Mid-Atlantic BIOT Chapter Advisers
William J. Kelly, Faculty Adviser
Dr. William Kelly is a professor of Chemical Engineering at Villanova University. Prior to this, he worked as a biochemical engineer at Merck and Company for ten years. Dr. Kelly teaches and does research in the areas of upstream and downstream bioprocessing, primarily for Biopharmaceutical production. Dr. Kelly and his colleagues at Villanova recently won the ASEE Martin award for classroom innovation. Dr. Kelly’s research most recently has focused on optimization of microbioreactors and alternating tangential flow for perfusion cell culture applications. Dr. Kelly is currently looking at ways to improve growth of Tcells for improved CART therapies. Dr. Kelly is an alternate councilor on the BIOT EXCOMM and serves as BIOT liason to ESBES (European Symposium for Biochemical Engineering Sciences).
Bruno F. Marques, Industry Adviser
Bruno Marques currently has a portfolio leadership role at GSK, where he serves as the single point-of-contact between therapy areas (with a focus on Respiratory disease) and the technology & science platforms, e.g. DMPK, Toxicology, CMC. Prior to that, Bruno led various Bioprocess Development teams toward regulatory filing and launch of commercial assets such as Tanzeum, Nucala, and Benlysta. He started his career at Merck & Co, after earning a PhD in Chemical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. Bruno enjoys teaching, mentoring, and giving back to the greater scientific community by directing a graduate course at Rutgers University and frequently chairing sessions at external conferences.
Mid-Atlantic Student Officers
Paradorn ("Joe") Rummaneethorn, President
Joe is a Ph.D. candidate in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania doing research in Dr. Daeyeon Lee's lab. His current research is on high-voltage charge injection approaches for reversible, spatially and temporally controllable droplet wetting. Being funded by a newly established Center of Subcellular Genomics, the goal is to apply this technology to develop novel tools to study phenotype diversification at a scale smaller than currently allowed by single-cell biology. Joe is interested in pursuing a career in the pharmaceutical industry, where he wants to research and develop new therapies or diagnostic tools for different diseases. Outside of lab, he enjoys traveling, trying new foods, and experiencing a good story (via books, television/movies, and video games).
Joe grew up in Bangkok, Thailand and completed his B.S.E. in Chemical and Biological Engineering with highest honors at Princeton University, with minors in biology and materials science. As an undergraduate, he did research in Dr. Robert Prud'homme's lab on nanoparticle encapsulation of macromolecular biologics and also served as the president of the AIChE Princeton Chapter.
Anxhela Sinani, Vice President
Anxhela Sinani is a first-year graduate student in the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department at the University of Delaware. Coming from a family of medical doctors, Anxhela was inspired to contribute to the pharmaceutical industry by working in the area of protein engineering. Her research focuses on developing protease circuits for extracellular matrix remodeling. Anxhela holds a BS in Bioengineering from Lehigh University. In her free time, Anxhela enjoys trying new sports and cooking.
Canaan Coppola, Webmaster
Canaan is a second-year graduate student studying Biochemical Engineering at Villanova University under the direction of Dr. William Kelly and Dr. Zuyi Huang. His current research is in the optimization of T-cell growth for CAR-T cancer therapy by supplementing cell cultures with growth-mediating cytokines, with the goal to incorporate growth and transcriptomic data into a mathematical model for predictive medium formulations to achieve the rapid expansion of primary T-cells to therapeutically relevant levels, reducing the currently high cost of CAR-T therapy.
Canaan is from upstate New York, and graduated from the University at Buffalo with a B.S. in Biochemistry and minor in mathematics. His undergraduate research was varied, including time in a genetics lab at UB, a summer studying medicinal plant chemistry in Peru, and an NSF-funded REU developing a mathematical model of diabetic wound healing at Western Kentucky University. Canaan enjoys cooking, playing guitar, and getting lost in fiction.
Brian Paul, Recruiting & Communications Lead
Brian is a 1st year PhD student studying Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Delaware. He grew up in Lake Forest, California and completed a double Bachelor’s in Chemical Engineering and Materials Science Engineering at University of California, Irvine. While at UCI, he was actively involved with AIChE and is excited to continue his professional development and service with ACS BIOT. Outside of the lab, he enjoys playing music, running, following politics, and volunteer math tutoring at local public schools.
Brian’s research focuses on studying and characterizing dense solid-like phases of proteins, specifically protein gels. Aggregation is a common occurrence in downstream bioprocessing and manufacturing, as well as pharmaceutical formulation, which can disrupt processes and lower production efficiency. On the other hand, precipitation can often be a useful and efficient method to purify a desired protein to high concentrations, and crystallization can be utilized to investigate protein structure via scattering or diffraction techniques. Determining the formation mechanism, mechanical properties, phase behavior, and structure of dense phases in common industrial proteins would allow for controlling aggregation in downstream bioprocessing. The goal of the project is to utilize a variety of characterization techniques, including bulk rheology, microrheology, small angle neutron scattering, and light scattering, to investigate the properties of these dense protein phases.
Jordan E. Berger, Treasurer
Jordan is a 3rd year PhD candidate in the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department at the University of Delaware. Jordan works in Professor Chris Roberts’ laboratory. He is focused on protein stability, specifically using high pressure and low temperature as an alternative to conduct accelerated stability studies. To this end, a combination of in situ high pressure spectroscopic and scattering techniques are applied to characterize aggregation prone intermediate states in an effort to improve the development of MAb therapeutics.
Jordan grew up Conshohocken, Pennsylvania and is a proud graduate of Bucknell University and Plymouth Whitemarsh High School. He enjoys playing piano and trumpet, and when there is time, golfing.