Our Team

The BETC at WPI is led by a small core of professionals with more than 80 years of combined experience in biomanufacturing, laboratory facilities management, and professional development. Our staff are passionate about providing individuals with the skills they need to further their careers and fuel the growth of their industry.

kamal-rashidKamal Rashid
Director, Biomanufacturing Education and Training Center
Research Professor, Biology & Biotechnology
+1-508-831-4808, krashid@wpi.edu

Kamal has over thirty years of academic experience in both research and biotechnology educational program development plus an additional focus on training at universities including WPI, Utah State University, and Penn State University. Read more.

Prior to WPI, he was the Associate Director and Research Professor of Toxicology at Utah State University’s Biotechnology Center where he developed and equipped the bioprocess facility at the Center with the most advanced bench top bioreactors and fermenters that are utilized in both research and training programs. His grant work included a multi-year, multimillion dollar grant from the US Department of Health and Human Services, Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to train employees of vaccine manufacturing facilities from fourteen countries in the latest advances in cell-based vaccine production with emphasis of Influenza vaccines.

Dr. Rashid was a faculty member in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Pennsylvania State University where he conducted research on the impact of environmental pollutants on human health. He developed and taught biotechnology undergraduate courses, biotechnology training programs, directed the Summer Symposium in Molecular Biology and was the key faculty in the development of the biotechnology undergraduate degree and the course curriculum.

He has delivered numerous lectures and training programs in several countries, including Canada, China, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Vietnam, Thailand, Taiwan, Turkey, Singapore and US. He received a national Faculty Service Award in 1997 from US University Continuing Education Association for meritorious service to Penn State University. Additionally, he was honored in 2012 as the international professor of the year in College of Agriculture at Utah State University. His present research emphasis is on bioprocessing utilizing mammalian cell systems. Read Kamal’s full CV.

Dan1Dan Mardirosian

Senior Operations Manager
+1-508-831-5320, dmardirosian@wpi.edu

Dan has more 20 years of experience in the biomanufacturing industry, including technology transfer and process engineering, as well as clinical cGMP manufacturing management and training. Much of Dan’s experience involves the development and operation of cutting edge, single-use bioreactors and disposable technology applications.Read more.

Responsible for the fit-out and start-up of the BETC facility, Dan was instrumental in the selection, installation, and start-up of state-of-the-art bioprocessing equipment, and the design and layout of the lab space. He recruited an impressive pool of knowledgeable instructors and is involved in curriculum development, training, and continual process improvement, in addition to having daily oversight of the facility and operations.

Extremely well versed in the biomanufacturing industry, Dan built his experience at notable biotechnology firms including Lonza Biologics, Dow BCMS, Genzyme, Xcellerex, Inc., Collaborative Bioalliance, and Alpha Beta Technologies. He has extensive hands-on experience in all facets of biomanufacturing and has held increasingly senior positions from technology transfer specialist to project manager, manufacturing engineer and senior process engineer.

While at Xcellerex, Dan received the company’s President’s Award for significant contributions to the organization. He was also named one of Quinsigamond Community College’s 50 “Guardians of the Community” in 2014 for professional contributions to the biotech industry.

Chris_Bellerive3_rdax_161x163Chris Bellerive
Operations Manager
+1-508-831-4879, cabellerive@wpi.edu

Chris has more than 18 years of experience in the biomanufacturing industry, including 15 years of management experience. His background includes technology transfer and process scale-up, as well as clinical and commercial cGMP manufacturing and training. Chris has held leadership roles in both manufacturing and quality assurance for commercial products and is a subject matter expert in all phases of biologics manufacturing.Read more.

As Operations Manager at the BETC, Chris is responsible for overseeing and maintaining the laboratories and equipment, developing laboratory experiments and processes, and instructing program participants on manufacturing operations. He is skilled in project management, data analysis, and producing technical summaries for regulatory bodies, as well as internal and external quality auditing. He is particularly adept in laboratory flow, inventory management, the maintenance and calibration of equipment and instrumentation, and laboratory and chemical/hazardous waste safety.

Chris’s experience includes work at Alexion Pharmaceuticals, BASF/Abbott Bioresearch Center, Unisyn Technologies, and Alpha Beta Technologies, where he gained expertise in quality assurance, regulatory/compliance, equipment design/start up, and validation, as well as developing and implementing continuous improvement processes.

Chris supports the BETC faculty, staff and participants by managing all aspects of the laboratory environment to ensure smooth, efficient operations.

Kristen_Benoit1_rdax_161x163Kristen Benoit
Curriculum Coordinator
Adjunct Instructor

+1-508-831-5320, kbenoit@wpi.edu

Kristen Benoit is an Instructor and Curriculum Coordinator at the BETC, where she delivers and develops biomanufacturing training programs for companies and professionals interested in the field. She focuses on delivering education that combines scientific theory with real-world applications through presentations and hands-on learning experiences.Read more.

Kristen educates students on various topics for the biopharmaceutical industry such as investigation writing, corrective and preventative action planning, root cause analysis (RCA), general biomanufacturing equipment and processes, Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), and environmental health and safety in large and small scale laboratory environments.

Kristen has worked in the bioscience industry for more than 10 years and has broad experience in both administrative and functional areas. Prior to joining the BETC, she worked with Bristol-Myers Squibb and at Abbott Laboratories (now Abbvie).  She has held former roles as a project manager, supervisor, and continuous improvement specialist.

Kristen received an undergraduate degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and an interdisciplinary master’s degree in bioscience administration from WPI.  She is currently pursuing a PhD in adult learning and development (Lesley University, expected completion 2016), which couples her interest in science with her true passion, the personal and professional development of others.