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Supporting a nimble biotechnology future, through NIIMBL

Hope Biosciences welcomes the workforce of the future | Written by Jan Shultis


The National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL)

Worried about tomorrow’s workforce? Stay away from negative mainstream media and listen to us! Hope Biosciences welcomed a busload of college students for a work-focused visit earlier this month. After great conversations, we are delighted to report that if these young men and women are indicative of years to come, the future of healthcare is in good hands.


On Tuesday, June 4th 2024, Hope Bio threw open the doors for a bus of students representing The National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL). Administered through the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, NIIMBL was launched in 2016 with the stated objective of “accelerating innovation in biopharmaceutical manufacturing, developing standards and measurement science for the industry, and creating a well-trained workforce for the field’s high-paying jobs, many of which are currently unfilled.”[1]


Students from NIIMBL getting insight to Hope Biosciences' stem cell production team

As part of their educational programming, NIIMBL offers the NIIMBL eXperience, a week-long immersion program that offers rising sophomores and juniors in college real-world insight into biopharmaceutical industry careers. NIIMBL eXperience specifically seeks to increase access to the biopharmaceutical manufacturing industry among Black, Latinx, and Native American students, historically professionally underrepresented. (Aside: NIIMBL eXperience is an all-expenses-paid program, funded by NIST grant. Interested?! Click here to learn more about the 2025 application process.)

 

This year’s Houston-area visit was hosted and arranged by the University of Houston (UH), and attracted 12 students from Mississippi, Massachusetts, North Carolina, and Maryland, in addition to Texans from Austin Community College, University of Houston, and Houston Christian University. At their respective institutions, students are enrolled in the following programs: Nursing BSN, biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, biology, biotechnology (general, and with a focus on genomics and biomanufacturing), pre-health sciences, and biochemistry. Additional regional programs took place this summer at Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Thomas Jefferson University, North Carolina State University, and Santa Clara University.


Hope Biosciences CEO, Donna Chang presenting the state of cell therapy to NIIMBL

The week in Houston included lectures and laboratory time at UH, visits to the globe-leading Texas Medical Center and other area innovation hubs, and stops at several Houston-based biotechnology companies. While with Hope Biosciences, students heard directly from CEO Donna Chang about the state of cell therapy and the promise of Hope Bio’s proprietary technology, toured the labs and an adjacent clinical research facility where much of Hope Bio’s FDA-authorized research is conducted, and spent time with more than a dozen Hope Bio team members to learn more about each individual’s unique background, educational experience, and professional journey. Some students even had an opportunity to connect with alumni from their university, now employed at Hope Bio.


“We wanted to share a true ‘day in the life’ of the team here at Hope,” explains Julie Joo, Operations Chief, Hope Biosciences. “It takes an incredibly diverse team to be successful in biotechnology, and it is important students become aware of how many ways they could make contributions. From scientists to mathematicians, healthcare professionals, quality assurance specialists, even writers with specialized knowledge, there are seemingly unending ways for hard-working, intellectually curious young people to build careers in scientific innovation. We are proud to show them what we do, how we do it, and why, and hopefully inspire them along the way.”


Students from NIIMBL hearing about a day in the life of our Quality Control Technician, Kristian Ruiz

 

For more information about NIIMBL and the NIIMBL eXperience, please visit niimbl.org.

 

 

Hope Biosciences is a biopharmaceutical company developing adult stem cell therapeutics for a variety of clinical indications, and the only clinical grade adult stem cell banking facility in the nation serving both adults and newborns. Hope Biosciences occupies a unique position in the regenerative medicine space, noteworthy both for patented cell culture methods and effectiveness getting cells to patients through robust collaboration with academic and clinical research organizations. Hope Bio’s proprietary cell culturing process makes Hope Biosciences the gold standard in producing high volume, consistent, repeatable mesenchymal stem cells for clinical purposes. Hope Bio prides itself on banking for actual use.



 

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