Celebrating the Outstanding Contributions to Life Sciences Education in Massachusetts

Nov 07, 2019

A Letter from MassBio President & CEO Robert K. Coughlin

Fellow Life Sciences Community Members,

I invite you all to join me to celebrate the work of MassBioEd, our sister organization focused on workforce development for the life sciences, at the 4th Annual Champions for Biotechnology Education Awards Reception on November 20th. The Champions Awards Reception celebrates the outstanding advocacy for, and contributions to, life sciences education in the region, and this year MassBioEd is honoring three outstanding awardees:

  • Individual Champion – John Maraganore, PhD, Chief Executive Officer, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals
  • Organization Champion – Thermo Fisher Scientific
  • Educator Champion – The Henri A. Termeer Teacher Award – Laurie Jackson-Grusby, Biology Teacher, Brockton High School

MassBioEd is committed to providing high-quality education and workforce development programs to cultivate a field of diverse, well-educated experts, who are inspired to solve the world’s most vexing healthcare challenges – a critical need for our industry with 12,000 new life sciences jobs projected over the next five years in Massachusetts. Through their valuable network of industry and academic partners over the last year, MassBioEd:

  • Directly engaged 1,000+ students in exploratory college and career experiences, of which 92% reported an increased interest in pursuing a career pathway in the industry.
  • Reached an estimated 15,000 students through the 200+ educators who participated in training to lead authentic lab activities.

MassBioEd helps educators, professionals, and companies navigate the life science industry by keeping a pulse on workforce trends and providing insights into its growth and evolution. Their programs and events shed light on professional opportunities, creating avenues for individuals to find their way into the life sciences pipeline and lead prosperous careers in the industry.

Their successes are made possible through the support of life sciences community partners like you. I hope you will join us in honoring this year’s Champions for Biotechnology Education and support the educational community and aspiring future scientists.


Bob Coughlin

MassBio President & CEO



Learn more about the awardees below:

Champion Award

John Maraganore, PhD, CEO, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals

Since 2002, Dr. John Maraganore has served as the CEO and a Director of Alnylam.

Prior to Alnylam, Dr. Maraganore served as an officer and a member of the management team for Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. As Senior Vice President, Strategic Product Development for Millennium, he was responsible for the company’s product franchises in oncology, and cardiovascular, inflammatory, and metabolic diseases. He was previously Vice President, Strategic Planning and M&A and, prior to that, he was General Manager of Millennium BioTherapeutics, Inc., a former subsidiary of Millennium. Before Millennium he served as Director of Molecular Biology and Director of Market and Business Development at Biogen, Inc. At Biogen, Dr. Maraganore invented and led the discovery and development of ANGIOMAX® (bivalirudin) for injection, formerly HIRULOGTM and currently marketed by The Medicines Company. Prior to Biogen, Dr. Maraganore was a scientist at ZymoGenetics, Inc., and the Upjohn Company.

Dr. Maraganore received his Master of Science and Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Chicago. He is a member of the Board for Agios Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) Board and is a member of the BIO Executive Committee.

Under John’s leadership, Alnylam continues to grow their footprint in the community through mentorship and support for STEM education programs. Dr. Maraganore’s ongoing substantial support for the Henri A. Termeer Initiative has led to the development of the Henri A. Termeer Teacher and Student Awards, which will continue to support and inspire educators and students for years to come.

Champion Organization

Thermo Fisher Scientific

Thermo Fisher Scientific everything they do is guided by their Mission: to enable their customers to make the world healthier, cleaner and safer. The nature of their business is to enable growth and innovation within the global scientific community and to help researchers, organizations and companies solve some of the world’s most pressing issues. They do that by providing cutting-edge technologies and services and by continually striving towards improvement and excellence.

Thermo Fisher Scientific is committed to inspiring a new generation of innovators and believe that any opportunity to work with students is a chance to ignite that spark in the next great scientists, engineers, thinkers and leaders. Their educational programming and partnerships provide opportunities for their colleagues to engage with the communities in which they live and work and share their knowledge and experience. Through their signature STEM education programs, students can connect with their colleagues through hands-on and team-based activities that highlight their technologies, make connections to careers in STEM and demonstrate how Thermo Fisher Scientific impacts the world.

Champion Educator – The Henri A. Termeer Teacher Award

Laurie Jackson-Grusby, Biology Teacher, Brockton High School

With over 20 years of teaching experience and research in molecular biology and genetics, Dr. Laurie Jackson-Grusby brings experimental expertise and outstanding mentoring skills to her work as a high school teacher. She has worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Whitehead Institute, an Assistant Professor at Boston Children’s Hospital, and has taught undergraduate, graduate and post-doc students at the Harvard Extension and Medical Schools. Dr. Jackson-Grusby transitioned to teaching high school, working in the Science Department and the Teacher Residency program at Newton North from 2015-2017.

Laurie began teaching at Brockton High School in 2017, where she continues to guide students through engaging lessons and capstone project presentations, including the freshmen Synthetic Biology Expo and Senior Independent Lab Research in Antibiotic Discovery, which in 2020 will be at Tufts Medical School. Outside of the classroom, she co-leads the Brockton cohort of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center Apprenticeship Challenge. The after-school 10-week training program prepares 24 primarily underrepresented students for work in academic or commercial life sciences laboratories as summer interns. She also participates in ongoing workshops and seminars, which models life-long learning for her students. Laurie has created a novel Health Care Innovation Pathway at Brockton to help students navigate to STEM careers that will feed into and diversify the Biotechnology ecosystem of the Commonwealth.

She holds a B.A. in Biochemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology from Northwestern University and a Ph.D. in Genetics from Harvard University. 

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