This conference will be the ultimate partnering event on the east coast – with opportunities for one-on-one partnering with the biggest names in the industry. Start your planning your trip now!
Access one-on-one partnering with hundreds of the biggest names in the industry.
Hear from experts from the life sciences community about the hottest topics in the industry.
Hear from top life sciences and investment organizations on what they are looking for to fill their portfolio.
Organizations will showcase their company’s services and network with other attendees.
Attendees from academic research institutions and spin-outs will present their cutting-edge science to a panel of reviewers.
Organizations will present their pitch deck for feedback and partnership opportunities.
Olympic Gold Medalist, Cancer Survivor, Activist and Fundraiser
One of the most recognized male figure skating stars in the world, Scott Hamilton has won 70 titles, awards and honors including an Emmy Award nomination, induction into the United States Olympic Hall of Fame and a privileged member of the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame.
After losing his mother to cancer, then becoming a survivor himself, Scott turned activist, launching the Scott Hamilton CARES Foundation (Cancer Alliance for Research, Education and Survivorship). The CARES Foundation collaborates with The V Foundation to invest in immunotherapy treatment for many types of cancer.
Director, Gene Therapy Program Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics, Perelman School of Medicine
Dr. James M. Wilson is a Professor in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania where he has led an effort to develop the field of gene therapy. His research career spanning over 40 years has focused on rare diseases and ways to treat them by gene therapy.
The Wilson Lab identified a new type of vector based on novel isolates of adeno-associated viruses which have become best in class for gene therapy. More recently Dr. Wilson’s laboratory has focused on improved vectors for gene therapy and clinical applications of genome editing and mRNA therapy.
In 2010, Dr. David Fajgenbaum was diagnosed with Castleman Disease, and nearly died five times. He discovered a new use for an existing drug that had already been approved for another disease – but had never previously been used for Castleman Disease.
A 50-year-old patient battling life-threatening Castleman disease was provided adalimumab as a treatment of last resort following its identification by AI-guided discovery. Dr. Fajgenbaum assisted in the first usage of AI-discovered repurposed medicine and is dedicated to scaling this approach to help all patients who may benefit.
Managing Director, Healthcare Investment Banking
David Kellman is a Managing Director and is Head of Healthcare Investment Banking at JMP Securities, a Citizens Company. He serves on the firm’s investment banking management committee and commitment committee.
David has over 20 years of experience investing in and advising healthcare and life sciences companies. Since joining JMP, David has executed over 100 advisory and capital markets transactions. Prior to joining JMP, he was a hedge fund analyst at S.A.C. Capital Advisors focused on healthcare investing and a member of the healthcare investment banking group at Piper Jaffray.
Managing Director, H.I.G BioHealth Partners
Bruce Robertson has over thirty years experiences in the life sciences sector focusing on investment opportunities including biopharmaceuticals, medical devices and diagnostics. Prior to his current role, Bruce served as managing director at Toucan Capital, a venture capital fund focusing on healthcare investment. Bruce is on the boards of the University of Delaware Research Foundation and the BioLife Fund of Virginia’s Center for Innovation Technology.
Americas Industry Market Leader, Health Sciences & Wellness
Dr. Arda Ural is the EY Americas Industry Markets Leader for Health Sciences and Wellness. Prior to joining EY, he was a Managing Director at a strategy consulting firm for six years, where he led the Life Sciences M&A Practice. Earlier, he worked as a VP of Strategic Marketing and a BU Lead at an American medical technology company. He also served as the SVP Marketing & Sales for a startup biotechnology company which went public.
Dr. Ural started his career with a pharmaceutical company in Istanbul and subsequently relocated to New York, where he held leadership roles in product commercialization and new product development.
Dr. Theresa Heah is an accomplished executive who brings over two decades of drug development and commercial experience, focused primarily in gene therapy and ophthalmology. She most recently served as President and Chief Medical Officer at Kriya Therapeutics, where she launched the ophthalmology division, Kriya Ophthalmology, and was responsible for building its AAV gene therapy portfolio strategy and supporting the company’s Series C financing.
Dr. Katherine High is a pioneer in the field of gene therapy. She assembled a multidisciplinary team of scientists and researchers working to discover new gene and cell therapies for genetic diseases. In 2013, Spark Therapeutics, a biotechnology company based in Philadelphia, was formed based on programs that Dr. High had led at Children’s Hospital and in 2014, she joined Spark full-time as President and Head of R&D. While at Spark, she led the team that achieved the first FDA approval of a gene therapy for a genetic disease in the US, for a rare form of congenital blindness, and led the development of a gene therapy for hemophilia B that has now completed Phase 3 testing.
Krish Krishnan is the Chairman and CEO of Krystal Biotech, a biotechnology company focused on developing and commercializing genetic medicines for patients with rare diseases. In May 2023, the FDA approved VYJUVEK for the treatment of patients six months of age or older with dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (DEB).
Throughout his career, Krish was specifically involved in two successful IPOs, the approval of the blockbuster drug Vyvanse (for ADHD in 2007) and the sale of New River Pharmaceuticals to Shire Pharmaceuticals.
Research Assistant, Columbia University Irving Medical Center, Vice President of External Events, Penn Neuroscience Society
Larissa Borys is a recent graduate from the University of Pennsylvania, having completed her studies in May 2023 with a major in Neuroscience and a minor in Health Care Management from the Wharton School of Business. She served as a Vice President for the Penn Neuroscience Society and conducted research in the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s (CHOP) neurology department, which directed her Senior Honors Thesis. She is currently working as a Research Assistant at Columbia University Irving Medical Center in the Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer’s Disease and the Aging Brain.
Senior Manager, Talent Acquisition, Immunology
Laura Chase is a Senior Manager for Talent Acquisition, Immunology at Johnson & Johnson. Prior to J&J, she’s worked as a Project Manager through Vice President in consulting firms, various roles as a people manager, Associate Editor on an Outcomes Journal and a Medical Education Grant Reviewer at Rutgers (formerly University of Medicine and Dentistry of NJ). Since joining J&J Talent Acquisition five years ago, Laura has brought in more than 100 new employees to Immunology R&D and Medical Affairs ranging from bench scientist to Vice Presidents with a focus on dermatology, rheumatology, gastroenterology, rare disease, and maternal/fetal health. With a passion for diversity, equity and inclusion, she’s the Co-Lead on the People First Culture Pillar for the Immunology DEI Council. Laura works closely with academia (MDs and PhDs) in the challenging transition to the pharmaceutical world.
Professor and Chair, Department of Biological Sciences
Dr. Jana Patton-Vogt joined Duquesne University in 2001. She has a BS from the University of Wyoming and a PhD from the University of Kentucky. Prior to working at Duquesne she was a Post-Doctoral Research Assistant then a Research Scientist, both at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Dr. Patton-Vogt’s current research interests focus on the molecular genetics of phospholipid metabolism in the model eukaryote Saccharomyces cerevisiae and the pathogenic fungus Candida albicans.
Partner, Fund Strategy & Investor Relations
Dr. Jennifer Griffin is a Partner in the Cambridge office of early-stage venture capital firm Mission BioCapital where she focuses on fund strategy and investor relations. Dr. Griffin has spent the last 10+ years accelerating early-stage life science companies through direct investing, as well as creating ecosystems for their success. As a VP at the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC), she designed and executed the Commonwealth’s investment strategy with a particular focus on developing underserved and underrepresented markets and talent within the industry.
Dr. Marian Nakada has over 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, starting her career at the laboratory bench at Centocor and moving to a research leadership role before Centocor’s acquisition by Johnson & Johnson.
Dr. Nakada has an A.B. in Biology from Harvard College and a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Pennsylvania. She is currently on the Boards of Redona Therapeutics, Navitor Pharmaceuticals, and a stealth NewCo as well as the New England Venture Capital Association where she is working to champion change as an active contributor to its diversity & inclusion efforts.
Squire Servance is the Founder and Managing Partner of Syridex Bio, an impact-driven, life sciences-focused investment firm geared toward investing in and developing therapies that accelerate global health equity. He oversees the firm’s operations, growth strategy, investments decisions, and fundraising execution.
Prior to founding Syridex Bio, he served as SVP, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary at Repligen Corporation, a bioprocessing-focused life sciences company. At Repligen, Squire led the legal, corporate secretary, compliance and enterprise risk functions as well as counseled the company’s Board of Directors and senior management. He also served on Repligen’s environmental, social, and corporate governance committee.
Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg Dean College of Medicine, Professor of Medicine and Emergency Medicine, Senior Vice President, Medical Affairs
Dr. Charles Cairns is the Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg Dean of the College of Medicine and senior vice president for medical affairs at Drexel University. He is a leader in emergency medicine and critical care education, training and research. Dr. Cairns has been leading Drexel through partnership with St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, new regional clinical campuses in Pennsylvania, California and North Carolina, and the opening of a new four-year regional medical campus, the College of Medicine at Tower Health in West Reading. These efforts have resulted in record medical student applications, student enrollment and extramural research funding.
Director, Division of Medical Ethics, NYU Grossman School of Medicine
Dr. Arthur Caplan is currently the Drs. William F. and Virginia Connolly Mitty Professor of Bioethics and founding head of the Division of Medical Ethics at NYU Grossman School of Medicine’s Department of Population Health in New York City. Dr. Caplan has served since 2015 as a chair of the Compassionate Use Advisory Committees (CompAC), independent groups of internationally recognized medical experts, bioethicists, and patient representatives that advise Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals on requests for compassionate use of its investigational medicines.
Dr. Caplan is the recipient of many awards and honors including the McGovern Medal of the American Medical Writers Association and the Franklin Award from the City of Philadelphia. He was a USA Today 2001 “Person of the Year” and was described as one of the ten most influential people in science by Discover magazine in 2008.
Medical Imaging Artificial Intelligence Consultant
Former Chief Medical Director, Radiology, Coordinated Health
Dr. Eiran “Ron” Mandelker is the founder and CEO of a stealth mode health tech imaging AI startup. He also serves as a key opinion leader and consultant for a leading medical imaging artificial intelligence company. Trained at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, he has been a practicing radiologist for over 25 years. Additionally, he has over sixteen years of experience serving as Department Chair and Medical Director for Coordinated Health, in the Lehigh Valley, where he also served on the healthcare network’s board of directors. Through a value-based and team-oriented approach, his department achieved an annual double digit volume growth rate during his tenure. With Dr. Mandelker as director, the department additionally earned the designation of “Best MRI/Diagnostic Imaging” in the region for three years in a row.
President & CEO
Mark Leahey is the President & CEO for the Medical Device Manufacturers Association, a national trade association in Washington, DC that represents hundreds of research-driven medical technology companies. Mark’s responsibilities include advocating on behalf of the entrepreneurial sector of the medical device industry to Congress, the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and other federal and state agencies. He has lobbied for a more reasonable user fee for smaller companies, worked to open access to the hospital marketplace by challenging the exclusionary and anti-competitive nature of certain large group purchasing organizations, as well as ensure that medical device technologies are reimbursed adequately. Mr. Leahey has been named one of the medical device industry’s top lobbyists and sits on the Editorial Advisory Board of Medical Product Outsourcing.
Danielle O’Brien is the Assistant Corporate Controller and Vice President of Finance at Teleflex Incorporated. As a leader within corporate finance, she is responsible for the oversight of the global accounting and reporting functions. Danielle also serves as the corporate finance liaison to the business development team, the commercial businesses and other finance functions within Teleflex. Additionally, she is a Teleflex Foundation Officer and a Corporate Social Responsibility Steering Committee member. Prior to becoming Assistant Corporate Controller and Vice President of Finance, Danielle led the external reporting department at Teleflex.
Wamis Singhatat is a mission-driven developer of wearables, surgical devices, and connected health solutions with over 20 years of industry experience. Focused on creating products that elevate the standard of care and positively impact society, he has led R&D and marketing functions within companies ranging from early-stage startups to Fortune 50. He is currently the CEO of ActiveProtective and previously held various management roles within DePuy Synthes, a Johnson & Johnson company. He holds over 30 US patents in a variety of fields and has co-authored multiple publications on medical technology in peer-reviewed journals.
Vice President, Human Resources
Mary Walker is the vice president of Human Resources for PECO. She is a highly sought-after strategic business partner who specializes in human resources and delivering progressive talent solutions.
Walker has over twenty years of experience leading organizational transformations. Over the course of her career, she has worked in talent acquisition and talent management functions to deliver innovative solutions to her many clients in the areas of strategic program management, career management, succession planning, performance management, organizational development and employee/labor relations.
System Director, Talent Acquisition
Lindsey Breiner is a results-oriented, strategic and customer-focused Talent Acquisition Leader with 12+ years of Talent Acquisition and Permanent Placement recruitment experience in the Healthcare Industry. Her focus is on recruitment marketing, talent attraction, creative sourcing solutions, and efficient overall end-to-end full-cycle recruitment expertise. Lindsey is currently leading the TA function at Main Line Health, a 13,000+ employee health network that serves the Southeastern PA / Northern Delaware / South Jersey areas. Here, she uses a collaborative, data-driven, relationship-based approach to achieve the organization’s goals and objectives related to quality, efficiency, and talent engagement/customer experience. Lindsey accelerates innovation by researching and implementing the latest industry trends to help drive TA Key Performance Indicators to impact a national recruitment strategy.
Vice President, Human Resources
Kara Thornton is Neuronetics VP of Human Resources, and has over 20 years of Human Resources experiences in Life Sciences including Pharmaceutical, Biomedical, Consumer, Nutraceuticals and Medical Device. She has led both domestic and global Human Resources teams serving as a strategic HR business partner across all functions. Prior to joining Neuronetics, Kara was Head of Human Resources for the US branded pharmaceutical business at Sun Pharma where she supported the commercial and enabling businesses across 5 therapeutic areas.
Principal Deputy Commissioner
Dr. Janet Woodcock began her FDA career in 1986 at the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER) where she served as the Director of the Division of Biological Investigational New Drugs and as Acting Deputy Director and Director of CBER’s Office of Therapeutics Research and Review, which oversaw the approval of the first biotechnology-based treatments for multiple sclerosis and cystic fibrosis during her tenure.
Dr. Woodcock is currently the FDA’s Principal Deputy Commissioner. She works closely with the Commissioner of Food and Drugs to develop and implement key public health initiatives and helps oversee the agency’s day-to-day functions.
Path to Start-Up: Hear from these experts the best practices to transforming research into a successful start-up.
Lifecycle of a Successful Company: Discover insights into the lifecycle of a life sciences company and hear about Dr. Walker’s success in fundraising rounds and successful exits.
Planning for Your Physical Needs: Plan for the future of your company with actionable advice on how to find the best lab or office space.
The Path from an Academic Lab to Industry Collaboration: A case study: Taking your idea from academic lab to start-up company to successful licensing to collaboration with a global pharma.
Ryan O’Connell is a fourth year Ph.D. candidate at University of Pennsylvania engineering bispecific antibodies for cancer immunotherapy. Ryan acts as managing director of Nucleate for the Philadelphia region whose Activator Program facilitates the formation of life sciences companies by identifying founders creating impactful biotechnologies at local academic institutions.
He and his team embark founders and supporting students in business, science, and medicine through a tailored curriculum that dismantles the start-up process into an incremental system of expert-led workshops and educational lectures, while providing executive-level mentorship and network access to entrepreneurial resources and opportunities, both locally and globally.
Bobby Trudeau is a fourth year Ph.D. candidate in Chemical Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is studying the transcription of immune-linked genes by live-cell imaging. He participated in Nucleate Philadelphia as a team member on a women’s health startup. He then joined Nucleate as the Director of Partnerships, during which he helped establish relationships with companies across the Philadelphia region to help foster the translation of academic innovation.
He is now working as a co-managing director of Nucleate Philadelphia where he is working to train the next generation of biotech leaders and strengthen ties between academia and the life science industry in the Mid-Atlantic.
Co-Founder & Chair, Board of Directors
Dr. Neal Walker is a board-certified dermatologist and serial entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience in the life sciences industry. Dr. Walker’s pharmaceutical industry career began at Johnson & Johnson, from which he went on to co-found a number of companies, including NeXeption, LLC, a biopharmaceutical assets management company; Vicept Therapeutics, Inc., a dermatology-focused specialty pharmaceutical company (acquired by Allergan, Inc.); Octagon Research Solutions, Inc., a software and services provider to biopharmaceutical companies (acquired by Accenture plc); Trigenesis Therapeutics, Inc., a specialty dermatology company (acquired by Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Inc.); and Cutix Inc., a commercial dermatology company. In 2016, Dr. Walker was awarded the Frank Baldino Bioscience CEO of the Year award and the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Greater Philadelphia award.
Jeff Devuono is Brandywine’s Executive Vice President of the Life Science Division and Regional Managing Director of the Pennsylvania region. Prior to Brandywine, Jeff worked for LCOR, Inc., a private development company that had a previous association with Brandywine, where he held a variety of positions, all of which related to asset management.
Jeff currently serves on the Board, and is a former Chairman, of the King of Prussia District, and is a Board Member of the Center City District (CCD), the University City District, and the LaSalle University Rowing Stewards Foundation. He is also a member of CoreNet, the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT), the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP), and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School Samuel Zell and Robert Lurie Real Estate Center
Chief Business Officer & General Counsel
Tracy Dowling joined AskBio in January 2021 and serves as its Chief Business Officer and General Counsel. She is responsible for the company’s global business development strategy and execution, as well as alliance management, legal, compliance, and is the company’s Chief of Staff.
Prior to joining AskBio, Tracy served as Associate General Counsel at Spark Therapeutics providing legal oversight for essential business functions, including business development, licensing transactions, corporate governance, securities compliance, and real estate and construction. Notably, she played an integral role in Roche’s $4.6 billion acquisition of Spark.
Gregory Reaves has spent more than 30 years working in publicly traded and private companies. Greg received patent protection for a device he created to support a manufacturing line while in tablet compression and was awarded the Gadsden Fellowship, a prestigious company-sponsored fellowship that led to the creation of the Penn-Merck Science Initiative, a partnership with the University of Pennsylvania, the National Science Foundation.
Greg joined a mid-size real estate development company, where he became a member of the executive team and held specific responsibility for operations, hiring, marketing, public relations, commercial leasing and government relations. To date, their investments have totaled more than $120 million in direct investments in Philadelphia neighborhoods.
Managing Partner & Co-Founder
Gurdane Bhutani is a founder and Managing Partner of MBX Capital. He holds board roles at MBX partner companies Atlas Health, CareRev, Contraline, Freedom Biosciences, and Thesis.
Previously, he was the COO of FundRx, a healthcare and life sciences investment marketplace. Prior to FundRx, worked with private equity and corporate clients at Bain & Company and in public finance at Morgan Stanley. He has been an instructor on healthcare finance at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine and guest lecturer in the Wharton School’s healthcare management program.
Dr. Andrei Georgescu is the CEO and co-founder of Vivodyne, Inc, and leads the company’s mission to create a massively scalable platform to discover and develop better, more effective cures to therapeutics by testing on lab-grown human organs.
Vivodyne’s goal is to effect revolutionary advancement in the development of safe and highly effective cures to human diseases: their innovative approach leverages cutting-edge robotics, proprietary human organ tissue models, and AI-driven therapeutic inference to create a streamlined, powerful solution to address critical translational challenges faced in therapeutics discovery and development.
Senior Associate Director, Engineering, Arts & Sciences, The Wharton School, Penn Center for Innovation
Josh Jeanson has built a career identifying, protecting, and commercializing intellectual property created in academic research labs. In addition to traditional licensing, Josh has worked closely with thought leaders on conceiving and launching unique technologies in underdeveloped fields or emerging market spaces.
Through his efforts he has supported several high growth new ventures from UPenn, including Vivodyne, AlphaThera, Neuralert, and FloBio. In his previous role at UVA Licensing & Ventures Group he supported the initial commercial efforts of: Mission Secure, Laser Thermal Analysis, MadiDrop, and VLNComm.
At the Penn Center for Innovation Josh serves as the Senior Associate Director for the Physical Science team where he is primarily responsible for innovation from the School of Engineering and Applied Science, the School of Arts & Sciences, the Wharton School, and the Weitzman School of Design.
Director, Strategy, Business Development
Ted Clineff started his career at Orthovita and reaped on-job-training benefits of a fast growing start-up with their flagship medical device Vitoss bone graft substitute. Ted led the product development collaboration with Kensey Nash Corporation (now DSM Biomedical) who partnered with Orthovita to develop and commercialize Vitoss Foam bone graft ssubstitutes with additional handling benefits with bovine collagen.
Stryker acquired Orthovita and Ted led the Stryker Orthobiologics Research & Product development team until switching career gears and moved to DSM Biomedical for a Commercial role. At DSM, Ted managed the largest commercial territory and grew his sales by 10% CAGR for past 5 years. Recently, Ted moved into S&BD role and is responsible for extending the DSM Biomedical Innovation team with external partners and forming alliances. Additionally, Ted conducts diligence on DSM Biomedical acquisition targets.
Vice President, New Products & Business Development
Matt Fenske is the Vice President, New Products & Business Development at Harmony Biosciences. He oversees advancing new products and lifecycle programs in the company portfolio as well as building the pipeline through business development. Prior to Harmony, Matt led the New Products Group at Shire for the Immunology and Hematology Franchises. He held a similar role at Baxalta, a spin-off from Baxter where he held numerous roles in Global Marketing and US Marketing in the BioScience Business Unit.
Vice President, Head of Business Development
Sarah Fuller entered the pharmaceutical industry in 1998, working in Business Development at a global CRO where she led the North American proposal team for Clinical Development services. In 2005, she joined Bristol-Myers Squibb in R&D Finance, managing clinical development budgets and providing financial guidance to Senior Management. Most recently before joining BioWa/Kyowa Kirin, Sarah managed over 20 collaborations in BMS’s Business Development/Alliance Management group. Sarah joined BioWa/Kyowa Kirin in 2020, and was named President of BioWa (Kyowa Kirin’s technology licensing business) in 2021. In addition to managing the BioWa business, she and her team also lead business development and alliance management activities for Kyowa Kirin North America.
Director, Corporate Development Team
Michael Gunderson is a Director on the Corporate Development team at Teleflex Incorporated. He focuses on sourcing, evaluating and executing M&A transactions for the Interventional and Interventional Urology business units. Prior to Teleflex, Michael was an associate at SSG Capital Advisors where he advised clients on distressed M&A, refinancing and restructuring transactions. Michael started his career at DuPont Capital Management as an Investment Analyst on the Private Markets team.
Director, Enabling Technologies
Dr. Stephen Spagnol is a Director of Business Development & Licensing, Enabling Technologies at Merck. He leads Search & Evaluation efforts related to mRNA/RNA, Drug Delivery & Formulation, Vaccines & Biologics Bioprocess, Cell & Gene Therapy and Gene Editing. Prior to returning to Merck, Stephen was an Associate Director at Johnson & Johnson where he led efforts for novel new modality therapeutics. He led Phase III and late-stage development for AAV gene therapy programs and development for oncolytic viruses and viral vaccines for oncology. He led novel platform development for gene therapy culminating in several patent applications.
Associate Director, Strategy & Innovation
Mark is a board-certified physician assistant with broad and deep clinical experience. Prior to practicing medicine, he has held several, senior-level, marketing and business development positions within the biotech industry. Additionally, he has the proud distinction of having served his country, with honor, as an officer in the United States Navy.
Tara Muzsi, Vice President, Immunology Sales & Marketing, Gastroenterology, Janssen
John Witkowski, President, DSM Biomedical
Mike Bowman, President & CEO, Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board