WPI BETC at SIMB Annual Meeting

WPI BETC at SIMB Annual Meeting

The Society of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology (SIMB) held its annual meeting in late July in New Orleans. This nonprofit, international association was founded in 1949 with the goal of advancing microbiological sciences, placing emphasis on industrial products, biotechnology, materials, and processes. The Annual Meeting is a great forum for those in the industry to network, listen to insightful presentations, and learn about innovative research in the field.

Kamal Rashid, Ph.D., Director of the BETC, participated as an invited speaker giving a presentation on enhancing the growth of Vero cells utilizing a packed-bed bioreactor system in a semi continuous mode of operation. Vero cells are heavily utilized in vaccine production. His presentation (learn more here) coincided with Shannon Guertin’s (WPI ’16) MQP project poster. Shannon’s poster was on display, and she was on-site to present her findings to the SIMB attendees.

The research for her MQP project was carefully advised by Kamal Rashid, Ph.D., and WPI Department Head of Biology and Biotechnology Joseph Duffy, Ph.D. The findings of her project compared the results of growing Vero cells in a single-use benchtop bioreactor vessel versus a traditional glass vessel. The study found the single-use system was comparable to that of the glass system.

I was proud to see Shannon compete with 25 graduate students in her session. There were five such sessions for poster competitions. Hers was in the cell culture and fermentation session…being judged with such a group is an achievement in itself.

 –Kamal Rashid

Shannon Guertin (WPI ’16) presenting poster at SIMB

Learn more about her project: “A packed-bed bioreactor systems for growth of anchorage dependent cells: A comparative study between Eppendorf’s BioBLU® 5p Single Use Vessel and the Traditional Glass Vessel”

Overall, Kamal and Shannon were excited to share their findings with the SIMB audience. Their presence on behalf of WPI and BETC showcased the interconnection of academia and industry through their research and results. Since graduation, Shannon has accepted a position at AbbVie, where she will continue to make strides in the industry.

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