Editorial Advisory Board
Charles W. Berndt, C. W. Berndt Associates Ltd.
Adam Giandomenico, Particles Plus Inc.
Scott Mackler, Cleanroom Consulting LLC
Gregg A. Mosley, Biotest Laboratories Inc.
Robert Nightingale, Cleanroom Garments
Bipin Parekh, Ph. D., Entegris Inc.
Michael Rataj, Aramark Cleanroom Services
Howard Siegerman, Ph. D., Siegerman and Associates LLC
Scott Sutton, Ph. D., Microbiology Network Inc.
Art Vellutato, Jr., Veltek Associates Inc.
Bob Vermillion, CPP/Fellow, RMV Technology Group LLC
SENIOR VICE PRESIDEN T, SALES
MAUREEN MUSHINSK Y
NEW ENGLAND REGION
ADVANTAGE BUSINESS MEDIA
Chief Executive Officer
Chief Financial Officer/Chief Operating Officer
ADVANTAGE BUISNESS MEDIA, LLC
100 Enterprise Dr., Suite 600, Rockaway, NJ 07866
Phone: 973-920-7000; Fax: 973-920-7541
Deadly Meningitis Outbreak
Dominates 2017 News Coverage
As each year comes to a close, I like to take a look back at the stories that resonated most with Controlled Environments readers throughout the year. Donald Trump, considered by many to be the underdog in the 2016 presidential election, made numerous promises
during his campaign to “drain the swamp” and slim down the
federal government. “The First Five Days” discussed the president’s changes to the EPA and USDA, along with science-re-lated additions to his Cabinet, in the earliest days of his term.
Cleanrooms have played a vital role in forensic science.
“Cleanrooms Unlock Secrets of the Past” described how ancient Egyptian mummies
were examined in a cleanroom to determine their ancestry. Cleanrooms were also used
to identify the bodies dubbed “Miranda Eve” and “Kennewick Man,” and to identify
the remains of Richard III, an English king missing for centuries who was eventually
exhumed from a modern-day parking lot.
Dr. Mildred Dresselhaus, known for her research involving carbon nanotubes
and graphene, died in February at 86. Dresselhaus’s research was the precursor to
buckyballs and nanotubes. Dresselhaus was also featured in a GE commercial about
researchers being treated the same as celebrities. Readers clicked on “Nanotech World
Remembers ‘Queen of Carbon Science’” to learn more about this remarkable scientist.
One story dominated our news coverage — the federal trials of Barry Cadden and
Glenn Chin, the former president and pharmacist, respectively, of the New England
Compounding Center. The NECC has been blamed for a 2012 meningitis outbreak,
which killed 64 people and sickened over 700 others. Cadden’s trial began in January
(“Pharmacists from Fatal Meningitis Outbreak Facing Trial”), when he was charged
with 25 counts of second-degree murder as well as racketeering charges. Former
employees testified that the NECC’s cleanroom suffered from lax business practices
(“Meningitis Trial Testimony Describes Cleanroom’s “Locker Room” Atmosphere”),
and that prescriptions were filled using false names. Further testimony from the
NECC’s quality control agent described bugs in the cleanroom (“Old Mattresses,
Mold, and Mickey Mouse: Meningitis Trial Continues”). A CDC doctor said that, in
his experience, the only thing that rivaled the 2012 meningitis outbreak was the Ebola
epidemic (“CDC Doc: Meningitis Outbreak Rivaled Ebola Epidemic”). Cadden was
eventually acquitted of the murder charges, but was later sentenced to nine years in
prison after being convicted of racketeering and fraud in June.
Glenn Chin, the supervisory pharmacist for the NECC’s cleanroom, went on trial
in September (“Second Pharmacist from Meningitis Outbreak Faces Trial”). Like
Cadden, Chin is also facing second-degree murder charges. A special agent from
the U.S. Department of Defense introduced an email as evidence; the email stated
that the defendant had ample warning that his company’s practices were dangerous (“Pharmacist’s Email: Cleanroom Practices ‘A Disaster Waiting to Happen’”). A
QC stated that Chin sent her an expletive-laden reply when she emailed him about
employees not reviewing the pharmacy’s
SOPs (“Cleanroom QC Agent: Pharmacist
Told Me to ‘[Expletive] Off’”).