ACS BIOT Mid-Atlantic Student Chapter

Welcome to the ACS BIOT Mid-Atlantic Student Chapter Website! As the first local BIOT student chapter, our mission is to connect and promote an active dialogue between graduate student researchers, professors, and industry representatives within our geographical region. By providing a forum for networking and collaboration, our goal is to promote a dynamic exchange of scientific knowledge, provide opportunities to enhance professional development and leadership skills, and affect change within our local communities through outreach opportunities. We also hope to provide a precedent for other local chapters to come in the future!


To join our student chapter, we require ACS BIOT membership. If you are a student ACS member, BIOT division membership can be purchased here at a discounted rate of $5.  





Forum on Diversity & Inclusion in Academia


On December 17th, 2020, ACS BIOT Mid-Atlantic hosted an international group of Graduate Student leaders, including members from New England, the MidWest, and Europe, for a virtual Forum on Diversity and Inclusion in Academia. Participants discussed the critical challenges facing members of the academic community, as well as strategies for supporting a culture of inclusion both on the administrative level in the university as a whole and on an individual level in our daily interactions.

Common themes amongst institutions included the lack of adequate maternity policies for female students, postdocs, and faculty, as well as a lack of cultural inclusion for many new academics from non-English speaking backgrounds in majority English-speaking Departments. Institutional solutions can include support programming for new faculty and researchers, especially women and international community members, as well as tailored outreach in the community to encourage young women and students from underrepresented communities to pursue careers in STEM. Recommended policy changes include more defined and expanded maternity leave policies (including for graduate researchers and postdoctoral scholars), as well as an increase in availability of counseling services and campus security services such as police escorts late at night, with a campaign to make community members aware of these resources. Individual students can support these initiatives by actively participating in cultural programming on campus to build a sense of belonging through mutual understanding and respect, as well as serving as mentors to incoming and prospective students who may feel out-of-place in the academic environment. Students can also advocate for colleagues who may experience unequal treatment, such as racist or sexist incidents on campus, and should actively speak out against this behavior to maintain an inclusive culture on their campus. Faculty can likewise serve as mentors for new faculty and should encourage both diversity of thought and of background in the Department at all levels.

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Industry Insights Event Summary


On October 15th, 2020, the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of ACS BIOT co-hosted an event with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) plc attended by over 20 students from several schools within the Mid-Atlantic region and 10 industry representatives. Students had the opportunity to network with pharmaceutical professionals from GSK who shared tips on job interviewing, resume writing, and working in biopharmaceuticals.  The virtual event divided students and professionals into three themed rooms for students to rotate through: (1) resume building and interview skills, (2) online presence and effective networking, (3) applying your degree in a technically focused room on biopharmaceutical and vaccine development.  Mark Lafollette, a fourth year PhD student at the University of Delaware commented, “I thought all 3 rooms were helpful since the hosts were so knowledgeable and answered questions very well.”  


ACS BIOT Mid-Atlantic Chapter President and Treasurer, Paradorn ("Joe") Rummaneethorn, a third year PhD student at the University of Pennsylvania, and Jordan Berger, also a fourth year PhD student at the University of Delaware, worked closely with GSK US R&D Early Talent Manager Giovan Lane to organize and recruit participants for the event.  “We were really excited to collaborate with Giovan to put on a virtual networking event for our students during a time where opportunities for students to meet and interact with future colleagues is limited due to COVID-19 restrictions,” said Jordan Berger, when reflecting on organizing the event.  “We had a lot of great feedback from all participants, and Joe and I cycled through the rooms ourselves and were able to come away with developed professional skills.”  


ACS BIOT MidAtlantic works to host several events a year to support the BIOT mission, promote job postings, and expand student membership and industry involvement.  We look forward to future events and welcoming more students.




The design Challenge for this Third ESBES-BIOT Competition


This design challenge involves the design of a commercial manufacturing facility for the "continuous production of lentivirus for use in gene and/or cell therapy products"including upstream, downstream and formulation and fill processing.  Unlike the first two editions of the competition, the problem statement is being made available to instructors of undergraduate and graduate design courses (in the EU and US).  Student teams in these courses can use their coursework to comprise the report they submit for this competition.  Diversity in team composition (i.e. schools, countries and continents) will still be rewarded by project reviewers/judges, but less so than in the past two contests.  Please contact Dr. William J. Kelly ( if you would like to register a team and then receive a copy of the detailed project description.  Teams have four months after they register to work on the project and submit their report and short video.  Up to three students from each of the top finalist teams will have reasonable travel expenses paid for by ESBES-BIOT to attend the ESBES meeting in Portoroz, Slovenia (September 2020) to present their design cases for the final stage of the competition.



 BIOT-ESBES First Annual Biotechnical Design Competition


Six teams, composed of three graduate students each, recently submitted their reports for this first competition.  Seven of the eighteen participating students were from the USA, and six countries were represented in total.  The names of the three Finalist teams will be announced at the upcoming ACS meeting in San Francisco.  These thee teams will receive support to travel to the 2017 ESBES meeting in Barcelona, Spain to compete in a "Finals"" competition.  We would like to recognize all of the eighteen graduate students (see their names are listed below) who worked so hard on their projects and were the "pioneers" for this first annual competition.


Maria João Jacinto, IST Portugal

Kelsey O’Donell, Villanova University, USA

Abhinav Jain, Tulane University, USA               

Ruchir Ravindra -  Technical University of Dortmund, Germany

Victor Koppejan, TU Delft, the Netherlands

Marieke Klijn, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany

Jhuwala Venkatakrishnan from University of Cincinnati

Klaus Pellicer Alborch from TU Berlin

Nuria Abajo Lima from Cardiff University

Matthew Tucker - Villanova University, USA

Fatumina Lopez- UCL, UK

Neyha Jaykar - Technical University Dortmund, Germany

Chad Greco, University of Delaware (UD), USA

Fabian Feidl, ETH Zurich, Switzerland

Ricardo Suarez-Heredia, UCL, United Kingdom

Mengyuan Zheng, Tulane University, USA

Zhao Li, Pennsylvania State University, USA

Anshul Sharma, Univeristy College London, UK 


Advances in Cancer Immunotherapy at UPenn

Our chapter and the Penn Biotech Student division co-hosted are first event March 3rd at the University of Pennsylvania. Talks discussed the current state of cancer immunotherapy in both academia and industry. 

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U. of Delaware Career Development/Speed Networking Event

The University of Delaware hosted our inaugural speed networking event.  Many great tips and questions on career development were exchanged and connections made. A special thanks to the students and industrial representatives from GSK, Merck, and Janssen who made the event such a success. We look forward to the next.

Date: September 27th, 2016


Location: University of Delaware

dsc00341_29986054662_o.jpgACS BIOT officer Morgan Urello introducing industrial representatives before the speed networking kick-off. 

Inaugural  EU-US BIOT Teleconference (Slides)

Our inaugural European-United States Teleconference kicked off what we hope will become an interactive, international platform for students, faculty, and industry representatives to share both technical and cultural knowledge. Seven universities participated and provided incite on not only only their facilities and research, but life in and outside of work in their respective regions. Future teleconferences will focus both on a specified area of research/lab technique and a cultural topic, such as regional recipes and attractions. Topics will highlight the diversity of both BIOT research and the researchers themselves. Future topics and dates will be periodically announced on our website. Please contact Evan Day ( ) if you are interested in participating. We would also like to thank the participants of the first teleconference (listed below) who helped to make this event a success.

·         Ruben Soares, Inês Pinto, and Sara Rosa - Instituto Superior Tecnico

·         Andreas Schmideder – Technische Universitat Muchen

·         Erik Munsell and  Morgan Urello – University of Delaware

·         Victor Koppejan and Silvia Pirrung – Delft University of Technology

·         Ana Carina Norte and Ana Catarina Águas - Universidade do Algarve

·         Shu Zhu, Evan Day, Devon Zimmerman, and Professor William J. Kelly – University of Pennsylvania & Villanova University


Students from the Instituto Superior Tecnio discussed their research as well as some of the perks to living in Lisboa, Portugal.


Networking Brewery Tour (Event Flyer)

Date: Wednesday, Feb 3rd, 2016, 5:00 pm -8:00 pm

Location: Iron Hill Brewery in Wilmington (Directions)

At this event, industry representatives and graduate students had a chance to connect in an informal environment while enjoying a tour of one of our local breweries. We also took this opportunity to extend a warm welcome to Bruno Marques from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) who has accepted the role of Industry Adviser for our student chapter. We'd like to thank everyone who attended and helped to make our first event a success.  


Students and Industrial representatives enjoyed a tour of Iron Hill Brewery, Wilmington. 

William J. Kelly accepted role as Faculty Adviser


Student Officers and Industry Adviser Elected




Bruno Marques accepted role as Industry Adviser


First Networking Event held ("BioPharmaceutical Products and Processes: What's coming Next?")

Date: Sept 17th, 2015, 5:30-9:00 pm

Location: Villanova University

This event included formal presentations along with (in true BIOT tradition) opportunities for graduate students and  scientists from the Biopharm industry to interact.  We would like to thank all students, industry representatives, and professors who attended and helped to make our first event so successful. We would like to extend a special thank you to our speakers Dr. Michele Myers (- Director, Glaxo SmithKline), Dr. Ravinder Bhatia (- Scientific Director, Janssen), and Dr. Wayne Froland (- Associate Vice President, Merck) and poster presenters.