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WIB Capital Region Hosts Annual Holiday Party 2017

Posted By Breezy Lachance, Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Another great WIB event and WIB year for the record books! At a beautiful private room at All Set in Silver Spring, the mood was joyous and supportive. Long-time WIB members and newcomers from various organizations and stages of their careers, came together to close out 2017. Kayla Valdes, Chapter Chair, led with remarks to recap the exciting 2017 happenings and make a new announcement about the chapter. The founding chapter rebranded in the fall to become the Capital Region Chapter of Women in Bio, reflecting even more the growing BioHealth Capital Region initiative in the greater DMV. This change also reflects a new initiative to broaden the impact and reach to include more events in Northern Virginia, Frederick, and beyond. In fact, January's event will be held at Greenberg Traurig LLC in Tyson's Corner, where attendees will learn about the "startup mindset" from Amita Shukla. WIB-Capital Region also established the chapter's first Advisory Board, which is comprised of 5 long-time WIB members, who Kayla thanked for sharing their wealth of experience as entrepreneurs and executives. After highlighting all of the chapter leadership, Kayla invited everyone to share their interest in joining them in 2018!

Those who completed a volunteer interest form were entered into a raffle, with an Amazon gift card and WIB event vouchers at stake. Although the raffle is over, volunteer interest forms are still being accepted to capitalregion@womeninbio.org! Last, Kayla announced that in late 2018, the chapter will be re-instating the Annual Dinner, a long-standing tradition which will highlight women in bio across the region. Kayla also warmly thanked the Chapter Sponsors, several of which were in attendance. Maria Vassileva of Social and Scientific Systems had warm words for WIB. Maria currently leads MAPs efforts and especially cheered its mentoring components. Lisa Richardson, a WIB-Capital Region Advisory Board member, was in attendance to represent WIB's newest sponsor -- Emergent BioSolutions. After more sangria, soft drinks, business card exchanges, and delicious food, goodbyes and well wishes were exchanged. Many attendees picked up flyers listing the plans for 2018 events, which can also be found here. 2018, here we come!

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YWIB Capital Region Attends 3rd Annual STEM Event for Young Women, November 2017

Posted By Breezy Lachance, Tuesday, June 4, 2019

In November, the 3rd Annual STEM Event for Young Women was held at the University of Maryland Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center. Hosted by the laboratory of Dr. Rena Lapidus in partnership with Young Women In Bio (YWIB) Capital Region, and supported by the National Cancer Institute Continuing Umbrella of Research Experiences (CURE) program, this event was attended by 28 high school ladies from 5 schools. Students isolated DNA from cancer cells under the supervision of graduate students, and then spoke to women professionals, including a genetic counselor, oncologist, laboratory technician, nurse, and biomedical engineer. After eating pizza and talking with the panelists, students toured a drug discovery lab, saw the massive robotic freezer, and toured the mouse facility.

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YWIB-Capital Region Flies High at the MDBio Foundation 2017 ATLAS Expo

Posted By Breezy Lachance, Tuesday, June 4, 2019

This past November Young Women In Bio (YWIB) Capital Region donned our signature pink lab coats at MDBio Foundation’s “Advancing Tomorrow’s Leaders in STEM” (ATLAS) Expo. This year, the ATLAS Expo was hosted at the College Park Aviation Museum on the University of Maryland College Park Campus. ATLAS connects students typically underrepresented in STEM fields with business leaders, colleges, government, and potential employers. YWIB attended the ATLAS Expo to discuss careers in the biological sciences, to publicize upcoming extracurricular programs, and to promote the power of networking in career advancement. During the Expo, YWIB had a hands-on display of fluorescence in biological imaging and information materials on upcoming programs. Over 100 high school students visited the YWIB booth over the course of the afternoon, and we connected with area STEM coordinators to promote future collaborations. It was an inspiring day under the equally inspiring backdrop of the aviation museum.

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WIB Capital Region Hosts Gene Therapy Panel, October 11, 2017

Posted By Breezy Lachance, Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Gene therapy – introduction of genetic material into patients – is being hailed as the future of medicine. With three therapies having already received regulatory approval and approximately three thousand clinical trials being currently conducted, gene therapy is helping patients suffering from devastating genetic and acquired diseases such as cystic fibrosis and diverse cancers. The Capital Region chapter of WIB hosted an event entitled “Hot Topics – Gene Therapy” at University of Maryland BioPark on October 11, 2017 featuring two experts on the topic. Dr. Karen Kozarsky, the President of BioPartners with more than 20 years of experience in gene therapy, introduced the audience to the basic concepts and the inherent challenges of this new technology. Dr. Lynne Fahey McGrath, Vice-President of Regulatory Affairs at RegenxBio with 30 years of experience in pharmaceutical industry, informed the audience about the perspective of the regulatory agencies. Gene therapy introduces the genetic material into the patient either in vivo – where the DNA is packaged into a vector such as a modified virus and injected into the patient – or ex vivo – where the cells of an individual patient are harvested and genetically modified before introducing them back into the patient. The same in vivo therapy can potentially be injected into a group of patients once the safety and efficacy of this therapy was demonstrated. New therapies can utilize these already tested virus vectors with specified proteins coats to speed up the approval process. The complexities of ex vivo therapies come from their precision medicine status where modified cells of each patient need their own set of validation and testing. Certain gene therapies bring hope of life to patients condemned to certain death but they come at a cost. Long-term side effects of gene therapies are still unknown but predictions include virus-associated secondary tumors. Despite the challenges and barriers, gene therapy is at the fore-front of everyone’s mind.

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WIB-Capital Region: End-of-Summer Networking Happy Hour, August 23, 2017

Posted By Breezy Lachance, Tuesday, June 4, 2019

On August 23, 2017, the DC/Baltimore chapter of Women In Bio hosted an End-of-Summer networking happy hour at Summer House Santa Monica in Bethesda, MD.

The event kicked off with drinks and appetizers, followed by networking and icebreaker games. In addition, our chapter announced leadership changes: Kayla Valdes, former MAPs Co-Chair and chapter Vice President, will step up to assume the role of Chapter President. Lindsay D’Ambrosio, former Co-Chair for the chapter’s Programs Committee, will take over as Chapter Vice President.

The event was a great success, and we’d like to extend a sincere thanks to our sponsors and Summer House Santa Monica for hosting us. We’d also like to thank Julia Pinkhasov, our former Chapter President, for her service in leading our chapter for the past two years. We hope to see you at our September event where we will host a discussion regarding the regulatory impacts of the 21st Century Cures Act!

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WIB-Capital Region: "Honing Communication Skills for Better Leadership" Workshop, July 27, 2017

Posted By Breezy Lachance, Monday, June 3, 2019

On July 27, 2017, the WIB-DC/Baltimore chapter hosted a professional development event titled “Honing Communication Skills for Better Leadership.”

The evening started off with refreshments and networking, followed by an insightful presentation led by Dr. Kristin Backstrom, a business psychologist at the Centers for Motivation.

During this interactive workshop, Dr. Backstrom helped participants learn to analyze others’ criteria and motivations so they can figure out the best way to engage and lead them: Does one work more toward goals, or does she focus more on avoiding risks? Does someone else gain personal satisfaction from external feedback, or does she process success more internally? Does a third person prefer exploring options for solving a problem, or does she feel more comfortable following structured steps?

Dr. Backstrom also offered guidance on how to identify where people fall on the spectrum of criteria and motivations, and what type of language to use when engaging with them. We extend our sincere thanks to Dr. Backstrom and our sponsors for helping make this event a huge success.

We hope to see you at our End-of-Summer networking happy hour on August 23rd!

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WIB-Capital Region: Career Preparation Workshop, May 23, 2017

Posted By Breezy Lachance, Monday, June 3, 2019

WIB DC/Baltimore and AWIS Bethesda Co-Host Career Preparation Workshop

On May 23, 2017, the WIB-DC/Baltimore and AWIS-Bethesda chapters co-hosted an engaging workshop aimed at helping attendees prepare for the next steps in their careers.

The event led off with a presentation from executive career coach Patricia Reich, who discussed strategies for being a compelling and successful candidate during job interviews. She gave wonderful tips on how to best prepare for an interview, including describing the five-stage interview process in-depth, and offering insight into what participants should focus their time on while preparing for their interviews. Attendees then broke off into small groups to have their resumes evaluated by recruiters from leading companies in the DC/Baltimore area.

The event was a huge success, and we’d like to extend our sincerest thanks to the Rockville Public Library for providing a venue for our event, as well as to the AWIS Bethesda chapter for helping to co-host. We’d also like to thank Patricia Reich and our resume evaluators for taking their time to help our members. We look forward to seeing you at our summer potluck networking event!

 

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WIB-Capital Region: Mentors, Advisors, and Peers Group Kickoff Event, April 25, 2017

Posted By Breezy Lachance, Monday, June 3, 2019

On April 25, 2017, WIB-DC/Baltimore hosted a Mentors, Advisors, and Peers (MAPs) group kickoff event titled “Networking and Best Practices Sharing.”

The evening started with networking and refreshments, followed by a panel discussion led by former and current group leaders on their experiences in the MAPs program and the benefits of being a part of a peer-mentoring group. Attendees then broke off into small groups and were given different example discussion topics to simulate what occurs during MAPs peer group meetings.

WIB-DC/Baltimore would like to thank our event sponsor, Kitchology, as well as the Germantown Innovation Center for providing our venue. We especially wish to thank our panelists, who gave a lot of great insight into how MAPs programs are run. Please join us later this month for our May event, “Planning the Next Steps in Your Career,” which will be co-hosted with the Association for Women in Science (AWIS).

 

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WIB-Capital Region: Interactive Self-Discovery Workshop, March 22, 2017

Posted By Breezy Lachance, Monday, June 3, 2019

WIB-DC/Baltimore Celebrates Women's History Month with Interactive Self-Discovery Workshop

On March 22, 2017, Sherry Marts of S*mart Consulting, LCC shared tips with the WIB-DC/Baltimore Chapter on how to figure out what one really wants to do with her education, training, and experience.

Dr. Marts kicked-off the interactive workshop by asking participants to write down a 3-item gratitude list. She said practicing this daily can help generate a personal database of happiness. Dr. Marts then walked participants though a guided meditation. She noted that being in tune with your physical presence can help guide you in the decision making process.

Other activities during the session included role-playing on how to effectively say “No” and discussions on climbing outside one’s comfort zone.

WIB-DC/Baltimore would like to extend our sincere thanks to Dr. Marts and our sponsors for helping shape this engaging event.

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WIB-Capital Region: "From Bench to Market" Event, February 23, 2017

Posted By Breezy Lachance, Monday, June 3, 2019

WIB-DC/Baltimore’s "From Bench to Market" Event was a Great Success!

On February 23, 2017, the WIB-DC/Baltimore chapter presented an interactive panel titled “From Bench to Market.” The event, held at Johns Hopkins University’s Montgomery Campus, kicked off with networking followed by an engaging discussion from DC/Baltimore-area biotech leaders regarding the drug development pathway in industry.

This expert panel included Neta Nelson, Associate Director, Clinical Operations and Projects, Technical Resources International, Inc.; Maura Kahn, Vice President, Business Development and Marketing, Noxilizer, Inc.; and Kathy Webb, Senior Director GMP Operations, Paragon Bioservices, Inc. The discussion was moderated by Lynn Johnson Langer, Program Director, Sr. Lecturer, Johns Hopkins University, and President Emeritus/Board Director for Women In Bio.

These panelists discussed a wide range of topics that included the drug manufacturing process, what goes into developing appropriate clinical trials, and what constitutes “success” in biotech. The discussion made it clear that drug development is a highly collaborative effort involving scientists of different expertise, FDA regulatory officials, and marketing specialists. However, what may have been the most important take-away was that it is important for individuals involved in drug development to avoid getting bogged down by failure, and to invest in their professional development by continuing to learn.

The WIB-DC/Baltimore chapter extends our sincere thanks to our panelists, moderator, and sponsors for helping shape this wonderful and engaging event. We hope you will join us next month for our Women’s History Month event, “Beliefs, Habits, and Boundaries—Tools for Creating the Life You Want” on March 22, 2017!

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