Meet the Faculty

Sunny Tam, PhD

Director of the PSM Biotechnology

BS, Boston College; PhD, Boston University Medical School; Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University School of Public Health

Email: stam@framingham.edu

Sunny Tam, PhD has 20 years of biotechnology and academic experiences in early stage R&D, preclinical testing, assay and technology development following his training from the Harvard University School of Public Health. He has held numerous scientific and management positions in small molecule discovery and protein therapeutic companies including Mitotix, Inc., Texas Biotechology Corporation and Tanox Inc. Dr. Tam is a pioneer in protein microarray development and application of proteomic tools in drug discovery, biomarker discovery and assay development.  He is well published and has contributed significantly toward a number of issued patents and federally awarded grants.  During his tenure as Program Director at Charles River Laboratories and then University of Massachusetts Medical School, Dr. Tam successfully completed numerous projects for major US biopharmaceutical and government sponsors in new protein technology development, further advancing biomarker discovery and product applications in a number of chronic human diseases.  More recently serving as the VP of R&D at Nuclea Bio, he has built a GLP facility for the development of FDA regulated clinical diagnostic assays with novel biomarkers.  At Clark University as a Research Associate Professor, he has established a state of art Proteomic and Metabolomic laboratory for internal research and student teaching. Currently, he is the Director of the Professional Science Master’s (PSM) program in Biotechnology at Framingham State University.

Taylor Burtis, MBA

Visiting Assistant Professor

BS, Framingham State University; MBA, Simmons College

Email: mburtis@framingham.edu

Taylor Burtis, Senior Consultant of BPTC’s advanceONE™ Division, has over 30 years of regulatory and senior management experience. She has developed and implemented regulatory, GxP compliance, and inspection readiness strategies at multiple life science companies of biosimilars, vaccines, cell therapy, fusion proteins, antibodies, and other recombinant protein drug products. Before joining BPTC as an independent Senior Consultant she worked with virtual and large Pharma companies managing IND/CTA, BLA/NDA/ MAA filings and FDA Type A,B, C and EU Scientific Advice meetings. Prior to her consulting role, Ms. Burtis has held senior-level regulatory positions in the biopharmaceutical industry as: Vice President of Regulatory and Quality Affairs and Compliance at both Tokai Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Novelos Therapeutics; Associate Director for World Wide Regulatory Affairs at, Wyeth BioPharma (now Pfizer); and Senior Manager of Regulatory Affairs at, Genentech. In addition, Ms. Burtis was an FDA Consumer Safety Officer in the Office of Compliance at the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER). Before entering the life science industry, she spent 18 years as a laboratory manager and research technologist at Duke Medical Center, North Carolina Medical Center, Yale-New Haven Medical Center, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, New England Medical Center, and the National American Red Cross. Ms. Burtis has a BS in Biology and Secondary Education from Framingham State College and a MBA from Simmons College. She has also held certifications from the American Society of Clinical Pathology as a Medical Technologist, Specialist in Hematology, and Specialist in Immunohematology.

Simon Fricker, PhD

Visiting Assistant Professor

BSc University of Southampton UK; MSc University of Warwick UK; PhD University of Warwick UK; Postdoctoral training University of Cambridge UK

Email: simonpfricker@gmail.com

Simon Fricker has over 25 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry. Simon obtained his training in the UK with a Ph.D. in Chemistry and Molecular Science from the University of Warwickand postdoctoral training at the University of Cambridge. As a successful leader of pharmaceutical R&D he has worked in small company and large multi-national corporate environments, in the UK, Canada and USA. He was a member of the UK team which was awarded the Queen’s Award for Technology for the discovery of the cancer drug Paraplatin™. Simon was a founding member and Director of Biology of a Canadian biopharma company AnorMED taking two drugs into clinical development with IND filing in FDA divisions of virology (HIV) and oncology and the subsequent NDA and clinical approval of Mozobil™, a CXCR4 antagonist for hematopoietic stem cell mobilization for patients with multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. As a Distinguished Scientific Fellow at the sanofi/Genzyme, R&D Center he led a research team working on immune-mediated diseases. He generated projects on chemokine receptor pharmacology for autoimmune and oncology diseases, and held a strategic role to identify innovative concepts for targeting multiple sclerosis. Simon has been the science lead on out-licensing and in-licensing business development opportunities. Currently Simon is an independent consultant to biopharma.

Steve Gullans, PhD

Visiting Professor

BS, Union College; PhD, Duke University; Post-Doctoral Training, Yale University School of Medicine

Email: sgullans@framingham.edu

Steve Gullans, Ph.D., is a biotech investor, scientist, entrepreneur, and author. He is Managing Director at Excel Venture Management where he invests in young life science companies with transformative technologies. Currently he is Interim CEO and Board Director at Gemphire Therapeutics [NASDAQ: GEMP], Molecular Templates, Cleveland HeartLab, N-of-One, and Orionis Biosciences. Steve loves innovation and has spoken widely, including at TED, TEDMED, and TEDx. He recently co-authored Evolving Ourselves, a book that provides a sweeping tour of how humans are changing the course of evolution—sometimes intentionally, sometimes not. Previously he was a professor at Harvard Medical School where he published more than 130 scientific papers and was elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Andre Kopoyan, MBA

Visiting Instructor

BS, University of Massachusetts-Amherst; MBA, Assumption College

Email: akopoyan@framingham.edu

Andre began his career in academia, working at the Proteomics and Mass Spectrometry Facility at the University of Massachusetts (UMMS), Worcester. Andre worked with many clients and researchers to produce quantitative proteomics data using cutting-edge equipment. Andre has developed quantitative analytical assays using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC/MS).

He transitioned to industry with the next stage of his career to develop and maintain a mass spectrometry lab for Nuclea Diagnostics in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Currently, Andre works at Waters Corporation in the Quality Assurance Department. He is responsible for contamination control at Waters’ headquarters in Milford, Massachusetts. He is a Certified Quality Engineer (CQE) with the American Society for Quality (ASQ), and additionally is certified as a Lead Auditor against the ISO 13485:2003 standard.

With the combination of technical skills and quality know-how, he has been asked to join the Professional Science Master’s team at Framingham State University. Andre is passionate about knowledge and education. He has tutored, taught, and mentored people ranging in age from five to fifty.

Andre is a member of the Association for the Advancement of Medical Initiatives (AAMI) and the American Society for Quality (ASQ).

Andre received his Bachelor’s Degree in biochemistry from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, which was followed with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from Assumption College.

 

Kevin Leach, PhD, DABT

Visiting Assistant Professor

PhD, Medical College of Virginia; Post-Doctoral Fellowship, MIT

Email: kleach@framingham.edu

Dr. Leach received a Ph.D in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics from the Medical College of Virginia, in 1999, studying the hepatitis B virus. From there he completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Biological Engineering.  In 2004 he started at Merck and Co in the Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics department working in Cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.  In 2009 he began working at Shire Pharmaceuticals in the Pre-Clinical Department working in rare diseases and became a diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology in 2010.  In 2014 he joined Retrophin where he is currently employed and is a Sr. Director of Non-Clinical Development and Translational Research.  He also serves on the board of the Wellesley Cancer Prevention Project, a non-profit organization that works with the community to advise and educate on cancer prevention.  He is the author of several publications and abstracts and two patents.

Michael Naill, PhD

Visiting Lecturer

BS, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; PhD, University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Email: mnaill@framingham.edu

Michael Naill has over 10 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, primarily in the area of chemistry, manufacturing, and control (CMC) development. Michael received a BS with distinction in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. In his career, Michael has held roles of increasing responsibility in process development, manufacturing science/technical operations, CMC program management, and CMC regulatory affairs. Michael has led teams in developing manufacturing processes for biologics, technical transfer teams, and CMC project development during clinical development. He has experience with both clinical stage and commercial stage programs. Michael currently works at bluebird bio in Cambridge, MA.

Imran Nasrullah, MS, JD, CLP

Visiting Assistant Professor

BS, University of Massachusetts-Amherst; MS, University of Colorado; JD, Suffolk University School of Law

Email: inasrullah@framingham.edu

Imran is the Director of Innovation Sourcing, located in Boston. Imran is responsible for forging business relationships within the Boston/Cambridge life-science ecosystem among, venture capital, family funds, angel investors, academia, biotech and other stakeholders.

Imran brings over 20 years and a rich synthesis of life sciences corporate development (emerging and early stage), intellectual property and licensing, and policy experience. 

Recently, Imran was Head of Strategic Alliances for T1D Exchange – an innovative non-profit start-up in the type 1 diabetes space. Prior to T1D Exchange, Imran was the Chief Business Officer for the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, where he was responsible for building MassBio's business development and investor outreach programs to enable members companies raise capital and identify strategic partnering and licensing opportunities. Among his accomplishments there, he founded MassConnect and Pharma Days, two of Massbio’s most successful programs.

Imran worked for blue chip biotechnology companies Genzyme Genetics and Millennium Pharmaceuticals. At Genzyme, Imran served as a Director of Business Development and Licensing for oncology molecular diagnostics and women’s health.  At Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Imran served as Associate Director of BD&L within Millennium’s corporate development group focusing on early stage transactions ranging from R&D platforms, early-stage inflammation and oncology assets, and FTO licensing.  Imran started his career in academic licensing, first as a licensing professional at Mayo Clinic and later as director of licensing for Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

Jana von Hehn, PhD

Visiting Lecturer

BS, University of Central Florida; PhD, Emory University

Email: jvonhehn@framingham.edu

Jana currently serves as the scientific and operations lead for a clinical development program at Concert Pharmaceuticals, Inc., in Lexington, MA. During her career, she has worked at 5 pharmaceutical companies and has designed, planned, and managed clinical development programs for small molecules in various indications from oncology to autoimmune to central nervous system disorders. She has broad experience in the authoring and managing of clinical development plans, clinical trial protocols, and data analysis. Jana earned her PhD in Genetics and Molecular Biology from Emory University while spending 3 years as a visiting student at Yale University. She authored 7 peer-reviewed publications during her graduate training in disease areas of galactosemia, cancer biology, and ataxia telangiectasia. During her time at Yale, Jana was selected to present her work as the Key Student Speaker at the Yale Pathology Annual Retreat in 2006. Prior to graduate school she attended the University of Central Florida in Orlando to earn her Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biology and Microbiology,one class shy of a minor in Chemistry. Jana was born and raised in West Palm Beach, Florida.

 

 

Keith Watling, PhD

Visiting Assistant Professor

BS, University of Southampton, England; PhD, University of Southampton, England

Email: kwatling@framingham.edu

Keith received his undergraduate degree in Physiology and Biochemistry from the University of Southampton in England, followed by a PhD in Neuropharmacology. Following periods of postdoctoral research at the University of Cambridge, England and Harvard University in Boston, Keith embarked upon a career in neuroscience drug discovery, working initially for Merck, Sharp and Dohme, and then Parke-Davis, at research centers established by both companies in England in the early 1980s. In 1994, he moved to the United States to take up a position as Director of New Product Development with Research Biochemicals International, a small Massachusetts company that specialized in providing innovative neurochemicals for use as research tools by the neuroscience research community. In 1997, RBI was purchased by Sigma-Aldrich Corporation, a major life science and high technology company. From 2000, Keith held leadership positions in a variety of areas within Sigma-Aldrich, including strategic marketing, operations and business development. He is currently Site Director at MilliporeSigma, Natick - a business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany -where he oversees the production of a range of bioactive small molecules used in both life science research, and diagnostics and testing.

John Wing, PhD

Visiting Assistant Professor

BS, Fitchburg State College; PhD, University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Email: jwing@framingham.edu

John received his undergraduate degree in Biology from Fitchburg State College. Upon graduation, John moved to Rockville, MD to embark on his career and joined then start-up company Human Genome Sciences as a Research Associate. During his 3 years at HGS, John was part of a team of scientists whose common goal was to sequence the entire human coding genome. In 1996 John moved to Amherst, MA to pursue his Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Massachusetts. His graduate studies involved studying the molecular pathways of programmed cell death using the fruit fly Drosophila as a model organism of molecular genetics. Upon successful defense of his doctoral thesis, John joined Phylos, Inc., a small Biotechnology company in Lexington, MA, where he supported the development of their proprietary mRNA display platform technology. In 2002, John then joined Eyetech Pharmaceuticals as a research scientist, where he supported the development of Macugen, a FDA approved RNA aptamer drug for Macular Degeneration. While at Eyetech Pharmaceuticals he also managed a team of scientists that supported the development of novel molecular and cell based assays. After Eyetech Pharmaceuticals was bought out by (OSI) Pharmaceuticals, John pursued an opportunity at Boston College, where he joined the Biology Department as a Visiting Assistant Professor. While at BC he mentored graduate students through the successful completion of their doctoral thesis and taught undergraduate courses and labs within the Biology department. After his contract at BC expired, John joined the Global Medical Affairs team at Shire Pharmaceuticals as a Director of Training and Effectiveness. During his time at Shire, his main responsibility was to develop and the support the scientific training and learning curriculum for Shire’s global team of Medical Science Liaisons and Medical Directors.