College Receives $509K NSF Grant to Enhance Biotech Pathways

Posted on: 5/27/2021


SYLMAR, CA — The National Science Foundation has awarded Los Angeles Mission College with a $509,000 Advanced Technological Education grant to help increase the number of qualified biotechnology workers and establish educational pathways for adult learners returning to school, college officials announced today.

The project, titled “Expanding the Biotechnology Pipeline to Adults Seeking Reemployment”, seeks to increase the number and quality of skilled biotechnology workers to fill the regional workforce demand, and establish classroom to career pathways for adults who lost their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic, said Chander Arora, PhD, the program’s director and a Life Sciences faculty.

“We will implement two major programs to achieve this goal,” Dr. Arora said. “We’ll create the Bridge to Biotech workshop to help prepare prospective students for the Biotech program, and the Bridge to Employment workshop to help them find a job after completing their semester-long Biotech Lab Technician Certificate.”

Dr. Arora said the college is always looking for additional funding to help improve the quality of the program and meet specific training requirements set by employers in an ever-evolving field.

“The Biotech program has emerged as one of the most successful programs for preparing students in one semester for jobs in leading Biotech industries with reputable employers like Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Grifols Biologicals, Pharmavite and Thermo Fisher,” Dr. Arora said.

Dr. Par Mohammadian, co-principal investigator for the grant, said the project focuses on two pressing needs: the industry demand for biotech lab assistants and technicians, and the need of individuals who lost their jobs to find new, sustainable employment.

“I’m so proud of our students and faculty who have received this NSF Biotech grant,” said L.A. Mission College President Monte E. Perez, PhD. “My hats off to Drs. Chandra Arora and Par Mohammadian. Their tireless commitment to our students and community cannot be overstated. Mission is on the Move!”

Dexter Williams, a Biotech student, was recently hired by Pharmavite after completing his first semester in the Biotech program. He said the job will give him work experience while he continues completing his Lab Assistant certificate.

“Life comes with many opportunities and endless choices,” Williams said. “Joining Los Angeles Mission College’s Biotech Program was one of my better choices yet. This is not just a program, it is an experience, a life changing one.”

To learn more about the Biotech program at L.A. Mission College, visit and NSF award.


Los Angeles Mission College is committed to the success of our students. We provide accessible, affordable, high-quality learning opportunities in a culturally and intellectually supportive environment. Learn more at

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