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MassBay STEM Students Selected for Sanofi’s Hands-on Experiential Learning Opportunity

Monday, March 18, 2019

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. (March 2019) - MassBay Community College is pleased to announce that eight science major students have been selected to participate in an experiential, lab-based program at Sanofi’s Research and Development Laboratories in Framingham. This is the second consecutive year MassBay students will have the opportunity to learn about the techniques used to make a biologic drug at one of the world’s leading companies in biotechnology. The eight students selected will serve as “science apprentices” during MassBay’s spring break: March 18, 19, and 20, 2019.

“We have been inspired by the drive and enthusiasm we see in the MassBay STEM students, and are pleased to be able to once again offer an opportunity for them to gain useful knowledge and skills to help them build their futures as scientists,” said Sanofi Principal Scientist Noreen Troccoli. “Our scientists are planning some new and interesting laboratory activities for this year’s students and we are looking forward to the program.”

The Sanofi program, Sanofi Experiential Learning Opportunity (SELO), was created in March 2018 for MassBay science majors to gain real-world laboratory experience. The students will work with Sanofi scientists to first learn the theory about the drug making process and then perform “hands on” activities in the research laboratories under the guidance of the scientists. They will use the same instruments and procedures that are used by the scientists in their research programs.

“We are grateful to our Sanofi partners for their commitment to the education of our students and for offering this exciting experiential learning opportunity,” said MassBay Dean of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Chitra Javdekar. “This program provides an opportunity for our students to expand their knowledge of the modern scientific workplace while learning from leading scientists at Sanofi.”

Science majors at MassBay Community College who had completed a set of prerequisite courses were invited to apply for the eight positions available in this program. Applicants were required to submit an essay explaining their interest in the program, a letter of recommendation and to have demonstrated strong academic achievement. The average GPA of the selected students is 3.8.

The following students will be participating:

  • Brooklyn Briner (Biotechnology) of Hopkinton, MA
  • Dennis Gesin (General Studies- Science) of Newton, MA
  • Amber Khan (General Studies – Science) of Newton, MA
  • Sungmin Kim (General Studies – Science) of Chestnut Hill, MA
  • Maria Kupaeva (Life Science) of Needham, MA
  • Kristin Lebovitz (General Studies – Science) of Dedham, MA
  • Zachary Luxon (Biotechnology) of Worcester, MA
  • Julia Titus (Biotechnology) of Shrewsbury, MA


MassBay Science student Dennis Gesin is looking forward to the SELO laboratory experience. “I am always full of many questions and have an insatiable thirst for information. My main career goal is to become a physician scientist so I may research new ways of improving organ transplantation along with providing excellent clinical service as well. This program will help me continue improving myself so I may offer the best to both the medical and research fields.”

Sanofi Genzyme, the specialty care global business unit of Sanofi, has supported and funded the MassBay STEM Mentor Program since 2014 as part of its Massachusetts community relations initiatives. Framingham-based Sanofi scientists, Noreen Troccoli and Marina Hincapie created the idea of an experiential learning opportunity to deepen the partnership with MassBay and to help build the next generation of leaders in science. This program continues for a second year to better prepare students from MassBay to enter the workforce with a greater understanding of the needs of the local biotech industry.

Group Name: 
Students + Alumni