about   CII home   shop   checkout
Conference Banner

Optimizing Cell Culture Technology Speaker Biographies

2013 Archived Content

Ayda Mayer, Ph.D., Director, Process Development, Human Genome Sciences, Inc.

Dr. Ayda S. Mayer earned her B.S. and M.S. in Food Engineering and received her Ph.D. in BioChemical Engineering/Biotechnology from Purdue University. After postdoctoral training at Biomedical Engineering and Laboratory of Renewable Resources Engineering at Purdue, she joined Amylin Pharmaceuticals where she started her career in process development, working on production of recombinant peptides in fermentation processes. In 2001, Dr. Mayer joined HGSI; since then, she has worked on bacterial, yeast and mammalian systems, both in early- and late-stage development, scale-up, tech transfer and manufacturing support. In addition, she has led CMC teams for antibody programs. Currently, Dr. Mayer leads a group of scientific professionals on multiple mammalian projects, internal and CMO. Her department is also responsible for reagent support and establishing stable cell lines for new target molecules. 

Natarajan Vijayasankaran, Ph.D., Engineer II, Late Stage Cell Culture, Genentech, Inc.

Natarajan (Nattu) Vijayasankaran is currently a Senior Engineer in Late Stage Cell Culture at Genentech. He got his B.Tech in Chemical Engineering from the National Institute of Technology, Trichirapalli, India in 1997 and his Masters and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota in 2005. He is experienced in early and late stage cell culture process development, culture medium optimization, process characterization and technology transfer and has co-authored twelve peer reviewed publications. 

Laura Di Grazia, M.S., Head, Upstream Processing, Manufacturing, NovImmune SA

Laura Di Grazia is Head of upstream processing at NovImmune in Geneva. Laura joined NovImmune in 2009 and is responsible for mammalian cell culture development for the supply of pre-clinical and clinical material, from cell line engineering to production. Laura worked on the implementation of disposable technology for upstream processing, as well as contributed to process development and optimisation of various aspects of recombinant antibody upstream manufacture. Prior to joining NovImmune, she worked at Lonza Biologics (UK) in GMP manufacturing from 2005 and from 2007 in the Manufacturing Science and Technology team. Laura obtained her master’s degree in biology at the University of Turin in 2005. 

Jörg von Hagen, Ph.D., Head, Process Development, Merck KGaA

Dr. Jörg von Hagen is head of Merck Millipore Process Development R&D in Darmstadt (Germany). Having studied biotechnology and signal transduction in Giessen and Darmstadt, he received his academic degree with an award-winning thesis in 2001. Dr. von Hagen has more than 20 years of practical expertise in biotechnology, especially in molecular cell biology and proteomics. 

Mark Smales, Ph.D., Professor, Biotechnology, School of Biosciences and Centre for Molecular Processing, University of Kent

Professor Smales' work focuses on furthering our understanding of the cellular processes controlling recombinant protein synthesis and quality from mammalian and bacterial cells. His group has a wide range of interests including cell engineering, development of cell line screening strategies, controlling and analysis of post-translational modifications, mRNA translation and its control (including microRNAs and codon optimisation), host cell protein content and the linking of upstream and downstream bioprocessing. He is currently Professor of Biotechnology at the University of Kent and the Director of the Center for Molecular Processing at Kent.

Yao-Ming Huang, Ph.D., Scientist, Biogen Idec, Inc.

Dr. Huang is a Principal Engineer in Technical Development at Biogen Idec. He joined IDEC pharmaceuticals in 2001, and since then has been involved in process development of a large number of clinical projects and technology programs. He led the team developing chemically defined media that support the cell culture process platform of several clinical programs. Most recently Yao-Ming and his team have been involved in biosimilar work and undertaking complex product quality challenges. 

Maciek R. Antoniewicz, Ph.D., Assistant Professor and DuPont Young Professor, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, University of Delaware

Prof. Maciek R. Antoniewicz is the DuPont Young Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Delaware. Dr. Antoniewicz earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Chemical Engineering from Delft University of Technology, and his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After graduating he performed post-doctoral research at DuPont. Dr. Antoniewicz is an expert and a pioneer in the field of 13C-metabolic flux analysis (MFA). He has received several international awards for his research on MFA, including the DuPont Young Professor Award (2008) and the James E. Bailey Young Investigator Award in Metabolic Engineering (2008). His current interests are in dynamic metabolic flux analysis at metabolic non-steady state and the use of tandem mass spectrometry for flux analysis studies. 

Len van Zyl, Ph.D., Research Assistant Professor, College of Natural Resources, North Carolina State University; CEO, ArrayXpress, Inc.

Len van Zyl, Ph.D., is the founder, CEO and CSO of ArrayXpress Inc, a genomics services and diagnostics company in RTP. He recently received honors as one of the Business Leaders' Top 50 Entrepreneurs for North Carolina in 2010. This award honors entrepreneurs who have made a significant impact on the business community. He is also an Adjunct Professor at North Carolina State University. 

Michael Butler, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor, Animal Cell Technology, Microbiology, University of Manitoba

Dr. Butler is a Distinguished Professor of Animal Cell Technology in the Department of Microbiology at the University of Manitoba in Canada. He is also the Scientific Director of MabNet, which is a NSERC-funded strategic network for the production of single-type glycoform monoclonal antibodies.  Dr. Butler received his BSc in Biochemistry from the University of Birmingham, his MSc in Chemistry from the University of Waterloo, and his PhD inBiochemistry from King's College at the University of London. Dr. Butler's research focuses on strategically important themes in the area of recombinant protein and viral vaccine production from mammalian cell cultures, and can be summarized as follows:

  • Glycomics and post-translational modification of products
  • Selection and adaptation for robustness
  • Metabolic engineering for improved efficiency of energy metabolism
  • Serum-free, chemically defined media for cell growth
  • Virus production from anchorage-dependent mammalian cells

Sven Ansorge, Ph.D., Development Scientist I, Alexion Montréal Corp.

Sven joined Alexion Montréal Corp as Development Scientist I in 2011 where he currently works on the development of CHO cell processes.Previously, he was employed at the NRC-BRI in the group of Amine Kamen where he focused on the development and characterization of viral vector production processes. Sven holds an MSc degree from Mannheim University of Applied Sciences and a PhD from ÉcolePolytechnique de Montréal. One of his continued interests is the monitoring of cell culture processes using permittivity measurements, a field in which he has by now acquired 8 years of experience. Svenhas published severalpeer-reviewed articles and book chapters and has presented his results at different international conferences. 

Chi Zhang, Ph.D., Fellow, Division of Nanobiotechnology, School of Biotechnology, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)

I obtained my PhD degree in Bioengineering from the National University of Singapore in 2009. From 2009 to 2011, I worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the School of Biotechnology, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Sweden. My specialty is in microfluidic cell culture and its downstream applications, such as drug toxicity testing. 

Carl G. Simon, Jr., Ph.D., Biologist, Polymers Division, Biomaterials Group, National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST)

Dr. Simon leads a Project entitled 3D Tissue Scaffolds in the Polymers Division at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, MD. The goal of his research is to understand how 3D tissue scaffold properties influence stem cell differentiation. He has developed combinatorial methods for screening cell-material interactions where the material is presented to the cell in a 3D scaffold format. Dr. Simon holds B.S. in Biology from Bucknell University and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from University of Virginia. He trained as a post-doctoral fellow in Polymers Division and is currently a staff scientist. Dr. Simon holds active leadership positions in the “Society for Biomaterials” and “American Society for Testing and Materials” and is on the Editorial Boards for “Biomaterials” and “Journal of Biomedical Materials Research – Applied Biomaterials”.

Download Conference & Course Catalog

CHI Catalog March 2018 - August 2018 Cover