2018 Massachusetts Life Sciences Speaker Bios


Opening Keynote by

Marvelle Sullivan Berchtold
Managing Director, J.P. Morgan Chase

Marvelle Sullivan Berchtold joined J.P. Morgan Chase in August 2017 as Managing Director and currently represents JPMC in its healthcare initiative with Amazon and Berkshire Hathaway. Prior to JPMC, she was at Novartis AG’s headquarters in Switzerland where she most recently served as Global Head of Mergers & Acquisitions, including responsibility for leading the M&A strategy and implementation across the Novartis Group. During her time at Novartis, Ms. Sullivan Berchtold represented Novartis in over $100 billion of transactions, including its Portfolio Transformation and served on the board of directors of the Novartis-GSK Consumer Health joint venture. She started her career at the London offices of the global law firm Allen & Overy, specializing in capital markets and M&A. She holds a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law and a Master’s Degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Inroduction to Opening Keynote by

Carla Reimold
Director of Industry Programs, MLSC

Carla Reimold joined the MLSC in April of 2018 as the Director of Industry Programs. In her role, she develops, plans, and executes the Center’s programmatic initiatives and partnerships within the life sciences industry, including working with private, public, and nonprofit stakeholders, to sustain and support life sciences growth within the Commonwealth. Prior to joining the MLSC, Carla was a postdoctoral scientist in the Orthopaedics Research Department at Boston Children’s Hospital. She was the recipient of a NIH F32 NRSA fellowship to support her postdoctoral research, as well as a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program recipient which supported her graduate research.

Most recently, as Principal, Technology Development Fund (TDF) at Boston Children’s Hospital, Carla coordinated the TDF funding cycles and proposal evaluations, served as a project manager for funded technologies, and negotiated agreements with contract research organizations and external collaborators. Carla received her Bachelor of Science in biological and agricultural engineering from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA. She earned a PhD in biomedical engineering from the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Carla has authored and co-authored 16 peer-reviewed publications in the fields of tissue engineering and wound repair.

Lunch Keynote by

Mark Namchuk
SVP Research, Non-Clinical and Pharmaceutical Development, Alkermes

Mark Namchuk has worked in a number of areas spanning drug discovery, translational science and pharmaceutical development.  In 2015, Dr. Namchuk joined Alkermes as the SVP of Research, Non-Clinical and Pharmaceutical Development.  Prior to joining Alkermes, Dr. Namchuk held a number of senior research positions over a 17 year career at Vertex pharmaceuticals, including SVP of North American Research and Interim Global Head of Research.  Mark started his drug discovery career at Cubist as the head of the enzymology group.  Over the last 20 years, Dr. Namchuk has directed drug discovery efforts in numerous therapeutic areas including infectious disease, oncology, neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders, IMID, IBD as well as orphan disease research, including cystic fibrosis.  These responsibilities encompassed scientific oversight of the various disciplines in discovery science, DMPK, pre-clinical and clinical biomarker development, non-clinical safety and pharmaceutical development.  For his academic training, Mark received his BSc in Chemistry with Honours from the University of Alberta, his Ph.D. in Bioorganic chemistry with Steve Withers at University of British Columbia and was HFSP postdoctoral fellow at UCSF.


Inroduction to Lunch Keynote by

Bob Coughlin
President & CEO, Massachusetts Biotechnology Council

As President and CEO of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, Bob’s mission is to advance Massachusetts’ leadership in the life sciences to grow the industry, add value to the healthcare system and improve patient lives. Over the last decade, Bob has truly become a champion for patients by ensuring innovative companies have the best environment possible to research, develop, and commercialize breakthrough therapies and cures for people around the world who need and deserve them.
Bob has spent his career in both the public and private sectors. Before joining MassBio, he served as the Undersecretary of Economic Development within Governor Deval Patrick’s administration, where he prioritized both healthcare and economic development issues and was a strong advocate for the life sciences industry in Massachusetts. Prior to that, he was elected as State Representative to the 11th Norfolk district for three terms. Bob has also held senior executive positions in the environmental services, capital management and venture capital industries.
He is a graduate of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy where he majored in Marine Engineering, and served as an officer in the United States Naval Reserve.


Irene Abrams

Vice President, Technology Development &New Ventures, Boston Children’s Hospital

Irene Abrams is the Vice President, Technology Development and New Ventures at Boston Children’s Hospital, and in this role leads Children’s Technology & Innovation Development Office, the organization responsible for commercializing discoveries and innovation developed by researchers and clinicians at Boston Children’s Hospital   Irene is also the Managing Director of the Technology Development Fund, a hospital-run fund dedicated to advancing Boston Children’s technologies to the market.  Irene has spent her career in academic technology commercialization, holding leadership positions at Partners Healthcare Innovation, where she was responsible for commercializing MGH discoveries; Brandeis University, where she was the Associate Provost for Innovation, and at M.I.T., where she was a Senior Technology Licensing Officer, responsible for licensing biomedical inventions for M.I.T., the Whitehead Institute and the Broad Institute.  Irene has designed and run virtual incubator programs at Partners and Brandeis.  Educated at the University of Pennsylvania, the Johns Hopkins University and at M.I.T., Irene is the past President of the Massachusetts Association of Technology Transfer Offices, the founder of T3, a networking organization for technology licensing offices from small New England research institutions, and a former Associate VP of the Association of University Technology Managers.

Jeff Behrens

President & CEO, Siamab Therapeutics, Inc.

Jeff Behrens is the President & CEO of Siamab Therapeutics, Inc. Jeff joined Siamab in May 2012. From 2009 to 2012, he served as Senior Director of Business Development & Operations for Edimer Pharmaceuticals, a Third Rock-funded orphan drug company, where he oversaw manufacturing, finance, business development, and academic research collaborations. Prior to Edimer, Jeff worked at Alnylam as Director, Strategic Alliances and at Biogen Idec as co-founder and Head of Business Operations at the Biogen Idec Innovation Incubator. Jeff has an MBA from MIT Sloan and a MS from the joint Harvard/MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology. Jeff was previously the founder and CEO of The Telluride Group, a Newton, MA based managed services IT provider to the healthcare industry that was sold to mindSHIFT Technologies (funded by Fidelity) in 2003.

Jim Burns

President & CEO, Casebia

Jim Burns is President and CEO at Casebia. Burns has nearly 30 years of R&D experience in the biopharmaceutical industry and a proven track record of leading organizations that have successfully delivered therapeutics to patients across multiple therapeutic modalities. Prior to joining Casebia, Burns spent more than 25 years at Sanofi-Genzyme. First joining Genzyme in 1986, he advanced in multiple leadership roles to become Head of Sanofi’s North American R&D Hub, where he was responsible for coordinating R&D operations across key therapeutic areas. Burns earned his Bachelor of Science in Biology from Purdue University, and Doctorate in Bioengineering from the University of Illinois-Chicago, where his thesis work focused on drug delivery. Following his graduate studies, Burns was a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Florida. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2010.

Colin Carpenter
CEO, Siris Medical  

Colin Carpenter develops and commercializes solutions at the interface of engineering and medicine, focusing on clinical needs in cancer diagnosis and therapy. Since co-founding Siris Medical in 2013, Colin has served as its CEO, commercially introducing the first decision-support system for radiation oncology using artificial intelligence. This platform helps determine the best treatment for patients by learning from past success. Siris has been recognized for innovation, winning an award at the ESTRO 2017 Conference and an Innovator Award from the UCSF Rosenman Institute. Siris recently raised a Series A1 financing, partnering with Digitx Partners, Medtech Ventures, GreenD Ventures and others to expand commercialization of its QuickMatch™ software.

Prior to Siris, Colin trained in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Stanford, where he founded a company that commercialized a brachytherapy product line for GI cancer, sold by Varian Medical Systems. At Dartmouth, Colin led the early clinical validation of a breast cancer imaging device for reducing unnecessary biopsies. This work resulted in a US patent, a DoD Breast Cancer Fellowship grant, and numerous publications. Colin is a contributor to over 100 technical and medical publications and is an alumnus of Stanford Biodesign.


Stacy Chin
Co-founder &CEO, HydroGlyde Coatings

Stacy Chin, Ph.D. is the co-founder and CEO of HydroGlyde Coatings. She has an interdisciplinary research background in biochemistry, polymer science, biomaterials, and translational research. Dr. Chin has published a number of peer-review manuscripts in journals, is the co-inventor of several patents, and has an HBX credential through Harvard Business School. She completed her bachelors from College of Holy Cross and her doctorate from Boston University in chemistry where she was recognized a Feldman Scholar and a Laursen Research Scholar.
Dr. Chin is currently a board member of two non-profit organizations focused on promoting women and minorities in STEM fields.



Rakhshita Dhar
Business Development, Roche Partnering

Rakhshita Dhar currently serves on the Business Development team within Roche Partnering focused on early stage activities in platform technologies and assets located in Boston launching the Boston Innovation hub.

Prior to Roche, Rakhshita spent 6 years at MassBio where she created and oversaw all Innovation Services department and its signature programs MassCONNECT and Pharma partnering days. Under her leadership these programs have become industry leading efforts in both entrepreneurship and partnering and these models are now being emulated by other trade associations around the world.

Prior to MassBio, Rakhshita worked at a boutique business development life science consulting firm, Adjuvant Global Advisors in DC. She holds a Master’s degree in Molecular Biology from Georgetown University and a Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from University of Mumbai.

She is very active in the life-science entrepreneurial community and often volunteers as a judge at various local pitch events.

Valerie Dixon

Executive Director, J.P. Morgan’s Healthcare Investment Banking group

Valerie Dixon is currently an Executive Director in J.P. Morgan’s Healthcare Investment Banking group, with a focus on Medical Technology companies. Her experience includes corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions advisory, and equity and debt financings for a variety of healthcare clients. Prior to joining J.P. Morgan, Valerie was at Citigroup for five years, including a stint as a sell-side research analyst covering the emerging medical technology, life sciences tools and diagnostics sectors. Valerie began her investment banking career as an Associate at Lehman Brothers.
Valerie earned an MBA from Yale School of Management and is a graduate of Harvard College.



Tom Engellenner
Partner, Pepper Hamilton LLP

Tom Engellenner is a partner in the Intellectual Property Department of Pepper Hamilton LLP, resident in the Boston office. Mr. Engellenner’s practice includes patents, licensing, trademarks, copyrights and litigation. He has particular expertise in the fields of biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, analytical instruments and medical devices.  Tom has more than 30 years of experience in prosecuting and litigating patents and advising clients generally on intellectual property strategies.  Most recently, Tom’s practice has expanded to include post grant proceedings at the U.S. Patent Office.  He has been trial counsel in over 70 inter partes review proceedings, involving over 30 different patents. He also is a founder and editor of a leading blog on this topic: www.postgrant-counsel.com.

Eric Evans

Executive Chairman, Pykus Therapeutics

Eric J. Evans is an experienced life sciences senior executive. After beginning his career in brand management at Procter & Gamble and in strategy consulting at the Boston Consulting Group, he went on to be Managing Director of Growth Analytics Inc., an international consulting firm specializing in early-stage life sciences technologies.  He subsequently served as CEO for several biomedical companies, including Targeted Cell Therapies, Abazyme, Lumos Catheter Systems, Mulleris Therapeutics, Follica Biosciences and Primatope Therapeutics.  Mr. Evans holds a master’s degree in finance and public policy from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and a bachelor’s degree in nuclear physics from Brown University.

Shawn Foley
Of Counsel, Burns & Levinson LLP

With more than 30 years of experience in the field, Shawn brings refined legal and advocacy skills and technical versatility. His approach to patent procurement is practical, cost effective, distinctly businessoriented and personable.
Prior to joining Burns & Levinson, Shawn played an integral role in developing his previous firm’s practice in life sciences and pharmaceuticals. A wide spectrum of clients with diverse technologies and business needs have sought his counsel, including major pharmaceutical and personal care companies, medium-sized brand and generic drug companies, start-ups, universities, and entrepreneurs, both in the U.S. and abroad.
Shawn began his career as an examiner with the U.S. Patent Office, where he reviewed patent applications during the emergence of the biotechnology field. After an initial 2-year stint with a leading Southeastern IP firm, he gained valuable corporate experience as counsel for Ciba-Geigy. At Ciba, Shawn was co-in house counsel for its agricultural biotechnology research division (now Syngenta Seeds), where he worked on a daily basis with management and scientists to gain patent protection for transgenic crop seed and to bring these first generation products to market. He also collaborated with colleagues in Switzerland and prosecuted patent applications directed to pharmaceuticals. Thus, Shawn has experienced many different aspects of the patent system.
Shawn has particularly enjoyed creating commercially valuable patent estates for a variety of clients. Patent estates that he has created have facilitated many licenses and outright acquisitions (e.g., by big pharma). He also has extensive experience in guiding clients and their products through the maze of third party patents. He prides himself in a communication style that is simple and direct. He is equally experienced and comfortable in making formal presentations to Boards of Directors as he is in dealing with in-house counsel and scientists. Although he has been successful in patent appeals and post-grant matters including European oppositions, Shawn’s familiarity with the inner workings of the Patent Office and his approach to prosecuting patents has enabled him to avoid resort to appeal except in rare situations.
Over the course of his years of practicing law, Shawn has become versatile in a wide spectrum of technologies. He has handled patent work involving chimeric proteins, monoclonal antibodies (including antibody drug conjugates), industrial enzymes, therapeutic and diagnostic nucleic acids, small molecules and new chemical entities, drug delivery systems (including 505(b) (2) applications), molecular diagnostics, personal care compositions and cosmetics, transgenic plants (including crop plants and use of the plants for production of protein), crop science, dental care and caries detection, and medical devices.

Barbara S. Fox
CEO, Tilos Therapeutics

Barbara S. Fox, PhD, is a biotechnology executive with extensive leadership expertise starting up and building clinical-stage biotech companies. She is currently CEO of Tilos Therapeutics, a Cambridge biotech company developing antibody-based therapies for oncology and immune-mediated diseases. Dr. Fox has previously served as Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Partners Innovation Fund, founder and CEO of Avaxia Biologics, founder and CSO of Recovery Pharmaceuticals, VP Discovery and Immunology at ImmuLogic Pharmaceutical Corp., and Associate Professor of Rheumatology at the U. Maryland School of Medicine. Dr. Fox received her AB in chemistry from Bryn Mawr College, her PhD in chemistry from MIT and trained as a post-doc in cellular immunology at the NIH. She was an EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2014 Award finalist in New England.

Luba Greenwood
Strategic Business Development & Corporate Ventures, Verily, an Alphabet company

Luba brings to Verily pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and digital health industry experience and expertise in building and advising innovative technology companies and providing strategic counsel to global corporations. Previously, Luba has served as Vice President of Global Business Development and Mergers & Acquisitions at Roche, where she also established and led the East Coast Partnering Hub for the Diagnostics Division. Luba is on the Board of MassBio and IRX Therapeutics. She is also a Lecturer at Boston University Law School and School of Management where she has taught courses in life sciences, business law, innovation, and entrepreneurship since 2014.

Luba’s career has spanned leadership roles in venture investing, business development, Mergers & Acquisitions, law, and operations, previously serving as Venture Partner at Colt Ventures, leading BD and Strategy for Pronutria, a Flagship Ventures company, and serving as Senior Mergers & Acquisitions Counsel at Pfizer Inc. Luba began her career practicing law at a leading national law firm, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, where she represented clients in securities, IP, regulatory, corporate, and litigation matters.

Luba is a recipient of several awards and honors for her work in the community, including in the Science Club for Girls Catalyst Award for her commitment to advocating for women in science and technology. Luba served as non-profit board member of Longwood Symphony Orchestra, executive coach for MassNextGen, co-chair of MassBio’s Entrepreneur’s University, and mentor and judge for MassCONNECT, MIT 100K Entrepreneurship Competition, and MassChallenge

Clark Hayes

Head of Northeast Life Science and Healthcare Business Development, Silicon Valley Bank

As a Managing Director in the Boston office, Clark leads the Northeast Life Science and Healthcare business development effort covering the Biotechnology, Diagnostics, Medical Device and Healthcare IT sectors. Since joining SVB in 2006, Clark has worked in a number of different roles in SVB’s Life Science and Healthcare group. Prior to working at SVB, Clark held various positions at Bank of Boston, including completing the Operations Management Development Program and the Commercial Lending Program. Clark worked in BKB middle market, Fleet middle market and BofA middle market and small business.

Clark is a graduate of Bryant University, where he earned his BS degree in Business. After growing up in Rhode Island (and prior to college), Clark served in the U.S. Army’s 1st/509th Airborne Infantry Battalion in Vicenza, Italy. Clark and his wife (and their four children) live just outside of Boston.

Martin F. Heidecker, 
Managing Director, Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund USA Inc.

Martin joined the Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund (BIVF) in 2010 to invest in early innovative therapeutic life science companies. In October 2013, Martin established the US-office of BIVF in Cambridge, MA, where he is focusing on biotech seed-investments. He has 15 years of investing and commercial experience in both venture capital and global pharma companies. He serves as board member of AMP Therapeutics, ArmaGen, Sentien Technologies and Abexxa Biologics.
Prior to BIVF, Martin held several global roles in Marketing at Boehringer Ingelheim and Solvay Pharmaceuticals and was involved in the global launch of several products in the area of CNS. Martin began his career as an Investment Manager at Bayern Kapital, focusing on seed investments of biotech companies. Martin holds a PhD in Biology as well as a Master degree in Biology and Economics.

Eleanor Howe
Founder, Diamond Age Data Science

Eleanor Howe is the founder of Diamond Age Data Science and a computational biologist with extensive experience in drug discovery and development.
Diamond Age partners with the country’s most innovative biotechnology firms, from early-stage, venture-funded start-ups to well-established small pharmas. Services include statistical modeling and machine learning applications for therapeutics development, as well as guidance on software engineering, informatics, data management, and knowledge architecture. For fledgling companies, Diamond Age can function as a one-stop bioinformatics department, helping to answer both scientific and strategic questions (e.g., build vs. buy, where and how to store large/complex datasets). For more mature companies, Diamond Age provides targeted bioinformatics services designed to fit into existing scientific strategies, with special expertise in transcriptional profiling and pathway analysis. All of the company’s code is meticulously documented to enable reproducibility, and its services are rooted in a deep understanding of fundamental molecular biology – allowing them to be applied across a wide range of therapeutic areas, from diabetes to neuroscience.
Diamond Age builds on Howe’s expertise in transcriptional profiling, a field in which she has worked since from its early days of small-scale microarray analysis. Prior to founding Diamond Age, Howe led research in the Center for the Development of Therapeutics at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, where she worked on drug discovery projects in cancer, cardiovascular disease, and kidney disease, among others. She has also worked at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, where she developed the Multiexperiment Viewer – a powerful software tool for mining large genomic datasets – and the Institute for Genomic Research in Rockville, Maryland. She earned a Ph.D. bioinformatics from Oxford University under Christopher Holmes and John Quackenbush, and holds a master’s degree in cellular and molecular biology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a bachelor’s degree in cellular and molecular biology from the University of Michigan.

Mike Kelly
Director in the Asset Development and Portfolio Management Group, Biogen

Mike Kelly has over 20 years of experience in the field of gene therapy. During this time, Mike has been responsible for various aspects of research, development and clinical manufacturing for a number of lentiviral, adenoviral and AAV-based therapeutics. Currently, Mike works at Biogen where he is a Director in the Asset Development and Portfolio Management group, leading the gene therapy portfolio. Prior to his current role, Mike was the Director, Gene Therapy Development at Genzyme, where he was responsible for process development and manufacturing for Genzyme’s gene therapy programs. Prior to that, Mike was most recently the Site Director at Genzyme’s Gene Therapy Operations facility in San Diego, where he was oversaw process development, technology transfer and clinical manufacturing of gene therapy programs for Genzyme. Prior to that, Mike worked at Cell Genesys and Somatix Therapy Corporation where he held various roles in R&D and clinical manufacturing for gene therapy.

Isaac (Zak) Kohane
Chair, Department of Biomedical Informatics, Harvard Medical School

Isaac (Zak) Kohane, MD, PhD is the inaugural Chair of the Department of Biomedical Informatics and the Marion V. Nelson Professor of Biomedical Informatics at Harvard Medical School. He served as co-author of the Institute of Medicine Report on Precision Medicine that has been the template for national efforts. He develops and applies computational techniques to address disease at multiple scales: from whole healthcare systems as “living laboratories” to the functional genomics of neurodevelopment with a focus on autism.
Over the last 30 years, Zak’s research agenda has been driven by the vision of what biomedical researchers could do to find new cures, provide new diagnoses and deliver the best care available if data could be converted more rapidly to knowledge and knowledge to practice. In so doing, Kohane has designed and led multiple internationally adopted efforts to “instrument” the healthcare enterprise for discovery and to enable innovative decision-making tools to be applied to the point of care. At the same time, the new insights afforded by ’omic-scale molecular analyses have inspired him and his collaborators to work on re-characterizing and reclassifying diseases such as autism, rheumatoid arthritis and cancers. In many of these studies, the developmental trajectories of thousands of genes have been a powerful tool in unraveling complex diseases. Zak has published several hundred papers in the medical literature and authored a widely-used book on Microarrays for an Integrative Genomics. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine and the American Society for Clinical Investigation.

Jonathan Larson
Founder, Lariat Biosciences

Jonathan is highly interdisciplinary entrepreneur, research scientist, and microfluidics engineer with over fifteen years of experience in biotechnology start-ups. He founded Lariat Biosciences with the vision of cancer screening for earliest stage diagnostics by liquid biospy, and he has raised over $1M in non-dilutive funding through SBIR, MassRamp, and IP licensing toward achievement of the first proof-of-concept.  He is proficient in biophysics and physics with a working knowledge that spans into bio-, electro-, and photochemistry plus polymer physics. In addition to these scientific skills, he is also experienced with software and firmware programming, electronics, and especially microfluidic circuit design. Prior to founding Lariat, Jonathan commercialized three different microfluidic chips, integrated numerous DNA manipulations into a single lab-on-a-chip, and developed many specialized laboratory instruments. Jonathan received his PhD in Biophysics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Tina Liu
Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Wyss Institute at Harvard University

Tina Liu is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Wyss Institute at Harvard University. She is working with George Church and Ying Kai Chan to develop next-generation gene therapies by modulating the innate immune response to AAV. Prior, Tina was a private equity investor at TPG Capital, where she evaluated potential investments generally $1Bn+ in size across commercial pharma and other sectors of the healthcare industry. Before that, Tina was an investment banker at Morgan Stanley, where she helped advise healthcare companies on key transactions including mergers and acquisitions, equity and debt financings, and other strategic alternatives. Tina received her MBA with Distinction from Harvard Business School and her BA, magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from Harvard College.


Christopher Locher
CEO &Co-Founder, Versatope Therapeutics, Inc.

Dr. Locher is a senior biotechnology leader with 20 years of global experience in the discovery and development of new therapeutics for multiple diseases. He was previously a Senior Director at Vertex Pharmaceuticals where he was responsible for establishing external research and development programs. Prior to that, he was the Vice President of Preclinical Development at Opsona Therapeutics in Dublin, Ireland. His role there was to build the pipeline with new products (biologics and new chemical entities) by coordinating the internal activities of the discovery and development teams and external key opinion leaders, consultants, academic and biotechnology alliances.


Joyce Lonergan 
CEO, Co-Founder, Mellitus

Joyce Lonergan is the CEO and Co-Founder of Mellitus. She is an experienced Life Science Executive with senior leadership roles at established and start-up biopharmaceutical and medical device companies and venture funds. Joyce has a track record of successfully leading diverse teams and programs in the U.S. and EU to execute acquisitions, complete venture investments, manage investment portfolios and deliver results. Joyce’s work experience includes senior roles at GlaxoSmithkline/SR One, Chiron Corporation, and Cowen & Company. Joyce earned a BS in Biology at Emmanuel College in 1984 and an MBA from Simmons College School of Management in 1988.

Lindsay D. Lozeau
Co-founder, AMProtection, LLC

Lindsay D. Lozeau received her PhD in chemical engineering from WPI in 2017. After receiving her BS in chemical engineering from the University of Rhode Island in 2012, she began an interdisciplinary project focused on developing collagen-tethered antimicrobial peptides for chronic wound healing applications. She published in several peer-reviewed journals, co-invented three pending patents, and founded a graduate organization. She is the recipient of the inaugural Hitchcock Innovation fellowship and NSF IGERT fellowship. Lindsay has presented her work at several conferences, including the World Biomaterials Congress in Montreal, and will present at both the TechConnect World Conference in Anaheim, CA, and 2018 European Biomaterials Society in Maastricht, the Netherlands.
Through her work (recently licensed) and the realization that it could positively impact many lives, she co-founded AMProtection, LLC, a startup focused on developing antimicrobial coatings for medical devices. AMProtection was recently named to a “Top 40 University Startups”, won first place pitch at the National Academy of Inventors Innovation Showcase and The VentureForum, and is a TechConnect Innovation Awardee.
Lindsay has experience in industry at Kimball Physics, Inc., and TEI Biosciences, and is an adjunct professor for Quinsigamond Community College. Apart from science, Lindsay is passionate about the arts and participates in local orchestras, bands, and chorales. She is a Mass Cultural Council grantee. She also teaches in the community through her church.

Rachel Meyers

Entrepreneur-in-residence, Third Rock 

Rachel Meyers joined Third Rock in 2018 as an entrepreneur-in-residence focusing on drug discovery and development opportunities across our portfolio.
Rachel brings to Third Rock 20 years of R&D leadership and operations experience. She joins us from Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (2003 – 2017), where she was most recently senior vice president of research and RNAi lead development. In this capacity, she played a key role in advancing RNAi therapeutic programs from early discovery through clinical development, and her team was responsible for program leadership for most of the company’s preclinical and clinical stage programs. She also had overall responsibility for the chemistry and platform technology efforts that are the underpinnings of the company’s pipeline. Before joining Alnylam in 2003, Rachel was a senior scientist at Millennium Pharmaceuticals (1999 – 2003) where she led a unit of the company’s target discovery and validation efforts involving bioinformatics and molecular and cell biology.
Rachel consults on RNAi therapies, serves on a number of Scientific Advisory Boards, is listed as an inventor in many patents and patent applications, and has published numerous peer-reviewed publications. She completed her postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School in the field of signal transduction, and received her PhD from MIT in the field of in vitro transcription.

Ida Pavlichenko
Co-founder of PionEar,

Dr. Ida Pavlichenko is a co-founder of PionEar, an innovative medical device company for ear and hearing disorders, with a novel tympanostomy tube (commonly known as an “ear tube”) that prevents cellular and bacterial adhesion, and improves drug delivery to the middle ear, as the first product in the pipeline. PionEar has emerged as a result of a successful interdisciplinary collaboration between the biomedical researchers at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the Wyss Institute for Bio-Inspired Engineering, and the ear surgeons from the Massachusetts Eye and Ear, one of the top hospitals in the US for otolaryngology care. In 2018, PionEar has been awarded with the Grand Prize in the Health and Life Sciences Track at the Harvard President’s Innovation Challenge.

Dr. Pavlichenko earned her PhD in inorganic chemistry (summa cum laude) from the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany in 2014 and an MSc in physics (summa cum laude) from the Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia in 2010. Since 2015, Dr. Pavlichenko has been a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the Wyss Institute for Bio-Inspired Engineering, where she has been applying the principles of bio-inspired engineering for the design of novel medical devices, as well as wearable and integrated photonic sensors. Dr. Pavlichenko has published a number of publications in the peer-reviewed journals, is a co-inventor of several patents and has experience spearheading numerous complex collaborative efforts with academia, industry, government, and start-ups.

Gitte Pedersen
Co-founder, Genomic Expression Inc.

Gitte Pedersen is the co-founder of Genomic Expression Inc, a company pioneering the development of sequence based cancer diagnostics.

Prior to Genomic Expression, she founded Proximity Venture Advisors, an international business consulting company that serves high tech companies within the Life Science sector. She worked with biotech companies securing licensing deals, reference clients and capital. Her deal resume is north of $1 billion.

She have been involved in 5 start-up situation, co-founder of 3, and done everything from business plan development to identification investors, negotiation of deal terms.

Previously Gitte worked for Novo Nordisk in a number of management positions within R&D and Marketing. Novo Nordisk is one of the largest Biotech Companies in the world and the market leader within areas such as industrial enzymes and insulin for treatment of diabetes. Gitte Pedersen co-authored 8 patents while working in R&D.

Gitte graduated from the Danish Technological University with top scores in Biochemical Engineering and she holds a bachelor in International Trade. She speaks English, Danish and German fluently.

Leila Pirhaji
Founder &CEO, ReviveMed

Dr. Leila Pirhaji is founder and CEO at ReviveMedFounder and CEO at ReviveMed, an AI-driven drug-discovery platform focused on discovering therapeutics for metabolic diseases.
During her Ph.D. at MIT, Dr. Pirhaji developed a pioneering artificial intelligence (AI) technology, which translates data from small molecules or metabolites into therapeutic solutions and was published in Nature Methods. ReviveMed Startup Company commercializes this technology and enables developing the right therapeutics for the right patients by leveraging AI and metabolomics.



Stephen Potter
Chief Business Officer, AGTC

Stephen Potter has more than 15 years of experience as a senior executive in the biotechnology industry. Prior to joining AGTC, he was most recently employed by NeoStem, Inc., a developer of cell-based therapeutics, where Stephen served as Executive Vice President and a member of the Board of Directors. He was Senior Vice President of Operations and Corporate Development for Osiris Therapeutics, Inc., where he was part of the senior leadership team that achieved approval of the first-ever stem cell drug therapy, Prochymal®. He was also responsible for the launch and overall management of the Bio-Surgery business unit as well as operational oversight for mulitple functional areas including manufacturing and business development. Prior to Osiris, Stephen served as Senior Vice President of Corporate and Business Development at Genzyme Corporation and as Vice President of Corporate and Business Development. Over his ten years at Genzyme, Stephen was the senior leader for its global corporate and business development team that provided strategic and transaction support, including support for many of Genyzme’s gene and cell therapy opportunities. He has also held positions at DuPont Pharmaceuticals, E.I. Dupont de Nemours and Company, Inc., and Booz Allen & Hamilton. Stephen earned a B.S. from University of Massachusetts and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

David Raiser

Co-Founder & CEO, Aldatu Biosciences

David is the co-founder and CEO of Aldatu Biosciences, a Boston-based biotech startup commercializing a novel diagnostic technology called PANDAA. The PANDAA platform uniquely enables real-time PCR for target detection in highly variable genomic regions, and Aldatu’s current focus is on the application of PANDAA to diagnostic assay and product development for high need infectious diseases (e.g. drug-resistant HIV). Aldatu has raised over $5M in non-dilutive government grant and contract funding, in addition to competition awards and other outside investment.
Prior to co-founding Aldatu in 2014, David spent time in technology opportunity assessment for university tech transfer and at NextBio, an early-stage bioinformatics startup. During his PhD, David led a course on Healthcare Innovation and Commercialization at Harvard Medical School, at which he recently returned as an invited speaker on an entrepreneur panel. David earned his Ph.D. in molecular biology from Harvard and his bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Richmond.

Sameer Sabir
President, SevenOaks Division, Medline Industries

Sameer Sabir is an experienced early-stage medical device entrepreneur. In 2009 he co-founded MoMelan Technologies with Prof. Rox Anderson, Professor of Dermatology at Harvard Medical School, to develop a novel epidermal grafting technology for the treatment of dermatological conditions and wounds. MoMelan was acquired in 2012 by Acelity, Inc. In 2014 he co-founded SevenOaks Biosystems, again with Prof.Anderson, to develop a novel tissue regeneration technology for the treatment of wounds and burns. SevenOaks was acquired by Medline Industries in 2016.

Prior to his career in medical devices, Sameer worked as an investment banker in London. Sameer is a graduate of the Harvard-MIT Biomedical Enterprise Program and holds an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management and an SM from the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, as well as a B.Sc in Immunology from University College London (UCL). He is a Co-Founder of the Rehma Fund for Children, a philanthropic fund focused on issues of child health, and sits on the board of the Startup leadership Program (SLP), a training program for innovators.



Aaron Schwartz

Director, Search & Evaluation, Global Drug Discovery, Novo Nordisk

Aaron has been a Director in Novo Nordisk’s Search & Evaluation team in Global Drug Discovery  since 2016.  In this capacity, Aaron is responsible for the search an evaluation of new therapeutics and enabling technologies for protein, peptide, and antibody drugs.  Prior to joining Novo Nordisk, Aaron worked in the MIT Technology Licensing Office for 13.5 years.  During this time, he worked on license and sponsored research agreements with life sciences companies from startups to big biotech/pharma and everything in between.  He also managed a portfolio of over 650 technologies.  Before Aaron’s time at MIT, he was a management consultant to big pharma and a startup.  Aaron has an undergrad degree in biology from the University of Chicago and a Masters degree in biology from MIT.

William “Bill” Skillman
President & CEO, Velico 

William “Bill” Skillman became Velico’s President and Chief Executive Officer and a director effective January 1, 2014. Bill has more than 27 years’ experience in the life sciences sector including as a senior executive and international commercial business leader with Johnson & Johnson’s Transfusion Medicine business (Ortho Clinical Diagnostic Systems) and as Vice President, Worldwide Sales & Marketing, with J&J’s Therakos division. As Vice President, Worldwide Marketing, Transfusion Medicine, he held strategic responsibility for a $400M franchise in blood screening and immunohematology. He also served as Vice President, Marketing for Genzyme Genetics.  Prior to Velico, he launched Cambridge Executive Services, Inc., a global retained search firm serving the Life Sciences industry.  Mr. Skillman earned a B.B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton Undergraduate Division, and completed the International Executive Program at Duke University.



Richard Snyder
CSO, Brammer Bio

Dr. Snyder was the founder of Florida Biologix, which was spun out of the University of Florida in 2015 and merged to create Brammer Bio in 2016.  Dr. Snyder has been investigating virus biology, vector development, cGMP manufacturing and analytical technologies, and viral vector-mediated gene transfer for over 30 years, and was a member of teams who developed novel viral vector-based human gene therapies.  Dr. Snyder was an Associate Professor of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, and Director of Biotherapeutic Programs at the University of Florida; an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School; and was previously employed by Cell Genesys, Somatix, Merlin, and Avigen where he was engaged in the development of gene transfer vector and vaccine technology, along with therapeutic applications.  Dr. Snyder was a postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, received his doctoral degree in Microbiology from The State University of New York at Stony Brook, and obtained his B.A. in Biology from Washington University in St. Louis.


Albert (Al) L. Sokol

Partner, McDermott Will & Emery

Albert (Al) L. Sokol has more than 40 years of experience representing US and foreign life sciences companies and investors of all sizes.  Types of work include nearly $2b of venture capital and private equity investments, mergers and acquisitions, collaborations, spin-offs, general corporate counseling, strategic alliances, licenses, executive compensation, intellectual property matters, and other types of assistance.   Clients have included pharmas, biotechs, medtech companies, and various venture capital funds and other investors, etc.  He is a partner at McDermott Will & Emery, a 20-office global law firm specializing in health care, life sciences, private equity, venture capital and other industries.

Al is a frequent speaker at life sciences conferences – in the last two years he has chaired or spoken at 7 conferences, variously in Boston, San Francisco, Shanghai, Paris, etc.   Al obtained degrees from Yale University and Boston University (and was editor of the Law Review).  He also resided in Lusaka, Zambia, and ran a micro-credit organization there for nearly four years.  He enjoys using his 3 expedition sea kayaks, road bike, hiking boots and XC skis.

Avi Spier
Director, Search and Evaluation, Novartis Institutes of Biomedical Research

Dr. Spier was educated in Biological Sciences at Oxford University, received his Ph.D. in molecular neuroscience from Cambridge University at the MRC-Laboratory of Molecular Biology and trained as a postdoc at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), La Jolla, CA. In 2001, Dr. Spier co-founded Allon Therapeutics, Inc. and led the peptide therapeutic neurodegenerative disease focused company as its President and CEO through two financing rounds and up to its entry onto the Toronto Stock Exchange. In 2004, Dr. Spier joined the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation (GNF), as its Director of Business Development. Most recently, in 2012 Dr. Spier was appointed Director of BD&L in NIBR, with responsibility for search and evaluation activities for the Cardiovascular, Metabolic and Diabetes (CVM), Global Discovery Chemistry (GDC), Chemical Biology and Therapeutics (CBT), GNF Systems and the Microbiome organizations of NIBR.

David Tabatadze
President & CEO of ZATA Pharmaceuticals, Inc

In 2009, Dr. Tabatadze cofounded ZATA in partnership with Dr. Paul Zamecnik (1912-2009) and has been serving as the President and CEO since then. At ZATA, he led the development of transfusable blood purification closed systems and a new nucleic acid platform enabling new generation oligonucleotides.  In recent past, he has also consulted several medical device companies in the development and clearance of commercially available light based medical devices. His thirty-plus years of R&D experience includes drug candidate and diagnostic probes development, business development and management, execution of IP portfolio and regulatory submission.
Dr. Tabatadze possesses a MS in organic chemistry, a PhD in bioorganic chemistry, and has received post-doctoral training in nucleic acid chemistry at Worcester Foundation for BioMedical Research (Shrewsbury, MA). He has also Co-published over three dozen of peer-reviewed papers, patent applications, and patents.
At ZATA he has established business and collaborative relationships with several biotech and academic institutions locally and internationally.


Stacie Weninger
President, F-Prime Biomedical Research Initiative

Stacie Weninger is the President of FBRI. Prior to this position, she was the Senior Director of Science Programs for the Fidelity Foundations. In 2005, Dr. Weninger served as the Project Manager and Senior Analyst for the Task Force on Women in Science at Harvard University. From 2001-2005, Dr. Weninger was a Senior Scientist at Cell Press for the journal Neuron. Before joining Cell Press, Dr. Weninger was a postdoctoral research fellow at Children’s Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School with Dr. Bruce Yankner. She was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute predoctoral fellow in the Program in Neuroscience at Harvard University. While a graduate student and postdoctoral research fellow, Dr. Weninger was actively involved in undergraduate teaching, winning six teaching awards.
Dr. Weninger received a Ph.D. in neuroscience from Harvard University, and a B.S. degree in chemistry with highest honors from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She currently chairs the Collaboration for Alzheimer’s Prevention; is President of Alzforum; serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors for Rugen Therapeutics; serves as a member of the Board of Directors for Zebra Medical Technologies, Aratome, Q-State Biosciences, Digital Cognition Technologies, and Target ALS; and she previously served as a founding member of the Board of Directors for Denali Therapeutics (NASDAQ: DNLI) as well as a member of the Board of Directors for Annexon Biosciences, BRI-Alzan, BRI-Tolan, and Inscopix.