Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) President Sheldon Schuster has announced Sue Behrens as the George B. and Joy Rathmann Professor in Bioprocessing and Director of the Amgen Bioprocessing Center, effective July 29, 2019.
“Dr. Behrens is an innovative leader in the life sciences industry and possesses more than 25 years of global experience in bioprocessing,” Schuster said.
“She has tremendous vision for the development of KGI bioprocessing and we know she will develop even more career pathways for our alumni to thrive in industry.”
As part of her new role at KGI, Behrens will lead the Master of Engineering in Biopharmaceutical Processing (MEng), an intensive two-year program housed within the Amgen Bioprocessing Center at KGI. The program trains students to become bioprocess engineering professionals employed within the biopharmaceutical industry.
Top employers of KGI’s MEng graduates include Amgen, Atara, Boehringer Ingelheim, Cell Care Therapeutics, Genentech, Gilead, Kite Pharma, Nohla Therapeutics, Sartorius, and Zoetis.
“I am excited to develop the bioprocessing program to train new talent for the biopharmaceutical industry as it continues to grow,” Behrens said. “This is an incredible opportunity to interact with the next generation of bioprocessing scientists and to enhance the collaboration between the industry and academic research.”
Prior to joining KGI, Behrens served as the Senior Director for Process Engineering at Integrated Project Solutions (IPS) in Blue Bell, PA. Within that role, she developed innovative and cost-effective solutions for complex research and manufacturing facilities within the life sciences industry.
Before the five years she spent at IPS, Behrens held progressive leadership positions with Merck & Co., Inc. for 20 years. Starting her career in technical operations supporting large-scale fermentation operations, she held positions of increasing responsibility in research and development, as well as capital team leadership.
Subsequently, she oversaw sterile process technology and engineering functions at Merck’s largest site, including the launch of four new products. She also led Merck-Schering Plough’s biologics science integration efforts. Ultimately, as Senior Director, Biologics Manufacturing Science & Commercialization, Behrens provided biologics manufacturing technology leadership at multiple development and manufacturing sites worldwide.
Behrens earned a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan.
She maintains affiliations with the International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineers, Women in Bio, and BioProcess International organizations.