Master of Science in Biotechnology Program, UW-Madison

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Class of 2016

Photo Profiles for the Class of 2016

Allison Benton
Allison Benton
Class of 2016
Employer: Pharmaceutical Product Development
Title: Team Lead

LinkedIn logo Allison Benton

Allison J. Benton (B.A., Spanish, Biology Minor, Bowdoin College) is currently a Team Lead in Support Services at Pharmaceutical Product Development (PPD), a GMP laboratory facility in Middleton, WI. Her background in managing programs, people and projects has helped her move into a new career applying her background and skills to the ever-growing world of biotechnology.

Utilizing the program's emphasis on the combination of topics surrounding real world implications in this field, she will be able to have global impact through her past experiences and expertise in business and regulatory analysis. She feels that the M.S. in Biotechnology program affords her unique opportunities to experience different perspectives and weigh the long-term risks and benefits biotechnology offers.

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Matthew Castro
Matthew Castro
Class of 2016
Employer: Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals

LinkedIn logo Matthew Castro

Matthew R. Castro (B.S., Biology; B.A., Interdisciplinary Studies, Northeastern Illinois University) Currently he is a project coordinator on the chemistry, manufacturing and controls team at Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals, a drug company that develops medicine to treat diseases by silencing the genes that cause them. Prior to moving to Madison in 2014 he was on the research team of Dr. T.K. Puryear, at Northeastern Illinois University.

He has a very diverse professional background with an emphasis in management and the sciences. He feels that the M.S. in Biotechnology is a perfect blend of both science and business. This program will help him reach his future professionals goals.

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Charlotte Chadwick
Charlotte Chadwick
Class of 2016

LinkedIn logo Charlotte Chadwick

Charlotte Chadwick (B.S., Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of Idaho) moved to Wisconsin in 2014 to participate in the Master of Science in Biotechnology program. Since then she has gained a thorough understanding of the business side of biotechnology through the course work to compliment her already strong science skills. Upon graduation she will begin a new position at Catalent as an associate scientist in the cGMP Manufacturing group where she will be manufacturing biologics and using many of the skills she learned throughout the Masters program.

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Katelyn Forsythe
Katelyn Forsythe
Class of 2016

LinkedIn logo Katelyn Forsythe

Katelyn M. Forsythe (B.S., Cell and Molecular Biology, Winona State University, MN) works at Covance Laboratories, Inc., in Madison as an Research Assistant. Working in a laboratory has given her insight and laid the ground work to build and enhance her skills to succeed in biotechnology.

She is joining the M.S. in Biotechnology program to challenge her to take on new ventures and believes the program will be both challenging and exciting, ultimately helping her to create a successful career in biotechnology.

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Yiwen Ge
Yiwen Ge
Class of 2016

LinkedIn logo Yiwen Ge

Yiwen Ge (B.S., Biological Science, Shandong University, China) has experience in a variety of laboratory settings. The more she experienced, the more she realized that the real value of scientific research can only be reflected through its practical application or production.

She is attending the M.S. in Biotechnology Program to learn how to apply genetic engineering as well as cell and tissue culture technologies into developing commercial products. As the program focuses on training students with interdisciplinary backgrounds, she wants to supplement her study in biotechnology with diverse courses in law, business, and management.

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Kira Gillett (Arno)
Kira Gillett (Arno)
Class of 2016
Employer: PPD
Title: Scientist-Small Molecule

LinkedIn logo Kira Gillett (Arno)

Kira M. Gillett (B.A, Biology, UW-Madison) works at PPD LLC, in Middleton , in the Small Molecule GMP laboratories as a Scientist. When selecting a university and a program, there was no question that she would once again attend the UW-Madison as a graduate student in our program.

She feels the M.S. in Biotechnology program is the perfect combination of practical laboratory skills, business and law studies that will give her a well-rounded education providing her with the necessary skills to obtain and surpass her career aspirations.

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Jonathan Gonzalez Gomez
Jonathan Gonzalez Gomez
Class of 2016

LinkedIn logo Jonathan Gonzalez Gomez

Future CEO Jonathan González Gómez (B.S., Industrial Biotechnology, University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez), was an Associate in Manufacturing at Amgen Manufacturing Limited in Juncos, Puerto Rico, where he assisted in the purification of monoclonal antibodies. During the Summer of 2015, he decided to join Covance as an intern in order to obtain experience in the pre-clinical phase of product development. His experiences taught him how important it is to prioritize, manage time efficiently, consider all points of view, and be responsible and honest with his work.

The M.S. in Biotechnology Program succeeded in realizing the rising entrepreneurs expectation that the degree would be an excellent addition to his academic and professional development in order to excel in the biotechnology industry. He now seeks to expand his network and reach opportunities to leverage the newly attained interdisciplinary knowledge to address unmet needs. He is certain that the fusion of science and business is key to research, develop and commercialize novel technologies that have the potential of worldwide impact.

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Zhecheng Guan
Zhecheng Guan
Class of 2016

LinkedIn logo Zhecheng Guan

Zhecheng Guan (B.S., Biological Science, Shanghai Ocean University, China) has numerous years of work experience in the biotechnology field. His dream is to one day become a renowned biological engineer or technician.

His short-term goal in enrolling in the M.S. in Biotechnology program is to further his study and develop familiarity in American biotech industries, marketing channels, and regulations, etc. His desire is to know the latest global trends in the biotech industry and keep pace within this fast developing field. His long-term goal is to use his technical expertise to innovate and to contribute goodness to humankind through new technological achievements.

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Veronica Kramm
Veronica Kramm
Class of 2016
Employer: WARF
Title: Licensing Intern

LinkedIn logo Veronica Kramm

Veronica S. Kramm (B.S.E., Biotechnology, Universidad de Santiago de Chile) was a Bioprocess Engineer in the Development and Production Laboratory at Fundacion Biociencia, Chile. She was working in the production area of Fundacion Biociencia developing processes, from culture to purification, for the production of extremophiles enzymes at a pilot scale.

She is attending the M.S. in Biotechnology program to move forward and get more involved in product commercialization and project management. Currently, she doing an internship at WARF with the Licensing Team.

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Amrita Maheshwari
Amrita Maheshwari
Class of 2016

LinkedIn logo Amrita Maheshwari

Amrita Y. Maheshwari (B.E. in Biotechnology,VTU, India) is currently a reseacher at Neonatology Lab, UW Madison and Meriter Hospital.
Prior to coming to the US, she was a Research & Quality Associate at a stem cell research organization in Mumbai, India which gave her a strong scientific base.
She believes that the most practical research methodology is to find ways to simplify complex and aggressive medical procedures and needs, bearing in mind cost feasibility and eventual commercialization of a safe and affordable product, leading to an equitable distribution for the welfare of society.

The M.S. in Biotechnology Program will help her bring in the business, regulatory and quality aspects to her scientific background, contributing towards better commercialization of products. She is excited to utilize the skills learned in this program in her new job in the industry,upon graduation.

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Michael Matter
Michael Matter
Class of 2016
Employer: Exact Sciences Development Company
Title: Research Scientist

LinkedIn logo Michael Matter

Michael B. Matter (B.S., Molecular Biology, UW-Madison) currently works as a Research Scientist at Exact Sciences in Madison where he contributes to the mission of early cancer detection through the development of novel molecular diagnostics. His career goal is to expand his leadership role within Life Sciences and increase his contribution to new product development.

The M.S. in Biotechnology has provided him with an ideal skillset to achieve this goal. It has increased his knowledge of business operations and program management, while keeping him current in technical advancements within the industry.

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Tamara McGinnis
Tamara McGinnis
Class of 2016
Employer: Covance
Title: Associate Principal Investigator

LinkedIn logo Tamara McGinnis

Tamara S. McGinnis (B.S., Biochemistry, UW-Madison) is an Associate Principal Investigator at Covance, a contract research organization specializing in drug development. Her experiences at Covance have given her an extensive scientific base revolving around the processes involved in pharmaceuticals. Her future goal is to use what she knows from the scientific aspect of drug development and combine that with a more thorough knowledge of the legal, business, and regulatory aspects of the industry. She knows the knowledge she has obtained in the M.S. in Biotechnology program will help her achieve her career goals, as well as assist her in becoming a well-rounded professional in her company.

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Danielle Moehring
Danielle Moehring
Class of 2016
Employer: Luminex Corp.
Title: Associate Scientist II

LinkedIn logo Danielle Moehring

Danielle M. Moehring (B.S., Applied Sciences  Biotechnology, UW-Stout) works as an Associate Scientist II at Luminex Corporation. She works on research and development of new products for the field of disease diagnostics with real time PCR. She also works with quality control performing GxP work as well as protocol and report writing. Through her experiences, she has seen the importance of marketing, legal, sales, project managers and more.

She looks forward to starting the M.S. in Biotechnology Program to fulfill her passion and urge to learn and excel in the biotechnology field.

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Bjorn Niskanen
Bjorn Niskanen
Class of 2016
Employer: Takara Clontech
Title: Inside Sales Representative I

LinkedIn logo Bjorn Niskanen

Bjorn V. Niskanen (B.S., Biology, UW-Eau Claire) is an Inside Sales Representative with Takara Clontech, based in Palo Alto, CA. The program has provided the resources and education for him to transition from the lab bench to the business side of the biotechnology industry. He realizes that success in biotechnology requires the ability to use both scientific and and business knowledge skill sets.

He feels the programs multidisciplinary curriculum ensures graduates are skilled in topics ranging from business strategy and ethics to technology discovery. The program will provide the catalyst to create malleable, resourceful, connected and intuitive leaders in biotechnology.

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Herbert Ogutu
Herbert Ogutu
Class of 2016

LinkedIn logo Herbert Ogutu

Herbert Ogutu (B.S., Chemistry, University of Nairobi, Kenya; M.S., Organic Chemistry, Iowa State University of Science & Technology) has worked in the pharmaceutical industry for many years. He is currently a Scientist, Chemistry Process R&D at AbbVie (formerly pharmaceutical division of Abbott Laboratories).

His short-term goals include acquiring knowledge and developing skills that will make him a more rounded scientist. He envisions being a professional who better understands the various aspects (business, ethical, legal, and regulatory) of drug development. He anticipates eventually making significant contributions to functions beyond his current position that will ultimately lead to patients getting novel treatments/cures.

He believes the M.S. in Biotechnology program will facilitate opportunities he previously would not have considered such as business development and project management.

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Jessie Ou
Jessie Ou
Class of 2016
Employer: Thermo Fisher Scientific
Title: Marketing Specialist II

LinkedIn logo Jessie Ou

Jessie W. Ou (B.A, Marketing and International Business, UW-Madison) is a Marketing Specialist, Protein Biology, at Thermo Fisher Scientific, Rockford, IL. In this position, she discovered a love for doing marketing.

Her goal in being admitted to the M.S. in Biotechnology program is to be a successful marketer in the biotechnology industry. She hopes to strengthen her project management and communication skills and obtain a solid foundation in biological sciences , preparing for marketing leadership positions in the biotechnology industry.

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Alyson Pohlman
Alyson Pohlman
Class of 2016
Employer: University of Wisconsin System

LinkedIn logo Alyson Pohlman

Alyson J. Pohlman (B.A., Political Science, UW-Madison) has extensive biotechnology and regulatory experience through the School of Medicine and Public Health at UW-Madison. She has worked as a Clinical Trial Coordinator in Ophthalmology and Researcher at the Fundus Photograph Reading Center at UW-Madison. Currently, she serves as an Executive Assistant to the President of the University of Wisconsin System.

She joined the M.S. in Biotechnology program to develop a broader perspective on the technical, business and legal considerations that impact research and outreach. Participation in the cohort has challenged her personally in areas such as public speaking, and has instilled the ability to motivate, educate and communicate technical information confidently.

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Rachel Reed (Crist)
Rachel Reed (Crist)
Class of 2016

LinkedIn logo Rachel Reed (Crist)

Rachel E. Crist (B.S., Cell and Molecular Biology, UW-Oshkosh) presently works as a Technical Product Representative, Central US, at Prevention Genetics in Marshfield, WI. She firmly believes that the M.S. in Biotechnology program is a perfect fit for her experience and career aspirations. She is eager to expand her role as a professional in the industry of diagnosis and treatment of genetic disorders.

The flexibility of the program will allow her to continue to build on her current career and education concurrently. The curriculum will advance her existing scientific knowledge and give exposure to the business and legal aspects of biotechnology.

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Alex Remsik
Alex Remsik
Class of 2016

LinkedIn logo Alex Remsik

Alexander B. Ramsik (B.A., Psychology, University of Oregon, Eugene) was a Researcher in the Brain Electrophysiology Laboratory and Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Oregon. He is currently a Graduate Student at UW-Madison working for the Prabhakaran Laboratory and studying neurorehabilitation and neuroplasticity using a Brain Computer Interfaced therapy in stroke survivors.

He is seeking to further his education in neuroscience and business. He wants to study the interaction between the worlds of business and science by earning an M.S. in Biotechnology program degree.

It is his intention, with preparation from the curriculum and through mentorship, to start a company specializing in the research, design, and fabrication of medical equipment and biotechnologies for the treatment and rehabilitation of neurologically impaired individuals.

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Darcia Schweitzer
Darcia Schweitzer
Class of 2016
Employer: Promega
Title: Science Writer

LinkedIn logo Darcia Schweitzer

Darcia A. Schweitzer (B.S., Education, UW-Oshkosh) works as a Science Writer for Promega Corporation. She was high school science teacher in the Dodgeland School District, where she taught biology, genetics, human anatomy and physiology and natural science.

She pursued an M.S. in Biotechnology program degree in order to to broaden the career opportunities available to her in biotechnology and have the potential to become a leader or innovator in the biotechnology field.

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Ben Seffrood
Ben Seffrood
Class of 2016
Employer: Roche NimbleGen
Title: Head of Finance

LinkedIn logo Ben Seffrood

Benjamin J. Seffrood (B.S., UW-Madison; MBA, Business Administration, University of Minnesota) is currently Head of Finance at Roche NimbleGen, Madison, which is a Division of F. Hoffman La Roche, Basel, Switzerland. From the moment he joined Roche NimbleGen, he has been working on ground-breaking science projects, including one particularly promising technology, peptide arrays.

Everything about the M.S. in Biotechnology program is relevant to his interest in and responsibilities for commercializing ground-breaking science. The program will help him learn to take science from the lab to the market. He also expects that his abilities in science will improve and provide him with the confidence and credentials to continue to interact with leading cancer researchers.

By working with world-class faculty and his cohort, he hopes to gain the skills necessary to successfully commercialize early cancer detection technologies.

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Faizan Syed
Faizan Syed
Class of 2016
Employer: AstraZeneca
Title: Senior PET Engineer

LinkedIn logo Faizan Syed

Faizan A. Syed (B.E., Biotechnology Engineering, Ramaiah Institute of Technology, India) has numerous years of research experience in the biotechnology field. He was most recently a Project Trainee at Biocon Research Limited, Bangalore, India.

It is his desire to pursue a career in research contributing towards drug discovery and development. He considers the M.S. in Biotechnology program as the logical choice to meet his goals.

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James Wollenburg
James Wollenburg
Class of 2016

LinkedIn logo James Wollenburg

James W. Wollenburg (B.S., Biology, UW-Whitewater; M.S., Curriculum and Instruction, UW-Milwaukee) is a Compliance Officer/Quality Control Supervisor/Laboratory Technician at Atrium, Inc., a small private company in Wisconsin which manufactures a large variety of dietary supplements. He has been involved with FA regulations and quality control issues for the company as well as training of employees.

The M.S. in Biotechnology program would allow him to better manage and grow the company, either continuing as a contract manufacturer of dietary supplements or actually expanding the company into pharmaceutical manufacturing. The degree would also give him the opportunity to work in the areas of management, including product development, quality control or even laboratory management. He would also have the option to start his own small company, either as a manufacturer or in research development, or a provider of cell cultures of stem cells.

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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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