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2019 Advisory Committee

James Antonopoulos, Managing Director, Co-Head of Healthcare Investment Banking, ROTH Capital Partners

James Antonopoulos

James Antonopoulos is Managing Director and Co-Head of Healthcare Investment Banking. Prior to joining ROTH Capital Partners, Mr. Antonopoulos was a Senior Investment Banker at Canaccord Genuity Inc. Mr. Antonopoulos has approximately 10 years of investment banking experience and has completed over 250 equity, debt and M&A transactions, representing over $10.0 billion in aggregate value. He has advised and raised capital for a wide range of Healthcare companies and has served on multiple Boards, including MabVax Therapeutics Holdings, Inc. and Bella Financial Investments LLC. Prior to joining Canaccord, Mr. Antonopoulos was in the Investment Banking Group at Rodman & Renshaw. Mr. Antonopoulos received his B.S. from Babson College and his J.D. from Villanova School of Law, where he was on the Villanova Law Review.

Janice Bourque, Managing Director, Life Sciences, Hercules Technology Growth Capital

Janice Bourque is Managing Director of Life Sciences for Hercules Capital, a premier specialty finance company providing debt and equity to venture capital and private equity backed, and small cap public life science companies at all stages of development with $5.9 billion committed to over 350 life science, technology and renewable energy companies.  Deals include BIND Bioscience, Brickell, Cempra Pharmaceuticals, Concert Pharmaceutical, Cranford Pharmaceuticals, Dance Pharmaceuticals, deCode Genetics, Gamma Medica, Glori Energy, Medrobotics, Metuchen Pharmaceuticals, Ninepoint Medical and Pulmatrix.

Previously, Ms. Bourque provided strategic corporate investor fundraising for Commons Capital and Oxford Bioscience Partners for innovative healthcare investments for emerging and developing countries and was Senior Vice President, Group Head-Life Sciences for Comerica Bank. While at Comerica, notable deals included deals that led to several M&A exits including Hypnion/Eli Lilly; Adnexus/Bristol Meyers Squibb; and Morphotek/Eisai Pharmaceuticals.

Ms. Bourque was President/CEO of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council (MBC) which was at the forefront of the biotechnology revolution as the first biotechnology association in the world. Ms Bourque held senior managerial positions at Cambridge Medical Technology Corporation and Coopers & Lybrand Emerging Technology Group.

Ms. Bourque is on several boards: Poxel Inc, The Village Bank, Commodore Builders, Forsyth Institute, Emeritus Director of the MIT Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research Springboard Enterprises Life Science Council and is a member of Women on Corporate Boards and the Women’s Forum.  She is also active in Newton and serves as co-president of the Crystal Lake Conservancy and Board member of The Hyde Community Center.  Ms. Bourque is a trustee for a privately developed community home for differently-abled young working women and men.  She was named one of Boston Magazine’s 100 most influential women and Newton Living Magazine’s 10 most influential women.  Ms. Bourque received her MBA degree in finance and accounting and her BS degree in veterinary science from the University of New Hampshire.

John Chambers, President and Head of Investment Banking, H.C. Wainwright & Co.

Mr. Chambers currently serves as President and Head of Investment banking at H.C. Wainwright and Co. Mr. Chambers joined HCW from Roth Capital Partners where he had been Vice Chairman and Head of Healthcare Investment Banking. In his 28-year career, Mr. Chambers has played a senior role in the Life Sciences/Healthcare Investment Banking groups at Rodman & Renshaw, Cowen, Lehman Brothers and UBS Securities.

Jie D'Elia, PhD, Executive Director, Business Development Transactions, Bristol-Myers Squibb

Jie D’Elia is the Executive Director, Business Development Transactions at Bristol-Myers Squibb. In this role, Jie serves as the global lead in negotiating business development and licensing transactions.

Prior to joining Bristol-Myers Squibb in 2013, Jie served as the Corporate Vice President and Global Head of Business Development at Simcere Pharmaceutical, a fast growing leading Chinese pharmaceutical company with presence in North America and Europe. While at Simcere, she led the conceptualization and negotiation of a series of first-in-kind, high impact strategic partnerships, including a joint venture between Simcere and Merck Sharp & Dohme. Prior to joining Simcere, Jie worked at AstraZeneca and the Boston Consulting Group.

Jie holds a Ph.D. in Pharmacy from the University of Texas at Austin and an M.B.A from Columbia Business School.

Anna Kazanchyan, MD, Founder & CEO, Saghmos Therapeutics

Dr. Anna Kazanchyan is the Founder & CEO of Saghmos Therapeutics, a company with a late-stage product candidate for reducing the risk of major adverse renal and cardiac events (MARCE) and contrast-induced acute kidney injury (CI-AKI) in patients undergoing angiography and percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI). Dr. Kazanchyan serves as a member of the Board of Directors and as a member of the Compensation Committee of Foamix Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: FOMX). She is also the founder and Managing Partner of Primary i-Research, where she provides due diligence to leading healthcare investment funds and evaluates investment prospects of biopharmaceutical companies based on the scientific, clinical, regulatory and commercial outlook for their products. In addition, she has been a strategic advisor to CEOs of biopharmaceutical companies (start-ups to global companies) and has advised companies on matters related to business development, clinical/regulatory strategy, marketing and commercial/competitive landscape. Dr. Kazanchyan has previously served as SVP, Business Development and SVP, Product Development at Ovid Therapeutics (Nasdaq: OVID), a company focused on rare neurological disorders. Previously, Dr. Kazanchyan was Senior Biotechnology Analyst at Wachovia Securities, and was a member of the #1 and #2 Institutional-Investor ranked Biotechnology Equity Research teams at Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, respectively. She received an M.D. from Harvard Medical School and a B.A. in Biology, summa cum laude, from Clark University.

Jonathan Leff, Partner, Deerfield Management; Chairman, Deerfield Institute

Mr. Leff is a Partner on the Private Transactions team and Chairman of the Deerfield Institute. He joined Deerfield in 2013, and focuses on venture capital and structured investments in biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. Prior to joining Deerfield, for more than sixteen years, Mr. Leff was with Warburg Pincus, where he led the firm’s investment efforts in biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. Mr. Leff has also been active in public policy discussions related to healthcare and medical innovation. He serves on the Emerging Companies Section Board of the Biotechnology Industry Organization and is a member of several not-for-profit Boards, including the Spinal Muscular Atrophy Foundation, Friends of Cancer Research, and the Columbia University Medical Center Board of Advisors. In addition, he previously served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA), and previously led NVCA’s life sciences industry efforts as Chair of NVCA’s Medical Innovation and Competitiveness Coalition (NVCA-MedIC). Mr. Leff received his A.B. from Harvard University, and earned his M.B.A. from The Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Jim Molloy, Managing Director, Equity Research, Biotechnology & Specialty Pharmaceuticals, Alliance Global Partners

James Molloy is a Managing Director and Biotechnology and Specialty Pharmaceuticals Equity Research Analyst at A.G.P./Alliance Global Partners. He provides coverage of companies in several therapeutic categories in the biotechnology & pharmaceuticals sector, with a focus on immuno-oncology, central nervous system, cardiovascular, and anti-infective disorders. Prior to A.G.P., Mr. Molloy was a Managing Director, Biotechnology and Specialty Pharmaceuticals Equity Research Analyst at Janney Montgomery Scott, and ThinkEquity Partners, and a Vice President of Equity Research at Oppenheimer and Company. Mr. Molloy has almost two decades of experience as a Senior Analyst covering both the mid-capitalization and emerging biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors. Mr. Molloy began his career as one of the first analysts at Leerink Partners in Boston. He earned an MBA from the FW Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College, and a BA from the University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado.

William H. McMullan, Managing Director, The Carlyle Group

McMullan-William

William H. McMullan is a Managing Director at The Carlyle Group focused on buyouts, privatizations and strategic minority investments in the healthcare sector. Mr. McMullan is based in New York.

Mr. McMullan serves as a member of the board of directors of Albany Molecular Research, Inc (AMRI), Medrisk, Millicent Pharma, Welldyne, LifeCare Holdings (prior) and Grupo Qualicorp (prior). Mr. McMullan has also been actively involved in a number of other investments including Rede D’Or São Luiz S.A., and Multiplan (prior). Prior to joining Carlyle, Mr. McMullan was with J.W. Childs Associates in Boston.

Mr. McMullan received an M.B.A. from Harvard University and a B.S., in Economics with a minor in Computer Science, from Duke University.

Bibhash Mukhopadhyay, PhD, Principal, New Enterprise Associates

Kim Nearing

Bibhash is a Principal at New Enterprise Associates (NEA), where he focuses on investing in emerging therapeutics and device companies, assisting them grow and create value. Previously, he was at AstraZeneca / MedImmune as an Associate Director of Business Development, where his responsibilities spanned end-to-end in the deal-making spectrum, from search and evaluation to transactions, with focus on the immune-oncology and immunology spaces. He started his career at Johnson and Johnson, where he held multiple Business Development roles, at different times, in Global Surgery, Oncology and Emerging Technologies. Bibhash’s doctoral research work focused on pathophysiology of retinal diseases using tools of cell biology and mathematical modeling, during which he also consulted for venture funds and start-ups.

Kimberly Nearing, Managing Director, Head of Life Sciences, Cedrus Group; Regional Leader for BayHelix's NY/NJ/PA Chapters

Kim Nearing

Kimberly Nearing has over 20 years of life sciences experience, including in the capacity as a senior operations manager, an investor, an investment banker and a consultant.  Currently, as the Managing Director, Head of Life Sciences at the Cedrus Group, a global boutique investment firm headquartered in Hong Kong with offices in Shanghai, and Beijing, Kim is actively engaged in international business and finance activities, particularly in the Greater China and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)  regions. She is also the regional leader (NY/NJ/PA) for BayHelix, an invitation-only organization of leaders of Chinese heritage in the global life sciences and healthcare community.

She was previously the Managing Partner of Phoenician Venture Partners, a late-stage biotechnology venture capital fund, and she had held various management positions at Amgen, Merck, and IBM’s Healthcare Group.  Kimberly received a Master of Science (MSc) with Honors from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) with Distinction from the University of Michigan

Ari Nowacek, MD, PhD, Principal, ARCH Venture Partners

Ari Nowacek

Ari Nowacek, M.D, Ph.D. is a Principal with ARCH Venture Partners, joining the company as an Analyst in March 2015. Dr. Nowacek focuses on identifying and evaluating new life sciences technologies and also provides operating assistance to early-stage portfolio companies. Dr. Nowacek is a physician-scientist by training with over 20 peer-reviewed publications and greater than 400 citations in the areas of neuroscience, virology, and antiretroviral therapeutic development. His research has led to 3 issued and 2 pending patents for therapeutic and R&D applications.

He holds a B.S. in Biology and a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Indiana-Bloomington where he graduated Magna Cum Laude and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He also holds an M.D. and Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska Medical Center and an M.B.A. from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He subsequently completed a medical residency in pathology and post-doctoral research at The University of Chicago and Massachusetts General Hospital.

Timothy O'Connor, PhD, Executive Vice President, The Rockefeller University

Timothy O'Connor

Timothy O’Connor was appointed executive vice president of The Rockefeller University in February 2016. In this role, he oversees most university operations, including research support, technology transfer, facilities, and information technology, as well as finance, investments, human resources, and legal affairs. Working in partnership with the other executive officers, he provides administrative leadership to the university and represents the president both internally and externally.

Dr. O’Connor joined the university in 2013 as chief of staff and vice president, offering high-level support to the president while overseeing the university’s day-to-day operations as well as its long-term initiatives, including the ongoing construction of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation-David Rockefeller River Campus.

Dr. O’Connor’s career has focused on both biomedical research and academic administration. A native of Los Angeles, he majored in biology at the University of California, Berkeley; earned his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan; and worked as a postdoc in Jared Diamond’s laboratory at the University of California, Los Angeles. In 1998, he set up his own lab at the City College of New York, and later moved to Weill Cornell Medical College, where he was appointed associate research professor and vice chair in the Department of Genetic Medicine.

In 2009, Dr. O’Connor moved to Yale University, where he served as associate provost for science and technology. There, he helped administer financial resources and scientific support services for researchers working in diverse areas, including biosciences, physics, chemistry, engineering, astronomy, and computer sciences, among others.

Dr. O’Connor serves on the board of several not-for-profit organizations, including the New York Structural Biology Center, the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center, NewYorkBIO, and the Friends of the East River Esplanade.

Susan Peschin, MHS, President and Chief Executive Officer, Alliance for Aging Research

Susan Peschin, MHS, is president and CEO at the Alliance for Aging Research. Founded in 1986, the Alliance is the nation’s leading nonprofit organization dedicated to furthering medical research to improve aging and health. Since 2012, Ms. Peschin has continued to build on the Alliance’s reputation as a forward-thinking public policy and health education organization and has led efforts to: boost older adult immunization rates; increase NIH Alzheimer’s disease and aging research funding; raise awareness of geriatric cardiac issues; develop a senior patient and family caregiver research engagement network; and co-organize a first-ever NIH geroscience summit. Ms. Peschin participates in major industry and policy symposiums around the country each year and has published opinion pieces in news outlets nationwide. 

Prior to her work at the Alliance, Ms. Peschin worked at the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America where she guided the “detection of any cognitive impairment” provision in the Medicare Annual Wellness Visit. She worked for more than 10 years in gun control, and successfully led a coalition of organizations to advocate for the Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban. Ms. Peschin currently serves on the Board of Heart Valve Voice U.S.; on the National Advisory Council for the National Institute on Aging at the NIH; and as a member of the Lifespan Domain Task Force for the Clinical & Translational Science Award program, funded by NCATS at the NIH. Ms. Peschin earned a B.A. in Sociology from Brandeis University, and a M.H.S. degree in Health Policy from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Dennis J. Purcell, Founder and Senior Advisor, Aisling Capital

Mr. Purcell is the original Founder of Aisling Capital LLC and currently serves as a Senior Advisor to Aisling. Previously, he served as the Senior Managing Partner. Prior to Aisling Capital, Mr. Purcell served as Managing Director of the Life Sciences Investment Banking Group at Chase H&Q (formerly Hambrecht & Quist, “H&Q”) for over five years. While at H&Q, he was directly involved with over two hundred completed transactions and supervised over $10 billion of financing and advisory assignments in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical products industries. During his tenure, BioWorld and other industry publications cited H&Q as the leading underwriter of life sciences securities. Prior to joining H&Q, Mr. Purcell was a Managing Director in the Healthcare Group at PaineWebber, Inc. Mr. Purcell is a frequent commentator on the industry and has been honored in the “Biotech Hall of Fame” by Genetic Engineering News, named to the Biotechnology All-Stars list by Forbes ASAP, honored as one of the top 50 Irish-American businessmen and cited as one of the top 100 contributors to the biotechnology industry. Mr. Purcell has served as a director of Aton Pharma, Bridge Pharmaceuticals, Cengent Therapeutics, Dynova Laboratories, Paratek Pharmaceuticals, Valentis and Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals. He has served as a member of the Advisory Council at Harvard Medical School, the Board of Directors of the Biotechnology Industry Association, as well as the New York Biotechnology Association, the Irvington Institute and on the Board of L.E.K. Consulting. He currently sits on the board of Real Endpoints, Summus Global, Inc., Life Science Leader Magazine–Editorial Advisory Board, NY BIO Association and is a member of The University of Delaware Investment Visiting Committee Member. Mr. Purcell received his M.B.A. from Harvard University and his B.S. in Accounting from the University of Delaware.

Stephen Ritoch, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Blaise Group International


For the past eighteen years Stephen M. Ritoch has been the founding Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Blaise Group International, Inc. (BGI), a global leading retained executive and board search and strategic services firm exclusively focused in the Life Sciences.

Prior to co-founding BGI, Mr. Ritoch served on the senior executive search team of a national executive search firm.  Mr. Ritoch helped the company obtain a larger market-share for a desired IPO.  Previously, Mr. Ritoch was an operations and business development specialist with a focus on growth strategies, corporate partnering, talent acquisition and organizational development. He has served in many high profile capacities with a variety of domestic and multi-national companies.

Mr. Ritoch has been an entrepreneur with two prior start-up companies. Mr. Ritoch is a noteworthy executive advisor and coach to many high profile and influential senior executive leaders within industry, academia and government institutions. He is an investor and collaborative partner in several pharmaceutical and biotechnology corporations. Mr. Ritoch has been published in the business community, internal corporate enterprises, philosophy and ethics sectors.

He had previously served on the Boards of MyPage, Inc. and Sports Zombie, Inc.  Mr. Ritoch was also an Advisory Council member to Hope Funds For Cancer Research. 

Sapna Srivastava, PhD, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Strategy Officer, Abide Therapeutics

Sapna SrivastavaDr. Srivastava has more than 15 years of experience as a senior executive in the biopharmaceutical industry and on Wall Street. She is currently Chief Financial and Strategy Officer at Abide Therapuetics. Previously, Dr. Srivastava held the position of Chief Financial and Strategy Officer at Intellia Therapeutics, where she played a key role in equity financings including taking the company public, and in setting the strategic direction of the company. Prior to that role, Dr. Srivastava spent over a decade on Wall Street as a Senior Biotechnology Analyst for Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and ThinkEquity Partners, LLC. She began her career as a research associate at J.P. Morgan. Dr. Srivastava has also served as an independent strategic advisor for biotechnology companies focused on developing therapeutics, and co-founded a neuroscience-focused biotechnology company. Dr. Srivastava earned her Ph.D. in neuroscience from the New York University School of Medicine and her B.S. in Biology from St. Xavier’s College at the University of Mumbai.

Marco Taglietti, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer, SCYNEXIS

Dr. Taglietti joined SCYNEXIS as President and Chief Executive Officer in April 2015 and has been a member of the board since November 2014. He became President of the Company in September 2015. He served as Executive Vice President, Research and Development and Chief Medical Officer of Forest Laboratories, Inc. and as President of the Forest Research Institute until its acquisition by Actavis in 2014. Prior to joining Forest Laboratories in 2007, Dr. Taglietti held the position of Senior Vice President, Head of Global Research and Development, at Stiefel Laboratories, Inc., a GSK company, for three years. He joined Stiefel Laboratories after 12 years at Schering-Plough Corporation, where he last held the position of Vice President, Worldwide Clinical Research for Anti-Infectives, Oncology, CNS, Endocrinology and Dermatology. Dr. Taglietti began his pharmaceutical career at Marion Merrell Dow Research Institute. Over the course of his career, he has brought to market 35 different products in the U.S. and internationally. Dr. Taglietti currently serves on the Board of Directors of BioNJ, Inc. and Delcath (Nasdaq: DCTH). He received his medical degree and board certifications from the University of Pavia in Italy.

Nassim Usman, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer, Catalyst Biosciences

Dr. Nassim Usman served as Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board of directors of Catalyst Biosciences from 2006 until 2015. Since the merger with Targacept in 2015, Dr. Usman has served as Catalyst’s President and Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Usman joined Catalyst from Morgenthaler Ventures, where he is currently a Venture Partner. Prior to joining Morgenthaler in 2005, from 2004 to 2005, he was Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Sirna Therapeutics Inc., which was subsequently acquired by Merck, and held various R&D positions at both Sirna and Ribozyme Pharmaceuticals, including Vice President of R&D and Chief Science Officer, from 1992 to 2004. Dr. Usman has overseen the entry of several drugs into clinical development, completion of multiple licensing deals with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and raised capital in both private and public financings.

Dr. Usman was an NIH Fogarty and NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow and Scientist in the Departments of Biology and Chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1987 to 1992. He has authored more than 70 scientific articles and is the named inventor in 130 issued patents and patent applications.

Dr. Usman serves on the boards of directors of Mosaic Biosciences and Principia Biopharma. He received his B.Sc. and Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from McGill University. In his doctoral dissertation, he developed a method for the solid-phase synthesis of RNA that is widely used in science and in a marketed RNA product

Lynn O'Connor Vos, President and CEO, Muscular Dystrophy Association

Lynn O'Connor Vos is the President and CEO of the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA), dedicated to transforming the lives of people affected by muscular dystrophy, ALS and related neuromuscular disease. She is focused on asserting MDA’s leadership in research and care and establishing MDA as the preeminent advocate and provider of services to families affected by neuromuscular disease. Lynn is leading MDA in the development of a comprehensive data hub, MOVR, which will drive the advancement of research, new technologies and care strategies and galvanize both the industry and research arenas to pioneer better care and more cures.


Prior to her arrival at MDA, Lynn was the CEO of ghg | greyhealth group for nearly 23 years. While at ghg, Vos led global expansion and diversification strategies and within two years grew the company from a small, domestic professional player into an award-winning global enterprise with fully integrated, multi-channel offerings.

Lynn has public and private board experience, including OptimizeRx (OTC: OPRX) and the board of The Jed Foundation, a leading mental health nonprofit. She was named Woman of the Year by the Healthcare Business Women’s Association in 2005, was nominated by the YWCA to the Academy of Women Achievers in 1999 and received the Corporate Achievement Award from The Jed Foundation in 2006. In addition to the numerous awards Lynn has won over the years, in 2017 she was named an MM&M Healthcare Transformer and a member of the PharmaVOICE 100; in 2016, a PM360 Elite Transformational Leader and an MM&M Top 50 Health Influencer. This year she was named a PharmaVOICE Red Jacket honoree.

Scott Weiner, Partner, Pappas Capital

Scott is currently a Partner at Pappas Capital, a life sciences focused venture capital firm based in North Carolina. Prior to joining the firm in 2006, Scott was an investment manager and research analyst at Silverback Asset Management’s life science fund where he focused on healthcare securities investing. Before joining Silverback, he spent three years at Chicago Growth Partners focusing on healthcare venture investments, and previous to that, he spent three and a half years in investment banking at Lehman Brothers where he worked in New York, London and Hong Kong.