"I’m developing vaccines that better mimic pathogens and can activate the memory of the immune system as if it was the real thing, derived from harmless bacteria. These types of vaccines are very versatile, safe, and easy to produce. My particular project focuses on combining different immune activators on one molecule to enhance the immune response." Read more about Mariela Rivera-De Jesús
Alumni Spotlight: Emily Brooks, Ph.D. 2012
Emily Brooks received her Ph.D. in the Fischbach-Teschl Lab in 2012. Her research focused on the role of host tissue stem cells in breast tumorigenesis, specifically evaluating the ability of these cells to alter the tumor microenvironment through chemical and mechanical cues in a manner that contributes to tumor growth.
After graduating, Brooks took a postdoctoral position at Boston Biomedical, Inc. (BBI), a pharmaceutical company focused on the development of oncology therapeutics. She rapidly gained extensive industry experience in optimization of in vivo models for drug development, pharmacodynamic assessments, and identification of biomarkers. Her position has transitioned since joining the company. Originally, her work focused on lab analysis to better understand the drug compounds in development, with a focus on research. As she gained more industry experience, she also gained a better understanding of the clinical development process through management of contracted research organizations, eventually leading her to her current position as the director of the Biomarker Assay Development and Companion Diagnostics group at BBI. In this position, she oversees the development of assays to identify biomarkers for all compounds in the pipeline and ensures assays required to select for treatment meet regulatory standards required of companion diagnostics. The in-depth evaluation of the tumor microenvironment continues to play a central role in her current position as she works to understand the mechanisms of action that allow new compounds to be effective in the oncology field.