Biotech Seminar Gives Bright Glimpse To Future

HARRISONBURG -- On Friday afternoon, high school students from across the area were participating in the Shenandoah Valley Biotechnology Seminar.

Biotechnology, which deals with subjects like DNA and medicine, is a rising field and one that could lead to growth in jobs in the Valley.

The event on Friday had the biggest turnout ever since 1994, the year it was started.

Students were able to hear from several speakers, including Dr. Tim Tully, who spoke to students about his studies on long-term memory.

More than 400 students were on hand for the speeches and labs later on, both of which were held at Eastern Mennonite High School in Harrisonburg.

The goal of the event was to give students further opportunity to learn more about things like DNA, memory, and pharmaceutical drugs.

Nick Seitz, who is a student at EMHS and helped lead the seminar, said more students are turning to biotechnology, which could end up attracting more research companies to the area.

If that happens, Seitz said it could end up helping people who live in the region.

"We would love to see more research firms settle down in the Valley. It is a source of commerce. You get high-paying jobs coming into the area," he explained. "It is these huge biotech companies, like Merck, a pharmaceutical company. But if we get more research and development firms that leads to high paying and highly skilled jobs."

Organizers of the event said the total attendance by high school students was about double what they normally get.


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