Thursday, November 17, 2011

One-on-One with Deborah Bellush of Biotech Partners

Sometimes longevity says more than anything. Take Biotech Partners, the East Bay program started 19 years ago to steer at-risk high school students into Bay Area life sciences jobs.
But Biotech Partners is getting some important recognition as well. It was one of eight programs recognized recently with the Innovations in Life Sciences prize, sponsored by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and backed by the Carnegie Foundation. The prize is designed to recognize programs that promote life sciences partnerships between scientists and science educators at middle schools and high schools.
The award is part of Ashoka Changemakers’ emphasis on so-called STEM — science, technology, engineering and math — education. It comes at a time when Bay Area educators and companies are pushing for more attention to STEM to provide a next-generation workforce for high-tech, biotech and cleantech jobs.
Biotech Partners, started as part of an agreement between Bayer HealthCare and the City of Berkeley, will receive $10,000.
I spoke with Deborah Bellush, the executive director of Biotech Partners, shortly after the nonprofit announced Wednesday that it had won the award.

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