VGCC to offer Biotech Workshop to high school students

Vance-Granville Community College is preparing to hold its first-ever Biotech Workshop for local high school students. All tenth, eleventh and twelfth graders who have taken or are currently taking biology and chemistry are invited to attend the workshop, which is set to take place over the course of two Saturdays: April 20 and April 27, each day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Students must attend on both days.

Sessions will be taught by VGCC faculty in the state-of-the-art biotech lab in Building 8 on the college’s Main Campus in Vance County. “This workshop will give students a great opportunity to build their résumé and gain hands-on lab experience,” said VGCC Bioprocess Technology program head Dr. Danny Monroe, who will oversee the workshop. “You can develop lab skills here that you can use in college and in various careers, whether it’s in scientific research, high-tech manufacturing or medicine.”

Students will be introduced to Biotechnology, which is broadly described as using living organisms to develop and manufacture products for human use. This can range from yogurt and cheese to the production of human proteins in bacteria. The workshop will focus on the theories and methods behind producing and purifying proteins from bacteria that are normally found in other organisms. Participants will induce production of a jellyfish protein (Green Fluorescent Protein) from a culture of bacteria containing the gene and will proceed to purify the GFP through common laboratory methods.

The cost to attend the workshop is $50, which includes lunch each day.

This new opportunity joins other recent VGCC initiatives to provide unique learning activities for area students. The college started holding a summer Science Camp in 2011 and a Health Sciences Boot Camp in 2012, both for middle school students. A Creative Writing Camp in 2013 targeted high school students.

The deadline to apply for the workshop is March 22. For more information, contact Dr. Danny Monroe at (252) 738-3232 or