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Biotechnology Success Stories

Success Stories from our Graduates
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

Shakayla Williams

Shakayla Williams

Being a student in the Biotechnology program has granted me with skills that I use everyday while I am working at my clinic. At my workplace we are required to perform duties such as; aseptic technique, sample/specimen collection, and use of technology programs like MS office. I am lucky to have attained this knowledge from the Biotech program before I started my job because it helped me become a stronger person in my work field.

This program has allowed myself and other students to break out of our shells with interactions between one another. We were all allowed to choose a lab partner to discuss our work with, but at the end of the day the whole class worked together as a team. Team building is crucial when working in any science field as it provides structure and reassurance.

The Biotech program has opened my eyes to many aspects in the science field, while doing my studies at Palm Beach State College I have learned that this program can be applied to just about anything, whether it's chemistry, biology, nursing, or performing simple activities in our everyday life's. You will not be limited to one procedure while taking up this course, there's so many interesting experiments you can do day by day and it helps to determine the career that best suits you.

On July 22nd I was brought into the hospital due to a previous car accident I had been involved in. I was told that I had received a subarachnoid hemorrhage or what we all know as a brain aneurysm, I was well aware of these terms, the doctors brought back memories to a previous project I did in the Biotech program several years ago. I remember asking myself how ironic is that? I am thankful that this program gave us information like this. It is hard to decipher technical terms that doctors use to speak with their patient's, but luckily I did have some insight on my condition and I knew some of the procedures and treatments that were used for this problem. Knowing that, we went along with what we felt was the better surgery to perform on me and less invasive.

 Russell Carter

Russell Carter

My experience with the Biotechnology Program at Palm Beach State has been amazing. I’ve learned so much in such a short period of time: from basic pipetting skills, to performing SDS-PAGE on fish muscle protein. I also learned skills not related to science, but that are important for success in life, such as how to write a proper resume and how to sell my skills and experience.
The staff has been great, as have my fellow biotechnology students. The internship opportunity offered was also great. During my internship I not only got to use the skills learned in the program, but also learned new skills and industry parlance. I know that what I’ve learned in this program will take me far in life and help me accomplish my goals in academia and the biotechnology industry.


 Juan Luis Ortiz

Juan Luis Ortiz 

The Biotechnology Program at PBSC helped me to have a better understanding of the concept of experiments. I learned how to write a report with the background information, why we are conducting the research and, after completion, how to interpret the data or results from the analysis.
In the summer of 2019 the program helped me get into Scripps Research Institution as a chemist for Carroll's Lab (chemistry laboratory), where I synthesis chemical compounds that will turn on fluorescence probe in the cells. With the help of Liquid chromatography mass-spectroscopy to help me to monitor the reaction for completion and purifying with column chromatography.

 Fernando Ramirez

Fernando Ramirez

Life is filled with much more failures than victories, however, joining Palm Beach State College’s Biotechnology program was by far one of my biggest successes. This program provided me with a staff full of professors that are experienced, optimistic and fully committed to helping students acclimate themselves into the growing field of Biotechnology. If you have any interest in finding a career in the STEM field, I strongly urge you to consider this program! In just two years you can gain a fast-paced in-depth understanding of the field and the vast amounts of opportunities that will present itself with an A.S. degree. You will also be exposed to the latest lab techniques and equipment that is currently being used in laboratories around the world. The support, guidance and connections I made with all my professors and classmates also gave me the college social experience I craved. Thanks to all the investing and help my professors gave me, I was able to land an internship in the Scripps Research Institute under the guidance of Dr. Matthew Disney. I plan on continuing my education in the field of biochemistry and know that gaining an A.S. from this program will help me become a more attractive candidate for graduate school.


Angela Florio

Angela 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 Ali

Tevin 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

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.)


Matthew 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.


Tate 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



Rachelle 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.


Cara 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 Paulch

John 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 Stefano

Michael 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


Julie 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. 


Camilo 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


Charles 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 Krailler

Jon 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


Paul 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.

 Student Testimonials
J Maleski

Jackie Maleski

“The biotechnology program at PBSC granted me a new perspective of laboratory and research work in general and helped successfully starting my life-science career by landing my first-industry job.”
This program is designed in a manner that facilitates our transition to the industry. The labs mimic a working environment including: procedures, equipment training, deadlines, assignments which allows you to have first-hand experience with customer service and interacting lab suppliers. For somebody who aspired from a young age to be a lab technician this program catered my needs and best interests. The professors are incredibly knowledgeable, the class environment stimulates learning, the class size allows professors and students to interact more.
Unlike many of my friends, I did not land an internship in the first-place, I was hired to an Inventory-Laboratory Technician position at Biomex-US LLC, offered a few days after landing this job the opportunity to pursue my internship. Then one month later promoted to QC-Lab Technician; taking care of the incoming products, assuring the quality of our biological materials. As my boss described '' Jackie you are the one responsible to keep me out of jail." I am the one responsible to inspect the biological materials, check labels, detect errors, notify my superiors, fix these errors if applicable. I am eternally thankful to this amazing program for pivoting my newest accomplishments, granting the gift of education, giving the opportunity to connect with professionals in the field, providing the training and tools for our professional experience. Most importantly thank you for allowing me to be one of the many successful stories from the Biotechnology Program.


Johanna Polycart

"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."


Laurianne Arrieta 

"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."


 Laura Gonzalez

"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."


 Casey Nagel

"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."



Emily McPeek

"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."


 Lorena Rincon

"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."


Betty Dietsch 

"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."



Yiqun Ding 

"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."

 John Schneider,

"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."



 Scott Novick

"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."

Dane Wiren

“My decision to enroll in the Biotech program at Palm Beach State College was one of the most rewarding choices I ever made. The coursework was challenging but the dedicated staff under the supervision of Dr. Gorgevska guided us through each concept and technique until we became proficient. I would never have dreamed I would be doing an internship at The Scripps Research Institute when I started the program, but a number of my classmates now work in labs there. The Palm Beach State Biotech program prepared me for my future as a researcher and gave me a start in the career I always wanted.”


Gabriel Gaglio

“This journey through the program has been one of highs and lows. I have never been so excited to learn this wealth of knowledge given to me by Palm Beach State College (PBSC). Everyone in this program has become family to me and I have grown to be a more learned scholar and a better person because of it. This program gave me the fundamentals to succeed in biotechnology. The mentors that are here at PBSC have gone above and beyond for all their students and me. If you are looking for a great program and professors that will escort you through the proper techniques for a foothold in biotechnology look no further, this is it! I don’t just look at Edison Mejia, Dr. Alexandra Gorgevska, Dr. Mark Clementz, Dr. Tod Fairbanks and Dr. Becky Mercer as mentors but friends as well. I am humbled by what they have taught me throughout the years and continue to teach me. Without their guidance I would have never been able to obtain my internship at Scripps Research Institute. It has given me the tools to reach for my goals and lead me further on the course of my purpose to enhance live with biotechnology. Thank you, Biotech PBSC you changed my life for the best.”


Anh Phan

The Biotech Program at PBSC has been a wonderful place where students have found their interest at research in STEM fields and higher education in many areas, such as B. S/ B. A, M.S, Ph.D., Post-Doc., Pharm.D., M.D., etc. What I really like about this program is that I can have hands-on experiences, develop laboratory techniques/skills and gain enormous, solid amounts of knowledge in STEM fields via biotech labs, class projects, LSSF presentations, biotech extracurricular activities, and the internship. I am always grateful to the Biotech Program because all the labs have similar environment to biotech industrial working environment, including: lab reports, protocol, general laboratory safety procedures, equipment training, assignments, deadlines. This helps me understand what a laboratory technician looks like and how to do research in any labs. I conducted an internship at the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College of Florida Atlantic University, Jupiter Life Science Initiatives, under the direction of my PI, Dr. Erik Duboue. My PI was very surprised and glad that I came in knowing exactly what to do with very little training, which saved him a lot of time and for me, to have several projects to carry out during the summer. Upon completion, I stayed in his lab and started my first semester here at the Honors College of FAU. My goals are to obtain a Bachelor of Science degree in Neuroscience, go study aboard in Europe to find out more about research opportunities in any STEM areas, and pursue higher education later on. 


Joseph Ramirez

How the Biotechnology Program Helped Me

Before I jumped into the world of Biotechnology I was a security guard working a near minimum wage job. I was a US Navy Vet that did not know what to do with his GI Bill, and I spent countless hours trying to find out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I was always good at science in school, having won accolades for my science performance. Here I was, a grown man and the best I was doing was as a security guard. I took a temp job at a biotech firm as a machine operator. After the job period expired, I decided to pursue the field by joining the Biotechnology Program at PBSC. My eyes became opened to the expanding world of biotechnology and all the wonders of cell therapies, recombinant proteins and other novel biotech movements. I worked hard throughout the program, learning how chromatography works and how to extract DNA but one of the areas I always excelled in was in working with my hands and following procedures. Upon completion of my Biotech II coursework, internship time came up and Dr. Gorgevska suggested I try applying at Akron Biotech in their warehouse to get my foot in through the door. However, after landing the interview beyond my own expectations I was offered a higher position in their manufacturing team! I turned out to be the perfect fit they were looking for and I owe it all to the PBSC program, Dr. Alexandra Gorgevska, Dr. Becky Mercer and the rest of the faculty that helped me along the way.

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