Biotechnology program coming to Calhoun

Biotechnology program coming to Calhoun

Most of us know about biotechnology, the combination of biology and technology.

Now Calhoun Community College is offering a 2-year degree in Biotechnology.

This is the only program like it in the state.

Researching the human genome and DNA has always been left up to post graduate and upper division schools, until now.

Hudson Alpha Institute for Biotechnology in Huntsville is partnering with Calhoun Community College.

"As Alabama's largest community college we are committed to our mission, of trying to provide a highly skilled, and well trained work force," says Marilyn Beck.

That work force will concentrate on science just like Hudson Alpha.

"Hudson Alpha will be focused on using sequence based biology to uncover these association with personalized medicine, a future where your treatment will be based on your personal human genome sequence," says Jim Hudson.

Tailored, personal medicine is only one sector.

"Bio-fuels. We can take corn and other plant products and create fuels so that we decrease our reliance on fossil fuels," says Necia Nicholas.

Biotechnology is expected to be a huge job sector.

One person hoping to get one of those jobs is sophomore Ryan O'boyle.

She says she can easily see herself in a lab, peering into a microscope.

"I love the DNA and the genetic research," says O'boyle.

Such jobs could start off paying $33-35,000 a year.

Limited scholarships will also be available and local companies are looking for student interns.