AWIS-CJC Science & Policy 101

Can you, a science professional influence & engage outcomes in science policy?


Thursday October 8, 2015 from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM EDT
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Rutgers Cook/Douglass Lecture Hall - Room 103
3 College Farm Road,
New Brunswick, NJ 08901-1582

Driving Directions 


Kamana Misra
AWIS-CJC Association for Women in Science, Central Jersey Chapter
732 995 4635


 Assemblyman Dan Benson  

 Assemblyman Dan Benson (D-14 Mercer) first joined the    Assembly in 2011 and is currently seeking his third term this fall.  The Assemblyman Benson has a Bachelor of Science in physics  and government from Georgetown University and a Master of  Public Policy in science and technology policy from Rutgers  University.  Assemblyman currently serves as the Vice Chair of  the Health Committee and member of the Environment and  Commerce Committees. In his tenure in the Assembly, Dan is  known for sponsoring bills dealing with complex issues in health,  energy, environment or technology that seek to find an evidence  based solution that advances innovation while protecting the  values and rights New Jersey's residents share.  Whether  advancing legislation on biosimilars, solar energy, opioid  antidotes, or drones, Assemblyman Benson uses his science background and knowledge of New Jersey politics to achieve success. Assemblyman Benson has a Bachelor of Science in physics and government from Georgetown University and a Master of Public Policy in science and technology policy from Rutgers University. 

Andrew Zwicker, PhD, 

 Andrew Zwicker, PhD., a physicist and a Fellow of the American  Physical  Society, is the Head of Science Education at the Princeton  University’s  Plasma Physics Laboratory, a Department of Energy  national lab facility at  Princeton University and one of the largest  alternative energy research    facilities in the country.

 Andrew believes that science and scientific thinking is under  attack  throughout the US and it is crucial that the scientific  community brings its  critical thinking skills to government and the  political process. He is therefore  stepping away from the laboratory  to do just that. Andrew says “NJ has the  highest density of  scientists and engineers in the world.  We have a rich  history of  innovation and high tech companies both big and small and we  have some of the finest research universities.  It is crucial that the  State  creates a climate that nurtures and helps grow this sector.  I  believe that this  is the best way to grow New Jersey’s economy.”   Andre is a candidate for  the NJ General Assembly with an  upcoming election in November 2015.


Navneet Puri, PhD

 Dr Puri, recepient of  E&Y Entrepreneur of the year award from the  state  of NJ in June 2015 and Smart CEO award by Future 50  magazine in Jan  2015 is a pharmacist by education, and a  pharmaceutical business  executive by training and experience.  He  founded InnoPharma in 2005  with a focus on developing  complex  generics and specialty  pharmaceuticals of sterile  injectable and  ophthalmic dosage forms  where  no generic option  were available,  primarily attributed to complexity of  developing  and manufacturing  the drug products.  

 Between 2005 and 2014, InnoPharma grew as an R&D centric  company  with approx. 70 team members (majority scientists), and  a product  pipeline that included 11 FDA approved and  commercialized complex  generics, 17 filed products with FDA  (including 2 NDAs and 15 ANDAs),  and several products under development.  InnoPharma created an  intellectual property estate by filing numerous patent applications  worldwide for its novel formulations of specialty products.  InnoPharma was acquired by Pfizer in Sept 2014, and became an integral part of Pfizer’s Global Establish Pharma business thereafter.  Dr Puri stayed with Pfizer, following acquisition, as President InnoPharma and VP of Pfizer’s Worldwide R&D, and left Pfizer in July 2015 to pursue his entrepreneurial interests.

Jeanne Herb

 Jeanne Herb is the Associate Director of the Environmental  Analysis and Communications Group at the Rutgers University  Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy.  Jeanne’s  work focuses on  collaborative research and applied projects that advance sound  environmental and sustainability policy and practices at the state,  local and regional levels.  Among other projects, Jeanne co-  facilitates the New Jersey Climate Adaptation Alliance, a network of  governmental, non-profit, and business organizations focused on  advancing climate change policies and practices in New Jersey and  the New Jersey Health Impact Collaborative a network of  organizations focused on building capacity to promote health in all  policies and to integrate health into decision-making at the state and  local level.  

 Prior to joining the Bloustein School, Jeanne was the Assistant Commissioner for Policy, Planning and Science at the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection where she led multidisciplinary and cross-program efforts related to climate change and energy, Environmental Justice, smart growth and sustainable development, environmental health and science policy and coastal management.  Earlier in her career, Jeanne was the Manager for the Public Policy Program at the non-profit Tellus Institute, was the founding Director of the New Jersey Pollution Prevention Program and oversaw risk reduction and risk communication efforts at the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.  Jeanne has a Master degree in environmental journalism from The New York University and a Bachelor’s’ degree in environmental studies and education from Rutgers University.

Daniel J. Van Abs, PhD, PP/AICP

 Dr. Dan Van Abs is an Associate Professor of Practice for  Water, Society & Environment at Rutgers University, School of  Environmental and Biological Sciences.  Previously, he was  Senior Director for Planning & Science with the Highlands  Water Protection and Planning Council (NJ), where he  managed staff efforts regarding implementation of the  Highlands Regional Master Plan.  He also has served as  Director of Watershed Protection, NJ Water Supply Authority for  over eight years; with the NJ Department of Environmental  Protection for 12 years, six as manager for statewide water  resources planning; and as Technical Director of the Passaic  River Coalition for four years.  He holds a Ph.D. in  Environmental Science from SUNY-College of Environmental  Science and Forestry.  He is a licensed Professional Planner in  New Jersey, a member of the American Institute of Certified  Planners, and Chair of the New Jersey Clean Water Council.

Ann Stock, PhD.

 Dr. Ann Stock is Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular  Biology at  Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and  Interim Director of  the Center for Advanced Biotechnology and  Medicine.  Dr. Stock's  research is focused on structural and  functional analysis of bacterial  signaling systems, processes  fundamental to both commensal and  pathogenic interactions of  bacteria with hosts.  She teaches medical  school and graduate  courses and serves as co-director of the Rutgers Graduate  Training Program in Biotechnology.  

 Dr. Stock served on the American Society for Biochemistry and  Molecular Biology (ASBMB) Council from 2008 to 2011 and  currently is  a member of the ASBMB Education and  Professional Development  Committee, the ASBMB Finance  Committee, the ASBMB  Subcommittee for Accreditation of BMB  Programs, and the Federation  of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) Policy and  Government Affairs Subcommittee on Training and Career Opportunities for Scientists. Dr. Stock holds bachelors and doctorate degrees in Biochemistry and Comparative Biochemistry from the University of California at Berkeley.

Emanuel DiCicco-Bloom, MD

Dr. Emanuel DiCicco-Bloom, M.D., is a Professor in the Departments of Neuroscience & Cell Biology as well as Pediatrics, where he sees children with neurological disorders, at the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Dr. DiCicco-Bloom’s research focuses on gene and growth factor regulation of neurogenesis during brain development, using cell and animal models of neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism, schizophrenia and environmental teratogens. He teaches medical and graduate students in the classroom and the laboratory, and trains pediatricians in the clinic.

Dr. DiCicco-Bloom has served the autism and brain disease communities by providing research guidance and strategy to organizations including National Alliance for Autism Research (NAAR), Autism Speaks and the Autism Tissue Program, and currently serves on the Autism Science Foundation, International Rett Syndrome Foundation, NIH Developmental Brain Disorders study section, Children’s Specialized Hospital and Rutgers Brain Health Institute. Currently, he is a Councilor of the Society for Neuroscience, and previously served on the Public Education & Communication Committee and the Government & Public Affairs Committee. Dr. DiCicco-Bloom received his BA from Princeton University and obtained his MD and Child Neurology training at Weill Cornell Medical College.