Speaker Bios


Dr. Reid Leonard

Executive Director, Worldwide Licensing, Merck Research Laboratories

Reid Leonard is Executive Director, Worldwide Licensing for Merck & Co., Inc.  Based in Boston, Massachusetts, Reid provides guidance on Merck’s licensing interests to biotechnology companies, academic institutions, and venture firms. He serves as an initial contact for the scientific evaluation of partnership opportunities through which Merck may collaborate to develop novel therapeutics. Reid’s area of responsibility includes the Northeastern United States and Latin America. He also supervises search and evaluation efforts in Canada and India.

Dr. Leonard graduated from Brandeis University with a B.A. in biology and psychology. He earned a Ph.D. in biology from Purdue University and completed postdoctoral training in molecular pharmacology at Caltech. He joined Merck Research Laboratories in 1989 to conduct  discovery research on ion channels. After ten years at the bench,  Reid joined Merck’s licensing group where he has contributed to the identification and execution of academic and biotech partnerships to advance Merck’s pipeline.


Robert Buderi

Founder and Editor in Chief, Xconomy
Panel Moderator

Bob is the Founder and Editor in Chief of Xconomy, an online news and events company focused on the business of technology and innovation in three key regions: Boston, Seattle, and San Diego. Before launching Xconomy, Bob was a research fellow in MIT’s Center for International Studies. He previously served as Editor in Chief of MIT’s Technology Review, leading the magazine to numerous editorial and design awards and overseeing its expansion into three foreign markets, its introduction of electronic newsletters, and its organization of highly successful conferences. Earlier, as BusinessWeek’s technology editor, he shared in the 1992 National Magazine Award for “The Quality Imperative,” a special issue of the magazine. Bob is also the author of three books about technology and innovation. Guanxi (2006) looks at Microsoft’s Beijing research lab as a metaphor for global competitiveness. Engines of Tomorrow (2000) describes the evolution of corporate research. The Invention That Changed the World (1996) examines the work of a secret lab at MIT during WWII. Bob served on the Council on Competitiveness-sponsored National Innovation Initiative and as an advisor to the Draper Prize Nominating Committee. He has been a regular guest of CNBC’s Strategy Session and has spoken about innovation to many organizations, including the Business Council, Amazon, eBay, Google, IBM, and Microsoft.

Carl M. Berke

Associate Director, Partners Innovation Fund and Co-founder, MA Medical Angels

Carl’s career has spanned nearly 30 years in the practice and management of innovation to bring new technologies to market. As a bench scientist and then R&D director, he worked at Polaroid Corporation and Hygeia Sciences in the development of photographic and clinical products for both consumer and professional markets. He moved to Integral/Analysis Group where he became partner and Vice President focusing on the management of innovation and growth strategy for clients in healthcare and consumer products. Carl has been an active private equity investor as a member of Angel Healthcare Investors and serves as a board member for Quosa Inc. [literature management software for life sciences], Automation Engineering Inc. [factory automation systems], Freedom-2 [skincare] and the Sudanese Education Fund [philanthropy]. He has published extensively in the technical and business literature and holds 6 US patents. Carl served as a licensing officer at MIT specializing in chemical sciences and medical device where he is also an Instructor in the HST Biomedical Enterprise Program. Recently, he co-founded Mass Medical Angels. Carl Berke holds an AB degree from Cornell University and received his PhD in Chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley.

David Beylin

Program Manager, SBIR Development Center, National Cancer Institute

David Beylin is a Program Manager with the SBIR Development Center at the National Cancer Institute, where he assists small businesses in the medical imaging field in securing government funding for innovative research and development projects with high commercial potential. David has over 10 years of experience in research, development and commercialization of scientific and medical instrumentation and molecular imaging agents. Previously, David was involved with X/Seed Capital Management, LLC, a seed-stage venture capital firm investing in breakthrough technologies. Prior to X/Seed, David worked for Naviscan PET Systems, Inc. in a variety of technical and management roles, including Vice President of Research, concentrating on the design, clinical validation, and regulatory clearance of high resolution Positron Emission Tomography devices and image-guided interventions. Mr. Beylin was trained in experimental nuclear physics at the Budker Institute of Nuclear Physics (Russia) and the KEK-High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (Japan). Mr. Beylin is certified in Nuclear Medicine Physics and Instrumentation by the American Board of Science in Nuclear Medicine.

Aaron Sandoski

Managing Director, Norwich Ventures

Aaron Sandoski is the Managing Director of Norwich Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm specializing in medtech. He is involved in all facets of the investment process and draws from a broad background in healthcare and start-up operations to support portfolio companies.

Prior to founding Norwich Ventures, Aaron worked for DEKA, the engineering think tank of Dean Kamen, where he helped develop partnerships and formulate business plans for emerging technologies. Aaron has also worked in start-up operations where he helped launch a subsidiary of Express Scripts and helped launch a venture-backed payments company. Both companies were acquired in transactions totaling over $500 million. He began his career as a consultant at McKinsey & Company, where he advised healthcare clients ranging from leading medical device companies to a rural hospital system.

Aaron serves as a board member of MedTech IGNITE, an initiative of the Massachusetts Medical Device Industry Council (MassMEDIC) for nurturing early-stage medical device entrepreneurs. He is also co-author of How the Wise Decide, a book on decision-making in business (Crown Business, 2008).

Aaron earned an MBA from Harvard Business School and graduated summa cum laude from Dartmouth College with a double A.B. in Chemistry and Economics.

David Steinmiller

Founder and Chief Operating Officer, Claros Diagnostics

Claros is developing a platform for point-of-care diagnostics that moves in-vitro medical tests out of the laboratory and into the hands of physicians and patients. Mr. Steinmiller co-founded the company in 2004 and raising grant funding in Europe and the United States and later venture financing in 2006. Claros is currently located in Woburn, MA. Previously previously served as Director of Engineering at Eos Biotechnology where he developed instruments for genomics research. Mr. Steinmiller created and patented a high-throughput system for synthesizing nucleic acids and transitioned the technology from concept to prototype to production device. This technology formed the core of WebOligos, which produced and marketed synthetic DNA, and which was acquired by Invitrogen. Mr. Steinmiller holds a B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford and an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management.


James Heywood

Founder of ALS TDI

An MIT engineer with a background in product development and neuroscience Jamie entered the field of translational research when his 29 year old Brother Stephen was diagnosed with ALS.
Jamie is the Chairman and co-founder of PatientsLikeMe, a web 2.0 company where patients can share in depth information on treatments, symptoms, and real world information on managing life changing diseases.  PatientsLikeMe is working with the pharmaceutical industry, providers, non-profits and patients to align and illuminate value and improve medical care.
Jamie founded ALS TDI the world’s first non-profit biotechnology company and was its CEO from 1999 to 2007.  Jamie implemented an industrialized therapeutic validation process and built the world’s largest ALS drug discovery program. Jamie pioneered an open research model, posting in real time the results of its studies for patients, doctors, and the research community.
Jamie is an active advisor to companies and non-profits working to improve the way in which biomedical research is conducted. His work has been profiled in the New Yorker, 60 Minutes, Pulitzer Prize winner Jonathan Wiener’s book, His Brothers Keeper, and in the Sundance award winning documentary So Much So Fast.

Peter D. Kiernan, III

Chairman of the Board of Directors of Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation

Mr. Kiernan is CEO of Kiernan Ventures, a venture capital firm committed to growing companies of consequence. He spent nearly 18 years at Goldman Sachs, most of them as a Partner and was instrumental in advising companies and wealthy families around the globe in ways to expand their business. His specialty was forging unique relationships and finding creative and unconventional ways to help growing companies both large and small achieve their promise. After leaving Goldman, Peter founded and led numerous companies including Tech Health, a high growth medical services company where he serves as Chair of the Board. Kiernan was also President and Partner at Cyrus Capital Partners, a hedge fund based in New York and London where he continued to serve as Senior Advisor. He continues as Senior Adviser there. Kiernan was asked by Dana Reeve in the days before her untimely death to lead the organization she and her husband Christopher founded. In the past two years, as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, Kiernan has led a dramatic turnaround in the organization’s fight to cure paralysis. He also served as past Chairman of the prestigious Robin Hood Foundation for nearly five years. He serves on the Board of the Darden School at the University of Virginia and served on the Williams College Board and Finance Committee for many years.

Glenn E. Mangurian

Founding Partner, Frontier Works and Patient Advocate

Glenn Mangurian has over three decades of experience driving innovation and results with his clients. Through personal experience he has discovered that we are capable of overcoming challenges that seem insurmountable. As a skilled partner, Glenn teams with both individuals and organizations to aim high, take action and realize aspirations.
As a former, SVP with CSC Index he was responsible for commercializing the concept of Business Reengineering. Glenn has experienced many of growth challenges including geographic expansion, market reinvention and acquisition. In 1989, the Index Group as acquired by Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC). He was a member of the leadership team that reinvented the firm after acquisition and grew it from $25 million to $200 million in annual revenues. In addition, he orchestrated the acquisition of two professional services firms into CSC Index and had operational responsibility for one of them.
In May 2001 Glenn suffered an injury to his spinal cord resulting in the paralysis of his lower body. Undeterred by his injury, Glenn remains active in his consulting, speaking and writing. He combines his decades of business experience with his personal experience in overcoming adversity to inspire individuals and organizations to achieve extraordinary results. He has published several articles on change management, business reengineering and resilience. Drawing on his personal experience and others, he is the author of an article published March 2007 in the Harvard Business Review: “Realizing What You’re Made Of.” He is a frequent speaker to executive audiences on the subjects of leadership and resilience.
Glenn has an undergraduate degree in mathematics and an MBA from the University of Massachusetts where he also serves as an executive-in-residence. In partnership with University President Wilson he is host to several leadership programs. An accomplished networker and coach, he is a trusted confidant to many successful business leaders.

Brock Reeve

Executive Director, Harvard Stem Cell Institute

Brock Reeve, a graduate of Yale and the Harvard Business School, is Executive Director of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute. In partnership with the Faculty Directors, he has overall responsibility for the operations and strategy of the institute whose mission is to use stem cells, both as tools and as therapies, to understand and treat the root causes of leading degenerative diseases.
HSCI is comprised of the schools of Harvard University and all its affiliated hospitals and research institutions. The institute currently has 60 principal faculty and 70 affiliated faculty. Under the leadership of the Executive Committee, HSCI invests in scientific research in three main areas - seed grants, core facilities and large-scale disease programs. Beyond the science, the institute also has programs to address ethics and public policy issues, to provide lab experiences for undergraduates, to educate high school science teachers, science journalists and the public at large.
Brock comes to this role from the commercial sector with extensive experience in both management consulting and operations for technology-based companies, with a focus on life sciences.
Brock’s business career started with the Boston Consulting Group. Prior to Harvard, Brock was COO and Managing Director of Life Science Insights, an IDC company, a consulting and market research firm specializing in information technology in life sciences. Previously, Brock was an Associate Partner in the Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences practice in IBM’s Business Consulting Services group, working with biotech and pharmaceutical clients on issues ranging from R&D portfolios to operations strategies. Brock also has had hands-on operational responsibility in product management and marketing roles in software start-ups as well as additional experience in IT and the healthcare/life science market as the Healthcare Practice Director at Viant Corp. and a Principal at SRI Consulting, where his clients included some of the leading pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies.

Larry Steranka

Managing Director of Cancer Research Technology, Inc.

Larry Steranka is Managing Director of Cancer Research Technology, Inc. Previously, he worked in the field of academic technology transfer, most recently as Executive Director of the Office of Technology Licensing at Brandeis University, before that as Associate Director for Licensing in Harvard University’s Office for Technology and Trademark Licensing and, before that, as Director of the Office of Technology Transfer at Vanderbilt University. Prior to entering academic technology transfer, Larry held research management positions in the pharmaceutical industry, first with a startup and then with a multinational company. Larry has a Ph.D. in pharmacology, completed one of Harvard Business School’s Executive Education Programs (PMD), and is the author of over 40 peer-reviewed scientific publications.


Dr. Norman Letvin

Dr. Letvin has pioneered the use of nonhuman primates in HIV vaccine design, demonstrating that the biology of SHIV/SIV infection in macaques is a vital model for elucidating HIV infection and transmission in humans. Dr. Letvin defined the role of CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) in controlling HIV replication and is currently working to develop vaccination strategies that protect against HIV by targeting CTL. These strategies include using DNA and live vector vaccines that elicit CTL responses in nonhuman primates and humans. Dr. Letvin has also documented how lentiviruses are able to escape from CTL by mutation. Noting the limitations of this strategy, Dr. Letvin and his colleagues are attempting to design vaccines that account for this mutability.

Dr. Letvin received his B.A. summa cum laude from Harvard University in 1971. He went on to receive his M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1975 followed by his fellowship in Immunology in 1980. Dr. Letvin interned at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and completed his residency at Massachusetts General Hospital. He began his career at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in 1981 and soon became Chairman of the Division of Immunology at the New England Regional Primate Research Center at Harvard. Dr. Letvin started working at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in 1994 as Chief of Viral Pathogenesis and took the position of Director of Non-Human Primate Studies at the NIH Vaccine Research Center in 1999. Dr. Letvin has served on the Research Advisory Council for the Office of AIDS Research at the NIH; the AIDS Research Advisory Council at the NIAID; the AIDS Vaccine Research Working Group for the NIAID and the NIH; and the HIV Vaccine Development Resource Group for the NIH. Dr. Letvin serves as a reviewing editor for the journal, Science, and as vaccine editor for the journal, AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses.

John Primeau

John Primeau has worked in Drug Discovery for a little over 22 years. After obtaining a Ph.D at the University of Waterloo and postdoctoral training at the University of Virginia, he moved into the pharmaceutical industry to do drug discovery. He began his career as a medicinal chemist at Wyeth and advanced into discovery line leadership after leading drug discovery and development teams. Drawn by the outstanding talent already in place, the company’s commitment to antibacterial science and the ready access to the talent in the Boston area, he joined AstraZeneca R&D Boston in 2000 to focus on the pursuit of new and essential antibacterial agents.


Prof. Phillip Zamore

UMass Medical School

Phil Zamore, a professor at UMass Medical School and a scientific co-founder of Alnylam will discuss the impact of RNAi both in the lab and in industry. RNAi technology, which Science Magazine called the Breakthrough of the Year in 2002, is a novel technology that can shut down the ability of a specific gene to express. The technology is being used extensively as a research tool to determine how genes work and has huge commercial applications as the basis of new therapeutics. Dr. Zamore was an author and a major contributor to a seminal work between MIT, UMass Medical School and the Max Plank Institute. He continues to be research leader in this field.