Real People, Real Stories

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Reginald Holt
Employee Development Coordinator

Reggie was a sales manager in 2004, making decent money to take care of his family. His work hours, however, didn't leave him much time to enjoy his family.

The North Carolina native heard about the biomanufacturing jobs coming to the state at Wyeth, Merck, GSK and other new plants for pharmaceutical companies.

Reggie took classes in the Industrial Pharmaceutical Technology program at Wake Technology. That associate's degree led to a scholarship to North Carolina Central University, a bachelor's degree, and a job offer from Merck. Now he trains Merck employees in vaccine manufacturing techniques.

Oliver Smithies
Nobel Laureate
UNC Chapel Hill

In 1987, the Biotechnology Center gave $899,875 for a Faculty Recruitment Grant to bring in Oliver Smithies and six other promising researchers to UNC Chapel Hill to build the university’s fledgling program in molecular biology and biotechnology.

Twenty years later, Smithies was informed that he won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Smithies shares the Nobel with fellow American Mario R. Capecchi and British scientist Sir Martin Evans for their pioneering work developing the technology to precisely tweak mouse genes, enabling the animals to provide living models of human scourges such as heart disease, Alzheimer's, diabetes and cancer. As a thank you for Smithies' hard work and recognition, the biotechnology center named its faculty recruitment grant after him.