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Todd Plaia

Scientific Consultant - OceanLab, LLC View Biosketch →

Position - Company  
Senior Biologist - Department of Bacteriology, Microbial Ecology

Conduct environmental microbiological research involving iron-oxidizing bacteria (FeOB) from habitats which include groundwater, the rhizosphere of wetland plants, deep ocean hydrothermal vents, historical shipwrecks and submerged aircraft in marine environments. Execute field studies, scientific diving, field sampling, and site assessments. Perform laboratory research to develop culture methods, microbial isolations, morphological analysis, refine protocols for nucleic acid isolation from marine and fresh water sediments, and develop molecular genetic based assays such as G+C mol%, real-time PCR (TaqMan and SYBR green), 16sRNA sequencing, clone libraries, and tRFLP to assist in phylogenetic analysis. Initiated and manage collaborative research projects with the Naval Historical Center (Department of Underwater Archaeology, Department of the Navy), Maryland Historical Trust (Maryland Department of Planning) and Center for Maritime Archaeology and Conservation (Conservation Research Lab, Texas A&M University), the Institute of Maritime History (IMH) and the Mariners’ Museum to investigate the role of iron-oxidizing bacteria in microbial influenced corrosion on historic shipwrecks (e.g. U-1105 Black Panther submarine, STC-410 tanker, U.S.S. Monitor) and submerged aircraft (TIGHAR, www.tighar.org) utilizing molecular techniques. Science team member of NSF sponsored scientific expedition (October 22 –November 16, 2006) aboard R/V Melville (Jason II/Medea ROV, WHOI). Conducted scientific investigation of the deep ocean and seafloor microbiology at Loihi Seamount, Hawaii.

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Sep 2005 - May 2007
Consultant - Chemicon International

Provide technical assistance and expertise with experimental design, product development, manufacturing and planning, documentation, and technical services support for Chemicon’s Methylation and fluorescence-based amplification (e.g. Amplifluor™) product lines. Perform in silico pharmacogenetic (i.e. SNP) assay design for customers utilizing Amplifluor™ AssayArchitect™ Software. Provide end-user input, feedback, recommendations and testing for company’s platform technology-based primer design software development. Provide on-sight consultation for pharmacogenetic and mutation detection (i.e. SNP, indels, etc.) assay design detection strategies.

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Jul 2003 - Dec 2006
Technical Manager, Research and Development - Stem Cell Center

Coordinate project and staff (5 Biologists, 1 Bioinformaticist) activities for bioproduction and characterization of mouse and human embryonic stem cell lines, feeder cell lines, and utilizing karyology (SKY analysis), immunophenotyping in situ, flow cytometry, STR analysis, HLA typing, gene expression analysis via qPCR and large-scale analysis using microarray and MPSS technologies. Initiate and promote collaborative research and product development relationships with academic and commercial groups. Perform research, cell culture, product development, and bioproduction activities. Establish feeder-free and serum-free cell culture conditions, develop assays to study epigenetic (i.e. methylation) status of mouse and human embryonic stem cells and embryoid body formation, gene expression analysis and immunophenotyping of markers for pluripotency and differentiation. Assist in identifying, writing, preparing and submitting grant and contract proposals. Curate department web content and data. Attend and present scientific data at scientific meetings.

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Jul 2003 - Sep 2005
Consultant - Celadon Laboratories

Provided end-user input, recommendations, and testing for bioinformatics software development. Prepared technical manuals and instruction (text and graphics) for software analysis utilizing methods including PCR-sequencing, homogeneous MassEXTEND technologies.

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Jan 2003 - Feb 2005
Account Manager - Life Sciences Division S.R Clarke, Inc.

Founding member of the Life Sciences Practice of S.R. Clarke, Inc. Executive Search Firm. Established a national market presence through extensive cold calling, networking, promotions, candidate/client visits, and attendance at scientific conferences. Successfully entered into over 30 client relationships through research, extensive cold calling, negotiation, and process management with established pharmaceutical companies, early-stage ventures, and software companies in the bioinformatics, genomics and proteomic industries. Negotiated and successfully placed over 40 technology professionals (Bioinformatics Software Engineers, Bioinformaticists, Computational Biologists, Biostatisticians, Robotics Engineers, Directors, Program Managers, VPs) in multiple states which generated a first year’s revenue exceeding $578,000 for S.R. Clarke, Inc. Personally generated over $347,000 in revenue in my first year after transitioning from a Scientific role. Mentored and personally trained three recruiters during their first 90 days of employment with S.R. Clarke, Inc. Personally responsible for their daily activity, motivation, recognition for achievement. Achieved awards for Top Recruiter of Month, and Top Performance as a First Years Recruiter. Completed formal training programs: Karass Effective Negotiating, Karass, Inc.; Management By Strengths, MBS, Inc.; Advanced Internet Recruitment Strategies (AIRS) e-Recruitment; Behavioral Interviewing, Behavioral Technology, Inc.

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Dec 1999 - Aug 2001
Consultant - Intergen Company / Oncor, Inc.

Provided technical assistance and expertise with experimental design, product development, manufacturing and planning, documentation, and technical services support for Intergen’s Methylation and Amplifluor™ product lines.

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Dec 1999 - Aug 2001
Manager of New Product Development - Research and Development Bharat Immunologicals and Biologicals Corporation Limited

Intergen Company, Gaithersburg, MD.
Manager of New Product Development October 1999 – December 1999. Research Scientist July 1998 – October 1999.
Strategic planning and execution of product plans. Includes creating, implementing, and maintaining a system for streamlining and controlling product research and development, manufacturing, quality control, and release procedures and protocols. Co-Manage Research and Development Staff Scientists(12), and coordinate transfer of scientific research and projects into commercialized products. Coordinated Staff Scientists, Manufacturing, and Sales and Marketing staff, both internally and externally/domestic and foreign, to facilitate the flow of information and communication. Provide technical training and assistance to both domestic and foreign sales representatives, and customers. Collect marketing intelligence to help set product focus and determine market direction. Function as the Lead Research Scientist for the research and development of Methylation technologies and products.

Oncor, Inc.,Gaithersburg, MD.
Research Scientist April 1993 - July 1998.
Developed expertise in and furthered Oncor’s molecular cytogentetics in situ hybridization technologies, nucleic acid labeling technologies, probe technologies, immunohistochemical and fluorescence microscopy applications, genetic and molecular based assays, and intellectual property. Developed protocols and products for Research Use Only (RUO), In Vitro Diagnostic (IVD) use, pre-clinical trial development, and FDA approval. Performed collaborative experiments and studies in the area of Microsatellite Instability (MIS) for bladder cancer and colon cancer screening.

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Apr 1993 - Oct 1999
Laboratory Supervisor - Fairfax Identity Laboratories Genetics & IVF Institute

Performed DNA based paternity/forensic identity testing (i.e. VNTR, RFLP) for National and International casework. Managed all aspects of daily laboratory operations and staff of 20 technologists. Scheduled, trained, and educated technologists. Trouble-shooted operational problems. Prepared and presented State/County contracts and proposals for testing services. Maintained quality assurance programs and data bases. Participated in laboratory accreditation processes and inspections (i.e. AABB). Prepared casework and data for expert witness testimony. Interpreted data and reported results to the Division of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE), judicial courts, attorneys, physicians, and clients. Developed procedures and protocols, and performed research projects utilizing recombinant DNA techniques.

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May 1991 - Apr 1993
Scientific Consultant - OceanLab, LLC

At OceanLab, LLC we offer a broad range of consulting services to Biotech and Pharmaceutical businesses. Our unique background, experience and contacts in industry and allow us to help researchers, laboratories and companies at every stage of development. Visit www.oceanlab.biz.

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Jan 2011 - Present
Consultant - Center for Maritime Archaeology and Conservation Texas A&M University

Established the first Archaeogenomics Laboratory at TAMU’s CMAC. Specified overall laboratory setting (instrumentation, technologies and protocols) and provide project management. Conduct microbiological research to identify and investigate the roles of microorganisms in the bio-corrosion and preservation of historical shipwrecks and submerged archaeological aircrafts in marine environments. Execute underwater archaeological field studies, scientific diving, field sampling, and site assessments. Perform laboratory research to develop culture methods, microbial isolations, morphological analysis, refine protocols for nucleic acid isolation from marine and fresh water sediments, and develop molecular genetic based assays such as 16sRNA sequencing, clone libraries, and tRFLP to assist in phylogenetic analysis

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May 2007 - Present
Degree - University  
MS, Molecular Biology - George Mason University 1995 - 1998
BS, Biology - Mary Washington College 1987 - 1991
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