Stacey Willard, PhD, Senior Research Scientist, Eppendorf

Stacey Willard, PhD

Dr. Stacey Willard earned her PhD from the University of Virginia. Ever since, her research was focused on biopharmaceutical development. Stacey has almost 20 years of experience in drug development and held positions in academic institutions (Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, the Roswell Park Cancer Institute) and within the biopharmaceutical industry. Since 2013, Stacey has been a Senior Research Scientist at Eppendorf, Inc.

What do you enjoy most about presenting on live webinars?

I enjoy the feedback from participants.

What are you looking forward to discussing with the audience?

Our work with the BioFlo 320 was very rewarding because we were able to really showcase the flexibility of the control station and were able to achieve some really nice titres in cell number and productivity. I love sharing those types of experiments!

Where is your favourite place in the world and why?

I recently had the pleasure of visiting some customers in Asia and I think my visit to the beach at Nha Trang, Vietnam just edged out my former favourite of Paris!

In your webinar you will be focussing on optimizing the biosimilar production process, discussing experimental results from a collaboration between yourselves and TPG Biologics. Why is this an important topic for the audience?

Biosimilar process development is a hot topic right now – there are quite a few blockbuster drugs that are going off patent in the coming years and the opportunity is there for the taking. There has been so much discussion in the industry on validating the potential biosimilar, but not as much talk on the beginning stages.

Once you have a cell line that produces a potential biosimilar, you must decide what experimental protocol to use, it must be easily scalable, it must be flexible, and it must make high levels of product at reasonable cost. This is where our work fits in. Often, trying new process protocols leads to large equipment purchases and controller changes. At the R&D or process development scale, we can provide the flexibility that the field is looking for. I’m excited to share that with the audience.

How did you get into the industry?

My background is in Genetics and Cell Biology. I have grown established cell lines of all types and have established my own cell strains from primary source tissues. Relying on that instinct and experience in cultivating cells, bioprocess was a logical next step for me. I know what cells need, and the bioprocess control platform allows me to achieve those parameters and to make the necessary tweaks during an experiment to get happier healthier cellular machines. It is very gratifying to be able to use the breadth of my training in process development and optimization.

Join Stacey and Eppendorf as she discusses Optimizing a Biosimilar Production Process!

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