May 24, 2013
New director brings wide ranging experience to bear on program of national significance.
Blinn College recently named John R. Ferreira as director of the cutting-edge Therapeutics Manufacturing Program. The 20-year veteran of industry specializes in therapeutics manufacturing and is expected to launch Blinn’s endeavor to prepare and position a regional workforce to meet the booming demand for trained employees who specialize in this high-skill, high-stakes arena.
Therapeutics Manufacturing is a developing specialization that blends cutting-edge science with medical discoveries to manufacture the vaccines and other therapeutics necessary to ward off diseases that could cripple or collapse a population. Blinn’s provides degree and certificate options to supply skilled technicians for an incoming wave of pharmaceutical and bio-manufacturing endeavors in Texas.
“I thought this position was a great opportunity to transition from industry to academia,” Ferreira said. “I was working as the executive vice president of quality at Kalon Biotherapeutics when I heard Blinn had an opening. It was what I had been looking for, and I jumped at the opportunity.”
The new director’s vision for the program is focused on student success.
“Therapeutics Manufacturing is all a part of workforce development,” Ferreira said. “I want to make this program realistic to students, so that they are fully prepared for careers here in the Bryan College/Station area, or anywhere in the U.S. and global pharma community.”
Ferreira, who has worked in several states and countries in the field, aims to use his wide range of experience to make the program stand out.
“Hopefully this program will be unique because of the imprint I bring, having worked in research and development, production, marketing, and quality,” Ferreira said. “I’ve had great experiences with therapeutics firms in the US, Canada and Europe, and I have a very clear understanding of what it takes to be successful in this industry. This is what I hope to bring to the program and the students.”
Ferreira’s own academic path is one he believes can relate to his students, creating an even greater understanding of their learning needs.
“I was not ready for college right out of high school so I enlisted in the Marine Corps,” Ferreira said. “After 7 years in the Marines, I went on to earn my two-year degree, then a Bachelor’s degree in Natural Science with a major in Biochemistry. I believe I share a common background with many students here at Blinn and understand the challenges and obstacles in pursuing higher.”
To learn more about Blinn Therapeutics Manufacturing, visit: www.blinn.edu/therapeutics.