2016 Speakers Biographies
Wade Ackerman, Partner, Covington & Burling LLP
Wade Ackerman is a partner in the Food, Drug and Device Regulatory practice at Covington & Burling LLP. Until June 2016, Mr. Ackerman served as Senior FDA Counsel to the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee. In this role, he was intimately involved in legislative initiatives, oversight hearings, and other Senate activities concerning the FDA and FDCA. He negotiated FDA provisions in the Senate’s companion legislation to the “21st Century Cures Act,” which includes various provisions aimed at fostering innovation in the development and approval of new pharmaceuticals, biologics, and medical devices. Prior to his role in the Senate, Mr. Ackerman served for over five years as Associate Chief Counsel in FDA’s Office of Chief Counsel, where he was responsible for providing legal advice to FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research and the Office of the Commissioner on a wide range of legal and regulatory issues.
Karen Akinsanya, PhD, Associate Vice President, Head, Early Stage Scientific Assessment, Merck
Karen oversees the search, scientific evaluation and due diligence on early-stage inbound and outbound business development opportunities. In addition, she is responsible for Search and Evaluation activities at Merck’s BD&L European hub. Karen is responsible for leading the search, scientific evaluation and due diligence on early-stage inbound and outbound business development opportunities. She also serves on the Early Discovery and Development Sciences (EDDS) Leadership Team.
Since joining Merck in 2005, Karen has held positions of increasing responsibility in EDDS. She most recently served as executive director, atherosclerosis, where she managed atherosclerosis and cardio-metabolic research and drug discovery from target identification and validation through preclinical candidate (PCC) delivery and post-PCC support. She was responsible for seeking out and managing biotech and academic collaborations in support of the cardiovascular pipeline and led the cross-divisional Merck Initiatives for New Targets (MINT) team.
Karen received her Ph.D. from Royal Postgraduate Medical School, Imperial College, University of London, where she studied endocrine physiology. After post-doctoral training at Imperial College of Medicine, Royal Postgraduate Medical School, University of London and Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, she joined Ferring Pharmaceuticals, where she gained experience in molecular and cellular biology as well as fertility and women’s health drug discovery.
Franklin M. Berger, CFA, Managing Director, FMB Research
Franklin currently serves on the board of five public biotechnology companies: Five Prime Therapeutics, Inc., Immune Design Corp., Bellus Health, Inc., ESSA Pharma, Inc. and Proteostasis, Inc. Previous public company board service included 11 years with Seattle Genetics, Inc., seven years with VaxGen, Inc. (vaccines/biodefense) and Aurinia (previously Isotechnika), based in Canada. Mr. Berger has led multiple M & A analyses resulting in >$1 billion in transaction value.
Mr. Berger spent 12 years in sell-side equity research, most recently as Managing Director, U.S. Equity Research, J. P. Morgan Securities, Inc., from May 1998 to March 2003. During his five years at J. P. Morgan Securities, Inc., he was involved with the issuance of over $12 billion in biotechnology company equity or equity-linked securities. He was associated with several notable financings in the biotechnology sector including the Genentech IPO, the largest biotechnology IPO financing ever executed, the first large Celgene Corporation financings as well as several large-cap biotechnology companies in their rapid growth phase. Mr. Berger received his MBA degree from Harvard Business School in 1975; Johns Hopkins University conferred both his MA and AB degrees in 1971 and 1972, respectively.
Laurence Blumberg, MD, Founder & Chief Operating Officer, Syntimmune, Inc.
Laurence (Laur) has extensive experience in the business and science of medicine, as an entrepreneur, operating executive and as an investor. He is currently the Chief Operating Officer of Syntimmune, which he co-founded with his brother Richard Blumberg, MD in late 2013. He served as CEO from the company’s founding until November 2015. Immediately prior to this, Laur was Senior Vice President, Project Management at Kadmon Corporation, and also led business development at the time of the company’s founding in 2009. Prior to Kadmon, Laur co-founded Syntonix Pharmaceuticals in 1998, also with his brother Richard, and served on the board of directors of Syntonix Pharmaceuticals through its sale to Biogen-Idec in 2007. Syntonix has formed the basis of the Hemophilia program at Biogen-Idec which now has received US and EU regulatory approvals. From 1999-2007, Laur was Managing Member of Blumberg Capital Management, a life science and healthcare investment partnership and prior to that Laur was the senior global biotechnology and medical device analyst for Alliance Capital from 1994-1999. In his earlier career he served in associate level roles in venture capital and public equity and was a co-founder of Cambridge Heart, a medical diagnostic company. Laur also serves, since the first half of 2013, as an Entrepreneur in Residence at Columbia Business School and has a passion for innovation and is committed to entrepreneurship. Laur received a BA from Brandeis University in 1983, magna cum laude, with highest honors in physics, an M.D. from Temple University School of Medicine in 1987, and an Executive MBA from Columbia University School of Business in 1994. He completed an Internship in Surgery at Abington Memorial Hospital and subsequently received Otolaryngology training at Geisinger Medical Center.
Jeffrey M. Bockman, PhD, Vice President, Defined Health
Jeffrey Bockman, PhD, leads the Oncology and Virology Practices at Defined Health. Dr Bockman has extensive commercial and strategic perspective on the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. He has directed hundreds of in-depth licensing opportunity and valuation assessments during his tenure at DH. He often speaks at conferences on scientific and commercial issues in cancer, biologics and personalized medicine.
Before joining Defined Health, Dr Bockman was a Senior Research Scientist and Research Project Leader in the commercial development of oligonucleotide therapeutics for viral diseases and cancer at Innovir Laboratories; and an Assistant Research Professor at The George Washington University School of Medicine. He has worked closely with two Nobel Prize recipients: Dr Sidney Altman on ribozymes, and Dr Stanley Prusiner on prions, and holds four patents in the use of ribozymes. He received a BA from University of California at San Diego, a PhD in Medical Microbiology from the University of California at Berkeley, and an MA in English/Creative Writing from New York University.
Jarrod Borkat, MBA, Senior Director, Head of External Collaborations and Government Contracts, MedImmune LLC
Jarrod Borkat is a 17‐year veteran in the biopharmaceutical industry. He joined MedImmune in 2010, where he currently serves as Senior Director, External Partnerships & Collaborations. In this role he is responsible for establishing and overseeing broad scale collaborations with universities, non‐profit organizations/foundations and government entities, across all the therapeutic areas relevant to MedImmune. In addition, he oversees the government contracting group for MedImmune. Prior to this role, Mr. Borkat built and led the Portfolio Management function for MedImmune, helping to ensure that MedImmune brings the most promising products to patients. Before joining MedImmune, Jarrod worked at Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) Pharmaceuticals, Inc. for 11 years, rising through the ranks in the commercial organization. During his time at BI, he spent two years in Germany at their corporate headquarters, leading the global marketing strategy for their CNS franchise. His last position prior to leaving BI was Director of U.S. Marketing, HIV. Mr. Borkat won multiple awards throughout his career, including being recognized as an industry “Top 25 Direct‐to‐Consumer Marketer of the Year” in 2007. Jarrod sits on the Rock and Roll for Children Foundation board as well as the Maryland Life Sciences Advisory Board and is a regular speaker at industry conferences. Mr. Borkat and his father were the first father/son duo to complete a marathon on all 7 continents. He holds a B.S in Biology from the University of Georgia and an MBA, with concentrations in finance and marketing.
Keith A. Bostian, PhD, Chief Executive Officer, Institute for Life Science Entrepreneurship (ILSE)
Dr. Keith Bostian is an entrepreneur scientist with a distinguished career in industry and academia. He has held executive positions in numerous life science companies, as founder of Microcide Pharmaceuticals, Iconix Pharmaceuticals, Mpex Pharmaceuticals, and Vanta Bioscience, and before this, at Merck, where he led antimicrobial drug discovery as well as discovery of new leads from natural products for Merck’s worldwide drug discovery programs. Most recently, he founded and became CEO of the Institute for Life Science Entrepreneurism (ILSE) at Kean University, serving as a knowledge hub to connect scientists in academia and industry to promote translational research in the life sciences.
Scott P. Bruder, MD, PhD, Bruder Consulting International, LLC
Scott P. Bruder, MD, PhD, is an insightful and energetic healthcare leader with a 25-plus year history of bridging basic science, clinical medicine, and industrial development expertise to deliver innovative, commercially successful products that improve patients’ lives around the world. As a veteran Physician-Scientist Executive, he now leads Bruder Consulting International, providing a variety of services to medical device, regenerative medicine and biotechnology companies, as well as venture capital and private equity firms. Currently, he also serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Amendia, a leading provider of medical device and biologic implants for spinal surgery.
Previously, Scott served as the Chief Medical and Scientific Officer of Stryker Corporation, where he guided clinical, scientific, innovation and IP strategic efforts across the company. Previously he was the Chief Science and Technology Officer at Becton, Dickinson and Company. Scott also served in a variety of senior executive and scientific roles, at Johnson & Johnson, Anika Therapeutics, and Osiris Therapeutics.
Dr. Bruder is a magna cum laude graduate from Brown University, and CWRU School of Medicine, where he also earned a PhD in stem cell biology before his clinical training at Albert Einstein Medical Center and the University of Pennsylvania.
Stephen Chang, PhD, Senior Vice President for Strategic Initiatives, The New York Stem Cell Foundation
Dr. Stephen Chang is the Senior Vice President for Strategic Initiatives at The New York Stem Cell Foundation. In this role, he provides senior leadership in the areas of research and development, oversight of short and long-term projects related to business units, partnerships with industry and other research institutions, and supervision and evaluation of projects.Prior to joining NYSCF, Dr. Chang served as Chief Scientific Officer of Stemgent upon the company’s founding in 2008. He was previously the CEO of Multicell Technologies and continues as a director of this company. He is also a board member of Histogen, Inc., a privately held company in regenerative medicine. Dr. Chang received his PhD in biological chemistry, molecular biology, and biochemistry from the University of California, Irvine. Having developed over a dozen investigational new drugs in cell and gene therapy, his research interests continue to include translational applications of basic science to pharmaceutical products.
Hina W. Chaudhry, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Director, Cardiovascular Regenerative Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Dr. Hina W. Chaudhry is a cardiologist, scientist, and entrepreneur. She is currently Associate Professor of Medicine and Director of Cardiovascular Regenerative Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York. She holds a B.S. in Chemistry, a B.S. in Biology, a thesis in Physics, and a minor in Political Science from MIT, and obtained her M.D. with Honors from Harvard Medical School. Her former position was the Florence Irving Assistant Professor of Medicine at Columbia University. She has won multiple awards in her field of cardiology including the American Heart Association’s Clinician-Scientist Award, an NIH Research Career Award, AstraZeneca’s Young Investigator Prize, and was named TEDMED Innovation Scholar 2013. She is a Principal Scientist and Award holder of the New York State Stem Cell Board. She has held continuous research funding from either the NIH, AHA, or NY Stem Cell Board for almost 20 years. In addition to her academic career, she is also Founder, Chief Scientific Officer, and Chairman of the Board of VentriNova, a privately-held biotech company based on her patent portfolio that is developing novel clinical treatments for cardiac regeneration. VentriNova was awarded the highest score nationally seen in a 5-year period for NIH small business grants through the NHLBI, selected as one of the 50 most innovative healthcare startups globally by TEDMED, top 10 women-led healthcare companies in the US by Springboard Enterprises 2014 and won a National Innovation Award 2014 at the TechConnect World Innovation Summit 2014. VentriNova is venture-backed by Broadview Ventures and is now seeking Series A financing.
Ellen B. Corenswet, Partner, Covington & Burling LLP
Ellen Corenswet is a corporate lawyer with over 40 years of experience representing companies–from early stage to public—as well as investors in the life sciences and technology industries. Ellen also advises pharma venture capital organizations in their investments in life sciences companies. She is Co-Chair of Covington’s Venture Capital/Emerging Company Practice Group and is resident in the firm’s New York office.
Ellen is passionate about working with founders and management teams in early stage companies and takes a hands on, pragmatic, business-focused approach to advising these companies as their outside corporate general counsel. She makes a personal commitment to each of her clients to spend the time to understand their business and objectives and to help them understand the issues they will face. In addition to providing day-to-day strategic advice, Ellen advises on financings, corporate governance, employment and equity compensation issues and commercial agreements. She has advised numerous companies in connection with their IPOs and M&A transactions.
Ellen is on the Board of National Advisors of Springboard Enterprises, Inc. and has been a long-time advisor to Springboard companies in the life sciences and technology sectors. She is also on the Board of Directors of NY BIO. Ellen is recognized as a leading life sciences corporate lawyer by The Practical Law Company (PLC) and is a frequent speaker on legal panels and at conferences.
Christopher de Souza, PhD, MBA, Director, Broadview Ventures, Inc.
Christopher de Souza shares responsibility for operations at Broadview Ventures, including sourcing and screening of investment opportunities, deal structuring and portfolio company board involvement. He leverages over 20 years of experience in biopharmaceutical R&D, business development and strategy to help meet the Broadview Ventures mission.
Prior to Broadview, Christopher was at Novartis and SkyePharma. He has an MBA from Rutgers University and a PhD from Louisiana State University with post-doctoral training at “The Upjohn Company” and the Joslin Diabetes Center/Harvard Medical School. He serves on the boards of Acesion, Allosteros, CellAegis, DecImmune, Gila Therapeutics, GI Windows, and VentriNova.
Eleanor “Ellie” Dehoney, Vice President, Policy and Advocacy, Research!America
Ellie Dehoney is vice president, policy and advocacy at Research!America, the nation’s largest nonprofit alliance focused on elevating medical progress to a higher national priority. Prior to joining Research!America, Ellie served as the legislative director for Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH). Ellie also served as the legislative director for Brown in the House of Representatives. Before joining Brown’s staff, Ellie served as a legislative assistant for former Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD). Previous positions included serving as a special assistant in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation within the Department of Health and Human Services and in other executive branch and private sector roles focused on health care financing and delivery. She received a BA in Economics and English from the College of William & Mary and an MSPH in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Peter DeLuca, MS, Partner, Carter, DeLuca, Farrell & Schmidt, LLP
Peter DeLuca is a co-founder of Carter DeLuca and the firm’s managing partner. Over the last 30 years, he has provided counseling on the protection, commercial exploitation, and enforcement of innovations in a wide range of technologies. That counseling frequently includes rendering opinions – – on patentability, freedom to operate, infringement, and/or validity, for example. That counseling also includes advice on investment decisions related to acquiring rights to new technologies, whether through merger, acquisition, or licensing. As an attorney with litigation experience, his advice on enforcement of IP rights prepares clients to either assert, or defend against infringement claims. His experience as the firm’s managing partner also gives him keen insight into business issues clients face on a daily basis and how those issues may impact development of a successful IP strategy.
Mr. DeLuca had an early propensity for solving puzzles and a natural scientific curiosity. He studied chemistry at Franklin and Marshall College where he became fascinated by the nexus between geology and chemistry, leading him to move on to the study of geochemistry at Stony Brook University. After earning his master’s degree at Stony Brook, Mr. DeLuca went on to study at Marquette University Law School to earn his law degree, allowing him to maximize his scientific know-how in the realm of patent law.
Kenneth Emancipator, MD, Executive Medical Director and Head, Companion Diagnostics, Merck Research Laboratories
Kenneth Emancipator, MD, DABP is the Executive Medical Director in charge of companion diagnostics for Merck & Company. He led the Merck team which partnered with Dako North America to develop the PD-L1 test, which identifies those non-small cell lung cancer patients most likely to benefit from Keytruda® (pembrolizumab), and which is the first companion diagnostic in cancer immunotherapy to be approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. He was one of six members of the Keytruda Team to receive the 2015 PhRMA Research and Hope Award for Biopharmaceutical Industry Research on behalf of Merck. His has held positions at Cornell University Medical College, Beth Israel Medical Center (NY), Bayer, and Abbott. He is a former officer of the American Society for Clinical Pathology, and is a regular reviewer for the American Journal of Clinical Pathology. His credits include over 100 publications and over 100 extramural presentations.
Rebecca Farkas, PhD, Associate Director for Strategic Collaborations, MedImmune
Dr. Rebecca Farkas joined MedImmune in 2015, where she is responsible for regional and east coast strategic collaborations with government, universities, and non-profit organizations. In her first year, she led the creation of a joint Ph.D. program with Johns Hopkins University – the first of its kind in the U.S. Dr. Farkas has also spearheaded various initiatives to help the region become a top-three biotech hub by 2023. Currently, she is heading up a team of local industry leaders that is developing an identity and promotional strategy for the BioHealth Capital Region.
Before MedImmune, Dr. Farkas served as an extramural program director at the NIH. She established and managed the Blueprint Neurotherapeutics Network, a “virtual pharma” that matches academic scientists with CROs and pharma consultants to conduct drug discovery and development. Dr. Farkas first came to the NIH in 2002 as an AAAS Science Policy Fellow and subsequently became a science policy advisor to the head of the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke. In her policy roles, Dr. Farkas worked with other federal agencies, Congress, and non-profit organizations to develop and advance strategies to accelerate basic and translational neuroscience research. Among her accomplishments, Dr. Farkas initiated a research program to develop medical countermeasures for chemical threats. Dr. Farkas holds a Ph.D. in Developmental Biology from Stanford and a B.A. in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale.
Edwin H. Gordon, MBA, Co-Head of Healthcare Investment Banking, Ladenburg Thalmann
Ed is a Managing Director and co-head of Ladenburg Thalmann’s Life Sciences Banking Group. During his tenure, capital market’s activities on behalf of life sciences clients have grown over 100%. Ed formerly was head of Punk, Ziegel & Co.’s life sciences investment banking. Ladenburg bought PZ. Previously, Ed was a Managing Director at Cowen and Furman Selz. He has raised over $7 billion of equity and debt and completed $12 billion of strategic activities for clients.
Ed started his career as an equity research analyst and was recognized by the Greenwich Associates Survey and Institutional Investor as a top analyst covering services companies. He advised CMS on the prospective payment system for nursing homes and co-authored a book on payment systems for hospitals. He has guest lectured at the The Tepper School of Carnegie Mellon University for 10 years. Ed is a member of the Advisory Committee at Montefiore Hospital and a member of the Board of Directors of a private chemical company.
Joseph V. Gulfo, MD, MBA, Executive Director of the Lewis Center for Healthcare Innovation and Technology at Fairleigh Dickinson University
Joseph V. Gulfo, MD, MBA, is the author of The Care Quotient: Transforming Business Through People and Innovation Breakdown: How the FDA and Wall Street Cripple Medical Advances. He is Executive Director of the Lewis Center for Healthcare Innovation and Technology at Fairleigh Dickinson University. A Visiting Scholar at the Mercatus Center, he is the author of the white paper, The Proper Role of the FDA for the 21st Century. He teaches graduate cancer biology.
Dr. Gulfo has more than 25 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical and medical device industries. He served as President & CEO of MELA Sciences (2004-2013) and was Chairman of the Board (2011-2013). He recently testified in front of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee on “Connecting Patients to New and Potential Life Saving Treatments” and his work has been published in WSJ, Forbes, CNBC, US News & World Report, and other national publications.
Ashok Gupta, MBBS, MD, PhD, Vice President, Clinical Development, IMTC Oncology, MedImmune
Dr. Ashok Gupta joined MedImmune in March 2014, as Vice President, Clinical Development, IMTC Oncology. Dr. Gupta earned his medical degrees and completed his medical residency at All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, India and earned his PhD in Cancer Biology at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Prior to joining MedImmune, Dr. Gupta rose to Group Medical Director at Bristol-Myers-Squibb where he was the Exploratory Development Team Leader for oncology and immuno-oncology compounds (small molecules and biologics). Among many other responsibilities at BMS, Dr. Gupta was the early Phase Development lead for Nivolumab as well as the combination of Niobolumab and Ipilimumab. Results from these studies have since been published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Dario Gutierrez, PhD, Immuno-biology Lead, Merck Research Labs- Cambridge Exploratory Science Center
Dr. Dario Gutierrez is the Immuno-biology Lead for the Merck Research Labs Cambridge Exploratory Science Center. Previously, he led the Immune Tolerance group at Evelo Biosciences in Cambridge MA. He received a bachelor of science in Chemistry from California State University, San Bernardino, a PhD from the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics at Vanderbilt University, and performed a postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Hans-Reimer Rodewald at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg, Germany. He has authored multiple publications on the role of the immune system in metabolic and autoimmune diseases, and current work focuses on the immune-microbiome axis.
Kimberly Ha, Senior Director, FTI Consulting
Kimberly Ha is a Senior Director in the FTI Consulting Strategic Communications segment based in New York. She is an award-winning journalist and has over a decade of experience in healthcare and financial journalism.
Kimberly was previously Global Editor at BioPharm Insight, an independent business intelligence product launched by the Mergermarket Group. She started her career as a financial journalist in Hong Kong specializing in life sciences M&A at Mergermarket and was the lead sector specialist before transferring to New York to launch the business intelligence division for BioPharm Insight in 2007. She is a Board Member for the Prix Galien Foundation and an advisor to the OneMedPlace Forums in San Francisco and New York. She is also an expert advisor for Startup Health and was selected as an editorial board member for the World Korean Medical Journal. Ms. Ha received a B.A. in psychology from New York University.
Todd Haim, PhD, Program Director, SBIR Development Center, National Cancer Institute
Dr. Todd Haim is a Program Director at the National Cancer Institute’s SBIR Development Center. Dr. Haim manages SBIR & STTR grants and contracts focused on the development of novel cancer therapeutics, preventative agents, and drug discovery technologies that incorporate the tumor microenvironment. Additionally, Todd plays a key role in the planning, design, and leadership of several center initiatives, including serving as coordinator of the NCI Investor Forum, helping to implement relevant workshops, draft targeted solicitations, and facilitate external partnerships.
Dov Hass, Director, Transactions and Corporate Law, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals
Dov provides legal support to Regeneron’s business development group on strategic transactions. Recent deals at Regeneron include Regeneron’s collaboration agreement with Adicet Bio in the CAR-T field and Regeneron’s collaboration and equity investment with Intellia Therapeutics in the CRISPR Field. Prior to Regeneron, Dov practiced corporate law for a decade in private practice, principally in the life sciences group at Morgan Lewis & Bockius, where he advised pharma and biotech clients in a variety of corporate transactions, including collaborations, equity investments and royalty monetizations. Notable transactions include the representation of Merck Serono in its collaboration with Pfizer for avelumab.
Kenton C. Hasson, PhD, Senior Manager, Business Development & Innovation, Canon BioMedical
Dr. Hasson has nearly 20 years of technology and business development experience in the medical imaging and diagnostics fields. He has worked in several innovative startup and early-stage companies (Magnetic Imaging Technologies, Inc.; Diffusion Pharmaceuticals, Sensors for Medicine and Science) as well as large corporations (Amersham Health, Canon). He has been an investigator on several SBIR/STTR grants and is an inventor on more than 60 issued U.S. patents. He currently leads business development efforts for Canon BioMedical. He conducted the selection and engagement process that led to joint development collaboration and strategic investments in two promising early-stage companies in the field of molecular diagnostics. Dr. Hasson received his bachelor’s degree in physics with high honors from Princeton University, and his Ph.D. degree in physics from Harvard University. He also earned an MBA from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia.
William G Hearl, PhD, Chief Executive Officer, Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc.
Dr. Bill Hearl is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc. (“ITI”). He is an experienced and successful scientific businessman and bio-entrepreneur, having founded both ITI and formerly Capital Genomix in 2000. Dr. Hearl has moved ITI steadily forward from an initial license agreement with the Geron Corporation in 2006 to an animal health license in 2012 and then most recently to two license deals with Astellas Pharma for the treatment of allergies, one for Japanese red cedar and a second global allergy license. The second deal brought ITI an upfront payment of $300,000,000 and established the Company as one of the leading entities in nucleic acid research. Dr. Hearl funded the Company by following a strategy of seeking a series of angel investment rounds which raised in aggregate over $12 million to drive the development of its allergy products. Prior to founding ITI and Capital Genomix, he was a senior executive at Kirkegaard & Perry Labs and then held various R&D positions at Life Technologies and Pharmacia. Dr. Hearl holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Tennessee (Oak Ridge & Knoxville) and holds multiple patents in the field of gene immunization.
Martin F. Heidecker, PhD, MBA, Managing Director, Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund USA Inc.
Martin joined the Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund in 2010 to invest in early innovative therapeutic life science companies. In October 2013, Martin established the US-office of BIVF in Cambridge, MA, where he is focusing on biotech seed-investments. He has 15 years of investing and commercial experience in both venture capital and global pharma companies. He serves as board member of AMP Therapeutics in Leipzig, ArmaGen in Calabasas, 121bio in Cambridge and Sentien in Medford. Prior to BIVF, Martin held several global roles in Marketing at Boehringer Ingelheim and Solvay Pharmaceuticals and was involved in the global launch of several products in the area of CNS. Martin began his career as an Investment Manager at Bayern Kapital, focusing on seed investments of biotech companies. Martin holds a PhD in Biology as well as a Master degree in Biology and Economics. He serves on the board of AMP Therapeutics GmbH and ArmaGen Technologies, Inc.
Cláudia Hirawat, Independent BD Consultant & Advisor
Cláudia Hirawat is a corporate advisor to life science companies and serves as a volunteer Chair of EURORDIS’S International Circle of Ambassadors. Until January 2015 Ms. Hirawat served as the President of PTC Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: PTCT) leading the company in partnership with the CEO and senior team through a large mezzanine financing, a successful Initial Public Offering and the European conditional approval of the Company’s first product: Translarna, for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Ms. Hirawat oversaw Business and Corporate Development and was pivotal in the development of the organization from inception.
Prior to PTC, Ms. Hirawat served as a Vice President at LedbetterStevens, a management consulting and senior-level retained search firm in New York focused exclusively in the biopharmaceutical area. Ms. Hirawat was at LedbetterStevens for five years and had responsibilities for projects for a variety of clients including: Pfizer, Pharmacia, Bristol Myers Squibb Co., Celera Genomics, Coelacanth Corp., SpotFire, IBM Consulting/The Wilkerson Group and The Boston Consulting Group. Ms. Hirawat is passionate about the rights and the role of the patient at every stage of drug discovery, development, commercialization and delivery of care. Her philanthropic efforts are focused in rare disorders, mental health, patient and human rights.
Paul Howard, Senior Fellow, Director, Health Policy, Manhattan Institute
Paul Howard is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and director of health policy. He is a contributor to The Apothecary, the Forbes blog on health care policy and entitlement reform, and a regular columnist for The Morning Consult.
Howard has written on a wide variety of medical-policy issues, including FDA reform, biopharmaceutical innovation, consumer-driven health care, and Medicare and Medicaid reform. He is often quoted on health care issues, and his work has appeared in such publications as Bloomberg View, Wall Street Journal, National Affairs, USA Today, RealClearPolitics, New York Post, Investor’s Business Daily, Health Affairs, and FoxNews.com. He is a member of MI’s Project FDA.
Howard was part of the health care policy advisory group for Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign, has testified twice before Congress, and, in 2013 and 2014, served on an expert panel as a judge for Celgene’s Innovation Impact Awards. He joined MI in 2000, as deputy director of its Center for Legal Policy, where he edited research papers, managed legal policy analyses, and organized conferences. He holds a B.A. from the College of the Holy Cross and a Ph.D in Political Science from Fordham University.
Nouhad Husseini, MBA, Senior Director, Business Development, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals
Nouhad is currently the head of Business Development at Regeneron, where he oversees the team that is responsible for sourcing, evaluating and executing new strategic collaborations and licensing agreements. Nouhad has over 15 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry where he has held a variety of strategic, business development, and finance roles. Prior to joining Regeneron in 2011, he held positions in Genentech’s Business Development and Corporate Finance departments and positions in investment banking and equity research at Morgan Stanley and Robertson Stephens. He received his undergraduate degree in Molecular Biology from Princeton University and an MBA from the Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania.
Stuart Jacobowitz, Director of Business Development, FreeMind Group
Mr. Stuart Jacobowitz is a highly experienced, senior-level sales & business development manager with experience in helping with the growth of companies he has represented in the international market. With a Wall Street past, Stuart brings a strong business and finance background to FreeMind’s Business Development team. His proven track record of implementing targeted growth strategies and surpassing sales goals in various industries is a testament of his hard work and commitment to develop and build long term relationships with potential as well as existing clients. The experiences and successes he has had in establishing and expanding a presence in the international markets has been enjoyable and extremely satisfying.
Anna Kazanchyan, MD, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Saghmos Therapeutics Inc.
Dr. Kazanchyan is CEO and Chairman of Saghmos Therapeutics. Previously, she was SVP, Business Development at Ovid Therapeutics. She is Founder and Managing Partner of Primary i-Research, where she was an executive advisor to CEOs of biopharmaceutical companies on matters related to business development, regulatory strategy, marketing, and commercial/competitive landscape, as well as equity and debt financing. Dr. Kazanchyan has evaluated over 200 products, both for biopharmaceutical companies, as well as leading healthcare investment funds. She is currently a member of the Board of Directors and Compensation Committee for Foamix Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: FOMX). Previously, Dr. Kazanchyan was Senior Biotechnology Analyst at Wachovia Securities, and was a member of the #1 and #2 Institutional-Investor ranked Biotechnology Equity Research teams at Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, respectively. She received an MD from Harvard Medical School and a B.A. in Biology, summa cum laude, from Clark University.
Mark Kessel, Partner, Symphony Capital LLC
Mark Kessel co-founded Symphony Capital and was formerly the managing partner of Shearman & Sterling and currently co-heads its healthcare practice. He is a director of Organovo, Chairman of Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics, Editorial Advisor to Nature Biotechnology, strategic advisor to biotechnology companies. He was a director of the TB Alliance, BIO, Dynavax, OXiGENE, Antigenics, Heller Financial and Harrods, and a Trustee of the Museum of the City of New York.
He has written on the biotech industry and world health for Nature publications, Lancet, Scientist, Science Translational Medicine, Start-Up, BioCentury and other publications and on issues related to governance for such publications as The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, The Deal, NACD Directorship, BNA’s Corporate Counsel Weekly, Corporate Law & Accountability Report and Euromoney. He received a B.A. with honors in Economics from the City College of New York and J.D. magna cum laude from Syracuse University College of Law.
Kevin Koch, PhD, Venture Partner, Orbimed
Dr. Koch has been active in the life science industry for 25+ years with a focus on drug discovery, translational medicine and clinical development. Most recently, Dr. Koch was the Senior Vice President of Drug Discovery: Chemical and Molecular Therapeutics at Biogen where he managed global drug discovery and biomarker development as well as the immunology and hematology teams. From 1998-2013, Dr. Koch served as the President, Chief Scientific Officer, Board member and Co-Founder of Array BioPharma, Inc. While there, he built a fully integrated R&D team that oversaw the invention of over 20 clinical development candidates in the multiple therapeutic areas. Prior to Array, Dr. Koch held senior positions at Amgen Inc. and Pfizer Central Research. Dr. Koch received a B.S. in Chemistry and Biochemistry from State University of New York, Stony Brook, and his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from University of Rochester. He is the co-author or inventor of multiple patents and publications. Dr. Koch currently serves on the boards of MiRagen Therapeutics and Encycle Therapeutics and consults with several life science companies.
Kristen Kosofsky, Sr. Managing Director, Hercules Technology Capital
Ms. Kosofsky is Sr. Managing Director responsible for business development in the life sciences and broader healthcare market. Ms. Kosofsky is a seasoned executive, with more than 20 years of experience in the venture debt market focused on structuring financial transactions for biotechnology, medical device and other healthcare and cleantech related companies. Most recently, Ms. Kosofsky served as Managing Director at Horizon Technology Finance, and was responsible for business development in the life sciences market. Prior to that Ms. Kosofsky served as Vice President, Life Sciences at Comerica Bank in Boston and co-lead the life sciences practice while more than doubling the assets under management in a two-year period. Before joining Comerica, Ms. Kosofsky worked in a number of finance and business development roles at GATX Corporation and Transamerica Technology Finance. Ms. Kosofsky began her career at Financing for Science International, Inc. Ms. Kosofsky received a Bachelor of Science in Business from Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, Connecticut.
Steven Kreit, Partner, EisnerAmper
Steven Kreit is Partner-in-Charge of the New York Commercial Audit and Assurance Practice, as well as the Life Sciences and Technology groups in New York. He has significant expertise in serving industries across major markets, including life sciences, technology, pharmaceuticals, media, manufacturing and distribution. Steven’s experience benefits companies through their entire lifecycle: from emerging entities through growth stages and transactions as well as maturity.
Steven has taken companies through the IPO and reverse merger processes, and numerous registration statements, including drafting sessions with investment bankers, attorneys, and ensuring compliance with SEC rules and regulations. Prior to joining the firm, he was with a Big Four accounting firm. Steven has been engaged by clients as an acting CFO (for a publicly traded biotech firm), as well as a pro bono advisor to early stage start-ups.
Joan Kutcher, Of Counsel, Covington & Burling, LLP
Joan Kutcher has more than 30 years of experience providing strategic advice to stakeholders in a broad range of industries, with a particular expertise in the life sciences industry and federal and state health care-related programs. Over the years, she has helped pharmaceutical companies, states, government contractors, insurance companies and trade associations successfully navigate the Congress and regulatory agencies.
Drawing on decades of experience, Ms. Kutcher successfully advises clients on both proactive legislative campaigns and defensive strategies to advance their legislative and regulatory goals. She played a key role in the development of the Long-Term Care Insurance program for federal employees. Ms. Kutcher is a senior member of Covington’s Public Policy and Government Affairs Practice Group, and has served on the firm’s Retirement Committee for five years.
Jennifer LaVin, MBA, Principal SMP Communications
Jennifer LaVin is a seasoned life science communications professional skilled at getting to the heart of what drives an organization, developing core content that effectively reflects its personality, vision and value proposition, and successfully reaching the right audiences with the right messaging to help realize that value. Her expertise spans strategy development, investor and public relations, corporate, marketing, crisis, and employee communications, as well as equity and scientific research. Currently a communications consultant, Jennifer previously served as the head of communications at Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Cadus Pharmaceutical, and Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals, where she was responsible for the planning and execution of all internal and external communications programs, and as Assistant Vice President at Merrill Lynch, where she was a sellside analyst following the mid-cap and specialty pharmaceutical sector. Jennifer holds a BA in Biochemistry from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA with honors from Columbia Business School.
Douglas W. Losordo, MD, FACC, FAHA, Senior Vice President, Clinical, Medical and Regulatory Affairs, Chief Medical Officer, Caladrius Biosciences
Dr. Losordo is the Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President of Clinical, Medical and Regulatory Affairs of Caladrius Biosciences, Inc, Clinical Professor of Medicine at the New York University Langone Medical Center and Adjunct Professor of Medicine at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Losordo’s career has been dedicated to patient care and to the development of novel therapeutics aimed at the reversal or repair of chronic conditions such as heart failure, critical limb ischemia, cancer and diabetes.
A native of Brooklyn, NY, he received his medical degree from the University of Vermont. Dr. Losordo completed an internship, residency and fellowship at St. Elizabeth’s Medical, Boston, Massachusetts, where he subsequently joined the faculty, working with the late Jeff Isner to develop a program in gene therapy and cell-based tissue repair. Dr. Losordo’s group has executed the full “translational medicine” paradigm: identifying potential therapeutic approaches in the laboratory, investigating these strategies in pre-clinical/IND-enabling models and designing and executing first-in-human and proof-of-concept clinical trials as the study sponsor/IND-holder. His work has included developing VEGF gene therapy for myocardial ischemia and diabetic neuropathy and CD34+ cell therapy for refractory angina, critical limb ischemia, and severe claudication. Two of these candidates advanced to phase 3. At Caladrius Dr. Losordo has initiated a phase 2 study of autologous regulatory T cell therapy for new onset type 1 diabetes in children and recently received Japanese PMDA agreement on a study of CD34 cell therapy for critical limb ischemia targeting conditional approval under the new Japanese regulatory rules governing regenerative therapies. In addition to his own work Dr. Losordo has also mentored numerous scientists and physician-scientists from around the world who now have their own independent programs in translational research.
Sanford J. Madigan, PhD, SVP, COI Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Sandy brings 20 years of industry experience to his various roles. Sandy has been instrumental in venture financings, licensing founding and value-added technologies, establishing strategic direction, and negotiating partnerships and corporate acquisitions.
At COI, Sandy is SVP and a founder of Silarus, CadheRx, Iron Horse and PDI. Concurrently he serves as CEO of Sova Pharmaceuticals, an Avalon Ventures IX portfolio company and as the executive founder and CEO of Ankasa Regenerative Therapeutics, an Avalon Ventures X portfolio company for which he raised $19M in a Series A financing.
Sandy performed his post-doctoral training at The Salk Institute in La Jolla, California. He received his Ph.D. in genetics and his B.S. in biochemistry from The State University of New York at Stony Brook where, as a graduate student, he was awarded the Abrahams Memorial Award for outstanding potential for basic research.
Michael Marino, PhD, Manager, GE Global Research
Dr. Marino has over a decade of experience in the research, development and deployment of therapeutic, diagnostic, and medical device technology and currently manages an interdisciplinary team of scientists and engineers for GE’s Global Research Center with the goal of innovation in healthcare and the responsibility for delivering new technology to the commercial marketplace. Prior to GE, Dr. Marino worked with Kinemed, a California-based biotechnology company, in new program and application development for discovery platform technology, including those focused on cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and liver fibrosis. Michael received his BS in Biology and MS in Chemistry from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his PhD in Chemistry from the University of California, San Diego. He currently serves on the External Review Board for the Center for Biotechnology and the Long Island Bioscience Hub.
Stephen Nagler, Executive Director, MedPro Investors LLC
Steve Nagler is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of MedPro investors LLC. MedPro is an organization of healthcare professionals (167 at present) in 13 countries. MedPro invests in biotech and medical device companies with technology which promises to advance the standard of care and which have shown some measure of clinical efficacy. Every potential investment is screened by a relevant specialist. MedPro recently completed its third investment and expects to complete three more in the coming year. Steve also founded TriState Ventures, an angel group now focused on assisting companies which are close to profitability with financing their growth. He is a lawyer and a Partner at Eaton & Van Winkle, LLP, a New York based full service law firm with an international practice. After law school, he served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Malawi, Africa while it achieved its independence. For many years he worked as a public interest lawyer. He also served as General Counsel of Patlex Corporation where he ran the licensing program which financed the Company enabling it to achieve a major success.
Marian T. Nakada, PhD, Vice President Venture Investments, Johnson & Johnson Innovation-JJDC Inc.
Marian is Vice President, Venture Investments at Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC Inc. and is based in Boston. She focuses on pharmaceutical investments in East Coast companies that will create options in areas of strategic interest to Johnson & Johnson. Marian previously held roles at Centocor R&D, Janssen R&D, and Janssen Business Development. She has a BA in Biology from Harvard College and a PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Pennsylvania. Marian was the JJDC investor for CoStim Pharmaceuticals, Rodin Therapeutics, and Padlock Therapeutics and currently sits on the Board of Navitor Pharmaceuticals.
Ron Newbold, MS, PhD, Vice President, External R&D Innovation – Head Global Scouting, Pfizer
Dr. Ron Newbold is Vice President of External R&D Innovation (ERDI) at Pfizer and supports numerous global alliances with universities and biotechnology companies, strengthening Pfizer’s access to cutting edge science for Pfizer’s Research division. Ron’s group has responsibility for identifying collaborative opportunities for all their scientific areas of interest (Oncology, Neuroscience, Immunology and Inflammation, Cardiovascular and Rare Diseases) and he also leads the Pfizer Seed Fund, which helps support new spin-out companies of therapeutic interest.
Ron brings to Pfizer significant experience in external partnering in the Life Sciences field from his previous activities at Merck as well as entrepreneurial start-up experience with 3 early-stage biotech companies (Sentigen Biosciences, Celldex Therapeutics, Auspex Pharmaceuticals). Ron earned his MS and PhD in Organic Chemistry from the University of Rochester, completed a postdoctoral fellowship with Nobel Laureate E.J. Corey at Harvard University, and later completed an MBA from the Columbia Business School.
Brian P. O’Shaughnessy, Shareholder, RatnerPrestia, President-Elect, Licensing Executives Society (LES) (USA & Canada)
Brian P. O’Shaughnessy is an attorney at law and a shareholder in the Washington, DC office of RatnerPrestia. He is a registered patent attorney with over 25 years’ experience, both in private practice and in-house. His practice focuses on global IP protection, and the use of IP rights to maximize return on innovation. He assists clients in building portfolios to strategic advantage, devising effective enforcement and avoidance regimes, as well as licensing strategies and agreements.
In addition to his day job, Brian is Chair-elect of the Licensing Executives Society (USA and Canada), Inc., and has served on the LES Board since 2007. Prior to assuming the Chair-elect role, Brian was LES Regional Vice President, USA, and was responsible for articulating the Society’s positions on legislation, administration policy, and trends in US law. He is a longstanding author, editor, and faculty member of LES’s curriculum-based education programs.
Brian is also a member of the Board of Trustees of his alma mater, Rochester Institute of Technology, America’s second largest STEM-degree producing private university. He serves on the Board’s Executive Committee, and chairs its Student Life Committee.
Bernat Olle, MS, MBA, PhD, Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer, Vedanta Biosciences
Dr. Olle is a co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Vedanta Biosciences. He has been a member of the founding teams of several companies of the PureTech portfolio and serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Vedanta Biosciences and Follica Biosciences. In 2013 Dr. Olle was named “Innovator of the Year” in MIT Technology Review Spain’s “Innovators under 35” awards, and in 2015 he was awarded the Princess of Girona business award by the King of Spain. He completed his doctoral work at the Chemical Engineering Department at MIT, where he developed a novel method for large scale bacterial culture. During his graduate work, Dr. Olle was awarded the “la Caixa” fellowship. Dr. Olle received his B.Eng. In Chemical Engineering from Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Spain, his M.S. and PhD in Chemical Engineering Practice from MIT, and his MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management. He has published his work in journals including Nature and Nature Biotechnology.
Art Pappas, MBA, Managing Partner, Pappas Ventures
Art has over 30 years’ experience as a pharmaceutical executive and life science venture capitalist. He founded Pappas Capital in 1994 and since then has raised over $450 million. Art is Chairman of CoLucid Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: CLCD), and a director for Aura Biosciences. Prior to Pappas Capital, Art held senior leadership positions at Glaxo Holdings, Abbott International and Dow Pharmaceuticals.
Art also serves on several non-profit boards including the NVCA and The Wistar Institute. Art is a decorated Vietnam veteran, having served in the US Army 101st Airborne Division. Art received a BS in Biology from Ohio State University and an MBA in Finance from Xavier University.
Bill Podd, President, Landmark Angels and Landmark Family Office
Bill Podd is the President of the Landmark Family Office (an investment alliance of prominent US and international Family Offices), Executive Director of Landmark Angels, Inc. (a national private angel group) and President & CEO of Landmark Capital Corporation (a boutique investment bank founded in 1993 and based in Greenwich, CT). Prior to founding Landmark Capital, Bill completed more than $3 billion in financings as a corporate finance banker and lawyer at major law firms in NYC and at Lehman Brothers where he specialized in both municipal and corporate finance. He also served as president of an early stage enterprise software company whose technology was developed at The Draper Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Bill is a frequent speaker and panelist on family office, private equity and venture capital topics. A Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude graduate of The University of Notre Dame, he received his J.D. degree from the University of Virginia School of Law.
Dennis J. Purcell, Founder and Senior Advisor, Aisling Capital LLC
During his tenure, Dennis has been directly involved with over two hundred completed transactions and supervised over $15 billion of financing and advisory assignments in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical products industries. Dennis is a frequent commentator on the industry and has been honored in various publications as a top contributor to the Life Sciences industry. He sits on numerous private and public healthcare company boards and is actively involved with many of the industry’s professional organizations, such as BIO, the Life Sciences Foundation, the NYC Investment Fund and NYU’s office of Therapeutics Alliance. Dennis received his M.B.A. from Harvard University and his B.S. in Accounting from the University of Delaware.
Alexander S. Preker, President & CEO, Health Investment & Financing Corporation
Mr. Alexander S. Preker is President and CEO of the Health Investment & Financing Corporation, a Founding Member of the New York Chapter of the Keiretsu Forum, the Chair of the External Advisory Committee for the WHHSJ of the International Hospital Federation, a Senior Advisor to Mt. Sinai Innovation Partners and a Member of the Board of the USA HealthCare Alliance and several start-up health care companies.
Barbara S. Schilberg, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, BioAdvance
Barbara Schilberg has held multiple leadership positions in the life sciences sector for over 30 years. Since 2002 she has served as the CEO of BioAdvance, an early stage investor in life sciences companies in the mid-Atlantic region, which has invested $37 million in 74 companies and academic technologies. During her tenure BioAdvance portfolio companies have attracted $2.5 billion in capital; eleven companies have been acquired and nine products have been approved by the FDA. Before joining BioAdvance Barbara served in senior management of Cephalon and three other biotech companies, where she was responsible for programs ranging from discovery to Phase 3 clinical studies. Before joining the biopharma industry, she represented a variety of universities and biotech companies with financings and technology commercialization as a partner at Morgan Lewis.
Mark Simon, MBA, Partner, Torreya Partners
Mark co-founded Torreya Partners in 2007 and brings over 20 years of experience in advising biotech companies. Mark has worked on over 175 financing and M&A transactions over his career. Mark heads the Biotech Advisory team at Torreya and has deep scientific knowledge across multiple therapeutic areas. Before Torreya, Mark was a Managing Director and the Head of Life Sciences Investment Banking at Citigroup where he covered biotech, big pharma, and specialty pharma companies. Mark previously was both an investment banker and a leading analyst at Robertson Stephens.Mark holds a BA from Columbia College and a MBA from Harvard Business School. Mark is a registered representative with Financial West Group.
Katy Stein, PhD, Principal, Kathryn Stein Consulting, LLC
Dr. Kathryn Stein is an immunologist who has over 30 years of experience in biotechnology as a senior manager at the FDA and as an executive in industry. She is an expert in the field of polysaccharide-protein conjugate vaccines and monoclonal antibodies. During her 22 years at the FDA, the last 10 as the first Director of the Division of Monoclonal Antibodies, Dr. Stein was a leader in developing policies to regulate polysaccharide-protein conjugate vaccines and monoclonal antibodies and other recombinant DNA-derived products. She was the product approving official for 15 of the first 16 monoclonal antibodies approved, including abciximab, rituximab, palivizumab, trastuzumab, infliximab, and alemtuzumab. In 2002, she left the FDA to join MacroGenics where she was responsible for establishing the Product Development and Regulatory Affairs, Project Management, Quality and Manufacturing departments and served as SVP until January, 2016. She is the Principal, Kathryn Stein Consulting, LLC.
Gregory Q. Tiberend, President & CEO, Tiberend Strategic Advisors, Inc.
Greg has more than 30 years’ experience counseling senior management and has developed and executed strategic investor and corporate communications programs for both publicly traded and private companies. Greg actively participates in programs sponsored by Biotech Showcase and the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) and has developed speaker panels for these annual events.
Having developed strong relationships during his career with investment bankers, venture capitalist and journalists, Greg has counseled more than 100 companies in the areas of biotechnology, specialty pharmaceutical, generic pharmaceutical, medical device, diagnostics, healthcare services and financial services. He has a strong understanding of the stories reporters are seeking and works with clients to develop appropriate key messages to best convey the message that will resonate with multiple audiences including investors and potential partners. Greg is a 1984 graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Stephen H. Tsang, MD, PhD, László Bitó Associate Professor, Ophthalmology, Associate Professor, Pathology & Cell Biology, Graduate Program, Neurobiology & Behavior, Institute of Human Nutrition, Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, Columbia University
Stephen H. Tsang MD, PhD has been culturing embryonic stem (ES) cells since 1992 and in 1995 created the first mouse model for a recessive form of retinitis pigmentosa (RP) by applying homologous recombination to ES cell technology. Since 1996, the Dr. Tsang has been quantifying retinal function and structure in gene-targeted mutant mice. In 2004, the PI was charged with the responsibility of establishing an electroretinogram (ERG) service at Columbia University Medical Center. His electrophysiology service (ERG) evaluates and cares for patients with the most complicated hereditary and inflammatory retinal diseases in the New York area and beyond.
Most recently, he has been invited to lecture at the gene-editing workshop during the annual Association for Research in Vision & Ophthalmology (ARVO) 2015 & 2016 Annual Meetings; and as a Moderator for Gene Editing/Rewriting the Genome: Moving from Association to Biology and Therapeutics session during the 65thAmerican Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) Annual Meeting, and a lecturer at 2015 & 2016 CRISPR Revolution conferences at Cold Spring Harbor.
Geoffrey von Maltzahn, PhD, Partner, Flagship VentureLabs
Geoffrey von Maltzahn is a life science inventor and serial entrepreneur. He is a Partner at Flagship VentureLabs, where he focuses on inventing technologies and starting companies to address global challenges in nutrition, environmental sustainability, and medicine. He is a co-founder of Indigo, Seres Therapeutics, Pronutria Biosciences, Kaleido Biosciences, Sienna Biopharmaceuticals, and others.
Geoffrey is Chief Technology Officer of Indigo, the leading innovator in the plant microbiome, and previously was Chief Technology Officer at Seres Therapeutics, where he led the build-out of the Microbiome Therapeutics platform and the discovery of SER-109, the first clinically-validated Microbiome Therapeutic, and VP Product Discovery at Pronutria, where he led discovery of two drug candidates in clinical development.
Geoffrey has been named as an inventor on over 100 patents and applications and received more than 20 awards for invention, including the Lemelson-MIT student prize, given to the most innovative student at MIT. He was awarded a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering and Medical Physics from MIT; a M.S. in Bioengineering from the University of California, San Diego; and a S.B. in Chemical Engineering from MIT.
Felicia Vonella, Executive Director, Investor Relations, Acorda Therapeutics
Felicia is an investor relations specialist who has counseled numerous companies in various stages of development through investor relations and corporate communications programs. For the last 15 years, she has focused exclusively on working with companies in the healthcare industry. In addition to investor relations, Felicia has managed public relations, media relations and corporate communications programs for both private and public healthcare, biotech and medical device companies. She is currently Executive Director, Investor Relations at Acorda Therapeutics, a neurology company listed on NASDAQ (ACOR).
Felicia Vonella began her career in investor relations and financial communications over 25 years ago at Dewe Rogerson Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of the global financial communications group.
While at Dewe Rogerson, Felicia held various positions within the IR area. In 1994, Felicia was named Director of Latin American Investor Relations and was responsible for growing that region and establishing offices in Santiago, Chile and Sao Paulo, Brazil. Prior to Dewe Rogerson’s acquisition by Citigate Communications, Felicia was responsible for the firm’s worldwide investor relations business. She was U.S. team leader during the merger of Dewe Rogerson into Citigate in 1998. After leaving Dewe Rogerson in 1999, Felicia moved to London where she established an IR department within Imagination LTD. Upon her return to the U.S. in 2001, Felicia joined TheStreet.com as Senior Vice President of Investor Relations.
Mary Woolley, President, Research!America
Mary Woolley is the president of Research!America, the nation’s largest not-for-profit alliance working to make research to improve health a higher national priority. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) and served two terms on its Governing Council. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and has served two terms on the National Academy of Sciences Board on Life Sciences. She is a Founding Member of the Board of Associates of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, and a sought-after speaker, often interviewed by science, news, and policy journalists.
Anton Xavier, MS, MBA, Senior Scientist and NY/NYC Biotech Scout, Targeted Therapeutics Discovery, Pfizer WRD
Anton Xavier is a senior scientist at Pfizer Oncology (WRD) where he is involved in early (through to) late stage development of targeted therapeutic modalities for oncology indications. In addition, Anton is involved with the Scouting and External R&D Innovation divisions within Pfizer: searching and evaluating (NY-centric) novel technologies that align with Pfizer’s internal needs, initiating collaborations and alliances with external ventures across all strategically relevant therapeutic areas.
Prior to Pfizer, Anton’s experience was within a wider field of bioscience, including regenerative medicine, infectious disease, and cardiovascular biology where he developed multiple therapeutic, platform, and diagnostic innovations for military and industrial needs. Anton is currently a mentor for early stage life science ventures with E-Lab NYC, NSF’s I-Corps program, the British Consulate NYC, and NY based universities, where he provides critical industry based science, strategy, and business development input for bio-venture development.
Peter Young, Executive-in-Residence, Pappas Ventures
Peter is an executive-in-residence with Pappas Capital, where he leads the firm’s initiatives in translational medicine and is the Program Manager for the Wake Forest Technology Development Program. Peter has thirty-five years’ experience in the life science industry, from sales representative to country-level general manager at multinationals like Abbott and Glaxo to start-up biotech CEO. At Glaxo Wellcome he led the introduction of combination therapy that revolutionized HIV treatment while keying industry leadership on global treatment access. Peter also served as CEO of two start-ups, a vaccine company that raised over $80 million in NIH grants, and a specialty pharmaceutical company he led to an exit via strategic transaction.
Peter serves on the Oversight Committee for the University of Miami Wallace H. Coulter Center for Translational Research and the Long Island Bioscience Hub External Review Board. He is a past member of the BIO board and chairman of NCBIO.
Tingting Zhang-Kharas, PhD, Advisor – Oncology External Innovation, Eli Lilly and Company
Dr. Tingting Zhang-Kharas leads the Oncology External Innovation New York team at Eli Lilly and Company (Lilly) and serves as a NY-based liaison to foster strong relationships between Lilly Research Laboratory (LRL) Oncology and academic medical centers (AMCs). Her team supports LRL Oncology to identify and prioritize collaboration opportunities with AMCs and monitor progress of ongoing collaborations. Additionally, she works closely with Lilly’s Search and Evaluate team to explore start-up opportunities with academic key opinion leaders and advises Lilly-affiliated venture capital funds on scientific due diligence.
Prior to joining Lilly, Tingting was a Licensing Manager at the Office of Technology Development at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK), managing a large portfolio of oncology-focused therapeutic and diagnostic inventions for patenting and commercialization. Before MSK, she was a Senior Consultant at Navigant Consulting, specializing in market research, asset/opportunity assessment, and due diligence for pharma/biotech clients. Dr. Zhang-Kharas received her PhD degree in Immunology from Harvard University (mentored by Dr. Fred Alt) and Bachelor degree in Biomedical Sciences from Peking University Health Science Center in China.
Alex Zisson, Managing Director, H.I.G. Capital
Alex focuses on pharmaceuticals, generics, drug delivery and specialty pharma and biotechnology. He joined H.I.G. Capital as a Managing Director in January 2016. He currently serves on the board of directors for Clarus and Keystone Dental.
Prior to H.I.G., Alex was spent 13 years at Thomas, McNerney & Partners. Previous board seats included Auspex (sold to Teva), InnoPharma (sold to Pfizer), Quinnova (sold to Amneal), Celator (public), Zogenix (public), Tranzyme (merged with Ocera) and observer roles at PCI (sold to Partners Group) and Coley (sold to Pfizer).
Alex is the co-chair of the Business Advisory Council of the Children’s Tumor Foundation, an advisor for the Partnership Fund of NYC, which manages a bioaccelarator, and is on the Life Sciences Council for Springboard Enterprises, a group that assists women entrepreneurs. He graduated magna cum laude from Brown University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.