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Students using microscopes.

MCPHS Launches Center for Life Sciences

  • Workforce development is top of mind as the University broadens its footprint in life sciences education.

    Massachusetts is a leading hub for the growing life sciences sector of the U.S. economy. Biopharmaceutical employment alone has grown by 131% in the Commonwealth since 2006, currently standing at more than 100,000 jobs.1 Analysts predict significant job growth and major talent deficits over the next five years.2 Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS) is launching a Center for Life Sciences to meet this moment.

    “Building on our established leadership in life sciences education, we are launching a new Center for Life Sciences that will create opportunities for our faculty, staff, students, and alumni while supporting the economic development of our region,” said Richard J. Lessard, President of MCPHS.

    MCPHS has a track record of successfully preparing students for careers in the life sciences and partnering with companies to create custom programs that support employee development and retention. Through the new Center, the University will broaden its footprint in life sciences education by strategically engaging with industry leaders to collaboratively envision and build a workforce of the future. Conversations with life sciences leaders will influence the Center’s activities across three focus areas: collaboration and engagement, program development, and research and scholarship.

    External collaborators have already identified MCPHS as a partner of choice in advancing life sciences education. For example, the University was selected by the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council (MassBio), which represents more than 1,500 life sciences companies, to help shape an ambitious workforce development initiative that will create an on-ramp to well-paid jobs for thousands of people in the region from many different backgrounds. In addition, MCPHS recently received a $630,000 grant from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center for cutting-edge lab equipment to support job training and knowledge creation.

    The MCPHS Center will bolster these efforts, furthering the practice of life sciences in academic, private, and public settings. It will coordinate and elevate new initiatives as well as those that are currently underway across the University.

    Specific goals include teaching contemporary life sciences professional skills, training students in methods of cutting-edge research, facilitating real-world experiences, and engaging with experts in the sharing of knowledge. The Center will prepare Community members to enter the burgeoning life sciences fields in the following areas: science and research, innovation and entrepreneurship, management and policy, and clinical practice and translational science.

    “The Center for Life Sciences is on a mission to prepare our Community members for a wave of new biotech, biopharma, and biomanufacturing jobs, which explains its ambitious agenda,” said Caroline Zeind, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost of MCPHS. “We are seizing an exciting opportunity for our faculty, staff, students, and alumni while responding to critical developments in the healthcare marketplace.”

    The University’s newest Center for Life Sciences complements its four other Centers for Excellence, which include Health Humanities, International Studies, Interprofessional Practice and Education, and Research and Discovery. While these Centers have different missions, they are firmly aligned with the University’s purpose of leading with vision, educating with passion, and serving with care.

    “These academic and collaborative Centers catalyze important conversations, prepare future leaders, and drive strategic initiatives as we all work toward a healthier, more equitable world,” said President Lessard.

    1 MassBio Industry Snapshot for 2022

    2 MassBioEd’s 2022 Massachusetts Life Sciences Employment Outlook