World’s first public biotech lab opens in La Jolla

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SAN DIEGO -- A grand opening celebration was held Tuesday for what San Diego officials believe to be the first public biotech laboratory in the world, located in a city library branch in La Jolla.

The lab, the result of a partnership between the city library system and San Diego Wet Lab, offers classes and workshops to educate students and other residents on biology.

The facility, located at the La Jolla-Riford Library at 7555 Draper Ave., also gives the public the opportunity to use equipment like DNA amplifiers that are typically only available to universities and private researchers.

The Wet Lab holds free lectures on a variety of topics related to science, workshops and projects in La Jolla and downtown San Diego.

“The library's mission is to inspire lifelong learning through connections to knowledge and each other,'' said Misty Jones, the city library director. “We are naturally technology facilitators and guides to the future. We know that fun and educational workshops pique the interest in the sciences among young people.''

Rep. Scott Peters, D-San Diego, said the area's “thriving'' science and research communities make it the perfect place for such a “bold and unprecedented venture'' to succeed.

“The realization of this public-private partnership will expose students to careers in STEM fields and prepare them to be a part of our future workforce,'' Peters said. “I hope that this laboratory provides a model for others to follow in our region and around the country.''