Abbe Kesterson demonstrates Bcalm, an inhaler that could be...
Abbe Kesterson of Bluegrass Community and Technical College (BCTC) just completed two semesters of the Entrepreneurs Bootcamp at the University Of Kentucky Von Allmen Center Of Entrepreneurship. In the first semester, Bootcamp 1.0, teams conceived of, developed and pitched ideas. Teams met with a variety of mentors and attended once a week workshops on the principles of lean entrepreneurial start-ups. About one third of the teams were invited to Bootcamp 2.0. Deborah Davis joined Abbe for the more intensive dive into business model development, market research, and customer validation. With this experience, Kesterson and Davis will be better equipped to... Read more
Alice McConnell came to Austin Community College Bioscience Incubator to find a way to help her children and others suffering from a very rare neurometabolic disorder with no cure, succinic semialdehyde dehydrogenase deficiency (SSADH). SSADH is an autosomal recessive trait and is characterized by a variety of initial symptoms and severity, including motor milestone delays, hypotonia (reduced muscle tone) and/or intellectual disability. The average life span for affected individuals is 34 years. With the help of ACC Alice founded Speragen, and together they already have a viable therapeutic candidate in late stage development. Read more
David Blackwell, Ceiling Biosciences, works with stem cells in...
Both the Austin Community College Biotech program and the Bioscience Incubator were featured in a news report from KXAN on the city's growing bioscience industry.
The main topic of the article is a life science hackathon, called LifeSciHack, where 70 people will collaborate over a weekend to see how bioscience companies can share information.
For me, the interesting part of the story is the footage from the ACC Bioincubator and the interviews with David Blackwell, a lab manager from Celling Biosciences, one of the ACC Bioincubator's tenants and... Read more
This weekend I attended the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association (TWGGA) Annual Conference and Trade Show in San Marcos. I was there representing the new partnership between VESTA and the AC2 Bio-Link Regional Center. Scott Kohls, co-PI for the VESTA Center, manned the booth and trained me to deliver the "correct spiel" to interested participants. Austin Community College is the latest college to join the consortium of schools who support VESTA. VESTA offers online courses in wine making (enology), viticulture, and the business of wine making. The online components include an hour each week where students from "all over"... Read more
An established partnership with the Kentucky Innovation Network has led to a new collaboration. This March, the Von Allen Center will apply to renew their University Center grant through the Economic Development Administration ( https://www.eda.gov/funding-opportunities/ ) for another 5 years. Bluegrass Community and Technical College will receive a small subaward to provide training for entry-level life-science technicians. Read more
The formal opening of the Austin Community College Bioscience Incubator occurred January 31. 2017. It was a well-attended ceremony and students from the Biotechnology Program were on hand to demo and explain equipment in the facility. Dr. Tyler Drake, Director of the facility already has several companies who would like to lease bench space. The Biotechnology Program plans to offer biomanufacturing this Summer in the facility and the AC2 Bio-Link Regional Center plans to start offering workshops in emerging biotech areas such as stem cell cultivation. Read more
New incoming students to the biotechnology program are presented with their white laboratory coats. This signifies their commitment to ethical laboratory practices. The student's name is monogrammed into the fabric above the breast pocket on the left side of the jacket. On the right side, the biotechnology logo is attached, which bears the quintessential double helix and the statement, "Tomorrow's Careers Today." The logo was designed by a former biotechnology student, Scott Brasfield, as part of his required community service. Attached to the left sleeve is the BCTC logo.
The white coat originated in scientific laboratories and has been... Read more
There is a new group in town, ASCN, Accelerating Systemic Change Network. I attended the first meeting two weeks ago and realized everything they were talking about is what we are trying to do in Texas and Kentucky! Read more
Bluegrass Community and Technical College (BCTC) hosted a ceremonial groundbreaking April 20 for the Newtown Campus, Science Education Center, at 500 Newtown Pike, Lexington. The new building is projected to open in January 2018.
The Science Education Center will support up-to-date laboratory experiences and feature dynamic classroom technology. It will include labs, classrooms, student support areas, and offices for 20 faculty. The 64,000 sq. ft. building will also be home to two technical programs, Biotechnology and Environmental Science.
“With this facility, we are growing the campus to support excellent STEM education,” said Dr. Augusta Julian, president of BCTC.... Read more
On April 6, 7, and 8, the AC2 Leadership Team met for the first time at Austin Community College for our inaugural meeting of the National Visiting Committee (NVC). According to NVC members, it went well. They commended the Leadership team on their accomplishments given the short 3-month time frame since implementation. Kudos to us!
Based on NVC feedback, we are tasked with rebranding our contract service organization (CSO). They think industry already has a preconceived idea of the typical CSO - that is, a for-profit organization that steps in to the development process and provides high-level, high-security services... Read more
A goal of the AC2 Bio-Link Regional Center (AC2) is to incorporate LIMS (Laboratory Information Management Systems) in to biotechnology classes, possibly as a component of bioinformatics instruction. This is reasonable because students entering the workforce will have advantages over others if they have some experience with such systems. Also, CSO's and incubators need to consider LIMS to manage lab operations, train students in modern practices, and support their clients.
Getting, planning, building, using, and maintaining LIMS is a challenging endeavor. So challenging in fact, that there are countless systems available, a world of consultants, and... Read more
Groundbreaking work on an incubator at Austin Community College.
Austin Community College began work Feb. 4th on the Advanced Commercialization ACCelerator in ACC Highland with industry representatives and community leaders in attendance. Biotechnology students participating along with up to 200 guests.
The business incubator will provide companies with the specialized equipment, wet-lab space, and conference areas they need to transform their research and concepts to marketable products. ACC students will be able to take advantage of real-world learning opportunities.
“We’re going to see hundreds of millions of dollars of additional economic activity and thousands of jobs... Read more