MARBIONC :: Business of Biotechnology Program


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Post-Doctoral Program in Business of Biotechnology

A unique program, started in 2005, that offers post-doctoral fellows the chance to work on cutting-edge research in marine biotechnology while getting their Master of Business Administration at UNCW's Cameron School of Business. Fellows are enrolled in an MBA program for working professionals that meets two evenings a week as well as one Saturday a month at UNCW.

Current Business of Biotechnology Fellows

Dr. Hugh Crews joins the Business of Biotechnology program from North Carolina State University where he completed his Ph.D. in Statistics.  His dissertation research involved the development of effective approaches for selecting interactions in regression and data mining applications.  His research interests include data mining, factor screening, and modern regression and dimension reduction techniques. His primary focus is on the design and analysis of bioassay experiments in the Baden lab.

Dr. Yanhui Meng joins the Business of Biotechnology program from UNCW-CMS, where she did her postdoc in Marine Natural Product Chemistry field.  She was working on isolation and structural elucidation of bioactive molecules from marine microorganisms. She earned her PhD in Organic Chemistry in Zhongshan (SunYat-sen) University in China.  Before she joined UNCW-CMS, she worked as a postdoc at Cancer Research Institute in Arizona State University on finding anticancer drug leads from marine and territory plants.  Dr. Meng is now using her backgrounds in natural product chemistry to search for antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial compounds mainly from marine bacteria and dinoflagellete which can be developed into new drugs.

Recent Graduates

Dr. Md. Shah Alam joined the Business of Biotechnology program from the Lab of Aquatic Animal Nutrition, Kagoshima University where he completed his Ph.D. and JSPS Postdoctoral Research Fellowship on fish and shrimp nutrition and feed technology. As a fish nutritionist, Dr. Alam completed research on development of cost-effective, environmentally sound and nutritionally balanced commercial feed for the mariculture of southern flounder and black sea bass.

Dr. Francie Coblentz is a graduate of the University of California Santa Barbara where she earned her Ph.D. in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Eye Institute in Bethesda, MD. She has validated a competitive ELISA for brevetoxin for acceptance by the AOAC and she is currently working on devising a kit for the detection of brevetoxin in water samples from the field.She recently completed her Masters in Business Administration through the Business of Biotechnology Program in May 2008.

Dr. Michael DeTure joined the Business of Biotechnology program from the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL, where he studied Alzheimer's Disease. As a protein chemist, Dr. DeTure's research included gathering more information about how an antitoxin originating in marine algae can be successfully used to treat cystic fibrosis.

Dr. Patrick M. Erwin joins the Business of Biotechnology program from the Department of Biology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he completed his Ph.D. on sponge-bacteria symbioses in the coral reef environment.  Using his background in marine microbiology and genetics, Dr. Erwin is currently researching the role bacteria play in inducing settlement of reef-building coral larvae.

Dr. Julie Gauthier joined the Business of Biotechnology Program from Loyola University New Orleans. She received her PhD from University of Maryland at the Center of Marine Biotechnology with postdoctoral studies at Johns Hopkins University. She worked on the identification of Perkinsus marinus disease resistance and developing real-time PCR assays for commercial application of parasite detection in oysters.

Dr. Susanna López-Legentil joins the Business of Biotechnology program from the University of Barcelona (Spain) and Perpignan (France) graduating cum laude with a Ph.D in Biological Science. She obtained a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the National Center for Scientific Research in France, and a Fulbright Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the Center for Marine Science working on genetics and gene expression in marine invertebrates. Dr. López-Legentil is now working on metagenomics as a way to obtain bioactive secondary metabolites from marine organisms.

Dr. Kimberly Mayer joined the Business of Biotechnology program from Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York. Dr. Mayer was responsible for running the molecular biology arm of the group focusing on the development of marine pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals, bioengineered natural products, novel enzymes and biosynthetic pathways.

Dr. Mary Wolf joins the Business of Biotechnology program from the Laboratory for Sensory Ecology, Bowling Green State University where she completed her Ph.D. on neural and behavioral responses to complex odor stimuli. She obtained her first postdoctoral position here at UNCW working on characterizing the role chemical signals play in motivating feeding behavior in mollusks and cnidarians. Dr. Wolf is now using her background in neurophysiology to investigate the use of brevetoxins and their derivatives for the development of pharmaceuticals to treat a myriad of neuropathic disorders.


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