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Success Stories

Simon Davis

Simon Davis

Simon completed his Master of Science in Biomedical Science: Medical and Molecular Immunology at Long Island University in May 2016. Palm Beach State College's Biotechnology program helped him discover his passion for Molecular Biology while laying the foundation for innovative medical research. “The Biotech program at PBSC opened many doors for me and I am very thankful for the education provided there. I am excited for what the future holds as I begin my career!”-Simon Davis





Angela FlorioAngela Florio

At 35 years old with ADHD, a freelance writing career, a B.S. in Industrial Design, and fond memories of my days as a veterinary technician, I decided to go back to school for a science degree. I entered the PBSC Biotechnology program through the Summer Math and Science Institute, and what I learned in that introductory class made me fall in love with research, discover my passion, and even develop new and unexpected interests! I could go on for days about what this program did for me: the lab-intensive curriculum and the emphasis on analysis and presentations have proven to be invaluable experience that students at traditional universities simply don’t get at this level. But the biggest thing for me is that this program showed me talents I didn’t know I had, and set me on a path I would never have imagined. I came in intending to get my A.S. and get out; now, at 40 years old, I am about to begin my Ph.D. at the Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, and I couldn’t be happier!


Tevin AliTevin Ali

Tevin completed the PBSC Biotechnology Program, which led to his internship at Scripps Research Institute. In 2015 he won first place at Life Sciences South Florida Undergraduate Research Symposium for his oral presentation on drug design. He then went on to complete his undergraduate degree at FAU and is now pursuing a Masters in Biotechnology Enterprise and Entrepreneurship at Johns Hopkins University. He was invited as a STEM Activist to represent the student voice of the nation at the STEM National Leaders Summit in Washington D.C. after being named the 2017 State of Florida Student of the Year by The Florida Association of Colleges and Employers (FloridaACE).


MIchael Butts Michael Butts

Through the PBSC Biotech Program Michael obtained a Research Technician position with Cytonics, then Ocean Ridge Biosciences, Inc. where he worked until he relocated to North Carolina in 2017. In 2013 he tied for second place at Life Sciences South Florida Undergraduate Research Symposium.He is currently working as a Scientist I at Bioagilytix Labs, which is a CRO in Research Triangle Park.  The company runs large quantities of GLP/GMP qualifications/validations and sample analysis for the top global pharmaceutical companies as well as a slew of other smaller pharma companies.  In the Fall of 2018 he will continue pursuing his B.S. at North Carolina State University.



fabiana torres

Fabiana Torres

Fabiana Torres graduated from Palm Beach State College in December 2011. Fabiana completed her internship at Scripps Florida, under Dr. Jun-Li Luo, Department of Cancer Biology. Fabiana is currently working for Boca Biolistics, a clinical trials management company and provider of biological materials, as a Laboratory Operations Technician. Fabiana has been accepted into the Nova Southeastern University’s College of Pharmacy, and participated in the NSU COP “White Coat Ceremony” on August 17, 2016. Fabiana is now a Student Pharmacist, Class of 2020!

For more information: Boca Biolistics website



Chris Hubbs

Chris Hubbs graduated from Palm Beach State College in May 2009. Chris completed his internship at CuRNA, a Scripps Florida start-up company. He then joined Scripps in 2011 and he is currently a full-time research assistant in the Rumbaugh Lab. At Scripps, he helped develop a High-content, primary neuron based, screening platform to facilitate the discovery of novel chemical probes that trigger increases in synaptic connectivity. The project is now capable of screening small scale LOPAC libraries in 384-well plates in collaboration with the Scripps Research Institute Molecular Screening Center.

Rumbaugh Lab Link


Haya Ghannouma

Haya Ghannouma

Haya graduated from the Biotechnology Program in 2016-1 and was soon hired full-time as a Research Assistant in the Cancer Biology Lab at Scripps Florida, after completing her internship in this same lab.  In August 2016, Haya will start full-time at the University of Florida, pursuing her Bachelor’s in Microbiology and Cell Science.  In June Haya was awarded the 2016 Student of the Year Award from the Florida Association of Colleges & Employers. Read News article about Haya's award.






Catherina Scharager-Tapia

In this Spanish-language video, a graduate of Palm Beach State College’s Biotechnology College Credit Certificate program (May 2014) describes the program and how it led to her new career as a research assistant in the Proteomics Core at Scripps Florida. (Video produced by Pellet Productions, Inc.)


Juanita Sanchez

In this Spanish-language video, a graduate of Palm Beach State College’s Biotechnology College Credit Certificate program (Dec. 2015) describes the program and how it led to her new career as a research scientist at BioTools, Inc. (Video produced by Pellet Productions, Inc.)


clearyMatthew Cleary

Matthew Cleary chose Palm Beach State’s Biotechnology A.S. degree program as his route to a science career. He did well from the start, which surprised him, especially since he had to wait tables at night to earn money, fit in parenting chores and sometimes do homework till two in the morning. By the time he graduated in 2013, his college internship had turned into a job. He is now an assistant scientist in the product development lab at Jupiter-based Somahlution, a life science company that focuses on improving outcomes in organ transplantation and other life-saving procedures.

For more information: Somahlution website.




pictureTate Storey

Tate Storey graduated from Palm Beach State College’s Biotechnology Program in 2011. “The biotech classes helped me develop a passion for a medical career. I completed my internship at The Scripps Research Institute, working on proteases, mass-spectrometry, and proteomics. The classes and projects helped me develop graduate level skills as an undergraduate student. The biotechnology program was a great way to diversify myself and stand out from the competition.  Upon completion, I transferred to the University of Florida to finish my bachelor’s degree in biological sciences, Go Gators! After graduating from UF in 2013, I entered Nova Southeastern University’s Anesthesiology Assistant Program.  I just graduated (2016) with my Masters of Anesthesia, and have accepted a position as a Certified Anesthesiologist Assistant at Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, Florida.”-Tate Storey



rbergerRachelle Berger

Palm Beach State College Biotechnology Program has provided me with the basic foundation of science and skills needed to turn my internship into a full-time career in the growing biotech field. The entire staff at PBSC is dedicated to supporting students every step of their journey. PBSC Biotech Program was the stepping stone in both my educational goals and career. I am currently employed full-time at Dyadic International as well as enrolled in the Environmental Management and Natural Sciences Program at the University of Florida. I will also be earning my Masters of Science at the University of Florida. I am exceptionally grateful for all the guidance the professors in the program have provided me. 
PBSC Biotechnology Program Graduate 2014.

For more information: Dyadic International website.


cmorrisCara Morris

Cara C. Morris, Esq., General Counsel at Sancilio & Company, Inc. Just over two years ago, while a partner at a commercial litigation law firm, I began collaboration on a book that focused on scientific developments and the law. As the project developed, it sparked my interest in science, particularly in the areas of biology and chemistry. The project and my desire to be more fluent in the subject matter, lead me to take classes at Palm Beach State College. For the next two years I immersed myself in classes on biotechnology, biology, chemistry, microbiology, botany, anatomy. The experience was challenging and rewarding. The professors at PBSC were engaging and supportive and took an interest in my success both inside and outside the classroom. The Science & Technology Guidebook for Lawyers was published by the American Bar Association earlier this year. The coursework established a foundation for the book and secured my credibility as a co-author on the project. PBSC also provided information and networking opportunities for jobs in science and identified local employers. My coursework and the opportunities provided by PBSC, lead to a significant career change. Today, two years later, I am General Counsel at Sancilio & Company,a biopharmaceutical company located in Riviera Beach, FL.

For more information: Sancilio & Company website



Kimberly Carroll

Kimberly Carroll graduated from Palm Beach State College in May 2010. She completed her internship project at University of Miami Hussman Institute for Genetics in the Center for Genome Technology under Dr. John Gilbert.  The mission of the Center for Genome Technology is to identify genes involved in human diseases and explain the effects of genes in human health. Kim then went to work for Boca Biolistics (BBL) as a Laboratory Operations Technician and was later promoted to a Sales position. BBL provides products and services that support research and development activities and accelerates the time to market of products. They offer clinical trial management services, biological materials, central laboratory testing and other solutions that enable product development and research in infectious diseases, oncology, rheumatology, endocrinology, cardiology and genetic disorders.




John PaulchJohn Paluch

John Paulch graduated from the biotechnology program in the summer of 2012. He completed his internship project on reference database using spectroscopy at BioTools. John currently works at Biotest as a Production Manufacturing Technician in the protein purification department.





Brandon Reso

Brandon Reso

Brandon Reso was part of the MSI 2011 class. He has continued his studies at the University of Florida. He is currently researching signaling in seed development.







Michael StefanoMichael Stefano

Michael Stefano graduated from the biotechnology program in Fall 2009. He completed his internship project at Scripps Florida in Dr. Howard Petrie's lab. He researched about specialized blood cells called T-lymphocytes and their development.  Michael is currently pursuing his BS in biology of the University of Florida. Michael is pre-med and anticipates completing in Fall 2014.

For more information: Scripps Florida






Laura Baker Laura Baker

Laura Baker graduated from the biotechnology program in Spring 2010.  Laura Baker performed her internship project at Scripps Florida. She studied the role of inflammation in breast cancer development.  Laura is currently working as a full-time Research Assistant at CuRNA.

For more information: Scripps Florida

For more information: CuRNA





julieJulie Burford

Julie completed her internship project at Cytonics Corporation in Jupiter. She worked on a characterized novel protein complex implicated in back pain.  She also developed assays for therapeutic and diagnostic applications.  She was hired as a full-time research assistant in Spring 2010. 







camiloCamilo Rojas

Camilo completed his internship project in Dr. Jun-Li Luo's laboratory studying the role of inflammation and cancer.  Currently, he is a full-time research assistant in the Department of Neuroscience under Dr. Gavin Rumbaugh studying learning and memory.  He presented at Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) 2010.

For more information: Scripps Florida

charlesCharles Olive

Charles Olive graduated from Palm Beach State College in May 2009. Charles completed his internship at CuRNA in the therapeutic potential of non-coding RNAs that do not produce protein. CuRNA's research is focused on the following areas: cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and neurological diseases. Charles is currently working as a full-time employee at CuRNA.

For more information: CuRNA website



Jon KraillerJon Krailler

Jon began working at Biotest Pharmaceuticals after his internship, which was acquired through the PBSC Biotechnology program, August 2013. Jon has been promoted twice and is now a Microbiologist II. His primary responsibility is testing products for the presence of endotoxins using a limulus amebocyte lysate (LAL) assay. He also works on multiple validations for Environmental Monitoring; Bioburden and a new LAL method. “My time at PBSC prepared me for many things not taught in most science classes such as GMP/GDP documentation and Aseptic Techniques.” – Jon Krailler


GaumerPaul Gaumer

Taking Intro to Biotechnology (BSC2421/L) showed me how exciting the world of biotechnology is. While in the program I did an internship in the Quality Control (QC) lab at Sancilio & Co. in Riviera Beach and was offered a full time position at its completion. The hands on experience in the PBSC Biotech labs gave me the confidence and abilities to prove myself in my internship and transition it into a full time position with great potential for growth. Today I specialize in wet chemistry techniques to analyze the purity and identity of raw materials used in the production process, and am learning HPLC and GC technologies. The company is developing treatment for youth sickle cell disease and hopes to transition from a nutraceutical company to a pharmaceutical company in the near future.  I am very excited to be a part of it, and it all started in the Biotech program!

I am also continuing my education and in December 2017 I graduate with bachelor’s degrees in Biological Sciences and Psychology from Florida Atlantic University.



“The Biotechnology program at PBSC was a great experience for me. The quality of the students and professors created the perfect learning environment that encouraged me to give my best. The program also helped me build up knowledge over my previous science studies and have a smooth transition from completing the certificate classes to finding an internship that successfully turned into a full time position as a Research Assistant at The Scripps Research Institute.

Over the past three years, I have worked in the Proteomics Core at the same research institute, used the skills developed in the Biotechnology program, and continued learning to improve my lab proficiency. My current work as a Research Assistant consists of applying laboratory techniques to identify and characterize protein in samples using Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry and developing protocols in LC-MS to expand the services offered by the Core. As part of the Proteomics Core, I assist the Scripps staff and researchers with the interpretation and proteomics analysis of samples to contribute towards major advances in the bioscience field.”

Cathy Scharager-Tapia, Palm Beach State College Biotech Graduate May 2014, Employed at Scripps Florida Research Institute

"I had a great experience as member of the biotechnology program. I was impressed from the beginning, I was taking just a couple of introductory classes but I was able to learn something new and leave the classroom with a new challenge every day. A challenge that during this two years would take me further, always expecting more and ready to learn more about science. As a student in a foreign country I was really shy about talking with professors and staff. But in my first month as a Palm Beach State College student I had the opportunity to have a meeting with Dr. Mercer and discuss with her the future and doors this program will open for me. Our meeting open my eyes to how much the program expects from us but also how much they will do to help us be the best we can. The equipment in the lab has always been something I appreciate for our program. The fact that there’s nothing we could ask that wouldn’t be there yet. The program has the latest technology to enhance the learning process and give us hands on the top of the line procedures. I think the biotechnology program at Palm Beach State College is well develop and the way is structured is not only helpful but also covers critical areas to prepare us for a real world experience.

From my internship I can assure you that Palm Beach State College students are more than prepared in areas like lab math, biology, and chemistry. We acquire during the program the ability to prepare solutions, gels, and buffers effectively and be able to replicate our knowledge outside of the lab. In addition, all the companies we have available to do our internships have so much more to offer. Not only because they are an active part of our program but also because they participate in the networking events that allow us to interact with other scientists and make our own professional network. BioTools open my eyes to a whole new work experience. BioTools Is a company that offers service to many other companies and educative institutions all over the country and even around the world which shows me how the scientific community is built and how the advance of one is the advance of all of us in science. As part of a small company there is no small job, each task can be handle by anyone on the team and there is always someone available to help you and something to do. In addition, the fact that they work with a more analytic chemistry give me knowledge on an area I always had been interested in but weren’t able to cover at school, However, I used all the chemistry, biotechnology, and math concepts I learned from the program."

Juanita Sanchez, Palm Beach State Biotech Graduate, Employed at BioTools

"The Biotechnology Program at Palm Beach State College provides you with all the fundamental knowledge & skills necessary to be successful as you put your foot in the Biotech industry.

I had the opportunity to conduct my internship at The Scripps Research Institute and got offered a job at the conclusion of my internship in addition to being recognized by the Scripps news for my internship work conducted. I also had the pleasure to serve the program by being the President & Founder of the Biotechnology Association, a supplemental instructor, and a representative presenter of my internship work at the 2015 Life Sciences of South Florida STEM Undergraduate Research Conference. Thanks to the support of the Biotech program all of this was possible.

Having said that, what you get out of the Biotech program is exactly the amount of hard work and dedication you put in. Put in the extra effort to do quality work, believe in yourself, take risks, and be involved with the college & program activities. The combination of doing these things will serve you well not only in academia & industry, but in life."

Tevin Ali, Palm Beach State Biotech Graduate, finishing his Bachelor's degree at FAU

"The skills I acquired in the Biotech labs at Palm Beach State College made my tasks easier during my internship. I worked in the analytical laboratory at Sancilio, so the techniques I learned at PBSC (pipetting, making media, using a balance, etc.) were very useful, and made me confident when approaching new experiments.

I really appreciated that the teachers from the Biotechnology program made sure their students gained enough knowledge so they can attain their career goals."

Johanna Polycart, Student at Palm Beach State College

"Going through the Biotechnology program at Palm Beach State College was a great opportunity for me in many ways. With the help of my professors, I was able to begin a position as soon as I finished my internship at a pharmaceutical company using many techniques that I learned and honed in laboratory classes at Palm Beach State College. One of the things that I am truly appreciative of is the friends that I made while in the program that are all on their way toward promising scientific careers. The choice to enter into the Biotechnology program was probably one of the best decisions I've made so far in my life."

Jonathan Krailler, Palm Beach State Biotech Graduate, Laboratory Assistant II at Biotest

"What I learned in the labs and classrooms of Palm Beach State College were the basic tools I needed to function in my internship at Scripps Research Institute's cancer biology department. During my internship I was required to feed and sub-culture human melanoma cells, as well as work with them in a Tissue Culture hood. I needed to do cell counts and assays on viable melanoma cells. None of which I could have done if not for my lessons in Tissue Culture.

I needed to do spectrophotometer assays, run SDS-PAGE gels, transfer proteins to nitrocellulose membranes, and probe those membranes with primary and secondary antibodies for expression specific proteins produced by melanoma cells under different stimuli. I could not have done these things if I had not taken Biotech 2 classes.

I restriction digested a DNA plasmid, ligated DNA fragments into a DNA plasmid, purified and selected the correct sized DNA plasmid from agarose gel. Then cloned the ligated plasmid using E. coli and harvested the amplified plasmid DNA. I needed the lessons from Biotech 1 to carry out these tasks.

To whomever reads this: Learn the lab techniques being taught. Learn HOW and WHY they work. Learn them now, while someone is willing to teach and explain everything to you. Above all, ask questions'll be expected to know the answers when your internship starts."

Jay Ylipelkonen, Palm Beach State College Graduate

"Doing my internship at AssureImmune has been a very rewarding experience. One in which, I was able to apply the hands on skills I acquired at Palm Beach State College. My experiences and knowledge that I have gained at AssureImmune will follow me into future endeavors."

Laurianne Arrieta, Palm Beach State Student

"I had the opportunity to complete my summer internship at Cytonics Corporation under the direction of Dr. J.D. Laughlin. From day one, I was immersed in advanced proteomics and genetics, learning new and beneficial skills that will advance my career in the rapidly growing biotech field. I was surrounded by a group of researchers from a diverse background; all of whom were delighted to help me with any question I had or help me with processes. I was hired one month into my internship and I honestly learn something amazing every day; not to mention I am excited and look forward to arriving at work every morning. The Biotechnology program at Palm Beach State College thoroughly prepared for my new career in biotechnology. The class selection and the curriculum contain both real lab settings and relevant course materials. I completed my Associate of Science in Biotechnology in the fall of 2012 and I highly recommend the program to those with a passion for research."

Michael Butts, Palm Beach State Biotech Graduate, Associate Scientist at Cytonics Corporation

"I work as an associate scientist at Cytonics Corporation. In May of 2012, I was accepted at Cytonics to develop my internship under the mentorship of Dr. John Laughlin. As an intern, I performed ELISA tests, PCR, DNA isolation, protein purification, tissue culture, and other molecular biology procedures. This was a great professional opportunity! All the knowledge I acquired at PBSC was helpful to complete my internship and finally get hired. Biotechnology is an amazing field; you learn something new every day. I would recommend anyone who loves science to go ahead and take this opportunity at PBSC. This would never have been possible without all the guidance of all my professors."

Laura Gonzalez, Palm Beach State Biotech Graduate, Associate Scientist at Cytonics Corporation 

"The Biotech program at PBSC has provided me with the training and skills required for a career in a rapidly growing field of study. As a student who has completed the course work for the Biotech program I can say without a doubt that the faculty strives to educate their students while preparing them for a multitude of careers in the industry. After completing the internship course I was able to obtain a position as the Assistant Lab Manager at Ocean Ridge Biosciences. Without the instruction and guidance of all of my professors at PBSC this would not have been possible."

Casey Nagel, Assistant Lab Manager at Ocean Ridge Biosciences

"In March 2011, I was accepted into the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy Interdisciplinary REU in the Structure and Function of Proteins. For 10 weeks, I worked in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, under the mentorship of Dr. Wei Cheng, whose research lab studies HIV-1 and the potential applications of nanotubes as drug delivery devices. My project was to tailor a published protocol for single-cell PCR in order to successfully amplify DNA from a single SupT1 cell; this protocol would then be used to measure HIV-1 infection rates for different viral entry mechanisms. In the course of the project, I used bioinformatics resources to design a set of PCR primers which succeeded in amplifying our target DNA sequence, where the published primers had not been successful in our experiments. Dr. Cheng expects that the results of my project will be included in a publication in the coming year.

The biotechnology curriculum from Palm Beach State College was instrumental in my achievements. From the basics of sterile technique and PCR to tissue culture, bioinformatics, and experimental design, there was almost nothing I learned in the biotech program that did not directly assist me in my REU work. PBSC's biotech program defies all negative stereotypes about two-year or community colleges; indeed, the education I received here is far superior to any I have received at my local university, and I'm not shy about saying it to whomever will listen! As with any program, you reap what you sow- a highly motivated student will gain independence in the laboratory, confidence with essential scientific concepts and techniques, and the critical thinking skills necessary to succeed in the biotech industry."

Emily McPeek, Palm Beach State College Student Awarded REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates)

"After graduating from Florida Atlantic University, I realized I needed more experience in the Biotech world in order to obtain a decent job. After only a semester in the Biotech program at Palm Beach State College, I have learned and seen more than all my years at any other institution. I am extremely impressed with the Biotech program here at Palm Beach State College. The hands on experience and the teaching faculty is unequivocally the best education I have ever received. The faculty is extremely helpful in making sure I will be prepared for my future. Without a doubt I am confident that by completing the courses here at Palm Beach State College, I will reach that level of experience that I need to perform all lab techniques on my own and to obtain an entry level position in the professional field."

Lorena Rincon, B.S. Biology, Florida Atlantic University, Palm Beach State Biotech Student

"Palm Beach State's Biotechnology Program has not only given me a solid, comprehensive education on all aspects of biotechnology, but also opened doors to internships and job opportunities I may not have achieved without having previously obtained this knowledge. This summer I completed an internship at the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute in Biomedical/Marine Microbiology, the basis of which was pure biotechnology, and my Palm Beach State Biotech program classes pulled me through with ease."

Betty Dietsch, Palm Beach State Biotech Graduate

"Our program is awesome. These classes really open our view to the latest technology in the world. Plus, it is fun to do the experiments. The program has provided me the opportunity to study and work in the field that I really like."

Yiqun Ding, Palm Beach State Biotech Graduate

"I can't say enough about the teachers and the curriculum of the Biotechnology program at Palm Beach State College.  The quality and depth of the coursework and faculty far exceeded my expectations.  What's more, the faculty are generous with their time and patience which has helped me make a smooth career transition in a challenging economic environment.  If you're looking for a stimulating career with a bright future, I can't think of a better place to start."

John Schneider, Palm Beach State Biotech and MBA Graduate

"My name is Scott Novick and I am pursuing a career in the biosciences. I cannot overemphasize how impressed I have been with the curriculum offered at Palm Beach State. All of my biotechnology professors have been PhD's with extensive real world experience in many fields of research. I am currently in the midst of an internship at the Scripps Research Institute and would never have been able to carry my weight here without the education I received over the last two years. I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to all my professors, and I am confident that I will have a distinct advantage over my fellow students as I continue my education at Florida Atlantic University."

Scott Novick, Palm Beach State Biotech Graduate


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