"What inspired me to become a scientist/engineer? An intense desire to understand why technical systems work, and why they don't work. In my area, this translates into spending a lot of time 'listening to the cells'."
I received my B. S. in Chemical Engineering from UC Davis. After working in microelectronics fabrication for a year, and observing the emergence of the biotech industry, I decided to go to graduate school to help move into Biotech. I received my M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), with my thesis focused on metabolic controls for amino acid-producing fermentations, under Professor Gregory Stephanopoulos. After working as the only chemical engineer at IDEC Pharmaceuticals on the design of their clinical production facility in La Jolla, I joined GNE in 1993 when IDEC relocated all operations to San Diego.
At Genentech, I was extremely fortunate to work on the cell culture processes, including the initial worldwide licensures, of two well-known molecules. I have spent about 15 years doing cell culture process development and 5 years doing manufacturing technical support (MSAT). My current role is as the head of Late Stage Cell Culture in the BioProcess Development department.
PDA J. of Pharm. Sci. and Tech., 65:6, 715-729 (2011).
I have been incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to work in several exciting areas of cell culture technology. My areas of focus within the industry have included media/process optimization and product quality control (especially protein glycosylation), barriers to virus contamination of mammalian cultures, and scale-up/scale-down strategies. Having directly participated in more than 20 cell culture process transfers around the world, including facility startups to the 25kL operational scale, has been an incredible ride in the world of industrial scale cell culture.