2023 NEBSA Symposium Speaker Bios (in alphabetical order)
Patrick Conley, MS, CBSP(ABSA) is the Director of IBC Operations at Clinical Biosafety Services, a subsidiary of Sabai Global. In this role, Patrick and his team of credentialed biosafety and clinical safety professionals provide IBC, Biosafety, and Infection Prevention services to healthcare providers, nurses, and clinical research personnel conducting human gene transfer research at clinics and hospital facilities across the continental United States and beyond. Patrick has a bachelor’s in Microbiology and a master’s degree in Industrial Hygiene, and is a certified Biosafety Professional, a licensed Emergency Medical Technician, and a certified Mold Consultant. Prior to coming to Clinical Biosafety Services, Patrick spent 7 years working on sexually transmitted diseases, invasive diseases, biotoxins, and select agents and toxins and 13 years as a Director within the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center’s Office of Safety and Business Continuity. Through his director’s role, Patrick managed UT Southwestern’s IBC, Chemical Safety Committee, select agent and toxin program, biosafety program, chemical safety program, industrial hygiene program, hazardous waste program, and environmental compliance program. Patrick has worked with the S.T.A.R.S Program, UT Southwestern, and the Dallas Independent School District to encourage high school students to enter the fields of science and medicine. He and his family enjoy traveling, hiking, and the outdoor life, especially when it involves mountains, snow, and wildlife.
Sierra Downs holds the position of Training and Emergency Planning Program Manager at the Boston University National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories (NEIDL). In that capacity, Sierra plays a pivotal role in supporting the BSL-3 and BSL-4 training program, where she serves as a BSL-4 trainer. Additionally, she is responsible for overseeing and spearheading local and federally regulated exercises and drills. Sierra brings with her four years of hands-on virology research experience in both BSL-2 and BSL-4 environments.
Matthew Frieman, PhD is the Alicia and Yaya Foundation Professor of Pathogen Research and a Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the The University of Maryland School of Medicine. He chairs the school’s Center for Pathogen Research and serves as an affiliate member of the Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health. Dr. Freeman received his PhD from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and completed postdoctoral training at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He serves on the Editorial Board for Viruses, serves on WHO SARS Working Groups for Assay and Animal Models, and the on the NIAID Variant Testing Working Group. In 2021, he was named a COVID-19 Hero by the Maryland Daily Record.
Mitch Galanek, Director, Institutional Radiation Safety Officer, MIT
Jack Geissert is founder and President of Safety For NonProfits, Inc. Jack has over 45 years of experience as an EHS professional and was in EHS leadership roles with major biopharmaceutical and vaccine companies for 20+ years. Since retiring from paid work in 2017, Jack has dedicated his professional EHS work to pro bono service to nonprofit organizations.
Betsy Gilman Duane, RBP(ABSA), CBSP (ABSA), is a biosafety consultant with over 35 years of experience in academia, industry, and consulting. She is an active ABSA International member and Past-President. Recognizing that the biosafety profession has a lot of expertise that non-profits will find valuable, she joined S4NP (Safety For NonProfits) as a volunteer.
Caitlyn Hauke, PhD, RBP(ABSA), CBSP (ABSA), is a biosafety professional specializing in clinical biosafety and human gene transfer research. Caitlyn has previous experience in academic laboratory biosafety as the former biosafety officer at Dartmouth College. She currently provides Institutional Biosafety Committee services and gene therapy risk assessments for clinical trial sites nationwide. Caitlyn has also served as a member of IACUC and IRB.
Kara Held, PhD, brings an extensive knowledge of Cell Biology, Pharmacology, and Biosafety to The Baker Company. Prior to her coming on board, she was a Lab Manager, Safety Officer, and Researcher at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute. She earned her Ph.D. at the University of Vermont Cell and Molecular Biology Program, Department of Pharmacology and then completed her postdoctoral training at Yale University in the Vascular Biology and Therapeutics Program. Her recent experience in academic research brings a unique perspective, familiarity and hands-on knowledge base with laboratory science. As the Science Director for Baker, she has helped provide some clarity into the nuances of Biosafety through the use of Biosafety Cabinets.
Partha Krishnan, PhD, started his career as a bench scientist and transitioned to career in occupational health and safety spanning over a decade where he has held positions of increasing responsibilities at UCLA, Yale and Harvard before his current position at Sanofi where he is the Biosafety and Sustainability for North America Workplace Experience
Fahim Manzur, RBP(ABSA) has over 14 years of experience in biosafety, training, facilities management, regulatory compliance, and biocontainment engineering. The majority of his experience comes from the Plum Island Animal Disease Center (PIADC) high-containment laboratory where he worked as both a consultant and as part of the Facility/Operations and Maintenance contractor. Fahim currently works for Merrick & Company where he has expanded his knowledge base and experience in support of several high containment laboratories within the United States and Mexico. Fahim graduated from Boston University with a bachelor’s in biomedical engineering and from the University of Connecticut with a master’s in biomedical engineering.
Ted Myatt, ScD, is Associate Vice President for Research Integrity at Tufts University. Prior to moving to Tufts last May, Ted was at the University of Rhode Island , where he led the Office of Sponsored Projects, the Office of Research Integrity, and the Comparative Biology Resource Center. Before joining URI, Ted led the life science practice for the consulting firm, Environmental Health and Engineering, Inc. (EH&E). Ted also serves as an IBC member at several local academic institutions. He received a Bachelor’s of Science in microbiology at the University of Illinois, a Master’s of Environmental Management at Duke University, and a Doctorate of Science at the Harvard School of Public Health
Lt. Bryan O’Neil, Cambridge Fire Department
Erik Pietrowicz, RBP(ABSA), is the current biosafety officer for Dartmouth College, where he also helps lead the hazmat response program, is involved in campus-wide emergency planning, and has served as interim radiation safety officer. Erik previously worked in cell biology research followed by several years as a paramedic and college educator prior to joining Dartmouth EHS.
Amy Razukiewicz, RBP(ABSA), is Associate Director, EHS Biosafety Officer at the Broad Institute. While new to the Broad, Amy has 15 years of experience in Biosafety and all facets of EHS. Most experience comes from New York Medical College where Amy moved into positions of expanding responsibility and most recently served as Director, EHS. In this role Amy served as Biosafety officer, Select Agent Responsible Official, Radiation Safety Officer, and Dental Clinical Compliance/Infection Prevention Officer for Touro College of Dental Medicine.
Mohsan Saeed, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Biochemistry at the Boston University School of Medicine and an Investigator at the National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories of Boston University, studying coronaviruses, enteroviruses, and flaviviruses. His group investigates virus-host interactions with a special focus on the role of viral proteases in virus replication and disease pathogenesis. Before joining Boston University, he was at the Rockefeller University in New York, where he did his postdoc with Dr. Charles M. Rice. His postdoctoral work was focused on tissue culture systems of hepatitis C virus (HCV) and on viral proteases. Dr. Saeed obtained his PhD from the University of Tokyo, Japan, where he was mentored by Dr. Takaji Wakita. During his PhD, he studied HCV pathogenesis in chimpanzees, demonstrated the role of endoplasmic reticulum in HCV infection, and established an HCV replication system for genotype 3a. According to LinkedIn, his hobby is to sit back, relax, and think how to spend his free time ;)
Peter Towner is an Assistant Director of Emergency Management at Tufts University. Peter coordinates, plans, and facilitates emergency exercises and training at the university. Prior to working at Tufts, Peter served as a federal law enforcement officer for 23 years, had roles in training and education, as well as planning emergency exercises with multiple stakeholders. Peter received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in International Studies and a Master of Science degree from Massachusetts Maritime Academy in Emergency Management.
Charles Watts serves as President and Managing Member of Clym Environmental Services, LLC (Clym). With extensive experience in Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) consultancy, he has served in a variety of capacities including Radiation Safety Officer for governmental entities, Senior Safety Trainer for major pharmaceutical companies, Hazmat / Waste Manager for colleges and universities and Senior Project Manager for decommissioning of major facilities. Clym provides three primary lines of business: Safety Support, Waste Management and Decommissioning services for the life sciences, pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. For more than twenty years Mr. Watts has overseen Clym’s expansion and growth, including their comprehensive regulated medical waste (RMW) management service.