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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Thursday, May 16, 2002

Biotech program offered on Maui

Advertiser Staff

KAHULUI, Maui — Maui Community College is offering a two-week summer biotechnology enrichment program for science teachers and high school students.

"Maui County already hosts a growing biotech industry, and in partnership with these companies, the college is developing the curriculum to train the skilled work force needed by biotech companies here in Ha-wai'i and around the world," said Sally Irwin, a genetics and microbiology instructor who is director of the college's fledgling biotechnology program, which is expected to open in fall of 2003.

She said the goal of the summer program is to reach out to science-oriented high school students and teachers who may inspire students to pursue a career in science.

Monday is the deadline to sign up for the summer program, which will hold sessions from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. weekdays June 17-28 on the MCC campus.

Participants will get an overview of biotechnology and do some hands-on laboratory work in forensics, cloning and DNA fingerprinting. Field trips to Microgaia Inc. and Monsanto subsidiary Dekalb Genetics will provide teachers and students a chance to see the application of bio- technology concepts in pharmaceutical and agricultural research.

A featured speaker will be researcher Dennis Kleid, one of the co-founders of Genentech, a $2.2 billion San Francisco-based biotechnology company.

Applications for the summer biotech enrichment program are available at counselor's offices at all Maui County high schools.

Students must have completed biology or chemistry coursework with at least a B grade. A stipend is available for teachers who attend the program.

For more information, call Irwin at (808) 984-3566 or biology and chemistry instructor Sean Calder at (808) 984-3322.