The 2020 Virtual Career Development Workshop Panelists

Marcus Jones, Ph.D.

Dr. Marcus Bryan Jones is an Associate Director in Research Program Management at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Dr. Jones received his B.S. degree in Microbiology from Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, LA. He subsequently obtained his M.S. and Ph.D. in Microbiology from the Sackler Institute at New York University. Dr. Jones completed his postdoctoral training at the J. Craig Venter Institute, where he would stay on as a Staff Scientist and subsequently promoted to an Assistant Professor in Genomic Medicine and Infectious Diseases. At Regeneron, Dr. Jones manages a team of 3 scientists that provide research management for all collaborations, projects and operations for the Regeneron Genetics Center.

Courtni Newsom, Ph.D.

Dr. Courtni Newsome is a native of Mississippi. She received a BS degree in Chemistry from Tougaloo College and earned a PhD in Pathobiology from Brown University. She completed postdoctoral research in immunology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and The Child Health Institute of New Jersey/Rutgers University. Dr. Newsome is currently a Senior Research Investigator in the Department of Immuno- and Molecular Toxicology/Drug Safety Evaluation at Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) in New Brunswick, NJ. Her roles include: serving as manager of direct reports; designing, justifying, developing, implementing, and performing various immunologic, biochemical, and molecular biology-based assays that address the toxicological, immunomodulatory and/or immunogenic potential of discovery and development compounds; playing a key leadership role on investigative project teams aimed at addressing key scientific and/or project-related questions; and serving as a subject matter expert and contributing scientist/principle investigator. Dr. Newsome is a member of the Black Organization for Leadership and Development and Network of Women People and Business Resource Groups at BMS and serves on the Nonclinical Research and Development STEM council designed to drive strategies to reach students from groups who are typically underrepresented in STEM programs and careers.

LCDR Leslie A. Rivera Rosado, Ph.D

LCDR Leslie A. Rivera Rosado is a product quality team leader in the Office of Biotechnology Products (OBP), Office of Pharmaceutical Quality, at FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research and a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.  LCDR Rivera Rosado has 8 years of experience in the regulatory assessment of complex and novel biological drugs. Currently, she oversees a team of doctoral scientists responsible for the assessment of the product quality, pharmaceutical quality, manufacturing process, and pharmaceutical development information submitted in support of investigational and new biologic drugs. Additionally, she serves as OBP’s Drug Shortage Coordinator and as a member of the Tumor Biology Centers of Excellence steering committee.

LCDR Rivera Rosado received her B.S. degree in Industrial Microbiology from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez and her Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry, Cellular, and Molecular Biology from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD.  She completed a three-year post-doctoral training program and was an Interagency Oncology Task Force fellow at the FDA prior to joining the review staff.

Arturo Zavala, Ph.D.

Dr. Zavala is an Associate Professor of Psychology and Co-Director of the BUilding Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD) initiative at California State University.  He received his B.A. and M.A. degree in Psychology from California State University, San Bernardino.  As an undergraduate, he participated in the Leadership Alliance Summer Research-Early Identification Program at Yale University. Subsequently, he attained his Ph.D. in Behavioral Neuroscience from Arizona State University. Dr. Zavala’s research program is focused on the functional consequences of early exposure to psychoactive drugs on the susceptibility to drugs of abuse later in life and on the role of serotonin in modulating the effects of drugs of abuse.  His laboratory, primarily composed of undergraduate students, combines neurochemical, molecular, and pharmacological approaches with animal behavioral models to understand the neural basis of addiction.  Dr. Zavala’s involvement in the BUILD program, which is funded by the National of Institutes of Health (NIH), aims to increase the number of underrepresented students entering biomedical and health-related research careers by providing enriching training opportunities to undergraduate students and faculty.