UMBC’s new biomanufacturing program “is really the next wave of UMBC expanding our training offerings,” says Annica Wayman, associate dean. It builds on success with an award-winning Biotech Boot Camp and the Translational Life Science Technology bachelor’s degree, launched in 2019.
A growing list of programs and partnerships is positioning UMBC as a leader in developing Maryland’s biotech and biomanufacturing workforce. “We are driven by the vision that Maryland can be a leader in biotech,” Dean Bill LaCourse says. “We’re establishing strong pathways to develop the workforce, where students and professionals have an array of choices about how to get to the biotech career they want and that the region needs.”
While some industries have lost jobs during the pandemic, the biotech industry has seen explosive growth. This new program seeks to address a mismatch between available workers and available jobs. Setting people up to succeed in well-paying new jobs and simultaneously filling the gap in the biotech workforce “is a win-win that we’re really excited to be a part of,” Annica Wayman says.
The new Biomedical Sciences and Engineering Facility at The Universities at Shady Grove is a big piece of the expansion. “This building symbolizes an opportunity to bring the disciplines together to address societal problems,” Annica Wayman says, “and to discover how they can work together to address the biggest challenges.” With state-of-the-art scientific equipment and ample opportunity for interaction among students, faculty, and biotech professionals, the facility will enhance programming at the undergraduate and graduate levels.