UMass BTP Fall Symposium 2017


Symposium 2017 Itinerary

Winning the Battle with Cancer

UMass Amherst Life Science Laboratory 330

November 3, 2017

9:00 Welcome

9:10 Keynote Address – Rich Murray of Jounce Pharmaceuticals – Immunology Meets Oncology: Breakthroughs in Immunotherapy

9:40 Yoon J. Choi  of Blueprint Medicines – Discovery and development of BLU-554 for the targeted treatment of advanced HCC

10:10 Timothy Clackson of Ariad Pharmaceuticals – Designing kinase inhibitors to overcome acquired resistance in cancer

10:40 Stuart Fisher of C4 Therapeutics – Targeted Protein Degradation as a Novel Therapeutic Approach

11:10 Justin Scheer of Boehringer Ingelheim – of Antibody Engineering – Strategies to Improve T-Cell-Dependent Bispecific Antibodies

11:40 am Closing Remarks & Meet the speakers One speaker + 5-7 students

12:00 pm Biotech Battles Team Assembly and Project Charge

12:30 pm Rotational Connections Lunch – Each speaker will be seated at a table and talk with a different group of students during each of three courses.

2:00 pm Biotech Battles. Interdisciplinary teams of students and Industrial Experts will work together to propose solutions to real-world Biotech  problems.

4:00 pm Team presentations – 7-8 minutes each 5:00 pm Sound Bites Happy Hour  Mixer

5:45 pm Biotech Battles Award Ceremony 6:00 pm Departure



Biotech Battles Description:

In this competition, selected participants will be working as members of an interdisciplinary team composed of 5-6 graduate students and an industry expert. The team will be given a real world biotech problem and will be tasked to pitch a feasible solution. Teams will have approximately 2.5 hours to work together on the day of the event. On the day prior the Symposium, each team will learn about the general topic of their problem, but the exact problem will only be announced on the day of the Symposium. At the end of the competition, teams will present their solutions (~ 7-8 minutes).  The audience and the judging committee will decide the winner of the competition.

This competition provides a great opportunity to learn about new approaches and perspectives, work on a diverse interdisciplinary team and gain firsthand experience of working with biotech industry professionals. Participating in the event also provides the opportunity to network with peers across a variety of departments and hone an industrial perspective.

UMass alumnus, the keynote speaker Rich Murray, CEO and President of Jounce Pharmaceuticaks, opened the morning session with a talk on breakthroughs in immunotherapy.

Justin Scheer from Boehringer Ingelheim talks about strategies to improve T-cell dependent bi-specific antibodies.

UMass alumnus Yoon Choi from Blueprint Medicines talks about discovery and development of BLU-554.

Stewart Fischer from C4 Therapeutics is presenting his talks on Targeted Protein Degradation.

Tim Clackson, former CSO and President of Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc., is talking about designing kinase inhibitors to overcome acquired resistance in cancer.

For PREP Chemistry student Kevin Ramos (in blue) participating in Biotech Battles provided an opportunity to interact and work side-by-side both with an industrial expert Stewart Fisher (front right) as well as PhD students from different programs and department including a senior PhD student in Veterinary and Animal Sciences Ketan Mathavan (right center).

Working moment of the Biotech Battles Team led by Justin Scheer (left front) that has been voted for as “The Best Biotech Battle Team”. Great team work for BTP Trainees Heather Sherman (center left) and Ning-Hsuan Tseng (left rear) and their team mates!

It was a long and rich day for BTP Symposium 2017 participants, but it was great to see smiling faces at the end of the day.

Team lead by Rich Murray (center right) is brainstorming ideas to solve its “real-world” biotech problem. BTP Trainee Chemical Engineering Xiangan Li is providing his perspective on the problem solution while senior MCB student Sid Advani is preparing the presentation.

Team led by Yoon Choi (third left) is in the middle of discussion – Chemistry student Derrick MacPherson is getting final suggestions from his team mates suggestions before presenting.