Advisory Committee

Derek Adams | Chief Technology and Manufacturing Officer | Bluebird Bio

Derek Adams

Chief Technology and Manufacturing Officer, 
Bluebird Bio

Derek has served as chief technology and manufacturing officer of bluebird bio since March 2017. Prior to joining bluebird, Derek was the senior vice president of CMC at Evelo Biosciences. At Evelo, Derek established the initial process development function and supply chain for clinical studies and drove strategy for product development. Prior to his time at Evelo, he served as vice president of technical and Strategic Product Development at Alexion Pharmaceuticals, where his responsibilities included developing and supporting all manufacturing processes globally as well as global clinical supply chain. Derek holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota and a B.S. in Chemical Engineering with High Distinction from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI).

Jean Bender | Vice President, Pharmaceutical Sciences & Technology | Visterra, Inc.

Jean Bender

Vice President, Pharmaceutical Sciences & Technology, 
Visterra, Inc.

Jean Bender leads Visterra’s Pharmaceutical Sciences department, responsible for development, technology transfer and manufacturing, clinical supply and CMC sections of regulatory submissions. Prior to Visterra, Jean was Senior Director, BioProcess Engineering at Medimmune. She has authored more than 15 publications and presentations and holds a patent for preparing highly concentrated antibodies by ultrafiltration. Jean received her MS in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley and her BS in Chemical Engineering from Lehigh University. Jean has been on Pall’s Scientific Advisory Board and serves on the Recovery of Biological Products Board and on the Chemical Engineering Advisory Board for Lehigh University. Jean is active in the American Chemical Society and the BioInnovation Group (BIG).

David Fritsch | Head Engineer and PMO| BioInnovation Group

David Fritsch

Senior Director Engineering, Strategic Programs & PMO for Sanofi

As Senior Director at Sanofi Genzyme, David is responsible to drive execution and delivery of Allston Site Strategy and the Cerezyme Manufacturing Project Portfolio. Responsibilities included the construction, installation and qualification of new process areas within the Allston Facility, while maintaining Cerezyme production to the market. Previously, David has acted as Senior Director, Engineering at Gallus Biopharmaceuticals (acquired by Patheon) where he was responsible for driving the development and growth of a multi-site, contract manufacturing organization (CMO) for the biopharmaceutical industry. David holds a B.S. Chemical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame and an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis. David is a Senior leader with extensive business and operations management experience in biologics, pharmaceuticals and chemicals manufacturing.

Neal Gordon | Independent Consultant| BioInnovation Group

Neal Gordon

Independent Consultant, 
BioInnovation Group

Neal currently serves as the Chief Development Officer at Cobalt Biomedicine. He has previously held positions at Epiva Biosciences and 121 Bio LLC as Head of Operations and Senior Vice President, Research and Development at BG Medicine. Neal holds a PhD. Biochemical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Bachelor’s in chemical engineering from McGill. Neal is an expert on Biologics development (technical and strategy); Bioprocess development; analytical development; new company startups and program/project management.

Jorg Thommes | Head of CMC | Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute

Jorg Thommes

Head of CMC, 
Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute

Dr. rer. nat Jorg Thommes is the Head of CMC at the Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute in Cambridge, MA. The Institute’s CMC group is responsible for physical product development, manufacturing, and distribution across the entire portfolio. Previously, Dr. Thommes has acted as the Senior Vice President Pharmaceutical Sciences and Technology at Visterra and Senior Vice President, Engineering and Technology at Biogen, Inc., and his responsibilities included process development for all therapeutic modalities, global and site engineering, and manufacturing sciences. Dr. Thommes received a Diplom-Chemiker degree from University of Bonn, Germany, a Doctorate of Natural Sciences from University of Bonn, Germany, and a Habilitation Degree in Biochemical Engineering from University of Dusseldorf, Germany.

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