Delgado Community College announces the approval of a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant of $184,904 to support its growing Science Laboratory Technology Biotechnology Program.
The NSF-funded project, entitled “Delgado Community College Biotechnology/Synthetic Biology Initiative and Biotechnology Incubator,” is under the direction of Dr. James F. Guenther, instructor of Biology at Delgado.
“On behalf of Delgado Community College, we are sincerely grateful for the grant award of $184,904 from the National Science Foundation. This award from the NSF is a historic moment for Delgado Community College,” said Delgado Chancellor Joan Y. Davis.
“Our congratulations to Dr. Guenther, Professor of Biology Phil Denette, Dean of Science and Mathematics Thomas Gruber, and all of the Delgado faculty and staff who worked so diligently on this grant application. We are excited and look forward to fulfilling this grant,” Davis said.
The Science Laboratory Technology (SLT) Program, located on the Delgado City Park Campus, provides students with the education and skills necessary to begin a career in laboratory science technology. The program offers an Associate of Applied Science degree, ideal for first-time and career-changing students, and a Career Studies Certificate, designed for those who already possess a college degree.
Biotechnology (biotech) and Chemical Technology (chemtech) are two areas of emphasis in the Delgado SLT Program. Both areas encompass some of the fastest-growing industries in the nation, affecting nearly every aspect of daily life.
Biotechnology is an integral part of industries from agriculture and environmental protection to forensics, engineering and medicine. The biotech lab technician performs an essential role in this activity. The same is true for chemtech and the chemical laboratory technician.
Delgado’s SLT Biotechnology Program is designed with employment opportunities in the New Orleans region in mind. Some of the topics covered in biotech courses include advanced microscopy, mass spectrometry and advanced molecular biology techniques. Courses are designed to satisfy the expectations of Delgado’s workforce partners, while giving students the ability to follow their scientific interests and goals.
A new SLT Biotechnology Laboratory opened at the City Park Campus during the Spring 2016 semester. The newly renovated space creates a modern teaching environment designed to train students to succeed in technology-based industries around the world. Students receive theory and technique-based education in biotechnology with a focus on the emerging field of synthetic biology.
Equipment in the laboratory has been acquired through a combination of gifts, purchases and grants, including the newly announced NSF grant.
The laboratory space is being used to promote biotechnology fields in the New Orleans region by providing Delgado students and faculty access to equipment for projects designed to lead into commercial ventures. The overall goal of the Delgado SLT Biotechnology Program and laboratory space is to position and promote the Gulf South region as a leader in biotechnology innovation.