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Optimizing Cell Line Development Speaker Biographies


2013 Archived Content

James P. Fandl, Ph.D., Vice President, Protein Expression Sciences, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

James P. Fandl, Ph.D., has over 22 years experience in the biotechnology industry and was appointed Vice President of Protein Expression Sciences in 2001. Since joining Regeneron in 1989, his research has concentrated primarily on the expression and purification of recombinant proteins. His research group has more recently developed a suite of proprietary flow cytometry-based cell technologies (VelociMab®) for the isolation of antibodies directly from VelocImmune® mouse splenocytes and high level expression in mammalian cells. 

Jesús Zurdo, Ph.D., Head, Innovation, Biopharma Development, Lonza Biologics plc

Head of Innovation for the biopharma development division at Lonza. Jesús previously headed Lonza's Advanced Protein Technologies, focusing on approaches to de-risk biopharma development. Jesús co-founded Zyentia, where he held various roles, including CSO and acting-CEO. He was also co-founder of Zapaloid. Jesús completed his PhD at the University Autónoma Madrid and held various academic roles at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. 

Kirsten Hegmans, M.S., Scientist and Team Leader, Cell Technology, Protein Sciences, Crucell

Kirsten Hegmans obtained her MSc degree cum laude in Molecular Sciences at the University of Wageningen, The Netherlands. She joined IntroGene at the year of its founding in 1993 and entered the field of retroviruses with the generation of retroviral production cell lines and the transduction of stem cells as part of the clinical trials for Multi Drug Resistance. In 1996, she changed her direction to the adenoviral field and started to explore the PER.C6® cell line as production cell line for recombinant adenoviral vectors and became Head of Quality Control as soon as the PER.C6® cell line entered Crucell's GMP facility for the production of recombinant adenoviral vectors in 2000. In 2002, she started developing the PER.C6® cell line as a production platform for proteins. Currently, she is leading the Cell Line Generation team within the Protein Sciences group (Innovation & Discovery) having 10+ years of experience with the PER.C6® cell line as a protein production platform 

Xiaotian Zhong, Ph.D., Principal Scientist/Lab Head, Global Biotherapeutics Technologies, Pfizer Biotherapeutics Research and Development

Dr. Xiaotian Zhong is currently a Lab Head and Principal Scientist of Biotherapeutics Engineering and Production at Pfizer Global Biotherapeutics Technologies Unit. He has ten years of major pharma experience in Drug Discovery and Development with a strong scientific/technical background in biotherapeutics engineering and production, from cell-line development/engineering/scale-up bioprocessing, to structure-based protein engineering for improved potency/PD/PK features, and for novel protein scaffolds/bioconjugations. He obtained a Ph.D. degree in Molecular Genetics from Georgia State University (Atlanta, GA), an MPH degree in Management from Harvard University, and a post-doctoral fellowship in Molecular Cell Biology at Harvard University. Dr. Zhong is an author or co-author of 24 peer-reviewed publications and an inventor on 3 issued patents. 

Niall Barron, Ph.D., Program Leader, Mammalian Cell Engineering, National Institute for Cellular Biotechnology, Dublin City University

Niall Barron is a Senior Scientist at the National Institute for Cellular Biotechnology at Dublin City University. He is programme manager of a State-funded, multi-million euro collaborative project focused on expression analysis and engineering of CHO cell phenotypes for improved Biopharmaceutical production. He has over 15 years experience in cell culture, molecular biology and cell engineering. His research interests include:  Engineering CHO cells for Biopharmaceutical Production – Profiling miRNAs, mRNAs and protein expression with a view to identifying biomarkers or engineering targets to improve CHO cell phenotypes relevant to the Biopharmaceutical industry. Developing advanced cell engineering strategies for improved phenotypic stability subsequent to transfection and selection of producer lines. This includes methods for targeted genome modification and directed evolution. MicroRNAs as tools to modify cellular behaviour – he has a particular interest not only in the use of miRNAs as tools to improve CHO cells for Biopharma production but also in studying the manner in which these critical regulatory molecules function within the cell. This includes identifying the gene that they bind to, how miRNA precursors are processed and how the mature strand in degraded. 
Dr.Barron has supervised graduate students through to PhD in the past as well as currently, has 30+ peer-reviewed publications, 3 patents and has spoken at several international conferences in recent years on miRNAs in CHO.

Anne B. Tolstup, Ph.D., Director, Cell Culture II, Process Science, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma GmbH & Co. KG

Dr. Anne B. Tolstrup holds the position as Director for Cell Culture II in Boehringer Ingelheims Process Science Germany unit located in Biberach in Southern Germany. Here, she is responsible for Mammalian Cell Line and Upstream process development for internal as well as for client projects. Anne holds a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of Aarhus, Denmark. She has worked in the field of mammalian cell culture for more than 20 years, initially as a lab bench researcher and since 1997, in various biotech companies holding leadership positions within Project and Department management. Prior to her shift to Boehringer Ingelheim in August 2011, Anne worked for the Danish biotech company Symphogen, where she developed expression and production processes for manufacturing of recombinant antibody mixtures. In 2010, she was appointed adjunct Professor in Systems Biology at the Danish Technical University.  

Gregory Keil, Scientist I, Protein Expression Technologies, MRL Bioprocess Development, Merck

Gregory Keil graduated from Stockton College of New Jersey with a BS in Biochemisry and Molecular Biology. He then went on to attend graduate school at the Pennsylvania State University where he studied virology and received an MS in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. After graduate school, Gregory took a position at Schering-Plough (which is now Merck) in Protein Expression Technologies where he works in cell line development for the production of therapeutic proteins. His main foci in cell line development are on automation and high-throughput technology implementation in his group's cell line development platform. 

Eric Rhodes, Chief Technical Officer, Horizon Discovery Ltd.

Eric Rhodes has over 20 years’ experience in the biotech industry with nearly 15 years spent focusing on gene regulation and genetic modification. Eric joined Horizon Discovery as Chief Technology Officer at the start of 2012 and is focusing on applications of recombinant AAV driven homologous recombination to drive stable genetic modification across a broad range of areas. Prior to joining Horizon Eric served as Director of Business Development at Sigma-Aldrich and VP Business Development and Alliance Management at Sangamo BioSciences and was deeply involved in bringing the ZFN gene editing platform to market.

Donald L. Jarvis, Ph.D., Professor, Molecular Biology, University of Wyoming

Don Jarvis received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Microbiology from Idaho State University and his Ph.D. in Virology from Baylor College of Medicine. After postdoctoral studies in the baculovirus system under Max Summers at Texas A&M University, Don joined the faculty at Texas A&M, where he remained until joining the faculty at the University of Wyoming in 1998. Don is currently a Professor in the Department of Molecular Biology at Wyoming, where he continues to study the baculovirus-insect cell system with a focus on protein glycosylation.

Frank Gunn-Moore, Ph.D., Reader, School of Biology, University of St. Andrews

Dr. Frank Gunn-Moore is a molecular neurobiologist who studies the development and survival of mammalian neurons. His approach to achieve this has been one of combining all three science disciplines. His group has made major discoveries in understanding the early stages of Alzheimer's disease, where they have pioneered new models and identified potential therapeutic targets for the early stages of this disease. Using both molecular and novel biophysical techniques they have discovered novel signalling pathways that are involved in the growth and development of mammalian neurons. In addition, to overcome inherent problems with the manipulation of cells of the nervous system, they have developed novel technology that allows the controlled poration of cell impermeant biological material into any required cell type, and the controlled growth and sorting of cells by use of light. 

Lucia Baldi Unser, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, Laboratory of Cellular Biotechnology, EPFL

Lucia Baldi obtained an MSc degree in Biology and a PhD in Immunology at the University of Genoa, Italy. After a 3-year postdoc in molecular biology at the NIAD-NIH in Bethesda, MD, she joined the laboratory of Cellular Biotechnology of Florian Wurm at the EPFL in Lausanne, Switzerland. In the past 15 years, her research has focused on the understanding and optimization of protein expression in suspension-adapted mammalian cells (HEK293 and CHO), in particular by transient gene expression. Her work contributed to the establishment of innovative scalable processes for recombinant protein expression in a new type of bioreactors (OrbShake). She has co-authored more than 30 journal articles and she is involved in teaching biotechnology at the EPFL Doctoral School.

Joachim Wegener, Ph.D., Institute of Analytical Chemistry, Chemo and Biosensors, University of Regensburg

Joachim Wegener is a professor for Biosensors & Bioanalytics at the University of Regensburg in Germany where he moved in 2008 from his previous appointment at the University of Muenster (Germany). Joachim holds a diploma in chemistry and received his PhD from the University of Muenster in 1998. After a postdoc appointment at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy (NY) with Prof. Ivar Giaever he started independent research in 2000.
His research interests are focused on the development of label-free whole-cell biosensors that can be applied to monitor the behavior of mammalian cells non-invasively in vitro. To widen the scope of cell-based assays that can be studied by these sensors, the Wegener lab integrates the technical means to manipulate the cells by well-defined electric fields into the sensing devices. These manipulations include electroporation, electrofusion and electrodeformation. Joachim Wegener teaches courses in biochemistry, cell biology, biosensors & bioanalytics at the undergraduate and graduate level at the University of Regensburg.
 

 



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