6 MassBay Science Students Selected for Launch of Sanofi’s Hands-on Pilot Biologic Drug Program

FRAMINGHAM – MassBay Community College announced its STEM Mentor Program has been selected for a new pilot program initiated by Sanofi that will offer six science majors an experiential opportunity to learn about the techniques used to make a biologic drug.

The six second-year students selected will serve as “science apprentices” at Sanofi’s Research and Development laboratories in Framingham, during MassBay’s spring break: March 13, 14, and 15.

“We have been inspired by the drive and enthusiasm we see in the MassBay STEM students, and are pleased to be able to offer an opportunity for them to gain useful knowledge and skills to help them build their futures as scientists,” said Sanofi Principal Scientist Noreen Troccoli.

The Sanofi pilot program, Sanofi Experiential Learning Opportunities (SELO), was created for MassBay science majors to learn how to make biologic drugs. The students will work with Sanofi scientists to first learn the theory about the drug making process and then perform “hands on” activities in the research laboratories under the guidance of the scientists.  They will use the same instruments and procedures that are used by the scientists in their research programs.

“Through this truly exceptional opportunity, our students will be able to advance their knowledge in their fields by working in a major life sciences company alongside scientists who are dedicated to improving healthcare options for people across the globe,” said MassBay Dean of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Chitra Javdekar. “We are very grateful to the Sanofi leadership team for offering this unique experiential learning opportunity to MassBay’s STEM students.”

All second-year science majors at MassBay Community College were invited to apply for the six positions available in this pilot program. Applicants were required to submit an essay explaining their interest in the program, a letter of recommendation and to have demonstrated strong academic achievement. The average GPA of the selected students is 3.7.

The following students will be participating:

  • Anne Aldrich (General Studies-Science), of Holliston
  • Tim Bloomingdale (General Studies-Science), of Framingham
  • Chrystal Ehnert (Environmental Sciences and Safety), of Boston               
  • George Khnaizir (Biotechnology), of Norwood
  • Daniela Martinez-Leon (Biotechnology), of Framingham             
  • Jack Skelton (Life Sciences), of Medway


“I have always dreamt of being able to contribute to the body of scientific knowledge, so I am delighted to be part of an opportunity that will get me one step closer to achieving my goal,” said MassBay Biotech student Daniela Martinez Leon. “Building and understanding real-life laboratory techniques through hands-on experience is essential to grow as a well-rounded scientists and will be a valuable asset as we pursue higher degrees and positions in the industry.”

Sanofi Genzyme, the specialty care global business unit of Sanofi, has supported and funded the MassBay STEM Mentor Program since 2014 as part of its Massachusetts community relations initiatives.

Framingham-based Sanofi scientists, Noreen Troccoli and Marina Hincapie created the idea of an experiential learning opportunity to deepen the partnership with MassBay and the community and to help build the next generation of leaders in science. The pilot program concept was built to give students from MassBay a better preparation to enter the workforce with a greater understanding of the needs of the local biotech industry.

Release courtesy of MassBay Community College

Framingham Source Editor Susan Petroni

Susan Petroni Framingham Source Editor Email: editor@FraminghamSource.com Phone: 508-315-7176

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