Institute for Biotechnology

Improving the Way We Live

From new medications to genetics, the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries harness biological processes to meet our society’s commercial and health-related needs.

When Fulbright scholar Joaquín Urdinez ’15G was considering graduate schools with programs in the biological sciences, he found that St. John's offered exactly what he wanted.

Pharmaceutical biotechnology draws upon such disciplines as microbiology, biochemistry and molecular and cellular biology. The biopharmaceutical industry employed 55,446 people and was responsible for a total of 130,464 jobs in New York State in 2009.  The industry generated $29.1 billion in total output of which $16 billion was generated from direct employment.  In 2012, New York State will invest some $50 million in the biosciences through the Regional Economic Development Council Initiative. These investments will enable further growth in a field that supports some 250,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs, and contributes over $32 billion a year to the state’s economic output, according to an analysis by the New York Biotechnology Association (NYBA).Companies and agencies that specialize in pharmaceutical biotechnology seek skilled professionals to meet the industry’s scientific and administrative demands.

Institute for Biotechnology, Commencement 2016. Photo by Deanna Ingrassia.

Career opportunities abound in clinical labs, information technology, large pharmaceuticals, research labs and even small start-ups. You can prepare for these careers through the Master of Science Degree Program in Biological and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology at St. John’s University. This interdisciplinary program is a joint effort of the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences — two acclaimed divisions of St. John’s University.

Contact

Zhe-Sheng Chen, M.D., Ph.D.​
Director, Institute for Biotechnology
Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences
College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences
St. John's University
[email protected]


Dr. Somnath Pal
Associate Director,  Institute for Biotechnology
Professor of Pharmacy Administration
College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences
St. John's University
[email protected]

Additional Information

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Louis D. Trombetta, Professor and Chair, B.S., M.S., Ph.D.
Frank Barile, Professor, B.S., M.S., Ph.D.
Michael A. Barletta, Professor,  B.S. Phm., M.S., Ph.D
Blase Billack, Associate Professor, B.S., Ph.D.
Joanne M. Carroll, Associate Professor, B.S., M.A., Ph.D.
Zhe-Sheng Chen, Professor, M.D., Ph.D.
Marc E. Gillespie, Associate Professor, B.A., Ph.D.
Vijaya L. Korlipara, Professor, B.S. Phm., Ph.D.
Woon-Kai Low, Assistant Professor, B.S., Ph.D.
Tanaji Talele, Associate Professor B.S. Phm., M.S., Ph.D
S. William Zito, Professor, B.S., Ph.D.

Department of Pharmacy and Administrative Sciences
Wenchen Wu, Professor and Chair, R.Ph., M.B.A., Ph.D.
Somnath Pal, Professor, B.S., M.S., M.B.A., Ph.D.
Martha L. Mackey, Associate Professor, B.A., M.A., J.D.

Department of Biological Sciences
Ales Vancura, Professor and Chair, B.S., Ph.D.
Christopher W. Bazinet, Associate Professor, B.A., Ph.D.
Timothy H. Carter, Professor, A.B., Ph.D.
Anne M. Dranginis, Professor, B.S., Ph.D.

Department of Chemistry
Richard Rosso, Associate Professor and Chair, B.S., Ph.D.
Guofang Chen, Assistant Professor, B.S., M.S., Ph.D.
Enju Wang, Professor, B.S., Ph.D

The Professional Science Master's

“The Professional Science Master's (PSM) is an innovative, new graduate degree designed to allow students to pursue advanced training in science or mathematics, while simultaneously developing workplace skills highly valued by employers. PSM programs consist of two years of academic training in an emerging or interdisciplinary area, along with a professional component that may include internships and "cross-training" in workplace skills, such as business, communications, and regulatory affairs. All have been developed in concert with employers and are designed to dovetail into present and future professional career opportunities.”

The M.S. in Biological and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology was developed as a Professional Science Master’s degree program with funding in the form two grants from the Sloan Foundation through the Council of Graduate Schools in 2003.  The degree program was approved by the New York State Department of Education in May, 2006 and the first class was admitted in January, 2007.

The National Professional Science Master's Association

“The National Professional Science Master's Association (NPSMA) is a collaborative of Professional Science Master's (PSM) degree program directors, faculty, administrators, alumni, and students that supports PSM degree initiatives. It engages businesses, industries, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and trade associations in the development of PSM degree programs and with internship and job placement for PSM degree students and graduates.”

St. John’s University Institute for Biotechnology, its students and alumni are members of the National Professional Science Master’s Association.  Students and alumni benefit from networking with their counterparts in other Professional Science Master’s programs around the country.  The NPSMA also facilitates internship and job placement for its members.

The New York Biotechnology Association

“The New York Biotechnology Association (NYBA) is a not-for-profit trade association dedicated to the development and growth of New York State based biotechnology related industries and institutions, and to strengthening the competitiveness of New York State as a premier global location for biotechnology/biomedical research, education and industry.”

St. John’s University Institute for Biotechnology has been a member of NYBA since 2003 and has been a sponsor of the NYBA Annual Meeting since that time.  At the 18th Annual meeting in April  2009, Dr. Diana Bartelt, Director of the Institute, chaired a panel entitled “Employee Development Program Alliances with Academia: The Hidden Benefits.”

 

The Long Island Life Sciences Initiative

“The Long Island Life Sciences Initiative (LILSI) has as its mission to attract, retain and develop life sciences companies in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, nutriceutical and personal care sectors on Long Island by providing business development, strategic networking, and educational opportunities to enhance corporate competitiveness, productivity, efficiency and profitability.”

St. John’s Institute for Biotechnology has been a sponsor of the Long Island Life Sciences Initiative Annual Summit Meetings since 2003.  Students in the M.S. in Biological and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology degree program have served as volunteers at the meetings and participated in job fairs.

Each semester, a colloquium series is organized by the Institute for Biotechnology to expose the students in the program to prominent speakers from the academic and industrial settings. The colloquium series is open to all and is typically attended by members of the Institute for Biotechnology as well as the students and faculty from St. John’s College and the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. The colloquium series serves as an excellent opportunity for networking while learning about various facets of research in Biotechnology and its interdisciplinary nature.

Spring 2016

Dr. Eric E. Schadt - February 3, 2016
Director, Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology, Mount Sinai, NY
“An Information Approach to Reinventing Medicine”

Dr. Gerard Honig - March 16, 2016
Founder & CEO, Symbiotic Health Inc., Roslyn Heights, NY
“Microbiome-based biologic therapeutics for enteric infections”

Dr. Prem K. Premsrirut - April 13, 2016
President and CEO, Mirimus, Inc., Woodbury, NY
“RNAi and CRISPR/Cas9 applications for drug discovery in vivo”

Dr. Shaomeng Wang - April 20, 2016
Director/Professor of Medicine, University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, Ann Arbor, MI
“Building a successful drug discovery program in academia”

Fall 2015

Dr. Brian R. Gibney - September 23, 2015
Professor, Brooklyn College, Brooklyn, NY
“Iron-Sulfur Protein Design”

Dr. Srinivas Pentyala - November 3, 2015
Director and Associate Professor of Anesthesiology, Stony Brook Medical Center,
Stony Brook, NY
“Found In Translation – Science That Makes Sense”

Dr. Daniel Grande - November 17, 2015
Director, Orthopedic Research Laboratory, The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, Manhasset, NY
“Regenerative Medicine Strategies for the Musculoskeletal System”

Spring 2015

Dr. Marc Symons - February 11, 2015
Co-Director, Brain Tumor Biotech Center, Feinstein Institute Medical Research, Manhasset, NY
“Developing novel strategies for the treatment of brain tumors”

Dr. Ashley Thomas Martino - March 25, 2015
Assistant Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences, St. John’s University, Jamaica, NY
“Improving the Efficiency of Viral Gene Therapy Drugs to Stably Deliver Genes to Treat
Genetic Diseases”

Dr. Anis A. Khan - April 15, 2015
Principal Clinical Pharmacokineticist,  MedImmune, Gaithersburg, MD
“Quantitative Aspects of Biologics Discovery and Development – An Industrial 
Perspective”

Fall 2014

Dr. Vladimir Poltoratsky - October 14, 2014
Assistant Professor, St. John’s University, Jamaica, NY
“The role of the DNA repair proteins in maturation of B cells”

Dr. Asim K. Debnath - November 11, 2014
Head, Laboratory of Molecular Modeling & Drug Design, New York Blood Center, New York, NY
“Designing Entry Inhibitors targeted to the Phe43 cavity of HIV-1 gp120”

Dr. Ramaswamy Iyer - November 18, 2014
Director, Bristol Myer Squibb, Princeton, NJ
“Metabolism Studies on Pharmaceutical Drugs: From Small Molecules to Antibody Drug Conjugates (ADC)”

Spring 2014

Dr. Yong Yu - February 11, 2014
Dept. of Biological Sciences, St. John’s University, Jamaica, NY
“TRPP/PKD Receptor-ion Channel Complexes: Assembly, Function and their Role in Human Disease”

Dr. John Haley - March 25, 2014
Senior Director Network Pharmacology LLC, Sea Cliff, NY
“Emerging strategies for cancer drug discovery and development”

Fall 2013

Dr. Woon-Kai Low - October 9, 2013
Assistant Professor, St. John’s University, Jamaica, NY
“Development of the marine natural produce Pateamine A as a potential novel anti-cancer agent”

Dr. Jonathon Walls - November 6, 2013
Scientist, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Tarrytown, NY
“3D Imagining as a Tool for Mouse Phenotyping”

Dr. Giuseppe de Peppo - December 4, 2013
Principal Investigator, NYSCF, New York, NY
“Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine”

Spring 2013

Dr. Dong-Hua Yang - February 19, 2013
Assistant Research Professor, Fox Chase Cancer Center
“AQUA: the future for biomarker research”

Eric A. Greenbaum, M.S. J.D. - March 19, 2013
Registered Patent Attorney & Biochemist, Greenbaum P.C.
“SciIP: Intellectual Property for Scientist”

Dr. Jose M. Galarza - April 30, 2013
CEO & President TechnoVax Inc.
“Evolution of Vaccines to Current Technologies and Beyond”

Fall 2012

Dr. Niven Narain - Wednesday, October 10, 2012
President & CTO - Berg Biosystems, Natick, MA
“Interrogative biology: A novel platform for the engagement of biointelligence and
drug discovery”

Dr. Renuka Pillutla - Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Associate Director – Bioanalytical  Sciences, Biologics Bristol-Myers Squibb, Princeton, NJ
“Immunogenicity Testing of Biotherapeutics”

Dr. Dana Ferraris - Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Principal Scientist – Brain Science Institute Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
“Poly (ADP-ribose) Polymerases (PARPs) as therapeutic targets”

Spring 2012

Dr. Prem Premsrirut -Wednesday, February 8, 2012
President and CEO,  Mirimus Inc., Cold Spring Harbor, NY
“RNAi mouse models for target discovery, validation and toxicology assessment'’

Dr. Phil Lukeman -Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Associate Professor of Organic Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, St. John’s University, NY
“Nanochemistry for Noobs: Nanodoodads built by Novices from Nucleic Acids”

Dr. Ray Huang -Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Founder and President , RayBiotech Inc., Norcross, GA
“Accelerated biomedical discovery using protein and antibody array techniques”

Fall 2011

Dr. Lesley Davenport - Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Professor and Deputy Chair, Department of Chemistry, Brooklyn College of the
City University of New York, NY
“DNA  Knots and Tumorigenesis: Folding and Conformation of Quadruplex-DNA'’

Dr. Paul Naylor - Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Director Cytokine Biology, IRX Therapeutics, Farmingdale, NY
“IRX-2-A Novel Pleotropic Immune Modulator for Cancer Therapy”

Dr. Simon Geir Møller - Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Professor and EMBO Young Investigator, Department of Biological Sciences, St John's University, NY
“Iron-Sulfur Clusters and Parkinson’s Disease: Using Multiple Models to answer
Complex questions”

Fall 2012

Dr. Niven Narain - Wednesday, October 10, 2012
President & CTO - Berg Biosystems, Natick, MA
“Interrogative biology: A novel platform for the engagement of biointelligence and
drug discovery”

Dr. Renuka Pillutla - Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Associate Director – Bioanalytical  Sciences, Biologics Bristol-Myers Squibb, Princeton, NJ
“Immunogenicity Testing of Biotherapeutics”

Dr. Dana Ferraris - Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Principal Scientist – Brain Science Institute Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
“Poly (ADP-ribose) Polymerases (PARPs) as therapeutic targets”

Spring 2012

Dr. Prem Premsrirut -Wednesday, February 8, 2012
President and CEO,  Mirimus Inc., Cold Spring Harbor, NY
“RNAi mouse models for target discovery, validation and toxicology assessment'’

Dr. Phil Lukeman -Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Associate Professor of Organic Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, St. John’s University, NY
“Nanochemistry for Noobs: Nanodoodads built by Novices from Nucleic Acids”

Dr. Ray Huang -Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Founder and President , RayBiotech Inc., Norcross, GA
“Accelerated biomedical discovery using protein and antibody array techniques”

Fall 2011

Dr. Lesley Davenport - Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Professor and Deputy Chair, Department of Chemistry, Brooklyn College of the
City University of New York, NY
“DNA  Knots and Tumorigenesis: Folding and Conformation of Quadruplex-DNA'’

Dr. Paul Naylor - Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Director Cytokine Biology, IRX Therapeutics, Farmingdale, NY
“IRX-2-A Novel Pleotropic Immune Modulator for Cancer Therapy”

Dr. Simon Geir Møller - Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Professor and EMBO Young Investigator, Department of Biological Sciences, St John's University, NY
“Iron-Sulfur Clusters and Parkinson’s Disease: Using Multiple Models to answer Complex questions”