RPS Exposing Students to Science
The diagnostic products being created at RPS Diagnostics help doctors around the world diagnose infectious and inflammatory diseases, but the work being done at research and development facilities here also offers young minds a glimpse at the genuine professional opportunities available in a scientific field. The Sarasota company was honored for its educational efforts Tuesday with the STEMsmart Business Champion Award for its work both exposing student groups to trailblazing research conducted in their own community and helping develop workers of tomorrow through local hiring and internship programs.
“We have a relatively specialized need in biotechnology,” said Dr. Robert Sambursky, president and CEO of RPS, “and having an influence on shaping the development of students has gone a long way in recruiting a skilled workforce.” RPS was founded in 2004 and today employs about 60 people; roughly 10 to 15 percent of the company workforce works in research and development. Sambursky said student groups come through the facility around twice a year; a group is scheduled for a visit next week. The company also has hired three interns recruited through a program with the State College of Florida.
RPS develops tests including the AdenoPlus, to diagnose Adenoviral pink eye, and InflammaDry, for diagnosis of dry eye disease, for use in the United States. The company also makes FebriDx, a test for an acute febrile respiratory infection, which is available now in Europe but still in clinical trials within the United States.