Academy Student on the COVID-19 Front Lines

Emily Ryan, a Gloucester Biotechnology Academy student, started her three-month internship with Cambridge’s Sherlock Biosciences this past February. Six weeks later the Gloucester native is on the front lines of the battle to stop the spread of a global pandemic.

There is a dire need for a COVID-19 test that provides accurate results, quickly. Sherlock Biosciences is working collaboratively with Cepheid, a molecular diagnostics company, to develop new testing options for detecting COVID-19. The real-world exposure that internships provide to Academy students is invaluable, but what Emily is experiencing can only be described as “once in a lifetime.”

Before enrolling in the Academy, Emily had withdrawn from Salem State University (for financial reasons) and was working as a home health aide. Now she is a member of a select team at a renowned biotech company, working on a test that could potentially save thousands of lives. “The Academy equipped me with the tools and skills that I would need to work as a lab technician and so much more than that,” said Emily. “During my time in the program, the most important thing I gained was confidence, and not just in the lab, but in everything I do – asking for help, thinking critically, and communicating effectively with a team.”

“Sherlock Biosciences is very fortunate to have a dedicated team working to address COVID-19, and we count both Emily Ryan and the Gloucester Biotechnology Academy, as important partners in this effort,” said Sherlock CEO Rahul Dhanda. “When many need to isolate themselves, those who are working to solve this problem feel compelled to continue working to make the public safer. Our entire team is committed to making a difference at all times and having Emily as part of our team has increased the pace of the impact we will have.”

“I used to settle for ‘good enough,’” said Emily when we spoke with her a couple of days ago. “Back in September, one of the first things (Academy Education Director) John Doyle told the class was that ’good enough’ is the enemy of great.” That stuck with me, and I see feel myself constantly gaining ambition and confidence with every new experience. Thanks to the Academy, I feel prepared for any responsibility that comes my way, and to always seek new ones.”

GMGI is very proud of Emily – and all her classmates. They have bright futures in front of them and they are already working on ensuring healthier futures for the rest of us.