The WIB Washington DC/Baltimore Chapter
Originally the national headquarters for Women In Bio, the "Washington DC/Baltimore Chapter" officially became its own chapter in October 2011. With recent expansion of WIB on a national and international level, the time was right for the region to form its own chapter. Located along the I-270 Corridor in Maryland and also covering DC, Northern Virginia and the greater Baltimore area, this setting is central to what Governor Martin O’Malley called "one of the largest bioscience clusters in the nation, perhaps in the world."
The WIB-Washington DC/Baltimore Chapter community is dedicated to creating opportunities and careers for women in the life science industry and to encouraging women in our region to translate novel discoveries into products. The WIB-Washington DC/Baltimore Chapter symbolizes the significance of promoting the dynamic women in the biotechnology and life sciences industry in this area and globally. Our membership consists of professionals at leading pharmaceutical, biotechnology, device and diagnostics companies, non-profits, academic institutions, and support service companies, including law firms, consultants, and financial service firms. To contact the Washington DC/Baltimore Chapter, email DC.Baltimore@womeninbio.org.
WIB Committee Leadership
Women In Bio committees support the professional and personal growth of WIB members and the organization as a whole.
Chapter Chair: Miruna Sasu, Ph.D., USDA-FSIS
Chapter Vice-Chair: Christina Harris, Ph.D., USDA-ARS/Virginia Tech
Chair: Sarah Pick, Institute for Genome Science
Vice-Chair: Krysten Copeland, Marketing Specialist, DC Home Buzz
Chair Amy Belton, Amy Belton, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
Vice-Chair: Julia Rose, Independent Consultant
Vice-Chair: Julia Berzhanskya, Ph.D., George Mason University
Program (Events) Committee
Chair: Denise Adah, MBA, CPA, Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc
Vice-Chair: Diana Barrantes Gomez, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health
Young Women In Bio (YWIB)
Chair: Rose Marcheso-Hansen, Advanced Bioscience Laboratories
Vice-Chair: Ashley Clouser, Lab Support
Mentors, Advisors, Peers (MAP)
Chair: Sandi Kirsch Heibel, University of Maryland College Park
Vice-Chair: Priyanka Oberoi, National Committee for Quality Assurance
To contact any of the committees listed above, please email DC.Baltimore@womeninbio.org.
WIB-Washington DC/Baltimore Past Events
Author Donna Dean Speaks to WIB Members about Getting the Most from Mentoring Relationships
During WIB’s first collaboration with AWIS-DC, members met for a casual networking session followed by a presentation on “Getting the Most out of Your Mentoring Relationships” from Donna Dean, past president of AWIS. Dr. Dean suggested starting with introspection to understand where your strengths and challenges are so that you can get the most out of working with a mentor. After reflecting on what motivates us, we can find all types of mentors, including anti-mentors, sponsors, coaches and peer mentors to help guide and support us through our careers at its various stages. Most importantly, no one mentor is enough, and your PhD advisor is not necessarily a mentor. Dr. Dean encouraged us to take the perspective both of mentees and as mentors as she discussed the advantages of peer-to-peer mentoring, including letting go of what we “should” be doing, positive reinforcement, and help through transitions and with fears. Her talk led us into small group mentoring sessions with WIB members as a preview of the WIB Mentors, Advisors, and Peers program. Participants enjoyed the opportunity to meet fellow WIB members and discuss the salient points of Dr. Dean’s presentation.
Dr. Dean’s experiences and advice are also in her book, “Getting the Most out of Your Mentoring Relationships: A Handbook for Women in STEM (Mentoring in Academia and Industry),” the profits of which go entirely to AWIS. The event was hosted by AAAS, and special thanks goes to Julia Berzhanskaya, Sandra Kirsch Heibel and Christy Harris for organizing this enjoyable and helpful event.
Sandra Heibel speaking to the audience about the WIB Mentors, Advisors and Peers program
Women In Bio DC/Baltimore Chapter Celebrates with a Holiday Gala
DC/Baltimore held their annual Holiday Gala on December 12, 2012 at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, a stunning setting in downtown D.C. Guests mingled and networked while enjoying hors d'oeuvres and the lovely background music provided by violinist Molly Hollingsworth. The highlight of the evening was the scholarship presentation to Emma Tall, a local entrepreneur working in biosensor technology. Guests were invited to tour the museum, including the popular “Women Who Rock” exhibit. Many thanks to everyone who helped make this event a success!
Young Women In Bio and ATCC Event a Huge Success
On November 8, 2012 YWIB held its second event at American Type Culture Collection (ATCC) in Manassas, VA. Forty middle school girls from VA and MD were in attendance for an evening of scientific discovery and discussion. The girls attended 3-half hour sessions, including a facility tour, panel discussion, and a hands-on experiment. The tour brought them through the ATCC facility where they discovered the qualities and layout of a functioning lab. The panel discussion featured ATCC staff members representing a variety of departments, including quality control, virus research, marketing, and sales. The women on the panel shared their educational backgrounds, career paths, and experiences, followed by a Q&A session with the girls. After the panel, the girls were given their own lab coats and performed a DNA extraction from strawberries. While the girls were attending their sessions, parents and teachers at the event attended a guest lecture titled, “Inspiring Young Women in STEM Careers” led by Dr. Elizabeth Logsdan, a biomedical engineering fellow from Johns Hopkins University. During the discussion, Dr. Logsdon described gender disparities in STEM, her personal experience as a woman in engineering, and how best to inspire, encourage, and excite girls to pursue careers and educational paths in STEM. The event concluded with a pizza party where all participants mingled and discussed what they had learned. The girls and parents had a fantastic evening, leaving with a new perspective and excitement for science!
Washington DC/Baltimore Celebrates End of Summer with LES
WIB and LES teamed up to host a joint happy hour at Elephant & Castle in downtown DC on August 9, 2012. This free event was well attended by over 60 people. WIB members enjoyed making new connections while learning more about LES, and two free memberships were raffled off. WIB looks forward to collaborating with LES in the future!
Washington DC/Baltimore Celebrates Summer En Masse at June Happy Hour
Over 50 women gathered at La Tasca in Rockville on June 14, 2012 to kick off the summer season. Guests enjoyed good food, good weather, and spirited conversation in lovely downtown Rockville.
WIB-Washington DC/Baltimore Teams Up to Support Breast Cancer Research
WIB-Washington DC/Baltimore had great representation at the Susan G. Komen "Race for the Cure" on June 3, 2012 in downtown DC. The team sported matching WIB hats which were provided by NIH Federal Credit Union. A refreshing brunch followed the charity event and was hosted by Hartmann Willner LLC. Many thanks to our sponsors and DC/Baltimore Chapter members for donating an additional $400 to the WIB team!
Interview a WIB Member, Featuring Kristan Lansbery, Ph.D., J.D.
This new series showcases WIB members as they describe the navigational tactics of climbing their own professional ladder to success. The first interview in this series is by Teresa Leet with WIB-Washington DC/Baltimore Programs Committee Chair, Kristan Lansbery, Ph.D., J.D.. Kristan is an Associate with Arnold & Porter LLP in Washington, DC, and represents her clients with “legalese” communication as she protects their intellectual property. Kristan started out wanting to be a scientist by studying molecular cell biology in her undergraduate and graduate studies. Her career path changed after an unexpected result while working on her thesis, which has given her a unique combination of skills that she uses today.
Institute for Genome Sciences (IGS) Hosts Young Women In Bio
Over 30 middle school girls and 30 parents and teachers gathered at the Institute for Genome Sciences (IGS) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in downtown Baltimore on Wednesday, May 16, 2012. This afternoon of discovering the fun and challenge of science and medical careers was led by Drs. Michelle Giglio, Joana Carneiro Da Silva, and Lisa Sadzewicz of IGS, and included a hands-on activity where DNA was extracted from strawberries. Thanks to Dr. Linda Saffer of TEDCO, Dr. Linda Yaswen-Corkery of Technology Transfer at UMB, and Sarah Pick of IGS for coordinating this wonderful event, and thanks to all of the parents and students who participated! To view a video highlighting the event, click here.
YWIB Club Members at Churchill Middle School (MD) Take Home First Prize
Congratulations and thanks to Alex Boukhavolova, an incredible student at Churchill Middle School in Montgomery County, MD, for initiating and recruiting a YWIB club at her school. During the week of March 23, 2012, five members of this club participated as judges in the Science Montgomery Annual Science Fair. YWIB had great representation and was invited back for future events. WIB-DC/Baltimore Chapter is so proud to have such incredible leaders and innovators in our midst. Thank you to Alex, YWIB leadership, and all those who support YWIB!
WIB Washington DC/Baltimore Chapter Celebrates the Holidays in Style
More than 200 guests gathered at the Glenview Mansion in Rockville, MD on December 6, 2011 to celebrate the holiday season and the official Women In Bio Washington DC/Baltimore Chapter kickoff. The manor was exquisitely adorned with holiday décor, and was the perfect setting for networking in the holiday spirit. Guests were greeted by many delightful WIB and NIHFCU volunteers at the enchanted mansion’s first floor to find refreshments and live holiday music. In addition, the second floor was opened for private tours of the Mansion’s prestigious art galleries. Guests enjoyed an evening of networking and holiday entertainment while exploring the expansive manor. The event concluded with the presentation of a gift and recognition to Deborah Bowes, WIB President, by the new WIB President Elect, Phyllis Dillinger, and a presentation of the Robbie Melton Scholarship to Ms. Xiaoxu Kang. The scholarship was presented by Juli Ann Callis, President and CEO of NIHFCU and WIB Board Member. The holiday party, which was sponsored by NIHFCU, included professionals from government organizations, industry, academia, law firms and other industry support organizations. WIB would like to thank NIHFCU for their continued sponsorship and support. The 2011 holiday party was a great success and we hope that everyone will join us again next year!
QIAGEN Hosts YWIB Event for 35 Middle School Girls
On November 10, QIAGEN hosted a YWIB event attended by approximately 35 middle school girls in Montgomery County and the Greater Washington area. Held at QIAGEN's Germantown, MD corporate office, QIAGEN scientists enthusiastically talked about their work, provided the girls with a tour of the facility, talked about the "world of microbes," and provided the students with an opportunity to participate in a few hands-on experiments. The event wrapped up with a pizza dinner and QIAGEN-donated gift giveaways. Ridgeview Middle School – designated the "pilot" YWIB middle school – was one of the schools who participated along with their teacher sponsor Ellen Polster. The event provided an exciting opportunity for young women to broaden their horizons and learn more about careers in science.
Dr. Marlene Haffner Shares Her Knowledge with Multiple WIB Chapters
On Nov. 1, Women In Bio members and friends gathered at the the J. Craig Venter Institute in Maryland and other sites in chapter locales to see and hear Dr. Marlene Haffner, former director of the Office of Orphan Products Development at the FDA. Dr Haffner discussed the current trends in Orphan Drug development and the increase in approval of Orphan Drugs through the FDA. She described the importance of treatments for orphan diseases – defined as those with less than 200,000 patients in the U.S. – and the additional exclusivity (7 years) a company can receive for a drug to treat an orphan disease.
Dr. Haffner talked about the emergence of large pharmaceutical companies into the orphan drug market with the likes of Novartis and Pfizer applying for approval of orphan drug products. She also discussed how to get orphan drug classification as well as the financial benefits of receiving orphan drug status, including tax credits and grant support.
In addition, Dr. Haffner encouraged companies to take advantage of the Office of Orphan Products Assistance, which can assist and advise companies on the drug review process and will work with companies and the FDA review board in the review of a new drug application.