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BUZZ Sessions 


SESSION A 2:00-3:00 PM
SESSION B 3:45-4:45 PM

Facilitated, small-group discussions. Interactive participation leads to problem-solving solutions and future collaborations around focused topics.

What’s the BuzZ about? 

PepTalk’s BuzZ Sessions are focused, stimulating discussions in which delegates discuss important and interesting topics related to upstream protein expression and production through downstream scale-up and manufacturing. This is a moderated discussion with brainstorming and interactive problem-solving between scientists from diverse areas who share a common interest in the discussion topic.

These are forums for open discussion of protein-related challenges, and not sales opportunities. We emphasize that these breakout groups are for interactive discussions among scientists and are not meant to be, in any way, a corporate or product discussion. Topics can be limited to one protein area or may address issues which cross over the borders between pipeline meeting topics. Moderators should be well-versed in the topic area and able to keep the discussion focused and productive.

Due to popular demand, we’ll host two BuzZ Session times this year. All BuzZ Sessions will take place on Tuesday, January 20. Session A will be held 2:00-3:00 pm and Session B 3:45-4:45 pm. 

To submit a BuzZ Session topic for consideration, please click here.


Protein Therapeutic Immunogenicity and T Cell Epitopes

Ronit Mazor, Ph.D., Research Fellow, Lab for Molecular Biology (LMB), NCI/NIH

De novo Discovery or Engineering? – Choice to Derive Stable Single Chain Fv for Bispecific Antibody Engineering

Yang Shen, Ph.D., Research Advisor, Antibody Engineering, Antibody Technology, ImClone Systems, A Wholly-Owned Subsidiary of Eli Lilly & Company

Two Decades of Different Ways to Improve Biologics – What Is the (Clinical) Outcome?

Manfred Schuster, Ph.D., COO, Apeiron Biologics AG

Enzyme Therapeutics: Challenges for Monitoring, Improving and Preserving Catalytic Activities

Manfred Konrad, Ph.D., Head of Enzyme Biochemistry Laboratory, Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry

Protein Therapeutics for Eye Diseases: The Best Targets and Diseases

Eric Furfine, Ph.D., CSO, Eleven Biotherapeutics

The Future Application of Hybridomas, Natural Libraries, Synthetic Libraries, Humanizations, Transgenics and Alternative Scaffolds in mAb Discovery and Engineering

Jacob Glanville, Ph.D., CSO, Distributed Bio

Unusual Antibody Scaffolds

Vaughn Smider, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Molecular Biology, The Scripps Research Institute

Using a Recombinant Antibody Platform for the Generation of Therapeutic Antibodies

Michael Hornsby, Ph.D. Researcher, Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of California, San Francisco
Marcin Paduch, Ph.D., Technical Director, Synthetic Antibody & Crystallography Core Facility, The University of Chicago

Assay Formats for Testing Protein-Protein Interactions

Jonas V. Schaefer, Ph.D., Head, High-Throughput Laboratory, Department of Biochemistry, University of Zurich

Multi-Epitope Targeting Antibodies: How to Select between Mixtures and Different Bispecific Antibody Formats

John Haurum, M.D., D.Phil., CEO, F-star GmbH and F-star Biotechnology Ltd.

The Future Direction of Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors

Gregory P. Adams, Ph.D., Director of Biological Research and Therapeutics, Fox Chase Cancer Center

What to Do about Sequence Liabilities in Antibody Therapeutics: When to Intervene and How Best to Assess and Address Them

Melissa Damschroder, Ph.D., Associate Director, Research & Development, Antibody Discovery and Protein Engineering, MedImmune

Accelerated Routes to High-Quality Target Validation Molecules: Necessary or Not?

William “Jonny” Finlay, Ph.D., Director, Pfizer, Inc.

Sites and Insights: Generalizing Insights from Site-Specific Features of Tumor Therapy

Lois Lampson, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Surgery, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Manipulating the Tumor Microenvironment to Improve Antibody Therapy

Stephen Beers, Ph.D., Senior Research Fellow, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton

Developability Assessment for Drug Product Candidates

Deniz Temel, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Researcher, Technical Development, Biogen Idec

High-Throughput Screening in Formulation Development

Lisa A. Kueltzo, Ph.D., Staff Scientist, Formulation Development, Vaccine Production Program Laboratory, National Institutes of Health

Balancing Act of Electrostatics vs. Hydrophobicity in Proteins

Murali Bilikallahalli, Ph.D., Associate Director, Formulation Sciences, Proteins, Vaccines & Oligos, MedImmune

Considerations in Early Formulation Development

Tom Spitznagel, Ph.D., Vice President, Development, MacroGenics, Inc.

Developing a Stable Lyophilized Biologic Formulation

Petteri Heljo, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Researcher, Early Stage Pharmaceutical Development, F. Hoffmann-La Roche

Challenges Associated with Novel Molecules Characterization and Formulation Development: How to Effectively Approach Developability Studies for Novels

Malgorzata Tracka, Scientist II, Formulation Sciences, MedImmune

Method Transfer and Validation: Challenges and Lessons Learned in the Transfer of Formulation or Analytical Methods between Labs

David Burkhart, Ph.D., Investigator, GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals

Lyophilization Process Scale-Up and Transfer

Serguei Tchessalov, Ph.D., Associate Research Fellow, Biotherapeutics Pharmaceutical Research & Development, Pfizer, Inc.

Is Nucleation Control a Viable Option for Biopharmaceutical Companies?

Timothy R. McCoy, MSc, Principal Scientist, Technical Development, Genzyme Ireland

How to Develop a Robust Lyophilized Combination Product in Dual Chamber Syringes/Cartridges?

Bingquan (Stuart) Wang, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, Protein Formulation Development, Biogen Idec

Lyophilization of Biologics above the Glass Transition Temperature (Tg’)

Mark Yang, Ph.D., Director, Fill Finish Development, Commercial Process Development, Genzyme, a Sanofi Company

Use of Surrogates for Lyophilization Process Design, Development and Scale-Up

Sajal M. Patel, Scientist II, Formulation Sciences, MedImmune, Inc.

DNA Mutant Library Creation for Protein Engineering Applications

Elad Firnberg, Ph.D., President and Co-Founder, Revolve Biotechnologies, Inc.

Lift Off: Integrated Launch of a New Biotech Company, from Technology to Team to Launch to Exit Plan

Joseph D. Kittle, Jr., Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Ohio University; Founder and CSO, MTL, LLC

Synthetic Biology Infrastructure for Protein-Related Applications

Ilias Tagkopoulos, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Computer Science and Genome Center, University of California, Davis

Cheemeng Tan, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering, University of California, Davis

Engineering Chaperones to Enhance Productivity in HEK293

Akinori Hishiya, Ph.D., Director of Biology, TapBoost Platform, Boston Strategics

Paul Wengender, Business Development, Boston Strategics and CEO, Crow’s Nest BioVentures

Challenges of Expression of Difficult Proteins: New Solutions

James D. Love, Ph.D., Director, Technology Development, Biochemistry, Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Is Clone Stability an Issue for Either Cell Banking or Long Production Processes?

Zhimei Du, Ph.D., Principal Scientist, Cell Culture Development & Manufacturing, Teva Pharmaceuticals USA

Understanding Product Quality Attribute Robustness during Clone Screening and Small-Scale Process Development

Shivani Gupta, Associate Scientist, Cell Line Development, Amgen, Inc.

Next-Generation Expression Platforms and Production of Complex Multiple Domain Proteins

Miller Tran, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, Lead Discovery, Verdant Therapeutics, Inc.

The Messenger: The Importance of RNA Biology in Recombinant Expression

Thomas Kallehauge, Ph.D., Research Scientist, Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability, Technical University of Denmark

Using -Omics for Protein Expression Enhancement – Exciting Opportunities, Practical Applications and Realistic Expectations for High-Content Data

Nathan E. Lewis, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Lab of Systems Biochemistry and Cell Engineering, University of California, San Diego

Automated Systems of Plasmid-Based or Chromosome-Based Functional Proteomics to Improve Microbes for Industrial Recombinant Protein Production

Stephen R. Hughes, Ph.D., Research Molecular Biologist, Renewable Product Technology Research Unit, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research

Expanding the Role of Transient Gene Expression

James Brady, Ph.D., MBA, Director, Technical Applications, MaxCyte, Inc.

Common Issues with Transient Protein Production

Richard Altman, MS, Research Scientist, Molecular Sciences, Alexion Pharmaceuticals
Henry C. Chiou, Ph.D., Associate Director, Cell Biology, Life Science Solutions, Thermo Fisher Scientific
Dominic Esposito, Ph.D., Director, Protein Expression Laboratory, Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research, Leidos Biomedical Research, Inc.

Enhancement of Recombinant Protein Production by Manipulating the Folding Pathway in Mammalian Cells

Laurence Fayadat-Dilman, Ph.D., Director, Protein Sciences, Merck Research Laboratories

Challenges and Strategies in Analytical Characterization to Support Research and Development of Novel Biotherapeutics

Qiong (Joan) Guo, Ph.D., Senior Principal Scientist & Analytical Group Leader, Vaccine Immunotherapeutics Research Unit, Pfizer, Inc.

The Challenge of Characterizing Molecules and Defining Comparability with Assays that Provide Either Too Much or Too Little Quantitative Data Output

Juma Bridgewater, Ph.D., Scientist III, Analytical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, ImmunoGen, Inc.

Role of Platform Analytics in Accelerating Early Stage Development

Nomalie Jaya, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, Analytical Biochemistry, Seattle Genetics, Inc.

Multivariate Analysis (MVA) in Biologics Development

Vishal C. Nashine, Ph.D., Senior Research Investigator, Drug Product Science & Technology, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.

Containment/Delivery Systems Affecting Proteins

Diane Paskiet, Ph.D., Director, Scientific Affairs, West Pharmaceutical

High-Throughput Analytical Development to Support Bioprocess Monitoring

Xiaodun (Susan) Mou, Ph.D., Associate Principal Scientist , BTE, Merck & Co., Inc.

Mitigation of Protein Fouling on Surfaces

Shyam V. Vaidya, Ph.D., Principal R&D Scientist, Abbott Laboratories

Controlling Protein Solubility and Viscosity

Thomas Laue, Ph.D., Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; Director, Biomolecular Interaction Technologies Center (BITC), University of New Hampshire

Anticipating Early Stability Issues: Characterization Methods to Detect Aggregation Propensity

Joël Richard, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Peptides, Head of CMC Dreux Site, Ipsen

Characterization of Subvisible and Visible Particles in Biopharmaceutical Products

Andrea Hawe, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Coriolis Pharma

Protein Aggregates: Adding Light Scattering to Obscuration for Wide-Range (0.15-200 µm) Particle Counting and Sizing

David F. Nicoli, Ph.D., Vice President R&D, Particle Sizing Systems, LLC

Driving the Implementation of Continuous Processing Enabled by Single-Use

David Pollard, Ph.D., Executive Director, Bioprocess Development, Merck Research Laboratories, Merck & Co., Inc.; Member, BioPhorum Operations Group (BPoG)

Management of Leachables & Extractables-Related Risk in Processes with Single-Use Components

Naveen Pathak, MSc, Director, MS&T, Process Development & Manufacturing Science, Shire

Challenges to the Norm - New and Innovative Ways to Purify CHO Proteins Using None-Standard Processes which Challenge the Protein A Standard

Adam Goldstein, MS, Senior Manager, Technical Operations, Genentech, Inc.

Standardization of Single-Use Designs and Practices

Jerold Martin, MSc, Chairman, Technology Committee, BPSA and Senior Vice President, Global Scientific Affairs, Pall Life Sciences

Manufacturing and Economic Considerations for Implementing Single-Use and Continuous Processing

Robert Dream, PE, CPIP, CPMP, Ph.D., Principal, HDR Company Ltd.

Reproducing Irreproducible Results

Mario Lebendiker, Ph.D., Head, Protein Purification Facility, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Purification of Therapeutic Proteins Derived from Antibody Fragments (e.g., Bispecific Antibodies and Fab'2)

Julie Q. Hang, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, Protein Chemistry, Genentech, Inc.

Comparability or Identity?

Carlo Zambonelli, Ph.D., Senior Scientist and Head, Biophysics, Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics

Purification of Membrane Proteins: Challenges and Approaches

Alexei Yeliseev, Ph.D., Staff Scientist, NIAAA, NIH

Challenges with Development of Stable CHO Cell Line

Amita Goel, MS, CEO, Celltheon

Advancing Challenges in the Bioanalytical Laboratory with New Technologies Supporting PK and ADA

Johanna Mora, Ph.D., Senior Research Investigator II, Bristol-Myers Squibb

Determining the Onset of Biologic Spectral Differences in Stability Testing

Rina K. Dukor, Ph.D., President, CEO, BioTools, Inc.