The University of Georgia is partnering in a biopharmaceutical innovation institute that aims to boost market production of cell-based therapies and develop a skilled workforce to work in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry.The new public-private partnership, called the National Institute for Innovation of Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL) will focus its efforts on driving down the cost and risks associated with manufacturing advanced cell and gene therapies for biopharmaceutical production.Steven Stice, director of the UGA’s Regenerative Bioscience Center and D.W. Brooks Distinguished Professor in the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, is the UGA lead in the partnership, which is coordinated by the University of Delaware.NIIMBL represents a total investment of $250 million, including $129 million in private cost-share commitments from the NIIMBL consortium of 150 companies, nonprofits, educational institutions and state partners across the country, combined with at least $70 million in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Commerce.NIIMBL is the 11th institute under the Manufacturing USA National Network for Manufacturing Innovation initiative created to advance manufacturing leadership and restore jobs to the U.S.This recent success follows an announcement in 2016 by the U.S. Department of Defense that an MIT-led team involving UGA was selected for funding as the eighth NNMI institute.“We are pleased to have UGA participate in these high-profile public-private partnerships that are aimed at advancing U.S. leadership in key manufacturing sectors,” said UGA Vice President for Research David Lee. “We are eager to assist industry partners in meeting their goals through the development of new and existing intellectual property, and the training of an appropriate workforce.”Biopharmaceuticals are increasingly showing promising results in treating some of the most prevalent and debilitating diseases affecting human health. But manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals is not without large-scale operational and technological challenges, Stice said.These biologically sourced drugs are different from traditional small molecule, synthesized drugs. For example, he said, the synthesized drug ibuprofen can be precisely copied and characterized, and result in varied generic versions. In contrast, biopharmaceuticals like vaccines are much more complex and rely on the use of a biological transformation. As living cells, they are highly sensitive to their conditions and surroundings.Technical projects, which will be designed by the industry partners of the institution, will be selected through a competitive process and funded via subaward agreements with NIIMBL members.Stice, a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar, will facilitate team assembly for response to the project calls, leveraging years of collective experience in regenerative medicine and technology development. He is also co-director of the Regenerative Engineering and Medicine research center, or REM, a collaboration by Emory University, the Georgia Institute of Technology and UGA. “There is a crippling regulatory gap, which is commonly referred to as ‘the valley of death’ in moving biotech products from discovery to commercialization,” Stice said. “What NIIMBL presents is an opportunity to help improve government regulation, minimize failure, create job growth and improve health care quality, all while reducing costs in the U.S.”For more information about the role UGA’s Regenerative Bioscience Center plays in developing biotechnology that will shape the future visit www.rbc.uga.edu.
Tags: MarcellusWest Geneseewrestling Eight different members of the Marcellus wrestling team emerged with top-eight finishes from the Dec. 27-28 Kenneth Haines Memorial Tournament at SUNY-Oswego.All of this helped the Mustangs rise to eighth place in a 24-team field with 98.5 points, though it was still well behind the winning 273 points put up by Fulton, the state’s top-ranked Division I (large school) side.No Marcellus wrestler could reach the finals, but four of them got into consolation bracket championship bouts, with Dylan Price earning third place at 138 pounds when he shut out Fulton’s Samuel May 3-0 after a 5-3 semifinal defeat to Niagara-Wheatfield’s Justin McDougald.With multiple wins in their respective consolation brackets, Colin Scherer, at 99 pounds, and Carl Santiarello, at 106 pounds, each finished fourth, with Kyle Brown fourth at 285 pounds, denied a higher finish by Copenhagen’s Josh Freeman in a tight 2-1 decision.Zach Grolling took sixth place at 182 pounds, with Ryan Moses finishing seventh at 138 pounds. Ethan Ciota (113 pounds) and Nate Farino (195 pounds) each had eighth-place efforts.West Genesee was 21st in the Haines meet with 43 points, most of it from Nate Wade, who at 132 pounds blanked Mark Kuhn (Niagara-Wheatfield) 12-0 in the semifinals before a 2-0 defeat to Mexico’s Dean Shambo in the title bout. The Wildcats’ Colin McAvan edged Camden’s Tyler Pelton 1-0 for sixth place at 160 pounds.Taking part in Saturday’s Victor Duals, WG went 2-3, taking defeats to Canandaigua (45-34), Hilton (66-21) and Perry (54-19), but beating the host Victor Blue Devils 60-3 and topping Caledonia-Mumford 60-12.Against Victor, Nate Wade (106) and Colin McAvan (160) gained pins, while against Caledonia-Mumford that pair was joined by Jacob Gonzalez (145 pounds), Preston Elia (182 pounds) and Peter Dwinell (195 pounds) earning falls.Share this:FacebookTwitterLinkedInRedditComment on this Story
Two outgoing Undergraduate Student Government officials presented a resolution Tuesday at the Senate meeting that aims to improve the compensation and benefits for custodians working at USC. USG President Debbie Lee proposed the budget for the 2018-19 academic year. Yuwei Xi | Daily TrojanThe USG Senate also voted unanimously in favor of approving the final USG hires for the 2018-19 academic year.Outgoing director of external affairs Mai Mizuno explained that the custodian resolution aims to improve conditions for custodians at USC.“First, we want to reduce the out-of-pocket cost that they have to pay monthly for their health care from 7 percent to 6 percent,” she said. “Secondly, [we want] to have a comparable wage increase to the wages of other workers downtown.”Mizuno later explained that the resolution does not ask for a specific wage standard for custodians. It merely asks for wages comparable to those of other custodians working downtown who make $16.60 an hour, Mizuno said.Before presenting the details of the resolution, Mizuno read testimonials of two custodians who work at USC. She did not say their names. The first custodian testimonial came from a woman who has worked at USC for 11 years.“We would like to urge students to use their voices to stand up for us and ask the administration to pressure its subcontractor, Aramark, to address our grievances,” she wrote. “For some time now we have felt undervalued, belittled and treated like we weren’t important.”The second custodian testimonial came from a man who has worked at USC for 24 years.“We have seen many of our coworkers become disabled as a result of our workload,” he said. “What we would like to ask all of you is to ask the University to hold the company, Aramark, to be more conscious of the workload that has caused illness, stress and increased work pressure on my coworkers.”Mizuno also said that both the outgoing and incoming leadership of USG have supported for the resolution.Senator Michaela Murphy delivered a message of solidarity with the entire community, explaining why she is sponsoring the resolution.“I wish it went without saying that when we, as members of this community here at USC, say that we support fellow Trojans, we mean all Trojans here at USC,” she said. “But time and time again, we have seen that is not been the case, specifically with the treatment of the custodial staff here at USC.”Incoming USG President Debbie Lee also presented a comprehensive USG budget proposal for the 2018-19 academic year. The total budget is roughly $2.07 million.Part of the proposed budget is a subscription to The New York Times which would cost $8,000 and would provide 100 print copies to be distributed across campus on a daily basis. Some senators, however, raised concerns about how funding such an initiative would reduce the amount of funding that could be distributed to existing organizations that may need more funding.The USG Senate will vote on the custodian resolution and the 2018-19 USG budget in next week’s Senate meeting.