The BETC has more than 20 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.
Eric Duval – Eric has been working in the biotechnology industry for over 10 years and has experience in many areas of biopharmaceutical manufacturing.Read more.
Eric Duval has a master’s degree in emergency, management and a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, both from Anna Maria College. He has been working in the biotechnology industry with AbbVie Bioresearch Center for over 10 years and has experience in many areas of biopharmaceutical manufacturing, including validation of process equipment, warehouse operations, and process safety. Eric is a senior-level certified hazardous materials manager and currently focuses on building a positive safety culture within AbbVie’s global pharmaceutical operations manufacturing facility. He served on the board of directors for the Central Massachusetts Business Environmental Network and is an instructor for Quinsigamond Community College in the Techniques in Biotechnology program and WPI’s Biomanufacturing program. Eric a professional member of the American Society of Safety Engineers.
Rick Elmer – Rick has over 35 years of experience in the field of training and development, supporting a wide range of industries including pharmaceutical, health care, and computer hardware manufacturing technology.Read more.
Rick Elmer is the senior manager of global learning and development at Boston Scientific in Natick, MA. He has over 35 years of experience in the field of training and development, supporting a wide range of industries including pharmaceutical, health care, and computer hardware manufacturing technology. Prior to joining Boston Scientific, Rick worked for Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Large Scale Cell Culture (LSCC) facility located in Devens, MA. As manager, Rick was responsible for regulatory compliance training, personal and professional development, on-going skill development, and ensuring that the appropriate training technologies and support systems were implemented to facilitate the mission of the Devens LSCC site. Rick also worked for AstraZeneca in Westborough as senior manager of training and communication for the company’s pharmaceutical supply site. Additionally, he served as an internal performance consultant, supporting company merger-related activities and implementing a performance management system across AstraZeneca’s operations functions. Rick earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Fitchburg State University and an associate’s degree from Mount Wachusett Community College.
Muris Kobaslija, PhD – Dr. Kobaslija has held positions in manufacturing, manufacturing technology, and quality while supporting large-scale biomanufacturing facilities.Read more.
Muris Kobaslija is currently supporting an expansion project at Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) in Devens, MA, representing the client Biologics Development Group. He is working with the client to develop requirements, scope, and detailed programming for space and equipment. He is also involved in planning the headcount and budget for startup activities, occupancy, and initial operations. Prior to his current role, Muris was the associate director of supply chain at the BMS Devens site. He has previously held positions in manufacturing, manufacturing technology, and quality, supporting large-scale biomanufacturing at BMS Devens. Muris received a PhD in chemistry and chemical biology from Cornell University and a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Canisius College.
Don Gibbs – 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.
Deb Grant – Deb is a training specialist at a major biopharmaceutical company and has extensive manufacturing and cGMP experience.Read more.
Deb Grant is a Training Specialist at AbbVie Bioresearch Center in Worcester, MA, with extensive manufacturing and cGMP experience. Deb has 21 years of experience in biotechnology, including 10 years in clinical and commercial biologics manufacturing (large and small scale). She has extensive technical experience in protein purification, analytical techniques, and aseptic processing, and 11 years in training, cGMP, and related training program design and delivery experience. Deb has a strong working knowledge of cGMP regulations, with specialized skills in SOP writing, technical training, subject matter expert trainer in cGMPs, and related topics.
In 1992, she completed a biotech certificate program at Minuteman Vocational Technical School, one of the first such programs in the state for manufacturing technicians. Deb worked at Genetics Institute, (now Pfizer, formerly Wyeth) in Andover, MA, from 1992 until 1999, eventually becoming supervisor of the commercial protein purification group. In 1999 she moved to BASF (now AbbVie Bioresearch Center) as a senior technician and then shift supervisor in the protein purification group before joining the training group in 2002.
She has attended courses at Quinsigamond Community College in the biotech certificate program and has a certificate from WPI’s Bioscience Regulations Management certificate program. Deb is a member and officer of the Biopharmaceutical Education and Training Association. She is the lead instructor and coordinator for the Quinsigamond Community College techniques in biotechnology class taught at AbbVie. Deb is also an advisory board member for Northeast Biomanufacturing Center and Collaborative and Worcester Technical High School.
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 Hejedus, PhD – Dr. Hejedus is involved in protein purification and enzymatic conversion.Read more.
Roy Hejedus is a senior scientist at AbbVie Bioresearch Center (formerly Abbott) in Worcester and is involved in protein purification and enzymatic conversion. He works at both the laboratory scale, involving micrograms, and the production scale, involving kilograms, of protein. 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 Ph D and bachelor’s degrees in chemical engineering are from the University of Massachusetts and Lehigh University, respectively.
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.
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.
Christos Parousis – Chris’s expertise spans from asceptic practice, to cell culture, and includes quality assurance.Read more.
Chris Parousis started in the biotechnology industry in 1991, working for five years in the packaging and labeling department of Cambridge Biotech (CBC), a small diagnostic company. Chris was soon transferred to the company’s Final Bottling Department where he learned proper aseptic practice. He later was hired into the glass wash area at BASF (which was acquired by Abbott Bioresearch Center and now is AbbVie Bioresearch Center). From there he moved to solution formulation and to the cell culture area where he worked with a team that assisted with the registration of HUMIRA® in 2001. In 2002, Chris transferred to the company’s Quality Assurance Training and Development (QATD) where he currently works as a senior site training specialist, focusing on the training of all cell culture and core support personnel.
Markus Schoemer – 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.
Ed Smith – Ed has 15 years of experience in the biologics manufacturing industry, specializing in large scale fermentation and cell culture.Read more.
Ed Smith is an associate director of manufacturing at Bristol- Myers Squibb, in Devens, MA. He has 15 years of experience in the biologics manufacturing industry, specializing in large scale fermentation and cell culture. Ed has been an instructor in the WPI Biotech Fundamentals program since 2007.
Danielle Thompson Reynolds – Danielle is quite knowledgeable of practices in continuous process improvement.Read more.
Danielle Thompson Reynolds is a highly motivated, self-directed professional dedicated to providing support to biopharmaceutical manufacturing and engineering project teams to drive continuous process improvement. She has strong organizational, communication, and facilitation skills and a keen eye for detail. Danielle specializes in cGMP, biologics, manufacturing processes, analytical testing, aseptic processing, mammalian cell culture, and instructional design.
Ed Winnett – Ed is responsible for resource allocation, placement coordination, and budgeting, compliance.Read more.
Ed Winnett is a director at Validation Technologies Inc., a provider of validation, calibration and commissioning services to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device industries. The company offers a full spectrum of services including instrument engineering, systems start-up, computer validation, cleaning and sterilization validation, and process equipment and process validation. Ed has been with the company for 10 years and is the director of validation and commissioning. He is responsible for resource allocation, placement coordination, budgeting, compliance, and overall management of more than 20 employees.
Ed studied biology at Northeastern University and has 25 years of experience developing, executing, and directing the validation of manufacturing equipment for small and large scale mammalian facilities, medical devices, cleaning and sterilization processes. He is a member of the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering and serves his local community through coaching and as a Department of Public Works commissioner.