Faculty

Roger Anderson, PhD  Senior Scientist, Process Development
   Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine
 
Lisa Cavacini, PhD  Sr. Director, Product Discovery 
  Professor, Department of Medicine
 
Cynthia Hernit-Grant, PhD  Sr. Director, Business Development
  Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine
 
Mark Klempner, MD  Executive Vice Chancellor, MassBiologics
  Professor, Department of Medicine
 
Sadettin Ozturk, PhD  Deputy Director, Process Development
  Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine
 
Keith Reimann, DVM  Sr. Director, Product Discovery 
  Professor, Department of Medicine
 
Heidi Smith, MD PhD  Director, Clinical Affairs
  Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine
 
Yang Wang, MD PhD  Deputy Director, Product Discovery 
  Associate Professor, Department of Medicine



Roger Anderson, PhD, is a Senior Scientist in Process Development and an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.  Since joining MassBiologics in 1986 he has contributed to the development and licensure of the intravenous immune globulins Cytogam, Respigam and BabyBIG and manufactured a Haemophilus influenzae type b capsular polysaccharide—tetanus toxoid conjugate vaccine used in Phase I, II, and III clinical studies.  Dr. Anderson headed Quality Operations and Process Development, participated in FDA inspections, and contributed to the development and manufacture of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies.  He was on a team supported by USAID and WHO that developed a training program on vaccine quality that was attended by regulatory authorities from around the world.  Dr. Anderson taught quality operations, compliance auditing, and how to address out-of-specification results during testing.  He was also on the team that was awarded a five-year NIH/NIAID contract for a Vaccine Production Facility and was principal investigator for the contract for two of the years. 

Dr. Anderson received his PhD in plant physiology from Cornell University and did post-doctoral work at MIT in physiological chemistry and Tufts University School of Medicine.  At Tufts he was a Research Assistant Professor and held an NIH Research Career Development Award and grants from foundations.   Before joining MassBiologics he performed research on enzyme synthesis, purification and characterization, glycoprotein and lipid-linked oligosaccharide synthesis, and proteoglycan phosphorylation.

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Lisa Cavacini, PhD, is a Sr Director in Product Discovery at MassBiologics and Professor of Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and a member of the Immunology Program of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.  Dr. Cavacini leads a group in the development of novel therapeutic human monoclonal antibodies and this includes antibody discovery and antibody engineering to improve functional activity and encompasses antibodies to treat infectious disease, cancer and immune diseases.  Dr. Cavacini is also an NIH funded investigator researching passive immunotherapy for the prevention and treatment of HIV disease.

Dr. Cavacini is well-regarded as an immunologist with particular expertise in the area of antibody immunotherapy.  In the field of HIV alone, she has supplied most major HIV research laboratories with human monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) isolated in her laboratory for use in determining viral structure, correlates of protection and epitopes involved in transmission.  She has also been active in bacterial diseases with the isolation of human mAbs in clinical studies to treat infection as well as autoimmune disease and cancer. 

Dr. Cavacini received her doctorate in Microbiology and Immunology from Hahnemann University (now part of Drexel University) and conducted research at Schering-Plough Research Institute and Centocor Inc. prior to joining Harvard Medical School.  Dr. Cavacini serves as a peer-reviewer for numerous journals and serves on NIH standing study sections as well as Special Emphasis Panels.

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Cynthia Hernit-Grant, PhD, is a Sr. Director of Business Development at MassBiologics and an Assistant Professor in Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.  Dr. Hernit-Grant’s  success depends on her ability to understand science and the advantages and limitations of the particular science subject to the transaction.  Dr. Hernit-Grant uses her experience and technical expertise to select and to fashion the collaborative relationships that can translate basic science into successful collaborations to result in new medicines for patients. At MassBiologics, she has led transactions with various organizations including big pharma, governments, and academics, to establish collaborative relationships supporting a number of pre-clinical and clinical programs.  Dr. Hernit-Grant is also responsible for leading and coordinating activities that evaluate new target opportunities for MassBiologics, as well as for supporting the ‘basic’ needs of an entity such as MassBiologics, such as CDAs, MTAs, research licenses, etc.  In all of these activities, her role is to provide an understanding of a project’s value proposition and to appropriately structure the transactions relating to it, so that all parties involved derive benefit from the collaboration.  In her everyday role at MassBiologics, as well as in her previous positions, Dr Hernit-Grant’s  actions are intended to serve and to promote science—the translation of basic science closer to the clinic and ultimately to the benefit of patients.

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Mark S. Klempner, MD, is the Executive Vice Chancellor for MassBiologics of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where he is professor of medicine. Dr. Klempner joined UMMS in July 1, 2012, from the Boston University School of Medicine, where he served as Associate Provost for Research, Conrad Wesselhoeft Professor of Medicine and the founding director of the National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories (NEIDL).

Dr. Klempner is an internationally known figure at the intersection of basic infectious disease research and the development of therapeutics and vaccines to combat infections. Dr. Klempner discovered that inflammatory cells secrete & respond to proinflammatory cytokines (IL-1 and TNF) releasing reactive oxygen species & lysosomal contents. These observations have formed the basis for effective anti-cytokine treatments for inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. He engineered the first “reporter pathogens” demonstrating that intracellular changes were crucial to the pathogenesis of staphylococcal and plague infections & discovered the essential role of host plasminogen for transmission of the Lyme disease spirochete. Each of these discoveries have been coupled to translational clinical research including demonstration that lysosomotropic antibiotics eradicate intracellular staphylococci and reduce carriage of staph as well as the recurrence of staphylococcal skin and soft tissue infections. His clinical research on Lyme disease includes the pivotal treatment studies for post treatment chronic Lyme disease and trials of the Lyme vaccine. His research experience formed the basis for successful design and scientific program development for the NIH funded high containment NEIDL.

Dr. Klempner’s research interests include the molecular pathogenesis of Lyme disease, prevention and treatment of Lyme disease, strategies to interrupt transmission of vector transmitted infectious diseases, immune based prevention and treatment of hemorrhagic fever virus infectious diseases, bacterial antibiotic resistance and the role of bacterial subpopulations in hetero-resistance and the development of human monoclonal antibodies for the prevention and treatment of human diseases.

A graduate of the Cornell University Medical College, Dr. Klempner trained at the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Laboratory of Clinical Investigation at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the National Naval Medical Center. He has held national leadership positions including the American Board of Internal Medicine Chair of the Infectious Diseases Board and member of the Board of Directors, President of the Association of Subspecialty Professors member of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, the MA Governor’s Life Sciences Advisory Board, the Board of Scientific Counselors for the NIH Clinical Center. For over a decade he served as Associate Editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, selecting and refining the infectious diseases content of this leading clinical research journal.

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Sadettin Ozturk, PhD, is the Deputy Director Process Development at MassBiologics of the University of Massachusetts Medical School and Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.  Dr. Ozturk has had a long career in cell culture process development, technology transfer, product licensing, and commercial manufacturing. His early contributions to the field focused on applying chemical engineering principles and process control strategies to the optimization and scale-up of cell culture processes. He was responsible for the development of numerous cell culture based processes and novel technologies that helped not only the companies that he worked for (Verax, Bayer, GlaxoSmithKline, and Johnson & Johnson), but contributed to the rest of the field through his numerous presentations and publications. Sadettin led process development activities and played a key role in the licensing and commercialization of two monoclonal antibodies, Stelera®, and Simponi®. In addition, he transferred and supported the commercial manufacturing of Kogenate® and BeneFix®. Sadettin has published numerous research articles, given presentations, delivered keynote lectures, and edited books. He is a member of several societies including ESACT, American Association for the Advancement of Science, New York Academy of Sciences, American Chemical Society, and American Institute of Chemical Engineering. Sadettin is involved in these scientific organizations and other community activities by serving on their Scientific Advisory Boards and organizing meetings and sessions. He has served Biochemical Technology (BIOT) division of American Chemical Society as the Division Chair, and then as a Councilor. He co-authored a well-respected book in the field entitled Cell Culture Technology for Pharmaceutical and Cellular Therapies. Sadettin also serves on Editorial and Review Boards for several journals and other publications.

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Keith A. Reimann, DVM,  is a Sr. Director of Product Discovery for MassBiologics and Professor of Medicine at  the University of Massachusetts Medical School. As an internationally-known comparative immunologist, Dr. Reimann has developed nonhuman primate models of infectious disease and transplantation. He has utilized these models for understanding disease pathogenesis, and for testing new vaccines and therapies.  He has over 20 years of experience in antibody discovery, engineering and preclinical testing.   He continues to direct a NIH-supported resource laboratory that manufactures and distributes novel research reagents used in various nonhuman primate models worldwide. 

Dr. Reimann received his veterinary degree from Michigan State University and did post graduate training in immunology at Harvard Medical School.    He holds patents for therapeutic antibodies, serves as a consultant to the biotechnology industry and is a member of the National Institutes of Health’s Council of Councils.

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Heidi Smith, MD, PhD is Director of Clinical Affairs at MassBiologics and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.  Dr. Smith joined MassBiologics in 2010 and oversees the clinical development of biologics for unmet medical needs, with a primary focus on the treatment and prevention of infectious diseases.   She also attends on the Infectious Disease inpatient consult service at the University campus, providing clinical care and training students and fellows.

Dr. Smith received an MD/PhD degree from the University of Connecticut, completing her dissertation on work on filarial nematodes.  She completed a residency in Internal Medicine and served as Chief Medical Resident at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center.  Dr. Smith completed a fellowship in Infectious Diseases at the University of Massachusetts, with post-doctoral research on viral immunology at the Center for Infectious Disease and Vaccine Research.  She is board certified in Internal Medicine and Infectious Disease.

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Yang Wang, MD, PhD, is the Deputy Director of Product Discovery at MassBiologics and an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. As the head of the Product Discovery department, she leads a team of PhD scientists and research associates with the goal of discovery and development of antibody-based biological medicines. Her discovery programs include a broad range of disease targets including infectious disease, cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. She has significant experience and expertise in therapeutic antibody design and function, pre-clinical development as well as supervision of drug discovery programs. She is also the principle investigator for external grant-funded research with a focus on antibody gene-based prophylaxis and therapy.

Dr. Wang received her PhD in Genetics from Tufts University School of Medicine. She also holds an MD degree and a MS degree in Immunology. She joined MassBiologics as an R&D Scientist in 2007, later served as Senior Director in Product Discovery before advancing to the Deputy Director position.

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