Truckee Meadows Community College has recognized and honored an outstanding alumna or alumnus at the College’s commencement ceremony since 1998. From government, to hospitals, schools and even Hollywood, TMCC’s past Alumni of the Year award recipients continue to positively impact their communities, reflecting the strength and diversity of a TMCC education.
TMCC is a bridge to opportunity, and the College’s 2018 Alumna of the Year, Christina Satterwhite, PhD, is an ambassador for how far a TMCC education can propel a student.
Dr. Satterwhite is Senior Director of Global Laboratory Sciences at Charles River. Charles River provides essential products and services to help pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, government agencies and leading academic institutions around the globe accelerate their research and drug development efforts, she explained. Satterwhite added that the company is focused on providing clients with exactly what they need to improve and expedite the discovery, early-stage development, and safe manufacture of new therapies for the patients who need them.
Her current role at Charles River is the culmination of a comprehensive educational and professional background, beginning in the fall of 1992, when Satterwhite began her studies at TMCC. She eventually transferred to the University of Nevada, Reno, where she received a Bachelor's of Science, Biology in 1997 and a doctorate in Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology in 2002.
That same year, Dr. Satterwhite began her career with Charles River as an associate research scientist where her area of expertise was in the study of ion channels and their role in cardiovascular disease. To date, Christina’s work at Charles River has allowed her to work with multiple types of compounds such as monoclonal antibodies, bispecific antibodies, antibody drug conjugates, enzymes, peptides, and oligonucleotides. She has direct experience in general toxicology and immunotoxicology studies as well as direct oversight of study design and assay development and validation. Satterwhite has been working on biosimilar and biosuperior biotherapies for the last 10 years in her areas of expertise and is the co-chair of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) Biosimilar Focus Group sub-committee on non-clinical and clinical assays.
Some of her professional accomplishments include working on the pre-clinical development of multiple drugs for various immune-related diseases, including cancer and arthritis that are now on the market.
“It's exciting to see them go through the drug development process and get approved and marketed to the point where they are actually helping people,” she said.
When speaking about her early education at TMCC, Christina attributes her experience as providing the foundation that allowed her to succeed at the university level.
“Going to TMCC allowed me to be able to get an education at an affordable cost," she said. "It was a good introduction into college life and what was possible through education. There are great educators at TMCC who keep students interested, most of whom work or have worked in fields that are relevant to the course subject. The affordability, financial aid opportunities, good instructors, and counseling and advisement kept me in school. I tried to take as many classes as possible at TMCC before transferring to UNR.”
Dr. Satterwhite will be a featured speaker at Spring Commencement on Friday, May 11 at Lawlor Events Center, in Reno.