TEES awarded $22.7 million for biomanufacturing workforce training

November 6, 2012
| By: Aubrey Bloom

Texas A&M University System Vice Chancellor Brett Giroir, M.D., today announced that the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) has been approved by the Department of Health and Human Services and awarded a $22.7 million subcontract by the A&M System to lead and manage the therapeutics manufacturing and advanced development workforce training programs for the Texas A&M Center for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing (CIADM).

Through its comprehensive consortium of academic, private and industry partners, the A&M System is committed to developing and implementing interdisciplinary training and education programs that will recruit, prepare, train and produce the next-generation workforce to meet the needs of existing and developing biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries in the United States. As an engineering research agency of the State of Texas and a member of the A&M System, TEES is uniquely qualified to develop these critical training programs in collaboration with industry.

"This is a great example of why we are so enthusiastic about the BARDA award and development of the CIADM. We are already seeing direct benefits to our community and state," said John Sharp, A&M System chancellor.

"A well-trained, fully capable workforce for the emerging biomanufacturing industry is a critical component for continuing economic development in Texas, and for a nimble and agile manufacturing capability here in the United States," said Giroir, principal investigator for CIADM.

Giroir made the announcement at a workforce development event at the National Center for Therapeutics Manufacturing (NCTM), a first-of-its-kind, multidisciplinary pharmaceutical workforce education institution and biopharmaceutical manufacturing center located at Texas A&M University in College Station. Special guests included Texas Workforce Commission Chairman Andres Alcantar, Research Valley Partnership CEO Todd McDaniel, an economic development partner of Texas A&M System, and biomanufacturing employers and other interested stakeholders.

TEES has led a team of educational partners to develop the core biomanufacturing training programs of the NCTM, which will be leveraged to support the CIADM project. "To fulfill the comprehensive needs of the CIADM, we have assembled a top-notch team of partners with expertise in technical training through graduate education in the subject matter areas," said Dr. Michael Pishko (pictured above), associate principal investigator for CIADM and director of the National Center for Therapeutics Manufacturing.

Specific aims of the CIADM workforce training program include:

  • Developing and providing therapeutics manufacturing education and training programs to produce technical and professional-level staff proficient in process development, production systems, cGMP, standard operating procedures, quality assurance and regulatory guidelines.
  • Developing and providing advanced development education and training programs to support technical and professional-level staff related to assay development and validation, preclinical product development, cGLP, clinical development, regulatory science and compliance.
  • Providing comprehensive workforce outreach that includes advisory committees, internship and scholarship programs, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and dual credit initiatives, including student and teacher workshops.

The TEES Workforce Training Program will be led by Dr. Pishko and Jenny Ligon, executive director. The management team will directly oversee education and training on behalf of CIADM and develop a committee of leading experts from academia, industry and government with varied technical expertise to advise on strategy and implementation of the program.

About the Texas A&M Center for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing
The Texas A&M Center for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing (CIADM) was founded on an initial $285.6 million public-private partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and is designed to enhance the nation's emergency preparedness against emerging infectious diseases, including pandemic influenza, and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats.

About the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station
The Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) promotes new technology education and investigates problems in health and the environment, and is currently sponsoring more than 4,000 ongoing research projects, 800 collaborations, 40 patent applications and more than 1,000 students in research activities.

About The Texas A&M University System
The A&M System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation, with a budget of $3.5 billion. Through a statewide network of 11 universities, seven state agencies and a comprehensive health science center, the A&M System educates more than 120,000 students and makes more than 22 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. Externally funded research expenditures exceed $780 million and help drive the state's economy.

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