Featuring Drs Fatah Kashanchi and Heather Branscome
Fatah Kashanchi, PhD
Professor, George Mason University
Dr. Kashanchi is a tenured Professor at George Mason University (GMU) and the Director of the Laboratory of Molecular Virology. His research focuses on the mechanisms of viral gene expression and the dynamics of viral replication and host survival. He has published 220 peer reviewed manuscripts (h index = 59), served as an editorial board and reviewer for numerous scientific journals, and is a regular NIH study section member. Recently, Dr. Kashanchi's lab has concentrated on the roles of EVs and exosomes in viral infections. He received his Ph.D. in Microbiology at the University of Kansas and then moved to the National Cancer Institute prior to coming to GMU.
Heather Branscome, MS, PhD
Supervisor, Laboratory Operations, ATCC
Heather Branscome is a Lead Biologist in Manufacturing Science and Technology at ATCC. She has over 13 years of cross-functional experience working in both cell and molecular biology laboratories. In her current role she leads technology transfer activities for a wide range of products including exosomes/extracellular vesicles, CRISPR/Cas9 engineered cell lines, and induced pluripotent stem cells. She earned her MS in Cell and Molecular Biology from George Mason University and recently earned a PhD in Biosciences. Her primary research interests surround the advanced purification of EVs and the functional analysis of stem cell EVs in the context of CNS repair.
Extracellular vesicles such as exosomes are an emerging area of interest for scientists in both the academic and biopharma communities. In this episode, Drs. Kashanchi and Branscome discuss the future of EV research. A major hurdle to overcome will be purification, because the function of EVs comes from the cells from which they were derived, their size, and their cargo. Additionally, they discuss the synergistic relationship between ATCC Laboratory Operations and the George Mason University (GMU) Laboratory of Molecular Virology and how it could be a model for other collaborations between industry and academia.
David Yarmosh, MS
Senior Bioinformatician, ATCC
David Yarmosh is a senior bioinformatician in ATCC’s Sequencing and Bioinformatics Center. He’s a graduate of New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering. He has been working in large data aggregation and analysis since 2013 and microbial genomics with a focus on biosurveillance R&D efforts since 2016. David has led international training exercises in Peru and Senegal, sharing metagenomic analytical capabilities. His interests include genomics database construction, metadata collection, drug resistance mechanisms, bioinformatics standards, and machine learning. Since joining ATCC in 2020, he has helped develop the podcast Behind the Biology, which he now hosts.