The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Tang Lecture, Christine Seymour '95 PhD (ChE), "The Profound Impact of Pharmaceuticals on Our Lives"


Wednesday, October 20, 2021 - 4:00pm


Virtual, see link below, to register


Register here:  Shirley and Ting-Wei Tang Endowment Lecture Series | College of Engineering | UMass Amherst

Lecture immediately followed by a panel discussion, Research Directions in Biochemical Engineering, with chemical engineering faculty members Shelly Peyton and Lauren Andrews



Throughout history, pharmaceuticals have changed our lives from products that caused serious heath issues & deaths to products that saved countless numbers of lives.

A hundred years ago there was no requirement to demonstrate that pharmaceuticals had clinical benefits or were safe and there many cases that had devastating impact on people’s lives. And while these examples seem like ancient history, there are recent examples in other countries were unsafe and deadly products have been on the market and caused many deaths.  

Advancements in technologies have facilitated the development and manufacturing of life saving medications. The development of deep tank fermentation technology transformed penicillin production and changed the trajectory of World War II. A trailblazing women from Massachusetts developed key aspects of the manufacturing process and enabled all soldiers on D day to carry a vial of penicillin (90% of which was manufactured by Pfizer).

Development and manufacturing of the COVID vaccine was achieved in record time. At risk strategies were enabled to facilitate the development of the manufacturing process and product including the Defense Production Act. Key strategies for raw material production, manufacturing aids, facility construction, and manufacturing equipment enabled the COVID vaccine production in record time.


Speaker Bio

Christine (Chris) is presently a director in Regulatory Chemistry and Manufacturing Controls at Pfizer Inc., where she leads regulatory strategy and implementation for a portfolio of biological projects across all phases of drug development and commercialization. She has led the regulatory strategy for products such as Xalkori, Xanax, and Viagra. Previously, she led chemical process development research teams at Pharmacia Corporation and at G.D. Searle for products such as Celebrex and Inspra.

Chris previously served on the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Board of Directors and was the 2018 AIChE president. She serves on the Society of Biological Engineering Board of Directors and was the founding chair of the AIChE Pharmaceutical Discovery Development and Manufacturing Forum. She was elected as an AIChE Fellow in 2011 (the youngest member ever elected Fellow) and received the AIChE Epstein Award for Technical Programming in 2012. Recently, she received a 2020 Woman of Innovation award from the Connecticut Technology Council and Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology.

Chris has chemical engineering degrees from Lehigh University (BS) and from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (PhD) as well as a MS in regulatory affairs from Temple University.

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