Shaping the Future of Biotechnology

 “The UBRI program is unparalleled in the State; no one else has anything like it.”

UBRI Group 2014

Meet the students and see the fantastic view book
they created about their experience click here.

When the Undergraduate Biological Research and Intern (UBRI) program launched in fall 2012, it was an innovative but small program allowing a select few Schoolcraft students to conduct groundbreaking research. It has quickly grown into landmark initiative for Schoolcraft and universities across the state.

UBRI Students“We knew we needed to give students experience beyond a typical college lab,” says Dr. David O’Hagan, Adjunct Faculty member. “We started with two students who were inspired to do innovative research on developing a process for removing a protein responsible for excessive blood clotting.” These students gained so much critical practical experience it lead O’Hagan to develop the UBRI program, to provide students with early and practical exposure to biological research under the mentorship of faculty and industry leaders.

From these humble beginning, additional research projects were developed, including a genetic engineering design that produces gasoline from algae. This bio-fuel research has resulted in collaborations with Arizona State University and Michigan State University to scale the initiative and test this biofuel’s commercial viability.

The success of these research projects and collaborations has received considerable industry interest. As a result, UBRI students are now getting to the top of the list for transfers and internships with leading universities. Moreover, it has launched several students’ careers. “Local research programs and internships at life science companies are competitive,” notes O’Hagan. “Experience and technical training gets you noticed.”

This program could not have happened without the support of the Schoolcraft College Foundation’s Grants Program – including funds raised by the Annual Campaign – and generous donors, including SC alumnus, Art (Rocky) and Diane Rockall of the Rockall Fund. UBRI Students
“The Schoolcraft College Foundation is not only proud to support projects like the UBRI Program, we are excited about the rigorous learning and real world opportunities these program offer our students,” says Beth Kohler, Director of Development for the Schoolcraft College Foundation. She adds, “We are also grateful to donors like the Rockall’s, for their willingness to support innovative programs and partnering with us to make them available to our students.”

The UBRI program is now shaping a new generation of innovators. “We are attracting students who could go anywhere, but choose to come here,” adds O’Hagan. “Now we have the enviable challenge of having enough room for everyone who wants to participate.”

To learn more about supporting innovative programs contact: Victoria Rexius at: 734-462-4501 or email:


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