September 14, 2015, Limerick, Pa. – On September 9th, Rockland Immunochemicals, Inc., conducted an event with leading representatives spanning Government, Non-Profit, Industry and Education. Attendees included Pennsylvania State Senator Bob Mensch, State Representative Tom Quigley, John Munera of State Senator John Rafferty, Jr.’s office, and officials from The Wistar Institute, Montgomery County Community College (MCCC), and PABio.
The agenda focused on the key drivers of growth for life science industry in a complex global economy. A common thread throughout the program was the importance of long-term investments in a qualified workforce trained in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). “History informs us that the strength of an economy is dependent on human capital,” says State Senator Bob Mensch. “With over 130,000 STEM jobs and a strong academic infrastructure, the Philadelphia region is poised to capitalize on emerging biotech and pharma opportunities.”
Richard Smith, Rockland’s Chief Operating Officer and Dr. Dustin Shilling, Senior Associate, Licensing & Business Development, The Wistar Institute, outlined the structure and goals of the Wistar-Rockland strategic partnership, including the recently announced agreement to distribute the exclusive collection of melanoma cell lines developed in Dr. Meenhard Herlyn’s laboratory at the Wistar Institute. “The collaboration between Rockland and the Wistar Institute combines the experience and expertise of two iconic Pennsylvania institutions,” says State Representative Tom Quigley. “It stimulates economic growth in the region, boosts STEM employment, and serves as a proven model for others to emulate.”
MCCC’s nationally recognized STEM Division provides high-caliber, hands-on bio-manufacturing training that feeds the talent pipeline in Pennsylvania. Dr. David DiMattio explained how MCCC works with Rockland and other top companies to craft internship programs that expose students to a real-world environment to prepare them for high-value, green STEM jobs. The Wistar Institute and Rockland explained that each is actively engaged to expand the network of training initiatives in the region to deepen the pool of candidates qualified to fill STEM job openings.
The event focused on the import of a global perspective. Craig Tucker, PABio’s VP for Policy & Public Affairs, emphasized the impact of regulatory and tax policy on the life science industry. R&D credits, for example, can propel the development of intellectual property vital to the ability of a company to compete in global markets. The significance of quality was explored. Rockland stressed that quality is a function of qualified people with adequate STEM education and experience. Dr. Karin Abarca Heidemann, Rockland’s Director of R&D, shared an example – “We develop host cell protein antibodies used in clearance assays that assess contamination levels in biologic therapies. To meet the exacting demands of an evolving regulatory environment, we require top-notch STEM professionals who can make complex judgments.” State Senator John Rafferty added, “The contributions made by organizations like Rockland,
The Wistar Institute, MCCC and PABio create STEM jobs that are essential to the continued growth of the booming life science industry in Pennsylvania.”
About Rockland Immunochemicals, Inc.
Rockland Immunochemicals, Inc. supports the academic, biopharma, and diagnostic industries with antibodies and antibody based tools used in basic research, assay development, and preclinical studies. With facilities in Pennsylvania for over 50 years, Rockland manufactures products ideally suited for integration into critical assays such as western blotting, immunohistochemistry (IHC), immunofluorescence microscopy (IF), ELISA and flow cytometry. Additional information about Rockland’s life science tools and services can be found on Rockland’s website at www.rockland-inc.com.
For additional information regarding this announcement, please contact:
Marketing, Rockland Immunochemicals, Inc.