Master of Science in Biotechnology Program, UW-Madison

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Class of 2014

Photo Profiles for the Class of 2014

Derek Buhr
Derek Buhr
Class of 2014
Employer: Covance Laboratories
Title: Research Assistant

LinkedIn logo Derek Buhr

Derek Buhr (B.S., Genetics, University of Wisconsin-Madison) is employed as a Research Assistant at Covance Laboratories, Inc. Currently, he is analyzing and interpreting data from a variety of pharmaceutical compounds under cGMP regulations and company SLP, as well as extraction and preparatory work for API analysis using numerous compendium and validated methods with experience in dissolution, related substances, UV/VIS spectrophotometry and HPLC analysis.

He enrolled in the M.S. in Biotechnology Program to enhance his scientific background, knowledge of industry regulations, and business acumen.

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Courtney Erickson
Courtney Erickson
Class of 2014
Employer: Transplant Genomics Inc.
Title: Marketing Associate

LinkedIn logo Courtney Erickson

Courtney Erickson (B.S., Genetics, University of Wisconsin-Madison) is a Marketing Associate at Transplant Genomics, a molecular diagnostics company developing and commercializing tests to improve organ transplant outcomes. She plays an active role in the company's strategic marketing, product marketing, and marketing communications.

Courtney is pursuing an M.S. in Biotechnology to expand her industry knowledge and to develop high-impact management skills. Her aspiration is to lead a team to successfully commercialize innovative products in personalized medicine.

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Jeff Grinager
Jeff Grinager
Class of 2014
Employer: Cellular Dynamics International
Title: Research Specialist

LinkedIn logo Jeff Grinager

Jeffrey Grinager (B.S., Applied Science - Biotechnology, University of Wisconsin-Stout) currently works as a Research Specialist at Cellular Dynamics International. His work has presented him the opportunity to diversify his skills while also honing specific areas that are particularly important to stem cell biology.

The cross-disciplinary courses would give him a better understanding of not only the scientific processes necessary in his career, but a more complete education on topics such as ethics and business that he would not get in another program.

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Mustafa Hafez
Mustafa Hafez
Class of 2014
Employer: Pfizer (Previous)
Title: Medical Representative

LinkedIn logo Mustafa Hafez

Mustafa Hafez (Bachelors in Pharmacy, University of Alexandria, Egypt) presently works as a Medical Representative in the cardiovascular line at Pfizer in Egypt.

He believes the M.S. in Biotechnology Program will allow him to have an in-depth understanding of molecular biology and new drug discovery and development. Also, he anticipates the program will teach him how the biotechnology business works in terms of patents and regulations.

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Vikram Hiray
Vikram Hiray
Class of 2014
Employer: Serum Institute of India, Ltd (Previous)
Title: Executive Officer

LinkedIn logo Vikram Hiray

Vikram Hiray (B.Tech, Biotechnology, Padmashree Dr D Y Patil University, India) works at Serum Institute of India Ltd. and is the Executive Officer in charge of down-stream processing, fermentation, R&D, documentation, change control and material procurement for the Haemophilus influenzae type-b vaccine project. His current project concerns the manufacture of Haemophilus influenzae type-b vaccine. He is involved with all phases in the development, from the procurement of the production equipment, preparation of standard operating procedures, batch manufacturing record, preparation to change control regularization and production of the vaccine.

His goal in entering the program is to take the next step in his career goals with a focus on process development, bioprocessing, and bioengineering. His long-term goal is to work in an academic or commercial research based organization.

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Kalai Jesuthasan
Kalai Jesuthasan
Class of 2014
Employer: University of Wisconsin - Madison
Title: Systems and Network Engineer, UW Housing IT

LinkedIn logo Kalai Jesuthasan

Kalai Jesuthasan (B.S., Agriculture, University of Jaffna, Sri Lanka) is currently working as a Network Engineer at University of Wisconsin - Madison, Housing Information Technology. His job requires network infrastructure design and maintenance of wired/wireless networks which provide network connection to more than 10,000 students and staff working for University Housing.

His goal in entering the program was to broaden his knowledge of the biotechnology industry by gaining an understanding of the industry. He has completed the program as a way to prepare himself for a future in biotechnology.

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Khammawan (Tong) Kohler
Khammawan (Tong) Kohler
Class of 2014
Employer: Covance Laboratories
Title: Analytical Chemist II

LinkedIn logo Khammawan (Tong) Kohler

Tong Khammawan Kohler (B.S., Chemistry, Asian Studies, and China Studies, St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN) is on a Nutritional Chemistry and Food Safety Focus Cell Team at Covance Laboratories, Inc. She works with her team to improve nutritional chemistry and food safety operations turn-around times according to customer requirements. Realizing how communication and business plans are crucial to the entire business operation, she became interested in the M.S. in Biotechnology Program to provide her with the skill set to communicate effectively with others in the industry. The knowledge and skills that she acquires will help her to become an innovative leader who brings new discoveries to the public.

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Manoj Kumar
Manoj Kumar
Class of 2014
Title: Research Assistant

LinkedIn logo Manoj Kumar

Manoj Kumar (B.Tech, Biotechnology, Uttar Pradesh Technical University, India) was a Research Intern at Amgen Inc. and has previously worked as Research Assistant at the Targeted Genome Editing Facility, University of Wisconsin-Madison. He finds the program's contemporary curriculum in concurrence with his career objectives. In particular, he expects to develop leadership and cross-functional skills for industry in the rich practice environment that the degree experience offers.

His long term goal is to work in industry and gain experience to establish his own venture that will provide technology solutions in health care and biotechnology.

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Richard LaCoursier
Richard LaCoursier
Class of 2014
Employer: Covance Laboratories
Title: Research Assistant

LinkedIn logo Richard LaCoursier

Richard LaCoursier (B.S., Chemistry, Grand Valley State University) currently works as a Research Assistant for the Water Soluble Vitamin Department and eventually was accepted into the Scientific Leadership Program at Covance Laboratories, Inc. He is responsible for developing a HPLC method for Thiamine, reducing the overall analyst time by 50 percent, and reducing the cost of the assay by 66 percent.

He feels his career at Covance would be strengthened by his involvement in the M.S. in Biotechnology Program, and looks forward to learning with a new team to help develop as a scientist, as well as an individual.

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Kevin Lam
Kevin Lam
Class of 2014
Employer: Covance Laboratories
Title: Analyst

LinkedIn logo Kevin Lam

Kevin Lam (B.S., Biochemistry, University of Wisconsin-Madison) is an Analyst in the Bioanalytical Department at Covance Laboratories, Inc. He is responsible for using various laboratory equipment, instrumentation and software to perform a variety of extraction methods.

The M.S. in Biotechnology Program became attractive to him after seeing how a co-workers career accelerated after graduating with the programs degree. He witnessed his colleague rapidly advance to a supervisory role in the Covance organization. Kevin looks forward to working with world-renowned faculty in the fields of business, science and law.

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Mark Larson
Mark Larson
Class of 2014
Employer: Sales Consultant/Warrant Officer (Previous)
Title: Novartis Pharaceuticals Corp./US Army

LinkedIn logo Mark Larson

Mark Larson (B.S., Law Enforcement and Justice Administration, Western Illinois University) His professional experience comes from three fields: pharmaceutical sales, military service and law enforcement. He worked as a Sales Consultant for Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation in Madison, WI, intermittently between deployments for the War on Terror. During the 34 months he served in combat zones (including Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait), he held a variety of Command and Staff positions as an Officer in the U.S. Army.

Prior to working for Novartis, he worked for the Madison Police Department as a Forensic Investigator (CSI). His objective in pursing this degree is to further his knowledge of the biotechnology industry and to help prepare for a career in patent litigation. This goal is rooted in a desire to safeguard the intellectual property of companies that create lifesaving technologies in order to help sustain the financial motive for advances in medicine.

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Timothy Larson
Timothy Larson
Class of 2014
Employer: Promega Corp.
Title: Associate Product Specialist

LinkedIn logo Timothy Larson

Timothy Larson (B.S., Zoology, University of Wisconsin-Madison) became a Client Service Representative at Covance Laboratories, Inc., to learn more about the role diet and nutrition plays in human health, and how nutritional products are marketed to diverse global audiences. He is the main contact liaison between over 300 food production/distribution companies and Covance operations groups in the Nutritional Chemistry/Food Safety Division.

His short-term goal is to develop his knowledge of the industry, critical thinking skills, and collaborative abilities to lead his division toward great productivity. His long-term goal is to become an integral member of a small, revolutionary firm in the biotechnology industry that discovers and provides the resources to support distribution of groundbreaking medical therapies that improve and enhance human health. He is looking forward to learning from the M.S. in Biotechnology Program's faculty, which feature some of the top innovators and leaders in science, business, law, and public policy.

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Angela Lombard
Angela Lombard
Class of 2014
Employer: Medical Science Liaison
Title: Instrumentation Laboratory (Werfen Company)

LinkedIn logo Angela Lombard

Angela Lombard (B.S., Dietetics, University of Wisconsin-Madison) works as a Certified Cardiovascular Perfusionist operating the heart-lung machine during many types of cardiac surgeries. What has captured her interest in the M.S. in Biotechnology Program is the cross-functional nature of the degree. This degree would permit her to further explore how legal issues and business strategies can affect product development and company growth, while continuing to work with the practical applications of biological science.

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Jill Machut
Jill Machut
Class of 2014
Employer: Epic Systems Corporation
Title: Project Manager

LinkedIn logo Jill Machut

Jill Machut (B.S., Molecular Bioscience and Biotechnology, Arizona State University, Tempe) is a Project Manager at Epic, Madison, WI. She directly manages twelve facility-wide electronic medical record implementations, supports the sales team, and has advised multiple hospital software installs. She also collaborates with emergency department physicians and nurses to ensure their computer systems match the clinical workflows of the hospital.

Her interest in the M.S. in Biotechnology Program stems from her desire to be more involved in the heart of the biotechnology field. Based on her experience in management, computer database storage, and molecular biotechnology, she is setting her goals toward working with both the science of biotechnology and the information technology systems supporting it.

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Ryan McKay
Ryan McKay
Class of 2014
Employer: Pharmaceutical Product Development, LLC
Title: Scientist

LinkedIn logo Ryan McKay

Ryan McKay (B.S., Biology, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point) currently works as a Scientist at Pharmaceutical Product Development, in Middleton, WI. He is responsible for individual and team projects, completing any investigations or deviations that may occur during testing, mentoring and performing feasibility to enhance methods within the group. He looks forward to strengthening and enhancing his understanding of the biotechnology industry and business development in the pharmaceutical field.

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Nicholas McNabb
Nicholas McNabb
Class of 2014
Employer: Promega Corporation
Title: Production Scientist II

LinkedIn logo Nicholas McNabb

Nicholas McNabb (B.S., Cellular and Molecular Biology, Fort Lewis College, Colorado) was a Telemetry Technician at Memorial Hospital Central in Colorado Springs, CO, before moving to Madison to pursue the M.S. in Biotechnology degree. He currently works as a Manufacturing Lab Technician at Hologic in Madison. Having been working in a medical setting over the course of the last couple of years, he is excited to make the transition, professionally and academically, to the biotechnology community. He looks forward to beginning a new chapter in his academic life and professional career.

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Joshua Morelock
Joshua Morelock
Class of 2014
Employer: Genencor International, Inc.
Title: Laboratory Technician II

LinkedIn logo Joshua Morelock

Joshua Morelock (B.S., Biology, Suffolk University, Boston, MA) is a Laboratory Technician at Genencor International, Inc., a Division of DuPont, in Beloit, WI. In his job, he works to create specific enzymes which will ultimately be used in providing an efficient and effective alternative fuel source. His goal in entering the M.S. in Biotechnology Program is to improve and advance within his career. The skill set available through this program would be relished as he strives to advance within the scientific field.

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Paul Nichols
Paul Nichols
Class of 2014
Employer: Dane County Cytology Center
Title: Cytotechnologist

LinkedIn logo Paul Nichols

Paul Nichols (B.S., Biology, University of Wisconsin-Platteville) currently works at the Dane County Cytology Center and is a practicing Cytotechnologist. He is currently the Supervisor of HPV testing and performs HPV High Risk DNA testing along with the HPV 16/18 Genotyping testing. Having a fascination and close relationship with the world of biotechnology, his objective for applying to the M.S. in Biotechnology Program is to constantly strive to learn more about biotechnology. His professional goals include having a challenging, yet rewarding, career.

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Ellen Rashke
Ellen Rashke
Class of 2014
Employer: Covance Laboratories
Title: Associate Toxicologist

LinkedIn logo Ellen Rashke

Ellen Rashke (B.S., Biology, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Minneapolis) is an Associate Toxicologist at Covance Laboratories, Inc. She provides administrative scientific support to toxicology studies including pre-study coordination of operational tasks, monitoring of the data collection phase, communicating data to clients, and preparing report components. Prior to becoming an Associate Toxicologist she was a Formulations Coordinator, Dose Formulation and Analysis at Covance Laboratories, Inc. She served as a technical specialist, performing a lead role in the conduct of all formulation activities required for the support of toxicology studies. During one of her training courses, she studied the drug development process over the lifespan of a test compound; from discovery to on-the-market monitoring.

This degree will help her gain the essential knowledge base to succeed in the biotechnology industry and will satisfy her interest to learn and stay current in the field. She also feels the M.S. in Biotechnology degree will assist her in guiding her career down the desired path.

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Tim Rindfleisch
Tim Rindfleisch
Class of 2014
Employer: Wisconsin State Lab of Hygiene
Title: Microbiologist

LinkedIn logo Tim Rindfleisch

Tim Rindfleisch (B.S., Molecular Biology and Genetics, University of Wisconsin-Platteville) presently is an Emerging Infectious Disease Fellow for the CDC/APHL at the Washington Public Health Laboratories. His project involves developing a pyrosequencing assay to rapidly screen for first-line drug resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Camaraderie, which greatly improves his learning ability, will come with a small class size and working in teams.

With this degree, he hopes to utilize biotechnologys potential to the fullest by aiding humanity and becoming involved in global public health. His goal is to make public health both more available and efficient in defending against disease. Perhaps he will meet a future business partner in the program?

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Ryan Slot
Ryan Slot
Class of 2014
Employer: Covance Laboratories
Title: Study Toxicologist

LinkedIn logo Ryan Slot

Ryan Slot (B.S., Health Science, Grand Valley State University; M.B.A., Business Administration, Western Michigan University) is an Associate Toxicologist at Covance Laboratories, Inc. He provides administrative scientific support to toxicology studies including pre-study tasks, monitoring the in-life progress of assigned studies, interacting with clients and preparing report components.

His desire to pursue an M.S. in Biotechnology degree is motivated by his keen interest to progress in his career. Obtaining this degree would set him on a path to a more challenging and leadership-oriented position. He feels that the program distinguishes itself in that it amalgamates both scientific and business perspectives in a way that is tough to find at other schools.

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Ryan Wachowiak
Ryan Wachowiak
Class of 2014
Employer: FUJIFILM - CDI
Title: Senior Research Specialist - Therapeutic Sciences

LinkedIn logo Ryan Wachowiak

Ryan Wachowiak (B.S., Biochemistry, University of Wisconsin-Madison) is an Associate Research Scientist at the Transgenic Animal Facility, University of Wisconsin-Madison. This facility is a fee-for-service facility providing a wide variety of transgenic services to the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. He feels that it is time for some professional growth with the possibility of using the program as a bridge to move from working in academia into industry if that possibility arises in the future.

The M.S. in Biotechnology Program will suit his needs for growth while allowing him to continue his work at the Transgenic Animal Facility. He wants to expand his knowledge base of biotechnology from bench science skills to other aspects, such as commercialization through product development, regulation and ethical implications of any biotechnological product.

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Class of 2020 Schedule

Fall 2018 | Spring 2019
Fall 2019 | Spring 2020

Class of 2021 Schedule

Fall 2019 | Spring 2020
Fall 2020 | Spring 2021

Class of 2022 Schedule

Fall 2020 | Spring 2021
Fall 2021 | Spring 2022

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