Sydney Shaw

Sydney was a graduate student at Northeastern University in Boston, MA (Fall 2012 - May 2015). She earned her MS in Chemical Engineering and now works as a Process Engineer in Manufacturing Science and Technology at Genzyme (now Sanofi) in Cambridge/Allston, MA.

-------------------------------  LAB PROFILE at PENN STATE  --------------------------------

I am an undergraduate student in my senior year (graduating August 2012) and have been working in the Curtis Lab since the fall of 2008. My primary focus has been on the construction of low cost temporary immersion bioreactors for scalable plant propagation. I have worked with both organogenic and embryogenic tissue, including cacao, watermelon, and tobacco cultures. I assisted on a project to construct a multiplexed setup of temporary immersion reactors for somatic embryogenesis of T. cacao. Currently, I am prototyping a gravity-driven plastic bag reactor for watermelon shoot proliferation that can be scaled up to run in a greenhouse.

I worked full-time in the Curtis Lab during the summer of 2009 thanks to a grant from Nunhems USA, who has funded my watermelon propagation project. During the summer of 2010, I was able to spend time in Davis, CA working with Nunhems to see more of the agricultural biotechnology industry.

During the summer of 2011, I worked as an intern at Pioneer Hi-Bred in Newark, DE. I worked with the Controlled Environments team that tests all of DuPont Ag Biotech's transgenic soybean material (from Wilmington, DE) in the greenhouse before it is ready to be tested out in the field.


After I graduate in August 2012, I'll be heading on to graduate school in Chemical Engineering at Northeastern University in Boston, MA. Eventually, I'd like to do research and development in the agricultural biotechnology industry or with plant-derived pharmaceuticals.

In June 2012, I won first place at the Plant Biotechnology Student Oral Presentation Competition at the Society for In-vitro Biology World Congress in Bellevue, WA. I was elected Student Committee Chair for the SIVB during this coming year (2012-2013).

    1. Florez, Sergio L., Curtis, Matthew S., Shaw, Sydney E., Hamaker, Nathaniel K, Larsen, Jeffrey S. A Temporary Immersion Plant Propagation Bioreactor with Decoupled Gas and Liquid Flows. Biotechnology Progress. vol. 32(2). pg 337-345. doi: 

    2. Sydney Shaw (2012) An improved temporary immersion bioreactor design for plant tissue culture propagation (Undergraduate Honors Thesis) SHC Online Thesis Database
    3. Wayne R. Curtis*, Matt. S. Curtis, Sydney Shaw, Sergio Florez,  Bioreactor applications for plant improvement including progress toward somatic embryo induction using transient expression of transcription factors.  DowAgrosciences. Indianapolis, IN. August 3, 2012. (Seminar)
    4. Sydney Shaw*, Matt Curtis, Sergio Florez, Wayne Curtis. An improved temporary immersion bioreactor design for plant propagation, The Society for In-vitro Biology 2012 World Congress. Bellevue, WA. June 4, 2012. (Oral Presentation - 1st place winner!)
    5. Sergio Florez, Matt Curtis, Xiangling Shen, Sydney Shaw, Siela Maximova, Mark Guiltinan, and Wayne R. Curtis*, Bioreactor Design for in vitro Plant Propagation and Somatic Embryo Induction using Transient Expression of Transcription Factors. World Congress on In Vitro Biology, Bellevue, WA, June 3-7, 2012. (Poster Presentation)
    6. Sydney Shaw. Bioreactors for cloning plants: Promoting plant abstinence!, American Institute of Chemical Engineers Regional Student Conference Paper Competition. University Park, PA. April 9, 2011. (Oral Presentation)
    7. Sydney Shaw*, Jeff Larsen, Wayne Curtis Bioreactor Design for Plant Propagation: Enabling tissue culture productivity enhancements, Society of In Vitro Biology (SIVB) Meeting. St. Louis, MO. June 7-9, 2010. (Poster Presentation)