Professional Development Courses—Instructor Biographies

Advanced Business Development (June 10-12)


Joseph S. Dillon, PhD, MBA, President & CEO, SynerPhysics, Inc.; President, Dillon Capital Strategies 

Joseph S. Dillon, PhD, MBA, is President & CEO of SynerPhysics, Inc. and President of Dillon Capital Strategies, the strategy and business analytics advisory arm of SynerPhysics. Dr. Dillon is a seasoned pharmaceutical executive with over 30 years of experience. He has extensive experience in global pharmaceutical business development, planning and analysis, corporate finance, M&A, licensing, and technology valuations. Dr. Dillon has screened thousands of opportunities, valued over 400 deals and has been involved in over 45 closed transactions over the course of his career. Since forming Dillon Capital Strategies, Dr. Dillon has consulted dozens of companies and held interim senior positions, including CEO and CFO at select clients. Dr. Dillon also provides specialized, strategic and transaction focused training for biopharma professionals. Prior to this, Dr. Dillon held senior positions in pharmaceutical management consulting firms, most significantly as Senior Vice President, Head of Corporate Development Services and Valuations for The Mattson Jack Group (now KantarHealth). Other previous positions include CEO, President, and Director of The Pharmaceutical Development Center (sold to AAI), a pharmaceutical developer and manufacturer; Executive Vice President and CFO of Vail Banks Inc., a multi-bank holding company (IPO, then sold to US Bancorp); CFO and Treasurer of Oread Inc., a contract pharmaceutical developer and manufacturer; and corporate positions with predecessor companies of Sanofi. Dr. Dillon is Past-Chairperson of the Licensing Executive Society Life Sciences Sector. He is a veteran speaker at BIO, LES, WBR, EBD, and other prominent industry organization events. Dr. Dillon holds a PhD in Theoretical Physics, an MBA in International Finance and a bachelor’s degree in Finance 

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Patrick Duxbury, BSc, JD, Partner, Head of Life Sciences (UK), Gowling WLG 

Patrick Duxbury helps clients to research, develop, manufacture, and sell pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device products, using his extensive experience of structuring and executing transactions in the life sciences sector. 

Patrick was a microbiologist and geneticist before re-qualifying as a lawyer in 1993 with first class honours. He now specialises in all aspects of transactional work in the life sciences sector. He has helped clients including Argenx, AstraZeneca, Astellas, MedImmune, Astex Therapeutics, Crescendo Biologics, Epidarex, ERS Genomics, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Heptares Therapeutics, Kymab, Immunocore and SROne on significant M&A transactions, licensing and collaboration deals and fundraisings. 

Thanks to his deep knowledge of the world in which he operates, Patrick delivers his clients a unique mix of regulatory, antitrust, IP, corporate and dispute resolution advice, helping many of the sector's key players. 

Deal highlights include advising AstraZeneca on its landmark collaboration agreement for the development and distribution of the University of Oxford’s potential COVID-19 vaccine, a $6.9 billion cancer drug collaboration agreement with Daiichi Sankyo Company Limited, an $8.5bn oncology deal with Merck, on AstraZeneca's $300 million disposal of the rights to cancer drug Caprelsa to Genzyme and its $1.275bn collaboration with Innate Pharma. 

He has also recently advised Heptares Therapeutics Limited and Argenx BV, and Immunocore on several strategic license and collaboration transactions. 

Patrick is a well-known speaker on topics relating to transactions in the life sciences sector. He teaches on the BIO Advanced Business Development Course in both the US and Europe. 

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Kenneth Krisko, JD, Partner, Cooley LLP 

Kenneth Krisko's practice focuses on the representation of public and private life sciences companies in a broad range of commercial and corporate finance matters. He advises clients regularly with respect to complex commercial transactions designed to maximize the value of pharmaceutical products and technology assets, including technology licenses and acquisitions, research and development collaborations, distribution and manufacturing agreements, and profit-sharing and co-promotion arrangements.  

Ken also regularly counsels clients on a wide array of corporate and securities matters, including spin-outs, private financings, mergers and acquisitions, public offerings and corporate governance.  

Ken has been a guest speaker on strategic partnering and corporate issues affecting life sciences companies at various conferences. He also is an adjunct professor at the Georgetown University Law Center where he teaches a course on emerging company legal issues and venture capital finance. Prior to attending law school, Ken worked as an engineer for the Department of the Navy. 

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Lesley Stolz, BSc, PhD, Regional Vice President, Early Innovation Partnering, Johnson & Johnson Innovation 

Lesley is Regional Vice President, Early Innovation Partnering at Johnson & Johnson Innovation, California. In this role, she leads identification, incubation, due diligence, negotiation, execution and on-boarding for high-impact partnerships and collaborations in external innovation. Lesley also oversees the regions partnership portfolio and is responsible for a wide range of dealmaking solutions including research collaborations, licensing options, venture investments, new company formations, and incubation to establish value-creating partnerships with promising early-stage innovators. Lesley’s career includes over 25 years of corporate development and organizational leadership in small and large companies in the biopharma industry. 

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Applying Game Theory to Negotiations & Strategic Decision-Making (June 12)


Stefanie A. Schubert, PhD, CA-AM, Professor of Economics, SRH University Heidelberg 

Stefanie A. Schubert is Professor of Economics at SRH University Heidelberg and Consultant for Strategic Management & Negotiations. With her partners, she fosters solutions to decision making problems and influences negotiations on the basis of game theory. Apart from Higher Education, she has experience in Alliance Management and the Biopharma Industry and is active member of the Association of Alliance Management (ASAP) and European Women on Board (EWOB). Her work experience includes the Assistant Professorship of Organization Theory and Management at WHU-Otto Beisheim School of Management (Koblenz & Düsseldorf). She has published in distinguished international journals, such as the Journal of Health Economics, Applied Economics and Small Business Economics. Reach out to connect 

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Harm-Jan Borgeld, PhD, MBA, CSAP, Head Asia Pharma Partnering, Roche

Harm-Jan Borgeld is leading Roche’s Pharma Partnering team in Asia. He is based in Shanghai. The Asia Partnering team is responsible for seeking and executing partnerships with exciting biotechs and pharma companies working on novel therapies in Japan, China, and South-Korea. Roche Asia Partnering is an integral component of the global Pharma Partnering unit, a team consisting of 120 people based across the globe who are looking for and maintaining lasting partnerships for Roche and Genentech’s R&D unit as well as the broader late-stage pharma division. 

Prior to joining Roche, Harm-Jan led the Global Alliance Management Department at Merck Healthcare KGaA. The department was responsible for the commercial, development, and research alliances. Before heading the Global Alliance Management Department, he was leading a project team that worked on developing a novel immunotherapy to treat cancer. He started his work at Merck KGaA in the licensing and business development department. Prior to Merck, he was responsible for Business Development in Europe for the Japanese firm, Kyorin Pharmaceuticals. He received his MBA from the Rotterdam School of Management, the Netherlands / Haas Business School, US, and his PhD from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Nagoya, Japan, and graduated from the Wageningen University, the Netherlands.

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BIOBriefing: Biotech for the Non-Scientist (June 12)


Kevin Curran, PhD, Scientific Advisor and Instructor, Biotech Primer 

Dr. Kevin Curran is currently a biotech consultant in the field of gene therapy. Kevin provides market research and scientific insight on new genetic therapies in the disease categories of hemophilia, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and spinal muscular atrophy. These disease areas are currently being transformed by AAV viral vector gene therapies, antisense oligonucleotides, and genome editing technology. 

Kevin received his Bachelor of Science in Biology from Southern Oregon University and his PhD in Genetics from the University of Washington in Seattle. Prior to joining Biotech Primer, Dr. Curran worked in the field of cancer research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, where he analyzed the effect of small molecule therapies on cancer progression. Dr. Curran then worked in the stem cell field at UCSF (University of California at San Francisco) and behavioral neuroscience at the Salk Institute.  

For the past six years, Kevin has served as the biotech consultant at Biotech Primer. He delivers two-day seminars on the science behind emerging medical therapies.

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Biotechnology Entrepreneurship Boot Camp (June 12-13)


Dennis Abremski, Executive Director, Institute for the Global Entrepreneur, Jacobs School of Engineering, University of California, San Diego 

Dennis Abremski is the Executive Director of the Institute for the Global Entrepreneur (IGE) in the School of Engineering at the University of California, San Diego. The Institute is a collaboration between the Jacobs School of Engineering and Rady School of Management, dedicated to training global technology leaders and translating university discoveries to market. 

Prior to his present role, Abremski was the Vice President for SoCal EED, a non-profit organization focused on advancing early stage biomedical and personal health-related companies through accelerator and incubator programs.  A founder and startup veteran, Dennis earned a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland and has built a career by balancing his business and technology expertise, having held executive positions in technology, international sales, business development, and operations, primarily in the wireless communications and electronics devices industries. 

Dennis began his career as an engineer with the Department of Defense (DOD), which led to startup opportunities in the growing consumer Wi-Fi market and eventually to Qualcomm, where he collaborated with wireless carriers and industry partners to launch nationwide data services. He then became a founder and startup executive, focusing on wireless technologies in markets ranging from consumer to enterprise, to Software as a Service (SAAS) and healthcare. Over the past few years, Abremski has been an active mentor in the National Science Foundation sponsored Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program at the Jacobs School’s von Liebig Entrepreneurism Center, a key program within the Institute for the Global Entrepreneur.  The von Liebig center has become renowned for engaging experienced business advisors who have successfully mentored faculty, students, and post graduate scholars who want to see their inventions commercialized for the public good. 

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Arthur A. Boni, PhD, Editor in Chief, Journal of Commercial Biotechnology; John R. Thorne Distinguished Career Professor of Entrepreneurship, Emeritus, Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University 

Arthur A. Boni, Ph. D. is a serial entrepreneur with a career spanning the private sector and academia in multiple locations in the US including San Diego, Silicon Valley, Boston, and Pittsburgh. He has focused his entrepreneurial efforts in both technology and biopharma. After receiving a Ph. D in Engineering Science/Engineering Physics from UC San Diego, Boni started an academic, tenure stream appointment in Engineering and Applied Science at Yale then took an entrepreneurial leave. As a Sr. VP, he built and managed a business unit for Science Applications International Corporation in La Jolla, CA as it grew into the billion-dollar (“unicorn”) level. He then began to focus on startups, through two technology companies in the Boston area where he led early versions of an accelerator to nurture early-stage companies in technology, biopharma, and health care. After a successful 25-year career in the private sector, he moved to Pittsburgh in 1996, and “reentered academia” as the founder of the Office of Technology Management at the University of Pittsburgh, and it’s School of Medicine. He launched the Office of Technology management and implemented systems for development and management of IP and launch of startup companies. After a 5-year startup and growth stage, he moved to Carnegie Mellon University where he led the Donald H. Jones Center for Entrepreneurship based in the Tepper School of Business but serving the entire campus. The program was recognized as one of the top-10 internationally. During that stage he was a very active participant in the development of the Pittsburgh emerging ecosystem based on life science and technology companies based on science and technology originating from both universities. While at CMU he also co-founded the Entrepreneurship Boot Camp in 2005, in partnership with BIO. 

In 2018, Dr. Boni took Emeritus status, moved to Napa, CA and is currently the John R. Thorne Distinguished Career Professor of Entrepreneurship, Emeritus at the Tepper School of Business. He is currently Editor in Chief at the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology, a premier, peer-reviewed international journal that provides content relevant to building the “business side” of the life sciences industry that includes biopharma, MedTech, and digital health. He has launched a strategy to provide relevant content focused on contributed articles, while in parallel, developing Special Editions based on solicited articles in topics of interest to the industry. These include: “Commercialization and Innovation;” “Entrepreneurship Boot Camp 2.0;” “Emerging Transformative Technologies, Promises and Challenges;” “Ecosystems and Clusters in the US and globally;” and “Recognizing and Celebrating Innovation and Innovators in Life Sciences” (an annual issue). The latest edition is developed in partnership with the UC San Diego (schools of engineering, business, and digital health. This is focused on “Clinical and Commercial Opportunities in Digital Health. 

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Benjamin Chen, PhD, Partner, Panacea Healthcare Venture 

Benjamin is a scientist, entrepreneur, investor, and merchant banker. He was most recently the CEO of ImaginAb, Inc., a venture-backed company developing a cutting-edge platform to address an urgent unmet need in immuno-oncology. Prior to that, he served as the Chairman and CEO of London-based Immune Targeting Systems, Ltd., leading the immune therapy company through significant strategic growth, innovative product development, and establishing presences in France and North America. Before his return to operational roles, he spent nine years as a Managing Director at Burrill & Company, a global life sciences venture firm where he evaluated investment opportunities and assisted a global clientele in completing licensing, partnering and M&A transactions. He also played a key role in establishing the Malaysian Life Sciences Fund I, and served as a director. Earlier in his career as an R&D executive, he had experience in building talented research teams in immunology, stem cell biology, genomics, gene therapy, and molecular diagnostics in both biotechnology start-ups and multinational pharmaceutical companies, including Roche Diagnostics and Novartis. 

Ben received his academic training in Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Stanford University. 

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Rupak Doshi, BSc, MRes, PhD, Founder and CEO, OmniSync 

Dr. Rupak Doshi is the Founder and CEO of OmniSync, a San Diego-based software company whose mission is to help find and fund innovation. Prior to starting OmniSync, Rupak received a PhD from Cambridge University, conducted postdoctoral research at The Scripps Research Institute and UC San Diego, and worked at the now-publicly-traded biologic drug discovery company, InhibRx. He has also started two other consumer biotech companies in the past, one of which exited within a year and the other found its home within commercial B2C retail. OmniSync’s product suite includes innovative solutions like TurboSBIR – a first-of-its-kind software solution for startups to find and apply for all Federal innovation funding from one place. Through their new product TurboInnovate – a powerful innovation search engine for conducting technical due diligence and market research on innovations, OmniSync’s goal is to help both, innovators and innovation seekers maintain a data-driven pulse on the latest trends across various industries. OmniSync is backed by a number of VCs, angels, as well as the US Air Force. 

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Kathryn Doyle, PhD, JD, Partner, Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP 

A patent attorney with a PhD in virology and cell and molecular biology, Kathryn has developed a “known for” practice representing universities and companies throughout the Mid-Atlantic region and nationally in identifying, protecting, and enforcing their intellectual property in the areas of biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, genomics, and medical devices. 

Kathryn began her career as a virologist and cell and molecular biologist and made the switch to patent law more than 20 years ago. She worked her way through evening law school as a patent agent and quickly developed many clients in both the university and small and large biotech company sectors that remain clients to this day. 

Given her scientific, patent and legal background, Kathryn is well versed in multiple aspects of life sciences patent law. Her clients include biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies as well as venture capitalists and universities. She counsels them in patent procurement, post-grant procedures, due diligence, infringement and invalidity opinions, licensing, as well as in patent portfolio management. She also provides assistance in patent litigation. 

Prior to her legal career, Kathryn completed postdoctoral studies at Yale University and the University of California, Irvine. She was a member of the faculty at both California State University Fullerton and the Medical College of Pennsylvania where she taught virology and cell and molecular biology to undergraduate, graduate, and medical students. 

In addition to her state bar admission, Kathryn is admitted to practice before the U.S. Court of Appeals Federal Circuit and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Chambers USA 2010 ranked Kathryn in Intellectual Property Law, lauding her as “a clear thinker and an excellent attorney.” 

Immediately prior to joining Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr, Kathryn was a partner at a boutique intellectual property law firm that she founded. Previously, she was head of the Life Sciences Team and co-chair of the women’s committee at Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP. She also was a partner and leader of the Intellectual Property Practice at Morgan, Lewis and Bockius LLP. 

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Steven M. Ferguson, MS, MBA, CLP, Special Advisor, NIH Office of Technology Transfer 

Steven M. Ferguson currently serves as Special Advisor at the NIH Office of Technology Transfer where he has worked since 1990. The biomedical technology transfer program at NIH is one of the world’s largest with a portfolio that includes about 1700 active licenses with aggregate sales greater than $6B per year that is based upon research that has also generated 34 FDA-approved drugs & vaccines.  

A former chemist at the National Cancer Institute and biotech industry product manager, Mr. Ferguson holds master's degrees in Business Administration (George Washington University) and Chemistry (University of Cincinnati) as well as a bachelor's degree in Chemistry (Case Western Reserve University).  

A registered Patent Agent and a Certified Licensing Professional (CLP), Mr. Ferguson is faculty and Technology Transfer Department Chair at the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences (FAES) Graduate School at NIH and the Biotechnology Industry Organization “BIO Boot Camp.”  He also serves as a business reviewer or advisory board member for the US-India Science & Technology Endowment Fund, Maryland Industrial Partnerships, Maryland Innovation Initiative, Virginia Bio-Life Science Gap Fund, the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology, and the DOD Congressionally-Directed Medical Research Program.  

He has published extensively in the field of technology transfer and has also received the AUTM President’s Award (AUTM Band), the AUTM Volunteer Service Award, the NIH Director’s Award, the FAES Instruction Award, four “Deal of Distinction” awards and the Frank Barnes Mentoring Award from the Licensing Executive Society, six Federal Laboratory Consortium Awards, and fifteen NIH Merit Awards in recognition of his service and activities in technology transfer. 

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James E. Foley, PhD, Managing Director, Aqua Partners, LLC  

Jim’s career in the pharmaceutical industry began in 1977 at the Squibb Institute of Medical Research (E. R. Squibb and Sons). In 1989, he joined the Department of Licensing and Business Analysis at Squibb and relocated to Tokyo to further establish the company's worldwide pharmaceutical licensing activities in Japan and relationships with Japanese R&D-based pharmaceutical companies. Jim joined SmithKline Beecham's Worldwide Business Development Team in 1991 as Vice President and Director, Business Development- Japan/Asia, and remained based in Tokyo. H was a member of the International Management Committee representing the company's worldwide licensing interests in Japan, Asia, and Australia/New Zealand. He returned to the United States in 1995, where he continued his responsibilities based in Philadelphia. In 2002, Jim returned to Bristol-Myers Squibb as Vice President, Business Development- Japan/International, focused on the identification of strategic R&D collaboration and product licensing opportunities from Japan, Asia and Australia/New Zealand regions. After retiring from BMS in 2006 through February 2008, Jim was President and CEO of SMART Biosciences, an early-stage discovery biotechnology company focused on neurodegenerative diseases. Jim joined Aqua Partners, a corporate and business development advisory firm focused on strategy development, licensing, M&A and finance for early-stage biopharma companies worldwide, with a special expertise in cross-border relationships and deal making. 

Jim serves or has served on the Board of Trustees of St. Peter's School, Philadelphia, the Boards of Directors of SFJ Pharmaceuticals, Traxion, Sosei and Company (Tokyo), the Japan-America Society of Greater Philadelphia and the New York Pharma Forum, and the Advisory Boards of the Haub School of Business (St. Joseph's University, Philadelphia), the Marshall School of Business Global BioBusiness Initiative (University of Southern California, Los Angeles), and Sc Capital I (University City Science Center, Philadelphia). Most recently, he was invited to join the Advisory Council of the Institute of Basic Biomedical Sciences at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.  Jim co-chaired the TransPacific Health Sciences Dialogue, an annual meeting held in Philadelphia addressing healthcare issues/solutions in the U.S., Japan and Asia for 15 years. A member of the Licensing Executives Society (LES), Jim was honored by the organization with the Frank Barnes Mentorship Award. He was designated a Certified Licensing Professional (CLP™) by LES in 2008. Jim holds a Ph.D. in Physiology from Thomas Jefferson University College of Graduate Studies and received a B.A. (Biology/ Chemistry) from Rutgers University. He was a NIH Post-Doctoral Fellow from 1975 to 1977 in the Department of Pharmacology, Tulane University School of Medicine. 

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Jessica Gibson, MBA, CEO and Co-Founder, Ariel Precision Medicine 

Ms. Gibson is CEO and Co-Founder of Ariel Precision Medicine, an innovative precision medicine company, transforming genetic and clinical data into new insights for the diagnosis and therapeutic development for complex chronic conditions. She led the development, validation, and commercial launch of Advance®, Ariel's AI fueled platform, which has identified new therapeutic targets for complex pancreatic diseases. She served as Chief Commercial Officer of Ariel Precision Medicine until 2016, bringing over 15 years of experience in healthcare, Biotech and Pharma from previous roles at Purdue, Shionogi Pharmaceuticals and Gene Wiz Inc.  

She began her career working with the Center for Emergency Medicine, Gastroenterology research at University of Pittsburgh and research with the Cancer Institute. 

Ms. Gibson earned an Executive MBA from Liberty University and a Bachelor of Science in Emergency Medicine from the University of Pittsburgh and a Certification in Disruptive Strategy from Harvard Business School. 

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Dennis M. Gross, MS, PhD, CEO, Pennsylvania Drug Discovery Institute; Professor of Experimental Therapeutics and Medicinal Chemistry, Baruch S. Blumberg Institute; Faculty, Jefferson College of Life Sciences, and Adjunct Associate Professor of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics, Sidney Kimmel Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University; Corporate Faculty, Harrisburg University of Science & Technology 

Dennis M Gross, MS, PhD is the CEO for the Pennsylvania Drug Discovery Institute and Professor of Experimental Therapeutics and Medicinal Chemistry at the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute. He is also teaching faculty in the Jefferson College of Life Sciences and Adjunct Associate Professor of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics in the Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University (TJU). In addition, he is Corporate Faculty at Harrisburg University of Science & Technology. He is a member of the National Visiting Committee for the Northeast Biomanufacturing Center and Collaborative. Previously, he was the Associate Dean at TJU for Program Development and Assessment and Director for the Professional Science Masters’ Programs, Associate Professor of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics in the Jefferson Medical College, and Associate Director for Curriculum for the TJU Postbaccalaureate Pre-Professional Premed Program. Prior to this, he was at the Merck Research Labs for 29 years retiring in 2006 as Senior Director and Head of West Point Business Operations with overall responsibilities for capital planning and facilities in Pennsylvania, California, and Massachusetts. He was also responsible for capital lab and office projects and operations oversight at Merck lab sites in Canada, Japan, Italy, and the UK. In his career at Merck, he held several positions ranging from bench scientist to manager of computer resources, divisional data security administrator, manager of international strategic planning, M&A activities, and liaison for basic research and clinical drug development in Japan working with Banyu Pharmaceuticals. During his tenure at Merck, he also served as Adjunct Professor of Global Logistics in the School of Business and Industry of Florida A&M University. He has worked with the Center for Strategic & International Studies on policy issues relating to biological weapons of mass destruction. 

He received his BA (1969) and MS (1970) from California State University Northridge and his PhD (1974) from UCLA pursuing a postdoctoral fellowship in pharmacology at the Tulane University School of Medicine. He has also participated in executive education programs at Wharton, MIT and the Tufts School of Law and received NIMS and ICS certification from the FEMA Emergency Management Institute. He has served as the National Co-Chair for the Biotechnology Entrepreneur Bootcamp since 2015. He is a member of the American Association for Pharmaceutical Scientists, American Chemical Society, History of Science Society, International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering, Sigma Xi, and the Sino-American Pharmaceutical Professionals Association. 

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Moira Gunn, PhD, Professor & Director, Bioentrepreneurship, University of San Francisco 

Dr. Moira Gunn founded the Bioentrepreneurship graduate courses at the University of San Francisco to serve multiple degree programs, including MBA, JD/MBA, Information Systems, and PSM/Biotechnology. Her work in this area overlaps with her journalism experience, producing and hosting Tech Nation, and its regular segment, BioTech Nation. This programming airs on such venues as NPR-affiliate stations domestically, as well as other national and international venues and via podcasting, including Apple, NPROne, and Spotify, among others. In this capacity, she has interviewed over 1,000 CEO’s, scientist-entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, policymakers, and visionary leaders in the biotech field. Dr. Gunn holds a BS in Computer Science from USF, and from Purdue University, both an MS in Computer Science and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering. A former NASA engineer and scientist, her book “Welcome to BioTech Nation … My Unexpected Odyssey into the Land of Small Molecules, Lean Genes, and Big Ideas” was cited by the Library Journal on its “Best Science Books” list. Her recognitions include the National Science Board’s Public Service Award to the Individual for her contributions to the public understanding of science and engineering, as well as an honorary Doctor of Science from Purdue University. She is a member of the Executive Committee and former president of SIBER, the Society for International Bioenterprise Education and Research. Dr. Gunn is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology. 

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Thani Jambulingam, PhD, Professor, Pfizer Fellow, Arrupe Research Fellow, Department of Pharmaceutical and Health Care Marketing, St. Joseph’s University 

Thani Jambulingam is Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing at St Joseph’s University, Erivan K. Haub School of Business, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. Dr. Jambulingam teaches both in Executive Pharmaceutical & Healthcare MBA program and undergraduate program in Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing. He has served as the chair of the Department for 8 years and launched the first EMBA online program at SJU in 2002. He is trained at Harvard in case method for teaching. Dr Jambulingam worked in the pharmaceutical industry for several years in marketing before his PhD, at University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA. Dr. Jambulingam’s research interests are in pharmaceutical and healthcare marketing strategy. His work has been published in several refereed academic journals and trade publications in marketing and management. Dr. Jambulingam has served as the external reader for PhD dissertations at Columbia University. Dr. Jambulingam is a visiting Professor for Wharton MBA program in their global programs in India. He is also a faculty at the Biotechnology Entrepreneurship Bootcamp held every year during the BIO International Convention. He has served as a consultant and facilitated educational training sessions in strategy for senior leadership and/or brand teams within several small, mid and large pharmaceutical firms and healthcare systems in the US. Dr. Jambulingam, as a Pfizer fellow spent a year at Pfizer with the Prevnar Global Commercial Team contributing to developing healthy aging platform development, franchise positioning, vaccine business strategy for emerging markets, and pediatric expanded age expansion strategy (life cycle management). He conducted a strategy session for executive leadership within the specialty care division of Pfizer. He also serves as a mentor to several CEOs of start-up companies. Dr. Jambulingam has received several excellence in teaching and research awards at SJU. He was inducted into Rho Chi, the honor society for pharmacy and Beta Gama Sigma, the honor society for business. Dr. Jambulingam serves on the advisory board of two startup biotech/pharma companies, and one went IPO in 2021. Also in 2021, Dr. Jambulingam received the prestigious Tangelmann Award for lifetime contribution to excellence in teaching and outstanding commitment to research at SJU. 

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James Jordan, MBA, President & CEO, StraTactic, Inc. 

James F. (Jim) Jordan is President and CEO of StraTactic, Inc., which enables both Fortune 500 and start-up companies to develop their go-to market, commercialization, and business development strategies. He is also a Distinguished Service Professor of Health Care and 

Biotechnology at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College, where he has published numerous articles and books on innovation, start-ups, intellectual property, and health systems. 

Jim is an active industry expert in healthcare and the life sciences. With a life-long passion for learning, Jim’s business accomplishments, combined with his academic achievements, enable him to apply his broad field of knowledge and experience to his clients. A dynamic communicator, Jim is an active author, speaker, and consultant. 

Previously, Jim served as President and CEO of the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse (PLSG), a public-private economic and venture fund owned by Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh. Jim was at the PLSG from 2005 to 2020 and applied his more than 25 years of experience to work with over 493 life science startup companies, with direct investment in 93 of them. 

Prior to joining the PLSG, Mr. Jordan served as Senior Vice President of a $3 billion division of McKesson Corporation and as a Vice President for Marketing at Johnson & Johnson. He has leveraged this experience in several startup ventures and is active on several Boards of Directors. Mr. Jordan’s experience also includes consulting engagements with numerous companies such as Medtronic, Frost & Sullivan, Circuit City, Philip Morris, Northrop Grumman, Schwartz Pharmaceutical and Otsuka Pharmaceutical, among others. 

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Vivian Lee, Managing Director, Aqua Partners, LLC  

Vivian Lee has over 30 years of experience in life science consulting, investment and portfolio management, advising biotech, pharma, diagnostics and device companies, investment firms, universities, and government agencies worldwide. Co-founder, venture partner and key person of Global Biomedical Partners, managing International Biomedicine Holdings, a $400 million fund based in Basel, Switzerland.  Former member of Board of Directors of Innodia, Inc. and Board observer of Syntonix Pharmaceuticals. Business analyst in the corporate venture capital office of WR Grace & Co.  A breast cancer survivor since 2000, Vivian applies her personal experience as a patient and professional experience as a life science industry consultant to her cancer advocacy work. Vivian collaborates with research investigators at academic institutions across the US and abroad to provide patient perspective in shaping grant applications to, and research projects funded by, US Department of Defense (DoD), California Breast Cancer Research Program (CBCRP), Susan G. Komen, Sidney Kimmel Foundation, American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)’s Conquer Cancer Foundation and Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). She is an Advocate Advisor to the University of California’s Athena Breast Health Network, providing patient input for its WISDOM Study on personalized breast cancer screening, for which Athena has been awarded a $14 million Pragmatic Clinical Studies grant by PCORI. Vivian has served as a Consumer Reviewer for the DoD Breast Cancer Research Program, and as a Peer Reviewer for Komen grants on the national and local levels. She has served as an Advocate Observer on the California Breast Cancer Research Program (CBCRP) Community Impact Review Panel. Vivian serves on the Volunteer Leadership Council of the American Cancer Society’s California Chinese Unit and is a member of Bay Area Young Survivors (BAYS), mentoring newly diagnosed patients. Vivian is a member of Komen’s Advocate in Sciences program and a graduate of National Breast Cancer Coalition’s Project LEAD Institute as well as Research Advocacy Network’s Focus on Science scholar program. She earned her bachelor's degree in Biochemistry from Harvard University and conducted research in the Tumor Immunology department of Dana Farber Cancer Center. 

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David T. Lin, PhD, MBA, President & Principal Consultant, TS Pharma Experts, LLC 

Dr. Lin is President of TS Pharma Experts LLC, an independent regulatory CMC (quality) consultant with expertise in FDA requirements for the development of pharmaceutical products. He has over 28 years of pharmaceutical regulatory experience in the technical, quality, GMP and regulatory requirements for chemical (small molecule synthetics), biopharmaceutical (biotechnological and biological) and combination product development. He currently provides regulatory and technical assistance to biotech and pharmaceutical companies that are planning to conduct clinical studies and to obtain approval for the marketing of prescription products (drugs and biologics) in the United States. This includes INDs, NDAs, ANDAs and BLAs (both innovative and biosimilar). He received his PhD in organic chemistry in the area of protein chemistry in 1989 and a MBA in 2002. Dr. Lin’s regulatory product development expertise was developed at FDA while working as a CMC reviewer, CMC Team Leader, acting Deputy Division Director, and acting Division Director in the Office of New Drug Chemistry in the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER), and in the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER). 

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Dr. Stephen M. Sammut, MBA, DBA, Senior Fellow, Health Care Management and Lecturer, Entrepreneurship, Wharton School; Visiting Professor, Strathmore University, Nairobi; Chairman, Industry Advisory Board, Alta Semper Capital, London, Cairo, Lagos, Casablanca, Nairobi 

Dr. Sammut is Senior Fellow, Health Care Management and Lecturer, Entrepreneurship at the Wharton School. During his 30 years teaching at Wharton and other business schools in India, Israel, Kenya, Portugal, and Russia, he has created over a dozen courses that he has taught to over 13,000 students. These courses include Venture Capital and Entrepreneurial Management; Private Equity in Emerging Markets; Strategic Management of Intellectual Property; Comparative Health Care Services Systems (India and African venues), Health Care Entrepreneurship; and, the Role of the Private Sector in Global Health, among others. His research focuses on international development, health care and biotechnology capacity development in emerging economies, as well as adoption of precision medicine. He has published articles in Nature Biotechnology, the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology and has authored numerous book chapters on health care and biotechnology. Dr. Sammut puts his research findings into practice through the International Institute for Biotechnology Entrepreneurship, an organization which he founded and manages, that has offered over 55 intensive training programs in 14 countries to over 2500 entrepreneurs. 

In his private sector work over the last 50 years, Dr. Sammut has founded, managed, or financed nearly 50 companies in life sciences and IT globally. He recently founded Pangea University for the Health Sciences in Bangalore, India, an international platform for medical, nursing and health technology education for the emerging and frontier markets. Over the last several decades he has been a partner or adviser to numerous health care and impact-oriented venture capital and private equity firms internationally and has also founded health care management MBA programs in India and throughout Africa. 

He is visiting faculty and served as a founder of the Indian School of Business healthcare program and is Visiting Associate Professor at the Strathmore University Business School in Nairobi where he founded the first Healthcare Management MBA program on the African continent, as well as founding the African Institute for Healthcare Management, an organization focused on developing faculty and teaching materials to advance health services. He is currently co-developing a School of Global Public Health at Strathmore University in partnership with NYU, as well as health care management MBA programs at the Lagos Business School and the KNUST School of Business in Ghana. His board memberships have included HealthRight International, Center for Medicine in the Public Interest, BioEthics International, Pandorum Technologies, the Africa Health Fund, Alta Semper, the Russian Foundation for Cancer Research and numerous other profit and non-profit organizations in the US and the emerging markets. 

Dr. Sammut was a Venture Partner at Burrill & Company, a biotechnology and health care venture fund, where he focused on the development of international venture funds, until 2008. He has consulted for the IFC/World Bank on PE/VC, technology transfer and program assessment, and investments in Fintech for economic development. Similarly, he has advised the governments of Brazil, China, India, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan among others in the development of policies to promote venture financing of their biotechnology industries. 

Earlier in his career he was VP, SR One, the venture capital arm of GSK, and VP for Development and Private Equity at Teleflex Incorporated. He has also been Managing Director of Technology Transfer at the University of Pennsylvania and Thomas Jefferson University. He began his career as co-founder and CEO of the Philadelphia transplant organ bank the largest in the United States. He holds graduate and undergraduate degrees from Villanova University, an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and engaged in special studies in medicine and epidemiology at Hahnemann Medical college for two years. He holds a doctorate from the Fox School of Business at Temple University where his dissertation research focused on organizational aspects of precision medicine implementation. He holds certificates in precision medicine from Harvard, fintech from Oxford and global health innovation from IESE. He is a Knight of Malta through which he is engaged in hospital development in Kenya and management of Hansen’s Disease in Somalia. 

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David S. Smith, JD, Counsel, Troutman Pepper 

David S. Smith, a corporate lawyer focusing on intellectual property transactions, venture financings and regulatory matters for life sciences companies and investors, is of counsel with Pepper Hamilton LLP, resident in the Pittsburgh office. 

Mr. Smith’s intellectual property-related work includes IP transactions, regulatory issues and licensing. His corporate practice is concentrated in the organization, financing and growth of life sciences companies, and he is an authority on the legal issues surrounding the use of human biological materials. He frequently speaks at universities and trade conferences on commercial development of tissue, cell and stem cell technologies. 

Mr. Smith is a founder and principal of Teregenics, LLC, a company formed in 2003 that provides strategic product development analysis and consulting services to institutional investors, research centers and companies participating in developing human tissue engineering and regeneration technologies. 

From 2000 to 2003, Mr. Smith was senior vice president and general counsel of TissueInformatics.Inc, a bioinformatics company, until its merger with Icoria, Inc. Before that, he was of counsel at Reed Smith, LLP and led the development of that firm’s biotechnology practice in Pittsburgh. 

Mr. Smith is a former adjunct professor in Carnegie Mellon University’s Department of Engineering and Public Policy and member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Clinical Cell Culture, Ltd., a tissue engineering company listed on the Australian stock exchange. He has also served as a trustee of AMD3 Education and Research Foundation, which supports the development and clinical introduction of computer assisted and minimally invasive tools and techniques for orthopedic repairs. 

Mr. Smith is active in a number of trade organizations and serves on the executive committee of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society. He is a past member of the board of directors of the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Association and secretary of the Pittsburgh Tissue Engineering Initiative. 

Mr. Smith received his J.D. from American University, Washington College of Law in 1980. He received an A.B. from Hamilton College in 1977. 

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Robert Wanerman, JD, MBA, Partner, Epstein Becker Green 

Rob Wanerman is a health care regulatory attorney at Epstein Becker Green in Washington DC. His clients include biotech companies, medical device manufacturers, diagnostics manufacturers and suppliers, companies integrating artificial intelligence into diagnostics and treatments, Medicare and Medicaid providers (hospitals, home health, hospice), precision medicine/genomics companies, and health care startups. 

Rob has extensive experience advising innovators on coverage, coding, and reimbursement for new technologies and related procedures, as well as on general compliance with health care laws. Clients also rely on Rob for advice on matters arising under the False Claims Act, clinical research rules, grant administration rules, the Anti-Kickback Statute, the Stark Law, HIPAA, and EMTALA. In addition, Rob represents clients in government audits, investigations, litigation, and appeals involving the Medicare and Medicaid programs. 

Rob is a graduate of The University of Chicago, New York Law School, and the Columbia University School of Public Health. He writes and lectures frequently on health care regulations and innovation and is a member of the editorial advisory board of the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology. This is his 10th presentation at the Biotechnology Entrepreneurship Boot Camp. 

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John M. York, PharmD, MBA, Principal & CEO, Akita Biomedical; Lecturer, Rady School of Management and Jacobs School of Engineering (IGE), University of California, San Diego), Orfalea College of Business, Cal Poly, SLO; Adjunct Professor, Ernest Mario (Rutgers University); Doctoral Candidate, Cranfield School of Management 

John M. York, PharmD, MBA, has over 30 years in the biopharmaceutical business. After receiving his doctorate in pharmacy from the University of Michigan, York was the first graduate of the Rutgers Pharmaceutical Industry Fellowship program. He also completed his MBA at Kelley School of Business (Indiana University) and certificates in Life Science Business Management and Marketing through UC Berkeley. His industry career included increasing roles of responsibility at Bristol-Myers Squibb, Amgen, Allergan, and HDI. York has started three businesses, including Akita Biomedical, MD Eyecare, and Ophthalmic Research and Education Consultants. He currently serves on the scientific board for JD Biosciences. Akita, a 20-year-old medical communications and strategy firm, has engaged with various life science firms (from startups to large multinationals) via publication programs, advisory boards, education programs, market research, and business planning. He has taught at the Orfalea College of Business (Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo), the Rady School of Management and Jacobs School of Engineering at UC, San Diego, and the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy. York has served in faculty and mentor roles at Ahmedabad University, the University of Tsukuba, the ANHS ScaleUp HealthCare Academy, the Global Entrepreneurship Accelerator program for Korea, and the National Science Foundation I-CORPS™ program at UC, San Diego, and the Arab Academy program at Cal Poly. His current teaching responsibilities include being the co-director of the capstone projects class for the translational medicine certificate program, lead instructor for the Institute for the Global Entrepreneur at UC, San Diego, and consultant faculty at the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy Rutgers Pharmaceutical Industry Fellowship program. He has authored over 35 publications (with 22 in business and entrepreneurship) personally, with over 160 (including 14 translational medicine articles) for various clients. He is currently pursuing a doctorate in business administration at the Cranfield School of Management in the United Kingdom, focusing on entrepreneurship and strategy. 


Business Development Fundamentals (June 11-13) 

Anjan Aralihalli, BSc, MBA, Founder, Raya Therapeutic, Inc. 

Prior to starting his own company Raya Therapeutic in 2019, Anjan worked at a variety of biotechs and pharma companies and is a venture partner at CTI Life Sciences (Canada). He has 25+ years of international experience across several functions including investor relations, corporate development, venture and angel financing, in & out-licensing, sales, marketing, & clinical trial management. He continues to provide strategic advice to various biotech companies. 

Based in the Princeton, New Jersey area, Anjan is also a steering committee member of a NYC based angel investment group called Mid-Atlantic Bio Angels (MABA).  

He received his BSc from Concordia University, MBA from Queen's University and MSc in Biotechnology from Johns Hopkins University. 

Anjan is a corporate fundraiser for Wings Over Wall Street, a NYC based ALS charity, the Robert Packard Center for ALS Research at Johns Hopkins University, and a member of the board of directors of the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) in the United States. 

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Sadhana Chitale, PhD, MBA, Senior Director for Life Sciences/Technology Transfer, New York University 

Dr. Sadhana Chitale is the Senior Director for Life Sciences/Technology Transfer at New York University and is in charge of overseeing commercialization of life science technologies from all of NYU’s campuses. She is responsible for overseeing NYU’s activities in technology management, marketing, licensing, and outreach to support NYU’s goals in commercializing technologies, promoting start-ups, and building partnerships. 

Previously, Sadhana was a Licensing Manager at the Weill Cornell Medical School where she also did a post-doctoral fellowship; Sadhana holds a PhD in Microbiology from the University of Mumbai and an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh. She is a registered patent agent and a certified licensing professional. 

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Mark Cooper, JD, Principal, Faber Daeufer & Itrato PC 

Mark is an accomplished and versatile corporate and transactional attorney with over 30 years’ legal experience focused mostly on advising clients in the life sciences industry. Mark regularly represents companies in structuring, drafting and negotiating strategic transactions at all stages of the product lifecycle - from research and development through commercialization - frequently involving cutting-edge technologies, including RNAi, cell therapy, gene therapy, multi-specifics antibodies and CRISPR, as well as devices, device-drug combinations, and diagnostics. 

Mark understands that every deal is different, often posing bespoke challenges that reflect an evolving scientific, intellectual property, regulatory and business landscape. His knowledge combined with broad transactional experience, including in-house within large pharma, finance and M&A, enables him to translate complex scientific and IP concepts into practical business solutions for his clients. 

Mark began his career as an attorney at a top-tier international law firm in New York focusing on M&A, securities law, and structured finance transactions. He then spent over 17 years in-house at Pfizer, where he handled several high-profile business transactions; advised C-suite executives and senior leadership teams for Pfizer’s R&D organization; and led a team of attorneys focused on sophisticated and complex life sciences transactions for over a decade. 

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Wyatt Gotbetter, MPA, Senior Vice President and Head of Access Consulting, Parexel International 

Wyatt Gotbetter is currently Senior Vice President and Head of Access Consulting for Parexel International, a global CRO, where he leads a global team that provides pricing, market access and health economics services and consultation for biopharma clients. Prior to this, Wyatt was Partner at Health Advances, a Parexel subsidiary, leading program and franchise strategy, revenue forecasting and valuation as well as diligence for his biotech and investor client base. Previously, Wyatt was a manager for Boston Consulting Group’s (BCG) life sciences and corporate development practices, and in industry was Head of New Product Commercialization for Biogen, leading commercial strategy and transaction support across therapeutic areas. Wyatt has supported diligence or integration support for more than $40B of life sciences transactions in his career. 

Wyatt received his Bachelor of Science in health policy, and M.P.A. and Health Management degrees from Cornell University, where he is currently adjunct faculty and Executive-in-Residence. 

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Véronique Riethuisen, MS, CBO & Head of Finance, Cedilla Therapeutics 

Véronique is a global executive with extensive experience in company building, value creation strategies, financing, BD, and M&A. She has negotiated over 100 transactions throughout her career both on the buy-side and the sell-side in the field of pharmaceuticals, biosimilars, diagnostics and digital health. She helped reshape R&D pipelines and develop strategic options for large and mid-size biopharmas as well as small biotechs. 

Véronique is currently CBO & Head of Finance at Cedilla Therapeutics, a venture-backed series B biotech focused on precision oncology. At Cedilla Véronique is responsible for developing and implementing its corporate BD strategy as well as managing capital allocation, and fundraising. She helped secure $25million in additional capital in Oct 2021 and repositioned Cedilla corporate messages in line with its new strategy. 

Prior to Cedilla, Véronique was SVP Global BD and Alliance Management at IPSEN where she oversaw all global BD efforts necessary to augment Ipsen’s pipeline in oncology, rare diseases, and neurosciences. She delivered with her team on the vision to create a Rare Disease franchise with the acquisition of Clementia and a licensing deal with BluePrint. While at IPSEN, Véronique also renegotiated the global contract with long-time partner Debiopharm for Decapeptyl® optimizing both partners’ revenues for the next 15 years. An achievement recognized with the 2020 Award for “Long-Established Alliance” from the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals. 

Prior to IPSEN, Veronique held various BD, M&A and Alliance Management roles of increasing responsibilities at Pfizer, Takeda, Teva, BMS and Monsanto. 

Véronique currently also serves on the Board of Directors of Persephone Biosciences Inc. and is an Executive Coach since 2018 for the MassNextGen program mentoring first-time female CEOs. 

Véronique holds a BS and a MS in Economics from Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Belgium. 

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Jason Schafer, MBA, Director, Alliance Management, Seagen 

Jason Schafer is the Director of Alliance Management at Seagen. He has supported global immuno-oncology programs over the past 6 years across research, development, and commercial stage corporate partnerships. Recent achievements include US approval and commercialization of TIVDAK and implementation of new strategic research and clinical licensing agreements. Earlier in his career, Jason held various program management and development roles within oncology and travel medicine at CTI Biopharma (VONJO), Valneva (IXARO), and the Washington Cancer Institute resulting in successful global clinical trial execution, US regulatory submissions, and product commercialization. He earned his MBA from the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland and a BA from Pacific Lutheran University. He resides in Washington State with his wife and daughters. 

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John Selig, JD, Managing Partner, WaveEdge Capital, LLC 

John is a co-founder and Managing Partner of WaveEdge Capital. He advises life sciences and healthcare companies on M&A, capital raising and strategic partnering. He also frequently speaks on topics in life sciences and healthcare valuation, deal term benchmarking, and exit strategy. He is also an advisor to the Launchpad Digital Health fund and a member of the board of directors of Balanced Pharma Inc. 

Prior to founding WaveEdge, John led the Life Sciences and Healthcare Group at Woodside Capital Partners International, a boutique investment bank. He was previously at Strategic Decisions Group, a global management consulting firm, and Keelin Reeds Partners, a boutique consulting firm, where he advised both VC-backed life sciences companies and many of the top 20 pharmaceutical and medical device companies on valuation, portfolio strategy and M&A.  

Prior to consulting, John was an attorney with Weil, Gotshal and Manges LLP, where he focused on M&A and corporate finance. John holds a JD from Stanford Law School, where he was an Associate Editor of the Law Review, and a BA, magna cum laude, from Brown University, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. (FINRA 24, 7, 79, 63). 

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Robert Silverman, PhD, JD, Founder & CEO, Revere Pharmaceuticals 

Dr. Silverman is the founder and CEO of Revere Pharmaceuticals, an oncology-focused biotech company based in Boston. Prior to Revere, he was the General Counsel of Concert Pharmaceuticals from 2007 to 2017, helping the company become public in 2014. He currently serves as an advisor for Concert and on the advisory board for Larmor Biosystems. Previously, Dr. Silverman was Associate General Counsel at Millennium Pharmaceuticals (now Takeda) where he led the company’s chemical patent practice. Prior to Millennium, he served in various legal roles at Vertex Pharmaceuticals and FMC Corporation. 

Dr. Silverman started his career as a research chemist. He has over 20 US patents. Dr. Silverman received his BA degree from Lehigh University, his PhD from the U of New Mexico and did post-doctoral training in organic chemistry at Stanford University. He received his JD from Rutgers Law School. 

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Patricia Sinatra, Head of Business Development and Strategy, Stadius Biopharma, LLC; Managing Director, Vector Strategic Advisors, LLC 

Patricia is an experienced executive and advisor in licensing, market assessment, technology positioning and strategic marketing. She has both organized and instructed the BIO Business Development Fundamentals course since 2010. Patricia is currently Head of Business Development and Strategy at Stadius Biopharma and Managing Director for Vector Strategic Advisors, a licensing advisory and corporate strategy firm focused on novel technologies for early-stage companies. In addition to a broad portfolio of companies she has advised, she has held various management level roles of increasing responsibility for Sutro Biopharma, Dynavax Technologies, Abgenix (Amgen), SEQUUS Pharmaceuticals (JNJ), Matrix Pharmaceutical (Chiron/Novartis), SmithKline Beecham (GSK) and FCB Healthcare. Patricia also volunteers as a mentor for the internationally recognized UCSF Entrepreneurship, NIH Lean Launchpad, and California Life Science Organization’s FAST start-up programs. Patricia holds a BS in biology from SUNY and conducted doctoral studies in microbiology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, TX. In her spare time, she is an avid guitarist and road bicyclist and cannot wait for Covid restrictions to ease so she can resume her cycling explorations of Italy and other parts of Europe. 

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Christiana X. Zhang, PhD, Partner, Intellectual Property and Information Technology Practice Group, McCarter & English LLP 

Dr. Christiana Zhang is a partner in the Intellectual Property and Information Technology Practice group at McCarter & English, LLP. She has more than fifteen years of experience in patent prosecution and management. Her practice focuses in the area of pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. Prior to joining McCarter, Christiana was an in-house patent counsel at a medium-sized biotechnology company in the Boston area, where she was responsible for designing patent strategy and overseeing patent prosecution. She has extensive experience in U.S. and foreign patent preparation and prosecution, patent validity and freedom-to-operate opinions as well as due diligence and patent landscape analysis. 

Christiana received her PhD in Chemistry at Johns Hopkins University. She then went on to post-doctoral research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she studied the mechanism of cisplatin and other platinum-based anti-cancer drugs. After post-doctoral research, Christiana conducted independent research as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She has published a number of scientific articles in journals such as the Journal of the American Chemical Society. 

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Locust Walk Guide to Raising Capital and Retained Ownership (June 11–12)


Daniel Brog, Vice President, Locust Walk 

Daniel brings broad life sciences experience across corporate development and strategy, financing, and company building to Locust Walk. With the firm, he has worked on private financing, sell-side, buy-side, IPO advisory, and strategy consulting engagements for life sciences clients as well as company creation for Locust Walk Founded companies. Daniel brings deep experience in oncology/immunology, neurology, and regenerative medicine therapeutic areas with a special focus on advanced modalities including gene and cell therapies.

Prior to Locust Walk, Daniel was a team leader at Health Advances, a global healthcare management and strategy consulting firm, where he led projects with biopharmaceutical, medical technology, and private equity clients. His work encompassed multiple strategy engagement types across a range of companies from startups to large biopharma, with significant functional experience in portfolio and transaction strategy, asset and M&A due diligence, and asset forecasting, and valuation.

Daniel holds an MS in Biotechnology and a BS in Biology and Business from Brandeis University.  He enjoys skiing, hiking, cooking, and weightlifting in his free time and co-organizes an LGBTQ beer club in Boston.

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Andy Meyerson, Managing Director, Global Head of Strategic Transactions, Locust Walk 

Andy is a Managing Director and the Global Head of Strategic Transactions at Locust Walk, where he advises life science companies on all forms of corporate transactions, including collaborations and M&A, whether as a buyer/licensor or seller/licensee.  In addition, Andy is actively involved with the Locust Walk’s Capital Markets and Strategy and Analytics groups and has extensive experience advising life science companies across all aspects of their corporate development and executing high-value transactions.  

Prior to joining Locust Walk, Andy was an associate at Gunderson Dettmer, one of the nation’s leading business law firms for entrepreneurs, emerging growth companies and venture capitalists.  Andy’s legal practice encompassed all areas of general corporate and securities law, with extensive experience in corporate financings, including public and private offerings of equity and debt, licensing transactions and mergers and acquisitions.  Andy also represented life sciences companies in all stages of their lifecycles, from start-ups to public companies.  Andy was also previously an associate in the Corporate and Financial Services group at Willkie Farr & Gallagher.

Andy holds a MBA from New York University Stern School of Business, a JD from New York University School of Law and a BSE in Biomedical and Electrical Engineering from Duke University.  

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Geoff Meyerson, CEO & Co-Founder, Locust Walk   

Geoff Meyerson is CEO and Co-Founder of Locust Walk.  He brings a track record of success in investment banking, venture capital and licensing where he has closed >50 transactions of all varieties including playing a role in a majority of Locust Walk’s closed transactions.  Prior to Locust Walk, Geoff worked in business development at a venture-backed biotech company, in venture capital at SR One, in business development at MedImmune (now AstraZeneca), and in biotech investment banking in UBS’ Global Healthcare Investment Banking Group.  He holds an MBA in Health Care Management from the Wharton School, a master's in Biotechnology from the University of Pennsylvania, and a BS in Economics from Duke University.
Additionally, Geoff founded and is the President of an exclusive relationship building organization called BioBreak.  BioBreak has grown to six regions internationally and has a membership base of >3,000 senior life sciences operating and investing executives.  He is a member of the Young Presidents Organization New England Chapter and is on the Board of Overseers for Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.  Geoff has also served two terms on the board of the Wharton Health Care Management Alumni Association.  He was named by Wharton Magazine (The Wharton School’s alumni magazine) and the Philadelphia Business Journal to their 40 Under 40 list for 2017 and 2010, respectively.

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Deepa Rich, Partner, Goodwin 

Deepa M. Rich is a partner in Goodwin’s Life Sciences group. She focuses her practice on general securities and corporate law, with an emphasis on representing private and public companies in the life sciences and healthcare industries. Ms. Rich counsels companies throughout their lifecycle and guides them from startup through IPO or acquisitions. She also handles regulatory matters involving the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Nasdaq. In addition to company representation, Ms. Rich regularly represents venture capital funds with respect to their investments in companies in the life sciences and healthcare industries. Ms. Rich has been recognized by the Daily Journal as a Top Healthcare Lawyer in 2020 and 2021.

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Beni Surpin, Partner, Goodwin

Beni Surpin is a partner in Goodwin's Life Sciences group, where he focuses on global technology and commercial transactions. Mr. Surpin counsels international and domestic companies on a variety of legal and business issues in complex technology, intellectual property and commercial deals across a wide range of industries, including in the life sciences, medical devices, healthcare, wireless, high-tech, automotive, aviation, food and beverage, and fashion and apparel sectors. His practice centers on complex collaborations between companies involving technology transfer and licenses, at all stages from inception to full commercialization, to generate and enhance product lines and services through access to new technologies.  Mr. Surpin’s experience covers a broad spectrum of deals and structures through collaborations, licenses and acquisitions, service-based platforms, manufacturing, supply and distribution arrangements, clinical, services, and research and development agreements, joint ventures, and strategic partnerships and alliances. He also works with private and public companies to maximize value and revenue from intellectual property and technology portfolios in a way that allows companies to optimize their assets, advising clients on a variety of related legal and business issues.

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Product & Company Valuation (June 12)


Patrik Frei, PhD, lic. oec. HSG, CEO, Venture Valuation AG

Dr. Patrik Frei is founder and CEO of Venture Valuation AG, Switzerland. He started the company in 1999 when he noticed a need for independent valuation services in high growth industries during a collaboration with Novartis Venture Fund, which became his first client. Since then he has been involved in over 450 valuations for investors as well as biotech, pharma and medtech companies. Patrik graduated from the Business University of St. Gallen and completed his Ph.D thesis (”Assessment and valuation of high growth companies”) at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, EPFL Lausanne. Patrik was a board member and one of the original founders of Ineo, a holding company of the Swiss dental implant VC-backed firm Thommen Medical and also the Chairman of Ophthalmopharma, a Swiss-based biotech ophthalmology company, where he successfully out-licensed a portfolio of 4 products. Furthermore, Patrik was member of the board of Aventron AG (AVEN:Berne), a publicly quoted cleantech company, which raised over USD 160m during his time as board member. Patrik’s articles have been published in a number of scientific journals including “Nature Biotechnology”, “Chimia” and other business publications (“Starting a Business in the Life Sciences: From Idea to Market” and “Building Biotechnology: Starting, Managing, and Understanding Biotechnology Companies”). He has also lectured at Seoul National University, South Korea, EPFL Lausanne, University of St. Gallen and gives regular workshops on valuation.

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