College of the Canyons is putting the finishing touches on its new biotechnology center, part of a two-year project to create a state-of-the-art laboratory for the life sciences and engineering program. Located just 10 minutes from its main campus, the College of the Canyons Biotechnology Center contains a 2000 square foot clean room within a 4700 square foot facility in the Mann Biomedical Park.
An open house and ribbon cutting will take place from 3 to 5 p.m. (ribbon cutting at 4:00), October 10 at the center located at Mann Biomedical Park, 25102 Rye Canyon Loop, Santa Clarita, CA. The public and interested business owners are invited to attend.
The project was conceived and coordinated by biology faculty member Jim Wolf and Dena Maloney, Dean of Economic Development at College of the Canyons. The modular clean room itself was donated to the College by 3D Systems, a Santa Clarita-based manufacturer of digital manufacturing equipment.
"What sounds like science fiction is rapidly becoming science fact at College of the Canyons," says Maloney. "The training our students will receive in this facility will catapult them into the high-tech, high-pay and high-intensity world of science that will only grow in the decades to come," she stressed.
Recognizing the growing importance of the biotech and biomedical device manufacturing industries in the region, the College collaborated with Ventura College to secure an economic development grant from the California Community College Chancellor’s Office. The project, entitled the 126 Biotechnology Collaborative, created two unique
biotechnology laboratories at either end of Highway 126.
At Ventura College, the project added two bio-fermentation devices that are used to train bio-technicians needed by pharmaceutical, agricultural, and other wet lab based biotechnology applications.
At College of the Canyons, the project supported the creation of the class 10000 facility used for both "wet lab" activities such as tissue engineering, histology, and "dry lab" activities including micro electronics, nano-technology and biomedical device manufacturing. A core curriculum of clean room science involving 20 hours of hands-on training offered three times each semester will serve as the educational gateway for a range of clean room conducted courses.
While still in its infancy, the facility enables faculty, students and industry partners to participate in training across a broad range of biotechnology and engineering disciplines. The college is also offering precision assembly educational programs to prepare entry-level employees for micro-assembly positions in the biomedical device industry.
"The idea of an educational clean room has an oxymoronic ring to it," notes Wolf. "Once a student enters a clean room, there is a real possibility that the room will no longer be clean. On quick motion," stressed Wolf, "a misplaced hand or even a simple spoken word may contaminate a substance."
"This facility will allow a very accurate re-creation of the major elements of a clean room facility and is in fact a real facility capable of reaching level 5 cleanliness (about 10,000
particles per cubic foot)," said Maloney. "This enables students and industry trainees to experience conditions such as those when working in an FDA-regulated environment or lab setting," said Maloney, "thereby better preparing them for employment in the life sciences field."
For more information, contact Dena Maloney at 661-362-3305.