Harris-Stowe State University, United Health Foundation | November 20, 2021
The United Health Foundation, the philanthropic foundation of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), has awarded a $2 million, three-year grant to Harris-Stowe State University to create a bioinformatics program for undergraduate students at the historically Black university located in St. Louis. Bioinformatics is an emerging field that combines science, physics, math and biology to aid in the diagnosis, treatment and discovery of new therapeutic advancements. An example of bioinformatics is the use of computer analysis on the Human Genome Project, which has recorded the 3 billion basic pairs of the human DNA system.
HSSU will develop a new undergraduate program to train students for careers as bioinformatics professionals. HSSU will use the support to
Develop new curricula combining coursework and experiential learning opportunities.
Expose high school students in surrounding school districts to the field of bioinformatics through a summer bioinformatics “boot camp” program.
Offer academic scholarships for up to 25 students each year.
“In the past decade, Harris-Stowe State University has emerged as a leader in training students for high-tech careers. This new program will help us to build on that important work, as well as continue to fulfill our mission of serving historically underrepresented students. Bioinformatics is a rapidly growing field of study, and it is vital for all people to play a role in its advancement.”
Dr. LaTonia Collins Smith, interim president of HSSU
Studies have shown that there is a substantial gap in the number of diverse college students trained in biomedical sciences. Black, Hispanic and Native American people account for only 7.1% of the employed biological/biomedical and life sciences workforce, according to the National Science Foundation. A diverse health workforce helps provide personalized, culturally competent care to an increasingly diverse population.
“The United Health Foundation is honored to collaborate with Harris-Stowe State University to increase the diversity of the life sciences workforce. We are excited about HSSU training students who will make discoveries, develop therapies and advance health care for all,” said Patrick Quinn, CEO of UnitedHealthcare in Missouri, a UnitedHealth Group company. “This partnership illustrates UnitedHealth Group’s commitment to health equity and to building a diverse health workforce reflective of our society.”
The commitment in Missouri is one of many ways UnitedHealth Group is working to advance health equity by diversifying the health workforce of the future. The United Health Foundation’s Diverse Scholars Initiative, for example, partners with nine nonprofit and civic organizations and has provided over 3,000 scholarships to diverse students studying medicine and public health across the U.S. since 2007. Optum Technology, part of Optum which is a UnitedHealth Group company, offers a mentor-led STEM program that has provided science, technology, engineering and mathematics training to over 7,000 diverse and underrepresented students at 103 middle and high schools since 2019. To learn more about the company’s commitment to health equity as well as its efforts to build healthier communities, improve outcomes and create a modern, high-performing health care system.
About Harris-Stowe State University
For over 160 years, Harris-Stowe State University (HSSU) has served the historically underrepresented. As a Historically Black College and University, HSSU is strongly committed to providing a high-quality higher education experience that is both affordable and accessible to the diverse populations within and beyond the metropolitan St. Louis region. More than 90% of student population are racially and ethnically diverse and receive some form of financial aid.
About the United Health Foundation
Through collaboration with community partners, grants and outreach efforts, the United Health Foundation works to improve our health system, build a diverse and dynamic health workforce and enhance the well-being of local communities. The United Health Foundation was established by UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) in 1999 as a not-for-profit, private foundation dedicated to improving health and health care. To date, the United Health Foundation has committed more than $500 million to programs and communities around the world.
Charles River Laboratories International, Inc. | January 28, 2022
Charles River Laboratories International, Inc. announced the expansion of their strategic partnership with Chicago, Illinois-based SAMDI Tech, Inc. Under the existing partnership, established in 2018, SAMDI Tech clients have access to Charles River’s collection of lead-like compounds for high-throughput screening. The expanded agreement establishes Charles River as the exclusive partner for the promotion of SAMDI Tech’s technology. This partnership will provide Charles River’s clients seamless access to the premiere, label-free high-throughput screening mass spectrometry (MS) platform in drug discovery.
The SAMDI technology combines self-assembled monolayers and MALDI MS, and addresses the throughput and sample preparation limitations of traditional MS screening methods.
The combination of Charles River’s end-to-end portfolio and industry-leading scientific bench with SAMDI Tech’s innovative technology and expertise in assay solutions has the potential to significantly accelerate and augment clients’ discovery efforts by measuring biochemical activities and binding events for virtually any target.
“Our collaboration with SAMDI Tech is another step that we’re taking toward accelerating drug discovery and development. By generating quality data faster during hit identification, we can help our clients make critical go/no go decisions earlier in the process, to advance their programs.” –Wilbert Frieling, D.V.M., Corporate Senior Vice President, Global Discovery Services, Charles River
“With over a decade of industry experience, SAMDI Tech has a well-respected track record of producing high quality data. We are excited to partner with them to bring this technology to our clients.” – Julie Frearson, Ph.D., Corporate Senior Vice President, Chief Scientific Officer, Charles River
“We are excited to expand on our successful partnership with Charles River, whose clients will join our global client base to benefit from our label-free SAMDI technology, which continues to deliver cutting-edge solutions backed by high-quality, data-driven results.” –Emilio Cordova, PhD, MBA, Chief Executive Officer, SAMDI Tech
About Charles River
Charles River provides essential products and services to help pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, government agencies and leading academic institutions around the globe accelerate their research and drug development efforts. Our dedicated employees are focused on providing clients with exactly what they need to improve and expedite the discovery, early-stage development and safe manufacture of new therapies for the patients who need them.
CELL AND GENE THERAPY
BOSTON LABS | September 23, 2021
Clinical logistics and life science manufacturing leaders Boston Labs and Germfree Laboratories Inc. announced their partnership to launch a new network of mobile CGT manufacturing facilities. The two companies are combining deep logistics, CGT manufacturing expertise and mobile cleanroom technology to deliver CGT point-of-care contract manufacturing services.
The CGT mobile manufacturing platform will launch in Boston, MA in the fourth quarter of 2021 and will scale to a network of global point-of-care mobile contract manufacturing centers.
Boston Labs is embedded within the Boston/Cambridge life science community which is home to more than 1000 biotech companies. 18 of the top 20 biopharmas have a major presence in the area, including Biogen, Novartis, Sanofi and Takeda and other leading companies such as Moderna, Crispr Therapeutics, bluebird bio and Avrobio.
As the cell and gene therapy industry continues to grow, easier on-site access to cleanroom manufacturing facilities will likely be highly valued. Our pivotal partnership with Germfree Laboratories, Inc. enables Boston Labs to readily deploy mobile manufacturing platforms to any clinical site globally where CGT trials are enrolling, eliminating logistical risks associated with transporting patient material under a critical timeline. This is the Future of Point-of-Care Cell and Gene Therapy Delivery.
- Jon Mason, CEO of Boston Labs
This groundbreaking collaboration with Boston Labs should deliver much needed process space and opportunities to showcase how next-generation cleanrooms and manufacturing facilities can accelerate the processes needed for the future.
- Kevin Kyle, CEO of Germfree
This partnership, designed to reduce client CGT manufacturing costs and complexities, delivers secure access to mobile GMP-compliant manufacturing facilities wherever they are needed.
About Boston Labs:
Founded in 2003, Boston Labs is a leading clinical logistics company, working with clients to streamline the complexities of biotech and pharmaceutical logistics and manufacturing.
Germfree Laboratories Inc. creates environments that serve life science innovation and advance global health. They design and manufacture flexible cGMP-compliant cleanroom buildings and high containment facilities which are process or containment ready upon deployment.