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UNCP dedicates lab to biotech equipment maker

March 18, 2009

An international laboratory equipment manufacturer has donated a bioreactor to the new Biotechnology Research and Training Center at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.


DEDICATED – from left: Provost Charles Harrington, Dr. Len Holmes, Rich Malfa of Sartorius Stedim and Chancellor Meadors

The University dedicated a lab on March 12 to Sartorius Stedim Biotech. The Goettingen, Germany- based company contributed a BIOSTAT CultiBag RM 2 valued at more than $50,000.

“We’re proud to be a part of this new biotechnology facility at the University,” said Rich Malfa, who represented Sartorius Stedim. “I hope to be part of a continuing partnership. We are happy to see science and scientific training moving forward here.”

The Cultibag allows cells or bacteria to grow in a controlled environment that is monitored continuously. It uses a disposable, sterile bag which is oscillated and monitored digitally.

“UNCP will be able to develop and manufacture many products with this piece of equipment,” Malfa said.

The laboratory equipment is one piece of the product line manufactured and sold by the company, which has nearly $600 million in bio process and filter sales annually and nearly $1 billion in megatronics sales worldwide.


Lab assistant Heather Walters and Rich Malfa, representative of equipment maker Sartorius Stedim

Chancellor Allen C. Meadors said the equipment and the new laboratory will help UNCP do science and train scientists of the future.

“First, I want to thank our entire science faculty for the work they put into this facility,” Chancellor Meadors said. “I want to thank Sartorius Stedim for their gift to get this biotechnology program started.

“This will encourage our students to do research and get them excited about science,” he said. “This will benefit our students and faculty.”

Dr. Charles Harrington, provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs, said it was a great day for science at UNCP.

“This is a day when dreams are realized,” Dr. Harrington said. “This is a fine example of a well-respected company that recognizes the good things we are doing here.

“We appreciate this gift and this partnership,” he concluded.

Dr. Len Holmes, lead scientist at UNCP’s Biotechnology Center, said “the lab represents a new vision for UNCP and raises the science profile of the region.

“This equipment allows us to put theory into practice, to transcend classroom teaching,” Dr. Holmes said. “I want to thank Rich Malfa and Sartorius Stedim for their contribution to our project.”

The Biotechnology Center is located at UNCP’s Regional Center for Economic, Community and Professional Development at COMtech park, just off campus.

The Biotechnology Center may be contacted at 910.775.4000 or email