Faculty & Staff
Be taught and mentored by business, biology, and technical experts and build relationships that will extend beyond the program.
Administration & Leadership
Ivica Labuda, PhD
Professor and Program Director
Ivica Labuda, PhD, is a Professor at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular & Cellular Biology, and Director of the Biotechnology Program.
Dr. Ivica Labuda’s graduate studies and post-doctoral work were conducted at the Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Slovakia, at the University of Graz, Austria, and at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ. Her biotechnology research continued at global companies including Kraft, Roche/Givaudan, DuPont/Danisco/Cultor, and Pepsi-Cola, where she established, expanded, and managed biotechnology groups with research programs focused on diagnostics, taste receptors, flavor ingredients, antioxidants, and antimicrobials. Dr. Labuda’s research results were published in numerous scientific journals and books and put into practice based on her international patents. Dr. Labuda founded two companies, Biokeys for Flavors, LLC and NovaKera, LLC.
For the past 21 years Dr. Labuda has enjoyed introducing students to the field of biotechnology, first as an Adjunct Professor and now as Director for the past three years. The well-being and personal and academic growth of students is central to her teaching philosophy. She considers all of the faculty, students, and staff of the program to be part of her beloved biotech family.
Kyle DiVito, PhD
Associate Professor and Associate Director
Dr. DiVito joined the Department as faculty in November 2018. Prior to joining the faculty, Dr. DiVito was a Staff Scientist at the FDA. In 2014 Dr. DiVito was the recipient of a post-doctoral fellowship from the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) and completed his fellowship at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington, D.C.. While at NRL, Dr. DiVito characterized synthetic blood vessels fabricated using microfluidics and received the Jerome Karle Fellowship for Young Investigators. Dr. DiVito’s interests span tissue engineering and organ-on-chip technology, as well as traditional cancer research. Dr. DiVito completed his Ph.D. at Georgetown in 2013, and received a B.S. from the University of Connecticut in 2002.
Karen Brotherton-Julien, MS
Program Manager & Biotechnology Program Specialist
Karen Brotherton-Julien, MS, is the Biotechnology Academic Program Specialist and Program Manager of the MS Biotechnology program at Georgetown University. Karen graduated from Howard University in Washington, DC with a B.S. in Biology and a minor in Chemistry and received her M.S. in Biotechnology from Georgetown University. During her 21 years of dedicated service to the university starting in 1999, Karen has served in many roles. Before her current position as an Academic Program Specialist, Karen served as an academic coordinator for the MS in Biotechnology, MS in Biochemistry and MS in Bioinformatics (a track under MS in Biochemistry) programs. As a coordinator, Karen’s responsibilities included student recruitment and overall management of the programs. Karen has been instrumental in the growth of these programs to the point that the MS in Biochemistry and MS Bioinformatics each branched out with their own coordinators in 2016. As Program Manager, she has been the go-to person for all students and faculty regarding programmatic and non-programmatic related inquiries. In 2020 during the COVID Pandemic, Karen created the Biotechnology Graduate Student Hour and the Georgetown Executive Biotechnology Alumni Board to keep faculty, alums, current students, and members of the Biotechnology Industry virtually engaged. Students often refer to her as the “mother” as she maintains constant interactions with them from day one with a warm smile. Karen is continually recognized by GUMC for her services and as a result, was awarded “Excellence in Graduate Education” in 2016. In addition to all of her management responsibilities, Karen also teaches courses.
Naroa Gimenez, PhD
Naroa Gimenez, PhD, joined the Biotechnology Program as a post-doctoral researcher in September 2022. Naroa graduated from the University of Navarra in Spain with a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering and received her M.S. in Biomedical Engineering from the Technical University of Madrid. For the past four years, she has been working on studying the alterations of epigenetic mechanisms related to hematological malignancies. Naroa has combined novel epigenetic therapeutic strategies with chemotherapy drugs for Leukemia treatment. She brings nearly five years of experience working in the molecular biology laboratory. Although much of this period was spent in the field of research, she has been also involved in undergraduate teaching.
Robert Donahue, MA
Director of Biotechnology Laboratories
Mr. Robert A. Donahue, Jr. (M.A. Biological Sciences, University of Texas, Austin) Mr. Donahue has 30 years’ experience in Biotechnology in both academic and industrial laboratories. Mr. Donahue is an inventor on several patents for Biotech products and processes in the area of bacterial gene transfer. He has experience in the conception, development, and commercialization of Biotechnology products generating several million dollars in revenue. Mr. Donahue has experience in protein purification, enzyme assay development, process development and scale-up in a commercial environment. Mr. Donahue has experience in the training and supervision of non-scientists in the preparation of reagents and the production of biomolecules. With his knowledge of how a Biotechnology company operates on a daily basis, Mr. Donahue is a valuable member of the Biotechnology Program Staff.
Khuyen Mai, MS
Director of Internship & Instructor
Khuyen Mai brings over a decade of Biotechnology industry and education experience to the Georgetown Biotechnology program. She has particular expertise in biotechnology education and has earned several excellence awards for outstanding merits in teaching and mentoring.
At Georgetown, Khuyen serves as the Biotechnology Capstone Internship Director where she advises and assists students with securing appropriate capstone internships to help them widen their professional network and gain the much-needed industry insight and practical experience prior to graduation. She is also an Instructor in the Medical Educator Track where she teaches several BioScience core courses. Khuyen has led many educational outreach and written instructional documents for various educational programs, including Georgetown Experiences in Biotechnology Academy, Amgen Biotech Experience DC Metro and Adventure in Science.
Khuyen enjoys interacting with students and sharing her passion for biotechnology with them. She holds an M.S. in Systems Medicine, an M.S. in Biochemistry, both from Georgetown University, and a B.S in Biotechnology from George Mason University.
Dr. Wasserman’s science career began in 1979, where he worked as an undergraduate intern in a cellular immunology laboratory in building 10 on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) main campus in Bethesda, Maryland. The powerful allure of using cells in our bodies to eradicate cancer cells led him along a very long journey spanning over 40 years. During that time, he spent many years in the private sector, including product development funding, and was employed at Trevigen, which was one of the companies founded by the late Dr. Jack Chirikjian–founder of the MS in Biotechnology program, before serving as an assistant professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular & Cellular Biology since 2012. Dr. Wasserman’s thesis research in the biochemical purification of proteins of interest, cytokine activated anti-tumor cell responses, early attempts at development of an ovarian cancer vaccine, signal transduction in cells of the immune system, how the NIH functions in its critical roles in the support of scientific research, as well as how the science of biochemistry is conducted, are all together the basis of his current interest in teaching our program students. Biochemistry is essentially the science which underlies biotechnology, life, aging, diseases and the therapeutic modalities used to treat them. It is a fascinating subject. The modern understanding of biochemistry is essential for human health going forward, as well as the health of our planet.
Associate Professor, Adjunct
CEO, President OnkoLogix USA LTD and ImmunoLogix LTD USA and CSO of OnkoRx in Beijing China
Director, Equity Research, Fairlook Investment Advisors LLC.
MD/PhD from New York University – Bellevue
OnkoLogix LTD and OnkoRx are innovative cancer therapeutic companies that are currently developing novel anti-cancer biologics for Gastric Cancer and other malignancies. ImmunoLogix LTD is a unique Biotech Company developing innovative approaches to developing vaccine and immunologicals for a variety of infectious diseases, including the Pandemic Influenzas and other viral diseases. Prior to this activity Dr. Ascione was active in the Biopharmaceutical Industry as: Consultant and CSO for ViRexx Medical Corp., Vice President, Research, of Aphton Biopharmaceutical Corporation, Prior to his Industry career, Dr. Ascione was a tenured professor in the Department of Experimental Oncology and served as the Associate Director of the Center for Molecular and Structural Biology at the Hollings Cancer Center and the Medical University of South Carolina, respectively, in Charleston, South Carolina. Prior to his academic career, Dr. Ascione was with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), where he served as Deputy Chief of NCI’s Laboratory of Molecular Oncology working on the pioneering investigations of the role of oncogenes in human malignancies.
Professor, Adjunct, Drug Discovery
Chief of the Section on Molecular Neuroscience in the National Institute of Mental Health Intramural Research Program of the National Institutes of Health
Ph.D. in Pharmacology from The University of Kansas
Lee E. Eiden is the Chief of the Section on Molecular Neuroscience in the National Institute of Mental Health Intramural Research Program of the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland. He received his B.A. in Chemistry from Northwestern University in Evanston Illinois, and Ph.D. in Pharmacology from The University of Kansas, and was a Staff Fellow, PRAT Fellow, and Senior Staff Fellow in the NIMH Intramural Research Program before joining the faculty as a Principal Investigator and Chief of the Unit on Cell Biology in 1987, and Chief of the Section on Molecular Neuroscience in 1992. His work at the NIH has focused on stimulus-secretion-synthesis coupling, characterization of the vesicular and secretory proteins mediating chemically coded neurotransmission, including chromogranin A, VMAT1, VMAT2, and VAChT and signaling pathways underlying neuropeptide-mediated stress responses. More recently, the laboratory has been involved in microarray- and bioinformatics-aided gene discovery within neuropeptide-dependent stress-activated cellular signaling pathways in the central nervous system, and has characterized a novel cAMP sensor for neuroendocrine cell-specific GPCR-initiated signaling to the MAP kinase ERK. Dr. Eiden is a member of the editorial boards of Peptides, Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology, and Science Signaling.
Find out more about Lee Eiden
Dr. Laiakis is currently an Assistant Professor at Georgetown University Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. Her research focuses on the effects of ionizing radiation (terrestrial and space related) on normal tissue, biodosimetry, and for radiotherapy purposes, with emphasis on metabolic changes through the use of metabolomics and mass spectrometry. Her expertise is in small molecule biomarker development to elucidate mechanisms of disease, including cancer and inflammation.
Associate Professor, Adjunct,
Head, Biotechnology Core, NIDDK, NIH
The Biotechnology Core specializes in large-scale production and purification of biological materials from various sources to advance research in fields such as vaccine development, drug development, and structural biology. To achieve this goal, the laboratory integrates two main functions: (1) production of biologics, conducted in a multipurpose, state-of-the-art production facility, and (2) research and process development related to solving biological production issues by utilizing physiological, molecular biology, and technical approaches.
Find out more about Joseph Shiloach here.
- Christopher Albanese, PhD
- Partha Banerjee
- Jan Blancato, PhD
- Robert Clarke, PhD
- Albert Fornace, PhD
- Eric Glasgow, PhD
- Nady Golestaneh, PhD
- Bassem Haddad, PhD
- Michael Johnson, PhD
- Joanna Kitlinska, PhD
- Charbel Moussa, PhD
- Anna Riegel, PhD
- Paul Roepe, PhD
- Rodney L. Rouse, DVM, MBA, PhD
Associate Director, Div. of Applied Regulatory Sciences, FDA/CDER
- Rabindra Roy, PhD
- Ashot Shekoyan, MD, MS
Clinical Trials Manager
- Geeta Upadhyay, PhD
Head of Operations AVROBIO
Matt has over 20 years of biotechnology experience in global, cross-functional roles such as business operations, product development, supply chain management, and strategic planning.
He currently serves as Head of Operations at AVROBIO, a gene therapy company focused on halting or reversing rare disease with a single dose. In this role he has responsibility for the Quality Assurance and Program Management functions. Additionally, Matt chairs AVROBIO’s pipeline strategy committee and leads strategic initiatives such as how AVROBIO evolves their ex-vivo clinical delivery model to enable global registrational studies across multiple programs.
Matt was most recently with AstraZeneca where he served as Operations Therapy Area Leader for Oncology and the Head of Operations for their IMED biotech unit. He joined AstraZeneca from their subsidiary MedImmune where he served as VP, Chief of Staff to the President. He also spent 11 years with Amgen, serving in a number of key roles including Global Program Manager for XGEVA® (denosumab), Director of Supply Chain Risk Management, and an expat assignment as the Head of Strategic Planning and Operations for International R&D. Matt began his career in the US Navy, serving as Commanding Officer of a special operations ship, Engineering Officer on a destroyer, and faculty at the US Naval Academy, where he also coached the varsity offshore sailing team.
Matt has a BS from the US Naval Academy, an MS in Biotechnology from Georgetown University, and an MBA from the University of Michigan. Beyond biotech, Matt enjoys live music, fishing, hiking, and volunteering as a coach for Maryland’s Special Olympics alpine skiing team.
Bob is currently the CEO of IOMAXIS. He has thirty years of operational, accounting, and financial experience encompassing active involvement in major strategic decisions. His background includes Acquisitions and Divestitures with proven leadership ability to manage the revenue-generating employees of a company. He is highly skilled in strategic and financial planning for entrepreneurial concerns and companies up to $200 million.
Charles S. Dormer is a coach and teacher helping people at all levels maximize the speed of their journey to become energizing, impactful leaders. Following a career of over thirty years working for some of the top global pharmaceutical companies (SmithKline Beecham, GlaxoSmithKline, Wyeth, Pfizer, and AstraZeneca), he embarked on a journey to help leaders. He focuses on working with leaders to identify astute insights and leverages his broad experience to bring context to leadership behavior discussions. He specializes in leadership behaviors that energize others to follow and deliver strategic goals. In his work, he takes results and action-oriented approach that cuts to the chase and gets to the heart of the matter by asking probing questions and testing assumptions. He uses systems thinking to organize issues into themes to help understand problems and implement solutions. Charles aims to have a significant impact on leaders’ performance and help them address difficult, complex business challenges. He is the author of the new book “Energizing to Impact: Reframe Leadership for Sustainable Success”. This book describes the journey to becoming an Energizing, Impactful Leader by developing a clear, compelling strategic vision and motivate others to follow and delivery of desired outcome. Charles is also passionate about sharing his learning and experience through teaching and mentoring. He holds an Adjunct Lecturer position at Georgetown University, where he teaches a Program on Strategic Leadership in Science and Technology in the MS Biotechnology Course. Charles holds a Master of Science (Honors) and Master of Philosophy degrees in Organizational Dynamics from the University of Pennsylvania. He is also a member of the Forbes Coaches Council. Although originally from the United Kingdom, he moved to the United States over thirty years ago. He now lives in Bethany Beach, Delaware.
Find out more about Charles Dormer’s business here. (new window)
Dean Lewis has over 15 years of executive level experience in investment banking M&A transactions. He led cross-border transactions for Lloyds Merchant Bank, New Zealand and the International Finance Corporation (a member of the World Bank Group).
For the last 20 years he entrepreneured biopharma companies, starting as a co-founder of IOMAI Corporation, a successful Maryland biotech company (exit value: $189m), and then, as CEO/CFO, managed the University City Science Center, Philadelphia, the oldest and largest U.S. urban science park and biotech incubator. For the past seven years he has worked internationally guiding and advising biopharmaceutical commercialization for the City of Incheon, Korea; BADIR, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Rhone-Alps Incubators, Lyon, France; National University of Singapore, Singapore; and Wallonia Science Parks, Belgium. He recently completed assisting the formation of a Dallas Texas based telemedicine company, now trading with over a $30 million valuation.
From 2005 – 2011 he served as Trustee for the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Ibadan, Nigeria, the largest not-for-profit agriculture research center in Africa devoted to crops to alleviate hunger in remote arid regions south of the Sahara.
Mr. Lewis holds an MA in agricultural economic development from Leeds University, England; a BA in economics from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand; and a certificate from Stanford University in Finance, a Program for Management Development (executive education). He is married and a citizen of the United States and New Zealand and lives in greater-Washington D.C. He lives in Washington D.C. and is a member of the Adjunct Faculty at Georgetown University, teaching Entrepreneurial Biotechnology.
Director, Millen, White, Zelano & Branigan, PC
Ph.D., Chemistry, University of California at San Diego
Larry Millstein is Director of the law firm Millen, White, Zelano & Branigan which serves a wide variety of clients, large and small, on legal matters relating to biotechnology and intellectual property. After receiving his law degree, Larry worked as a patent agent and then an attorney with the law firm of Foley & Lardner. He later served as Senior Patent Counsel with Human Genome Sciences. Subsequently, he formed the law firm of Millstein & Taylor where he practiced biotechnology patent law for over a decade. When Millstein & Taylor merged with Holland & Knight, he became a partner and head of the Holland & Knight biotechnology practice.
Find out more about Larry Millstein’s law firm here. (new window)
Associate Professor, Adjunct
Government Program Management
IH SBIR/STTR Program Manager and Director, Division of Special Programs, Office of Extramural Programs, Office of Extramural Research, Office of the Director, NIH
Ph.D., Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health
Dr. Matthew Portnoy is the NIH SBIR/STTR Program Manager and Director, Division of Special Programs, Office of Extramural Programs, Office of Extramural Research, Office of the Director, NIH. In this role, he manages the SBIR/STTR programs at NIH, coordinates the 24 NIH Institutes/Centers that receive funding for the programs and across HHS. Additionally, as the Director, Division of Special Programs, Dr. Portnoy and his staff provide scientific program management and oversight of the Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA) Program, and support for conferences and scientific meetings (R13/U13) and ensures that NIH extramural staff are trained to meet the ever-changing demands of their job.
Founder, CRO Advisors, LLC
Sullivan was President and CEO of Harlan Laboratories, a major pre-clinical CRO from 2006-2010. From 1999-2006 he headed most of the clinical divisions of Covance, Inc. Prior to Covance, Sullivan was Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Xenometrix, Inc., a drug discovery tool company. Previously, He served in several senior management positions at Abbott Laboratories, including Vice President of Worldwide Marketing for Abbott Diagnostics, and Vice President and General Manager of the Diagnostic Assay Sector and also held senior management positions at Lyphomed, Inc., Dart and Kraft Inc., and Baxter International.
President & CEO, Tanksley Consulting Group, LLC
MS Regulatory Science, Johns Hopkins University
Sarah Tanksley has over 15 years of laboratory and regulatory experience with both the NIH and FDA. She is an expert on a wide range of issues related to the FDA’s regulatory requirements: Warning letters and consent decree remediation, Data integrity remediation, Mock inspections, 21 CFR 211 and Deviation, and laboratory investigations. Sarah’s past experiences include Principal Consultant of Strategic Compliance with PAREXEL Consulting, Reviewer/Inspector with the Office of Compliance, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, FDA, and research lab experience within the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, and the U.S. Military. Sarah currently teaches cGMP Compliance and Regulatory Affairs at GUMC.
Joe Abdo, PhD, Co-Founder & CEO, Stella Diagnostics, Inc
Russell Boyd, PhD
PMP Head of Operational Excellence, Global Medicines Development, AstraZeneca
Kimbell Duncan, MS, PhD Candidate
Founder & Director, Rush Charitable Foundation Investment Banking
Director of Regulatory Affairs, MCRA Medical Device Regulations
Technology Transfer, NIH
Anderson Gaweco, MD, PhD
President & CEO, Innovimmune Biotherapeutics Immunology
Jay George, PhD
Principal Investigator, Amelia Technologies SBIR, STTR
Deb Neivert, MBA
Head of Portfolio Analytics,
Pipeline Strategy and Management, AstraZeneca
Principal, Pomerantz & Son Finance
Salim Shah, PhD
Assistant Professor Biochemistry and Molecular and Cellular Biology
Chief Medical Officer at the Cancer Research Institute (CRI)
Andrew Skibo, MS
Head of Global Biologics Operations for AstraZeneca
Partner, BroadOak Investment Bank Venture Capital Funding
Principal, Hudson Pacific (CHECK)
VP, MCRA Business Development, Medical Device
Fred Zaino, Founder, Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer, Keystone Capital Partners
- Sia Agnostio, MS
Director of Business Development, Immunomic Therapeutics
- Steve Birnbaum
Director of Business Development, Tissue Gene, Inc
- Peter Frantz, MBA, MS
Director of Business Development, Amarex Inc
- William Kelly
President, Bioinformatics, LLC
- Ruchika Nijhara
Director Technology Transfer, Georgetown Office of Technology Commercialization Technology Transfer
- Faye O’Brien
Metrics & Performance Lead, AstraZeneca
- Selen Oztunaoglu, MS
CEO, Nexus, LLC
- Anurag Patnaik, MS
- Jason Rose, MD
CEO, Globin Solutions
- Michael Scott
Global Supply Strategy Director, AstraZeneca
- Edward Steele
Chairman, EAS Consulting
- Kam To, PhD