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Hopkins Biotech Podcast
41 minutes | 2 months ago
Daniel Pham - Informing Philanthropic Investments
Dr. Daniel Pham, PhD is an Associate Director at the Milken Institute’s Center for Strategic Philanthropy, which works with a diverse array of key stakeholders to advance initiatives that aim to improve human health. Prior to joining the Milken Institute, Daniel played an active role in science policy & advocacy as a Public Affairs Manager at the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) and a Science Policy Fellow at Research!America. He’s also an alumnus of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, having earned his PhD in neuroscience and founded the on-campus student group Project Bridge in 2012. In this episode, we discuss the ways in which nonprofit think tanks like the Milken Institute advise key stakeholders to maximize the impact of philanthropic investments. Daniel also draws on his experience in science policy to describe ways in which scientists should engage with communities & key decision-makers to combat institutional skepticism in science. Finally, we briefly discuss the a few opportunities in bipolar disorder, an area in which Daniel and his team at the Center for Strategic Philanthropy are actively involved.Hosted by Roshan Chikarmane and Jenna Glatzer.
59 minutes | 3 months ago
Florian Krammer - COVID-19 Vaccine Development
Dr. Florian Krammer, PhD is a Professor of Vaccinology in the Department of Microbiology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, whose lab investigates the antibody responses towards glycoproteins on the surface of influenza viruses. He recently authored a review in the journal Nature that provides an overview of SAR-CoV-2 vaccines currently in clinical development. In this episode, we discuss how immunologists & virologists reacted to COVID-19 during the dawn of the outbreak, different factors that have been found to influence COVID-19 disease pathology, and the similarities/differences between SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses. Furthermore, we discuss the pros/cons of different types of COVID-19 vaccines from various angles including therapeutic modality, efficacy, side effect profile, and ease of manufacturing & distribution. Finally, Dr. Krammer provides a possible outlook for the global vaccine rollout process and proposes ways in which the biomedical research can improve pandemic preparedness.Hosted by Cynthia Steinhardt and Joe Varriale.
46 minutes | 3 months ago
Camille Delebecque - Building Synthetic Biology Companies
Dr. Camille Delebecque, M.Sc., PhD is Co-Founder & CEO of Afineur, a company that sustainably processes raw agriculture into plant-based meats and optimizes the flavor profiles of various foods using the latest advances in fermentation & enzymology. He also operates two other companies: (1) SOIL.BIO (Founder & CEO), a startup that aims to develop proprietary mixtures of microbes that enrich the soil with nutrients and improve crop yields and (2) SynBio Consulting (Founder & Partner), where he works with companies, governmental institutions, universities, and investment funds to assist in the deployment of novel biotechnologies. In this episode, Camille shares what it was like to start his first company (Omeecs, a biomanufacturing startup), his experience serving on the Advisory Board of the European Commission, how he managed the turnaround of Microbes Biosciences as their Chief Scientific Officer (CSO), and the status of the companies that he currently operates (Afineur, SOIL.BIO, SynBio Consulting). Furthermore, we discuss how he built his technical & business skills during graduate school, the lessons he learned while starting multiple businesses, and emerging applications of synthetic biology in food & agriculture.Hosted by Cynthia Steinhardt and Roshan Chikarmane.
42 minutes | 3 months ago
Jason Howard - Connecting Biotech & Physicians
Dr. Jason Howard, PhD is a Medical Science Liaison at Sanofi/Genzyme, where he provides field support for a metastatic prostate cancer treatment (cabazitaxel) and a squamous cell skin cancer treatment (cemiplimab). Prior to joining Sanofi, Jason worked at a Baltimore-based biotech startup called Vaccinogen, where he was co-inventor of the investigational cancer vaccine Oncavert. In this episode, we discuss the role of medical affairs in biotech & pharma, how to acquire & manage relationships with key opinion leaders (primarily physicians), how information collected in the field informs a biotech’s business strategy, and the emerging role of social media in assessing how the market responds to new drug approvals.Hosted by Joe Varriale and Roshan Chikarmane.
52 minutes | 4 months ago
Don Anderson & Caroline Vissers - Applying Hypoxia Biology
Dr. Don Anderson, PhD, MBA is Senior Scientist at Merck & Co., a multinational pharmaceutical company that develops and manufactures medicines in a broad range of therapeutic areas. Don previously worked at Peloton Therapeutics, which was acquired by Merck in May of 2019, primarily for its “novel small molecule therapeutic candidates targeting hypoxia-inducible factor-2α (HIF-2α) for the treatment of patients with cancer and other non-oncology diseases”. Dr. Caroline Vissers, PhD is a Principal Investigator at UCSF, where she operates a lab that examines the role of RNA methylation in neural development and stem cell behavior. Both guests were mentored by Nobel laureates - Don by Dr. Michael Brown (Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1985; cholesterol metabolism) during his postdoc and Caroline by Dr. Gregg Semenza (Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2019; oxygen sensing) - and navigated unique routes to their current roles. We explore the value of postdoctoral fellowships, why large biotech/pharma companies acquire smaller companies, how emerging insights into the biology of hypoxia are being translated into drugs, and the relationship between academia & industry.Hosted by Roshan Chikarmane and Jenna Glatzer.
38 minutes | 4 months ago
Elias Davis - Investing & Skill Building
Elias Davis is Principal at Kli Capital, a generalist venture capital firm based out of New York City with a focus on investing in early-stage companies. Prior to joining Kli Capital, Elias interned at Pfizer in a computational chemistry group, worked as a Summer Analyst at Credit Suisse, founded a medical-oriented social network, served as a Product Manager at Google, and coordinated strategic growth at KeyMe. In this episode, we talk about when to embark on new opportunities, how to navigate non-linear career trajectories, ways in which we learn & grow from informational interviews. We also discuss the role that venture capital serves in company creation, his day-to-day responsibilities as Principal, and the qualities that define an investible company & team.Hosted by Roshan Chikarmane and Jenna Glatzer.
36 minutes | 5 months ago
Max Tejada - Biologics & Bioassays
Max Tejada, PhD is Senior Director at Kite Pharma, an American biotech company and subsidiary of Gilead Sciences that develops cancer immunotherapies with a primary focus on genetically engineered adoptive T-cell therapies called CAR-T therapies. Dr. Tejada broke into the private sector by landing an industry postdoctoral fellowship at Genentech in the lab of Dr. Napoleone Ferrara, who is widely recognized for his role in developing the angiogenesis inhibitor Avastin (bevacizumab). He subsequently led teams that devised bioassays for development and high volume production of antibody-based drugs at Genentech, Gilead, and AstraZeneca as well as for cell therapies at Kite Pharma. We explore the various roles and responsibilities in R&D, the difference between “leaders versus managers”, and how you can keep on building technical expertise to match the speed of innovation in the biotech industry.Hosted by Roshan Chikarmane and Jenna Glatzer.
42 minutes | 5 months ago
Ernesto Chanona - Business & Relationship Building
Ernesto Chanona, PhD is Senior Manager in the Office of BioHealth and Life Sciences at the Maryland Department of Commerce, which fosters growth of life sciences business in the state of Maryland through a host of initiatives. Ernesto helps connect various institutions (NIH, biotech/pharma companies, etc.), individuals (inventors, entrepreneurs, etc.), and investors to facilitate economic development. Given that he’s a ‘professional connector’ of sorts, our discussion largely centers around how academic researchers (PhDs, postdocs, etc.) can effectively network to unlock career opportunities, which Ernesto beautifully illustrates by sharing his own journey from NIH postdoc to his current position in the Office of BioHealth and Life Sciences. We also talk about how life sciences businesses of all sizes can collaborate with the local, domestic, or international business communities on their path to developing & commercializing products. Hosted by Roshan Chikarmane and Jenna Glatzer.
34 minutes | 5 months ago
Janice Logan - Patenting Scientific Insights
Dr. Janice Logan, PhD, JD is an alumna of the Johns Hopkins PhD program in Biomedical Engineering and Partner at Morgan Lewis, a prominent law firm that serves a wide range of clients including more than three-quarters of Fortune 100 companies. In this episode, we talk about various requirements and challenges related to successfully patenting insights in biomedical research and drug development. Janice also shares why science-related PhDs are in high demand in the legal field as well as recommendations for how PhDs can approach a career in intellectual property (IP) law, with or without attending law school. Furthermore, we discuss how women can succeed in traditionally male-dominated industries, through Janice’s own experience rising to the level of Partner at a law firm.Hosted by Roshan Chikarmane and Jenna Glatzer.
38 minutes | 6 months ago
Evan Guggenheim - Emerging Cell & Gene Therapies
Evan Guggenheim, PhD is Executive Director & Head of Research Operations at Sana Biotechnology, a startup dedicated to developing stem cell therapies and methods for in vivo delivery of gene therapy components to treat a variety of diseases. Prior to joining Sana, Evan worked as a Scientist at a sequencing company called Intelligent Bio-Systems (acquired by Qiagen in 2012) as well as at the large biotechnology company Biogen, where he rose through the ranks from the position of Scientist to ultimately become the Director of R&D Strategy and Portfolio Leadership. In this episode, we discuss ways that you can ‘de-risk yourself’ when you’re first entering the job market and how you can climb the corporate ladder at a large biotech/pharma company. We also talk about how your role as an employee, long-term job stability, and work-life balance can vary based on your particular work environment. Furthermore, we discuss the current state of cell & gene therapies and pinpoint key growth opportunities.Hosted by Roshan Chikarmane and Jenna Glatzer.
41 minutes | 6 months ago
Roshni Rao - International Students & Life Design
Roshni Rao, PhD is Director of the PHutures Office at Johns Hopkins University, where she works with PhDs and postdocs to supplement academic training with coaching in translational and relational skills that are essential for preparedness in various industries. Roshni is a fantastic resource to turn to and we strongly encourage students at Johns Hopkins to contact her at the PHutures Office for career guidance. During this episode we discuss the concept of ‘life design’, a multi-faced methodology for planning a fulfilling future that extensively utilizes your skills, values, personality, and interests. Furthermore, we explore how international students can overcome social & emotional obstacles, start planning for work visa applications, and approach the job application process in order to confidently embark on a journey of career development.Additional resources for international students: JHU Office of International Services (handle visa concerns), Resources for International Students (a comprehensive list of resources, curated by the JHU Student Health & Wellness blog), lawsuit filed by JHU to block SEVP guidance (filed Friday, July 10, 2020)Hosted by Roshan Chikarmane and Jenna Glatzer.
36 minutes | 7 months ago
Lauren Lee - Biotech Investing
Lauren Lee, Ph.D is an Associate at Solasta Ventures, the U.S. subsidiary of South Korean venture capital firm Aju IB that focuses on investments in therapeutics and life science companies. We chat about how she merged her dual interests in science and finance, advanced projects at Onyx Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Amgen in 2013), and helps biotech/pharmaceutical startups grow at Solasta Ventures. Lauren also highlights different facets of career exploration during a PhD, which includes securing your PI’s support, attending networking events, and seeking out career enrichment opportunities. Finally, she shares how you can get involved in the healthcare-centric financial sector.For updates about upcoming guests, follow us on social media at Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter and visit us at hopkinsbiotechpodcast.com to check out our mission and full catalogue of episodes.Hosted by Roshan Chikarmane and Jenna Glatzer. Music by Richard Joseph Haid. Special thanks to the Office of the Provost at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine for making this program possible.
33 minutes | 7 months ago
Bernat Navarro-Serer - Shaping Science Policy
Bernat Navarro-Serer is the Eastern Hub Co-Chair of the National Science Policy Network (NSPN), a non-profit organization that equips scientists with the skills and collaborations that they need to effectively influence public policy. He also serves as Social Media Chair for the Johns Hopkins Science Policy Group, a chapter of NSPN that unites graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, healthcare professionals, and faculty to collectively promote social change at a state and local level. We discuss his advocacy for funding of cancer research on Capitol Hill, the breadth and depth of careers in science policy, as well as the importance of science communication in bridging the gap between scientists and non-scientist decision-makers (legislators, elected representatives, the public, etc.).For updates about upcoming guests, follow us on social media at Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter and visit us at hopkinsbiotechpodcast.com to check out our mission and full catalogue of episodes.Hosted by Roshan Chikarmane and Jenna Glatzer. Music by Richard Joseph Haid. Special thanks to the Office of the Provost at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine for making this program possible.
25 minutes | 8 months ago
Sam Hong - Running a Pharmaceutical Startup
Sam Hong, Ph.D is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Rapafusyn Pharmaceuticals, a pre-clinical stage startup developing macrocycle-based therapeutics for treatment of various disease indications. The company is also a commercial spinout of research conducted in the lab of Dr. Jun Liu at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, where Sam conducted his doctoral thesis. We chat about his journey from a post-baccalaureate fellowship at a synthetic chemistry lab at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to his current position, and everything in between. Sam also shares how he honed his business acumen, the importance of proving out a skillset, and what the work environment is like at a pharmaceutical startup company.For updates about upcoming guests, follow us on social media at Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter and visit us at hopkinsbiotechpodcast.com to check out our mission and full catalogue of episodes.Hosted by Roshan Chikarmane and Jenna Glatzer. Music by Richard Joseph Haid. Special thanks to the Office of the Provost at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine for making this program possible.
29 minutes | 8 months ago
Academia or Industry?
We discuss that familiar career question, "academia or industry?" as well as introduce the goals of the podcast and backgrounds of the hosts. Join us in subsequent episodes for interviews with guests from a diverse array of private sector life science industries (pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, consulting, venture capital, science policy, etc.) that model viable career paths for students.For updates about upcoming guests, follow us on social media at Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn and visit us at hopkinsbiotechpodcast.com to check out our mission and full catalogue of episodes.Hosted by Roshan Chikarmane and Jenna Glatzer. Music by Richard Joseph Haid. Special thanks to the Office of the Provost at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine for making this program possible.
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