Dr. Thomas Biel ’09
As a biomedical scientist and Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) post-doctoral fellow with the United States Food and Drug Administration, Dr. Thomas Biel is involved in research that can impact the health and well-being of people across the nation.
“As a researcher, we establish novel biomarkers and scientific methods that evaluate and validate the safety, quality, and efficacy of therapeutics (the use of drugs and the method of their administration in the treatment of disease) to make sure that any prescribed therapeutic is effective and safe,” Tom says. “The most important goal is to protect and improve the health and safety of Americans.”
Tom’s journey to his current position began in the classrooms and laboratories at Keystone. While he initially planned to focus on environmental science, he found that his biology and chemistry classes were particularly interesting.
He began helping Assistant Professor Vicki Stanavitch with research and laboratory work. The more he learned, the more he wanted to challenge himself. The Scranton native distinguished himself academically, earning the Sergius Gambal ’47 Student Scholar of Distinction Award and was also awarded a Summer Research Fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
“Keystone really helped lay the foundation for what came next in my life. I gained my footing and was able to translate what I learned to the opportunities that came next.”
Tom went on to earn his doctoral degree from the College of Medicine at the University of Florida in December of 2014 and, in March of 2015, began his post-doctoral fellowship with the FDA, specializing in evaluating and validating scientific methods pharmaceutical companies use for developing new therapeutics.
“Basically, what I do now is 100 percent research, but in the near future I will split my time between research and the review of investigational drug applications,” he says.
While he now has his doctorate, Tom credits Keystone for helping him pursue lofty career goals.
“Keystone really helped lay the foundation for what came next in my life. I gained my footing and was able to translate what I learned to the opportunities that came next. I still keep in touch with Vicki, both as a mentor and as a friend. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate her guidance over the years.”
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this statement are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.