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Bioprocessing Student Spotlight - Michelle Pesce
For this student spotlight, we asked Michelle Pesce, MBS 2011, about her background prior to attending KGI. She attended Santa Clara University where she was a premed student majoring in Biology and minored in Biotechnology. During her undergrad she worked in a biochemistry/molecular biology lab for her senior honors thesis where she acquired a strong foundation in applied science and laboratory techniques. Michelle became interested in science and technology management when she interned at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
“KGI seemed like a natural fit that would allow me to combine my interests in science and research, healthcare and business.”
During her first year at KGI, Michelle served as the first year Ethics and Judicial Chair and launched The Kethical Dilemma—KGI’s premier newsletter devoted to bioethics debate. Michelle also had the opportunity to participate on the Gilead Sciences Inc. sponsored Team Master’s Project (TMP), conducting due diligence on in-licensing for biologic products. Michelle investigated monoclonal antibody manufacturing and whether a company should develop in-house capabilities or partner with contract manufacturers. After presenting the results of their work, Michelle and the Gilead TMP team toured the Gilead small molecule manufacturing plant in the Bay Area.
In Professor Croughan’s Bioprocessing Principles course (ALS 331), Michelle began to see many parallels between her undergraduate research and modern industrial bioprocessing techniques used by many biotech companies. The commercial manufacturing process continues to interest Michelle who looks forward to her internship at Genentech as an Operations Rotation Development Program (ORDP) analyst this summer.
Michelle learned about the internship through a fellow KGI and Santa Clara University alumnus who was instrumental in handling her resume to the right people at Genentech—professional networking is important and highly stressed at KGI. From her internship Michelle wants to gain an understanding of the biopharmaceutical industry and to start her career in biotech with Genentech after graduation from KGI. We wish Michelle all the best with her work this summer and beyond.
By Mike Hoang (MBS '10)