Students at Worcester Polytechnic Institute work with Kephera Diagnostics to survey lab recycling/reuse practices among local biotech companies

Nov 16, 2019

Posted by Kephera Diagnostics

A team of students at Worcester Polytechnic Institute is working with Kephera Diagnostics, a biotech startup in Framingham, MA, to explore new approaches for recycling and reuse of laboratory consumable waste as part of their “Recover, Reuse, Recycle” course project. “Recover, Reuse, Recycle” is part of WPI’s signature Great Problems Seminar (GPS) series offered to the first year students and designed to inspire them to tackle real world problems in real world settings.  Recycling technologies have been a longstanding focus of WPI’s research and coursework, but this is the first GPS student project to address the problems of recycling in the biotech laboratory off campus.  A principal target is single use lab plastics, including pipets and pipet tips, tubes, gloves, and other items used and disposed of in daily benchwork.  Kephera, which develops diagnostic tests for emerging infectious diseases, hopes that the WPI students’ work could lead to more sustainable practices for its own lab, as well as pointing the way for others.  The project also sets a precedent for collaboration between a WPI student group and a life sciences company in Massachusetts.  As a key step to gathering information on current practices and trends in the biotech industry with respect to lab waste handling, in particular in the local MetroWest area, the WPI group has developed a survey for biotech organizations to respond to.  The survey can be accessed at

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