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PhD Student Attends Conference in Switzerland

MBS alumni and current PhD student Elizabeth Henderson recently attended the sixth annual conference on Plant-Based Vaccines, Antibodies & Biologics in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The conference provided the space for an international forum of researchers, clinicians and representatives from academia, industry and government/regulatory/public health organizations to review the current state of research in plant protein expression systems, down-stream processing technology, the pipeline of products now in development (including vaccines, monoclonal antibodies and human enzymes), and efforts in using these technologies in areas beyond human health (including disease prevention in animals and aquaculture).

Henderson, who is currently working on plant based vaccines with Dr. Larry Grill found the experience meaningful. “Since the people and companies in this field are spread across the globe, the conference provided a great opportunity for me to meet a variety of experts who I will now feel more comfortable contacting in the future if I have any questions about my project. Also, I met the CEO of a company who invited me to visit their offices to discuss a collaboration, which I think will be a great help in ensuring my project will be relevant to industry.”

While having the opportunity to learn more about what other labs and companies are working on Henderson said the most important take home piece was realizing the research that the Grill lab is doing at KGI is unique. “Very few other labs or companies are working on vaccines in a similar manner.  It’s nice to know that you are working on something novel.”

Elizabeth said what initially drew her to KGI was that the curriculum was created specifically for the purpose of merging science and business. “All the other PSM programs I looked at just threw together classes from their business and science departments. Also, I really liked the idea of getting real-world experience via the TMP.”

Reflecting on her KGI experience, Henderson said, “I really like that the faculty and staff know each student by name. Also, the ties that KGI has to industry are impressive.  It provides students with great opportunities to network.”