Happy Anniversary to Grand Island Co.

August 29, 2012 Updated Aug 29, 2012 at 7:41 AM EDT

By WKBW News

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August 29, 2012 Updated Aug 29, 2012 at 7:41 AM EDT

Grand Island, NY (WKBW) - A Grand Island company is celebrating 50 years in business. Gibco was founded in 1962 when a couple, the Fergusons, started a tissue culture company in their garage!

It is now part of Life Technologies Corporation. 550 people work at the Grand Island site. Cell culture medium made in Grand Island allows scientists to grow cells outside the human body for research, while biopharmaceutical companies use Gibco products to manufacture drugs.

Site leader Scott Baird was transferred here from Scotland. He says Gibco is now a leading global brand. "Everyday you come into work knowing that what you're producing makes a difference in someone's life," he said. "We have many examples of employees who work for the company who've actually benefited from the products that we supply and the drugs that we manufacture. That hits home really strongly each day."

In some cases, Baird says scientists have used Gibco products to grow replacement parts for damaged tissues and organs. For example, Gibco cell culture media products were used in an experimental procedure to replace the trachea of a woman, whose lung had collapsed, landing the company international media attention.

As for the next 50 years, Baird says they are full of potential thanks to Gibco's Grand Island roots. "It all started here from a tiny part of this facility and has grown massively over the past 50 years," he said. "And I think we are positioned to have a successful next 50 years."