BPD "BioGrow: Training and Education Across North Carolina" Virtual Symposium sponsored by Kymanox

Why attend? To learn more about a career in biopharma manufacturing and the outstanding education and training opportunities in North Carolina

Who should attend? People of all ages, experience, and educational levels, including community college students, university students, and professionals looking for opportunities to begin or advance their career in biopharmaceutical manufacturing in North Carolina.

We will host breakout rooms after each session to allow attendees to get more information from our invited experts.


12:30pm-1:30pm: Training Opportunities Spotlight

Participating Training Institutions: NC State’s Biomanufacturing Training and Education Center (BTEC), NC Central’s Biomanufacturing Research Institute and Training Enterprise (BRITE), Campbell University, NC BioNetwork, Alamance Community College, Durham Tech Community College, Forsyth Tech Community College, Wake Tech Community College, Central Carolina Community College, Vance Granville Community College

1:30-2:00pm: Breakout rooms with Training Institution Participants

2:00pm-3:00pm: Panel 2: Training Success Stories

Moderator: John Balchunas, BTEC, NIIMBL

John Balchunas is the Workforce Director for the National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL). In addition, John is responsible for business development and industry partnership for the professional development program at North Carolina State University’s Biomanufacturing Training and Education Center (BTEC). Prior to joining NCSU in 2014, John served as the Director of Workforce Development for the North Carolina Biotechnology Center. As part of NCBiotech’s Education and Training Program for nearly 10 years, John forged an array of partnerships with industry to understand and communicate biopharmaceutical manufacturing workforce needs. John started his career as a technical writer in the biomanufacturing and medical diagnostic industries. John holds a Master of Science in Technical Communication and a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from North Carolina State University and was selected as a Marano Fellow in the Aspen Institute's 2012-2013 Sector Skills Academy.

Student Panelists:

Justin Campbell – Forsyth Tech Community College

After growing up in Northern Davidson County NC, I graduated from North Davidson Senior High School in 1998 and enlisted in the United States Air Force immediately after graduation. Toward the end of my enlistment I spent time in Uzbekistan in support of Operation Mountain Lion on the Afghanistan border. When I separated from the USAF I began taking engineering courses in a community college in upstate New York but wasn’t able to complete my degree due to family obligations. Almost ten years later, in the fall of 2013 I decided I wanted to end my career in construction and get back into science. I entered the Nanoscience Program at Forsyth Technical Community College and graduated in 2015 with honors and was so determined to move forward I enrolled in the Biotechnology program immediately afterwards. As a FTCC biotechnology student I applied for an internship at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine and was accepted in 2016 where I was hired later that year as a research technician before my graduation. While I worked as a research technician for Wake Forest during the day I was also hired by Forsyth Tech as a lab technician in the evenings and continued my education by attending Winston-Salem State University beginning in 2016. I will be graduating from the Biology Program with a concentration in Pre-health in the spring of 2021 from WSSU and have applied to the Wake Forest Graduate School for Arts and Sciences; Molecular and Cellular Biosciences PhD track where I have been selected for an interview. While I have come so far in these last seven years it was my time at Forsyth Tech from 2013 to 2016 that gave me the foundation and confidence to succeed and build the future that is now on my horizon.

Phoebe Lee – BTEC at NCState

Phoebe Lee graduated from UNC with a bachelors in biomedical engineering and earned her masters of biomanufacturing from BTEC at NC State. She currently works at KBI Biopharma, focusing on support of early phase programs and high throughput testing and development in the analytical group.

Scott Huldgren - Campbell University

Scott Hultgren grew up in Shelton, Connecticut, and currently resides in Montville, CT. He attended Drew University in Madison, New Jersey where he graduated in 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts in biochemistry and molecular biology. He went on to continue his education at Campbell University in the Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Science (MSPS) program. Following the first year of the MSPS program, Scott began an internship at the Pfizer Sanford, NC site where he took on an integral role in the site's cell bank manufacturing department. Following the successful completion of his internship, Scott continued his training at Pfizer as a colleague and returned to Campbell University for the second year of the MSPS program. Scott graduated from Campbell University in 2019. He currently holds the title of Senior Associate Scientist within the Primary Pharmacology Group at Pfizer Groton, CT.

Willie Dupree - BioNetwork

My name is Willie Dupree I currently live in Johnston County. I am the husband of Jennifer Dupree and the father of 5 beautiful girls. We've been married for nearly 20 years now. When I graduated from high school, I was not fortunate enough to go to a 4-year college. I did get some training at a community college in hotel management, but I found out that it was not the career for me. I worked for over 15 years with Wake and Johnston County Sheriff Departments and the stress from the job really forced me to look into other areas. After talking to some friends in the pharmaceutical field, I decided that was the field that I really need to be in. The problem was I was working 12-hour shifts at the jail and I did not see how it would have been possible. However, because Wake Tech offers Biomanufacturing Training & Education as a continuing education under the instructions of Dr. Morgan and Dr. Picard, I was able to take the course online and get my certification, which is required at most pharmaceutical plants now. I was able to secure a full-time permanent job in Johnston County at one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the area making more money than I have ever made and I love my job and the company. None of this would have been possible without the Biomanufacturing Training & Education that I received at Wake Tech Community College.

3:00-3:30pm: Breakout Rooms with Student Panelists

3:30pm-4:30pm: Panel 3: Industry Opportunities

Moderator: Brenda Summers, NCBIO

Brenda Summers has worked with NCBIO as a staff member and consultant for more than 15 years on communications and workforce issues. She is currently Director of Workforce Programs. She worked on the 2003, 2013 and 2020 Window on the Workplace surveys on the biomanufacturing industry in the state. She previously worked as a nonprofit and not-for-profit consultant and executive director. Dr. Summers was interim director of the Institute for Nonprofits at NC State University and has served as a consultant to the Institute. She has been an adjunct professor at NC State University, at the UNC-CH Master of Public Administration Program, and at the Pfeiffer University MBA program. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism, from UNC-CH, a Master’s degree in Public Administration, and a Doctorate in Adult Education from NC State University.

HR/Site Lead Panelists:

Wade Smedley – Merck

Wade Smedley is currently Director of Human Resources for Merck in Durham NC. The Merck Durham plant is a vaccines manufacturing plant where he is responsible for the delivery of HR services for a facility of 700+ employees. Wade specializes in Human Resource management with a heavy emphasis in leadership development and employee engagement. Wade believes excellent leaders that develop strong relationships are the foundation for an engaged workforce that deliver high quality, increased productivity, and excellent safety performance. Prior to Merck, Wade was head of human resources for a biomedical diagnostics start-up company called OraSure Technologies. Wade was responsible for the HR function including recruitment, performance management, professional development, compensation and benefits, employee relations, policy development, and talent planning. Wade holds a Masters in Human Resources and a Masters in Human Resources Leadership from Rutgers University. He and his wife reside in Cary, NC with their 3 children.

Daniel VonDielingen – Lilly

Dan VonDielingen is the Site Lead for the recently announced Lilly RTP manufacturing facility.  Dan joined Lilly in 2000 and has held roles of increasing responsibility in Engineering, Quality and Operations across multiple sites and networks.  His most recent role was the Site Lead for the Indianapolis Device Assembly and Packaging facility responsible for the commercial supply and advancement of Lilly pipeline molecules.

Drew Duncan – Biogen

Drew Duncan is currently the Global Human Resources Lead for Biogen in RTP, NC where he supports a workforce of over 1,000 employees across several locations in the US and Switzerland. He has over 25 years of HR experience across several industries including retail, staffing, consumer packaged goods, pharmaceuticals, and biotech. Drew holds a BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Industrial Relations, a MS in Leadership and Organizational Change from Pfeiffer University and a Master’s in Human Resources from Cornell University.

Kimberly Sharman – FUJIFILM Diosynth

Kimberly Sharman is the current regional head of Human Resources at Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies in Morrisville, NC. Kimberly has over 25 years progressive international HR experience from Fujifilm, Syngenta, Pratt & Whitney and the Toronto Stock Exchange. She has a Masters in Business and Human Resources Management and a Bachelor of Journalism. Her passion is around career and talent development, along with employee engagement and retention. FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies is an industry-leading Biologics Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (CDMO) with over thirty years of experience in the development and manufacturing of recombinant proteins, vaccines, monoclonal antibodies, among other large molecules, viral products and medical countermeasures expressed in a wide array of microbial, mammalian, and host/virus systems.

4:30pm-5:00pm: Breakout Rooms with Industry Panelists


We would like to thank our Symposium Sponsor: Kymanox

For More Information

For questions or more information, contact:
Hannah Cole
Program Manager, Science and Technology Development

Science and Technology Development

919-549-8840 | hannah_cole@ncbiotech.org


This is a virtual event.

Free, registration required
For More Information

For questions or more information, contact:
Hannah Cole
Program Manager, Science and Technology Development

Science and Technology Development

919-549-8840 | hannah_cole@ncbiotech.org