In 2017, Laura Long was part of the launch of BioBuilder’s summer intern program. Laura was a junior at Swampscott High School in Swampscott, MA, when she completed the spring 2017 BioBuilder High School Apprenticeship Challenge. She went on to intern that summer with BioBuilder where she helped set up a new lab and proofread laboratory standard operating procedures before they were published.
Laura graduated high school in 2018 and entered the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) that fall. In the spring of 2022, she received her B.S. degree in biology. Not one to take her foot off the accelerator, Laura began her graduate studies that autumn and is working toward her M.S. degree in biology. Her research focus is on biomechanical and biochemical pathways involved in insulin-stimulated glucose uptake. In her spare time 🙂 , Laura does extracurricular coursework in materials engineering.
In the spring of 2018, Melissa Aguirre Pinillos was a junior at Melrose High School in Melrose, MA. After completing the BioBuilder High School Apprenticeship Challenge that spring, Melissa was a summer intern with BioBuilder where she taught teacher professional development workshops at the BioBuilder Learning lab at LabCentral with Dr. Natalie Kuldell.
Melissa graduated high school in 2019 and promptly began her college studies at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston. In 2023, she received her B.S. in biomedical/medical engineering from Wentworth. Today, Melissa is a bioengineer at Kytopen in Cambridge, MA, where she conducts biotechnology research.
In the spring of 2019, Kevin Fuentes was a junior at Malden High School in Malden, MA. He had always loved science, and then he discovered BioBuilder when Dr. Kuldell gave a presentation to one of his science classes. After completing the High School Apprenticeship Challenge, Kevin worked that summer as an intern at BioBuilder. During the internship he helped teach in the Learning Lab @LabCentral and tested the synthetic biology lab kits that BioBuilder provides to schools.
Kevin graduated high school in 2020 and promptly entered Tufts University in Medford, MA. Kevin is now entering his senior year at Tufts and is looking forward to receiving his B.S. degree in biomedical/medical engineering.
In early 2022, Gunjan Kumar was a junior at the Pioneer Charter School of Science in Everett, MA. Already a science fan, she was eager to learn and do hands-on lab work. She entered the spring 2022 High School Apprenticeship Challenge and continued on as the BioBuilder high school summer intern that year. During the internship, she worked on a new CRISPR teaching lab for BioBuilder, as well as revising the BioBuilder protocols for our workforce development classes in Worcester, MA.
Gunjan entered Boston University in 2023 where she is studying molecular biology. You can follow her on LinkedIn and be as excited as we are about her future in STEM!
Sahib Gill will be a senior this fall at Medford Technical High School in Medford, MA. He joined the Apprenticeship Challenge last spring, impressing the selection committee with his commitment to life science as a career, his drive to become the first in his family to attend college, and his community work. He (and we) are very proud of the toy drive he spearheaded last Christmas. His Apprenticeship project to make safer and more environmentally-gentle eggs would be a game changer if it can be produced.
Sahib is BioBuilder’s 2023 high school intern where he is working at the Learning Lab @Ginkgo to develop curriculum, support the teaching of our high school programs, and also represent BioBuilder when visitors come by. Sahib stole the show when he spoke with the BioMADE visiting committee last month (see sidebar).
Sahib’s star is on the rise. Follow Sahib on Linked in and keep an eye on this young man’s bright future!
In July, BioBuilder and Ginkgo BioWorks were excited to host a group from BioMADE at the Learning Lab @ Ginkgo. The group was composed of leaders in the effort to advance the bio-economy and bio-workforce in the U.S. Representatives from the Department of Defense, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the National Science Foundation were represented, as were leaders of community colleges around the country, micro-credentialing programs, and other national outreach programs.
We had some wonderful discussions about the work of BioBuilder and Ginkgo in engaging young minds about biotechnology, helping to teach and train them, and supporting their college and career development.
The BioMADE team visited several other biotechnology centers along the eastern seaboard, such as:
That was quite a trip, and we are proud to be part of the biotech revolution!