Mark Riley

Dr. Mark Riley, Director

Mark R. Riley, Ph.D., was appointed Director of the BPDF in September, 2019. He also currently serves as Associate Dean for Research in the College of Engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Dr. Riley came to Nebraska in 2012 and led the Department of Biological Systems Engineering after serving in a similar role at the University of Arizona. His research focuses on developing biological sensors to quantify pathogens and chemical toxins, to track bioprocesses, and to evaluate plant stress. He has been inducted as a Fellow into the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineers.

He received his bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan, and both his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering from Rutgers University in New Jersey.
List of publications.

Scott Johnson

Scott Johnson, Production Manager

Scott Johnson joined the Biological Process and Development Facility in 1997. As the GMP Coordinator, he oversees production and process development activities for both upstream and downstream activities. He has a broad background in microbial fermentation and protein purification as well as GMP production scale up. Mr. Johnson’s work has involved process development of high cell density microbial fermentations producing recombinant proteins, harvest method using disc-stack centrifugation, tangential flow filtration, cell disruption, column chromatography, enzymatic digestions and other chemical modifications of biomolecules. He holds a MS in Biological Chemistry and a BS in Biology from the University of Nebraska.
List of publications.

Sandra Williamson

Sandra Williamson, Quality Systems Manager

Sandra Williamson joined the BPDF in October 2014 as the Quality Systems Manager. Prior to joining the BPDF, she was a Senior Director of Regulatory Affairs at Medtronic, Inc. With over 30 years of experience in the food, drug and medical device industries, her background includes quality and regulatory responsibilities for product development, clinical manufacturing, commercial manufacturing and post-commercialization compliance. She has worked with a variety of regulated products, including drugs, biologics, tissue products, medical devices, combination products, foods and cosmetics. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Natural Sciences from New College of Florida, and a law degree from George Mason University School of Law. She is currently licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Cory Smathers

Cory Smathers, Business Operations Manager

Cory Smathers joined the BPDF in 2007 as a Grants Specialist before moving into his current role in 2009. He began his career in production and operations management, cofounding an automated mail processing facility, and later a software development company focusing on web site security. Prior to joining the BPDF, he served as the director for a microenterprise development program. His role at the BPDF includes grants and contracts administration, business operations, and serving as a member of the project management team. He received his bachelor’s degree for the University Nebraska-Lincoln and holds the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification.

Dennis Henson

Dennis Hensen, Project Manager

Dennis Hensen joined the BPDF in September 2012 as the facility Project Manager. He previously served as the Manager of Performance and Process Optimization, Manager of Study Toxicologists, Senior Supervisor/Toxicologist, and Study Coordinator in the Early Development/Safety Testing team at Covance Laboratories Inc. (1992 thru 2010). He has over 20 years of experience designing, conducting, and monitoring drug development projects for contract research organizations and their clients. He received a BS in Biology with a Business Concentration from the University of Wisconsin-Lacrosse.