Biotech and Money New York 2015 Speaker Faculty

November 2016, New York, United States

2015 Speaker Faculty Includes


Marc Tessier-Lavigne, President, The Rockefeller University

Dr. Tessier-Lavigne received undergraduate degrees from McGill University and Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He received a Ph.D. in neurophysiology from University College London in 1987 and performed postdoctoral work at University College London and at Columbia University. From 1991 to 2003, he held faculty positions at the University of California, San Francisco, and at Stanford University, where he was the Susan B. Ford Professor in the Humanities and Sciences. He was also an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He joined Genentech, a leading biotechnology company, in 2003, where he served as executive vice president for research and chief scientific officer. He joined Rockefeller as president and professor in March 2011.

Dr. Tessier-Lavigne is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and its Institute of Medicine, a fellow of The Royal Society, a fellow of The Royal Society of Canada, a fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (UK), a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is the recipient of the Henry G. Friesen International Prize in Health Research, the Memorial Sloan Kettering Medal for Outstanding Contributions to Biomedical Research, the Ameritec Prize, the Ipsen Foundation Prize in Neuronal Plasticity, the Viktor Hamburger Award, the Wakeman Award, the Robert Dow Neuroscience Award, the Reeve-Irvine Research Medal, the Gill Distinguished Award in Neuroscience, the Burke Award and the W. Alden Spencer Award.

Dr. Tessier-Lavigne is a faculty member in the David Rockefeller Graduate Program and the Tri-Institutional M.D.-Ph.D. Program.

Tom Maniatis, Chairman of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, and Director of Precision Medicine, Columbia University, and Cofounder, New York Genome Center

Tom Maniatis is currently the Isidore Edelman Professor and Chairman of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Acceleron Pharma and Constellation Pharma, and the Rockefeller Committee on Scientific Affairs and the Board of Trustees of the Jackson Laboratory. Previously, he was the Jeremy Knowles Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Harvard University, where he is now an Emeritus Professor. Tom’s academic research is directed towards understanding basic mechanisms of gene expression and more recently, he initiated studies to understand the neurodegenerative disease ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s disease). In addition to his academic work Tom has cofounded three biotechnology companies: the Genetics Institute, develops several FDA-approved drugs for the treatment of hemophilia, anemia and bone disease (now part of Pfizer Pharma); ProScript Pharma., develops the drug Velcade for treating multiple myeloma (now a part of Millinieum Pharma) and Acceleron Pharma, a privately held musculoskeletal disease company. Dr Maniatis received his M.D. and completed his post-graduate training in Internal Medicine at McGill University.

Dr Judith Dunn, Vice President, Global Head of Clinical Development and Head, Innovation Center, Roche

Dr Dunn is also leading the Roche Innovation Center in New York located in the Alexandria Center for Life Science in Manhattan. Prior to joining RocheJudy held positions in both the research and commercial divisions of Pfizer, led clinical programs in psychiatry at Sepracor, and served as Vice President of Clinical Research at Flexion, a start-up biotech company. Judy has a keen interested in methodology, and has published several papers on the topic.In addition, she is a founding member and Chair of the Scientific Program Committee for the CNS Summit, an organization focused on delivering new treatments to patients suffering from brain disorders through stakeholder collaboration. Judy attended Wesleyan University and the University of Rochester, where she obtained undergraduate and graduate degrees in Neurobiology. She has been the recipient of a research fellowship in neuropharmacology from the Center for Brain Research at Strong Memorial Hospital and a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Clinical Research from Pfizer.


Nathan Tinker, Executive Director, NewYorkBIO
Nathan has been Executive Director of NewYorkBIO since 2007. As Executive Director, Nathan serves as a spokesman and advocate for the state’s industry.  He comes to the Association with a deep knowledge and awareness of the industry and its unique strengths in New York an he has more than 20 years of experience in working with both global and emerging technology companies.
Immediately prior to joining NewYorkBIO, Nathan served as Executive Director of the Sabin Vaccine Institute Cancer Vaccine Consortium and as the Director of the Nanotechnology and Biotechnology Practice at Antenna Group.  Before that, Nathan was Co-Founder and Executive Vice President of the NanoBusiness Alliance, the national trade association for nanotechnology. Nathan began his career in market research and communications, serving such clients as Apple, eSpeed, Sprint, Cantor Fitzgerald, DaimlerChrysler, Yahoo!, CSX, and many others.
Nathan lends his talent and knowledge to industry on corporate boards, including the advisory boards of Physicians Interactive Holdings, Viral Genetics, Versilant Technologies and Namar Consulting, as well as with non-profit groups, including the NYU Science Training Enhancement Program and the Kingsborough College Bioscience Advisory Committee.

Louis Walcer, ‪Director, Kevin M. McGovern Family Center for Venture Development in the Life Sciences at Cornell University




Michael A. Foley, Sanders Director, Tri-Institutional Therapeutics Discovery Institute & The Sanders Innovation and Education Initiative

The Institute’s first director, Dr. Foley is an accomplished chemist and entrepreneur with more than 25 years of industry and academic experience. He has been scientific co-founder of four companies and one academic institute and has placed twelve single agent or combination drugs into clinical development. He was most recently the Director of the Chemical Biology Platform at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, which successfully established over 150 high throughput screening development collaborations under his leadership. Dr. Foley previously worked at Bristol-Myers Squibb and GlaxoSmithKline, and obtained his PhD in chemistry at Harvard.

Susan Solomon, Co-Founder and CEO, New York Stem Cell Foundation

A longtime health-care advocate, Ms. Solomon is a founding member and current President of NYAMR (New Yorkers for the Advancement of Medical Research), is on the Executive and Nominating Committee for the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine, is a member of the Board of Directors of the Regional Plan Association of NY, and she has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, New York Chapter. Ms. Solomon was also a member of the Strategic Planning Committee of the Empire State Stem Cell Board and is currently on the Board of Directors for the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine. In March 2008, Ms. Solomon received a New York State Women of Excellence Award from the Governor of New York.  In September 2008, she received the Triumph Award from the Brooke Ellison Foundation for her work in establishing NYSCF and in December 2012, she received the Stem Cell Action Leadership Award from the Genetics Policy Institute.

Todd Sherer, Chief Executive Officer of The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF)

Formally trained as a neuroscientist, he directs the organization’s research strategy and is responsible for the organization’s overall scientific and fundraising direction to speed treatment breakthroughs and a cure for Parkinson’s disease.

Dr. Sherer has been a key architect of the Foundation’s strategy to define high-priority research areas for Parkinson’s disease - therapeutic targets and approaches that are closest or most critical to practical relevance in patients’ daily lives - in order to leverage donor-raised capital to push projects in these areas toward the clinic. He has played a major role in the Foundation’s efforts to increase the pharmaceutical industry’s investment in Parkinson’s disease drug development and engage the patient community to encourage and expand participation in clinical research. Today he is one of the world’s foremost experts on the science and business of Parkinson’s drug development, speaking frequently on these topics at conferences, to the media and to members of the Parkinson’s community.



Howard Fillit, Founding Executive Director and Chief Science Officer, Alzheimers Drug Discovery Foundation

Howard Fillit, MD, a geriatrician, neuroscientist and leading expert in Alzheimer’s disease, is the Founding Executive Director and Chief Science Officer of the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation. Dr. Fillit has had a distinguished academic medicine career at the Rockefeller University and the Mount Sinai School of Medicine where he is currently a clinical professor of geriatrics, medicine and neuroscience. From 1995-1998, he was the corporate medical director for Medicare at New York Life, providing program leadership for over 125,000 elderly people in several regional US markets.

Throughout his career, Dr. Fillit has maintained a limited private practice in New York City in consultative geriatric medicine with a focus on Alzheimer’s disease. He has also served as a consultant to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, health care organizations and philanthropies. He has authored or co-authored more than 300 scientific and clinical publications, and is the senior editor of the leading international Textbook of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology. Dr. Fillit has received several awards and honors including the Rita Hayworth Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Barbara Sosnowski, Vice President, External R&D Innovation, ERDI Lead Pharma Therapeutics and Lead WRD External Partnerships, Worldwide Research & Development, Pfizer



Bernard Davitian, VP and Managing Director, Sanofi-Genzyme BioVentures

Bernard Davitian has extensive experience in the life sciences and biotech industry, marked by a number of successful transactions involving financings and M&A. His track record includes, among others, the successful IPO of Transgene on the NASDAQ and Euronext in 1998 ($100 million raised) and the sale of Fovea Pharmaceuticals to Sanofi in 2009 in a €370 million cash transaction.

Bernard joined Sanofi in 2010 as Vice President, Deputy Global Head, Business Development Corporate Licenses and was promoted to Vice President and Managing Director of SGBV in 2012. Prior to Sanofi, Bernard was EVP & CFO of Fovea Pharmaceuticals, CEO of Neurotech Pharmaceuticals, and EVP & CFO of Transgene. Bernard began his career in the biotech sector by serving in various capacities at Institut Mérieux (now Sanofi Pasteur), including Corporate CFO.

In addition to his SGBV-related Boards of Directors responsibilities, which include Unum Therapeutics, Lysosomal Therapeutics, Proteostasis Therapeutics and Kahr Medical, Bernard also represents Sanofi on the Board of Directors of Warp Drive Bio.

Bernard holds a MSc in Management (MBA equivalent) from EM Lyon Business School (France). He is also a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and holds an executive M.B.A. (AMP program) from Wharton Business School.


Bob Silverman, Head of Ventures, Roche

Bob has been with Hoffmann-La Roche for 18 years. Prior to his current role, Bob was a Negotiator for the Roche Pharma Partnering Group, where Bob led and conducted negotiations for transactions spanning the entire Pharma value chain, ranging from enabling technologies and early phase opportunities to acquiring and divesting marketed products. Prior to that role, Bob was a Global Licensing Attorney for the Pharma Licensing Group, as well as a Senior Counsel for the US Affiliate patent department.


Brian Gallagher, Partner, SR-One

Brian established the SR One Boston office in 2010 and is focused on building innovative therapeutic and life science companies. He previously led the firm’s investments in Dicerna Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: DRNA) and SpringLeaf Therapeutics. He has nearly 20 years of investing, business development, operational, and R&D experience in both biotechnology and large pharma companies. He joined SR One from Sirtris Pharmaceuticals where he was responsible for corporate development, operations, and post-merger integration following the $720M acquisition of Sirtris by GlaxoSmithKline in 2008. Prior to Sirtris, Brian was with Alantos Pharmaceuticals where he played key roles in the R&D and business development activities, and led many aspects of the post-merger integration following the $300M acquisition of Alantos by Amgen in 2007. Brian began his career in R&D at the Japanese pharma Eisai where he was a group leader for multiple programs in the oncology and inflammation/immunology therapeutic areas. He is an inventor on over twenty-five patents and patent applications, and is the senior author of a number of scientific publications. He currently serves on the Industry Advisory Boards for NYU Medical School and the National Brain Tumor Society, as a mentor for MassBio MassCONNECT, and as a peer reviewer/editorial board member for numerous journals and research funding authorities.


William Slattery, Partner, Private Transactions, Deerfield Management

Bill is a Partner on the Private Transactions team at Deerfield, which he joined in 2000. He began his professional career studying immune system complications associated with End Stage Renal Disease. Prior to joining Deerfield, Bill was a senior healthcare analyst between 1990 and 2000 at Amerindo Investment Advisors overseeing biotechnology investments. He has held various positions in research including those at National Medical Enterprises, Johnson & Johnson, and HMSS. Bill has a degree in Biology from State University of New York at Albany and completed coursework in Immunology at the Graduate School-New Brunswick, Rutgers University.

Misti Ushio, Managing Partner and Chief Strategy Officer, Harris & Harris Group

Misti Ushio joined Harris & Harris Group in 2007 and has been a Managing Director at Harris & Harris Group since 2011 and is the Chief Strategy Officer. Prior to joining Harris & Harris Group in 2007, Ms. Ushio worked for Merck & Co. for over 10 years in the BioProcess Research & Development group, which focused on vaccines and biologics development. She also worked as a Technology Licensing Officer at Columbia University.
Ms. Ushio currently serves on the board of Accelerator-NYC, TARA Biosystems, AgBiome, Senova Systems, SynGlyco, ProMuc, and OpGen. Her past investments include BioVex (acquired by Amgen), TetraVitate (acquired by Eastman) and Ancora Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Corden Pharma). She also serves as founding CEO of TARA Biosystems.
Ms. Ushio also serves on the board of the FastForward Accelerator at Johns Hopkins University and is on the Executive Oversight Committee for the Columbia University Coulter Foundation Grant.
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).

Tim Shannon, General Partner, Canaan Partners

For more than 15 years, Tim Shannon has been an entrepreneur, researcher, professor, and a practicing physician in pulmonary and critical care medicine. A Canaan investor since 2009, we rely on Tim’s operating experience to help companies grow from university technologies to funded companies. Most recently, Tim was startup CEO of ALDEA and Arvinas. He serves on the boards of Aldea Pharmaceuticals, Civitas Therapeutics, CytomX Therapeutics, Novira Therapeutics, Spyryx Biosciences, and is a director at Celldex Therapeutics, which acquired CuraGen in October 2009.

Prior to Canaan, Tim was president and chief executive officer of CuraGen, a biopharmaceutical company focused on oncology, after serving as executive vice president of R&D and chief medical officer. He also held positions of increasing responsibility for Bayer’s Pharmaceutical Business Group including senior vice president of global medical development.


Shari Coulter Ford, Senior Vice President, Partnership for New York City

Shari leads the Partnership Fund’s investments in healthcare, including the BioAccelerate program and the New York Digital Health Accelerator.  Previously, Shari launched NYC Tech Connect, a Partnership Fund initiative focused on catalyzing the NYC entrepreneurial bioscience community through a series of programs, including Riverside Chats Speakers Series and NYC Emerging Technologies Summit. Previously, Shari was President and CEO of New York Technology Accelerators LLC, a Partnership Fund portfolio company, and New York City’s first university-based incubator.   Shari spent 13 years with PR Newswire, a division of London-based United Business Media where she held several executive positions. Her last role was President of PR Newswire International, a startup business unit where she completed two acquisitions and opened offices in five countries in three years. Shari is a graduate of the Wharton Management program at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and has a bachelor of journalism degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Frank Rimalovski, Executive Director of NYU Entrepreneurial Institute.

The Institute empowers entrepreneurs from idea to impact, offering educational programming, events, resources and funding, via the NYU Innovation Venture Fund, to inspire, educate, connect, and accelerate entrepreneurs across NYU. As Managing Director of the NYU Innovation Venture Fund, he is also responsible for evaluating, structuring and managing investments in early stage startups founded by and/or commercialization technologies and intellectual property developed by NYU students, faculties and researchers. Frank is also a member of the Teaching Team for the NSF’s I-Corps program.

Prior to joining NYU in 2010, Frank led the successful investment and spinout of multiple new ventures from Lucent/Bell Labs, British Telecom, IBM and IDEO, among others. He was a founding partner of venture capital firm New Venture Partners, was a director/entrepreneur-in-residence in Lucent’s New Ventures Group, and has held various positions in marketing, business development and product management in Silicon Valley at Sun Microsystems, Apple and NeXT. Earlier in his career, he was an investment banker in the M&A groups of Bear Stearns and Rodman & Renshaw. Frank holds a BA in Economics from Tufts University and a MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.


Johannes Fruehauf, Founder and President and Executive Director,  LabCentral.

He is responsible for all aspects of LabCentral’s operation. Johannes is a physician and successful biotech entrepreneur.  Prior to LabCentral, he founded Cambridge Biolabs, a contract research facility serving startup and virtual companies in Kendall Square. He is also a co-founder of ViThera Pharmaceuticals, Deltix and Cequent Pharmaceuticals, and an advisor or board member to numerous life sciences companies and non-profits. Johannes earned his medical degree at the University of Frankfurt and his PhD at the University of Heidelberg (Germany).


Sohini Chowdhury, Senior Vice President, Research Partnerships, Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research

Sohini joined the Michael J. Fox Foundation in 2005. In her current role at MJFF, Sohini oversees a team that focuses on three areas: 1) increasing engagement and developing partnerships with various stakeholders, including industry (pharma and biotech), insurance companies, and academic networks/medical groups; 2) developing and implementing strategies to improve recruitment for Parkinson’s disease trials; and 3) managing the Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI), a $45-50 million clinical biomarker study.

Prior to joining MJFF, Sohini worked at the World Economic Forum for five years. As the Senior Community Manager of the Forum’s Technology Pioneers program, she was responsible for annually selecting and integrating innovative biotech, energy and IT technology companies into Forum activities. Sohini also worked directly for the Forum’s CEO, acting as his liaison with key Forum stakeholders and overseeing several in-house projects.

Sohini graduated with an MA from Georgetown University, and holds a BA in International Studies from Vassar College.

Mary Howard, Program Manager, ELabNYC



Marian Nakada, Vice President, Venture Investments, Johnson & Johnson Development Corp.

Marian joined J&J Innovation - JJDC, Inc. (JJDC) in 2013. She is based in Boston, MA.

Previously, Dr. Nakada was Vice President of Strategy & Operations and External Innovation for Johnson & Johnson’s Biotechnology CoE, where she helped drive the development and execution of the biotechnology strategy across Janssen R & D. In her role as External Innovation lead, she nurtured many productive partnerships with external partners in the biotech industry and helped build an external innovation network to complement internal research and support the execution of the Janssen R&D Biologics strategy.

Dr. Nakada joined Centocor in 1990, as a scientist, performing basic research related to biologics for inflammatory and cardiovascular indications. In 2001, she took on the leadership of the newly formed Oncology Research group at Centocor. In 2007, Dr. Nakada joined the Business Development group where she participated in executing technology licenses for the Johnson & Johnson pharmaceuticals group. In that role, she identified and championed external technology opportunities to ensure that Centocor’s technologies were competitive with the industry.


Jit Patel, Vice President, Research Business Development, JDRF

Jit Patel is vice president of research business development at JDRF. He obtained a bachelor of science degree and doctorate from University of London. He did his postdoctoral training at the National Institutes of Health and subsequently joined AstraZeneca Biopharmaceuticals. After holding several key leadership positions with increasing responsibilities in drug discovery, Patel transitioned to pursue a career in business development. As a scientist, he has authored more than 80 scientific papers and edited two books in neuroscience. As a deal-maker, he has executed a substantial number of strategically transformative deals with a number of leading biotechs and universities across the world.


Ellen Lubman, Vice President, Head, External Science and Innovation, Actavis



Ken Schaner, General Counsel, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

In his more than 40 years of private practice, Ken has represented many for profit and non-profit entities in the corporate and tax aspects of a wide variety of agreements, transactions, financings, licenses, mergers and acquisitions.

Ken began his career at the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) legislative and regulations division. During his time with the IRS, Ken worked on the 1969 Tax Reform Act and was one of the principal drafters of the new private foundation provisions.

In 1982, Ken co-founded Swidler Berlin, LLP. While a partner in that firm, he also served as managing member and chair of the corporate group. After Swidler Berlin’s merger with Bingham McCutchen, LLP in 2006, Ken remained a partner until 2008, when he formed Schaner & Lubitz to focus on representing tax-exempt organizations.

Since 1983, Ken has served as general counsel to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF). In that capacity, Ken represented CFF in its first venture philanthropy transaction with Aurora Biosciences Corporation (now Vertex), and subsequently represented CFF’s affiliate, CFFT, in the historic monetization of the Vertex royalty interest in 2014. Ken has represented numerous clients in venture philanthropy transactions and related legal matters. Ken also serves as general and outside counsel to many non-profits. He advises on the full range of issues faced by Section 501(c)(3), (c)(4) and (c)(6) organizations, including board governance, business, and tax-exempt compliance issues.

Karen Akinsanya, Associate Vice President, Scientific Assessment & European Innovation Hub Lead at MSD

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 oversees the search & evaluation activities for Merck’s BD&L European hub, and 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.


Daniel Teper, CEO, Immune Pharmaceuticals

Dr. Daniel Teper is the founder and CEO of IMMUNE Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Teper was the Managing Director for North America at Bionest Partners, a global Strategy Consulting firm advising pharmaceutical and public biotechnology companies and previously a New York based Partner at ISO Healthcare Consulting (now part of Monitor Group). Daniel started his career at Sandoz (now Novartis) Global Headquarters in Basel and then in the United States where he had growing responsibilities in sales, marketing and new product development. He held senior executive positions in Europe, first at GSK as Head of Commercial Operations for Glaxo France and then as President and Chief Operating Officer of Laboratoires Delagrange through the acquisition by Synthelabo (now part of Sanofi). He then became President at Global EURO RSCG Healthcare Worldwide, a leading marketing and communication group, where he help launch multiple industry blockbusters. Daniel was a cofounder of Novagali (NYSE Euronext: NOVA), which was recently acquired by Japan’s Santen. Dr. Teper holds a Doctor of Pharmacy degree (PharmD) from Paris XI University and an MBA from INSEAD.

Jeremy Levin, CEO, Ovid Therapeutics

Dr. Levin has more than 25 years of experience in the global pharmaceuticals industry, leading companies and people to develop and commercialize medicines that address compelling medical needs worldwide. Most recently, Dr. Levin served as President and CEO of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE:TEVA). Previously, he was a member of the Executive Committee of Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) where he had global responsibilities for strategy, alliances and transactions. In this role, he devised and led the BMY’s “String of Pearls” strategy, which resulted in the transformation of the company. Prior to BMY, he was Global Head of Strategic Alliances at Novartis (NYSE: NVS). In this role, he established and managed strategic collaborations with multiple companies around the world. Dr. Levin has served on a number of public and private company boards over the years, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of BioCon, Ltd (NSE: BIOCON) and privately-held ZappRx.

Dr. Levin is the recipient of a number of awards including the Kermode Prize for work on novel hypertension drugs, the Albert Einstein Award for Leadership in Life Sciences, the B’nai B’rith Award for Distinguished Achievement for commitment to improving global health care and the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary.

Dr. Levin holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Zoology and was awarded a Masters of Arts and a Doctorate in the structure of Chromatin from the University of Oxford. He also received degrees of Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery from the University of Cambridge. He has practiced internal medicine at University Hospitals in England, Switzerland and South Africa.

Jeffrey Marrazzo, CEO, Co-Founder and CEO, Spark Therapeutics

Jeffrey D. Marrazzo is the co-founder and chief executive officer of Spark Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: ONCE) and serves on the board of directors. Jeff has led the creation and growth of Spark from a research center within The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to a publicly-traded, integrated gene therapy company developing one-time, life-altering treatments to transform the lives of patients and re-imagine the treatment of debilitating diseases. Under Jeff’s leadership, Spark has raised more than $265 million in capital, established a global collaboration with Pfizer for the development and commercialization of a gene therapy for hemophilia B, recruited some of the world’s pioneers in gene therapy together with a team of biotechnology industry executives, and advanced the company’s lead product candidate for the treatment of rare, blinding conditions to a fully-enrolled Phase 3 clinical trial. Jeff is an experienced entrepreneur dedicated to curing disease through precision medicine, having helped build and sell the first genetic testing benefit management and pharmacogenomics medicines company to CVS Caremark. Previously, Jeff served as an advisor to former Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell. Jeff received his B.A. in economics, magna cum laude, and B.S.E. in systems science and engineering, magna cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania, and holds a dual M.B.A. / M.P.A. from The Wharton School and Harvard University, a program which he founded.

Simos Simeonidis, Managing Director, Senior Biotech Analyst at RBC Capital Markets

Dr. Simeonidis brings nearly a decade of experience covering the U.S. biotech industry to RBC. Prior to joining the firm, he was Managing Director and Senior Biotechnology Analyst at Cowen and Company, and has covered the biotechnology sector at a number of firms, including Morgan Stanley and First Albany Capital. Additionally, Dr. Simeonidis brings both biopharma industry and biomedical research expertise, having worked at Novartis as Associate Director in Business Development/Licensing, and having been a faculty member at Harvard Medical School/Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

He received his BS in Biology from Loyola University Chicago, and PhD, MPhil, and MA degrees in Cellular, Molecular and Biophysical Sciences from Columbia University’s College of Physicians & Surgeons. Dr. Simeonidis completed his postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School/Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and also holds an MBA in Healthcare Management from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

Stuart Jacobowitz, Business Development Manager, Freemind Group

I am a highly experienced, senior-level sales & business development manager who enjoys working in positions where I can play a significant role in the success of the products or services I represent, in the international markets. My proven track record of implementing targeted growth strategies and surpassing sales goals in various industries is a testament of my hard work as well as my commitment to develop and build long term relationships with existing as well as potential customers. The experiences and successes I have had in establishing and expanding a presence in the international markets has been enjoyable and extremely satisfying.
I enjoy learning new industries, meeting new people and building long term relationships with coworkers, industry associates, customers and clients. My goal is to enjoy what I do and do the best job possible. With this goal in mind, I am committed to building a positive team environment, maximizing staff efficiency and consistently performing at the highest professional level.

Greg Simon, CEO, Poliwogg

Greg Simon is the CEO of Poliwogg, a financial services company expanding investment opportunities in the life sciences.  Poliwogg divides the health sector into its natural vertical sub-sectors and creates financial products that enable individuals and institutions to invest directly in those sub-sectors.  Through the JOBS Act Poliwogg expands investment opportunities in both private and public offerings.

Mr. Simon has held senior positions in both houses of Congress and the White House, been a senior strategy consultant to a number of international technology CEOs, led a national patient advocacy nonprofit he co-founded with Mike Milken, and has served as a senior executive at a large pharmaceutical corporation. He has developed a reputation as a visionary strategist, dynamic public speaker and writer, and as a knowledgeable analyst of emerging trends in healthcare, information technology, drug research and development, and patient advocacy.

Andras Forgacs, CEO, Modern Meadow

Andras is an entrepreneur and venture investor in technology and life science. He co-founded Modern Meadow in 2011. Previously, he had also co-founded Organovo, a leader in tissue engineering which pioneered the use of 3D bio-printing to create human tissue for a range of medical applications. Organovo’s bio-printer was named one of the top inventions of 2010 by Time Magazine and the company was recognized by MIT Technology Review on its TR50 list of most innovative companies for 2012.

Andras also serves as a Venture Partner with Richmond Global, an international technology-focused venture fund. He had served as Managing Director and was primarily responsible for Richmond’s existing and new investments in the US and China.

Jonathan Peacock, CEO, Bellerophon

Jonathan Peacock serves as our Chief Executive Officer and is the Chairman of our Board of Directors. Prior to joining us, Mr. Peacock served as the Chief Financial Officer of Amgen from August 2010 to January 2014. From 2005 to 2010, he served as Chief Financial and Administrative Officer of Novartis Pharmaceuticals AG, the Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Division of Novartis AG. Mr. Peacock was also a partner at McKinsey and Co, the strategy consulting firm from 1998 to 2005 and a partner at Price Waterhouse from 1993 to 1998.Mr. Peacock received an M.A. degree in economics from the University of St. Andrews.

Nada Jain, Managing Partner, Golden Seeds Fund2 LP and Managing Director, Golden Seeds LLC

Nada Jain, Ph.D., J.D., is Managing Partner, Golden Seeds Fund2 LP, where she is responsible for the life sciences sector. Dr. Jain has been a lead investor on multiple transactions and sits on the board of privately held companies Cognition Therapeutics and Avaxia Biologics. She is a scientist and an intellectual property lawyer with 30+ years of combined experience focusing on pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and engineering. Dr. Jain practiced in several prestigious law firms including Clifford Chance and ran her own boutique IP law firm representing a wide range of clients from pharmaceutical companies to biotech start-ups and universities. She holds a BSEng. and MS from Belgrade University; PhD from Rutgers University; post-doctoral fellowship from Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center; and a law degree from Yeshiva University.

Christine Grygon, Executive Director, Business Development and Licensing, Boehringer Ingelheim

Imran Nasrullah, Director Innovation Sourcing BD, Boehringer Ingelheim

Ji Li, Vice President, Business Development & Licensing, MRL, Merck & Co.

Ji is responsible for the search, scientific evaluation and due diligence for late-stage inbound and outbound opportunities sponsored by Merck Research Laboratories (MRL). He also leads the coordination of MRL input into Merck’s Global Human Health Business Development- and Corporate Development- sponsored activities to ensure appropriate alignment. Ji also serves as a key member of the Global Clinical Development Leadership Team.

Before joining Merck, Ji served as executive licensing director for External Research and Development at Amgen, where he led the company’s efforts in sourcing and evaluation of product partnering opportunities across all therapeutic areas and at all stages of drug development. He made significant contributions in the areas of bone and inflammation research before moving into Amgen’s Licensing organization in 2003.

As a seasoned business development executive, Ji has built a strong track record of sourcing, evaluation and diligence activities in support of licensing and mergers and acquisitions transactions (both inbound and outbound, global and regional), in the areas of metabolic disorders, oncology, inflammation, as well as neuroscience.

Ji received his Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Mt. Sinai School of Medicine.

Adam Goulburn, Principal, Lux Capital

Adam concentrates on investments within the healthcare and life science sectors. Adam focuses on broad investment opportunities in healthcare IT, services, mobile health and therapeutics. Adam led Lux’s investments in CareGuardian, Pager and Aptible, and has worked extensively with a number of Lux portfolio companies including, 3Scan, Kyruus, Halo Neuroscience and Mousera. He is also a mentor for healthcare IT incubators Blueprint Health and Healthbox. Before joining Lux, Adam was a Postdoctoral Fellow of Neuroscience at Weill Cornell Medical College, researching regenerative medicine in association with brain disorders including schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease. Originally from Australia, Adam has dual undergraduate degrees in Business and Science and subsequently completed his PhD at the Australian Stem Cell Centre, having being chosen as a highly selective Premier Scholar. He has published in numerous peer reviewed scientific journals.

Yuval Cohen, CEO of Corbus Pharma

Yuval Cohen, Ph.D., joined Corbus in July 2013 as Chief Executive Officer. Prior to joining Corbus, he was the President and co-founder of Celsus Therapeutics (Nasdaq CLTX) from 2005 to June 2013. Under Dr. Cohen’s leadership, Celsus successfully developed five novel anti-inflammatory drug programs - including two in Phase II - focusing on allergies and autoimmune diseases of the skin, airways, digestive tract and eye. He participated in all stages of the pre-clinical and clinical development from project management to interactions with regulatory bodies and with the investment community in fund raising. In March 2013, Dr. Cohen successfully completed a public listing of Celsus in the United States. Apart from his industry experience, he is also the author of a number of peer-reviewed papers and reviews as well as listed inventor on a number of patents. Dr. Cohen has a Ph.D., summa cum laude, from the Curie Institute of Cancer Research in Paris and the University of Paris V. He attained a Bachelor of Science (Honors) from the University of Cape Town (South Africa) before being awarded the prestigious BGF Scholarship from the French foreign ministry to carry out his doctoral studies in Paris.

Michael Aberman, Senior Vice President for Strategy and Investor Relations, Regeneron

Michael Aberman, M.D. joined Regeneron in 2010 as Vice President, Strategy and Investor Relations. Prior to joining Regeneron, Dr. Aberman was a Wall Street research analyst covering the biotechnology industry in positions at Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley. Before moving to Wall Street, Dr. Aberman was Director of Business Development at Antigenics, Inc., an oncology-focused biotechnology company. Dr. Aberman received his medical degree from the University of Toronto, completed residency training in Internal Medicine at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, and received his M.B.A. from The Wharton School of Business.

Michael G King Jr., Managing Director and Senior Biotechnology Analyst, JMP Securities

Prior to joining JMP, Mike was a Managing Director at Dawson James Securities, where he served as Director of Research and as a senior biotechnology analyst. He was previously a Managing Director and senior research analyst at Rodman & Renshaw, a Senior Vice President and Director of Corporate Development at publicly traded ZIOPHARM Oncology, and a Managing Director and senior equity analyst at Wedbush Securities. Beforehand, Mike served as a Managing Director and senior biotechnology analyst both at Merriman Curhan Ford and at Rodman & Renshaw, where, in his initial tenure with the company, he was also the Director of Research. Additionally, Mike has held senior equity research positions at Banc of America Securities, Robertson Stephens, Vector Securities and Dillon Read & Co., covering a wide range of market capitalizations and therapeutic categories. He began his career as a biotechnology specialist in the private client sales divisions of Alex. Brown & Co., Hambrecht & Quist and Kidder, Peabody & Co.

In 2013, Mike ranked first among all stock pickers in the Pharmaceuticals category in the annual “Best on the Street” analyst survey conducted by The Wall Street Journal.

Mike holds a BA in finance from The Bernard M. Baruch College of the City University of New York.

Carlo Rizzuto, Venture Partner at Versant Ventures

Carlo Rizzuto is a Venture Partner with Versant Ventures and focuses on biotech investing and company building.

Carlo joined Versant from Novartis Pharmaceuticals where he led global product development teams in the advancement of innovative pipeline products.  He previously held the position of Associate Principal with McKinsey & Company advising US and European clients in the pharmaceutical, payor and provider sectors. Prior to joining McKinsey, Carlo helped found engeneOS, a Boston-based biotech startup.

Carlo received a PhD in Virology from Harvard University and a BA in Biology from the University of Virginia.


Chau Q. Khuong,  Private Equity Partner, OrbiMed

Chau joined OrbiMed in 2003. Mr. Khuong has experience in start-up operations and business development at Veritas Medicine, Inc. and in basic science research at the Yale School of Medicine and at Massachusetts General Hospital. He was a summer Associate in the New Ventures technology transfer group at Columbia University. Mr. Khuong holds a B.S. in molecular, cellular and developmental biology with a concentration in biotechnology and an M.P.H. with a concentration in infectious disease, both from Yale University.

Steve DeNelsky, President, Life Science Alternative Funding

Steve has over 20 years of healthcare investment experience across all sectors, including medical devices and diagnostics. Prior to founding LSAF in 2013, Steve worked for 12 years at various hedge funds as a healthcare analyst and portfolio manager. From 2005-2007, Steve managed Sapphire Capital, a healthcare only hedge fund that returned mid-high teens returns and attracted over $230 million in capital. Prior to his direct investment experience, Steve was a senior equity analyst at CS First Boston, Deutsche Bank and Furman Selz covering a variety of healthcare services companies. Before coming to Wall Street , Steve worked for a healthcare consulting, mergers & acquisitions and valuation firm based in Washington, DC. From 2001-2010, Steve served as the lead director of AMICAS (Nasdaq: AMCS) a radiology PACs company. He has a BA in Economics from The American University and a MBA in International Finance from University of Maryland.

Andrew Schiff, Managing Partner, Aisling Capital

Dr. Schiff joined Aisling in September of 1999 and currently serves as one of the Managing Partners. Prior to Aisling Capital, Dr. Schiff practiced internal medicine for six years at The New York Presbyterian Hospital, where he maintains his position as a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine. Dr. Schiff currently serves as a director of Agile Therapeutics, ARMGO Pharma, PowerVision and ZELTIQ Aesthetics. Prior Board service includes Adams Respiratory Therapeutics, ArgiNOx Pharmaceuticals, Barrier Therapeutics, Bioenvision, CardioKine, Cempra Pharmaceuticals, Miramar Labs, Myogen, SkinMedica, Sirion Therapeutics, TransEnterix and Quintiles (Board observer). He is a longtime supporter and Board member of the Visiting Nurse Service of New York.

Dr. Schiff received his M.D. from Cornell University Medical College, his M.B.A. from Columbia University, and his B.S. with honors in Neuroscience from Brown University.

Yaniv Sneor, Founder, Mid Atlantic Bio Angels

Yaniv has 20+ years experience starting, running, growing, turning around, and being part of a variety of companies - included software, network integration, research & development, licensing, manufacturing & distribution, bio-informatics, biotechnology, proteomics, and others.

Yaniv has purchased (2) and sold (5) companies, structured, managed and integrated joint ventures, and negotiated and executed a variety of relationships and agreements. In the process, I conducted due diligence on, and had to evaluate the merit of countless opportunities - from a financial, market, legal and other perspectives.

He assists companies with business and commercialization strategies, operations and execution, monetizing scientific discoveries, due diligence, licensing, negotiations, and valuing and evaluating opportunities.

Stephen Goodman, Co-Founder, Mid Atlantic Bio Angels

Mid Atlantic Bio Angels is an angel investor group focused exclusively on new and emerging life science companies. Membership in MABA is by invitation only, and is extended to active, accredited investors (life science angels) who wish to make investments in life science companies, as well as institutional investors and life science company venture arms wishing to invest alongside the angels.

Stephen is also co-head of the Mergers and Acquisitions Practice at Pryor Cashman LLP (“PC”). I have extensive experience representing technology-based companies in public offerings; private placements; limited liability company, partnership and joint venture agreements; and complex arrangements for the acquisition, sale, development and commercialization of patents, copyrights and trademarks, in particular for drug compounds and formulations, software and other technology.

Anthony Coyle, Chief Scientific Officer and Senior Vice President, Centers for Therapeutic Innovation (CTI), Pfizer

Anthony is responsible for CTI’s strategy and scientific direction.

Before leading CTI, Dr. Coyle was the Vice President and Global Head of Respiratory, Inflammation and Autoimmunity Research at MedImmune Biologics, a Division of AstraZeneca. At MedImmune, Dr. Coyle advanced a biologic portfolio from discovery to Phase 2 in the areas of respiratory and autoimmune diseases, specifically targeting lupus, asthma and COPD. Prior to his work at MedImmune, Dr. Coyle was Director of Research at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, where he led a group responsible for the identification of novel target genes, as well as for late-stage lead optimization and delivery of both small-molecule and biologic development candidates.

Dr Raj Chopra, Corporate VP, Translational & Early Drug Development, Celgene

Raj has been a member of the R&D team leading Translational Development at Celgene for the last 5 years, has lead a team of scientists and clinicians involved in taking molecules from discovery to proof-of-concept trials in oncology, immune/inflammatory diseases, and stem cell therapies.  More recently, Raj leads a team maintaining the external partnership programs at Celgene.

Raj Chopra trained in medicine at University College London.  He then completed his training in general medicine at major teaching hospitals in London, gaining a Membership of the Royal College of Physicians. He is currently a member of a number of Academic Boards including the clinical advisory board for the California Institute in Regenerative Medicine, CRC (UK), Accelerating Cancer Cures Advisory Committee.  Previously, he has served on the MRC (UK) Molecular and Cell Biology Panels as well as, the MRC(UK) Stem Cell Committee.  Raj has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, and a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists in the UK.

Dr Mark Breidenbach, Managing Director and Equity Research Analyst, H.C. Wainwright & Co.

Mark’s research focus includes biotechnology companies in regenerative medicine and oncology sectors. Mark joined HCW in March 2014. Mark holds a Ph.D. in Molecular & Cellular Physiology from Stanford University and an M.Phil. in Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry from Yale University where he studied the structural biochemistry of clostridial neurotoxins. Additionally, Mark conducted postdoctoral studies in chemical glycobiology at the University of California Berkeley’s Department of Chemistry, and holds a B.A. in Biochemistry from Cornell University. With nearly 20 years of experience as a scientist straddling the fields of biology and chemistry, Mark has authored several high-profile scientific publications and his work has contributed to multiple patents.


William Slattery, Partner, Private Transactions, Deerfield Management

William joined in 2000. He began his professional career studying immune system complications associated with End Stage Renal Disease. Prior to joining Deerfield, Bill was a senior healthcare analyst between 1990 and 2000 at Amerindo Investment Advisors overseeing biotechnology investments. He has held various positions in research including those at National Medical Enterprises, Johnson & Johnson, and HMSS. Bill has a degree in Biology from State University of New York at Albany and completed coursework in Immunology at the Graduate School-New Brunswick, Rutgers University.

Dr Eva Cramer, President,Downstate Technology Center, Inc. and President of BioBAT, Inc.

She is a Distinguished Service Professor of Cell Biology and Vice President for Biotechnology and Scientific Affairs at SUNY Downstate Medical Center.


Christopher Seaton, Senior Vice President, Negotiations, Bayer HealthCare

Chris is responsible for major transactions in Bayer HealthCare, including licensing, product acquisition, divestitures and out-licensing.  Mr. Seaton is based in the United States with direct reports in the USA and Germany. Mr. Seaton earned both his Masters of Business Administration and his undergraduate degree from McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Mr. Seaton has had experience in multiple countries and businesses. Immediately prior to his current role he was responsible for Business Development and Licensing for Bayer HealthCare (a predecessor of Bayer Schering Pharmaceuticals AG) and prior to that, for Business Planning and Administration for Bayer HealthCare in North America, a function which covered Finance, Information Systems, Strategic Planning and North American Licensing.

Asthika Goonewardene, Senior Biotechnology Analyst, Bloomberg Intelligence

Asthika Goonewardene is the senior biotechnology analyst with Bloomberg Intelligence, a unique research platform that provides context on industries, companies, and government policy, available on the Bloomberg Professional Service at BI . Mr. Goonewardene leads coverage of the global biotech, specialty pharmaceutical and generic pharmaceutical market. Prior to this role, Mr. Goonewardene was based in Europe, covering the large cap pharmaceutical and generics sector. Mr. Goonewardene has more than eight years’ experience in research and analysis within the pharmaceuticals industry, working at firms such as Johnson & Johnson, OSI Pharmaceuticals and Piper Jaffray.

John W Hadden II, CEO, IRX Therapeutics

John became Chief Executive Officer in January 2007. Between 2004 and 2007, Mr. Hadden was IRX’s Chief Operating Officer. Between September 1998 and 2004, Mr. Hadden was Executive Vice President and between June 1998 and 2001, Mr. Hadden was also the firm’s Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Hadden has served as a Director since 1999. From 1991 to 1995 and from 1997 to 1998, Mr. Hadden held various positions as an Associate at JP Morgan & Co., Inc. Mr. Hadden’s transaction experience includes merger & acquisition, investment banking, and venture investing, including healthcare and biotechnology. In June 1997, he earned his M.B.A. from the Harvard University Graduate School of Business Administration. Mr. Hadden earned his B.S. in Management, summa cum laude, from Tulane University.

Shahram Seyedin-Noor, Co-founder and Executive Chairman of Rgenix.

Prior to Rgenix, Shahram was a founding executive at NextBio, a pioneer in genomics data analysis and personalized medicine. NextBio was acquired by Illumina in 2013 (NASDAQ: ILMN). Shahram helped grow NextBio into a profitable leader in the life sciences with millions in revenues from top-tier customers such as Merck, Celgene, J&J, Regeneron, Pfizer and nearly every other major biotech/pharma company. Shahram is also an angel investor in various innovative healthcare startups, including Avantome (acq. by Illumina), Bina Technologies (acq. by Roche), Counsyl and Omada Health, among others. Earlier in his career, Shahram worked with leading tech/biotech companies as an attorney at Wilson Sonsini and Cooley, and later as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs. Shahram earned a degree in economics from Pomona College, cum laude, and obtained his JD from Harvard University, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard International Law Journal.

Mark Jurgens, Global Head of Operations, pRED Academic Relation & Collaborations, Roche







Claudia Karnbach, VP, Head of Global Business Development and Licensing, Specialty Medicine, Bayer HealthCare



Thong Le, CEO, Accelerator Corp.