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Press Release

BCNE Co-Lead Dr. Alicia Modestino Participates in Greater Boston Life Sciences Industry Panel

By June 29, 2022No Comments

Boston, Massachusetts (6/28/2022) – Dr. Alicia Modestino, co-lead of BioConnects New England (BCNE), stressed the importance of creating equitable pathways in the life sciences industry during a recent Greater Boston Life Sciences Industry Panel hosted by the Boston Office of Workforce Development and Northeastern University, with support from the Mayor’s Office of Economic Opportunity and Inclusion.

Dr. Modestino’s presentation focused on the state of the life sciences in the greater Boston region and the need to strengthen connections between the industry, training partners, and employers to facilitate career opportunities for mid-skill individuals.

A panel discussion moderated by Bex Braun of the Boston Planning & Development Agency followed Dr. Modestino’s remarks with Dr. Jared Auclair, executive director of BCNE, participating as a panelist. Other panelists were: Lily Fitzgerald, associate director, Policy and Partnerships with Ginkgo Bioworks; Kendalle O’Connell, president and chief operating officer with MassBio; and Karla Talanian, senior director of the Life Sciences Apprenticeship Program with MassBioEd.

The panel discussion focused on the life sciences industry, vacancies within it, and efforts to provide gainful employment to those without a bachelor’s degree.

“The life sciences industry within the Boston area is growing and consistently breaking new ground, therefore the need to train and hire talented individuals is critical to keeping up with this fast-paced growth,” said Dr. Modestino.

In addition to her role with BCNE, Dr. Modestino, who holds both a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University, is an associate professor with appointments in the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs and the Department of Economics at Northeastern University, where she also serves as the research director of the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy.


BioConnects New England is a multi-state coalition and finalist of the Build Back Better Regional Challenge—a $1 billion program sponsored by the Economic Development Administration. Through this initiative, BioConnects New England will create a biomanufacturing cluster in the region of Massachusetts, Maine, and Rhode Island that have been historically excluded from the biotechnology industry, one of the fastest-growing sectors in New England with national importance. This coalition will connect hubs throughout New England to support existing—and establish new—biomanufacturing infrastructure as a pathway to increase employment and educational opportunities for underserved regions and populations.