members and current students will be available to answer specific questions about the profession, the SCF Biotechnology Program, career opportunities and work settings. SCF industry partners and suppliers also have been invited to answer questions about the field of biotechnology. Partners are Enzymedica Inc., Lakewood-Amedex Inc., Hydrogel Vision, Osprey Biotechnics, Rapid Pathogen Screening Inc., Cambryn Biologics LLC and more.

For more information about the SCF Biotechnology Open House, call 941-752-5341 or email dorank@scf.eduTo view a video featuring SCF's Associate in Science in Biotechnology Degree Program, visit  Visit www.facebook/biotechnologyscffor updates on the program.

SCF Biotech and New College
SCF Biotechnology Program Director Dr. Matt Thomas, SCF Natural Science
Lab Assistant Amy Davis, SCF students Ann Levengood and Megan McIlvain,
NCF student Conor Zhang and NCF Associate Professor of Biochemistry
Dr. Katherine Walstrom.

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