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Young Alum Plays Critical Role in Fight against COVID-19
February 22, 2021


Alumni Outcomes | Student Success

In one of many efforts to Keep Curry Safe this academic year, the College partnered with The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, a nation-leading biomedical and genomic research center located in Cambridge, Mass. The testing leader performs campus-wide COVID-19 testing for all students, faculty, and staff each week. Most recently, the Broad Institute partnered with more than 100 public and private colleges and universities in Massachusetts as part of their safety plans for reopening campuses in the fall.

Teryk Jang-Lapchak ’20 is among the newest team members to join the Broad Institute. He started in November as a Process Development Associate.

“Since finishing my studies at Curry I had been looking for a job in my field (Biology) while I was also working at an assisted living facility,” he says. “For the majority of the pandemic, I was sending out at least four or five applications every day. I was contacted by a recruiter with a job opportunity at the Broad Institute working on their COVID-19 testing team.”

As a Process Development Associate, Jang-Lapchak works at the forefront of the clinical diagnostic lab and processes thousands of COVID-19 tests per day. By making testing more widely available, Jang-Lapchak says the process “helps people make more informed and safe decisions as well as helps to stop the spread if people know that they’re infected.”

After the self-administered tests are taken on the Curry campus, the COVID-19 tests are delivered to the Broad facility, where Jang-Lapchak then uses a buffer to inactivate the virus and uses a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test to determine if the samples are positive or negative for COVID-19.

Jang-Lapchak believes that the importance of fast processing for testing is paramount in the fight against the virus and the return to normalcy. “Faster results mean that people can make decisions and accommodations based on their results to try and keep everyone safe and healthy,”

The Biology major says the small class setting and concentrated coursework at Curry contributed to his success. “Curry prepared me for my first professional role by providing me with the courses I needed to be successful.”

This past fall, the aggressive weekly testing program led by Broad – which administered more than 25,000 tests to date – allowed College administrators to act quickly to isolate the infected and exposed, and keep the 14-day positivity rate on campus consistently below one percent when both Milton and Massachusetts had rates significantly higher.  The campus-wide surveillance testing with the Broad Institute will continue to play a pivotal role in Curry’s success in keeping the campus community together and safe.