Christina Furia

Christina Furia-DaPonte

Christina Furia-DaPonte

BS/MS biomedical engineering ’15

Senior Associate Director of External Manufacturing, University of Pennsylvania Gene Therapy Program (Philadelphia)

Age 30

My Greatest Accomplishment:

I would consider overseeing the clinical manufacturing of novel gene therapies to support Investigational New Drug Applications (IND) as one of my greatest accomplishments. Since 2020, I have overseen clinical manufacturing of four drug products with approved INDs, with plans to submit two additional filings in 2023. Every approved submission and clinical trial brings potential treatments for rare genetic disorders closer to helping those who suffer from debilitating and often fatal diseases. I am proud to be a part of an organization whose primary focus is to bring life-changing solutions to underserved patient populations.

How Drexel Helped Me:

My education and hands-on co-op experiences were invaluable to my success. But one of the most impactful ways Drexel has helped me occurred after graduation through my involvement as a board member for the Biomed Alumni Network organization (DBAN). Through this organization, I have expanded my professional network with countless other Drexel alumni and organized multiple events for my peers. DBAN has kept me engaged in my community of professionals and continues to provide a platform for social and career growth. This would not be possible without Drexel’s continuous support for their Alumni Relations programs.

Where I Hope to Be in Five Years:

I hope to continue building my knowledge base and skill set toward becoming a confident leader in my industry. I would like to continue working with new companies transitioning from early phase clinical to commercial manufacturing to bring treatments to patients more quickly. My focus for the future is to progress the efforts to minimize the duration between bench top and bedside and continue to bring hope to the patients and families suffering from rare diseases.

The Change I Would Most Like to See in the World:

The change I would most like to see in the world would be combating the disparity of women in STEM fields, especially in engineering. I have been fortunate enough to work with and for many dynamic female leaders in my industry who have supported my career path. However, I urge all women to continue to promote these fields to younger generations starting at an early age and consider being role models for them through involvement in mentoring or other outreach programs.