Mr. Derek Anderson Mr. Derek Anderson joined the department as faculty in January 2020 and brings nearly seven years of experience working in a clinical molecular diagnostics laboratory with him.
Much of this period was spent in the field of cancer diagnostics utilizing techniques such as next-generation sequencing and microarray to help diagnose and monitor patient disease states. He also had the privilege of validating and running the only test in the United States at the time which could clinically measure human telomere length via flow cytometry and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). Mr. Anderson completed his M.S in Biotechnology from The Johns Hopkins University in 2015 and received his B.S in Biology (2012) and A.S. in Chemistry (2011), both from York College of Pennsylvania.
Kyle A. DiVito Ph.D Kyle A. DiVito, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular & Cellular Biology.
He is the Co-Curriculum Director for Experiences in Biotechnology. Dr. DiVito joined the department in November 2018 and looks forward to returning to both the classroom and the laboratory. In the Spring, he will teach components of multiple courses including Core Methods; Protein Production and Bioprocessing; Applications of 3D Cell Culture. Prior to joining the faculty at Georgetown, Dr. DiVito was a Staff Scientist at the Center for Veterinary Medicine at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in Rockville, MD. He reviewed sterile injectable generic pharmaceutical applications for veterinary products. He also coordinated with colleagues to draft guidance documents for industry and provided organizational support for site visits to pharmaceutical facilities. From 2014-2016, Dr. DiVito was the recipient of a postdoctoral fellowship from the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) and completed his fellowship at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington, DC. His work on synthetic blood vessel fabrication and organ-on-chip technology continued from 2016-2018 first as a Jerome Karle Fellow and then a Staff Research Biologist at NRL. While at NRL, Dr. DiVito developed a novel functional microfluidic platform that uses poly-ethylene glycol based polymers to fabricate bio-compatible, synthetic human blood vessels. This work utilized microfluidics and bioengineering to create an in vitro model to mimic human vasculature. These fabricated blood vessels were then used in either human skin reproductions or as an in vitro model of the human blood-brain barrier. Dr. DiVito received his B.S. in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of Connecticut in 2002. Prior to entering graduate school Dr. DiVito was a Research Associate in the Pathology Department at Yale University School of Medicine under the guidance of Drs. David Rimm, Robert Camp and Harriet Kluger. While at Yale, Dr. DiVito used tissue microarray technology coupled with the Automated QUantitative Analysis (AQUA®) platform to investigate prognostic biomarkers in both melanoma and breast cancer. As a scientific consultant, Dr. DiVito also helped establish HistoRx, Inc (now Genotpix, a Novartis company) a spinoff biotechnology company from Dr. David Rimm’s laboratory at Yale which provided a quantitative approach to diagnostics in pathology. Dr. DiVito completed his PhD at Georgetown University under the mentorship of Dr. Dean Rosenthal in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular & Cellular Biology. Dr. DiVito’s thesis work focused on carcinogenesis, specifically, mechanisms related to the transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) pathway in melanoma. His work led to identification of a novel signaling pathway in melanoma that controls processes related to melanin synthesis. Dr. DiVito’s work also uncovered mechanisms related to cell adhesion in non-canonical TGF-β signaling. Dr. DiVito maintains a strong scientific interest in skin cancer and melanoma in particular.
Mr. Donahue is the Co-Curriculum Developer (CD) for Experiences in Biotechnology.
He received a Masters degree from the University of Texas, Austin and has over 30 years’ experience in Biotechnology in both academic and industrial laboratories. Mr. Donahue is an inventor on several patents for Biotech products and processes in the area of bacterial gene transfer. He has experience in the conception, development and commercialization of Biotechnology products generating several million dollars in revenue. Mr. Donahue has experience in protein purification, enzyme assay development, process development and scale up in a commercial environment. Mr. Donahue has experience in training and supervision of non-scientists in the preparation of reagents and the production of biomolecules. Mr. Donahue has utilized his background in Biotechnology to teach and mentor students in the Masters in Biotechnology Program at Georgetown University for more than 5 years. With his knowledge of how a Biotechnology company operates on a daily basis Mr. Donahue is a valuable member of the Biotechnology Program Staff.
Ms. Khuyen Mai Ms. Khuyen Mai is a graduate of the Georgetown University Biotechnology Program.
Ms. Mai has been working in the biotechnology field for over a decade. She previously worked for Edvotek, Inc., a leading biotechnology education company, where she served as the focal point for new product development, instructional material design, and professional workshop training. Ms. Mai is currently an instructor in Medical Educator Track of the Biotechnology Program. She has special interest in biotechnology education and personalized therapies. She enjoys interacting with students and sharing her love of biotechnology and personalized medicine with them, helping them achieve success in college and in life.
Sona Vasudevan Ph.D. Dr. Vasudevans interests span the areas of structural biology, structural bioinformatics, homology modeling, protein-ligand and antibody-antigen interactions, and RNA biology.
Her research interests include comparative genomics, protein classification, protein homology modeling, and molecular dynamics simulations to look at the effect of single nucleotide polymorphisms in breast cancer, evolutionary analysis, systems biology, and translational informatics. She has contributed to the development of several well-known bioinformatics tools for doing sequence and structure analysis. She has developed a drug-discovery database. Her research record includes several research papers, invited lectures, and book chapters. She serves on the Editorial Board of, and is a reviewer for, several journals. She teaches Biochemistry, Structural Biology, and several courses in Informatics. She has mentored over 20 students. She has created the MD/MS dual-degree program in Systems Medicine, and a free-standing MS degree program in Systems Medicine. She has received several academic awards, and excellence-in-teaching awards.
Ken Wasserman, Ph.D. Dr. Wasserman began his career conducting research at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in NK cell research.
After several years at the Karolinska Institute Dr. Wasserman returned to a position at the National Cancer Institute where he worked in the Leukocyte Biology Section studying nk cells. Dr. Wasserman worked as a grant writer, in document control and managed signal transduction technical services while working with the Chief Scientific Officer and staff scientists at local biotechnology based companies to obtain over $130 million in secured grants and contracts revenue in Biodefense, Cancer, Diabetes, Human Embryonic Stem Cell, Osteoarthritis, and Malaria. He received an appointment as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular & Cellular Biology in 2011. In addition to his experience in Cancer Cell Biology, Dr. Wasserman’s background in Grant Writing, Technical Services and Documentation complements the educational goals of the Biotechnology Program.