News Release
  September 28 , 2004


The U.S. Department of Education has awarded a three-year, $322-thousand grant to Los Angeles Mission College to help guide students toward careers in the biomedical and biotechnological fields.

The grant will fund TRAILS - or Team Research Approach in Laboratory Science, as the new program will be called.

Among other things, it will allow Mission College to equip biology and chemistry labs with high-tech research instruments, including a spectrophotometer, microcentrifuges, incubator, tube shaker, vacuum pump, micro-pipettors, and numerous other science accessories.

The labs will be used by students in a new molecular biology course designed to better prepare them for university transfer toward degrees and careers in the biomedical and biotechnological fields.

A key component of the grant will allow promising students to get "real world" experience in biomedical research. Each summer, 10 students will be selected to work as paid interns, assisting university instructors or researchers at private companies, said Mike Reynolds, Mission College biology instructor and a co-director of the program.

"We have many talented students capable of doing high-level research at the university or private level, " he said. "But they're in an economic situation where they have earn money during the summer just to stay in school. "

The paid internships will allow them to enhance their research skills, continue their education, and earn valuable summer dollars, he said.

Angela Echeverri, microbiology/chemistry instructor and co-director of the program, said Mission College will work closely with California State University, Northridge, and the private biotech firm Mannkind Corporation of Valencia. Both have hired Mission College students as research interns in the past. Reynolds said he hopes to bring other biomed firms on board as well.

The grant proposal was written by Echeverri, Reynolds and Young-Ji Lee, Mission College program specialist.

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