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Houston has a reputation as a leader in gas, petrochemical, aerospace, health/medicine, and research and development and is now opening new doors to the burgeoning fields of biotechnology and biopharma.

San Jacinto College is an exclusive provider of National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training-licensed programs.

“Houston already has a number of biomanufacturing companies, and many will eventually relocate here, so the region is primed and ready for growth in this industry,” said Dr. Christopher Wild, San Jac executive director of biotechnology and South Campus dean of health and natural sciences.


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In spring 2024, the College launched a series of non-credit biomanufacturing classes at the South Campus, providing corporate training and onboarding for new hires and existing workers in this industry.

“It’s important to both meet the current workforce needs and train the anticipated future workforce,” Wild said. “Regional biomanufacturing companies will be able to look to us to deliver this specialized training.”

Focus of training programs

Eventually, the College plans to offer an Associate of Applied Science degree in biomanufacturing technician, a Level 1 certificate, and an advanced skills certificate. This area of study will resonate with many, specifically biology majors. For example, biomanufacturing technicians will participate in manufacturing human therapeutics that are generated from biological systems. Graduates could pursue positions in cutting-edge medicine like vaccine manufacturing and cell and gene therapies.

Students will learn theoretical concepts to better understand the scope and purpose of the work, but focus will be on the technical study of manufacturing human therapeutics, as in the hands-on aspect. Although the program will cover a broad spectrum, it will not be math and science heavy.

Creating a robust training program empowers the College to attract future biomanufacturing companies to the Houston area, creating more job opportunities.

Preparing for future

The College recently broke ground on the new Center for Biotechnology at the Generation Park Campus. This state-of-the-art facility, which is being built in collaboration with McCord Development Inc., will provide comprehensive, hands-on training with realistic good manufacturing practices simulated environments. The hope is to be functional by 2025.

“This opens doors for Generation Park students and the community,” said Destry Dokes, Generation Park Campus provost. “It gives students the opportunity to explore this emerging field and learn the foundational elements of biomanufacturing and biopharma. It also helps current employees in that field who are looking to upscale.”

San Jac also hosted a ribbon-cutting for the biomanufacturing training program at the South Campus. This program marks the initiation of the College’s comprehensive biotechnology offerings, beginning with an onboarding certificate designed to equip new professionals with the skills and knowledge to enter the field seamlessly.

The biomanufacturing training program, a two-week hybrid initiative, integrates theoretical knowledge, practical hands-on experience, and exposure to industry practices. The program is also customizable to meet the specific training needs of industry partners. Future offerings will expand to cover all aspects of biomanufacturing, specialized instrumentation and equipment training, and advanced techniques, ensuring San Jac remains at the forefront of biotechnological education.

“As we unveil the biomanufacturing training program, we are taking a significant step toward meeting the growing demands of the biotechnology sector right now,” Wild said.

Learn more about San Jac’s biomanufacturing technology program.

By Neesha Hosein and Jacquelynn Conger