Rebecca Thompson, Ph.D., is the Vice President of Operations at Cell Culture Company (formerly Biovest International) in Minneapolis, MN. Cell Culture Company provides custom protein manufacturing. Services include cell culture, purification, development, quality, and analytical testing for research use only (RUO), in-vitro diagnostics (IVD), and cGMP applications in academia, clinical trials and life sciences. Specifically Rebecca oversees cell culture, purification, process development and laboratory support. Previously, Dr. Thompson was the Vice President of Quality with oversight of quality control and quality assurance including technology transfer, environmental monitoring, and release testing.
At Biovest International, a personalized medicine company specializing in Dasiprotimut-T, an autologous therapeutic cancer vaccine to fight non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Rebecca was a Quality Control Senior Scientist. She developed and validated bioanalytical assays for different stages of the vaccine process. Her direct responsibility involved the completion of eight ELISAs on the Tecan robotics system. This phase III clinical trial drug product was filed with the EMA for marketing approval.
Prior to working for Cell Culture Company, Dr. Thompson was the Technical Supervisor of Cellular Immunology at Pharmasan Labs, a state of the art CLIA reference laboratory in northern Wisconsin. In this role her responsibilities included analyzing assay data, verifying patient test results and monitoring technical performance for five immunological assays. These assays included lymphocyte subset analysis, metal allergy testing, NK cell activity, Lyme disease testing and cytokine testing. These assays utilized flow cytometry, B-cell proliferation, chromium release, T-cell ELISPOT (enzyme-linked immunospot) and cytokine multiplex methods. Rebecca was recruited to the company due to her expertise in human PBMCs, B cells and ELISA assay development.
Dr. Thompson’s education includes a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences specializing in infection, immunity and transplantation and a B.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences majoring in pharmacology and toxicology with a minor in biochemistry. Her doctoral work at the University of Toledo Health Science Campus explored the B-cell immune response following vaccination with the purified pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine, Pneumovax® in groups at high risk for infection. These clinical studies identified the immune dysfunction in HIV-positive and elderly individuals in response to Streptococcus pneumoniae. Her thesis project involved PCR amplification of VH/VL regions of pneumococcal polysaccharide-specific B-cells, transformation of regions into a bacterial vector, gene analysis, cloning into a mammalian expression vector, transfection of vector into mammalian cells and testing its avidity to pneumococcal polysaccharides. Additionally she developed fluorescently labeled pneumococcal polysaccharides to allow for the identification and phenotype analysis of pneumococcal polysaccharide-specific B cells using flow cytometry. Her areas of expertise include antibody avidity and carbohydrate chemistry. Dr. Thompson has presented her work internationally.