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2012-09-13 digital edition

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2012-09-13 / Community News

Blinn College Launches New Degree

A partnership between Blinn College and the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) at the Texas A&M University System (TAMUS) has culminated in the launch of a new degree and certificate program in therapeutics manufacturing. The program promises to supply skilled technicians for an incoming wave of pharmaceutical and biomanufacturing endeavors in Texas.

The initiative marks the first time a degree or certificate program from Blinn and TEEX was approved by state and national accrediting bodies from its launch. With prior approval from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, the program cleared its last hurdle in late June by garnering a nod to proceed from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Blinn’s Therapeutics Manufacturing Program will begin piloting its courses in the Spring of 2013-timing that paired well with recent news from the A&M System of a contract to house a national, class-leading biopharmaceutical center in Bryan/ College Station, Texas. The Texas A&M Center for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing is a $285.6 million public-private partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The project is expected to usher in a new wave of pharmaceutical and manufacturing facilities, creating create thousands of jobs throughout the Brazos Valley.

The contract will make Bryan/ College Station one of the nation’s premier hubs for vaccine production and biosecurity. The Center will develop and manufacture vaccines to protect against pandemic influenza; provide therapies in the event of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats; produce biosecurity products through preclinical and clinical development and train the next generation of professionals in areas required to sustain this national capability.

Blinn’s new program was developed under the leadership of Dr. Robert Brick, vice president of applied sciences and workforce education. To create the program, Blinn teamed with TEEX’s technical training specialists, a partnership certain to have aided the program’s smooth accreditation process.

The College will offer different options for students seeking careers in therapeutics manufacturing.

The courses will be taught at Texas A&M University’s National Center for Therapeutic Manufacturing <http:// nctm.tamu.edu/> and the Texas A&M Health Science Center <http://tamhsc.edu/campuses/ bryan/index.html>, where some of Blinn’s Allied Health programs already reside.

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