DRug development panel

Saturday, June 9, 2018 | 11:05 AM - 12:00 PM | auditorium

Many postdocs plan to enter industry R&D in Biotech/Pharma, but lack a thorough understanding of the drug development process.  In this panel, speakers will discuss the cultural and scientific differences between Academic research and research in Biotech and Pharma. The phases of drug development including discovery, pre-clinical, formulation/CMC, clinical, regulatory, sales and marketing will be discussed with a focus on the common roles that postdoctoral scholars pursue upon exiting their postdocs. Learn how your postdoctoral training may prepare you for a career in industry R&D.  Speakers will include scientists and senior management from small startups through large biotech/pharma.  


Alokesh Duttaroy, PhD


Alokesh has years of experience in drug discovery and development in pharmaceutical industry. Alokesh has expertise in scientific and teams best practices, and is an instructor and facilitator for scientific project teams. A pharmacologist by training, Alokesh has worked on several disease areas including metabolic disorders, and co-authored a number of papers.


Xiaoshu Dai Gurov, PhD, PMP

Senior Clinical Pharmacology scientist at boston biomedical

Xiaoshu received her PhD in Materials Science with a focus on biomaterials in 2010.  She then joined Tufts Biomedical Engineering as a post-doc scholar. After two years of intense training in academic labs, she took the leap and joined Boston Biomedical in 2012.  Her roles had since evolved with the growth of the organization: from being a bench-top research scientist in formulation/drug product development, to focusing Bioanalysis assays development, to overseeing non-clinical and clinical GLP pharmacokinetic activities, and eventually to a clinical pharmacology scientist.   Growing with the organization, she had the opportunities to observe the drug discovery process. And most importantly, she took upon the challenges and continue to pursue and learn new skills.


Petra Oliva, PhD

Principal Scientist at sanofi Genzyme

Petra Oliva has 10 years of biotech experience (from discovery all the way to commercialization) and close to 20 years scientific expertise in an advanced interdisciplinary research in analytical chemistry, biotechnology, biochemistry, and immunology. Petra spent over 7 years in Development supporting analytics for novel biologics. Currently, as Pr. Scientist at Translational Science group, Petra and her team is driving pre-clinical research of multiple biomarker projects supporting the discovery of novel therapeutics in in rare disease, neuro, and immunology. She also has 8 years collaboration with CDC on LSD newborn screening. Petra has over 8 years of leadership experience, providing scientific guidance to group of 5 PhD/4 Masters level lab-based scientist. Petra and her team established several innovation platforms winning multiple global Sanofi awards.


Jonathan Rothblatt, PhD


Jonathan is currently R&D Director and Research Project Leader in the Infectious Diseases‒Viral Infections Project Cluster of Sanofi. Since joining Sanofi, Jonathan has contributed to discovery and early development projects as a group leader, section head, external alliance manager, and project team leader. He has led or overseen projects in many areas including Alzheimer’s disease, p21-activated kinase and insulin receptor signaling, and immune checkpoint inhibitors, as well as efforts around toxicogenomics and multiparametric profiling of drugs. Most recently he completed a 3-year assignment co-leading the project team responsible for the preclinical development of a therapeutic monoclonal antibody directed against an emerging virus, taking it from pharmacological characterization and optimization of early lead molecules to approval of the clinical development candidate. Jonathan got his B.Sc. degree at McGill University and completed his Ph.D. in cell biology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, after which he did postdoctoral research at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (Heidelberg) and at University of California-Berkeley. Jonathan continued in academic research as a faculty member at Dartmouth College and as a visiting scientist at Columbia University prior to joining the Sanofi legacy company Hoechst Marion Roussel in 1999.


Daniela Vecchio, PhD

clinical research scientist at bosto biomedical

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Xiaoxiang Zhu, PhD

Senior Engineer, Modeling and Simulation at Amgen

Xiaoxiang is a Sr. Engineer in the Process Development organization at Amgen.  His current role focuses on development of computer models for chemical and bio-processes through mathematical modeling and programing.  These models enable Amgen scientists to develop medicines faster and more efficiently. Prior to Amgen, Xiaoxiang worked at Air Products and Chemicals Inc. as a research engineer and was a member of their Career Development Program.  Xiaoxiang holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from MIT.