North American Biotech Roadshow Featuring Graduate Students, Post-Docs and Start-Up “Do’s and Don’ts”
June 23, 2022
Rockefeller University Alumnus & Biotech Inventor Dr. Kambiz Shekdar, PhD. Photo credit: Arthur Hynes.
Co-hosted by Research Foundation to Cure AIDS and Secondcell Bio. The Roadshow includes a “Happy Hour” segment for graduate students and post-docs.
The Roadshow is designed to engage academic researchers based on the personal and professional experiences of Rockefeller University alumnus and biotech inventor, Dr. Kambiz Shekdar, Ph.D.
“As a biotech inventor, I am keenly interested to share my experiences with current graduate students and post-docs embarking on their own research careers tackling challenging projects and new adventures,” says Dr. Shekdar.
The traditional seminar format will be used to present technology and applications, including cell-based drug discovery and cell therapy. Some universities have selected an optional “Happy Hour” format as an additional segment following the lecture to encourage open discussion and interaction among interested participants pursuing their own careers and ventures in biotech.
“I think some post-docs would be especially interested in [discussing the speaker’s] experiences as a biologist and biotech inventor starting and building a biotech company,” says an organizing member of one Post-doctoral Association, adding, “This may attract more people to attend the presentation.”
Dr. Shekdar started his first biotech company based on an unexpected invention when he was a graduate student in the laboratory of his mentor, Nobel Laureate Dr. Gunter Blobel, MD, PhD. at The Rockefeller University in New York City. Upon graduation, Drs. Shekdar and Blobel co-founded Chromocell Corporation, where Dr. Shekdar served as Chief Scientific Officer. Drs. Shekdar and Blobel also created Research Foundation to Cure AIDS to use the technology to develop a globally accessible cure for AIDS. Most recently, Dr. Shekdar established Secondcell Bio as his own solo venture to build a new team to scale-up the by-now validated and automated technology. Secondcell Bio is pursuing a Public-Private Partnership in the United Arab Emirates for factory-style “drug discovery at scale.”™
The Roadshow will be used to raise awareness and build partnerships for both RFTCA’s and Secondcell Bio’s mission and goals, including partnerships with interested researchers and research universities.
A growing list of research universities and foundations are participating in the Roadshow including, in July, in-person stops at CalTech, University of California San Francisco (UCSF), University at Albany, SUNY-Polytechnic Institute and a virtual presentation at Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran. We will kick off the fall season with a presentation at Rutgers University, where Dr. Shekdar completed his undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences as a Henry Rutgers Distinguished Scholar, followed by several universities across the United States including Penn State, Kent State and University of Chicago. International destinations include Secondcell Bio’s fall symposium in Dubai, United Arab Emirates focused on the expansion of the biopharma sector in the UAE and a unique presentation that will be open to the general public at the Fikret Science Café organized by The Center for Genomics and Systems Biology at NYU Abu Dhabi.
In addition to working with graduate student and post-doctoral associations, the Roadshow invites collaboration with university career services offices and diversity and inclusion initiatives, including Black and LGBT organizations interested in the mission of Research Foundation to Cure AIDS to develop a globally accessible cure for all those in need regardless of ability to pay.
ABOUT CHROMOVERT® TECHNOLOGY
Chromovert® is an addition to the cell and genetic engineer's toolkit. Chromovert® is a broadly applicable platform technology for basic research, drug discovery, biologics production and cell therapy. Use it to create cell lines for any cell type, any gene, any application. Chromovert® uses Molecular Beacons, or Molecular Lightbulbs™, to detect and purify even exceedingly rare, optimally engineered cells expressing any one or more genes. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10529-021-03101-5.
ABOUT SECONDCELL BIO
Secondcell Bio is building greater public-private partnerships worldwide to realize the full potential of Chromovert® Technology. Originating from The Rockefeller University, the multi-use technology decreases the cost of investment and increases the likelihood of success in the pharmaceutical drug discovery process. Secondcell is making its technology available to researchers in universities around the world via a partnership with Gene Link. https://www.linkedin.com/company/secondcellbio/.
ABOUT RESEARCH FOUNDATION TO CURE AIDS (RFTCA)
RFTCA is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization that was founded to develop a cure for AIDS that is accessible and affordable for all. The law firm Morrison & Foerster LLP and advertising agency Havas Health Plus represent RFTCA on a pro bono basis, RFTCA’s Board of Directors includes scientists affiliated with The Rockefeller University. https://rftca.org/.
To schedule a stop as part of the Roadshow, contact Fabienne Duchini, Technology Outreach, Secondcell Bio at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For press inquiries, contact J. Dianne Dotson, Public Relations, Secondcell Bio at email@example.com and/or Allison Ceraso, Communications Director, RFTCA at firstname.lastname@example.org.