- Posted by Rob Crory
- On November 14, 2019
What’s the old saying? What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas? Well, what if one of the Boston Area Chapter’s talented student members was part of a team resolving the “infamous cold supply chain challenges” of Car-T cell therapies? What if this student was in Vegas to present his award winning research poster at the ISPE Annual Meeting? Too good not to share, right? That’s how the Chapter’s Student Development Committee feels.
After putting together an impressive research poster, James Sinoimeri, a fourth year BS/MS chemical engineering student at Northeastern, was awarded one of the two “best poster” awards at the Chapter’s Spring Conference in April. James says, “That day was my first time disseminating my research work and it certainly set the tone for all the success I’ve had presenting the project since.” His research focused on developing a gel-based hypoxic tumor model for anticancer drug screening and personalized cancer medicine applications that would greatly improve the success rates over current preclinical cancer models. The prize for best poster was an all-expenses paid trip to attend and present at the ISPE Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, which took place at the end of October.
James’ Annual Meeting experience began with a two-day hackathon. Joining a team of fellow students, he and his peers were tasked with solving the “infamous cold supply chain challenges” of Car-T cell therapies as James put it. “We responded by designing a gel encapsulation shipping method to bypass the need for costly cryopreservation and expedited shipping of patients’ cell therapies.” But the team did not stop there, James continued, “We also designed a ‘smart’ labeling system to avoid fatal mix-ups and gather large amounts of data during the entire logistical process. These innovations allowed us to reduce the carbon footprint, reach less developed parts of the world, and reduce the high cost of treatment.”
The rest of his time was spent networking, attending educational sessions and presenting his research poster. James found great value in the networking aspect, explaining, “Given how niche ISPE is, everyone I met was quite like-minded and had a similar background, making it easy to quickly connect and enjoy great conversation.” The educational sessions provided opportunities to learn from industry leaders on hot topics such as Pharma 4.0, continuous manufacturing, and cell and gene therapies.
James hails from the small town of Oaks, just outside of Philadelphia. He moved to Boston in 2016 to study, pursuing his interests in metabolic engineering, synthetic biology and experimental medicine, which he hopes to make a career once he graduates in 2021. Since joining ISPE in January of this year, James and some of his peers at Northeastern have been keeping their Student Chapter strong. “I look forward to it blossoming as one of the top ISPE Student Chapters in the world. We have begun planning social events with other New England Student Chapters and have already enjoyed several successful events this semester.”
James advises other students to join ISPE, “even if you don’t think you’ll fit in. You would be surprised how diverse the many members of ISPE are.” He adds, “One thing I love about ISPE is how much they enjoy student participation. They truly believe we are the future of the field and they are eager to mentor and support our participation in events.”
James will be starting his Master’s thesis soon, hoping to focus on metabolic engineering and synthetic biology. Just talking to him, it is clear he is passionate about these fields and this short post does not come close to conveying the depth of his commitment. If you would like to read more about his research, James provided the link to a competitive pitch, which he won in September: https://coe.northeastern.edu/news/che-student-earns-2nd-place-at-falling-walls-lab-boston-2019-competition/
Congratulations, James, on your great work and good luck to you as you complete your degree and begin your career!