About NBC2Curriculum ResourcesNBC2 WorkshopsNews & Other EventsCareersAcknowledgements
Menu

National Visiting Committee Members

National Visiting Committee Chair
Jim DeKloe

Solano Community College

Expand Bio
National Visiting Committee Member
John Balchunas

NC State University

Expand Bio
National Visiting Committee Member
Michael Cicio

Lonza Biologics, Inc.

Expand Bio
National Visiting Committee Member
Dennis Gross

Expand Bio
National Visiting Committee Member
Jose Hanquier

Eli Lilly and Company

Expand Bio
National Visiting Committee Member
Elaine Johnson

Bio-Link

Expand Bio
National Visiting Committee Member
Duncan McBride

National Science Foundation (retired)

Expand Bio
National Visiting Committee Member
Robert McKown

James Madison University

Expand Bio
National Visiting Committee Member
Cynthia Sarnoski

Pfizer (retired)

Expand Bio

Jim DeKloe

Jim DeKloe serves as the director and founder of the industrial biotechnology program at Solano College in the North San Francisco Bay area.  This program emphasizes biomanufacturing by training students in the skills required to work in companies that have located in the biotech manufacturing cluster in Solano County (located half way between San Francisco and Sacramento).  He also served as the regional director of the Southwest Region of Bio-Link, the nationwide consortium of community and technical colleges that teach biotech.  On sabbatical he worked in the manufacturing department of biotech pioneer Genentech Inc. He also served as a consultant to help biotech giant Amgen redesign the training programs for their biomanufacturing technicians and for their quality assurance associates.  He currently serves on the advisory committee for the Explorer Education Division of BioRad, and on the advisory committees of multiple college and high school biotechnology programs.  In 2000, the Association of Community College Trustees chose Jim as the Distinguished Faculty Member of the Pacific Region which includes the Western United States and Canada, Hawaii Alaska and Guam.  In 2011 Solano College faculty chose Jim as the Distinguished Faculty Member of the Year. In 2015 the American Association of Community Colleges honored him as a finalist for their Faculty Innovation award.  He is currently working as a part of a team to design a Bachelors in Biomanufacturing program that will have its the first class graduate in 2019.  The launch of the upper division part of the program will coincide with the opening of a new $ 34.5 million biotechnology training center on the Solano College Vacaville campus.  

John Balchunas

John Balchunas is the Assistant Director of Professional Development Courses at North Carolina State University’s BTEC (Biomanufacturing Training and Education Center) where he has responsibility for overseeing industry-targeted short courses (custom and open enrollment) for industry professionals. Prior to joining NC State in 2014, John was the Director of Workforce Development for the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, an internationally-recognized and state-funded private non-profit corporation ultimately charged with creating jobs through support of research, education, and business. Through his professional work, John has gained tremendous insight into the hiring and training needs of the life science, information technology and other industries.  John has authored several publications focused on career preparedness, workforce assessment, and skill standards in the biomanufacturing industry as well as articles in journals and trade magazines. John holds a Master of Science in Technical Communication and a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from North Carolina State University. In addition, John was selected as a Marano Fellow in the Aspen Institute's Sector Skills Academy for 2012-2013, a one year fellowship that provides emerging leaders with an opportunity for experiential learning with practical applications for present and future work in sector-specific workforce development field. 

Michael Cicio

Michael Cicio has 28 years of Biotechnology experience with focus in manufacturing and contract management. He currently holds the position of VP Operations Pharma & Biotech, US/Asia with responsibilities for Lonza Sites in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Walkersville, Maryland, Houston, Texas and Singapore. Michael, in conjunction with the Operations Pharma&Biotech Management Team, is responsible and accountable for the overall performance of Lonza Pharma&Biotech Operations.

Formerly, Michael, as VP/Site Manager, had responsibility for the Lonza Portsmouth site management as well as all Operations including Manufacturing, Facilities and Engineering, Quality Control, Manufacturing and Sciences Technology, Project and Contract Management, Purchasing, Procurement and Logistics. As Senior Director of Manufacturing, Michael was responsible for full manufacturing operations on-site, including cell culture, purification, dispensing, and support areas for 98,000L of reactor capacity.

Previous to Lonza, Michael was employed with Wyeth for 15 years where he held positions as Director of Network Drug Substance for Wyeth overseeing drug substance contract manufacturing and Director of Manufacturing in their Andover, Massachusetts facility. Michael has vast experience with manufacturing technologies, technology transfer, process optimization, process validation, and facility start up including equipment validation.

 

Dennis Gross

Dennis M Gross, MS, PhD is the CEO, Treasurer and Professor of Pharmacology for the Pennsylvania Drug Discovery Institute in Doylestown and King of Prussia, PA.  He is also Professor of Experimental Therapeutics and Medicinal Chemistry at the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute and Faculty in the Jefferson College of Biomedical Sciences (JGSBS) and the Sidney Kimmel Medical School of Thomas Jefferson University. Previously he was the Associate Dean at JGSBS responsible for the professional science master's degree programs and Associate Professor of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics in the Jefferson Medical College. Prior to this, he was at the Merck Research Labs (MRL) for 28 years retiring in 2006 as Senior Director and Head of West Point Business Operations with overall responsibilities for facilities in Pennsylvania, California and Massachusetts.  He was also responsible for capital laboratory projects and operations oversight at MRL sites in Canada, Japan, Italy and the UK.  In his career at MRL he held a number of positions ranging from bench scientist to head of computer resources, manager of international strategic planning, participation in M&A activities and liaison for basic research and clinical drug development in Japan. During his tenure at MRL, he also served as Adjunct Professor of Global Logistics in the MBA program in the School of Business and Industry of Florida A&M University. He has worked with the Center for Strategic & International Studies in Washington, DC on policy issues relating to biological weapons of mass destruction. 

He received his BA and MS from California State University Northridge and his PhD from UCLA pursuing a postdoctoral training fellowship at Tulane University School of Medicine. He has also participated in executive education programs at Wharton, MIT and the Tufts School of Law and received FEMA NIMS and ICS certification in disaster management. He is a member of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists, the American Chemical Society Medicinal Chemistry section, American Heart Association, History of Science Society, International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering and Sigma Xi. He is a member of the executive advisory board and a reviewer for Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship.  He is also on the editorial boards of MOJ Immunology, EC Pharmacology and Toxicology, Journal of Pharmacology and Clinical Research  and the Honorary Editor for the Pharmacy & Pharmacology International Journal.

 

Jose Hanquier

Elaine Johnson

Elaine A. Johnson, Ph.D. is the PI and Executive Director of Bio-Link, a National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education National Center for Biotechnology and Life Sciences based at City College of San Francisco. Elaine specializes in creating partnerships between educational institutions and industry.  She promotes articulation in the effort to create career pathways. Elaine is nationally recognized as an innovator and leader in education for careers in biotechnology. In 2010 she received the John Blackburn Exemplary Models Award from the American Association for University Administrators.  She is the Co-PI on the Synergy Scaling Project, participates in several ATE National Visiting Committees, and serves on the Advisory Board for the AAAS Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education.  In addition, she is one of the hub leaders of the Community College Consortium for Bioscience Credentials Department of Labor Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College Career Training Grant. 

Duncan McBride

Robert McKown

Robert McKown is a Professor in the Department of Integrated Science and Technology at James Madison University.  Trained in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at the University of California Irvine and Molecular Genetics at the University of California San Francisco, Bob has seven years experience in the biotechnology industry working on the development and production of recombinant proteins.   He is the originator of the Biotechnology B.S. Program at JMU and Director of the JMU Biomanufacturing Laboratory which focuses on the development and production of human therapeutic and diagnostic products.  Bob McKown serves on a number of business and educational boards that include the Virginia Biotechnology Association and the Biotechnology Training Program at the University of Virginia.

 

 

Cynthia Sarnoski