The BETC has several course instructors who together have an impressive breadth and depth of experience in both academia and industry. Program participants benefit from instructors’ direct working knowledge of biomanufacturing and their insights into innovations and trends in the field. Click below to learn more about them.
Dianna Kilcoyne Ambach – Dianna has been working in the biotech industry since earning an undergraduate degree in biology. Read more.
She has experience in many different roles in both the manufacturing and development fields within Genzyme. Most recently, her time has been spent as a member of the Gene Therapy Department as a principle development associate and cell culture manager where her responsibilities include upstream development and optimization of a pilot-scale production process. Prior to joining the Gene Therapy Department, Dianna worked in manufacturing as a support technician for Genzyme, where her group was responsible for the preparation, filtering, and filling of various purification buffers and growth media. This general process included writing, amending, and following GMP-compliant standard operating procedures (SOPs) specific to each batch of material made.
Tara Barreira – Tara is a chemical engineer with eight years of industry experience in cell culture, bioprocess development, and process analytical technology. Read more.
She is currently a senior bioprocess engineer within the process development group at Merrimack Pharmaceuticals. Her work focuses on the scale up, engineering, and support of upstream processes for early- to late-stage clinical products, commercial products and next-generation products. Her particular areas of interest include new technology development, understanding factors affecting process scale up, process analytical technology and utilization of multivariate analysis, and first principle models. Tara is also actively involved in mentoring grade school and high school students in science, technology, engineering, and math.
Eszter Birck-Wilson, PhD – Dr. Birck-Wilson has more than two decades of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry.Read more.
Her areas of expertise include biochemical analysis and process development/scale-up of biopharmaceutical processes. Her analytical and preparative protein purification experience and knowledge of related areas was developed during her tenure at several companies, including STC Biologics, Inc., (co-founder and chief technology officer); Lonza Biologics, Inc. (head of manufacturing technical support—scale-up, process monitoring and improvements, analytical development, biostatistical analysis group); GTC Biotherapeutics (director of process and analytical development); Ares Advanced Technologies-Serono (director of protein purification); Seragen, currently Lonza Hopkinton, Inc., (manager of process development); and Medarex Inc.,(senior scientist).
Eszter received a master’s degree in organic chemistry and holds a doctorate in analytical immunology from Eötvös University in Budapest, Hungary. She performed post-doctoral research at the University of California, San Francisco, and at Purdue University. She has been involved in teaching bioprocessing for several years at community colleges in New England.
Amy Doucette – Amy has a master’s degree in biotechnology engineering and experience as both a project engineer and a manufacturing engineer.Read more.
Amy Doucette graduated from Villanova University in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. While working for Abbott Laboratories (now AbbVie Bioresearch Center) as a project engineer, she went on to receive a master’s degree in biotechnology engineering. In 2007, she accepted a position with Bristol-Myers Squibb as a manufacturing engineer to support the construction, commissioning and validation of the LSCC (Large Scale Cell Culture) project in Devens, MA. While in this position she supported inoculum, the seed bioreactors and production bioreactors, along with their related equipment and processes (including CIP & SIP). She is thrilled to be on WPI’s BETC team and hopes to both educate and inspire students and employees interested in learning more about biomanufacturing.
– Don has experience in both biologics manufacturing and process development.Read more.
Don Gibbs has been in the biotech industry since 1988, performing purification and separation operations. His experience is in both biologics manufacturing and process development. Areas of specific expertise include chromatography, chromatography column packing, direct flow and tangential flow filtration, and aseptic operations. Prior to involvement in the biologics, he was employed as a high school math and science teacher.
Brian Hagopian – Brian is a subject matter expert, consultant, and trainer in the field of high purity water and waste water treatment.Read more.
Brian Hagopian, CPIP, received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Colgate University and began his biotechnology career in 1977. He founded and grew Fluid Solutions from 1989-2006, served as vice president for research and development for Mar Cor Purification from 2006-2011, and currently works with Clear Water Consulting, Inc., as a subject matter expert, consultant, and trainer in the field of high purity water and waste water treatment.
Brian is a charter member of the Boston Area Chapter of the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE) and served as its vice president in 2010-2011 and president the following year. He has been the co-chair of the ISPE Product Show Committee from 2006-2010 and was instrumental in relocating the Product Show to Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA; he also currently leads the ISPE Student Chapter Committee. Globally, Brian is a member of ISPE’s Critical Utility Community of Practice steering committee and is leading a group of experts in producing an ISPE Good Practice Guide on sampling of water, steam, and process gas systems. Through participation in a chapter-sponsored study group, Brian attained his certified pharmaceutical industry professional (CPIP) credential in 2012.
Jean-François Hamel, PhD – Dr. Hamel is a biological and bioprocessing engineer with extensive experience in both upstream and downstream processing.Read more.
Jean-François Hamel loves to share his passion for biological and bioprocessing engineering with academic students and professionals. He is a hands-on teacher in MIT’s Chemical Engineering Department and has been an industry consultant for more than 25 years.
Jean-François has studied original upstream and downstream problems in varied microbial and cell culture processes, at the bench (down to µL) and pilot scale (up to 1,500 L), and integrated advanced analytical technologies for process improvement. In his teaching and research Jean-François has had the opportunity to beta-test or evaluate novel technologies, such as the first rock-bed single-use bioreactor and portable microbial flow cytometer, in-situ glucose and O2/CO2 optical sensors, auto-samplers, modular analyzers, expanded-bed chromatography, and computer simulation tools. His current projects focus on biofuels from microalgae and yeast, vaccine antigen and monoclonal antibodies from mammalian cells, stem cells, and proteins from microbes, which have been studied in traditional or single-use bioreactors.
Jean-François received a master’s degree in biochemical engineering from MIT, and a PhD from the Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris (part of Sorbonne Universités). He is enthusiastic about joining the BETC instructional staff, contributing to the center’s original course offerings, and working with the course participants.
Roy Hegedus, PhD – Dr. Hegedus is involved in protein purification and enzymatic conversion.Read more.
Roy is a Research Assistant Professor in the WPI Biology and Biotechnology Department and manages the WPI BioProcess Laboratory. Previously, he was a senior scientist at AbbVie Bioresearch Center (formerly Abbott) in Worcester and was involved in protein purification and enzymatic conversion. Roy has experience at both the laboratory scale and the production scale. He has worked in other areas as well: the purification of antibiotic molecules, the development of medical diagnostic devices, the manufacture of continuous fiberglass strands, and the design and operation of chemical plants. Roy’s PhD and BS are in chemical engineering and are from UMass Amherst and Lehigh University, respectively.
Courtney Hewett (Debreceni) – Courtney graduated with a biology degree from UMASS Amherst and has been in the industry for ten years working for Genzyme and Shire. She started her career as a Manufacturing Technician and has since held positions as a Manufacturing Senior Training Specialist and Production Technical Support Project Manager.Read more.
She worked in each of the typical Manufacturing departments including Equipment and Solution Preparation, Purification, and Cell Culture. Her area of expertise is cell culture and has experience with adherent and suspension cell culture using different technology platforms including large and small scale bioreactor, roller bottle, and single use technologies. She helped with the start-up two Shire Manufacturing facilities and in her current role manages quality systems requiring cross functional alignment. She has been an instructor at the BETC since 2014 and enjoys working with students to further their knowledge of biomanufacturing in the hands on specialized BETC laboratories.
Angela Johnsen – Angela has professional experience in cell culture, laboratory support, and assay support.Read more.
Angela Johnsen entered the biotech field in 2005 via the biotechnology certificate program at Middlesex Community College. She has worked at GlaxoSmithKline and Genzyme Corporation and currently works as a development associate in cell culture in the Gene Therapy Development group in the Framingham campus. In addition to her work in cell culture, Angela has also held positions in laboratory support and assay support.
Brian Johnson – Brian has over 12 years of biologics experience. Read more.
He is currently a Project Manager at Bristol Myers Squibb. Previously, Brian was the Technical Lead for Upstream commercial manufacturing supporting the construction, validation and commercialization of the BMS Devens facility, a 6 x 25,000L production facility (the 3rd largest in the world). His most recent project was the site’s transition to multi-product operations. Prior to BMS, Brian worked at Abbott Bioresearch Center supporting clinical and commercial manufacturing. Brian holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Management.
Emily Johnson – Emily is a section manager for Maintenance at Abbvie Bioresearch Center. Read more.
Previously, Emily was a supervisor for 7 years in Fermentation and Purification areas for both clinical and commercial manufacturing. Prior to that Emily was an operations technician at Abbvie and a vaccine manufacturing associate for non-Hodgkins Lymphoma at Biovest International. Emily holds a Biomedical bachelor’s degree.
Emily joined WPI’s Corporate and Professional Education program in 2014 as an instructor in Fermentation operations in the Fundamentals of Biomanufacturing program.
Kevin Lauziere – Kevin has experience in process development, manufacturing, and the design and start-up of commercial facilities.Read more.
Kevin Lauziere holds a bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and has worked for more than 25 years in the biotechnology industry. He was associated with a number of companies including Integrated Genetics, Genzyme, Seragen, BASF Bioresearch Center, Abbott Bioresearch Center (now AbbVie Bioresearch Center) and Bristol-Myers Squibb before becoming a consultant.
Early in his career he worked in the process development area, designing methods for purifying proteins so that they could be scaled up to produce commercial product; he also developed analytical methods for determining the concentration and purity of these proteins. Later he moved into a manufacturing role to manage the production of both clinical and commercial products. He has also been part of teams responsible for the design and start-up of two commercial facilities through licensure and is currently consulting with a local biotechnology company on a number of other projects.
– is an engaging classroom facilitator, who focuses on participant-centered learning techniques and direct student involvement in the education process. Read more.
His experiences over the last 10 years in the pharmaceutical/biotech industry include: small scale API manufacturing, quality control analytical testing/method development, and CGMP/technical/behavior-based training. Jonathan has extensive experience in the design and development of eLearning, On-The-Job, and classroom content that is aimed at captivating learners. Jonathan received an MS in Learning and Organizational Development from Suffolk University and a BS in Chemistry from WPI.
– Markus is responsible for both clinical and commercial manufacturing operations.Read more.
Markus Schoemer is a manager responsible for both clinical and commercial manufacturing operations in the BioProcessing Operations group at AbbVie Inc., a research-based pharmaceuticals company that discovers, develops, and commercializes advanced therapies. Markus has more than 20 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, working for such companies as Lonza and Baxter. Most recently he received an Operations President’s Team Award for customer service excellence. Markus joined WPI’s Corporate and Professional Education program in 2008 and is an instructor for the Chromatography 1 Module in the Fundamentals of Biomanufacturing program.