The Madison College Associate Degree Biotechnology Laboratory Technician Department began in 1987 under the leadership of Dr. Joy McMillan. Graduates of the program now work across the country in biotechnology companies, university research laboratories, and government facilities. In 2002-2003 two certificate programs were added to the Associate Degree Program, the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Biotechnology Program and the Bioinformatics Certificate Program. In 2005, a new Intensive Post-Baccalaureate Program was added with support from the National Science Foundation.

Over the past 16 years, Madison College staff have collaborated with industry representatives to identify the role of the biotechnology technician, to articulate that role, and to develop effective educational tools to prepare technicians. The MATC staff have worked with high school teachers and the WI Dept. of Instruction to develop curriculum and articulation guidelines for high school courses and the Youth Apprenticeship program. Among many other activities, the program staff were involved in the development of national voluntary skills standards relating to biotechnology. In 2002, a practical, laboratory math program developed by our faculty was selected by the American Mathematics Association for Two Year Colleges as one of the nation’s ten exemplary programs.

Five awards from the National Science Foundation (summarized in Table I) enhanced the ability of the MATC Biotechnology Program to contribute to biotechnology instruction. These grant-funded projects produced a variety of products including:

  • The Madison College Biotechnology Program has served as the North Central Regional Center of Bio-Link, a national consortium to enhance and expand biotechnology education programs. MATC is responsible for the web-based Bio-Link Clearinghouse of Instructional Materials for Technician Education.
  • Textbook: Basic Laboratory Methods for Biotechnology by Lisa A. Seidman, Madison Area Technical College, and Cynthia J. Moore, Illinois State University, ISBN: 0-13-795535-9, Publisher: Prentice Hall, Copyright: 2000.
  • Textbook: Basic Laboratory Calculations for Biotechnology by Lisa Seidman, Madison Area Technical College, ISBN: 0-13-223810-1, Publisher: Benjamin Cummings, Copyright: 2008.
  • Instructional materials including laboratory manuals and student activities for teaching basic laboratory methods.
  • Protein Separations Laboratory Manual.
  • The start-up of an educational program by an industry supported institute (BioPharmaceutical Technology Center Institute at Promega Corp).
  • Article: Detection of Genetically Modified Food: Has Your Food Been Genetically Modified?, Diana Brandner, American Biology Teacher, 64(6): 433-442, August, 2002).
  • Article: Frances Kelsey and Thalidomide in the United States: A Case Study Relating to Pharmaceutical Regulations, Seidman, L.A.; Warren, N. American Biology Teacher, 64(7): 495-500, October, 2002
  • More than 30 teacher enhancement workshops, some held at MATC and others co-sponsored and hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Mentoring of four new biotechnology programs
  • The Wisconsin Traveling Educator Program that produced and disseminated engaging, scientifically sound, and topical activities that introduce high school students to concepts in biotechnology and that increase their awareness of technical career paths.

Grant TitleAward
Principal Investigator An Advanced Biotechnology Education Partnership Program
November 1994
Dr. Joy McMillan Biotechnology Technicians for the Future; Replicating the Wisconsin Model
Dr. Joy McMillan Bio-Link Center for Excellence in Biotechnology; North Central Region Subcontract
Dr. Elaine Johnson; Drs. McMillan and Seidman for local subcontract Expanding the Impact: Bringing Effective Biotechnology Instructional Resources to Diverse Students and Teachers
Dr. Lisa Seidman Intensive Post-Baccalaureate Program in Biotechnology: A bridge to the biotechnology workplace
May 2005
Dr. Lisa Seidman