Marlena Brown

Marlena Brown

Class: 1997Inducted: 2024

Marlena Brown, daughter of Mae & Jesse Brown, graduated with high honors from APHS in 1997. During her tenure in high school Marlena was a member of multiple clubs including Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), Math Club, Science Club, and the Bowling League.

After high school Marlena attended New Jersey Institute of Technology earning a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering (2004), an M.S. in Engineering Management (2006) and an M.S. in Pharmaceutical Engineering (2006). While at NJIT Marlena formed the Biomedical Engineering Club and participated in the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Bridge to Doctorate Program. Marlena attended Rutgers University as a National Science Foundation IGERT Fellow for research in nanoparticle drug delivery. In 2014 Marlena graduated from Rutgers University with a doctorate in Biomedical Engineering where her research focused on the feasibility of the utilization of drop-on-demand technology in the fabrication of flexible dosing and novel multi-drug dosage forms.

As a doctoral candidate, she was an active volunteer with the Rutgers RISE Mentorship Program. The RISE (Research Intensive Summer Experience) program provided undergraduate students throughout the United States an opportunity to perform research in labs focusing on an area of their interest. Marlena played an integral role in helping to develop the project thesis, supervise the research, and guide the students as they completed their project.

Dr. Marlena Brown has worked in bio-pharma space for over ten years. Her main area of focus has been in quality, compliance, and manufacturing for oral solid dose (OSD), topical creams, and CAR-T therapy for cancer treatments. Marlena is currently a Sr. Specialist in Quality Engineering E-Systems at Bristol Myers Squibb in the Cell Therapy Operations division. In addition to her role in Cell Therapy, Marlena is also a co-lead for the Tomorrow’s Innovators HBCU Initiative in the Commercialization Division. Here she leads a team of approximately 10 colleagues in developing and presenting custom biopharmaceutical programming to underrepresented students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The goal of the initiative is to recruit innovative talent and expose students to opportunities within BMS such as internships and leadership development programs.

Originally born in Neptune & raised in Asbury Park, NJ, Marlena recognized early on her responsibility to give back and volunteer her time & services to help others. As a youth she volunteered at the Asbury Park Middle School, local community centers, and served as a mentor to younger students. Her impact and desire to give back has only grown since that time.

Marlena is an active member of the Monmouth County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. where she has served as chair of the audit, technology, and emergency response committees. She currently serves as the financial secretary and is a member of the executive committee. Marlena is also a committed member of the Central Jersey Club of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, Inc. serving as the club parliamentarian, financial secretary, and chair of the technology committee. In 2023 Marlena was appointed to the Board of Directors for the League of Women Voters of New Jesey where she executes the mission of empowering voters and defending democracy.

Marlena is a volunteer member of the Medical Reserve Corps of Monmouth County and a volunteer member of the American Red Cross Disaster Action Team. In her spare time, she enjoys comedy, reading, and spending time with her family.

'For of those to whom much is given much is required.' – John F. Kennedy (paraphrased from Luke 12:48)