Professional Development Courses—Instructor Biographies

Advanced Business Development (May 31-June 2)


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

Patrick Duxbury helps clients research, develop, manufacture, and sell pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device products, using his extensive experience in 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 honors. He now specializes in all aspects of transactional work in the life sciences sector. He has helped clients including Argenx, AstraZeneca (AZ), MedImmune, Astex Therapeutics, BioNTech, Crescendo Biologics, Epidarex, ERS Genomics, Eisai, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Heptares Therapeutics, Immunocore, Oxford Biotherapeutics 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, two separate $6 billion cancer drug collaboration agreements 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 recent collaboration with Scorpion Therapeutics.

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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Applying Game Theory to Negotiations & Strategic Decision-Making (June 2)


Stefanie A. Schubert, PhD, CA-AM, Professor of Economics and Department Chair of International Business, 
SRH University Heidelberg 

Stefanie A. Schubert is Professor of Economics at SRH University Heidelberg, ICF-certified Executive Coach and Negotiation Advisor. In her university role, she is the Lead of the Economics Group and Director of the International Bachelor Program. As a coach, she challenges leaders to achieve their goals. In the role of an advisor, she supports clients in their strategic thinking and influencing 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 the DACH Chapter Co-Lead of European Women on Board (EWOB). 

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Harm-Jan Borgeld, PhD, MBA, CSAP, Vice President, Head Asia Pharma Partnering Asia, 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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Become a Biotech or MedTech Entrepreneur (June 1-2)


James (Jim) 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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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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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. Questions for Dr. Chen can be sent via email:

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Steven M. Ferguson, MS, MBA, CLP, Special Advisor, National Institute of Health (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 (GeorgeWashingtonUniversity) and Chemistry (University of Cincinnati) as well as Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry (CaseWestern ReserveUniversity).  

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 (Jim) 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 the 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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Vivian Lee, BS, 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.

Vivian 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 26 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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Robert Wanerman, JD, 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 11th presentation at the Biotechnology Entrepreneurship Boot Camp.

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

John M. York, PharmD, MBA brings 35 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: Akita Biomedical, MD Eyecare, and Ophthalmic Research and Education Consultants. His firm 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 (Amrut Mody School of Management), 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 adjunct faculty at the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy Rutgers Pharmaceutical Industry Fellowship program. He currently serves on the scientific board for JD Biosciences. He has authored over 43 publications (with 31 in business and entrepreneurship) personally, with over 160 (including 14 translational medicine articles) for various clients. His case study on CVS Health and the Amazon/PillPack challenge received an Emerald Publishing Literary Award for outstanding publication in 2022. A past associate editor of Cancer Control, he serves on the editorial boards of Journal of Commercial Biotechnology and Archives of Business Administration. As invited faculty, York has presented this last year at R&D Pharma, Bio International, MBC Labs, Rutgers University, and the University of Tsukuba/Kyoto Workshop. His Bio Startup Bootcamp presentation ended up as his fifth in the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology, and his Tsukuba/Kyoto workshop as two new submissions to this journal. Finally, York continues to pursue his doctorate in business administration at the Cranfield School of Management in the United Kingdom, focusing on entrepreneurship and strategy.

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Kristina Zakurdaeva, MD, PhD, Founder & Chair of the Board at Foundation for Cancer Research Support Consulting Medical Director

Dr. Zakurdaeva is an accomplished biopharmaceutical professional with an international interdisciplinary background in clinical studies and scientific research, as well as business development. She holds an M.D. degree in Internal Medicine & Hematology and a Ph.D. in the Genetics of Acute Leukemia.

Upon completion of her training, Kristina worked as a Scientific Advisor for Oncology at Bristol-Myers Squibb and later headed Oncology and Immunology R&D projects in the Biomed Cluster of the Skolkovo Foundation where she successfully launched the Cancer Center of Excellence. Subsequently, as a Chief Medical Officer at Gero, a drug discovery company focused on oncology, neurology, and aging, Dr. Zakurdaeva developed and executed clinical strategy for the company’s pipeline. Further on, she served as a Chief Executive Officer of Incuron, a drug development company in oncology. Kristina’s main goal at Incuron was to accelerate the strategy and move the company’s assets through clinical trials. In addition, she has served as an external expert at several companies and funds.

Dr. Zakurdaeva is an ASCO mentor and a speaker at clinical trial workshops. Kristina has authored numerous, recent, peer-reviewed publications and co-authored a scientific discovery in genetics. Dr. Zakurdaeva continues her research activities in oncology and hematology via collaborations with academia. In 2017, Kristina created the Foundation for Cancer Research Support in Russia which aims to back research projects in oncology. Currently, she serves as the Chair of the Foundation Board.

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BIOBriefing: Biotech for the Non-Scientist (June 2)


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

Kevin Curran, PhD Kevin Curran is a research biologist and educator in the field of advanced medicine. He received his PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of Washington in Seattle. As an academic scientist, Dr. Curran performed cancer research at Memorial Sloan Kettering, stem cell biology at UCSF, and behavioral neuroscience as a post-doc at the Salk Institute. In the life science industry, Dr. Curran has worked for Bristol Meyers, Biogen, Sarepta, and Caring Cross to assist in their pursuit of cell and gene therapies for life-threatening diseases. Dr. Curran is an instructor for Biotech Primer and operates his own biotech consulting firm, BridgePoint Bio.

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Business Development Fundamentals (May 31-June 2) 

Patricia Sinatra, Head of Licensing and Portfolio Strategy, Atomic AI 

Patricia has over 25 years of licensing and commercial strategy experience where she has been responsible for leading business development and alliance management activities in the biopharmaceutical industry and has held both full-time executive and interim management roles for a variety of companies in the U.S. and, recently, China.  She is currently Head of Licensing and Portfolio Strategy for Atomic Artificial Intelligence (Atomic AI), which is focused on developing RNA therapeutics, and is Managing Director of Vector Strategic Advisors, a licensing advisory firm. Her expertise entails both in/out licensing, product acquisitions and assessments, and portfolio strategy with a focus on novel technologies and platforms. 

Patricia has been the organizer and an Instructor for the BIO Business Development Fundamentals course since 2010 and has served on several educational committees.  She also mentors start-up ventures through the UCSF entrepreneurship program and California Life Science Institute’s FAST program. She received her undergraduate degree in biology from SUNY and conducted post-graduate doctoral studies in microbiology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical in Dallas, Texas.  

For more information, please see www.linkedin/in/patriciasinatra and   

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Véronique Riethuisen, MS, Managing Director, VR Strategic Advisors LLC

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 providing strategic advisory services to several privately-owned biotechs to help them to secure financing as well as non-dilutive strategic partnerships.

Until December 2022, Véronique was CBO & Head of Finance at Cedilla Therapeutics, a venture-backed series B biotech focused in precision oncology. At Cedilla Véronique was responsible for developing and implementing its corporate BD strategy as well as managing capital allocation, and fundraising. She helped secure $25 million 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., is an Executive Coach since 2018 for the MassNextGen program mentoring first-time female CEOs; and an Executive Advisor for the Life Sciences program by Springboard Enterprises coaching women CEOs seeking funding, networking and strategic partnerships.

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

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Anjan Aralihalli, BSc, MBA, MSc, 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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Mark Cooper, JD, Principal, Faber Daeufer & Itrato PC

Mark is an accomplished and versatile corporate and transactional lawyer who has advised clients in the life sciences industry for almost 30 years. Mark 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 knows that every deal is different, often posing challenges demanding bespoke solutions across disciplines. Mark’s business acumen, deep industry knowledge and broad transactional experience enable 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, working in M&A and securities law, and structured finance. 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 the company’s R&D organization; and for over a decade led a team of attorneys focused on sophisticated and complex life sciences transactions. Queries for Mark can be sent to:

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Patrik Frei, PhD, CEO and Founder, Venture Valuation AG

Dr. Patrik Frei is the founder and CEO of Venture Valuation AG, Switzerland, the company he started in 1999 based on a collaboration with the Novartis Venture Fund, which became his first client. Since then, he has been involved in over 800 valuations around the globe for investors as well as Biotech, Pharma, and Medtech companies. Venture Valuation runs two additional services/businesses: 1) Biotechgate, a global business development database. 2. HelloPartnering, a leading one2one partnering software, including the Biotechgate Digital Partnering event ( Patrik graduated from the Business University of St. Gallen in Finance and completed his PhD thesis at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, EPFL in Lausanne. Patrik has experience as a board member of public and private companies, published numerus articles, and provides valuation workshops around the world. 

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Wyatt Gotbetter, MPA, Senior VP/ Worldwide Head, Parexel Access Consulting, Parexel International

Wyatt is a seasoned life sciences executive and strategy consulting leader experienced in asset and franchise growth strategy and mergers and acquisitions/ transaction advisory support. He currently leads the Market Access and Health Economics business for global CRO Parexel, where he was previously a Partner for consulting subsidiary Health Advances. Prior to this, Wyatt was with Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and the head of New Product Commercialization for Biogen. He has led domestic and global teams in marketing strategy, portfolio management, new product commercialization, and market access. He offers expertise in strategy development, life cycle management, valuation, diligence, and digital health, and has advised or supported the integration of >$40B in life sciences transactions. Wyatt is also an independent Board member of Diceros Therapeutics. Queries for Wyatt can be sent to:

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Tim Luker, PhD, Vice President, Lilly Ventures, West Coast USA Head, Corp BD, Eli Lilly and Company

Tim Luker, PhD is currently Vice President Venture Science at Eli Lilly. He leads Lilly's venture external innovation process on the West Coast USA within Global Corporate Business Development, primarily targeting transformational early-stage research across 5 therapy areas. This role supports Lilly’s multiple external venture fund and biotech investments globally (~$2.5B) and due diligence and search and evaluation initiatives. Luker has completed over 40 signed deals across multiple modalities and therapeutic areas for Lilly. Tim is an experienced drug hunter with >20 years of experience (>60 patents and publications). Prior to Lilly, he worked at Shire, Polleo Pharma (founder, company acquired), and AstraZeneca. Tim has a PhD in chemistry from the University of Southampton, carried out post-doctoral research at Universiteit Van Amsterdam, and is a Prince2 qualified project manager.

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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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Kate Skrable, MBA, MS, Vice President, Strategic Partnerships, Pfizer

Kate Skrable is an expert in the field of alliance management, specifically complex collaborations and international partnerships. She recently joined Pfizer as the Vice President of Strategic Partnerships. For more than 20 years, she was a member of Seagen with her last leadership role as the Vice President of Strategic Alliances. Prior to her time at Seagen, she spent close to 10 years at Genentech/Roche as a leader in alliance management, asset management, and bio-analytics. She also has held a number of roles at Valeant Pharmaceuticals, Connetics Corporation and Dow Pharmaceuticals. Kate is well-versed in mergers/acquisitions, licensing (both sell and buy-side), and strategic alliances. She holds an MBA from Santa Clara University and a Master of Science from the University of Arizona.  

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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 Ph.D. in Chemistry at the 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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Guide to Raising Institutional Private Capital (June 2)

Andy Meyerson, Managing Director, 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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Daniel Brog, Senior 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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Rene Veloso, Vice President, Locust Walk 

Rene brings over 20 years of experience in US and international life sciences M&A, strategy, and venture capital at both publicly listed and private equity-backed companies.  As a venture investor at Ivy Capital Partners, he participated in $200M of financings and successfully exited 4 portfolio investments via strategic sales.  Rene worked at Integra LifeSciences as Senior Director of Corporate Development where he led both buyside M&A and licensing deals.  Prior to joining Locust Walk, he also held roles at Merrill Lynch Healthcare Investment Banking, Monitor Group and the Hospital for Special Surgery.  Rene has extensive domain expertise in orthopedics, regenerative medicine, behavioral health, and oncology. 

Rene holds a MBA from the Ross School of Business, a JD from the Pritzker School of Law, and a BA with Honors from Washington University in St. Louis.  In his free time, he enjoys riding Peloton, attending original theater productions, and hosting dinners with friends, family and his labradoodle Murphy. 

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Product & Company Valuation (June 2)


Patrik Frei, PhD, CEO and Founder, Venture Valuation AG

Dr. Patrik Frei is founder and CEO of Venture Valuation AG, Switzerland, the company he started in 1999 based on a collaboration with the Novartis Venture Fund, which became his first client. Since then he has been involved in over 800 valuations around the globe for investors as well as Biotech, Pharma and Medtech companies. Venture Valuation runs two additional services/businesses: 1) Biotechgate, a global business development database. 2. HelloPartnering, a leading one2one partnering software including the Biotechgate Digital Partnering event ( Patrik graduated from the Business University of St. Gallen in Finance and completed his Ph.D thesis at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, EPFL in Lausanne. Patrik has experience as a board member of public and private companies, published numerus articles and provides valuation workshops around the world. 

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Gergely Ivanyi, PhD, Senior Consultant, Venture Valuation AG

Dr. Gergely Ivanyi joined Venture Valuation in 2020 as a Business Analyst and presently works as a Senior Consultant, managing valuation projects, business research and is responsible for the financial modeling of valuation projects. During his time at Venture Valuation, he has worked with top management of Fortune 500 companies, established biotech firms as well as small innovative companies supporting their fundraising, licensing, and M&A activities. Gergely holds a Pharm.D. degree (Semmelweis University, Budapest) and an M.Sc. degree in Bioentrepreneurship (Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm). 

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