Stephanie Reppert Gerber has seen all facets of medical research in her career thus far – from basic research that may impact a patient’s life years down the road to testing medications that are heading to pharmacies today.
“I’ve kind of had the span of the biotechnology experience, if you will, going from basic research to the point where what you’re doing is actually directly impacting a patient,” she says. “That’s a cool experience.”
￼A biology major at Seton Hill, Stephanie was hired by Johns Hopkins University just five days after graduation working as a lab technician on a cancer research project. She had spent summers during her years at Seton Hill doing laboratory internships at Hopkins, leading to the full-time position.
“I’ve kind of had the span of the biotechnology experience… going from basic research to the point where what you’re doing is actually directly impacting a patient.”
She earned her master’s degree in biotechnology while working at Johns Hopkins and decided to take her experience to Macrogenics in Rockville, Md. The biotech company focuses on generating antibodies for a variety of disease treatments – for cancers, autoimmune diseases and communicable viruses.
After two years in research and development, Stephanie moved to GlaxoSmithKline, where she handles quality control for biopharmaceuticals. “We make sure that all the drug lots are the same – that each has the same sort of activity and efficiency as the last – before the drugs move on to be packaged and shipped to pharmacies,” she says. “Sometimes you feel that you never know how your work is going to impact others. Now I know whatever I did somebody is going to be affected by that. It’s a very special feeling.”
Seton Hill’s young alumni are making their mark on the world through their work in science and healthcare, finance and business, industry, entertainment and service to those in need. The Spring/Winter 2017 edition of Seton Hill’s Forward magazine featured 30 of these alumni, all under the age of 30. You can find all of their stories here on Seton Hill’s site (just look for the “30 Under 30” icon) or click here to view the Forward as a digital magazine.