Bertie Early College High School biotechnology lab receives donation

Published 9:53 am Thursday, August 31, 2017

WINDSOR—As part of an ongoing partnership between the North Carolina Biotechnology Center (NCBC) and Bertie Early College High School, Mark Phillips, Vice President, Statewide Operations for NCBC, traveled to Bertie Early College High School on Aug. 23 to deliver an equipment donation to Bruce Boller, the biotechnology teacher at the early college.

The equipment included three P-1000 micropipetters, a storage rack for the micropipetters and 30 boxes of disposable tips for these instruments. These items will be used by Boller’s students to continue the operations carried out in the school’s biotechnology lab.

Wanda Dempsey-Jacobs and Bruce Boller of Bertie Early College High School receive a donation from Mark Phillips (right). Contributed Photo

The students are continuing their work to establish a biotechnology company, Falcon Biomanufacturing. Students working in this program use recombinant bacteria to produce recombinant protein which, when optimized, will be sold to researchers at North Carolina State University and possibly others in the future.

Through this work, students gain the skills and knowledge necessary to pursue educations and careers in the biology, microbiology and biotechnology fields.

Boller has been associated with the NCBC for more than 20 years and has partnered with them on several projects in the past. The biotechnology program at the early college has benefitted greatly from this partnership over the years through training workshops attended by Boller as well as other previous equipment donations.

Phillips has also showed support of the program by having attended the annual Biotechnology Symposium held at the early college each spring for the past five years. While there, he was able to share his knowledge of biotechnology careers and educational and employment opportunities with our students as well as experience the work being carried out and presented by them.

Boller plans to continue to use this relationship to engage with many contacts within the biotechnology industry community. The aim will be to schedule videoconferences with industry leaders and professionals from local industries as well as those across the state via the Internet.