Training Future Geneticists
The Jackson Laboratory (commonly known as JAX) and the Connecticut State Colleges & Universities (CSCU) have now formalised a partnership to establish an institution called the Genomics Workforce Institute. The partnership is intended to help to prepare students for careers in the bioscience and biotechnology space. Once established, the Institute will offer students faculty collaboration, hands-on training, curriculum development, and direct access to potential employers.
A successful pilot programme, primarily funded by a $12M grant from the US Department of Labour, has already established new and revised existing health and life sciences programmes throughout the USA. When the funding for the pilot ended earlier this year, JAX, an independent, non-profit biomedical research institution, agreed to continue the partnership with CSCU.
“At JAX, we recognize the reservoir of talent within the CSCU system, and we are committed to connecting student aspirations with workforce development needs across the state,” said Edison Liu, M.D., President and CEO of JAX. “Through this partnership, JAX will share our knowledge of advancements in biomedical science, our understanding of career options for science trainees at many different educational levels, and our attendant curricular offerings to meet the needs of tomorrow’s workforce.”
The initial outline for the Institute includes collaborations to locate funding for CSCU’s 17 institutions, internships in genomics for CSCU students, and an annual career forum to promote student-employer interactions, hosted by JAX. JAX will also be involved on advisory boards to ensure continued curriculum development over time.
“I truly appreciate all the hard work that was done by the staff, faculty, students, and JAX in creating this partnership and developing it into the success it has become today,” said Mark Ojakian, CSCU President. “Our students will certainly benefit from the hands-on training and commitment from everyone involved and JAX will benefit by having access to highly-skilled potential employees right here in Connecticut.”