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Faculty Profile
Mariluci Bladon
Biotechnology Program Pioneer
is Devoted to Her Students
r. Mariluci Bladon, an energetic
whirlwind in a white lab coat, looks
tiny. But her small stature is the only
thing diminutive about her.
Bladon is a Professor of Biology and
Coordinator of MCC's highly regarded
Biotechnology Program. She teaches
five courses a semester on the Bedford
and Lowell campuses, recruits promising
students for the Biotechnology Program,
shepherds dozens of student interns
working in labs in prestigious biotech firms
across the region, and maintains positive
relationships with these companies through
Middlesex articulation agreements.
At 71, Bladon shows no signs of slowing
down or retiring. And why would she?
"I love teaching; I love what I do, and I
don't know what I'd do if I wasn't working
here," she said, during a brief pause in
her busy schedule.
Bladon is a key player in MCC's
successful Biotechnology Program, which
holds the Gold Standard awarded in 2010
by the Massachusetts Life Science
Education Consortium.
She helped design the program more
than 20 years ago. And she has worked
hard through the years to develop it
and establish a successful track record
placing students in paid internships,
jobs and bachelor's degree programs,
primarily at Boston University's
Metropolitan College Biomedical
Laboratory, and in UMass Lowell's
Clinical Sciences program.
Bladon joined the faculty in 1990,
when she saw an ad looking for a science
professor to start a biotechnology lab
and establish a new program to train
technicians at Middlesex. "I was a staff
scientist at Matritech, a start-up in
Cambridge, and taught part-time at
Northeastern University, when I saw
the ad to set up the lab," she recalled.
The impetus for the program
came from the late U.S. Senator Paul
Tsongas, who saw the need to launch a
biotech-training program in the area,
Bladon explained. "He recognized a
need to train technicians to work in the
growing biotech field in Massachusetts.
There were many labs and a need for
technicians to work in them," she said.
Bladon answered the ad, was hired, and
has never looked back. "Barry Werner, then
Dean of Math, Science and Technology,
got a grant to start the lab and hired me
for the full-time position," she recalled. "I
ordered everything from scratch pipettes,
microscopes, biological hoods to grow cells
-- every single thing."