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Dr. Amesh Adalja (Senior Scholar at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security)

Dr. Amesh Adalja

Senior Scholar at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security

Dr. Adalja is a Senior Scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and an Affiliate of the Johns Hopkins Center for Global Health. His work is focused on emerging infectious disease, pandemic preparedness, and biosecurity.

Dr. Adalja has served on US government panels tasked with developing guidelines for the treatment of plague, botulism, and anthrax in mass casualty settings, the system of care for infectious disease emergencies, and a National Academies steering committee for diagnostic excellence. He also served as an external advisor to the New York City Health + Hospitals Emergency Management Highly Infectious Disease training program and on a US Federal Emergency Management Agency working group on nuclear disaster recovery. He is a spokesperson for the Infectious Diseases Society of America; he previously served on their public health and diagnostics committees and their precision medicine working group. Dr. Adalja is a member of the American College of Emergency Physicians Pennsylvania Chapter’s EMS & Terrorism and Disaster Preparedness Committee as well as the Allegheny County Medical Reserve Corps. He was formerly a member of the National Quality Forum Infectious Disease Standing Committee; he currently serves on their Primary Care and Chronic Illness Standing Committee, and the US Department of Health and Human Services National Disaster Medical System, with which he was deployed to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake and was also selected for their mobile acute care strike team. Dr. Adalja’s expertise is frequently sought by international and national media.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Adalja has served as a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association coronavirus advisory group; a consultant to various businesses, schools, and organizations; and an informal advisor to the International Monetary Fund. He has also testified before the US House Foreign Affairs Committee and the Pennsylvania House Health Committee.

Dr. Adalja is an Associate Editor of the journal Health Security. He was a coeditor of the volume Global Catastrophic Biological Risks and a contributing author for the Handbook of Bioterrorism and Disaster Medicine, the Emergency Medicine CorePendium, Clinical Microbiology Made Ridiculously Simple, UpToDate’s section on biological terrorism, and a North Atlantic Treaty Organization volume on bioterrorism. He has also published in such journals as the New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, Journal of Infectious Diseases, Clinical Infectious Diseases, Emerging Infectious Diseases, Annals of Emergency Medicine, and Health Security.

Dr. Adalja is a Fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the American College of Physicians, and the American College of Emergency Physicians.

Dr. Adalja completed 2 fellowships at the University of Pittsburgh—one in infectious diseases, for which he served as chief fellow, and one in critical care medicine. Prior to that he completed a combined residency in internal medicine and emergency medicine at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, where he served as chief resident and as a member of the infection control committee. He was a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine from 2010 through 2017 and is currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor there.

Yasmeen Ahmed Pattie (Founder & Principal of East Egg PM LLC)

Yasmeen Ahmed Pattie

Founder & Principal of East Egg PM LLC

Yasmeen Ahmed Pattie focuses her relationship building and project management experience – in the fields of real estate and economic development – around innovation. Throughout her career, she has worked with small biotech companies, city and state governments, and life sciences developers to plan spaces and develop initiatives that foster collaboration. Recent projects include project-managing the renovation of a 45,000-sf research lab at SUNY Farmingdale, advising a research nonprofit through a year-long site search, and guiding City College of New York to a $15M City grant to build a biotech incubator in West Harlem.

Prior to establishing her consulting firm in 2016, Yasmeen was the first consultant, and then the first employee, at the New York Genome Center, where she oversaw site selection, leasing, and interior fit-out and furnishing of their new 170,000-sf home at 101 Sixth Avenue. Before NYGC, Yasmeen worked at NYCEDC, focusing on real estate for Mayor Bloomberg’s bioscience push; she directed the selection process and leasing that led to the Alexandria Center for Life Science. During the dot-com boom, she was in real estate asset management and lending for Northwestern Mutual Life in San Francisco.

Yasmeen received her BA in Classics from Amherst College and her master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of California at Berkeley. She lives with her family on Long Island.

Matthew Badalucco (Executive Director - East  Merck State Government Affairs and Policy of Merck)

Matthew Badalucco

Executive Director - East Merck State Government Affairs and Policy of Merck

Matt Badalucco has worked for or with state governments for over 30 years. He first cut his teeth in New York State politics working the New York State Assembly, with his last role on health committee staff. Next he served the city of New York during the first term of the Bloomberg administration in the office of state legislative affairs.

He’s been at Merck since 2005. In his current role, he oversees the Merck’s state interactions in the Eastern half of the United States. As of late, his work has lead him to concentrate on the delicate, but vital role of the pharmaceutical industry in public health policy and state politics.

CDR Michael Banyas (Health Specialist, Community Health and Population Science at National Institutes of Health)

CDR Michael Banyas

Health Specialist, Community Health and Population Science at National Institutes of Health

Commander Michael Banyas is a Senior Officer in the U.S. Public Health Service and a Health Specialist in the National Institute of Minority Health Disparities (NIMHD). The mission of NIMHD is to lead the nation’s scientific research to improve minority health and reduce health disparities. In his role, he is the Program Director for NIMHD’s SBIR/STTR program and oversees an award budget of almost $12.5 million and over 37 awardees. LCDR Banyas specializes in underserved health care and public health systems with a focus on implementation science. Previously, he served as Public Health Analyst in NIH’s All of Us Research Program, where he led the Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) Pilot Project and Co Led the Tribal Engagement Strategic, as well as operational process improvement.

Additionally, he served as a Project Officer in the Health Resources Services Administration for FQHCs and as the Communications Lead for the Office of Health IT and Quality. Additionally, he served as a Fellow on the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee’s Health Policy subcommittee and has worked in three academic medical centers. He has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Vermont, a Masters in Public Administration in Health Management and Policy from New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service, graduate work in health informatics from Columbia University, and a Masters of Arts at the U.S. Naval War College.

Dennis Barger (President at Eppendorf)

Dennis Barger

President at Eppendorf

Dennis Barger has spent over thirty years contributing to the life science industry, from the bench to the boardroom. In the mid-80’s, Bethesda Research Laboratory (BRL), one of the first commercial molecular biology reagent companies, and Grand Island Biologics Company (GIBCO) joined in the first incarnation of Life Technologies, Inc., creating the first company with a combined cell biology and molecular biology product portfolio. Dennis had the opportunity to work at the leading edge of this industry during his tenure at Life Technologies as a large-scale cell culture specialist supporting pioneering biotech companies such as Genetech, Amgen, Chiron, Biogen, and Genzyme. Dennis went on to lead the commercial team at Gene Logic, an integrated genomics company providing comprehensive genomic reference databases that enabled the identification, prioritization and confirmation of drug targets and biomarkers. Dennis moved on from Gene Logic to Thermo Fisher Scientific, where it was proven that if you are in the business long enough everything comes full circle. While he was leading their integrated services business in 2013, they acquired Life Technologies, Inc. Dennis is currently an SVP at Eppendorf ESE, and President of Eppendorf Americas.  His roots are in his home state of Montana, so when he’s not working you can find him, or not find him, as far from civilization as he can get.

Mary Bartlett (Vice President of External Affairs at NewYorkBIO)

Mary Bartlett

Vice President of External Affairs at NewYorkBIO

Mary Bartlett is the Vice President of External Affairs for NewYorkBIO, an association that supports the development and growth of New York State’s life science industry, and the life science community by providing a network for public policy, industry advocacy, and community development. She manages stakeholder relations and works on NewYorkBIO’s DE&I and patient engagement initiatives.

Previously, she served as the State Director of Advocacy & Access at the Arthritis Foundation where she addressed unique barriers to patient care through legislative and regulatory reforms. This experience solidified Mary’s understanding of the patient care journey and the need for continued medical innovation.

As a state lobbyist, Mary has represented Fortune 500 companies, energy providers, pharmaceutical companies, and nonprofit organizations. She has significant experience working on issues related to healthcare, business development, and energy. For six years, she managed a trade association of solar energy companies invested in the New York market. At that time, she worked with then-gubernatorial candidate Andrew Cuomo’s campaign and was successful in helping shape his energy platform, which was realized through the state energy reform policies enacted over the next three years.

Mary believes that the key to making meaningful policy change is good government affairs and solid relationship building with stakeholders. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and History from the College of Saint Rose. She resides in Albany, New York with her family.

Holly Blair (Alliance Development at Pfizer)

Holly Blair

Alliance Development at Pfizer

Holly is the current Alliance Development Manager for New York at Pfizer. In her role as ADM Holly collaborates with patient advocacy groups and medical societies to advance healthcare policy to improve access to care. In her spare time, Holly volunteers at the Open Door Clinic, a free health clinic for uninsured and under-insured adults in Addison County, Vermont, where she resides with her family. Holly has more than 15 years experience in the biotech industry and received a Healthcare MBA with an emphasis in Health Policy from Oregon Health and Science University in 2014.

Dr. Laurence Blumberg (Biotech Executive at Multiple Biotechs)

Dr. Laurence Blumberg

Biotech Executive at Multiple Biotechs

Dr. Laurence (Laur) Blumberg has a successful track record as a serial entrepreneur in the business and science of medicine. For thirty years Laur has been innovating as an operating executive, board director, and investor. Highlights of his career include co-founding and serving as a Director of Syntonix Pharmaceuticals, which was sold to Biogen for $120m in 2007 and later formed the basis for the >$2B hemophilia program at Sanofi. Laur also co-founded Syntimmune and served as CEO/President/COO, which was sold to Alexion for $1.2B in 2018 in the autoimmune disease area. Most recently he was CEO of Arch Oncology, a clinical stage Immuno-Oncology company. Earlier in his career he was an equity analyst and investor at firms including Alliance Capital.

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, completed an internship in General Surgery at Abington Memorial Hospital, and received an Executive MBA from Columbia University School of Business in 1994. Laur currently serves as a Lecturer at Weill Cornell Medicine teaching Entrepreneurship in Life Sciences in the Department of Population Health Sciences.

Derek Brand (Executive Director, Strategic Partnerships of Columbia University)

Derek Brand

Executive Director, Strategic Partnerships of Columbia University
David Carlucci (Founder of David Carlucci Consulting)

David Carlucci

Founder of David Carlucci Consulting

For the past decade, David Carlucci has been one of New York's most influential leaders in shaping public policy. As the NYS Senate‘s Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Committee Chair & Co-chair of the Addiction Task Force, David passed 167 bills into law & a Constitutional Amendment called the “Green Amendment”. Senator Carlucci served on the executive board of the National Conference of State Legislators. Since leaving office in January 2021, he has continued to use his expertise and created Carlucci Consulting to consult on how to create & change laws, access funding & develop successful business relationships with government.

Hans Christinger (CBO at Neurvati Neurosciences)

Hans Christinger

CBO at Neurvati Neurosciences
Christopher Cox (Chief of Staff at Office of Rep. Yvette Clark)

Christopher Cox

Chief of Staff at Office of Rep. Yvette Clark

Christopher Cox now serves as Chief of Staff to Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke of New York’s 9th Congressional District. He has also served as the Senior Policy Adviser with focus on health care and telecommunications.

Joe DeStefano (Clinical Scientist, Cellular Therapy at Bristol Myers Squibb Company)

Joe DeStefano

Clinical Scientist, Cellular Therapy at Bristol Myers Squibb Company

Master's degree in Medical Anthropology from The New School; Research
Fellowship at ICDDR, B; Visiting Researcher, Center for Genome Science
at Washington University in St Louis.

14 years of experience in global health and clinical research
-5 years working on global health projects in Rwanda, Bangladesh and
rural Armenia
-9 years in clinical research leading early phase trials in adult
lymphoma and pediatric oncology at prominent US cancer center
-Clinical Research Director for the Pediatric Oncology Experimental
Therapeutics Investigator Consortium (POETIC)

Clinical scientist for trials in CAR T combination studies in adult lymphoma
and CAR T treatment for pediatric B -ALL

Authored/coauthored multiple scientific publications, abstracts and posters

Lori Dernavich (Leadership Advisor at LD, LLC)

Lori Dernavich

Leadership Advisor at LD, LLC

Lori Dernavich is a Leadership Development Advisor / Executive Coach, working with leaders for over 20 years to develop the skills they need to grow themselves, their people, and their businesses. Prior to this, Lori served as a senior high-tech recruiter at Winter Wyman in Boston, traveled extensively as a corporate leadership coach for the UNICCO Services Company, and was a psychotherapist. With a BS in Food Chemistry and a MA in Counseling Psychology, Lori’s background gives her an in-depth understanding of a wide variety of personalities, functions, and industries. Partial list of clients: Schrodinger, Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, Kallyope, Lonza, BigHat Bio, Bicycle Therapeutics, Rome Therapeutics, Alloy Therapeutics, EpiBone, Envisagenics, TARA Bio, Zuckerman Institute, Alexandria LaunchLabs, Endless Frontier Labs, Deerfield Management.

Dan D’Angelo (Regional Director CV Field Medical of Novartis)

Dan D’Angelo

Regional Director CV Field Medical of Novartis

Dan has over 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry joining Novartis in December 2017 as the Director of External Medical Strategy in the Neuroscience division. In 2018, he transitioned to Regional Director of MSLs leading the migraine national field medical team. In early 2021, Dan shifted to Director for the east area MSL team in the cardiovascular division.

Prior to joining Novartis, Dan spent 14 years at Teva Pharmaceuticals and 7 years at GSK. In the early part of his career, Dan worked in a variety of commercial roles in sales and sales leadership with increasing levels of responsibility. Dan’s experience leading field medical teams spans neuroscience, women’s health, respiratory and currently cardiovascular therapeutic area. His teams consistently remain focused on HCP education with the end goal of improving patient outcomes.

Dan raised his family in northern New Jersey and currently resides in Naples, Florida. He loves spending time outdoors boating, hiking, and biking.

Nevan Elam (Chief Executive Officer & Founder of Rezolute)

Nevan Elam

Chief Executive Officer & Founder of Rezolute

Mr. Elam is a native of Silicon Valley who has been managing and advising healthcare and technology companies for more than 30 years.

Prior to founding Rezolute, Mr. Elam served in various senior leadership roles at different organizations including as Head of the Pulmonary Business Unit at Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ: NKTR). During his tenure at Nektar, he was instrumental in streamlining the organization and reshaping its pipeline. Prior to negotiating the sale of his division to Novartis, Mr. Elam spun two entities out of Nektar, including Aerogen in Galway Ireland and Pearl Therapeutics which was acquired by AstraZeneca for $1 billion. Earlier in his career, Mr. Elam was CFO and co-founder of a web-based IT platform company serving the electronics and healthcare industries where, in addition to managing finance and business development, he established operations in the US as well as throughout Asia.

In the 1990s, Mr. Elam was a corporate partner at the law firm of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, where he advised domestic and ex-US healthcare and technology companies on various matters from debt and equity financings to licensing and cross-border transactions. His clients included emerging growth companies as well as mature corporations such as Genentech and Hewlett Packard. Notably, he represented Steve Jobs’ company, Next and negotiated the sale of Next to Apple.

Throughout his career, Mr. Elam has served on the board of directors of various healthcare companies in the US, Europe and Asia. He currently serves on the board of Savara, Inc. (NASDAQ:SVRA) in Austin Texas as well as on the board of Rezolute.

Mr. Elam received his B.A. from Howard University and his J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Sean Evans (Senior associate, Venture Investments at Johnson & Johnson Innovation - JJDC)

Sean Evans

Senior associate, Venture Investments at Johnson & Johnson Innovation - JJDC

Sean Evans is Senior Associate, Venture Investments at Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, the strategic investment arm of Johnson & Johnson. He focuses on pharmaceutical investments in East North American companies that are strategically aligned to Johnson & Johnson. Prior to J&J, Sean was Director, Business Development & Alliances with Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures (JHTV) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU). Sean spent over seven years at JHTV evaluating early-stage life science academic innovation, supporting the JHU life science startup ecosystem, as well as establishing a variety of university-industry research collaborations focused on co-developing novel therapeutics, diagnostics, and medical devices. Outside of his role at Hopkins, Sean also co-founded a biotech company, Cogentis Therapeutics, focused on developing a peptide-based therapeutic for neurodegenerative disorders.

Seth Flaum (Partner at Wilson Sonini)

Seth Flaum

Partner at Wilson Sonini

Seth Flaum is a partner in the New York office of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, where he is a member of the technology transactions practice. With more than 25 years of broad transactional experience, he represents life sciences companies in a wide range of strategic transactions and corporate matters.

Prior to joining the firm, Seth was the executive associate general counsel for Daiichi Sankyo, Inc., a global pharmaceutical company based in Japan, where he trained and managed a team of lawyers and business professionals responsible for implementing the company's global business development transactions. In this role, Seth counseled on strategic transactions, structuring, negotiating, and drafting strategic collaboration agreements, licensing agreements, research and development agreements, co-promotion agreements, commercialization agreements, option agreements, material transfer agreements, clinical trial agreements, CRO agreements, distribution agreements, manufacturing and supply agreements, and other transactions. He also has experience with public and private M&A transactions, and has advised on antitrust issues and filings, FINRA inquiries, SEC filings, and corporate governance matters.

Before joining Daiichi Sankyo, Seth was a senior associate at Ullman, Shapiro & Ullman, LLP in New York. Previously, he was general counsel at H&H Bagels, corporate counsel at Thompson Medical Company and Slim Fast Foods Company, and an associate at D'Erasmo, Shure & Perez in Rockville, Maryland.

Alyssa Fronk (Associate Director of Computational Biology at Envisagenics, Inc.)

Alyssa Fronk

Associate Director of Computational Biology at Envisagenics, Inc.

Alyssa Fronk, PhD is the Associate Director of Computational Biology at Envisagenics, a biotech company in NYC using artificial intelligence and machine learning to leverage RNA sequencing data for the identification and validation of novel drug targets. Alyssa's team focuses on extracting meaningful insights from complex biological data by building interpretable machine learning algorithms and functional pipelines to pave the way for the development of novel RNA-based therapeutics. Prior to Envisagenics, Alyssa received her PhD in molecular and computational biology from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where she studied the molecular mechanisms underlying RNA splicing regulation.

Dr. Robert Goldberg (Chief Strategy Officer and Co-Founder of Prosperdtx)

Dr. Robert Goldberg

Chief Strategy Officer and Co-Founder of Prosperdtx

Robert Goldberg is Chief Strategy Officer and co-founder of Prosperdtx, a virtual continuity of care platform that provides personalized and proactive support to people with cancer.

Dr. Goldberg is also Vice President and co-founder of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest (, a non-profit organization that advocates for consumer access to public health innovations.

Before founding CMPI, Goldberg was Director of the Manhattan Institute's Center for Medical Progress and Chairman of its 21st Century FDA Task Force that recommended ways to reduce the time and cost of getting innovative medicines to patients. Many of these recommendations are included in the 21st Century Cures Act.

At CMPI, Dr. Goldberg has advised HHS, the VA, and the FDA on the limits of traditional data analysis methods currently used to assess public health benefits and risks. He also consults for several biopharmaceutical companies on reimbursement, market access, and patient-centered value.

Dr. Goldberg is also the author of “Tabloid Medicine: How the Internet is Being Used to Hijack Medical Science for Fear and Profit.” (Kaplan, 2011). In addition to publishing in peer-reviewed journals such as Pharmacoeconomics, JAMA, and Journal of the NCCN, he has written. He writes for The Wall Street Journal, Scientific American, The New York Post, Morning Consult, and Real Clear Health.

Dr. Goldberg received his Ph.D. in Politics from Brandeis University in 1984 and is a devoted Yankee fan and father of two children, Sara, 38, and Zach, 35, and grandfather to Miles, age 6, and Theo, age 2.

Schond Greenway (Chief Financial Officer at MindMed)

Schond Greenway

Chief Financial Officer at MindMed

Schond Greenway, MBA has served as Chief Financial Officer of Mind Medicine, Inc. (MindMed) since May 2022. Mr. Greenway has over 20 years’ experience in investment banking, finance and corporate advisory and investment analysis in the life sciences and financial services industries. Mr. Greenway was the Chief Financial Officer of Avalo Therapeutics, Inc., a precision medicine clinical stage biopharmaceutical company, from March 2021 to February 2022. Previously, Mr. Greenway served as Vice President, Investor Relations at Mesoblast Limited, an allogeneic cellular medicines company. At Mesoblast, Mr. Greenway led the Company’s investor relations activities and successfully concluded several strategic corporate finance transactions and capital markets initiatives. Prior to Mesoblast, from 2013 to 2016, he served in a similar role at Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. Prior to that, Mr. Greenway has served in positions of increasing responsibility at investment banking firms and healthcare companies such as Morgan Stanley, Barclays Capital and DURECT Corporation, predominantly focused on healthcare and technology.

In his career, Mr. Greenway has participated in and advised on transactions valued at over $30 billion during his tenure in investment banking and capital markets. As an executive at MindMed, Avalo Therapeutics, Mesoblast, Halozyme Therapeutics and DURECT Corporation, Mr. Greenway assisted with securing more than $1 billion in cumulative growth capital through a variety of equity and debt instruments in the public and private markets, as well as through funding from significant collaboration arrangements with therapeutics companies.

Mr. Greenway received a Bachelor of Science from Florida A&M University and a Master of Business Administration. from the Darden Graduate School of Business at the University of Virginia.

Johanna Grossman (Healthcare & Life Science Capital Markets at NYSE)

Johanna Grossman

Healthcare & Life Science Capital Markets at NYSE

Johanna Rodriguez Grossman, PhD, is currently Co-Head of Healthcare & Life Sciences Capital Markets at the NYSE. Prior to joining the NYSE, Johanna was Head of Healthcare at GLG, responsible for the strategic and operational leadership of the firm’s healthcare practice in the US. In this role, Johanna worked with healthcare companies as well as private and public equity investment firms. She led a team of content and client service professionals responsible for organizing live meetings and managing client diligence engagements across all sectors of healthcare including pharma, biotech, medical devices, diagnostics, HCIT and services. Prior to GLG, Johanna completed her PhD in Organic Chemistry at Yale.

Tamar Gubins (Partner at Fox Rothschild LLP)

Tamar Gubins

Partner at Fox Rothschild LLP

Tamar is a business-oriented attorney with extensive experience throughout the lifecycle of a technology company, replacing or supplementing typical in-house counsel.

She advises emerging and technology companies on formation, financing, corporate governance and public offerings as well as technology transactions and privacy and data security.

Pragmatic and creative, she is adept at providing clients with strategic advice in clear, understandable terms.

Tamar has a broad transactional skill set that includes:

mergers and acquisitions
financing transactions
public offerings
terms of service agreements
equity compensation
employment and contractor agreements
She advises clients on data breach response, security policies and HIPAA compliance, among other data security issues.

Before Fox Rothschild
Before joining Fox Rothschild, Tamar was an associate in the New York office of an international law firm, where she began as a summer associate. She was previously an associate with the ACLU of Northern California, focusing on technology and civil liberties policy.

During law school, Tamar was an editor for the Berkeley Technology Law Journal and a research assistant to Professor Peter Menell. She was also a fellow at the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology.

Prior to her legal career, Tamar worked in compliance at J.P. Morgan Chase.

Representative Matters
Private Financings

Represented a point of sale and payment processing company on its $25 million Series C financing transaction, $60 million Series D financing transaction and its acquisition of a payment processing company, as well as providing general advice on day-to-day operations
Represented a leading robotic process automation software company on its $50 Series E financing transaction
Represented a rich media ad creation, ad serving and analytics company on Series Seed, A and B financing transactions
Represented a venture capital firm, in multiple rounds of venture investment in companies such as a nutritional biopharmaceuticals company and an electronic medical record and management software company
Represented a plus-size fashion brand and e-commerce retailer in its $15 million Series B financing transaction
Represented a customer data and retail technology company on all financing transactions and its exit, including a $3 million Series Seed financing transaction, a $10 million Series A financing transaction, and its later acquisition by a retail analytics company
Represented a health care-focused private equity firm in its growth equity investment to acquire a majority interest in a digital marketing company specializing in Medicare and health insurance sales and distribution
Represented a venture capital firm participating in a $165 million minority investment in an online retailer of home products

Nick Hardy (Vice President of Data at Ro)

Nick Hardy

Vice President of Data at Ro

Nick leads analytics and data science at Ro, a direct-to-patient telehealth company that helps patients achieve their health goals by delivering the most convenient and effective care possible. Nick's team partners with stakeholders across all aspects of Ro's business -- from product and engineering to medical operations -- to infuse data into decision-making and strategy. They have built a wide range of tools and systems to empower Ro's data-driven organization, and are leading the company's efforts in machine learning and AI.

Prior to Ro, Nick led the Product and Content Analytics teams at Bleacher Report, and spent 7 years on the data team at BuzzFeed as the organization scaled from <100 to 2,000 employees. He is based in New York City, and is a proud girl dad to two young daughters.

Bill Harvey (Executive Vice President at JLL)

Bill Harvey

Executive Vice President at JLL

Bill Harvey joined JLL earlier this year as executive vice president with a focus on landlord and tenant representation in the burgeoning New York City life science ecosystem. He will work under the leadership of Travis McCready, National Practice Leader for JLL's North American life sciences real estate markets practice.

A 20-year veteran of New York City’s real estate and development sector, Harvey is credited with some of the city’s most significant life science transactions, including the seminal 2012 negotiation that brought the New York Genome Center (NYGC) to 101 Avenue of the Americas. NYGC is a consortium of eleven of New York City’s most elite academic/medical institutions, including Columbia University, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York Presbyterian, New York University, Rockefeller University and Weill Cornell Medicine.

More recently, he has worked with King Street Properties on the leasing of Innolabs, a 270,000 RSF purpose-built wet lab facility in the heart of Long Island City, one of the city’s most active clusters of life science activity. He has negotiated deals on behalf of ownership there totalling more than 200,000 RSF with NYU/Langone and Opentrons. He also played an integral role in introducing King Street Properties to GFP Real Estate, its partner at Innolabs. His team is currently working on leasing four pre-built suites to early-stage life science companies and other industry tenants.

Harvey has also worked with a number of other life science industry landlords. In 2020, he represented Botanic Properties on the acquisition of a 280,000 RSF site at 24-02 Queens Plaza South in Long Island City. In 2021, he worked with Taconic Investment Partners and its Elevate Research Properties subsidiary on the acquisition of 309 East 94th Street, an Upper East Side site that will be repurposed for biotech/life science use.

He began his career with the New York City Economic Development Corporation, where he worked in the real estate development group. He now sits on EDC’s Real Estate Life Science Advisory Board alongside a number of industry leaders, where he provides insight on the development of the nascent biotech/life science cluster to key government stakeholders. He is also a member of the Board of Advisors for Life Science Cares, an organization that leverages the power of the life science industry to help alleviate poverty. He previously served on the Board of Trustees of Cristo Rey New York High School. He resides in Manhasset, NY with his wife Jill and their two children.

Jennifer Hawks Bland (Chief Executive Officer at NewYorkBIO)

Jennifer Hawks Bland

Chief Executive Officer at NewYorkBIO

Jennifer Hawks Bland is the Chief Executive Officer of NewYorkBIO. Prior to joining NewYorkBIO, Ms. Bland was an Executive Director in the State Government Affairs & Policy group at Merck. She has also held government affairs positions at GlaxoSmithKline and the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), the 136-year old trade association representing manufacturers of over-the- counter medicines. Ms. Bland previously was an associate with the Jackson, MS law firm of Butler, Snow, O’Mara, Stevens, & Cannada, PLLC where she principally practiced in the area of products liability litigation. Before entering the practice of law, she worked for six years for U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (RMiss.). Ms. Bland is a member of both the District of Columbia and Mississippi Bar Associations. She also has extensive volunteer experience and is currently the PTA co-president of her child’s school and sits on the Board of the Pelham Art Center. Ms. Bland currently resides in Pelham, New York with her husband, R. Trabue Bland and their two sons.

Harold Hess (Partner at EisnerAmper LLP)

Harold Hess

Partner at EisnerAmper LLP

Harold Hess is a Partner in the Private Client Services Group, and a
member of the firm’s Outsourced Finance and Accounting Practice,
with more than 20 years of experience in accounting, auditing and
consulting. His current focus is performing audits, reviews,
compilations and outsourced accounting and consulting for publicly
and privately-owned entities. Prior to joining the firm, Harold was a
Manager at a Big 4 accounting firm.
For the last 15 years, Harold has served public and private companies
in various industries, including retail, manufacturing and distribution,
media and entertainment, software, technology, life sciences and
professional services firms. His expertise also includes public offerings
and other filings with the SEC and compliance with Section 404 of the
Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
Harold’s experience benefits companies throughout their entire
lifecycle. He is known for his hands-on approach to working with his
clients. Harold’s clients have recognized his responsive manner and
proactive approach to addressing their concerns.
Harold is active in community organizations. He currently serves on his
town’s Board of Adjustments and is an active member of his Temple,
serving on numerous committees.
Harold has designed and led numerous training sessions on critical
topics for his peers through EisnerAmper University, including audit
methodology and soft skills.

Alison Hoke (Pharmacist at Kinney Drugs)

Alison Hoke

Pharmacist at Kinney Drugs

Alison Dwyer Hoke is a pharmacist for Kinney Drugs in Syracuse, New York. Previously, she co-founded Two Smiles One Hope Foundation which raised money for advocacy and education for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a fatal neuromuscular disease that affects her twin sons. As an advocate, pharmacist, and full-time caregiver, Alison is involved in various areas of rare disease and accessibility advocacy. She resides in Cazenovia, New York with her husband and sons.

Dr. Charles Hugh-Jones (CEO of Volastra Therapeutics)

Dr. Charles Hugh-Jones

CEO of Volastra Therapeutics

Charles is an experienced biotech leader and a board-certified physician. He is currently the Chief Executive Officer at Volastra Therapeutics, an NYC-based clinical stage biotechnology company dedicated to the discovery and development of oncology therapeutics targeting chromosomal instability. Prior to joining Volastra, Charles served as the global chief medical officer at Allergan PLC, where he led complex interdisciplinary teams and supported the launch of novel medicines in multiple therapeutic areas. Before Allergan, Charles worked for Pfizer Oncology as their chief medical officer and had medical oversight of all late-stage drug development and commercialization activities. He began his career at Schering AG, Enzon Pharmaceuticals and Sanofi, where he held various positions of increasing responsibility. Charles received his bachelor’s in neuroanatomy and M.D. from the University of London. He went on to complete higher specialist training in diagnostic radiology.

Dr. David Jakubowicz (Elected Vice President at Medical Society of the State of New York)

Dr. David Jakubowicz

Elected Vice President at Medical Society of the State of New York

MSSNY is the State’s Primary Professional Organization for Physicians

Westbury, NY—April 24, 2023— David M. Jakubowicz, MD was elected Vice President of the Medical Society of the State of New York on April 23rd. A board-certified physician, he is Director of Otolaryngology and Allergy at Essen Medical and a Clinical Assistant Professor of Otorhinolaryngology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore.

Dr. Jakubowicz received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Cornell University and received his Doctor of Medicine from New York University School of Medicine. He completed his internship in the Department of Surgery, Beth Israel Medical Center (NY) and his residency at the Departments of Otolaryngology at the Albert Einstein affiliated hospitals of Montefiore, Jacobi, Long Island Jewish and Beth Israel.

Dr. Jakubowicz was part of Maimonides’ physician leadership program. He was then recruited to be Chairman of Otolaryngology at Bronx Lebanon, and subsequently served as chair of their OR committee. Dr. Jakubowicz was also Director of Otolaryngology and Allergy at Medalliance Medical Health Services, and is a fellow of the American Academy of Otolaryngologic Allergy, American College of Surgeons, and American Academy of Otolaryngology- Head and Neck Surgery.

During his service in the Young Physician Section of MSSNY, Dr. Jakubowicz served as Vice Chair, Chair and AMA YPS delegate. He has also served at all levels of Bronx County, including as president where he managed the Executive Director transition. Currently Dr. Jakubowicz serves as MSSNY Councilor for New York and Bronx County, AMA Alternate Delegate, and Commissioner of Membership.

Dr. Jakubowicz resides with his family in Scarsdale, NY

Claire Judkins (Patient Advocacy &  Industry Relations Senior Liaison at Acadia Pharmaceuticals)

Claire Judkins

Patient Advocacy & Industry Relations Senior Liaison at Acadia Pharmaceuticals

Claire is has worked in the Biopharmaceutical industry for more than 20 years. Since joining Acadia Pharmaceuticals in 2016, Claire has served in multiple capacities within the commercial organization .

For the past three years she has served in Corporate Affairs as Advocacy & Industry Relations Senior Liaison for the East, partnering with families and organizations to bring education, awareness, and support for the entire Acadia portfolio.

Claire is committed to listening to families and patient organizations to partner and create solutions. “People don’t care how much you know; until they know how much you care.”

Sree Kant (Founder and Managing Director of Bearsville Partners LLC)

Sree Kant

Founder and Managing Director of Bearsville Partners LLC

Sree Kant is an experienced biotech executive, and company builder. He is currently the Managing Director at Bearsville Partners LLC, overseeing biotech investing and company building activities.

In his last role, Sree was the Founder and CEO of BAKX Therapeutics, an innovative oncology startup focused on Cancer and Age-related Neurodegenerative disease. At BAKX, Sree successfully built a strong scientific team driving 3 portfolio programs, raised a $25M Series A, as well as completing a $850M partnership with Ipsen Pharma on the lead program.

Over a ~20-year career in life sciences and healthcare, Sree has a diverse set of experiences across investing, operational, advisory, and entrepreneurial roles.  He has taken on executive roles in early-stage biotech startups, as well as advised pharma C-level operatives in strategy, corporate development, and R&D. He has served on various investment review committees at big pharma, at NY state life science development fund level, and at private funds focused on disruptive healthcare innovations.

Previously, Sree was the Head of Corporate Development at Life Biosciences, where he built and led the Investment and Partnerships function. In this role he drove investments into 8 portfolio companies focused on various neurodegenerative and age-related diseases, and also served as the CBO of these companies – 3 of which were acquired by Life.

Prior to Life, Sree drove portfolio strategy for Pfizer and served as the head of early partnering strategy, driving partnerships across different therapeutic areas/technologies and geographies, with Academia, VCs/Banks, CROs, Foundations, and the state. He was responsible for creating Pfizer’s early academic partnering vehicle which drove investments into cutting edge biological platforms - a number of which became part of Pfizer’s portfolio or were spun off into Pfizer invested companies.

Sree was also a Principal at the Boston Consulting Group advising large pharma, biotech, and medical device companies. He has worked extensively across the US and Europe consulting on Corporate Strategy, R&D Strategy, M&A, Post Merger Integrations, etc. Sree was a key member of the group that supported the Pfizer Wyeth acquisition and the subsequent Post Merger Transformation.

Sree has an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, and an MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health. He is an invited speaker at key industry events & conferences on R&D strategy, innovative partnering models, industry-academia collaborations, early-stage technologies and investments, etc.

Dr. Anna Kazanchyan (CEO and Founder of Saghmos Therapeutics)

Dr. Anna Kazanchyan

CEO and Founder of Saghmos Therapeutics

Anna Kazanchyan, MD is founder & CEO of Saghmos Therapeutics. Dr. Kazanchyan has more than 25 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical and healthcare finance industries. Prior to founding Saghmos Therapeutics, she was SVP, Business Development and SVP, Product Development at Ovid Therapeutics. Dr. Kazanchyan was Founder and Managing Partner of Primary i-Research, where she was a strategic advisor to CEOs of biopharmaceutical companies on business development, regulatory strategy, marketing, and commercial/competitive landscape, as well as equity/debt financing. She has also provided due diligence to leading healthcare investment funds and evaluated investment prospects of biopharmaceutical companies based on the scientific, clinical, regulatory and commercial outlook for their products. Previously, Dr. Kazanchyan was Senior Biotechnology Analyst at Wells Fargo, and was a member of the Institutional-Investor ranked Biotechnology Equity Research teams at Goldman Sachs and Citi. She received an M.D. from Harvard Medical School.

Sheila Kennedy (Vice President, Market Access and Marketing at LinusBio)

Sheila Kennedy

Vice President, Market Access and Marketing at LinusBio

Sheila specializes in growing early-stage companies through her expertise in corporate strategy, corporate communications, business development, market access, and marketing FDA-approved products to health care providers and consumers, She has held leadership positions at Aclaris Therapeutics, AstraZeneca, CollaGenex Pharmaceuticals, Onset Dermatologics, and Verrica Pharmaceuticals. Sheila began her career at Merck and Accenture. She has an MBA degree from the Kellogg School of Management and a BA from the University of Notre Dame.

Cecilia Kushner (Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Office at NYC EDC)

Cecilia Kushner

Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Office at NYC EDC

Cecilia Kushner is the Chief Strategy Officer, a role in which she leads multidisciplinary teams to deliver projects and programs focused on developing emerging sectors equitably and building neighborhoods of economic success. Prior to her current role, Cecilia spent over a decade working for the City on a range of infrastructure, transit operations, land use, and community development programs and policies, most recently as the Executive Vice President for Planning and NYC Ferry at NYCEDC, and earlier at the Department of City Planning in the Brooklyn, Resiliency, and Executive Offices.

Prior to immigrating to New York City in 2005 from France, Cecilia lived in London for two years, working on economic analysis for historic preservation. Cecilia received her bachelor’s degree from La Sorbonne and holds a master’s degree in historic preservation from the Bartlett School of Planning at University College London, and a master’s degree in city planning from Hunter College, where she has taught planning as an adjunct. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children.

Joe Landolina (Co-Founder and CEO of Cresilon)

Joe Landolina

Co-Founder and CEO of Cresilon

Joe Landolina has been CEO of Cresilon, Inc. since he co-founded the company in 2010. He is an engineer by training and was recently recognized by Forbes as a 30 under 30 honoree. Cresilon is a Brooklyn-based biotech company which develops and manufactures revolutionary hemostatic gels in a state-of-the-art 25,000-square-foot manufacturing facility. Under Joe’s leadership, Cresilon has raised over $80 million in venture capital funding to date while its team has grown to more than 60 employees working in support of the company’s mission to save lives.

Wanting to make an impact in people’s lives, Joe studied Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at New York University, where he developed his passion for improving patient outcomes. Joe developed an innovative plant-based gel technology that stops severe bleeding nearly immediately – the gel is easy to use and requires no manual pressure on the wound. The innovative biomedical technology quickly gained interest among medical professionals and science community which led to Joe becoming a prestigious TED Fellow, a participant in President Obama’s first-ever “Demo Day” at the White House, and one of only three finalists in Sir Richard Branson's Extreme Tech Challenge, the world's largest startup competition.

He discovered many of the available hemostasis products in the market today had significant drawbacks, many of these products were based upon technologies and science from 25 years ago.

Joe has established Cresilon and its patented plant-based gel technology to target veterinary, human trauma, and human surgical applications while addressing critical unmet needs in both the animal and human health market. He successfully launched the gel in the animal health industry under the brand VETIGEL®, which is being marketed to and actively used by licensed veterinarians across the U.S., U.K., and other European countries to treat pets and animals during routine and complex surgical procedures, as well as life-threatening emergencies. VETIGEL is the first-ever hemostatic gel for the veterinary market that stops bleeding in seconds.

As Cresilon recently received its first FDA 510(k) clearance for the hemostatic gel technology in human use, the gel is also being evaluated by the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research – the largest biomedical research facility administered by the U.S. Department of Defense – to advance the development of medical technologies used for treating traumatic brain injuries, particularly those sustained by soldiers on the battlefield.

Pooja Majmudar (Director Startup Banking of Silicon Valley Bank)

Pooja Majmudar

Director Startup Banking of Silicon Valley Bank

As Director of early-stage Startup Banking at Silicon Valley Bank, Pooja is a problem-solver who leverages her knowledge and experience, to form connections with strategic business partners, provide deep, insightful sector data based on empirical evidence, mentorship and making connections that will benefit early-stage founders and clients. Her role involves propelling early-stage companies both in securing funding when needed or in creating opportunities with potential partners, to help startups unlock their next chapter of value. To that effect, Pooja works closely with early stage (pre-Series A) founders, channel partners including early-stage investors, accelerators/incubators, professional service providers, universities, and industry groups, to provide specialized solutions for clients across all life sciences and healthcare sectors.

Prior to SVB, Pooja worked side-by-side with researchers, clinician scientists and founders at three R1 research institutions in the northeast, as a technology transfer and business development professional, to influence high-impact industry collaborations for advancement of early-stage inventions and promote technology entrepreneurship. Pooja holds a PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Ohio University, and her doctoral thesis was part of the foundational technology out-licensed to Phosplatin Therapeutics (now Promontory Therapeutics), a private, clinical-stage drug development company focusing on oncology therapeutics.

Linda Malek (Partner at Moses Singer)

Linda Malek

Partner at Moses Singer

Linda A. Malek is a partner at Moses & Singer and Chair of the firm’s Healthcare and Privacy & Cybersecurity practice groups. Her practice concentrates on regulatory, technology and business matters in the healthcare industry. Recognized by New York Metro Super Lawyers® in six consecutive editions, and by Chambers USA as a leader in her field, the Chambers ranking describes Linda as "well versed in transactional and regulatory matters, with particular insight into privacy issues relating to electronic and personal health records.”

Linda counsels a wide range of organizations and financial institutions on health law, such as national and regional managed care organizations, financial institutions, IRBs, government agencies, hospitals and hospital systems, genetic and biotechnology companies, medical device companies, international scientific organizations, pharmaceutical companies, and research foundations. Providing expertise in the application of Federal and state healthcare laws and regulations to her clients’ businesses comprise a focal point of Linda’s practice. She works closely with them to ensure compliance with health care anti-fraud, state, national and international privacy laws, Medicare/Medicaid regulations, False Claims Act, human subject research, genetic testing, Affordable Care Act initiatives and other regulatory matters. The depth of her expertise in transactional matters includes advice regarding mergers and acquisitions, organizing start-up ventures, joint ventures, and negotiating complex agreements among various industry stakeholders.

In the life sciences context, Linda advises clients on cutting-edge legal issues with respect to translational and biomedical research and technology, genomics and gene studies, genetic privacy, regenerative medicine, clinical trials, and tissue banking. Her work has also included counseling on privacy and security issues, strategizing and implementing clinical research policies and programs, and drafting and negotiating complex and time-sensitive grant and clinical research agreements.

Linda advises clients on compliance with federal, state and international privacy and security laws concerning the transfer of identifiable health information, the provision of health care and medical research. This includes analyzing their privacy and security practices under state laws, federal laws such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act ("HIPAA") and under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (“HITECH”)., and international laws such as the recently enacted General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) legislation.

Linda serves as Chair of the Health Law and Policy Coordinating Committee of the Health Law Section of the American Bar Association. She has also been appointed to the Founding Board of the newest division of the NBTA (National Board of Trial Advocacy), called the National Board of Health Lawyers. She was nominated from the ABA Health Law Section based on her nationally recognized expertise in healthcare privacy law.

Prior to joining Moses & Singer, Linda spent nearly six years as a healthcare attorney for the Office of the Corporation Counsel, Division of Legal Counsel, where she was named Outstanding Assistant Corporation Counsel by the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.

Dr. Ian Manger (Director of Diagnostic Development and Researc at NeuBio)

Dr. Ian Manger

Director of Diagnostic Development and Researc at NeuBio

Dr. Ian Manger is Director of Diagnostic Development and Research at NeuBio and brings over 25 years of commercial life science experience to this role. This includes both broad business and technical roles in biomarker and assay development for preclinical and clinical programs. Prior to NeuBio, Ian served as a technical and business consultant

to numerous small biotechs and non-profits and developed drug repurposing programs for the US Dept of Defense. Ian has a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Oxford and conducted post-doctoral studies in infectious diseases at Stanford University.

Neil Matharoo (Regional Manager at

Neil Matharoo

Regional Manager at

Neil Matharoo MD is a fifteen-year member of the New York City biotech field, first as a research scientist and then as a business professional. He is now a commercial leader for, one of the top biotech startups to emerge in recent years. Neil’s background combines medicine, stem cell science, and creative entrepreneurship. He is based in Brooklyn.

Sara Michelmore (Managing Director, Investor Relations of MacDougall Advisors)

Sara Michelmore

Managing Director, Investor Relations of MacDougall Advisors

Sara Michelmore is Managing Director, Investor Relations at MacDougall. Sara joined the agency in 2018 to oversee the Investor Relations practice, where she utilizes her extensive Wall Street and consulting experience, insights and relationships to advise clients on the strategic positioning and communication of their science and technology to the investment community. She enjoys helping companies increase their visibility and credibility to the Street and strategically navigate evolving capital needs and maximize valuation in the context of ever changing market dynamics. Past experience includes 25 years in the Health Care industry in various roles. She spent 15 years working as a Wall Street Sell Side Analyst, including 12 years at Cowen and Company, where she established strong relationships with both private and public investors. Her background also includes over 5 years in Healthcare management consulting and advisory, focused on market assessment, forecasting, valuation analysis, investor position and outreach. Most recently she served as a Client Leader & Executive of Human Care Systems, a fast growing HCIT company focused on solutions for Therapy Management & Adherence. Sara graduated from Bowdoin College with a bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry, and minor in Economics.

Bethsy Morales-Reid (Vice President for Program Impact & Strategy at Hispanic Federation)

Bethsy Morales-Reid

Vice President for Program Impact & Strategy at Hispanic Federation

Bethsy is the Vice President for Program Impact & Strategy at Hispanic Federation.  She has a track record of developing programs and advocacy strategies that engage communities and their leaders at the national level. While Ms. Morales-Reid has a public health background and assists in the development of health policy priorities for HF, she leads teams that impact the community through programs addressing health, immigration, education, and economic empowerment.

Prior to the Hispanic Federation, Ms. Morales-Reid led various programs within the Research and Evaluation Department, at the Latino Commission on AIDS. Bethsy is an experienced trainer/facilitator and has vast experience in working with non-traditional partners, type 2 diabetes, HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis, advocacy, program design and evaluation, curriculum development, coalition building and capacity building. She has been published in the AIDS Education and Prevention Journal for her work on behavioral interventions. 

Bethsy has also consulted for UNAIDS, Fordham University’s Graduate School of Social Work, and the International Rescue Committee. Bethsy is a native New Yorker who received her BA in Political Science at Fordham University, and her MA in International Affairs at the New School University.  Ms. Morales-Reid has worked her entire professional life as a passionate advocate for social and economic justice, which is fundamental to combating societal barriers impacting public health in our various communities through public education, advocacy, and increased visibility.

Mahesh Narayanan (Managing Partner at Neuvation Ventures)

Mahesh Narayanan

Managing Partner at Neuvation Ventures

Mahesh Narayanan is a successful founder, experienced investor and accelerator director with a strong focus in business development and business start-up strategies. He is currently the Managing Partner at Neuvation Ventures, a Seed fund in Baltimore, MD to back US-based companies driving deep tech innovation for Brain Health. He has a strong academic background in Neuroscience and Oncology and was previously a Professor of Anatomy and Physiology at Philadelphia. This, along with having run his own startups at the forefront of novel biomedical technologies in Life Sciences for 15 years while moving companies from pre-revenue to over $50MM+ licensing deals, has given him a unique perspective on what to look out for in early-stage startups, how to aid them through potential pitfalls, and help them get to a successful growth-stage company. Mahesh received his Master’s in Biotechnology from the University of Pennsylvania and his bachelor’s degrees in History and Biology from Boston University.

Ron Newbold (CEO of Empire Discovery Institute)

Ron Newbold

CEO of Empire Discovery Institute

Dr. Ronald Newbold has over 27 years of Business Development and Alliance Management experience leading business teams in negotiating over $1.5 billion in announced pharma/biotech deals. Prior to joining EDI, Ron served as Senior Vice President and Head of US Business Development & Alliance Management, Otsuka America Pharmaceuticals, Princeton NJ.

Ron acquired significant experience in external partnering in the Life Sciences field from his previous activities in large Pharma and biotech companies. Ron is a Ph.D. graduate of the University of Rochester. After completing his postdoctoral fellowship in Medicinal Chemistry at Harvard University, Ron joined Merck where he was ultimately responsible for Strategic Research Initiatives. Following 14 years with Merck, Ron was the senior business development executive at Sentigen Biosciences, Celldex Therapeutics, and Auspex Pharmaceuticals.

Ron joined Pfizer in 2010 to manage a global team of scientists in over 10 countries evaluating and proposing partnerships of scientific value to broaden Pfizer’s early-stage pipeline. Ron was also responsible for starting and leading the Pfizer Seed Fund, created through an evolution of Pfizer’s Incubator. During Ron’s tenure with Pfizer, he served as Board Observer to several companies, as a member of the Neomed Therapeutics Scientific Advisory Board and he remains Vice Chairman of the Licensing and Ventures Group at the University of Virginia.

Michele Oshman (Vice President, External Affairs; Executive Director, Council of State Bioscience Associations at Biotechnology Innovation Organization)

Michele Oshman

Vice President, External Affairs; Executive Director, Council of State Bioscience Associations at Biotechnology Innovation Organization

Michele M. Oshman is Vice President for External
Affairs at the Biotechnology Innovation
Organization (BIO) and serves as the Executive
Director for the Council of State Bioscience
Associations (CSBA). BIO is the world's largest
trade association representing member
biotechnology companies focused on human
health, agriculture, and the environment. BIO
also represents state bioscience associations,
academic institutions, and related organizations
across the United States and over 30 countries around the world. As the leader of CSBA, a federation
of state-based, non-profit trade organizations each governed by its own board of directors, she works
to advance their mission to promote public understanding of, and advocate for public policies that
support the responsible development of the bioscience industry. As the Vice President for External
Affairs at BIO, she leads BIO’s outreach to the patient, consumer, multicultural and research
advocacy community.
Ms. Oshman joined BIO in January 2020 after a successful 18-year career at Eli Lilly and Company,
where she led federal advocacy outreach. She started her career as a clinical neuroscience researcher
and served in multiple clinical development and corporate leadership roles. She earned a Six Sigma
Black Belt in 2005 and led multiple transformational efforts across the company before joining the
advocacy team in 2007.
From 2012-2014, she served as Chair of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization Alliance Committee
and held the same position with the PhRMA Alliance Development Section from 2015-2016. She
chaired the Arthritis Foundation Industry Forum from 2014 - 2016, and currently co-chairs the Lupus
Foundation of America corporate council. As well, she serves on the corporate advisory councils for
a portfolio of national advocacy organizations.
Ms. Oshman serves on the Board of Directors of the American Brain Coalition, a non-profit
organization comprised of the United States’ leading professional neurological, psychological, and
psychiatric associations. She recently completed her tenure on the Board of Directors for Capital
Clubhouse, a Washington DC community mental health agency, which provides psychosocial,
vocational, and housing support for people struggling with severe persistent mental illnesses.
An active member of the Japan America Society of Washington DC, Ms. Oshman graduated from
American University with a dual degree in Political Science and Communications.

Dr. Chirayu Parikh (Associate Director, Medical Science Liaison, CVM (Cardiovascular Metabolism) of Novartis)

Dr. Chirayu Parikh

Associate Director, Medical Science Liaison, CVM (Cardiovascular Metabolism) of Novartis

Dr. Chirayu Parikh, PharmD is a pharmacist by training with over 15 years of experience across the spectrum of healthcare and the pharmaceutical industry. Chirayu received his PharmD from the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ.

While practicing as a pharmacist in the community setting, Chirayu first developed his passion for the treatment of cardiometabolic conditions such as hypercholesteremia, hypertension, and diabetes. Chirayu was then promoted to pharmacy area manager for Target Pharmacy in Philadelphia, PA where he continued to put patients first by building pharmacy teams focused on patient care and improving outcomes.

His interest in learning about the drug development process led him to begin his career in the pharmaceutical industry at Novo Nordisk. While at Novo Nordisk, Chirayu held multiple positions within pharmacovigilance, medical information, and field medical affairs.

Most recently, Chirayu joined Novartis Pharmaceuticals to support its Cardiovascular and Metabolism portfolio with a focus on the atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.

John Pennett (Partner at EisnerAmper LLP)

John Pennett

Partner at EisnerAmper LLP

John Pennett is the Partner-in-Charge of the National Technology and
Life Sciences Group. He has 35 years of public accounting experience,
with a strong emphasis on public and private life science and
technology companies. John is a frequent writer and speaker on
industry topics. He is the publisher of Catalyst, a newsletter focused on
delivering informative content on both business and technical issues
affecting entrepreneurs in the technology and life sciences space.
Additionally, John supports entrepreneurial organizations around the
country with content, resources and program development, and serves
as a mentor to several early-stage companies.
John has led the accounting, auditing and strategic advisory work for
more than a 50 IPOs, private financing and mergers and acquisitions
with an aggregate valuation in excess of $3 billion. In addition, he has
served as the interim lead of the firm’s Risk Advisory Practice, leading
internal audit, contract compliance and Sarbanes-Oxley
implementation and testing. He is deeply involved in the firm’s
Outsourced Accounting Services practice and the International Services
John previously worked as an Audit Partner for an international
accounting and consulting firm.

Prem Premsrirut (CEO of Mirimus Inc)

Prem Premsrirut

CEO of Mirimus Inc

Dr. Premsrirut is a co-founder and CEO of Mirimus, Inc., a company at the forefront of developing RNA interference and CRISPR gene editing technologies and investigating their potential therapeutic applications. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Premsrirut led her team in a call to action to address the lack of efficient testing methods that would be required to reopen our schools and economy and was named a winner in the XPRIZE Rapid COVID-19 Testing Competition for Mirimus’ innovative SalivaClear strategy. Dr. Premsrirut earned a B.A. in Molecular and Cell Biology and Biochemistry from UC Berkeley and joint M.D./Ph.D. from SUNY Stony Brook School of Medicine and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. She is a graduate of the Goldman Sachs 10K Small Business Entrepreneurship program through Babson College. In addition, she has played an active role as a Board Member of NY BIO, a life science trade organization, and a member of the Board of Directors for BioBAT, a biotechnology incubator joint venture between SUNY Downstate and NYC Economic Development Center. She has been a vital force within the life science ecosystem in NYC, working to accelerate growth of this sector over the past decade.

Dennis Purcell (founder of aisling capital)

Dennis Purcell

founder of aisling capital

Mr. Purcell is the Founder of Aisling Capital LLC. Previously, he served as Advisor and Senior Managing Partner. Prior to Aisling Capital, Mr. Purcell served as Managing Director of the Life Sciences Investment Banking Group at Chase H&Q (formerly Hambrecht & Quist, “H&Q”) for over five years. While at H&Q, he was directly involved with over two hundred completed transactions and supervised over $10 billion of financing and advisory assignments in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical products industries. During his tenure, BioWorld and other industry publications cited H&Q as the leading underwriter of life sciences securities. Prior to joining H&Q, Mr. Purcell was a Managing Director in the Healthcare Group at PaineWebber, Inc.

Mr. Purcell is a frequent commentator on the industry and has been honored in the “Biotech Hall of Fame” by Genetic Engineering News, named to the Biotechnology All-Stars list by Forbes ASAP, honored as one of the top 50 Irish-American businessmen and cited as one of the top 100 contributors to the biotechnology industry.
Mr. Purcell received his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and his B.S. in Accounting from the University of Delaware.

Luke Rosen (Founder & Board Chair of KIF1A.ORG)

Luke Rosen

Founder & Board Chair of KIF1A.ORG

Luke Rosen and his wife, Sally Jackson, founded KIF1A.ORG in 2016 following their daughter Susannah’s KIF1A diagnosis. In 2017 Luke left his career in film and television to accelerate discovery of treatment for Susannah and children like her. In November 2022, Susannah was the first child to receive an experimental ASO treatment developed by the N-lorem foundation.

With a focus on research strategy and outcome measures, his mission is to accelerate biotech innovation and forge efficient collaborations to rapidly discover treatment for children affected by KIF1A. Luke is a community leader who drives our collective mission to urgently bring treatment to children living with rare neurodegenerative diseases.

For over five years, Luke held various senior level positions in biotech working to develop treatments for rare, neurological conditions including KIF1A. He left the traditional industry setting to support rare disease endeavors and communities that are considered “too rare.” Luke works to integrate community-driven initiatives and patient/family experiences into every element of R&D.

He has a master’s degree in bioethics and is a firefighter in the Sag Harbor, New York Fire Department.

Susan Rosenthal (SVP, Life Sciences at NYCEDC)

Susan Rosenthal

SVP, Life Sciences at NYCEDC

Susan Rosenthal is the Senior Vice President, Life Sciences & Healthcare at the New York City Economic Development Corporation, which recently announced a plan to double the City’s $500 million investment in life sciences to $1 billion to create jobs and establish New York City as a global leader in life sciences. Susan also recently led NYCEDC’s COVID-19 testing team, which in partnership with City Hall and NYC Health + Hospitals helped launch the Pandemic Response Lab, created a local supply chain for COVID test kits, and evaluated technologies for point of care and rapid tests to support the City’s response to COVID-19. Susan has over fifteen years of industry experience with a rich background in business development, corporate strategy, and portfolio management from her time at Pfizer and Deloitte Consulting. Her experience spans many therapeutic areas as well as across early and late stage R&D. Sue earned her MBA from NYU and her Bachelor's degree in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Kristin Russum (Organizational Development Director of TriNet USA, Inc)

Kristin Russum

Organizational Development Director of TriNet USA, Inc

Kristin is an experienced human resources leader partnering with C-level executives to build and drive a culture of accountability and high performance, coupled with appreciation and recognition. She has over 20 years of professional HR experience leading businesses through change management initiatives and human capital development challenges.

Prior to joining TriNet HR Corporation, Kristin served as a director of Human Resources with rapid-growth B2B and B2C companies within the Financial Services, Manufacturing, Supply Chain, Technology and wholesale sale industries. Her key areas of expertise are identifying and implementing best in class HR and people practices, leadership development and succession planning.

Kristin obtained her BS degree in Accounting and Economics from Louisiana Christian University and is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) by the Society for Human Resource Management.

Brett Sematore (Director of Sales for the NYC & New England Zone at Eppendorf)

Brett Sematore

Director of Sales for the NYC & New England Zone at Eppendorf

Brett Sematore is the Director of Sales for the NYC & New England Zone of Eppendorf Americas Market Region. He has over 20 years of commercial sales experience in the Academic, Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology sector. Prior to his current role in sales management, he started his career by leading the charge in sales throughout the highly competitive Boston/Cambridge market with both ThermoFisher Scientific and then Eppendorf. He has been a Sales Director for the last decade, managing key customer relationships and implementing business strategies with his team to exceed sales targets.

Manan Shah (Vice President, Global Health Equity & Policy Partnerships at Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS))

Manan Shah

Vice President, Global Health Equity & Policy Partnerships at Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS)

Manan Shah recently joined Bristol Myers Squibb in the newly created position of Vice President, Head of Global Health Equity & Policy Partnerships. He has over 15 years of US and international health policy, equity, advocacy, public affairs, and communications experience in the pharmaceutical sector. Prior to BMS, Manan was most recently Vice President, and Head of Global Public Affairs for LEO Pharma Before that, Manan was at Biogen and spent a decade at Novo Nordisk where he first worked in US State government affairs and advocacy, prior to leading the emerging markets region public affairs, based in Zurich, Switzerland.

Manan is currently an adjunct Assistant Professor of Public Health at Fairleigh Dickinson University’s School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and School of Public and Global Affairs. He has designed and currently teaches numerous courses including Social & Economic Determinants of Health, Politics & Public Health, Issues in Global Health and Mental Health Advocacy. Most recently, Manan was invited to serve as an editor of the Public Health-Open Journal (PHOJ), a global open-access journal discussing issues related to health systems, focused on both global and individual levels.

Manan received his MBA from the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign, and Master of Public Affairs & Politics from Rutgers University. He did his undergraduate studies at American University. He also has done post-graduate studies at the University of Cambridge, UK, and has a Public Leadership Credential from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He is currently pursuing his LLM, Master of Law, from the London School of Economics with a focus on health and human rights law.

Manan is married and he and his wife recently had their first child—a daughter. He’s a proud Girl Dad. He also is an avid runner and after running numerous shorter races, is training to run the NYC Marathon this fall—his first.

Dmitri Siegel (Director, State Government Affairs, Alliance Development of Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS))

Dmitri Siegel

Director, State Government Affairs, Alliance Development of Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS)
Joe Smyser (CEO of Public Good Projects)

Joe Smyser

CEO of Public Good Projects

Dr. Joe Smyser is the CEO of PGP (The Public Good Projects), a public health nonprofit specialized in large-scale media monitoring programs, social and behavioral change programs, and cross-sector initiatives. PGP is a central figure in vaccine promotion and a leader in infodemiology, a new field of public health examining who, where, when, and why information is spreading, and how that information impacts populations. For the past five years, PGP has designed and managed Kaiser Permanente's flu immunization campaign serving historically vaccine hesitant communities. For the past four years, PGP has led the US' largest social listening program tracking public vaccine discourse. Project VCTR is used by approximately 800 organizations. In 2020, PGP co-founded UNICEF's Vaccine Demand Observatory, its flagship social listening initiative. In 2021, PGP assumed responsibility for designing novel programs for Rockefeller Foundation and CDC Foundation to deliver weekly misinformation alerts to networks of several hundred community based organizations. In 2023, PGP co-founded the US' first social listening program tailored for health care providers with the American Board of Internal Medicine, serving all US boards of medicine. Dr. Smyser holds a masters and doctorate in public health, and performed his postdoctoral training at the CDC.

Dhruv Sud (Director, Patent Attorney of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.)

Dhruv Sud

Director, Patent Attorney of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Dhruv is an Intellectual Property Attorney in the Law Department at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. of Tarrytown, NY. Dhruv manages IP strategy and the worldwide patent portfolio for all computational innovations at Regeneron, including for the Regeneron Genetics Center, and encompassing statistical genetics and bioinformatics. Dhruv also coordinates Regeneron’s Law Department’s efforts in guiding the use, deployment, and development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies at Regeneron, with a current focus on generative AI technologies. Further, Dhruv also advises on, and engages in, various efforts across Regeneron in the areas of cybersecurity, data governance, and risk management.

Dhruv earned his law degree from The George Washington University Law School, his PhD and Masters in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Michigan, and his Bachelors in Computer Engineering from Delhi University, India. Dhruv is based in the Washington, DC area.

AJ Tesler (Founder and President of Peak Curiosity)

AJ Tesler

Founder and President of Peak Curiosity

AJ Tesler is the founder and president of Peak Curiosity, a bi coastal production company. He has produced and directed narrative and documentary films as well as television that can be seen on the likes of Netflix, History, Starz, Hulu, and Amazon.

His raw and honest portrayal about his daughter's struggles with Rett Syndrome, Magnolia's Hope, was featured on The Today Show. After touring the country at colleges and symposiums around the world, educating future leaders about Rett Syndrome, the film was picked up for distribution by GRB Entertainment. His new film is based on a true story about the Castriotas who launched a holistic therapy center in rural Pennsylvania. He serves on the board of advisors for the Rett Syndrome Research Trust.

Dr. Misti Ushio (Managing Partner at Digitalis Ventures)

Dr. Misti Ushio

Managing Partner at Digitalis Ventures

Misti Ushio is a Managing Partner at Digitalis Ventures. Digitalis Ventures invests in solutions to complex problems in health.

Prior to Digitalis Ventures, Misti was the founder and CEO of TARA Biosystems which was acquired by ValoHealth in 2022. TARA Biosystems developed physiologically relevant 3D cardiac tissue models for accelerated discovery and development of novel medicines via its disease modeling and phenotypic screening capabilities.

Earlier in her career, Dr. Ushio has served as Chief Strategy Officer and Managing Director of Harris & Harris Group, where she advised and invested in life science companies to help them translate their transformational science into commercially successful companies. She also held management roles at Merck & Company, where she developed vaccines and biologics products, and Columbia University, where she managed the intellectual property of several scientific and engineering portfolios.

She was graduated from Johns Hopkins University (B.S., Chemical Engineering), Lehigh University (M.S., Chemical Engineering) and University College London (Ph.D., Biochemical Engineering). She also serves as a Director on the boards of private and public life science companies. In 2018, she was named to Fast Company’s Top 100 Most Creative people in Business.

Margarita Valdez Martínez (Director of Policy and Advocacy at American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy)

Margarita Valdez Martínez

Director of Policy and Advocacy at American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy

Margarita Valdez Martínez is the Director of Policy and Advocacy for the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ASGCT), the primary professional membership organization for gene and cell therapy. Through her work at ASGCT, Margarita seeks to advance the Society’s priorities in policy development amongst legislators, providers, patient advocates, coalitions, and other stakeholders. With over 20 years of experience, she has a demonstrated history of success in health policy.

Prior to joining ASGCT, Valdez Martínez was the senior lobbyist for the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO). In that role, she developed, strategized, and advocated for the physician and professional member’s policy priorities. Her efforts helped lead to payment stability for the membership through legislative and regulatory wins. She has also worked extensively with patient advocates; most notably during her tenure at the National Breast Cancer Coalition where she successfully advanced legislative strategies by leveraging a broad volunteer base which resulted in securing funding for the Department of Defense’s Breast Cancer Research Program. Prior to that, while working at the American Health Information Management Association, Margarita helped launch a broad-based coalition to secure implementation of the 10th revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases. She also worked for a senior Member of Congress in the US House of Representatives focusing on health policy.

Valdez Martínez earned her undergraduate degree at Michigan State University, she currently serves as the Co-Chair of Advocacy Council for the American Society of Association Executives, serves on the pastoral council for the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle, and is a board member for the HER Foundation which supports women and families experiencing hyperemesis gravidarum. She currently lives in Washington, DC, with her husband, Miguel.

Ashira Vantrees (Counsel at Aimed Alliance)

Ashira Vantrees

Counsel at Aimed Alliance

Ashira has extensive experience in researching a wide variety of issues including public health, health education, human rights, women’s rights, and disability rights. Building on her own experiences growing up and facing difficulties in accessing healthcare, Ashira is now a passionate advocate for ensuring access to healthcare. In her role as Counsel, Ashira provides unique legal insight, develops policy, and oversees advocacy and coalition-building efforts of allied organizations focused on advancing common goals. Ashira earned her Juris Doctorate degree from Florida International University College of Law and is licensed to practice law in Florida and the District of Columbia.

Cidnee Vaykovich (VP, Business Development at Cresilon)

Cidnee Vaykovich

VP, Business Development at Cresilon
Michael Wiley (Vice President at New Jersey Health Foundation)

Michael Wiley

Vice President at New Jersey Health Foundation

Michael Wiley is Vice President of the New Jersey Health Foundation and its affiliate, Foundation Venture Capital Group, LLC.  These organizations provide funding and/or pre-seed investments for health-related projects and start-up companies founded by researchers at the following affiliated organizations: Cooper University Healthcare, Hackensack Meridian Health, Kessler Foundation, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Princeton University, Rowan University, Rutgers University and Stevens Institute of Technology.

Mr. Wiley assists the Foundation Venture Capital Group’s health-related portfolio companies by providing funding and assisting with the various strategic, operational and back-office management issues associated with developing and growing early-stage health-related companies. 

Prior to joining the New Jersey Health Foundation and the Foundation Venture Capital Group, Mr. Wiley’s experience included: business development, new venture financing, program/product development, commercial contracting, and intellectual property/technology licensing for organizations such as the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (Edison Innovation Fund), Avaya, Rutgers University’s Office of Corporate Liaison and Technology Transfer, and Lucent Technologies.  Mr. Wiley has earned B.A., M.B.A. and J.D. degrees from West Virginia University.

Tingting Zhang-Kharas (Head of johnson and johnson innovation jlabs northeast at Johnson & Johnson Innovation (JLABS))

Tingting Zhang-Kharas

Head of johnson and johnson innovation jlabs northeast at Johnson & Johnson Innovation (JLABS)

Tingting has responsibility for all aspects of the JLABS in US Northeast (including NYC, Boston, and Philadelphia), as well as supporting the broader ecosystem through external presence and partnerships. She is responsible for sourcing and leading diligence for JLABS applicants and prospective companies in alignment with J&J focus areas to ensure strategic fit. She collaborates with the broader JJI team to enable partnerships between J&J and JLABS companies to strengthen the innovation pipeline.

Tingting joined the JLABS team from IPSEN, where she managed the Oncology External Innovation team as a Senior Director, leading the team to identify and assess global business development opportunities in the oncology field. Prior to IPSEN, Tingting held key roles in the Oncology Search and Evaluation team at Loxo Oncology at Eli Lilly, where she spearheaded the evaluation of a variety of oncology companies and assets for partnering and venture capital investment considerations, and managed academic research collaborations, leading to multiple in-licensing, out-licensing, and acquisition deals. In her earlier career, Tingting had extensive experience in biopharma consulting at Navigant as a Senior Consultant and in technology transfer and business development at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center as a Licensing Manager.

With an exceptional track record throughout her past roles, Tingting is passionate about identifying and supporting innovations in the life science industry, particularly within the NYC region.  She received her Ph.D. in Immunology from Harvard University and Bachelor of Medical Sciences from Peking University Health Science Center.