Conestoga news

April 26, 2024 10:00 AM

Biotechnology Technician students present final research projects at symposium

Conestoga’s Biotechnology Technician graduates shared their final research projects and celebrated the program’s outstanding students at the 12th annual Research Symposium and Awards Ceremony.

Biotechnology Technician awards.jpg
Conestoga’s Biotechnology Technician graduates shared their final research projects and celebrated the program’s outstanding students at the 12th annual Research Symposium and Awards Ceremony.

The event held April 2 at the Kitchener - Doon campus drew about 200 attendees, including students, graduates and company partners.

A keynote address by Clark Dickerson from the University of Waterloo’s Centre for Bioengineering and Biotechnology kicked off the event, followed by student presentations, a lunch and job fair with five local companies before wrapping up with an awards ceremony.

Congratulations to all the winners:

First-Year Student Leadership Award - Laila Praxedes de Jesus

Second-Year Ontario Agri-Food Technologies Student Leadership Award - Paul Williams

Jamie Lumsden Memorial Award - Maria Paula Angarita Ruiz

Syngenta Canada Inc. Exceptional Laboratory Technician Award - Andressa Turola

Biotechnology Technician Program Contribution Awards: Jada Kraemer, Leonardo da Silva Fausto, Hieu Nguyen, Vaibhavi Patel, Rishita Rishita, Shadi Said, Andressa Turola and Paul Williams

Biotechnology Technician Research and Teamwork Award - Lourdes Mulkern, Michael Luong, Yosief Habteab and Novlin Martin

Industry Partner Award - Nicoya.

More than 100 students presented their research projects in breakout sessions.

Lourdes Mulkern, Michael Luong, Yosief Habteab and Novlin Martin, who were recognized with the research and teamwork award, presented their project called Detecting the Future, which investigated an optical technique that measures molecular interactions in real time for the detection of biomarkers that indicate breast cancer and antibodies for the diagnosis of allergies.

Student Andressa Turola, who won the exceptional laboratory technician award, said participating in the symposium was an incredible learning experience.

“It allowed me to actively learn more about the biotechnology research currently being conducted, which can be incredibly beneficial in various areas such as health and agriculture, highlighting the importance of collaboration and innovation. Seeing so many different presentations spark engaging discussions was especially rewarding,” Turola said.

“Conestoga has fostered an environment that encourages curiosity and motivates us to explore the field of biotechnology further. Experiencing and learning from the Biotech Symposium gave me an inspiring look at the future of this exciting field."

For student Kenneth Paul, the symposium only strengthened his passion for biotechnology and the endless possibilities it holds for shaping the future.

"Being part of Conestoga College's Biotechnology Symposium was an inspiring journey into the frontiers of scientific inquiry. Surrounded by passionate peers and esteemed mentors, I found myself immersed in a world where curiosity knows no bounds. This symposium not only showcased the latest advancements in biotechnology, but also ignited a spark within me to contribute meaningfully to this ever-evolving field,” Paul said.

Dickerson’s keynote talked about the relevant work at the Waterloo centre, as well as providing useful career insights to graduating students.

“The Biotechnology Symposium was a wonderful event that showcased the hard work of our graduating students while also highlighting the local life science and biotechnology sector,” said Professor Heather Bauman. “The event ended with an awards ceremony, celebrating award winners in a variety of meaningful categories."

The Biotechnology Technician program’s home is the Cowan Centre for Medical Sciences and Biotechnology at the Kitchener - Doon campus and its cutting-edge laboratories equipped with the latest biotechnology instruments, tools and infrastructure. The centre was made possible with a transformative gift, announced in October 2023, from the Cowan Foundation to advance health care with accessible, high-quality programming.

The two-year Biotechnology Technician diploma program provides students with the laboratory skills, technical knowledge, fundamental understanding and employability skills for careers in the growing biotechnology and life science industries. Students experience an integrated curriculum and applied learning environment that focuses on scenarios relevant to current innovations.

The program is part of Conestoga’s School of Health & Life Sciences, which offers a range of credentials to assist students in their goal of becoming a health-care professional. The school delivers the most up-to-date training provided by expert faculty and staff in state-of-the-art facilities.