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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI appoints first director of biotechnology programs

Media Contact: Todd McLeish, 401-874-7892

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- August 22, 2005 -- The University of Rhode Island has appointed Gregory Paquette to the newly created position of director of biotechnology programs in the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology.

A resident of Middletown who joined the faculty at URI in 1982, Paquette also serves as director of clinical laboratory science programs and director of the Health Services laboratory.

“With the recent expansion of our academic programs in biotechnology, plans for construction of a $50 million Center for Biotechnology and Life Sciences, and growing partnerships with biotech companies in the region, I felt it was critical that we have a key faculty member serving as a point person for these projects,” said Jeff Seemann, dean of the College of the Environment and Life Sciences. “Greg has already been doing an excellent job serving unofficially in this capacity. He is committed to making these programs successful, and with his leadership we can look forward to even greater success in the future.”

Paquette’s responsibilities in his new role will include oversight of several new biotechnology programs at the University that have been developed between the College of the Environment and Life Sciences and the Feinstein College of Continuing Education. The undergraduate biotechnology manufacturing program, based at the Providence campus, was developed to support the rapidly emerging biopharmaceutical industry in the region.

In addition, Paquette developed a biotechnology specialization in the master’s degree program in Clinical Laboratory Science. This three-year, part-time evening program at the Providence campus has graduated over 100 students since it’s inception, making it one of the largest graduate programs at URI.

Paquette has been instrumental in obtaining over $3 million in external support for developing new undergraduate and graduate biotechnology and clinical laboratory science programs, as well as for clinical research trials for a variety of experimental vaccines and antimicrobial agents.

He has authored or co-authored numerous scientific papers, abstracts, and presentations in the areas of biotechnology, clinical laboratory science, and infectious diseases. He has served in leadership roles in several professional organizations, including president of the Rhode Island Society of Medical Technology and the board of directors of the Clinical Laboratory Science Society of New England. He also serves on the board of Life.Edu, a non-profit biotechnology advocacy organization.