- Who is the Cell and Gene Therapy Manufacturing Specialization designed for?
- This program is designed to meet the needs of a diverse audience, including:
· Current biotech employees involved in biomanufacturing who need specialized training in cell and gene therapy production
· Recent graduates of biology or other science-related fields looking to gain marketable skills to pursue careers in biotech
· Biomanufacturing professionals in non-manufacturing roles who need a general understanding and technical know-how of this subject to better communicate with their teams and clients or those interested in transitioning to a manufacturing role
· Biotech companies looking for onboarding training for employees
· Investors, policymakers or anyone needing a broad understanding of cell and gene therapy and applications for health
If you have questions about whether this is the right program for you, feel free to schedule an appointment with our enrollment coach, Kristy Craig.
- Are there any prerequisites for the program?
- It is recommended that students have completed a minimum of a college-level course in biology or related topic. A bachelor's or associate’s degree in biology or related field is suggested but not required.
- How long will it take to complete the program?
- The program can be completed in as few as 2 months, but you will have 10 weeks to complete the online course series. The bootcamp is a one-week, in-person course requiring full-time participation.
- What is the difference between gene therapy and cell therapy?
- According to the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ASGCT), gene therapy involves the transfer of genetic material, usually in a carrier or vector, and the uptake of the gene into the appropriate cells of the body. Cell therapy involves the transfer of cells with the relevant function into the patient. Some protocols utilize both gene therapy and cell therapy. In this case, stem cells are isolated from the patient, genetically modified in tissue culture to express a new gene, expanded to sufficient numbers, and then returned to the patient.
- What is an example of cell and gene therapy?
- Per ASGCT, examples of current FDA-approved therapies include:
· Zolgensma: to treat spinal muscular atrophy in children under two years old
· Luxturna: a one-time gene therapy treatment used to improve vision in patients with established genetic vision loss due to Leber congenital amaurosis or retinitis pigmentosa
· CAR T-cell therapy: to treat aggressive B-cell lymphomas in adults, B-cell leukemia in children and young adults, relapsed or refractory mantle cell lymphoma in adults
- What degree do you need for cell and gene therapy manufacturing?
- Depending on the type of role, the degrees required will vary. Our Cell and Gene Therapy Manufacturing Specialization focuses on preparing you for roles in cell and gene therapy manufacturing (vs research and development). With specialized training in cell and gene therapy, those with AAs in biotech or biology-related fields can qualify for jobs. There are also jobs that require B.S. and a few higher-level jobs that require an M.S./Ph.D. This differs from cell and gene therapy R&D positions, which will require a B.S. at minimum and more often an M.S./Ph.D.
- How do you get into cell and gene therapy manufacturing?
- According to Lightcast, a global leader in labor market analytics, an educational background in science-related fields, along with specialized skills in cell therapy, manufacturing, cell culture, biology and cell biology, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, process development and biochemical assays are good skills to have.
- How can training in cell and gene therapy help me?
- As a foundational program, the Cell and Gene Therapy Manufacturing Specialization provides fundamental scientific knowledge and practical skills designed to help you gain marketable skills to advance in your career or stand out as an applicant for positions in pharmaceutical and biotech careers.
Due to the highly specialized nature of cell and gene therapy work, those with a relevant background in the field are more competitive and better prepared to excel in their careers. With a background in cell and gene therapy, there are a variety of career opportunities available from hands-on specialist and technician roles to related positions in sales and marketing.
- How much time can I expect to spend on coursework?
- The online course series consists of about 30 hours of video presentations and you will have 10 weeks to compete it. The courses are self-paced, so you can determine how much time to spend on coursework each week. Some students complete a few hours per week over the 10-week period, and some commit larger chunks of time each week and complete it within 2-3 weeks.
- Do I need to take both the online courses and the bootcamp?
- No, depending on your training needs you can choose to take only the four online courses or the four online courses plus the bootcamp. The bootcamp is an in-person, hands-on capstone experience designed to be taken after the online courses.
- Are international students eligible for the program?
- Yes, international students are welcome to enroll in the online Cell and Gene Therapy courses; however, they will not be eligible for a student visa to come for the one-week bootcamp.
- Are scholarships or financial aid available for the program?
- While this program does not qualify for financial aid based on the FAFSA requirements, you can secure private alternative education loans, which can help cover the costs of enrollment fees and required materials. Learn more about private alternative education loans. You also may want to consider private and professional development scholarships. There are free scholarship and financial aid search tools available online to help you find the best resources to help pay for your education. If you are currently employed, you may also want to talk with your employer about tuition assistance that may be available to you. Learn more about scholarships and other funding available.
- How many academic credits will I earn upon completion?
- This program does not offer academic credit. However, upon completion of the online courses and in-person bootcamp, you will receive a certificate of completion for Specialized Studies in Cell and Gene Therapy Manufacturing.
- Are there any textbooks or materials required?