Rich Bendis 11 2019

President & CEO, BioHealth Innovation, Inc.

Mr. Bendis is an entrepreneur, corporate executive, venture capitalist, investment banker, innovation and technology-based economic development leader,        international speaker and consultant in the technology and healthcare industries. He currently serves as the founding President and CEO of Innovation America (IA), a national public-private partnership focused on accelerating the growth of innovation economy in America. As one of the most recognized experts in the field of innovation economy, Mr. Bendis has served on numerous distinguished boards and task forces including the White House U.S. Innovation Partnership Advisory Task Force, the Small Business Innovation Research Committee, the National Association of State Venture Funds board; State Science and Technology Institute, and the Ernst and Young Entrepreneurial Institute as a national/regional Judge.

Mr. Bendis has provided global consulting services to over 16 countries and 22 states, several cities and regions, along with international organizations including the United Nations, NATO, UK Trade and Industry, European Commission, French Embassy, the German Marshall Fund, The Canadian Consulate, METI, AKEA, the International Science Parks and Innovation Expert Group and other global entities. Mr. Bendis is a frequent consultant and speaker to 16 International innovation based economic development organizations, as well as over 20 states, regions and cities throughout the U.S. He was voted one of the Top 5 Speakers on innovation economy in 2012.

 

Briskman

Executive Director and Broker Lead for JLL’s Maryland Region

Peter Briskman is the Executive Director and Broker Lead for JLL’s Maryland Region. His primary focus is on Tenant Advisory Services working with Life Science Occupants locally and nationally on complex real estate and leasing strategies for Headquarter transactions, relocations, build-to-suits, renewals, expansions, and consolidations. His applied expertise includes strategic real estate planning, municipal incentive negotiations, lease structuring/transactions, portfolio management, and capital markets investment sales.

He is the recipient of GWCAR’s Commercial Leasing Broker of the Year and has been recognized with GWCAR Office Leasing Transactions of the Year for multiple clients.

 

Christine DingivanPresident and CEO, The Emmes Corporation, Rockville, MD

I’m honored to be the company’s third CEO in its 43-year history. My prior experience included serving as the senior vice president of clinical research and operations for MedImmune-AstraZeneca; chief medical officer of PPD; and both global head of portfolio strategy and innovation and global head of data and digital for Novartis Global Drug Development in Basel, Switzerland. All this widened my clinical research and drug development experience across a range of therapeutic areas and was great preparation for my role at Emmes. I’ve also had the opportunity to serve as an advisor and on the board of directors for several private equity and venture-backed companies in the biopharma, clinical research and genomics fields.

dave-lemus

CEO/Principal, LEMAX LLC
 
Dave Lemus is an experienced C-Level executive (CEO-COO-CFO) and Non-Executive board member with extensive US & international business experience spanning over 20 years biotech in the biopharmaceutical industry, where he executed more than $3 billion in licensing, financing/capital markets and M&A transactions.
 
Mr. Lemus is currently CEO of LEMAX LLC, a strategic advisory service he founded focused on the biotech and pharmaceutical industries.  Additionally he also serves as a non-executive director on the boards of Sorrento Therapeutics (NASDAQ: SRNE), Silence Therapeutics plc (AIM: SLN), Celularity Inc., and the MIT Club Washington DC.  Previously he was CEO of Sigma Tau Pharmaceuticals Inc., and prior to this, CFO of MorphoSys AG, where he launched Germany’s first biotechnology IPO in 1999, having come from Hoffmann La Roche in Basel. 
 
He received his M.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and B.S. from the University of Maryland, and is presently a C.P.A. in the state of Maryland.

 

charles-mortonPartner, Venable

Chuck Morton, repeatedly ranked as one of the top M&A lawyers in the country, co-chairs Venable's Corporate Practice Group, splitting his time between Venable's Washington and Baltimore offices. He has a national practice, solving complex problems faced by lenders, investors, and entrepreneurs as they create, build, and buy or sell businesses. He routinely advises on mergers and acquisitions and financings, including every flavor of equity investment. He regularly acts on behalf of private equity groups and banks.

 

Sally Allainl

Head of JLABS @ Washington, DCSally Allain, Head of JLABS @ Washington, DC

As Head of JLABS @ Washington, DC, Sally sets the strategic direction and oversees all operational activities for JLABS in the greater Washington metro region, including Maryland and Virginia. In this role, Sally is responsible for the process of evaluating and selecting a strong portfolio of innovators for JLABS @ Washington, DC, and building strategic partnerships with corporate, academic, government and industry organizations that aim to strengthen the region’s life sciences innovation network.As Head of JLABS @ Washington, DC, Sally sets the strategic direction and oversees all operational activities for JLABS in the greater Washington metro region, including Maryland and Virginia. In this role, Sally is responsible for the process of evaluating and selecting a strong portfolio of innovators for JLABS @ Washington, DC, and building strategic partnerships with corporate, academic, government and industry organizations that aim to strengthen the region’s life sciences innovation network.

Sally joined JLABS after serving as Senior Director, Strategy & Operations on the Global External Innovation team at Johnson & Johnson, where she supported portfolio management and reporting and strategic business development efforts across the organization. Prior, Sally was with Janssen R&D, Immunology, where she managed a team in research operations and alliance management for the early discovery to early development portfolio. Sally understands well the needs of healthcare entrepreneurs, having launched her research career at a San-Diego based biotech startup and then working internationally for a UK-based governmental economic development agency creating early-stage biotech and academic collaborative programs aimed at accelerating the development of products to address the needs of patients and consumers. Sally joined JLABS after serving as Senior Director, Strategy & Operations on the Global External Innovation team at Johnson & Johnson, where she supported portfolio management and reporting and strategic business development efforts across the organization. Prior, Sally was with Janssen R&D, Immunology, where she managed a team in research operations and alliance management for the early discovery to early development portfolio. Sally understands well the needs of healthcare entrepreneurs, having launched her research career at a San-Diego based biotech startup and then working internationally for a UK-based governmental economic development agency creating early-stage biotech and academic collaborative programs aimed at accelerating the development of products to address the needs of patients and consumers.

Sally received her MBA from the University of California Berkeley, Haas School of Business, where she was recognized by ‘Poets and Quants’ as one of the ‘Top 50’ EMBA students across US & International Programs in 2016; a Master of Science Degree in Microbiology / Immunology from Virginia Tech; and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from Virginia Tech. Sally received her MBA from the University of California Berkeley, Haas School of Business, where she was recognized by ‘Poets and Quants’ as one of the ‘Top 50’ EMBA students across US & International Programs in 2016; a Master of Science Degree in Microbiology / Immunology from Virginia Tech; and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from Virginia Tech.

Jarrod Borkat

CareDx

Jarrod Borkat is a 15-year veteran in the biopharmaceutical industry. He joined MedImmune in 2010, where he currently serves as Senior Director/Head, Global External Partnerships & Collaborations. In this role he is responsible for establishing and overseeing global strategic collaborations with universities, non-profit organizations and government entities, across all the therapeutic areas relevant to MedImmune. His team led the creation of several multi-million dollar collaborations, including one with Johns Hopkins University and one with University of Maryland. Prior to this role, Jarrod led the Portfolio Strategy & Management function for MedImmune, helping the organization optimize its R&D portfolio. Before joining MedImmune, Jarrod worked at Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) Pharmaceuticals, Inc. for 11 years, rising through the ranks in the sales and commercial organization. During his time at BI, he spent two years in Germany, working at their corporate headquarters, leading the global commercial strategy for their CNS franchise. His last position prior to leaving BI was Director of U.S. Marketing, HIV. Jarrod has won multiple awards throughout his career, including being recognized as an industry “Top 25 Direct-to-Consumer Marketer of the Year” in 2007. He is also active in several industry organizations and has served on industry-related panels. In addition to his professional accomplishments, Jarrod serves on the Kentlands Board of Trustees and the Kentlands Community Foundation Board. He also ran a marathon on all 7 continents with his father, making them the first father/son duo to have accomplished this challenging endeavor. Jarrod earned an M.B.A. from Kennesaw State University, with concentrations in finance and marketing, and earned a B.S. in Biology from the University of Georgia.

 

 

Jeff BoylePresident of Ellume USA LLC

Jeff Boyle has over 25 years of experience in immunology research, assay development, and commercialization. He has published more than 30 papers and has received several high-level academic awards. For the last decade Jeff has had an in vitro diagnostic focus for providing insights into unmet medical needs in infectious diseases and transplantation. He is an inventor on several patents and has led the teams necessary for taking diagnostics from concept through to registration and global commercialization.

“Ellume is committed to be establishing a long-term business in the BioHealth Capital Region.  In the short term, we’re focused on helping the U.S. emerge from this pandemic and in parallel, building local manufacturing capacity to be better prepared for the next one.,” said Jeff Boyle, President Ellume USA LLC. “I look forward to joining the BHI Board as Ellume’s representative and advancing the synergistic aims of BHI in fostering investment, jobs growth, talent retention and furthering overall firepower in the region.”

Augerson

Vice President, Head of Regional Operations Americas/ APAC and Chairman of QIAGEN’s North America Executive Leadership Team

Sean Augerson is Vice President, Head of Regional Operations Americas/ APAC and Chairman of QIAGEN’s North America Executive Leadership Team. Sean’s leadership experience includes responsibility for Americas, and APAC Manufacturing and Supply Chain.

During more than eighteen years with QIAGEN, Sean previously held leadership roles as Vice President Global Supply Chain and Customer Care, Vice President, Operations Strategy, Vice President North America Operations, and Chairman Americas Management Council. He was also responsible for creating QIAGEB+N Business Center in Manila, Philippines. Sean began his career with QIAGEN in 2000 as Executive Director of Operations for QIAGEN’s first U.S. Manufacturing Plant located in Maryland. Sean’s career has included Operations and Management roles with Dade Behring, Baxter Diagnostics, Invitrogen, Eastern Airlines, and Medical Scope Service Center.  Sean has an MBA from Nova Southeastern University and a BS from Barry University.

 

Christopher Callaghan

Group Vice President, Healthcare Banking, M&T Bank

Mr. Callaghan manages M&T’s Healthcare Banking Group, providing sales advisory, credit oversight and industry training to the team. Christopher joined M&T Bank in 1994. He has held several positions in the Corporate Banking and Institutional Investment Management Divisions at M&T, including 15 years in the Healthcare Banking Group. M&T’s Healthcare Banking Group is a Specialized Industry Group that provides Commercial Lending, Investment Banking, Treasury Management and other Financial Services to Health Systems, Hospitals, Skill Nursing Facilities and Senior Living Communities. Christopher received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Saint Michael’s College in Winooski, Vermont and a Master’s of Science in Finance from The Johns Hopkins University. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Evergreen Healthcare Cooperative, the Board of Visitors of the University of Maryland School of Nursing and is active in several healthcare industry groups.

Srujana Head shot 1

 

Before becoming CEO, Dr. Cherukuri served in multiple roles at Noble Life Sciences including Chief Operations Officer, Chief Scientific Officer, Vice President of Product Development and Operations, and Director of Scientific Affairs.  In her previous roles at Noble, Dr. Cherukuri was instrumental in optimizing new preclinical animal models and streamlining operations to achieve operational efficiency.  In addition, Dr. Cherukuri led the successful consolidation of Noble operations at the Spring Valley Laboratories site. Prior to joining Noble, Dr. Cherukuri held positions at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, National Cancer Institute and University of Maryland where she led projects focused on understanding the basic biology and mechanistic actions in cancer cells. Dr. Cherukuri has expertise in diverse areas of Biology and has 15+ years of research experience in the areas of oncology and stem cell biology.  Dr. Cherukuri completed her PhD in biology at Cleveland State University.

 

Founder and CEO, Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc.

Dr. William Hearl is the founder of Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc. and is an experienced and successful life science businessman and entrepreneur. Dr. Hearl is adept at brokering mutually beneficial partnerships and identifying non-traditional collaborations and investment opportunities. Recently, Dr. Hearl led ITI into a significant licensing agreement with Astellas Pharma Inc., to explore the use of LAMP-vax, a next-generation immunotherapy platform, for use to prevent and treat allergic diseases. ITI believes that LAMP-based nucleic acid immunotherapy may have the potential to broaden the current use of cancer immunotherapy.   In fact, preclinical data is currently being developed to explore how LAMP nucleic acid constructs could both amplify and activate the immune response in highly immunogenic tumor types and also be used to create robust immune responses to tumor types that otherwise do not provoke an immune response.

The advent of LAMP technology came from Dr. Hearl’s work with Dr. Tom August of Capital Genomix, Inc. and Johns Hopkins University. From that collaboration, ITI began operations in 2006. Dr. Hearl’s extensive experience in intellectual property management and business development led to the rewarding sub-license of the LAMP technology to Geron Corporation within 30 days of initiating operations and subsequent license agreements, valued at over $300 million, in 2015 with Japan-based Astellas for next generation allergy vaccines based on the LAMP platform.

Dr. Hearl is also the founder of Capital Genomix, Inc. (CGI), a Maryland-based biomarker and drug discovery Company and served as its first chief executive officer from inception in 2000 to late 2002 when he assumed the role of chief scientific officer. Dr. Hearl raised seed funds and series A & B funding for CGI (approximately $5 million in cash/debt). He also acquired the Dynex Technologies division of Thermo Scientific in a leveraged acquisition deal. Dynex was subsequently divested and yielded a remarkable tenfold return to the Company.

Dr. Hearl is also responsible for the acquisition and development of the core technologies of Capital Genomix: GeneSystem320™ was licensed exclusively from MD Anderson Cancer Center and the ImmunoMouse™ was invented by Dr. Hearl. Dr. Hearl also has an established record of scientific productivity over his 20 years of work in the biotech industry. He started his career as a bench scientist at Electro-Nucleonics, Inc. and developed blood based diagnostics for HIV, HTLV-I and Hepatitis C. He later worked at Life Technologies Incorporated and directed the immunodetection group. Under Dr. Hearl’s direction, the lab developed a number of innovative antibody-based detection kits and reagents. He moved into scientific management when he became the director of research and development at Kirkegaard & Perry Laboratories, Inc. in 1994.

Dr. Hearl earned his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Tennessee and B.S. from East Tennessee State University.

Donna Edmonds

Donna J Edmonds, Founder and CEO BRAINBox Solutions

Donna has 35+ years of healthcare experience, beginning as critical care nurse, and migrating to operations and senior management as a hospital administrator, GM of a large physician group practice and then recruited to industry, in clinical leadership positions. 

She spent 8+ years with Baxter in Senior/VP (group) executive positions in business development, sales and marketing of clinical products aimed at improving care and reducing health care costs. She has served in Senior Executive Management roles for 10 diagnostic companies in her career and was in key leadership roles in two company exits.

She is a recognized leader in Cardiovascular Diagnostics, changing clinical practice in this space, as part of the discovery, development and commercial launch of a series of the key diagnostic products in the field.

She was a governor appointed member of the Va BioTech Research Park Authority for 9 years and a member of the Intellectual Property Board of Directors for Virginia Commonwealth University for 8 yrs.

She is a founder of Virginia Life Sciences Investments, Inc. and led the Series A investment in ImmunArray LTD, the original home of the broad portfolio of biomarkers for Neurological Disease Diagnosis and Monitoring spun out in late 2018 to BRAINBox Solutions, where she is a founding member and CEO.

KlenkBio 002

Juergen Klenk - Principal - Deloitte Consulting, LLP

Juergen Klenk, Ph.D. is a Principal in Deloitte’s Federal Health Sector. He has a deep technical expertise combined with strong business acumen and a track record of over 20 years of experience in leadership, strategic planning, business development, consulting, project management, science and technology, analytics, and research. Dr. Klenk is highly experienced entrepreneur and thought leader who has demonstrated the ability to start up, grow, and successfully establish innovative businesses in Health Analytics. He has successfully led teams across a wide variety of health and science focused organizations including government health care organizations (e.g., HHS, NIH, FDA, CDC, CMS, and VA), academic medical centers, commercial health care providers, pharmaceutical and biotech companies, and nonprofit organizations. He served as CEO and CTO of a bioinformatics startup company that pioneered AI technology for image and text analytics of biomedical data. For the past 15 years, his work has beeb focused on topics including precision medicine, health data strategy at the intersection of ML/AI, Cloud, and Cyber, clinical trials optimization, health outcomes research, and scientific research and innovation.

Dr. Klenk has authored numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals, holds multiple patents, and has been invited to present at multiple international conferences. He holds a Ph.D. in Mathematics from Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen (Germany), and a masters degree in mathematics and Physics from Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen (Germany), as well as a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification.

 

 

Ron Kurz

Ron Kurz, Senior Director / GM at Canon Virginia, Inc. (CVI)

Ronald C. Kurz is the Senior Director / GM at Canon Virginia, Inc. (CVI), the Canon manufacturing, engineering, recycling and technical support center for the Americas located in Newport News, Virginia.  Serving in a dual role, Ron is responsible for CVI’s Medical business including Sales, P&L, and Strategy. In addition, Ron is also responsible for the Business Development Division, including the development of strategic partnerships that leverage Canon Technology and Manufacturing Know-how. Prior to this position, he led the R&D division in the design and development of medical products for Canon BioMedical, Inc., which was a newly created Canon company.  Ron has worked for Canon Virginia for more than 23 years.

Prior to joining Canon, Ron served as a Mechanical Design Engineer for nVIEW Corp, responsible for video projector design and as a Product Design Engineer for GE Aircraft controls, responsible for mechanical design and thermal / vibration analysis of Flight and Engine controls.

Ron holds multiple patents and has previously served on the Old Dominion University’s College of Engineering and Technology Advisory Board. He received his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Binghamton University.

 

Anthony Lakavage

Anthony Lakavage, J.D.Anthony Lakavage, J.D.Senior Vice President, Global External Affairs - Secretary, USP Convention - Secretary, USP Board of Trustees

Anthony Lakavage is Senior Vice President, Global External Affairs and Secretary, USP Convention and Board of Trustees. In his role, Mr. Lakavage oversees Global Communications, U.S. and International Public Policy and Regulatory Affairs, Global Stakeholder Engagement and the USP Quality Institute. He is the lead architect of the organization’s external engagement strategy and represents USP in a variety of forums involving the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Congress, international regulatory authorities and ministries of health, professional and trade organizations, non-governmental organizations and the news media.Anthony Lakavage is Senior Vice President, Global External Affairs and Secretary, USP Convention and Board of Trustees. In his role, Mr. Lakavage oversees Global Communications, U.S. and International Public Policy and Regulatory Affairs, Global Stakeholder Engagement and the USP Quality Institute. He is the lead architect of the organization’s external engagement strategy and represents USP in a variety of forums involving the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Congress, international regulatory authorities and ministries of health, professional and trade organizations, non-governmental organizations and the news media.

As secretary to the USP Convention, Mr. Lakavage works closely with the 450 member organizations comprising the USP Convention, which includes healthcare practitioner and patient organizations, industry associations, and governments. As Secretary to the Board, he supports the Board’s work on organization strategy, and financial and risk management. He is an officer of the USP Convention.As secretary to the USP Convention, Mr. Lakavage works closely with the 450 member organizations comprising the USP Convention, which includes healthcare practitioner and patient organizations, industry associations, and governments. As Secretary to the Board, he supports the Board’s work on organization strategy, and financial and risk management. He is an officer of the USP Convention.

Mr. Lakavage has worked in numerous segments of the life sciences industry including the pharmaceutical, vaccine, medical technology, and clinical laboratory sectors. His experience is geographically diverse and spans the U.S. federal and state level, Europe, global institutions and emerging markets.Mr. Lakavage has worked in numerous segments of the life sciences industry including the pharmaceutical, vaccine, medical technology, and clinical laboratory sectors. His experience is geographically diverse and spans the U.S. federal and state level, Europe, global institutions and emerging markets.

Mr. Lakavage brings more than twenty years of demonstrated leadership in public affairs; public policy and government relations; and global health advocacy to his role at USP. A biopharmaceutical industry veteran, Mr. Lakavage has held a variety of US and international public policy and government affairs leadership roles for GlaxoSmithKline, Gilead Sciences, Chiron Corporation and Applied Biosystems. Prior to joining USP, Mr. Lakavage worked in the medical technology sector serving as Worldwide Vice President, Public Affairs, at Becton Dickinson. Earlier in his career, he worked for Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. Mark Singel and Missouri Congressman Alan Wheat.Mr. Lakavage brings more than twenty years of demonstrated leadership in public affairs; public policy and government relations; and global health advocacy to his role at USP. A biopharmaceutical industry veteran, Mr. Lakavage has held a variety of US and international public policy and government affairs leadership roles for GlaxoSmithKline, Gilead Sciences, Chiron Corporation and Applied Biosystems. Prior to joining USP, Mr. Lakavage worked in the medical technology sector serving as Worldwide Vice President, Public Affairs, at Becton Dickinson. Earlier in his career, he worked for Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. Mark Singel and Missouri Congressman Alan Wheat.

Mr. Lakavage earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree, cum laude, in International Politics from Saint Joseph's University, and his Juris Doctorate, cum laude, from the Temple University School of Law–where he served on the Temple Political & Civil Rights Law Review staff. He is admitted to the bar in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.Mr. Lakavage earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree, cum laude, in International Politics from Saint Joseph's University, and his Juris Doctorate, cum laude, from the Temple University School of Law–where he served on the Temple Political & Civil Rights Law Review staff. He is admitted to the bar in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

LinkedIn

joel-marcusExecutive Chairman & Founder, Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc.

Joel S. Marcus is the Executive Chairman and Founder of Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. (NYSE:ARE), an urban office REIT uniquely focused on collaborative life science and technology campuses in urban innovation clusters. Mr. Marcus co-founded Alexandria in 1994 as a garage startup with $19 million in Series A capital and, as CEO from March 1997 to April 2018, has led its growth into an S&P 500 company with an approximately $18 billion total market capitalization and significant market presence in leading AAA locations, including Greater Boston, San Francisco, New York City, San Diego, Seattle, Maryland, and Research Triangle Park. In, 1996, Mr. Marcus founded Alexandria Venture Investments, the company’s venture arm, which provides strategic capital to transformative life science and technology companies.

kurt newman childrens national headshotPresident and Chief Executive Officer, Children's National

Kurt Newman, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer, is a surgeon and recognized leader in pediatric health, nationally and in Washington, DC. Since becoming CEO in 2011, he has fostered a culture of patient-centered care and championed innovations in research, operations, and clinical care. He has forged productive partnerships with other health systems in the region, with government and community entities and with industry at the local, national, and global level. He is also astrong advocate for expanding mental health access for kids and has led two national forums on this issue.

PermanBio 002

Dr. Jay Perman - Chancellor - University System of Maryland

Jay A. Perman, MD, became the fifth chancellor of the University System of Maryland (USM) in January 2020. Prior to this appointment, Dr. Perman, a pediatric gastroenterologist, served as president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) for nearly a decade. As UMB president, Dr. Perman strengthened that institution’s ties to the city of Baltimore, growing innovation-based economic development activities and spearheading programs to improve the health and well-being of UMB’s closest neighbors.

Dr. Perman’s UMB presidency was marked by excellence in education and research. Each of UMB’s professional schools—medicine, law, dentistry, pharmacy, nursing, and social work—has been singled out for recognition in national and international publications, most notably in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Graduate Schools, U.S. News & World Report’s Global University Rankings, and the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

As chancellor, Dr. Perman has committed to advancing higher education affordability for all students in Maryland. He also plans to build on USM’s reputation for educational innovation, particularly in research, economic development, and community engagement.

Dr. Perman received his Doctor of Medicine degree with Distinction in 1972 from Northwestern University. After his residency in pediatrics at Northwestern University Children’s Memorial Hospital, he completed a fellowship in pediatric gastroenterology at Harvard Medical School and at Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Boston in 1977.

 

rivers

Dr. Tyrell Rivers is Executive Director of Corporate Development & Ventures at AstraZeneca, where he is responsible for creating and executing innovative, value-enhancing business strategies.  Prior to assuming this role in 2014, he worked at MedImmune Ventures, specializing in biotechnology investing. Earlier in his career, Dr. Rivers held various positions at Merck & Co., where he led technical support for commercial vaccines and directed global business initiatives for accessing key technologies for research and development. He currently serves as a Board member of ADC Therapeutics, Cerapedics, Goldfinch Bio and VaxEquity. Dr. Rivers holds his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, and an M.B.A. from the New York University Stern School of Business.

roberts

Senior Manager, External R&D, Scientific Collaborations

GSK Vaccines

Dr. Steven Roberts joined GSK Vaccines in May 2021, where he is responsible for initiating collaborations with U.S. research institutions to advance the development of new vaccines and platform technologies. In this role, he works across industry, academia, and federal research groups to identify cutting edge opportunities. Prior to joining GSK, Dr. Roberts was as a Venture Analyst Associate at Biohealth Innovation, where he led initiatives to strengthen and grow research within the Biohealth Capital Region.

 

john-sackett-small-2

Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Shady Grove Hospital

John A. Sackett joined the Adventist HealthCare family as President of Shady Grove Adventist Hospital in April, 2013.

Mr. Sackett began his career in health care at Boulder Memorial Hospital as an administrative assistant in 1982. John served as Vice President for General Services from March, 1984 until being named President of Avista Adventist Hospital, formerly Boulder Memorial Hospital, in June of 1989. In 1996 when Avista Adventist Hospital became a member of Centura Health, John was named Senior Vice President for Mission and Ministry, in addition to his responsibilities as Administrator for Avista Adventist Hospital. John currently serves Centura as the Chief Executive Officer for Avista Adventist Hospital in Louisville, Colorado.

John received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from Walla Walla College in 1980 and continued his education at Loma Linda University where he received a Masters in Health Administration in 1982. John is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, serves on several community boards and legislative councils. John served as a City Council member for the City of Louisville from 1986 to 1991 and the Louisville Chamber Board from 1993 to 1996. John has also served as the Chairman of the Walla Walla School of Business Advisory Board. John was born in 1956, married in 1984 and he and his wife Sue have two children, Gregory and Rena.

John is a frequent speaker and writer on the role of Adventist health care in carrying out the healing ministry of Christ and feels this ministry occurs in each and every act performed by each and every person within the hospital.

 

Bob Silverman

Chief Business Officer, Rejuveron Life Sciences.

Bob Silverman leads the “External Drug Discovery Partnering” team of Roche Partnering. Among other matters, Bob is responsible for delivering a structured and systematic approach to venture capital that translates to reach into drug discovery stage innovation via deals originating from venture capital interactions. Prior to his current role, from 2010 – 2012 Bob was a project leader for Merger & Acquisitions, in the Strategic Partnering Group of Roche Partnering. From 2003 – 2010 Bob was a Global Licensing Director for Roche Pharma Partnering, responsible for negotiating intellectual property based licensing agreements across the full value chain of the Pharma business, ranging from enabling technologies and early phase opportunities to clinical stage assets to promoting and divesting marketed products. From 2001 – 2003 Bob was a Global Licensing Attorney. Bob joined Roche in 1993. Early in his career at Roche Bob was Senior Counsel for the US Affiliate patent department. Bob holds a degree in Chemistry from Franklin & Marshall College and a J.D. from Boston University School of Law, and is a registered patent attorney.

 

Aubrey Watkins III

Aubrey Watkins III, Ph.D., M.S. - Senior Director, Corporate Development, Scientific Affairs, Emergent BioSolutions Inc.

Dr. Aubrey Watkins III is Senior Director, Corporate Development and Scientific Affairs, at Emergent BioSolutions where he leads due diligence and technical evaluations to facilitate mergers and acquisitions that supports the company’s growth strategy. Dr. Watkins was an integral member of the Corporate Development team that resulted in the company’s two largest acquisitions of PaxVax, Inc., and Adapt Pharma, Inc., maker of the opioid overdose rescue drug, Narcan®.Dr. Aubrey Watkins III is Senior Director, Corporate Development and Scientific Affairs, at Emergent BioSolutions where he leads due diligence and technical evaluations to facilitate mergers and acquisitions that supports the company’s growth strategy. Dr. Watkins was an integral member of the Corporate Development team that resulted in the company’s two largest acquisitions of PaxVax, Inc., and Adapt Pharma, Inc., maker of the opioid overdose rescue drug, Narcan®.


Dr. Watkins previously held the position of Director, Business Development & Licensing at Merck Sharp & Dohme, Inc.  in Kenilworth, NJ, with responsibility for both preclinical and clinical transactions for the growth of Merck's Oncology drug pipeline. His most notable transactions were for the launch of Keytruda® a breakthrough immuno-oncology drug (monoclonal antibody) used for the treatment of over 12 different types of cancer with sales exceeding $11 Billion dollars in 2021.
As Associate Director in Global Procurement at Merck, Dr. Watkins led vendor selection, negotiated contracts, and managed a budget in excess of $150M per year on behalf of Merck Research Laboratories and Merck Manufacturing Division. 

Dr. Watkins worked as a Biochemist for 11 years in cancer research at Merck where he developed in vitro and in vivo assays and co-discovered MK-2206, an anti-cancer drug candidate studied in over 50 clinical trials. Prior to joining Merck, he held the position of Molecular Biologist at The DuPont Merck Pharmaceutical Company in the Applied Biotechnology and Molecular Biology Department (Wilmington, DE).  

Dr. Watkins holds a Bachelor of Science degree (B.S.) in Biochemistry and Biophysics from the University of Pittsburgh, a Master of Science degree (M.S.) in Pharmacology from Thomas Jefferson University, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree (Ph.D.) in Molecular Pharmacology and Structural Biology from Thomas Jefferson University as a selected participant in the distinguished Merck Research Laboratories Doctoral Study Program. In addition to his academic and professional career,

Dr. Watkins proudly served in the United States Army Reserve as a (12B) Combat Engineer and supported the 101st Airborne Division during Operation Desert Storm. 

Key leadership roles include his post as the President of the League of Employees of African Descent (L.E.A.D.) at Merck and as International Chapter Leader for Merck's Business Insights Roundtable. He was a member of the Scientific Advisory Board and The Leadership Council at The Wistar Institute (Philadelphia, PA, 2008-2018). Dr. Watkins also served on the Jefferson College of Biomedical Sciences Alumni Board (TJU, 2016 – 2018).  He is currently the President of the Montgomery County Public Schools Biotechnology CTE program advisory committee in Maryland and is the proud father of three sons (Aubrey, Andre, and Christian). He has been married to his lovely wife Teresa for 16 years and enjoys weightlifting, cycling, and riding his motorcycle.