Our Scientists

Our team of scientists is here to help you be successful.  They are the heart of why our CRO has thrived and grown today, and why we have many satisfied and repeat clients.   Along with years of experience, we have developed the competencies to solve complex R&D problems and also perform routine analyses.  Let us help you, too.

The staff at Marin Biologic is composed of experienced scientists from multiple disciplines of cell biology, molecular biology, biochemistry and immunology.   Marin Biologic scientists also have years of experience with projects focusing on assay development, assay validation and stability studies and in vitro toxicology.  As our company has grown, so has the breadth and depth of our staff.  Most importantly, we have expanded our project management services to reach beyond the scope of simply providing laboratory services but have expanded into services that are more complex, into GLP & GMP compliant, Phase I/II and Phase III clinical studies.

Marin Biologic scientists hold faculty positions at University of California, San Francisco and Department of Veterans Affairs, San Francisco.  Each scientist has 15 to 20 years of research and biotech industry experience.  Our scientists have trained and performed doctoral and postdoctoral research at the following:

  • University of California: Berkeley, Davis, Santa Cruz, San Diego and San Francisco, Los Angeles
  • University of Michigan
  • Yale University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • University of Chicago
  • Mcgill University
  • University of Illinois
  • Loyola University
  • Illinois Institute of Technology
  • University of Paris XI

The publication record for juried papers and presentations range over 20 per scientist.  Many of Marin Biologic’s scientists hold multiple patents. Our scientists are also skilled at communicating with clients and have had extensive training on project management and the importance of working collaboratively with both internal and external cross functional teams.  Marin Biologic scientists realize that their clients require promptness as well as quality work, and we consistently meet to focus our efforts to accomplish these goals.

Cell Biology

Our scientists at Marin Biologic have successfully turned the art of cell culture into a creative and productive scientific strategy for our clients.  We have extensive experience culturing primary cells and cell lines and developing cell culture models, including myeloid, erythroid, and lymphoid cancer cells, hemopoeitic progenitor cells, neuronal cells and explants of liver, breast, ovary, lung, skin, and brain.

Our staff also has experience in recombinant protein production in insect systems (Baculovirus hosts) as well as transfection of and production in mammalian cells. Some of our methodologies include the use of stationary cultures, spinner flasks/tanks, three-dimensional cell culture, bioreactor and membrane insert technologies.  Our staff is dedicated to determining and defining the appropriate microenvironment, including developing custom made media.

We also have experience in the mechanism of drug action and resistance.  Our scientists have designed DNA and nucleotide based therapeutics (oligos) and studied their mechanisms of cellular uptake.

Studies include a number of cellular phenomena (a) the proliferative effects of lipids, cytokines and hormones, (b) the expression of membrane receptors and specific cellular markers, (c) receptor activation turnover and phosphorylation, and intracellular signaling (d) metabolism and secretion of cellular products and (e) DNA, RNA and protein synthesis.  Mechanistic studies were performed on the release and intracellular trafficking of neurotrophic factors. We have investigated drug influences on plasma and mitochondrial membrane structure and function.

We have grown and harvested multi-liter quantities of adherent and suspension cells for the isolation of specific molecules such as receptors, hormones, cytokines, and monoclonal antibodies.

Molecular Biology
Marin Biologic scientists have experience in all the general molecular biology techniques including siRNA, antisense and triple helix DNA oligos, cloning, expression, sequencing, PCR, site-directed mutagenesis, nested deletions, construction of normalized cDNA libraries and PCR, RT-PCR, RNase protection assay.

We have cloned, expressed and functionally analyzed through site-directed mutations several serine proteases and novel genes in acute CNS injury using a variety of methodologies. Our scientists have developed high throughput assays to detect genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphisms. The staff has experience with the expression of cloned DNA using bacteria, yeast and baculovirus expression vectors.

Additionally, the Marin Biologic staff has designed and characterized gene therapy techniques including oligonucleotide regulatory DNAs and DNA uptake methods.

Biochemistry
Our scientists have purified proteins to homogeneity, immunologically identified isoenzymes, completed structure-function characterizations and studied the biosynthesis of the following proteins: FDP aldolase, carboxypeptidase, protease E, elastase II, flavin-bound enzymes, des-leu10angiotensin I protease, small redox metalloproteins (e.g. various cytochromes), novel amino acid-derived quinone redox cofactors, human monoamine oxidases A & B, clusterin and phospholipases A2.  In addition to protein purification and characterization, our scientists have experience in lipid purification and the study of lipid effects on membrane function.

Immunology
Marin Biologic scientists develop and validate immunoassays including ELISA, RIA, immunoprecipatation and Western Blot analysis.  Our staff produces custom hybridomas as well as generates and purifies multi-gram quantities (up to 100g) of monoclonal antibodies using hollow fiber bioreactors, spinner and traditional stationary cultures.  In addition, we perform antigen conjugation to a variety of supports, antibody purification and characterization, and antibody derivatization for use in immunoassay.

Our cell biologists have experience with a variety of cellular systems as described above.  More specifically, our scientists have isolated the immune cells (T, B, NK and macrophage) and used them for analysis including cell activation, mixed lymphocyte reactions, cytokine production, and cytotoxicity.

in vitro Toxicology
Our scientific expertise at Marin Biologic in cell biology, biochemistry and molecular biology enables us to perform custom toxicology projects for you and your laboratory.  Our scientists have studied and characterized the cytotoxic effects of numerous compounds on the normal and abnormal functions of a wide collection of eukaryotic cells.

Some of these studies include apoptosis, cell proliferation, replication, gene activation, transcription, cytokine production, intracellular enzyme function, metabolite synthesis and degradation.  The Marin Biologic staff can aid you in determining your drug dose range, the potential cytotoxicities in your drug dose range, the potential cytoxicities in target tissues and toxicity mechanisms.

Regulatory Assay Development Validation and Stability Testing
Our staff has experience in assay development, validation and stability testing for biologics which have led to numerous successful IND filings and product marketing applications in the US and Europe.   We have developed rapid screening assays using multiple technologies, which enhance accelerated stability studies, benefiting our client’s regulatory needs.

Here is a brief summary of our scientists.  

  • Dr. Tania Weiss, the principal scientist, President and CEO of Marin Biologic Laboratories, was formerly on faculty at the University of California, San Francisco and California State University, San Francisco.  She has over 20 years of experience in academic research and close to 20 years of contract research experience. Her goal as a CEO and scientist is to blend her research and project management expertise to make Marin Biologic Laboratories excel in both scientific and service excellence for her clients.
  • Dr. Peter Ralph, Vice President of Scientific Affairs of Marin Biologic Laboratories, has had a distinguished academic career at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in immunology, hematopoiesis and cancer biology. He has scientifically reviewed over 120 papers and has issued 24 patents. While at Genetech Inc., Dr. Ralph developed and patented the method to detect Herceptin and was the developer of the biometric GLP potency assay for Rituximab.  Since starting at Marin Biologic Laboratories in 2001, Dr. Ralph has managed over 100 scientific projects for clients at Marin Biologic Laboratories.

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