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Principal Investigators

Principal Investigator
Maggie Bryans, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Biotechnology and Biology, Montgomery County Community College

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Co-Principal Investigator
Linda Rehfuss, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Biology and Biotechnology Bucks County Community College

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Co-Principal Investigator
James Hewlett

Professor of Biology, Director of Biotechnology, Finger Lakes Community College

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Co-Principal Investigator
Mike Fino

Professor and Biotechnology Department Chair, MiraCosta College MiraCosta College

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Co-Principal Investigator
Sengyong Lee, Ph.D.

Professor and Chairperson of the Biotechnology Program, Ivy Tech Community College-Bloomington

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Co-Principal Investigatro
Bill Woodruff

Alamance Community College

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Maggie Bryans, Ph.D.

Dr. Maggie Bryans is Assistant Professor and Coordinator of the Biotechnology program at Montgomery County Community College in Blue Bell, PA. Dr. Bryans received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Glasgow, Scotland, and went on to do postdoctoral work at Ciba Geigy in Basle, Switzerland and the Comprehensive Cancer Center at The Ohio State University. She spent several years working in cancer research before joining MCCC in 2009. In addition to being Co-PI of NBC2 she is involved in the Department of Labor funded Community College Consortium for Bioscience Credentials, C3BC, initiative serving as faculty mentor for the biomanufacturing hub. With the support of the NBC2 and local industry partners Janssen, Pfizer, Merck and GlaxoSmithKline, Dr. Bryans has developed and taught several biotechnology and biomanufacturing courses. MCCC’s program offers an Associates in Science, an Applied Associates in Science and a one-year certificate in Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing. 

Linda Rehfuss, Ph.D.

Dr. Linda Rehfuss is currently an Associate Professor of Biology and Biotechnology at Bucks County Community College in PA. Prior to this position, she served from 2002 to 2010 as both a faculty member and an academic dean of the division of Mathematics, Science and Advanced Technology at Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) in PA. Some of Dr. Rehfuss’ expertise in the higher education sector includes experience with course development, program development, articulation agreement development, and academic program reviews. In 2010 she served as the co-chair for MCCC’s 5-year Periodic Review Report to Middle States, the academic accrediting agency responsible for community colleges in the region.  Dr. Rehfuss has successfully garnered grant funding (as a Principal or Co-Principal Investigator) totally over $10,000,000 from the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Labor.  Dr. Rehfuss has served as an external evaluator for academic program reviews at other higher education institutions, a reviewer for several biotechnology textbooks and an evaluator for grant-funded programs.

Preceding her career in the higher education sector, Dr. Rehfuss held several positions in the pharmaceutical industry in the Philadelphia region.

Dr. Rehfuss educational background includes earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from St. Lawrence University, a Ph.D. in Biology from Syracuse University and a postdoctoral fellowship at Oregon Health Sciences University.

 

James Hewlett

Professor Hewlett is a Pre-med graduate of Bucknell University (B.S. in Biology) and the University of Connecticut (M.S. in Physiology/Marine Science). After graduating from the University of Connecticut, he entered a doctoral training program within the Department of Pharmacology and Physiology at the University of Rochester, where he worked on adenoviral vectors for gene therapy.  Professor Hewlett currently serves as the Director of Biotechnology/ Biomanufacturing at FLCC.  In addition to teaching, he serves as the New York Hub Director of the Northeast Biomanufacturing Center and Collaborative (NBC2).  He also serves on the Editorial Board of the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science and the Editorial Board of The American Society of Cell Biology’s CBE Life Sciences Education journal.  He serves on the Advisory Board for Rochester Institute of Technology’s Center for Bioscience Education and Technology (CBET) and is a member of the Steering Committee for the University of Georgia’s RCN-UBE Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences Network (CUREnet).

Professor Hewlett’s active areas of scientific research include molecular indicators of stress in corals and the use of biomarkers for the early detection of symbiotic breakdown, the employment of non-invasive DNA-based mark and recapture methods in population ecology studies, and the study of macro-level indicators of stress in tropical coral reef ecosystems.  The coral reef research is conducted in collaboration with Dr. Bruce Jackson at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell under the Research Integrating Molecular and Environmental Science Program.  The goal of the RIMES program is to markedly increase the number of underrepresented minorities and women investigators in the environmental sciences.  Professor Hewlett is the National Coordinator for Community Colleges under the RIMES Program, and also serves as the National Coordinator for Reef Check activities for the island country of Montserrat where RIMES student scholars conduct their environmental research under the mentorship of a team of international scientists.

Mike Fino

Mike Fino is a professor and chair for the Biotechnology Department at MiraCosta College in Oceanside, CA; he is currently serving an assignment as the Interim Dean of Mathematics and Sciences.  Mike has degrees in bioengineering (BS, MEng) from the University of California, San Diego, and, for eight years, worked in various bioprocess engineering capacities from research, product development, and manufacturing support for tissue engineered medical products.  In 2004, Mike joined MiraCosta to develop a new Bioprocess Technology program that addresses the skills and knowledge required for development and production technicians where traditional laboratory techniques meet the impact of scale, regulation, and process control.  Mike served four years as a Director and Student Affairs Chair for the San Diego Chapter of ISPE and is currently a Co-Principal Investigator on a National Science Foundation Advanced Technology Education grant to promote the development of biomanufacturing educational infrastructure.  Mike coordinated the development of community college level coursework in biofuels production and analysis as part of the California-funded EDGE Initiative lead by UCSD.  Most recently, Mike authored a first-of-its-kind bachelor’s degree in biomanufacturing that will offer the first upper division classes in fall 2017.

Sengyong Lee, Ph.D.

Dr. Sengyong Lee is a professor and the chairperson for the Biotechnology program at Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington.  He received his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from Miami University and worked with Dr. Jose Bonner at Indiana University for his postdoctoral fellowship. Dr. Lee has developed and taught many courses and certificate programs in Medical Device/Biotechnology at Ivy Tech, the largest state funded educational institution in Indiana.  In 2004 Ivy Tech implemented its two year associate’s degree program in Biotechnology based on the collaboration with its life science industry partners like Eli Lilly, Baxter, and Cook. Today, many Ivy Tech’s graduates from its biotechnology program are working as R&D/PD/QC/QA technicians or pharmaceutical manufacturing operators at the major life science companies in the state.  Currently, there are more than 350 Biotechnology students working towards their associate’s degree at Bloomington, Indianapolis, Lafayette, South Bend, and Terre Haute campuses of Ivy Tech Community College.  Including Northeast Biomanufacturing Center and Collaborative project, Dr. Lee’s has been involved in several educational projects are funded by the grants from National Science Foundation and the US Department of Labor.  

Bill Woodruff

Bill Woodruff is a 27 year veteran of teaching in the oldest 2-year Biotechnology training and education program in North Carolina at Alamance Community College (1985).  He has received recognition as the North Carolina BioNetwork Biotechnology Instructor of the year (2008) and was awarded the Academic Development Excellence Award (2012), as well as recognition for his efforts as a Major Contributor to Growing Biotechnology Industry and Education in the Piedmont Triad Region.  He is currently an active participant in grants to expand, enhance and promote Biomanufacturing , stem cell (STEM) education to high school students and the national collaborative effort to develop credentials for the Biotechnology trained students across the many programs in America.  As Department Head he has taken pride over the years in maintaining a program that is current and relevant, adding training at appropriate times in such areas as hybridoma production, biomanufacturing and, most recently, stem cells and applications to regenerative medicine.  The next phase in program expansion will center around biofuels and the application of techniques to the North Carolina goals of becoming a leader in biofuel production.