Core Competencies

The MLSEC has worked with industry and academia to define biotechnology core competencies required for program endorsement.

 

I.    Laboratory Practices and Workplace Functions –

  1. Communicate using scientific vocabulary common to the biotechnology industry.
  2. Apply scientific knowledge and technical expertise to common biotechnological laboratory techniques.
  3. Follow safety procedures and use laboratory equipment properly.
  4. Follow standard operating procedure (SOP) protocol.
  5. Follow Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), including complete and proper documentation of all procedures.
  6. Maintain a clean environment and equipment.
  7. Use computers to gather and process data and use computerized instrumentation.
  8. Apply problem solving skills, mathematics and critical thinking to analyze problems, propose solutions and make decisions.
  9. Exhibit appropriate workplace behaviors, including teamwork, time management, effective communication (written and verbal) and presentation skills, and integrity in work.

 

II.   Laboratory Techniques (Biomanufacturing and Research and Development)

1.  General Laboratory Techniques

  • Follow Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).
  • Validate equipment and processes routinely.
  • Assess temperatures accurately.
  • Use proper Microscopy Techniques.
  • Use a spectrophotometer to measure light absorbance of a solution.
  • Perform chromatographic techniques (gel filtration, ion exchange, etc).
  • Use Aseptic Technique.
  • Homogenize cells and perform cell fractionation by centrifugation and identify components of sub-cellular fractions.

2.  Solution, Buffer and Media Prep

  • Prepare percent, molar, and molal solutions correctly
  • Weigh materials accurately.
  • Measure volumes accurately.
  • Dilute solutions for use in different assays as calculated.
  • Obtain the correct pH of a solution.
  • Use proper micropipetting techniques.
  • Prepare sterile media for animal cell culture by sterile filtration.
  • Maintain biological stock cultures.

3.  Mammalian, plant or insect Cell Culture (Tissue)

  • Culture cells
  • Perform subculturing of eukaryotic cell cultures from original flask of cells.
  • Enumerate the number of cells and viability in a solution.
  • Maintain cultures of mammalian, plant or insect cells with sterile techniques.
  • Using a bioreactor, grow cells in suspension.
  • Preserve cells

4.  Microbiology Techniques

  • Prepare sterile agar and broth media for growing microorganisms
  • Isolate and grow pure cultures of bacteria.
  • Using a key, identify bacteria based on growth pattern, morphology and differential staining.
  • Prepare plasmids from bacterial cells.
  • Transform bacterial cells and calculates the transformation efficiency.
  • Determine growth rate of bacteria or yeast by direct and indirect methods.

5.  Protein Chemistry

  • Harvest and purify protein products using precipitation, filtration and chromatographic techniques.
  • Characterize and quantify protein products by spectrophotometry and electrophoresis.
  • Use immunologic techniques including ELISA to detect proteins and/or other antigens.
  • Perform Western blot transfers.
  • Perform SDS/PAGE electrophoresis.

6.  Nucleic Acid Chemistry

  • Harvest DNA and characterize it by agarose gel electrophoresis.
  • Perform polymerase chain reactions (PCR).
  • Perform Southern blot transfers

 

Biotechnology College Programs

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Innovative Ideas

Check out the "2 plus 2" program, which allows students  earning associate's degrees in biotechnology at Berkshire Community College to earn a bachelor's degree at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts with two more years of study. Click here to learn more.

2+2 Program