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 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.

Chris 5Chris 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 Benoit Picard
Curriculum Coordinator
Adjunct Instructor

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

Kristen Benoit Picard 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 a Master’s of Science 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.

RoyRoy Hegedus
Research Assistant Professor, Biology & Biotechnology
+1-508-831-6572, rhegedus@wpi.edu

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.

Ryan Brennan

Ryan Brennan
Manager Corporate Programs, Life Sciences

+1-508-831-4833
rbrennan@wpi.edu

“It is a privilege to partner with organizations, collaboratively assess the needs of their employees, and ultimately provide them with an educational solution that moves their business forward.”

Specializes in the Life Sciences industry, and works with organizations to create custom programs at the Biomanufacturing Education and Training Center. With strong knowledge of pharmaceutical biotech and life sciences, Ryan understands first-hand the challenges and opportunities facing these industries. As a result, he is able to aid customers with finding the right solutions to ensure current and future success for their companies, by strategically analyzing companies and proposing potential solutions to meet their needs.