To keep the “ecosystem” of the life sciences industry in Pennsylvania thriving, we must purposefully educate the next generation of entrepreneurial thinkers. The U-Imagine Center for Integrative and Entrepreneurial Studies at Ursinus College challenges students to identify opportunities and take action using ethical, entrepreneurial thinking. This interdisciplinary center, housed in the new Ursinus Innovation & Discovery Center, aims to be recognized as a premier hub of entrepreneurial thought and action that connects students with multiple stakeholders to create mutually beneficial and dynamic educational experiences.
To this end, the Center sponsored the development of a new course, Innovation in Biology, taught in Spring 2017 & 2018 by Biology professor Rebecca Roberts. This course approaches biology through the lens of innovation – identification of problems and pathways to solutions. Through the use of case studies, primary literature, and discussion students are introduced to historical and current innovations in biology. Students explore the relationships between innovative science, funding, ethics, intellectual property, biotechnology, and business. Guest speakers foster the class conversation and students interview CEO/CSO’s of local companies as part of their final project in order to understand what goes into developing a successful biotech. As this course continues to develop, additional guest speakers and interviewees are sought who would like to participate in fostering the next generation of biology innovators.
On October 29th Professor Roberts will present this course at the Life Sciences Future meeting in Philadelphia! The U-Imagine Center wishes her all the luck and support we can offer!