UPR-Mayagüez biotech program marks 20th anniversary

Written by  //  September 17, 2014  //  In-Brief  //  No comments

From left: Patricia Ortiz-Bermúdez, associate coordinator of BIOTEC; (standing) Carlos Ríos Velázquez; John Fernández-Van Cleve; and Alejandro Ruiz, program director and former RUM rector.

From left: Patricia Ortiz-Bermúdez, associate coordinator of BIOTEC; (standing) Carlos Ríos Velázquez; John Fernández-Van Cleve; and Alejandro Ruiz, program director and former RUM rector.

The University of Puerto Rico’s Mayagüez campus is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its Industrial Biotechnology Program, which has served as a platform to present innovative technological, research and cutting-edge aspects using the science as a change agent.

To mark the milestone, the school will host several activities, including the 11th annual Collegiate Biotechnology Week, and the signing of a proclamation by rector John Fernández-Van Cleve.

“Through several scheduled activities, we want to promote among our university community and the general public, biotechnology as an agent for integration and progress to develop professional who are academically excellent, principled and empathetic to the island’s needs,” said Carlos Ríos-Velázquez, program coordinator.

The agenda includes events on Sept. 18-20, school officials said.

“We want to celebrate the 20 year [anniversary] for an entire year. We will integrate graduates, we will host activities for the general public,” said Ríos-Velázquez.

The Industrial Biotechnology Program was formally established in 1994 at the School of Arts and Sciences as an interdisciplinary offering in collaboration with the School of Engineering. This initiative was conceptualized, developed and implemented by Alejandro Ruiz, Professor of Biology and ex-rector of the Mayagüez campus.

“This is an innovative program aimed at a very important discipline for the future of this island. In it, we get to the school’s best students. It has multidisciplinary effect upon the Schools of Engineering and Arts and Sciences and, to some extent, Agricultural Science that generate a program that can bring in innovation in biotechnology. Our graduates are the most sought after,” said Fernández-Van Cleve.

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