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Leadership

Karen A. Becker, Ph.D.
President

Dr. Becker has an integrative bioscience background that reflects over 20 years of experience in laboratory research and science writing in the academic, clinical, and pharmaceutical sectors.  Born and raised in the New York City area, she is the author of peer-reviewed articles (click here for writing sample) . Her expertise includes cellular mechanisms of disease, cytoskeletal-based defects, vertebrate development and birth defects, mammalian cell and embryo culture, tissue engineering, microscopic imaging, and oncology, particularly cancers of the reproductive tract. She began her research career at the Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research, a basic research arm of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. There, she worked with germ-free and specific pathogen-free miniswine to study ontogeny of the immune system from birth to adulthood. She pursued an interest in reproductive biology and mammalian development and worked in New Jersey's first successful human in vitro fertilization (IVF) unit and clinical laboratory at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Her M.S. thesis evaluated the effects of different sources of culture media reagents on the success or failure of fertilization and development in mouse embryos, with implications for human IVF. For her Ph.D., (joint degree, Rutgers and UMDNJ) she explored how cell structural aspects control and repair the vertebrate egg surface during fertilization and early cell division; these experiments addressed mechanisms and regulation of granule release, a process that is highly conserved in multiple human cell types.

Following her Ph.D., Dr. Becker focused on cellular and molecular mechanisms as they relate to clinical aspects of human disease. As a medical writer at Pharmanet, a respected leader in drug development and CRO in Princeton, NJ, she gained valuable experience with FDA regulatory submission documents, especially Phase 2 and 3 clinical trial reports, and safety and efficacy sections of New Drug Applications in the therapeutic areas of oncology, cardiovascular, diabetes, and allergy and inflammation. With completion of the human genome project and the advent of applied pharmacogenomics, she broadened her knowledge base of these and other technologies by completing three years of NIH postdoctoral training at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and at the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. Her postdoctoral research focused on cellular mechanisms of carcinogenesis in endometrial cancer, requiring 3-D reconstruction of human endometrial tissue in vitro from component cell types to evaluate cell-to-cell interactions and signaling within normal and cancerous tissue.

Her collective  experience convinced her of the growing need for biomedical communications that are written with clarity, attention to detail, intellectual rigor, comprehension of study design and purpose, and with scientific ethics. This inspiration resulted in the founding of Manta Scientific Solutions, LLC.