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Our Story

AIM-HI was born when Dr. Sujuan Ba, Franklin Salisbury, and Charlie Weatherspoon – realized a major obstacle to their vision for the National Foundation for Cancer Research:

AIM-HI was born when Dr. Sujuan Ba, Franklin Salisbury, and Charlie Weatherspoon – realized a major obstacle to their vision for the National Foundation for Cancer Research:

some of the most promising
oncology therapeutic
discoveries and early-stage
companies were failing due
to lack of seed funding before
they can get to the clinic.

Therapeutic development in pre-clinical stage is both an expensive and risky investment, which is enough to scare away most traditional VCs. Dr. Ba, Mr. Salisbury and Mr. Weatherspoon co-founded AIM-HI in 2019 with the commitment to bridging this “Valley of Death” and providing the support that these entrepreneurs and researchers need.

With the initial grants from NFCR, AIM-HI has since invested in fifteen promising start-ups, fourteen of these companies have since received additional investments from other investors and one company secured a commercial licensing from a large medical device company.

We have also identified another barrier in therapeutic development: women scientist-entrepreneurs were grossly underfunded comparing to their male counterparts. From this realization, the Women’s Venture Competition was born, the first of its kind to specifically support female entrepreneurs in the oncology arena because we believe it is important to have women’s perspective in developing cancer therapeutics when women are equally affected by cancer as men.

Now, AIM-HI is looking to break barriers yet again in the non-profit impact investment landscape. Our non-profit aims to achieve the “Evergreen Model” of charitable giving and impact investing. Returns on successful portfolio investments will be re-invested back into promising oncology discoveries and startups in a self-perpetuating cycle. AIM-HI plans to to create a sustainable model for cancer research funding.

We continue to look for new ways to empower
scientist-entrepreneurs and bring life-saving
treatments to cancer patients.
Our Team
Sujuan Ba, Ph.D

Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer

Sujuan Ba, Ph.D

Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Sujuan Ba is the Co-Founder and CEO of the AIM-HI Accelerator Fund. She currently serves as President and CEO of the National Foundation for Cancer Research, and the Founder and CEO of the Asian Fund for Cancer Research. In addition, Dr. Ba co-founded and serves as a founding board member of the Global Coalition for Adaptive Research (GCAR), the organizing body leading the global implementation of GBM AGILE, a groundbreaking adaptive clinical trial initiative designed to produce new and better treatments for glioblastoma multiforme, a fatal brain cancer.

Dr. Ba led the establishment of NFCR’s annual Szent-Györgyi Prize for Progress in Cancer Research, an international prize in recognition of outstanding scientific achievement in the war against cancer. She has served continuously as co-chair of the Prize Selection Committee which consists of leaders in academic and pharmaceutical sectors. The prize has now grown into one of the premier cancer research awards in the world.

She is also the former President of the Chinese Biopharmaceutical Association, and serves on the International Consulting Committee of the China National Research Center for Translational Medicine (Shanghai). She also sits on the Scientific Advisory Boards of Medelis, Inc. (Fountain Hills, Arizona) and Immunicom Inc. (San Diego).

Dr. Ba is a member of the Editorial Board of the Chinese Journal of Cancer and formerly served on the Membership Committee of the International Union against Cancer (Geneva). She also belongs to BayHelix, an invitation-only organization of leaders of Chinese origin involved globally in life sciences and health.

She was recognized in 2017 by the Chinese Medical Doctor Association for her outstanding contributions to international cooperation. She was named as one of the “Top 300 Women Leaders in Global Health” in 2015 by the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies’ Global Health Programme. She was awarded the 2014 Public Service Award from the Chinese Biopharmaceutical Association–USA for her long term devotion and distinguished service to the global biopharmaceutical community. In 2011, she was selected to receive the CRS WOMEN IN SCIENCES award.

Dr. Ba received her B.S. in radiochemistry from Peking University and her Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania.

Learn More about Sujuan..

Kwok Leung, Ph.D.

Chief Financial Officer

Kwok Leung, Ph.D.

Chief Financial Officer

Dr. Kwok Leung serves as the CFO of the AIM-HI Accelerator Fund. He is also CFO & Secretary of the National Foundation for Cancer Research.

Dr. Leung joined the National Foundation for Cancer Research (NFCR) as a consultant in 2003 and was promoted to Controller in 2008.  He oversees three supporting functions of NFCR’s operations: accounting and reporting, compliance, and human resource and office administration.

Prior to joining NFCR, Dr. Leung was a faculty at the Catholic University of America, and at the University of Maryland, College Park, teaching accounting at both undergraduate and graduate levels.  His research interests were management accounting and executive compensation.  He also served as consulting staff and researcher for the World Bank and U.S. Department of Transportation.

Dr. Leung received his B.B.A (Hon.) from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, College Park, majoring in accounting and minoring in finance and statistics.  He was a licensed CPA in Maryland.

Brian Leyland-Jones, MBBS, Ph.D.

Chief Medical Officer

Brian Leyland-Jones, MBBS, Ph.D.

Chief Medical Officer

Brian Leyland-Jones, BSc (Ist class Hons), MBBS, PhD, FRACP, FRCPC is the Chief Medical Officer and Scientific Advisory Board Member for the National Foundation for Cancer Research (NFCR) and Chief Scientific Officer of The Darwin Foundation. He also serves as the Chief Medical Officer of Xylonix and the N OF 1 Mission, collectively devoted to the implementation of prevention and cure of malignancy globally.  He sits on several national and international boards including the Asian Foundation for Cancer Research (AFCR), NED Biosystems, Non-Pareil, Ratio and is Director Emeritus for the WIN Consortium.  He founded Xanthus, AKESOgen and Viviphi.

Dr.  Leyland-Jones holds biochemistry, medical, and doctoral degrees from the University of London. Following residency training at Hammersmith, Brompton, St. Bartholomew’s and London hospitals, he completed a clinical pharmacology fellowship at Cornell University and a medical oncology fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He then joined the academic staff at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and New York Hospitals with a special research interest in Early Phase clinical, clinical pharmacological and biomarker evaluation of many anticancer compounds, including the platinums and anthracycline analogs in use today. In 1983, he moved to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to head the Developmental Chemotherapy section. During his time with the NCI, he was responsible for the overall development of approximately 70 anti-cancer compounds in various stages of transition from in-vitro screening to Phase III clinical trials, including overseeing the early development of paclitaxel in Phase 1 and 2 trials. From 1990 to 2000, he served as founding chair of Oncology and director of the McGill University Comprehensive Cancer Centre. He recruited and built a broad multifaceted cancer centre, including a robust cross-hospital clinical trials enterprise, with deep clinical pharmacologic and biomarker support. Dr. Leyland-Jones continued as the Minda de Gunzberg Chair in Oncology and professor of medicine at McGill University in Montreal, Canada for 7 additional years, focusing on the development and biomarker strategies of several of the new targeted oncologic agents.

He joined Emory University in 2007. As Director of the Winship Cancer Centre and Associate Vice-President of Health Sciences, Dr. Leyland-Jones lead the Centre to obtain National Cancer Institute Cancer Centre Designation, the first in the State of Georgia, and for the first time in 30 years.  Dr. Leyland-Jones was instrumental in building the Genomics Medicine Program at the Avera Cancer Institute in Sioux Falls, SD where he was the Vice President of Molecular and Experimental Medicine from 2014-2019.   Dr. Leyland-Jones’ principal academic contributions have been in the fields of anticancer therapy development, the pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacogenetics of oncological clinical trials, the translation of preclinical models into the clinic, biomarker endpoints in Phase I/II clinical trials, and screening and mechanistic studies of novel targeted and chemotherapeutic anticancer agents.

Dr. Leyland-Jones is the recipient of numerous research grants, and has served as principal, co-principal and co-investigator on more than 100 clinical studies. He has authored and co-authored more than 210 peer-reviewed articles and book contributions, 25 books and book chapters, 425 abstracts and 35 patents.  He has a robust speaking and private consulting practice that takes him all over the world.

Brian Leyland-Jones, BSc (Ist class Hons), MB BS, PhD, FRACP, FRCPC is the Chief Medical Officer and Scientific Advisory Board Member for NFCR. He also serves as the Chief Medical Officer of OTraces and the N OF 1 Mission, CSO of The Darwin Foundation, collectively devoted to the implementation of prevention and cure of malignancy globally. He sits on several national and international boards including AFCR, NED Biosystems, Non-Pareil, Ratio and is Director Emeritus for the WIN Consortium. He founded Xanthus, AKESOgen and Viviphi.

Dr. Leyland-Jones holds biochemistry, medical, and doctoral degrees from the University of London. Following residency training at Hammersmith, Brompton, St. Bartholomew’s and London hospitals, he completed a clinical pharmacology fellowship at Cornell University and a medical oncology fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He then joined the academic staff at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and New York Hospitals with a special research interest in Early Phase clinical, clinical pharmacological and biomarker evaluation of many anticancer compounds, including the platinums and anthracycline analogs in use today. In 1983, he moved to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to head the Developmental Chemotherapy section. He was responsible for the overall development of approximately 70 anti-cancer compounds in various stages of transition from in-vitro screening to Phase III clinical trials. From 1990 to 2000, he served as founding chair of Oncology and director of the McGill University Comprehensive Cancer Centre. He recruited and built a broad multifaceted cancer centre, including a robust cross-hospital clinical trials enterprise. Dr. Leyland-Jones continued as the Minda de Gunzberg Chair in Oncology and professor of medicine at McGill University in Montreal, Canada for 7 additional years, focusing on the development and biomarker strategies of several new targeted oncologic agents. He joined Emory University in 2007 as Director of the Winship Cancer Centre and Associate Vice-President of Health Sciences. Dr. Leyland-Jones was instrumental in building the Genomics Medicine Program at the Avera Cancer Institute where he was the Vice President of Molecular and Experimental Medicine from 2014-2019.  

Dr. Leyland-Jones’ principal academic contributions have been in the fields of anticancer therapy development, the pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacogenetics of oncological clinical trials, the translation of preclinical models into the clinic, biomarker endpoints in Phase I/II clinical trials, and screening and mechanistic studies of novel targeted and chemotherapeutic anticancer agents. Dr. Leyland-Jones is the recipient of numerous research grants, and has served as principal, co-principal and co-investigator on more than 100 clinical studies. He has authored and co-authored more than 210 peer-reviewed articles and book contributions, 25 books and book chapters, 425 abstracts and 35 patents. He has a robust speaking and private consulting practice that takes him all over the world.

Rose Wang, MBA

Executive Advisor

Rose Wang, MBA

Executive Advisor

Ms. Rose Wang serves as Executive Advisor of the AIM-HI Accelerator Fund. She is a serial technology entrepreneur and founder of Binary Group, an IT consulting firm providing enterprise solutions. She spearheaded the company growth in a highly competitive market and built a multi-disciplined team of seasoned industry and former government leaders. Fortune recognized Ms. Wang in 2013 as one of the “Most Powerful Woman Entrepreneurs” that year. In its 18-year history, the firm was recognized many times for the exceptional results they deliver to their customers. In 2015 and 2016, Ms. Wang sold the firm in successive transactions.

Ms. Wang is a highly regarded IT strategist and an entrepreneur. Early in her career, she was a pivotal engineering team member for Lighthouse Design, a Silicon Valley software startup that built tools for developers and end users. After a successful acquisition of Lighthouse by Sun Microsystems, Ms. Wang launched a Rent-A-CTO boutique consultancy, securing contracts from Fortune 500 companies, including MCI, Fannie Mae and Sprint. Ms. Wang joined the venture-backed startup InLine Software as their Chief Architect, leading product development of enterprise software. Ms. Wang also founded an online women’s business community, iBizWomen.com.

Ms. Wang is a thought leader on strategic marketing, business development, and small business issues as well as government procurement policies. She is a two-term Council Member of the National Women’s Business Council, a non-partisan federal advisory council created to serve as an independent source of advice and counsel to the President, Congress, and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) on economic issues of importance to women business owners. She also serves as a Trustee to Excelsior College and a member of the Board of Directors at Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP). She recently earned two international MBA’s from Georgetown University and ESADE (Spain) respectively.

Ella Ye

Program Coordinator

Ella Ye

Program Coordinator

Ms. Ella Ye currently serves as the Program Manager at the AIM-HI Accelerator Fund. In this capacity she manages the implementation of the organization’s Annual Conference, the AIM-HI Women’s Initiatives and annual venture competition programs, including the AIM-HI Women’s Venture Competition, “Charting the Course” interview series, the Beacon Award for Women Leaders in Oncology, and the BRACE Award Venture Competition. She plays an essential role in the establishment and maintenance of the organization’s virtual conference center, the Oncology Metaverse. Ms. Ye is also responsible for the coordination and communications with the organization’s Program Advisors, sponsors, portfolio companies, and oversees the marketing and promotion to ensure the success of the programs. 

Ms. Ye obtained her Bachelor degree in Economics from the Renmin University of China in 2014, and her Master degree in International Economics and Finance from the Brandeis University International Business School in 2016.

Board of Directors
Charlie Weatherspoon

Chairman and Co-founder

Charlie Weatherspoon

Chairman and Co-founder

Charlie Weatherspoon co-founded The AIM HI Translational Research Fund (AIM-HI) and serves as the chairman of the board. He is the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Integral CFO Services LLC. Integral CFO Services provides resource networking, business consulting and various management related services in finance, marketing and investor relations.

Bachelors of Administrative Sciences, Yale University

Integral CFO Services specializes in strategic planning for small and medium size businesses in assisting them in obtaining and maintaining resources as well as assisting with their working capital needs. Charlie has been active in providing these services since the mid-1990’s in various capacities. In addition, he has served as Strategic Account Manager for McKesson, interim manager for Tech Services International’s Credit Department and as a credit specialist for FCI and Medrad.

Presently through various partnerships, Charlie provides his skills and experiences in assisting the economic development and growth of small businesses in the African, Caribbean and African-American communities in Delaware.

In 1989, Charlie was the area credit manager for E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Company’s Asia Pacific and domestic exports. Before leaving DuPont in 1992, he was a credit account manager in the Automotive Products Department. From 1978 to 1989, Charlie held various financial positions at Mellon Bank N.A. including Corporate Financial Planning and Control, Credit Review and Recovery Department (workouts) and assistant section manager of the Energy and Utilities Section with a $2 billion exposure. Prior to leaving Mellon, he was a relationship manager in the Corporate Banking Department’s western division with responsibility for a $175+ million portfolio as well as being assigned the relationship manager for the major companies in
the steel industry. As relationship manager, Charlie was directly responsible for working with the executives of these companies to ensure that all their finance concerns were being appropriately
addressed. This included but was not limited to traditional loan products, cash management, project finance, and mergers and acquisitions.

Charlie is active in various non-profit organizations. He is a member of the Board of Advisors of the National Foundation for Cancer Research and is currently the Vice President of the Board of Directors and a board member of the West Center City Early Learning Center (Delaware), which provides education for inter-city children from low-income families. He is also active in efforts in the fight against colon cancer through the Eric Davis Foundation’s involvement with the National Colorectal Cancer Round Table.

Matt Tremblay, Ph.D.

Vice Chairman

Matt Tremblay, Ph.D.

Vice Chairman

Dr. Tremblay currently serves as the Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of AIM-HI. He is the chief operating officer of Scripps Research, as well as the chief operating officer for its drug discovery division, the California Institute for Biological Research (Calibr). He is responsible for developing and implementing corporate strategy for Scripps Research and Calibr, as well as the management of day-to-day operations. Tremblay works closely with the chief executive officer to create the long term strategic vision for the institute and advance new business development opportunities. Administrative functions reporting to the chief operating officer span business development, program management and clinical operations, legal and research services, information technology, and facilities, and encompass over 300 employees.

Doctorate in Chemistry, Columbia University

Tremblay played a key role in establishing Calibr in 2012, where he led a team of biologists in the discovery of new therapeutic agents for metabolic, cardiovascular and autoimmune diseases.

As Calibr grew to a 100+ employee drug discovery organization, he facilitated the launch of a number of strategic collaborations with major foundations and pharmaceutical companies, and was subsequently promoted to chief operating officer. When Calibr became an affiliate of Scripps Research in 2016, Tremblay took on the additional role of vice president for Business Development at the institute, before being named chief operating officer of the combined institutes in 2018. Tremblay earned his doctorate in Chemistry at Columbia University. Following postdoctoral work in the laboratory of Peter Schultz at Scripps Research, he led a group at the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation before joining Calibr.

Franklin Salisbury, Jr.

Co-founder and Director

Franklin Salisbury, Jr.

Co-founder and Director

Franklin Salisbury, Jr. has a background in economics, law and religion. Trained in resource economics at Yale, he has spent his career fostering innovative collaborations with experts in different fields so they might work together to address and solve acute social, healthcare and environmental issues.

Bachelors of Economics, Yale University
Masters of Religion, University of Chicago
Juris Doctor, University of Chicago School of Law

Salisbury served as CEO of the National Foundation for Cancer Research from 1997-2018 where under his leadership NFCR has become a catalyst stimulating the kind of “disruptive innovation” to accelerate new approaches to preventing, diagnosing and treating cancer. Many of the strategic research initiatives of NFCR have become a global research platform that is facilitating both basic and translational research to accelerate cancer research and transform 21st century cancer prevention, diagnostics and care.

Salisbury is also a co-founder of the Asian Fund for Cancer Research, headquartered in Hong Kong, which has enabled cancer researchers in Asia and worldwide to pool their resources and stop duplicating their efforts—accelerating discoveries being made and reducing the cost of achieving them for Asian prevalent cancers.

In 2018, Salisbury co-founded the Adaptive Innovative Medical Hi-Impact Initiatives Translational Research Fund (AIM-HI), a 501(c)(3) accelerator fund which provides university based oncology startups with funding to bridge the “Valley of the Death.” The AIM- HI Translational Research Fund supports a virtual “pipeline” of cancer therapeutics development from the discovery phase through several stages of clinical evaluation, accelerating FDA approval and commercialization of these new approaches to preventing, diagnosing and treating cancer. Eight startups have been launched to commercialize the research discoveries for potential new treatments.

Mark Baran

Director

Mark Baran

Director

Mark R. Baran currently serves on the board of AIM-HI. He is the Founder and President of Net Lease 1031, LLC which was formed to provide a customized approach for real estate investors and their advisors by leading a coordinated strategy for unique solutions in the disposition of their real estate in a tax efficient manner.

Bachelors of architecture and administrative science, Yale University
Certified Investment Management Analyst, University of Pennsylvania Wharton School

Prior to Net Lease 1031 he was the Co-Founder of Four Springs Capital, LLC where he originally led the Capital Markets Group since its formation in 2008 before specializing in the 1031 DST tax deferred division of the firm during which he advised investors, accountants and attorneys throughout the country. Mark has more than thirty years of experience in real estate, investment management and private equity including senior roles in real estate at JMB Realty and Boston Capital. Prior to Four Springs Capital, LLC, Mark advised high net worth investors, family offices and foundations at Neuberger Berman, Nicholas Applegate, State Street Research and Spencer Trask Ventures as well as Yale University raising funds for the Yale endowment. 

Mark currently serves on the Council of Advisors for the National Foundation for Cancer Research and is the former chairman of its investment committee. He is also the founder of Swim4TheCure and has been active in various community and alumni organizations at Yale University and in Greenwich Connecticut.

Brian Leyland-Jones, MBBS, Ph.D.

Chief Medical Officer

Brian Leyland-Jones, MBBS, Ph.D.

Chief Medical Officer

Brian Leyland-Jones, BSc (Ist class Hons), MBBS, PhD, FRACP, FRCPC is the Chief Medical Officer and Scientific Advisory Board Member for the National Foundation for Cancer Research (NFCR) and Chief Scientific Officer of The Darwin Foundation. He also serves as the Chief Medical Officer of Xylonix and the N OF 1 Mission, collectively devoted to the implementation of prevention and cure of malignancy globally.  He sits on several national and international boards including the Asian Foundation for Cancer Research (AFCR), NED Biosystems, Non-Pareil, Ratio and is Director Emeritus for the WIN Consortium.  He founded Xanthus, AKESOgen and Viviphi.

Dr.  Leyland-Jones holds biochemistry, medical, and doctoral degrees from the University of London. Following residency training at Hammersmith, Brompton, St. Bartholomew’s and London hospitals, he completed a clinical pharmacology fellowship at Cornell University and a medical oncology fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He then joined the academic staff at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and New York Hospitals with a special research interest in Early Phase clinical, clinical pharmacological and biomarker evaluation of many anticancer compounds, including the platinums and anthracycline analogs in use today. In 1983, he moved to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to head the Developmental Chemotherapy section. During his time with the NCI, he was responsible for the overall development of approximately 70 anti-cancer compounds in various stages of transition from in-vitro screening to Phase III clinical trials, including overseeing the early development of paclitaxel in Phase 1 and 2 trials. From 1990 to 2000, he served as founding chair of Oncology and director of the McGill University Comprehensive Cancer Centre. He recruited and built a broad multifaceted cancer centre, including a robust cross-hospital clinical trials enterprise, with deep clinical pharmacologic and biomarker support. Dr. Leyland-Jones continued as the Minda de Gunzberg Chair in Oncology and professor of medicine at McGill University in Montreal, Canada for 7 additional years, focusing on the development and biomarker strategies of several of the new targeted oncologic agents.

He joined Emory University in 2007. As Director of the Winship Cancer Centre and Associate Vice-President of Health Sciences, Dr. Leyland-Jones lead the Centre to obtain National Cancer Institute Cancer Centre Designation, the first in the State of Georgia, and for the first time in 30 years.  Dr. Leyland-Jones was instrumental in building the Genomics Medicine Program at the Avera Cancer Institute in Sioux Falls, SD where he was the Vice President of Molecular and Experimental Medicine from 2014-2019.   Dr. Leyland-Jones’ principal academic contributions have been in the fields of anticancer therapy development, the pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacogenetics of oncological clinical trials, the translation of preclinical models into the clinic, biomarker endpoints in Phase I/II clinical trials, and screening and mechanistic studies of novel targeted and chemotherapeutic anticancer agents.

Dr. Leyland-Jones is the recipient of numerous research grants, and has served as principal, co-principal and co-investigator on more than 100 clinical studies. He has authored and co-authored more than 210 peer-reviewed articles and book contributions, 25 books and book chapters, 425 abstracts and 35 patents.  He has a robust speaking and private consulting practice that takes him all over the world.

Brian Leyland-Jones, BSc (Ist class Hons), MB BS, PhD, FRACP, FRCPC is the Chief Medical Officer and Scientific Advisory Board Member for NFCR. He also serves as the Chief Medical Officer of OTraces and the N OF 1 Mission, CSO of The Darwin Foundation, collectively devoted to the implementation of prevention and cure of malignancy globally. He sits on several national and international boards including AFCR, NED Biosystems, Non-Pareil, Ratio and is Director Emeritus for the WIN Consortium. He founded Xanthus, AKESOgen and Viviphi.

Dr. Leyland-Jones holds biochemistry, medical, and doctoral degrees from the University of London. Following residency training at Hammersmith, Brompton, St. Bartholomew’s and London hospitals, he completed a clinical pharmacology fellowship at Cornell University and a medical oncology fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He then joined the academic staff at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and New York Hospitals with a special research interest in Early Phase clinical, clinical pharmacological and biomarker evaluation of many anticancer compounds, including the platinums and anthracycline analogs in use today. In 1983, he moved to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to head the Developmental Chemotherapy section. He was responsible for the overall development of approximately 70 anti-cancer compounds in various stages of transition from in-vitro screening to Phase III clinical trials. From 1990 to 2000, he served as founding chair of Oncology and director of the McGill University Comprehensive Cancer Centre. He recruited and built a broad multifaceted cancer centre, including a robust cross-hospital clinical trials enterprise. Dr. Leyland-Jones continued as the Minda de Gunzberg Chair in Oncology and professor of medicine at McGill University in Montreal, Canada for 7 additional years, focusing on the development and biomarker strategies of several new targeted oncologic agents. He joined Emory University in 2007 as Director of the Winship Cancer Centre and Associate Vice-President of Health Sciences. Dr. Leyland-Jones was instrumental in building the Genomics Medicine Program at the Avera Cancer Institute where he was the Vice President of Molecular and Experimental Medicine from 2014-2019.  

Dr. Leyland-Jones’ principal academic contributions have been in the fields of anticancer therapy development, the pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacogenetics of oncological clinical trials, the translation of preclinical models into the clinic, biomarker endpoints in Phase I/II clinical trials, and screening and mechanistic studies of novel targeted and chemotherapeutic anticancer agents. Dr. Leyland-Jones is the recipient of numerous research grants, and has served as principal, co-principal and co-investigator on more than 100 clinical studies. He has authored and co-authored more than 210 peer-reviewed articles and book contributions, 25 books and book chapters, 425 abstracts and 35 patents. He has a robust speaking and private consulting practice that takes him all over the world.

Alfred Slanetz, Ph.D.

Director

Alfred Slanetz, Ph.D.

Director

Dr. Alfred Slanetz currently serves as a Director of the Board of the the National Foundation for Cancer Research (NFCR).  He is the founder, president, and chief executive officer of Geneius Biotechnology, Inc. (Geneius) and has been since its incorporation. He also has served as a director on Geneius’s board since its incorporation in 2012.

Bachelors of Science in Biology, Hamilton College
Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering, Brown University
Ph.D in Molecular and Immunobiology, Yale University

Geneius, an immuno-oncology start-up, is researching ways to help cancer patients’ immune systems detect and attack cancer cells. This new therapy is dubbed Targeted DiversiTy and when combined with surgery, it promises to change the difficult process or surgery, drugs and radiation that is the current standard.

Between 2006 and 2011 Dr. Slanetz was President and CEO at Bluebird Bio. He served as President and CEO of Genetix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. He served as Vice President, Business Development of TRANSGENE in May 1996. From 1994 to 1996, he served as Manager, New Product Planning and Development at Genentech Inc. Prior to that, Dr. Slanetz was a Management Consultant for Arthur D. Little.

In 1993 Dr. Slanetz received his Ph.D. in Molecular and Immunobiology from Yale University. He earned his Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering from Brown University in 1986. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Hamilton College.

Yajun Xu, Ph.D.

Director

Yajun Xu, Ph.D.

Director

Dr. Yajun Xu is a seasoned biotech investor with more than 20 years of senior management experience in Biotech and pharma. Yajun is currently a managing partner of Hongsen Capital, a co-founder of Epimab Inc., and serves as a board member and advisor for numerous biotech companies and investment firms in U.S. and China.

Bachelors of Science, Beijing University of Chemical Technology
Master of Science, Beijing University of Chemical Technology
Ph.D in Biochemistry, Brandeis University in Massachusetts

Yajun has previously served as the President of Shangpharma Investment Group, as Senior Vice President of Corporate Development of Shangpharma, as Vice President of Biology and Pre-Clinical Services at Chempartner (a Shangpharma affiliate), as Director of Inflammation at Millennium Pharma Inc., and as Senior Scientist at BASF Bioresearch Corp. (now AbbVie Bioresearch Corp.).

Yajun received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry at Brandeis University and completed her postdoctoral training at Harvard University School of Public Health.

Strategic Advisors
Webster K. Cavenee, Ph.D.

Director of Strategic Alliances, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research

Webster K. Cavenee, Ph.D.

Director of Strategic Alliances, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research

Dr. Cavenee did his graduate and postdoctoral training in cell biology, biochemistry and human genetics. He received his Ph.D. with honors in 1977 from the University of Kansas Medical School and then did postdoctoral work at the Jackson Laboratory, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the University of Utah. He has held faculty positions at the University of Cincinnati and McGill University (where he was the Founding Director of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Montreal Branch).  From 1991-2015 he was Founding Director of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, San Diego Branch and Distinguished Professor of Medicine at the University of California at San Diego. Since 2015, he is Director, Strategic Alliances-CNS of Ludwig Cancer Research with global responsibilities. He is also Distinguished Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego.

His research has evolved over the years to the interplay between oncogenic and suppressive mutations in the genesis and progression of human tumors, particularly those of the central nervous system, and their influence on therapeutic response. This work involves cellular genetics, engineered mouse models, protein biochemistry and tumor biology. Dr. Cavenee’s most recognized accomplishments are in the genetic basis of cancer predisposition, tumor progression, oncogenic cellular signaling and the use of genetic approaches for cancer diagnosis and prognosis. He has served on many NIH review and advisory panels including the Boards of Scientific Counselors of the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and advisory boards for several NIH Cancer Center Support, SPORE and PO1 grants, as well those of several private foundations and international institutions. He has been President of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Dr. Cavenee is an elected member/fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, the Chinese Academy of Engineering, the Leopoldina German Academy of Science, the AACR Academy, the International Union Against Cancer, the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the American Academy of Microbiology. He has published more than 380 scientific papers and received more than 120 honors, most notably the Charles S. Mott Prize of the General Motors Cancer Research Foundation, the Albert Szent-Gyorgyi Award from the National Foundation for Cancer Research, the Margaret Foti Award for Leadership and Extraordinary Achievements in Cancer Research from the American Association for Cancer Research, the Feldman Founder’s Award from the National Brain Tumor Society and the Friendship Award from the People’s Republic of China.

Pamela Garzone, Ph.D.

Chief Development Officer, Anixa Biosciences

Pamela Garzone, Ph.D.

Chief Development Officer, Anixa Biosciences

Pamela Garzone currently serves as Chief Development Officer of Anixa Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: ANIX), a biotechnology company focused on the treatment and prevention of cancer and infectious diseases, where she oversees Anixa’s vaccine and therapeutic development programs. Prior to that, Pamela was most recently the Chief Medical Officer of Calibr, a division of Scripps Research. Prior to joining Calibr, Pamela spent ten years at Pfizer (2009-2019), located in South San Francisco, CA. Before Pfizer, Pamela was Senior Director of Clinical Development at Elan Pharmaceuticals (2006-2009), focusing on early stage assets in neurodegenerative and autoimmune diseases. Prior to Elan, Pamela provided consulting services to countless executives in the area of drug development for over a decade. In the early years of her industrial career, Pamela created her pathway to leadership- managing preclinical groups such as toxicology and pharmacokinetic and drug metabolism functions in addition to planning and developing protocols for clinical pharmacology studies. Pamela has taught undergraduate and graduate students , providing courses in clinical research, experimental design and clinical pharmacology, while a faculty member of the School of Pharmacy at the University of Pittsburgh. She received the Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy Distinguished Alumni Award in 2019.

Pamela is a respected pharmaceutical executive with a significant record of achievement in drug development and leadership, ascending to the level of Chief Medical Officer. She has led teams successfully through the regulatory process, culminating in clearance of multiple INDs in different therapeutic areas and approval of registration dossiers. Pamela is valued as an authentic leader, providing inspiration and motivation, mediating conflict resolution and was chief influencer of executive management. She has interacted with health authorities (US, CHMP, PMDA, HC) for pre-IND meetings, EOP2 meetings, FDA advisory committees, and EMEA scientific advice meetings. Pamela is an invited speaker at international meetings and for prominent organizations as well as an author of peer reviewed scientific articles. Recognized for her strategic, scientific and regulatory leadership in drug development, she serves as advisor to executives of start-up and clinical stage biotechnology companies, venture capitalists and non-profit research foundations and as the co-chair of AIM-HI Women’s Venture Competition. She has extensive experience helping boards and committees achieve aggressive goals and fulfill key objectives.

Pamela has comprehensive experience providing trusted leadership on boards and committees for a variety of organizations. She has achieved outstanding achievements as National Sponsorship Chair of Women in BioScience. Additionally, she has been profiled in Clinical Leader and served as a member of its Advisory Board. She has volunteered for numerous professional and community organizations.

Pamela earned a Ph.D. in Clinical Science and M.Sc. in Pharmacy from the University of Pittsburgh and a B.Sc. in Pharmacy from Purdue University. She also obtained 2 certificates from Harvard University- the first one in Special Studies Administration and Management and Women on Boards from Harvard University. In addition, she received a certificate in Non-Profit Board Governance from College of San Mateo in California.

Pamela is married with one child. She enjoys scuba diving, hiking, running, cycling and travelling around the world.

Chih-Kao Hu, Ph.D., MBA

Management Consultant, Qral Group

Chih-Kao Hu, Ph.D., MBA

Management Consultant, Qral Group

Chih-Kao is an experienced management consultant working with top 100 pharmaceutical and biotech companies across more than 50 countries. His consulting approach concentrates in providing evidence-based commercialization strategies to healthcare clients by integrating scientific, clinical knowledge into commercialization. Chih-Kao has assisted companies with their commercial design, operation, business expansion and licensing deals. He also has managed several major pharmaceutical merger and acquisitions.

Prior his consulting career, Chih-Kao did a significant amount of scientific research for EGF-like peptides with Nycomed Pharma AS. Its fundamental concept led to the discovery of the anticoagulant Angiomax (bivalirudin). In addition, Chih-Kao worked on a key development project with Boehringer Mannheim and evaluated pharmacokinetic properties of the anti-fibrinolytic protein, Retavase (BM06.022, recombinant tissue plasminogen activator). He has published more than ten scientific articles based on his pharmaceutical research work.

Chih-Kao is a regular speaker on commercialization and scientific topics in various international conferences. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Applied Chemistry summa cum laude from Tamkang University in 1986. He earned a Ph.D. in Chemistry (Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Physics Program) from Carnegie Mellon University in 1995, and a MBA at the Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University in 1997.

Lance Kawaguchi

Chief Executive Officer, Cure Brain Cancer Foundation

Lance Kawaguchi

Chief Executive Officer, Cure Brain Cancer Foundation

Mr. Lance Kawaguchi is an internationally recognized executive leader and board member, with over 25 years of global finance and banking experience, including living and working throughout North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East.

Lance is the CEO of Cure Brain Cancer Foundation (www.curebraincancer.org), a non-profit organization in Australia dedicated to defeating brain cancer.  Lance currently serves as the Chairman of the Asian Fund for Cancer Research (www.AFCR.org), and actively supports the organization’s BRACE Award Venture Competition, which provides seed funding to biotechnology companies that develop products for cancers prevalent in the Asian population. He is also a Member of the Board of Directors of the National Foundation for Cancer Research (www.NFCR.org), a non-profit organization in the US co-founded by Nobel Laureate Albert Szent-Gyorgyi in 1973.  He is also the strategic advisor for the AIM-HI Accelerator Fund (www.AIM-HIAccelerator.org), a non-profit organization in the US focused on advancing oncology start-ups through venture and impact investments.

As CEO of Cure Brain Cancer Foundation, Lance launched the world’s first brain cancer-dedicated Clinical Accelerator program to support early-stage biotechnology companies, researchers, and industry partners to progress innovative therapeutics into the clinic rapidly.  Due to Lance’s unwavering tenacity, Cure Brain Cancer Foundation led the critical funding to bring the revolutionary trial GBM AGILE to Australia through the partnership with the Global Coalition for Adaptive Research (www.gcaresearch.org), a non-profit organization pioneering ground-breaking adaptive clinical trial platforms to deliver innovative therapies to patients faster.

Throughout his career, Lance’s outstanding leadership and innovative approach to diversity and inclusion have seen him recognised by many peak global bodies including the Treasury Management International, prestigious BAME100 Board Talent Index and as one of UPstanding’s 100 leading ethnic minority executives.

Raju Kucherlapati, Ph.D.

Paul C. Cabot Professor of Genetics, Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Raju Kucherlapati, Ph.D.

Paul C. Cabot Professor of Genetics, Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Since 2001 Dr. Kucherlapati is the Paul C. Cabot Professor of Genetics and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and was the first Scientific Director of the Harvard Medical School-Partners HealthCare Center for Genetics and Genomics (HPCGG).

Raju Kucherlapati received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana and did his post-doctoral work at Yale University.  He was assistant professor in the Department of Biochemical Sciences at Princeton University, and then became professor in the Department of Genetics at the University of Illinois College of Medicine. In 1989 Dr. Kucherlapati went to the Albert Einstein College of Medicine where he was the Lola and Saul Kramer Professor of Molecular Genetics and University Chairman of the Department of Molecular Genetics, a position he held for eleven years.  

Dr. Kucherlapati contributed to several different areas of research.  These include gene targeting and homologous recombination, human gene mapping, and generation of physical maps of the human genome with special emphasis on human chromosome 12, development of techniques to modify genes in mammalian cells and in cloning many human disease genes He was a member and Chair of several review committees at the NIH, was a member of the National Advisory Council for Human Genome Research at the National Human Genomics Research Institute, and was a co-chair of the steering committee for the National Cancer Institute’s Mouse Models for Human Cancer Consortium. He served on the editorial board of the New England Journal of Medicine and was editor in chief of the journal Genomics.  He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the National Academy of Medicine. Dr. Kucherlapati was a member of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues during the Obama administration.  

Dr. Kucherlapati was a Founder of several biotechnology companies including Cell Genesys, Abgenix (acquired by AMGEN) and Millennium (acquired by Takeda). He serves on the Boards of several privately held biotechnology companies and is a Board member of a publicly traded company called Puretech Health that trades on the London Stock Exchange. He has been active in promoting Precision Medicine in China and is the co-Chair of the International Cancer Precision Medicine Conference that just held it fourth annual meeting in Chongqing.

Lou Lieto, Ph.D., J.D.

Partner, Wilson Sonsini

Lou Lieto, Ph.D., J.D.

Partner, Wilson Sonsini

Dr. Louis D. Lieto is the leader of the patents and innovations department at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and is a partner in the firm’s Boston office. Lou advises biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies on strategic patent counseling, global patent portfolio development and management, and IP counseling for M&A and capital markets in complex life science fields.

Lou has decades of experience advising biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and life science clients on all aspects of patent law and related business matters. He works with innovators engaged in highly technical fields, including CRISPR, cell therapy, immunotherapeutics, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, stem cells, biofuels, regenerative medicine, and transgenic animals. He designed and implemented IP Strategy for multiple companies with drugs in active clinical trials, such as Aileron Therapeutics, Charleston Laboratories, Curemark, Gadeta B.V., BioNTech, Myeloid Therapeutics, Stoke Therapeutics, and TCR2 Therapeutics. He has extensive experience representing investors and companies in Financings and M&A.

Lou received his Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky, where he focused on characterizing the molecular and genetic basis of hereditary disease. Subsequently, Lou completed his postdoctoral fellowship in immunology at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

Prior to joining Wilson Sonsini, Lou was a patent examiner at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office where he examined applications for inventions encompassing proteins, DNA vectors, nucleic acid vaccines, immune cell therapy, stem cell therapy, transgenic animals, and gene therapy.

Jimmy Lu, J.D., MBA

Co-Founder, R3 BIO

Jimmy Lu, J.D., MBA

Co-Founder, R3 BIO

Mr. Jimmy Lu has over 25+ years of high tech and venture capital experience. Having a background in technology investing, he focuses much of his time now on healthcare related investments.

Mr. Lu is Member Of The Board Of Advisors at Elm Street Ventures. He is actively involved as Board Director of DeepBiome Therapeutics (microbiome drug discovery company leveraging deep learning methodologies), Panorama Medicine (advanced computational approaches addressing RNA-based diseases), Kindstar Globalgene Technology (China’s leader in specialty clinical lab testing), PaperG/Thunder (cross platform marketing technologies) and Wonder Workshop (educational toys/devices teaching children how to code). Previously he represented WI Harper on the boards of CNano Technology, China Diagnostics Medical Corporation (Chemclin), StemCyte Inc., Circle Pharma and Quixey.

Prior to joining WI Harper in 2010, Mr. Lu co-founded and was a General Partner of iD Ventures (Acer Technology Ventures), with key investments that included iRobot Corporation (NASDAQ: IRBT), Harmonix Music (creators of Guitar Hero and Rock Band franchises, acquired by MTV/Viacom; NYSE: VIA), ArtX (acquired by ATI Technologies; NASDAQ: AMD), Allayer Communications (acquired by Broadcom; NASDAQ: BRCM), Monolithic Power Systems (NASDAQ: MPWR), Fortinet (NASDAQ: FTNT), and Atrua Technologies (acquired by AuthenTec, later sold to Apple; NASDAQ: AAPL).

Mr. Lu joined the Acer Group, in 1992, and as General Counsel, worked closely with senior management to negotiate and structure Acer’s international joint ventures, strategic alliances, acquisitions, global financings and commercial transactions. Before joining Acer, he was with the McCutchen law firm in San Francisco, specializing in M&A and venture transactions, debt and equity financings, and public securities work. He also spent several years covering Fortune 100 companies as a banker with JP Morgan in New York City.
Mr. Lu earned a BA from Yale College, an MBA from Harvard Business School and a JD from UC Berkeley School of Law. Mr. Lu has spoken at many conferences sponsored by international organizations and has guest lectured and presented at Yale, Harvard, Stanford and Wharton. He has served as the Chair of the Yale Alumni Association and a trustee of the PK Yonge Laboratory School. He is currently a member of the Yale President’s Council on International Activities, the Vice-Chair of the Yale Alumni Magazine board and an Associate Fellow of Trumbull College. He also serves on the University of Florida College of Engineering West Coast Advisory Board and is a member of the advisory board of Elm Street Ventures.

Patty Obermaier

Vice President, US Health and Life Sciences, Microsoft

Patty Obermaier

Vice President, US Health and Life Sciences, Microsoft

Patty Obermaier leads Microsoft’s US sales strategy for driving digital transformation across customers and partners within the health and life sciences marketplace. Responsible for the 400+ sales organization and $3.5B in revenue, Patty is a recognized industry leader in health care and technology. With a strong track record for accelerating business results and building high performance teams, Patty is passionate about driving innovation in the health care industry so every person on this planet can achieve more.

Before she joined Microsoft, Patty founded Resigility LLC and served as CEO between 2015 and 2019. Resigility LLC is a strategic consulting firm dedicated to improving the resiliency and agility of corporations, government agencies, and communities. Patty joined IMS Health in 2009 as part of TPG Capital’s $5 billion private equity take-private / takeover of IMS Health, where she served as Head of Government Solutions and led successful turnaround of US Government business while contributing significantly to corporate growth and profit improvement initiatives. IPO of IMS Health in April 2014 is considered one of the most successful and largest turnarounds in healthcare private equity history. She was Head of US Payer, Provider and Government Markets between 2014 and 2015.

Prior to this, Patty had extensive experiences in CRM, business development, practice development, strategy development and people management with corporations such as Unisys and Collaborex.  She co-founded consulting firm, The ALLERIS Group, in 1993 and served as President until 2000.

Patty received a MBA in Business Administration and General Management from Darden School of Business, University of Virginia. She holds a Bachelor Degree in Biology from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Throughout her career, Patty has built a reputation for thinking differently and seeking innovation. These guiding principles have helped her develop organizations that deliver exceptional results in revenue growth and profitability. As a senior executive and entrepreneur in several industries (healthcare, information technology, and professional services), she has received multiple awards for improving bottom lines and building successful, diverse teams.

Patty is passionate about shaping the future generation’s leadership skills, and is honored to lend her voice as Board Member of the Global Good Fund, and as a volunteer for Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts. Her family is enthusiastic about cycling advocacy and are grateful to have been spotlighted on Nickelodeon’s Worldwide Day of Play, NPR, and Salud America.

Program Advisors
Monica Bertagnolli, M.D.

Richard E. Wilson Professor of Surgery in the Field of Surgical Oncology, Harvard Medical School

Monica Bertagnolli, M.D.

Richard E. Wilson Professor of Surgery in the Field of Surgical Oncology, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Bertagnolli is a professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School, and chief of the Division of Surgical Oncology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. She has worked at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital since 2000. She previously served as an associate surgeon at the Strang Cancer Prevention Center in New York from 1994-2007 and as an attending surgeon at New York Presbyterian Hospital–Cornell from 1994-1999.

Dr. Bertagnolli’s laboratory studies the APC (Adenomatous Polyposis Coli) gene, an important factor in colorectal carcinogenesis and in the development of desmoid tumors. Using animal tumor models of the human disease, Familial Adenomatous Polyposis, the laboratory investigates the mechanisms of tumor transformation initiated by APC mutation or loss. The laboratory also studies modulation of APC gene activity and tumor formation by chemopreventive drugs. This work includes animal model studies, and also human clinical trials in colorectal adenoma prevention and risk assessment.

Dr. Bertagnolli maintains an active research laboratory focused on understanding the role of the inflammatory response in epithelial tumor formation. In 1999, she extended her basic laboratory observations to the clinical trials setting as the lead Principal Investigator of the Adenoma Prevention with Celecoxib Trial. This pivotal study, reported in 2006, demonstrated dramatic suppression of colorectal adenomas with selective cyclooxygenase-2 inhibition, but also uncovered unanticipated cardiovascular toxicity with these agents.

Dr. Bertagnolli has served on the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Board of Directors (2007-2011), as well as served on on numerous committees; she was elected as its President in 2018-2019. Dr. Bertagnolli also serves as vice president of Coalition of Cancer Cooperative Groups, chair of Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology, president of the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology Foundation, and CEO of Alliance Foundation Trials, LLC. Since 2012 she has served on the National Academy of Medicine’s National Cancer Policy Forum. In 2011, she received the Partners Healthcare Partners in Excellence Award: Personalized Cancer Medicine Partnership Team, and in 2015, she received the CEO Roundtable on Cancer Charles H. Sanders Life Sciences Award.

Dr. Bertagnolli received her undergraduate degree from Princeton University and her medical degree from the University of Utah College of Medicine; she performed her residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Carlo M. Croce, M.D.

Professor of Internal Medicine, The Ohio State University

Carlo M. Croce, M.D.

Professor of Internal Medicine, The Ohio State University

Dr. Croce entered the school of medicine of La Sapienza University of Rome and graduated in 1969 summa cum laude in medicine and Latin.  He began his career in the United States the following year as an associate scientist at the Wistar Institute of Biology and Anatomy in Philadelphia. In 1980, he was named Wistar Professor of Genetics at the University of Pennsylvania and associate director of the Wistar Institute, titles he held until 1988. He was at Wistar from 18 years. From 1988-91, he was director of the Fels Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Biology at Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia. Croce rapidly expanded the faculty and staff and launched a PhD programme in genetics.

In 1991, Croce was named Director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson Medical College at the Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. While at Jefferson, he discovered in 2002 the role of microRNAs in cancer pathogenesis and progression, implicating a new class of genes in cancer causation – he found that loss of two miRNAs that target BCL2 caused chronic lymphocytic leukemia in mice. 

In 2004, Croce moved to Ohio State University, where he had been an external advisor since 1988. Under his direction, the faculty within the Human Cancer Genetics Program conduct both clinical and basic research. Basic research projects focus on how genes are activated and inactivated, how cell-growth signals are transmitted and regulated within cells, and how cells interact with the immune system. Clinical research focuses on discovering genes linked to cancer and mutations that predispose people to cancer.

Dr. Corce is noted for research into the genetic mechanisms of cancer. His work focuses on microRNAs and their role in oncology. He discovered the juxtaposition of the human immunoglobulin genes to the MYC oncogene and the deregulation of MYC in Burkitt lymphoma; the MLL gene involved in acute leukemias; the TCL1A gene associated with T-cell leukemias; and cloned, named and characterized the BCL2 gene involved in follicular lymphoma. Croce also uncovered early events involved in the pathogenesis of lung, nasopharyngeal, head and neck, esophageal, gastrointestinal and breast cancers.

Dr. Croce received numerous awards, including the 2006 Clowes Memorial Award from the American Association for Cancer Research for his discoveries of the molecular mechanisms of leukemia. In 2010, he was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He received the Szent-Györgyi Prize for Progress in Cancer Research (2011), the Outstanding Investigator Award from National Cancer Institute (2015) and the Dan David Award (2018).

Aleksandra Filipovic, M.D., Ph.D.

Head of Oncology, PureTech Health

Aleksandra Filipovic, M.D., Ph.D.

Head of Oncology, PureTech Health

Aleksandra Filipovic MD, PhD, is head of oncology at PureTech, where she manages Oncology Asset Sourcing, review of oncology/ immuno oncology technologies and platforms from academia world-wide as well as biotech assets and pipelines amenable for commercialization and partnership. She is also responsible for pre-clinical and clinical development of therapeutics, prognostics/diagnostics and treatment delivery and imaging modalities from concept all the way leading up to product launch.

Previously, Dr. Filipovic served as associate medical director of Bristol Myers Squibb (New York) for early phase oncology and immuno-oncology clinical trials. She graduated from medical school at the Faculty of Medicine University of Nis, Serbia, and completed her PhD on the identification and validation of novel therapeutic targets in breast cancer and monoclonal antibody drug development at Imperial College in London, UK. Following this, she received a Fellowship from the College for the continuation of the translational research work and continued clinical practice in medical oncology.

Dr. Filipovic is also a practicing clinician at Imperial College NHS trust, faculty member at European School of Oncology, scientific committee member of Sharing Progress in Cancer Care (SPCC), associate editor for Frontiers in Oncology, and a member of American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO), American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC).

Dimitra Georganopoulou, Ph.D.

Innovation Faculty, MIT linQ CATALYST

Dimitra Georganopoulou, Ph.D.

Innovation Faculty, MIT linQ CATALYST

Dimitra is an experienced biotech professional with deep knowledge of personalized medicine projects, therapeutics. medical devices, diagnostics, and Health IT.

Dimitra is a general partner of Qral Ventures, and serves as Chief Business Officer (CBO) in select portfolio companies. She is currently a member of the Innovation Faculty team for MIT’s LinQ Catalyst program, mentoring and guiding innovators solving health and medical challenges. Dimitra currently serves as a technical dilligence lead for the Keiretsu Forum Midwest Investments and a Venture Partner for MBx Capital (formerly FundRx), a next-generation of healthcare and life science venture capital firm. Dimitra serves as an advisor to the AIM-HI Accelerator Fund, a mentor for the mHUB MedTech Accelerator and mentor for the Polsky COMPASS program. Dimitra is also a Director at Large for Women in Bio {WIB}, responsible for the Executive Women in Bio Committee in Chicago, and on the board of National WIB, an organization dedicated to promoting careers, leadership, and entrepreneurship of women in the life sciences.

She was previously with Baxter International, where she was hired as the Innovation Scout, supporting late-stage technology scouting and tech assessment for due diligence M&A deals. Prior to that, she was the Director of Commercialization for Northwestern University’s Innovation and New Ventures Office, where she actively pursued innovation management, commercialization and funding strategies as well business development opportunities for inventors, ranging from start-up ventures to strategic partnerships, and established and directed an I-Corps like program called INVOForward. Before joining Northwestern, Dimitra was the VP of R&D of Ohmx Corporation, a diagnostic company with novel POC (point-of-care) technology and prior to that she worked for Nanosphere (now Luminex) and Inverness Medical (now Alere / Abbott), in novel biosensor development.

Dimitra earned a Ph.D. in Bioelectrochemistry from University College London (UCL), an M.Sc. in Biosensors from King’s College London; her post-doctoral work focused on nanoparticle based diagnostics. She is the author of numerous peer-reviewed publications and patents.

Jennifer Grandis, M.D.

American Cancer Society Professor, University of California San Francisco

Jennifer Grandis, M.D.

American Cancer Society Professor, University of California San Francisco

Dr. Jennifer Grandis is an otolaryngologist and associate vice chancellor for clinical and translational research at UCSF. She directs the Clinical and Translational Science Institute, which provides resources and builds partnerships to facilitate more efficient and effective research, with the goal of improving individual and community health.

Dr. Grandis’s research focuses on the signal transduction in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) development and progression with the ultimate goal of targeting key pathways for therapeutic benefit. By taking key findings from the clinic and investigating mechanisms in a series of preclinical models, as well as developing novel therapeutic approaches in the laboratory and carrying out innovative clinical trials that employ these treatment strategies.

Grandis earned her medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, where she also completed a residency in surgery, a residency in otolaryngology and a fellowship in infectious diseases. Prior to joining UCSF, she led the University of Pittsburgh’s head and neck cancer program.

Grandis is an American Cancer Society Clinical Research Professor and a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, Association of American Physicians and National Academy of Medicine. She has published more than 260 peer-reviewed articles and has contributed to more than 50 review articles (summaries of scholarly research) and book chapters. She holds the UCSF Robert K. Werbe Distinguished Professorship in Head and Neck Cancer.

Kim Kamdar, Ph.D.

Managing Partner, Medical Excellence Capital

Kim Kamdar, Ph.D.

Managing Partner, Medical Excellence Capital

Kim Kamdar, Ph.D. is a Managing Partner with Medical Excellence Capital. Kim has been involved in cutting edge therapeutic start-ups and companies with promising molecular and companion diagnostics to support personalized medicine for over 17 years. Kim has helped to create and served on the board of over a dozen companies. She was founding CEO for Truvian Sciences where she remains Chair. Kim has also helped to create Seraphina Therapeutics and currently serves as Chair. She was the Founding CEO for Obalon Therapeutics (NASDAQ: OBLN) and Aspen Neuroscience. Kim was an early investor and helped to create companies including Syndax Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: SNDX), Singular Genomics (NASDAQ: OMIC) and Pleno. Additional investments and BOD memberships include Alume Biosciences, EPIC Sciences, Evofem Biosciences (NASDAQ: EVFM) and Sera Prognostics (NASDAQ: SERA).

Kim was involved with Ariosa Diagnostics until the company was sold to Roche in January 2015 for $625MM, Omniome until the company was sold to Pacific Bioscience (NASDAQ: PACB) in September 2021 for $800M, Corthera until the company was sold to Novartis in February 2010 for $620MM and BiPar Sciences until that company was sold to Sanofi in April 2009 for $500MM.

Kim has been part of Domain Associates since 2005 and a Partner since 2010. Prior to Domain, Kim was a Kauffman Fellow at MPM Capital where she participated in the firm’s investments in Transform Pharmaceuticals, Portola Pharmaceuticals and Affymax. Previous to that, she was a research director at Novartis, where she built and led a research team that focused on the biology, genetics and genomics of model organisms. Kim is the author of ten papers as well as the inventor on seven patents. She received her B.A. from Northwestern University and her Ph.D. in biochemistry and genetics from Emory University.

Kim is currently an Advisory Board Member for Dr. Eric Topol’s NIH supported Clinical and Translational Science Award for Scripps Medicine and an advisor and on the Investment Committee for Adjuvant Capital, a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation sponsored venture fund focused on global health. Kim also serves as a BOD member for Connect San Diego and Access Youth Academy, a non-profit helping to transform the lives of underserved youth through academic enrichment, health and wellness, social responsibility, and leadership through squash.

Scott Lippman, M.D.

Director, Moores Cancer Center, UC San Diego Health

Scott Lippman, M.D.

Director, Moores Cancer Center, UC San Diego Health

Scott M. Lippman, MD, is director of Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego Health, professor of Medicine at UC San Diego School of Medicine, senior associate dean and associate vice chancellor for Cancer Research and Care and holds the Chugai Pharmaceutical Chair in Cancer. He is also an adjunct professor at the Salk Institute, the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute and MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Dr. Lippman has been recognized in every major “Top Doctor” listing including U.S. News & World Report. He has received numerous awards, including the American Cancer Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Award, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Award and the ASCO Statesman Award.

Dr. Lippman brings more than 25 years of experience as principal investigator of translational research involving investigator-initiated clinical trials. He has participated in the national leadership of clinical/translational research planning and development within the National Cancer Institute Cooperative Group setting and currently serves on the National Cancer Institute’s Clinical Trials and Translational Research Advisory Committee. He is also a member of the Board of Directors for the AACR, the Association of American Cancer Institutes and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network and has served on the FDA Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee.

Dr. Lippman is an elected member of the prestigious Association of American Physicians. He has authored more than 300 publications in high-impact journals, including The New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of the American Medical Association, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and The Lancet, and chapters in major medical textbooks.

Before joining UC San Diego Health, he was chair of the Department of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Lippman completed fellowships in hematology and medical oncology at Stanford University and the University of Arizona. He completed an internship and residency training in internal medicine at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. He received his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is board-certified in internal medicine, hematology and medical oncology.

Beverly Lu, Ph.D.

Investment Manager, Health, Emerson Collective

Beverly Lu, Ph.D.

Investment Manager, Health, Emerson Collective

Beverly Lu is a Biotech VC Investment Manager at Emerson Collective. Prior to joining Emerson, Beverly was a Director at Amgen, responsible for driving strategy and operations of the US portfolio. She was also an Engagement Manager at McKinsey and Company where she advised healthcare corporations in pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and medical device.

Beverly is a trained scientist and received her PhD in Chemistry from Caltech and was a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University.

Amy Millman

President & Co-Founder, Springboard Enterprises

Amy Millman

President & Co-Founder, Springboard Enterprises

Amy Millman is a passionate advocate for women entrepreneurs building Big Businesses Starting Small. In 2000, Amy co-founded Springboard Enterprises, to accelerate the growth of entrepreneurial companies led by women through access to essential resources and a global community of experts. It is now the leading network of influencers, investors and innovators dedicated to building high-growth companies led by women who are transforming industries in technology and life science.

The Springboard portfolio numbers over 750 companies securing investment of financial and human capital for product development and expansion, having raised nearly $10 Billion, created tens of thousands new jobs and generated billions in annual revenues. With 190 exits to strategic acquirers and 19 IPOs, Springboard entrepreneurs are transforming industries.

During her career in Washington, DC, she served as a lobbyist for several industry groups and was appointed as Executive Director of the National Women’s Business Council, a US federal commission, from 1993-2000. She’s a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University and holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from The George Washington University.

Eifion Phillips, Ph.D., J.D.

Patent Attorney

Eifion Phillips, Ph.D., J.D.

Patent Attorney

A medicinal chemistry scientist turned patent attorney, Dr. Eifion Phillips has helped secure his clients’ intellectual property portfolios across various fields and innovations, including those pertaining to small and large molecule pharmaceuticals, drug formulation and delivery, methods of treatment, biochemical processes and manufacturing. He previously worked at Omeros Corporation, serving as a senior in-house legal advisor of the commercial-stage pharmaceutical and biotechnology company. From 2007 to 2018, Dr. Phillips served as a principal at Fish & Richardson P.C., where he provided client counseling, patent preparation and global patent prosecution services in the areas of pharmaceuticals, chemistry, and biotechnology. He earlier worked as a medicinal chemist at AstraZeneca, where he was an inventor for 21 issued U.S. patents and 29 Patent Cooperation Treaty patent applications.

Dr. Phillips received a D. Phil. in chemistry from the University of Oxford, and pursued a postdoctoral fellowship at Columbia University. He earned his J.D. from the Widener University School of Law. Dr. Phillips is currently admitted to practice in the U.S. states of Delaware and Pennsylvania, as well with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Kanaga Sabapathy, Ph.D.

Head, Division of Cellular and Molecular Research, National Cancer Center Singapore

Kanaga Sabapathy, Ph.D.

Head, Division of Cellular and Molecular Research, National Cancer Center Singapore

Dr. Sabapathy obtained his Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Immunology from the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB), A*STAR, Singapore, in 1995. After a post-doctoral stint at the Institute of Molecular Pathology in Vienna, Austria, he moved to the National Cancer Center of Singapore (NCCS) in late 1999 as the Principal Investigator of the Laboratory of Molecular Carcinogenesis. In 2013 Dr. Sabapathy became Head of the Division of Cellular and Molecular Research, overseeing NCCS’ research activities. He is also the Research Director of the Academic Clinical Program in Oncology at SingHealth. Dr. Sabapathy is a joint Professor with the Department of Biochemistry at the National University of Singapore (NUS), a Professor with the Cancer and Stem Cell Biology Program at Duke University-NUS and a joint Research Director at the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology. Furthermore, he is a fellow to the United Kingdom’s Royal College of Pathologists and was awarded the inaugural Singapore National Research Foundation Investigatorship award in 2015.

Dr. Sabapathy’s research is focused on better understanding the molecular mechanisms contributing to carcinogenesis and the alterations that lead to therapeutic resistance. His research helped to understand how mutant p53—the most widely mutated gene among cancer cells – contributes to cancer development and drug resistance. His lab has also unraveled how changes associated with another key gene, p73, lead to cancer.

Continued research into these two gene pathways might aid in identifying the most feasible molecular targets in anticipation of new therapeutic methods and advances in genetic engineering. Dr. Sabapathy’s lab has also developed updated models that recapitulate human cancers such as liver cancer. These models enable his team to identify new biomarkers for early detection as well as potential molecular targets for timely intervention.

Michael Salgaller, Ph.D.

Supervisory Invention Development & Marketing Specialist, National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute

Michael Salgaller, Ph.D.

Supervisory Invention Development & Marketing Specialist, National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute

Dr. Michael Salgaller leads the Invention Development and Marketing Unit within the National Cancer Institute’s Technology Transfer Center, where he leverages over 20 years of business, scientific, and investment experience in various life science sectors to support technology development and commercialization. Previously, he provided technical and strategic expertise to The Conafay Group, a DC-based government affairs firm – leading efforts on non-dilutive funding and alliance development. Previously, he was a key member of the business development team for the healthcare practice at SAIC, a Fortune-500 government contractor. He helped lead and deepen relationships with the Department of Health and Human Services – especially NIH and FDA – as well as foundations and patient advocacy groups. Before SAIC, he was a long-time industry executive who has held various positions in early-stage biotechnology and boutique professional service firms. In addition, Dr. Salgaller was on the investment team of Toucan Capital, a $120M early-stage venture firm dedicated to the life sciences, where he guided company formation and helped raise follow-on financing. He began his career as a Senior Staff Scientist with Dr. Steve Rosenberg at the National Cancer Institute, where he oversaw a lab developing immunotherapies for patients with terminal cancer.

Dr. Salgaller serves on the Life Sciences Advisory Board of the Maryland-Israel Development Center, as well as NCI liaison to the Maryland Technology Council. He is an advisor to DC ArchAngels and the Cooperative Angel Alumni Group. He is the author of “Biotechnology Entrepreneurship,” which is used as a reference text for courses at NIH and Catholic University, among others. He is the author of over 100 articles, presentations, and book chapters, and is on the editorial boards of several journals. Dr. Salgaller received his PhD in Pathology from The Ohio State University.

Paul Schimmel, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, The Scripps Research Institute

Paul Schimmel, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, The Scripps Research Institute

Paul Schimmel, Ph.D., is a biophysical chemist and he received his B.A. in biochemistry and biophysics from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1962, and then went on to earn his Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Currently, Dr. Schimmel is the Ernest and Jean Hahn Professor of Molecular Biology and Chemistry at The Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology at The Scripps Research Institute. He formerly was the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics in the Department of Biology at MIT. 

Throughout his career, Dr. Schimmel has received numerous honors and awards, including the American Chemical Society’s Pfizer Award in Enzyme Chemistry, the Biophysical Society’s Emily M. Gray Award for significant contributions to education in biophysics, the Chinese Biopharmaceutical Association Brilliant Achievement Award and the Stein and Moore Award of the Protein Society. He was also elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society and the Institute of Medicine. He has also been active in many scientific and academic organizations and committees, including serving as Chairman of the Division of Biological Chemistry of the American Chemical Society. In addition to these honors and positions, Ohio Wesleyan University (his undergraduate alma mater) conferred on him an honorary Doctor of Science Degree. 

Dr. Schimmel has given many honorary lectures, including the Peter Debye Lectures (Cornell University), the Sherman Beychok Lecture (Columbia University), the Reilly Lectures (University of Notre Dame), the Mildred Cohn Lecture (University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine), the University Lecture Series (University of Texas Health Sciences Center (Dallas), the Stanley Gill Memorial Lecture (University of Colorado), the Sir Hans Krebs Lecture (Sheffield, UK), the Nucleic Acids Award Lecture (Biochemical Society and Royal Society of Chemistry, UK), Henry Kamin Lecture (Duke University), the Perlman Lecture Award (American Chemical Society) and the Marker Lecture Series (Pennsylvania State University). 

Dr. Schimmel is the author or co-author of more than 400 scientific papers and a widely-used three-volume textbook on biophysical chemistry, and he’s an editorial board member of ten different scientific journals. He holds several patents and is a co-founder or founding director of eleven biotechnology companies: Alkermes, Inc., Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc., aTyr Pharma, Inc., Avicena Group, Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Momenta Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Repligen Corporation, and Sirtris Pharmaceuticals. These companies develop new therapies for human diseases and disorders.

Fei Shen, Ph.D.

Managing Director, Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund USA

Fei Shen, Ph.D.

Managing Director, Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund USA

Fei is an Investment Director in the Boehringer Ingelheim Corporate Venture Fund. She joined the Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund in 2020 and is located in Boston, MA.

Fei received her Ph.D. in Neuropharmacology from Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine and a B.Sc in Biochemistry from East China University Science & Technology.

In 2007, she started her industrial career at Theravance Biopharma as an in vivo pharmacologist and led a lab in driving multiple research projects from exploratory, lead optimization to development candidate nomination, including TD-1473 in Ulcerative Colitis, Ampreloxetine in Fibromyalgia, Velusetrag in Gastroparesis, TD-8954 in Post-operative Gastrointestinal Dysfunction. In 2015, she joined Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc. Global Immunology and Respiratory Disease Research in Ridgefield where she started as a Laboratory Head and became the Head of in vivo Pharmacology group in 2016. From 2015 to 2020, before joining the BI Venture Fund, Fei led a group of ~20 in vivo pharmacologists supporting the Immunology and Respiratory Portfolio for small molecule, antisense and antibody projects.

Thea Tlsty, Ph.D.

Professor of Pathology, University of California San Francisco

Thea Tlsty, Ph.D.

Professor of Pathology, University of California San Francisco

Dr. Thea Tlsty is Professor of Pathology at the University of California, San Francisco. She is known for her research in cancer biology, and her involvement in the discovery of cells that may be at the origin of metaplastic cancer, an invasive form of breast cancer.

Dr. Tlsty led an eight-year research study, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute in 2010, which established a means to predict whether women with early stage breast cancer might develop more serious tumours, using “biomarkers” (biological indicators in the body) to determine cancer risk. She also led research into ‘pluripotent’ stem cells in breast tissue, seeking to identify if these caused tumours. This research had looked at wound cells in breast tissue, and identified ‘repair cells’ that could transform into a range of other cells, including neurons, bone and cartilage – with the potential therefore to also treat cancers and other diseases.

In 2015 Dr. Tlsty co-authored research into the use of 3D tissue culture models to study breast cancer cell generation, and later collaborated with Adam Engler of the University of California, San Diego in developing devices to test how strongly cells attach to tumor tissue, exploring if adhesion strength could be an accurate marker of metastatic cells.

Dr. Tlsty was awarded a 2019 Cancer Research UK Grand Challenge award to support a research project in collaboration with scientists from the UK, Canada, and Israel. The project will focus on understanding how chronic inflammation contributes to cancer.

Dr. Tlsty gained a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology from the University of South Florida, Tampa (1973). She started a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, which she completed in 1980 after transferring to Washington University in St. Louis.

Daniel D. Von Hoff M.D., F.A.C.P.

Physician-in-Chief & Distinguished Professor, Translational Genomics Research Institute

Daniel D. Von Hoff M.D., F.A.C.P.

Physician-in-Chief & Distinguished Professor, Translational Genomics Research Institute

Daniel D. Von Hoff, M.D., F.A.C.P. FASCO, FAACR is currently Physician in Chief, Distinguished Professor at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) in Phoenix, Arizona. He holds the Virginia G. Piper Distinguished Chair for Innovative Cancer Research at HonorHealth Clinical Research Institute and the Margaret Givan Larkin Endowed Chair in Developmental Cancer Therapeutics at Hoag Hospital and Medical Director of Research at McKesson Specialty Health and the Chief Scientific Officer for US Oncology Research specializing in phase I clinical trials. He is also Professor of Medicine at the University of Arizona and at the Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, AZ and Senior Consultant of Clinical Investigation at the City of Hope.

Dr. Von Hoff’s major interest is in the development of new anticancer agents, both in the clinic and in the laboratory. He and his colleagues were involved in the beginning of the development of many FDAapproved agents we now use routinely, including: mitoxantrone, fludarabine, paclitaxel, docetaxel, gemcitabine, irinotecan, nelarabine, capecitabine, lapatinib, vismodegib, nab-paclitaxel, nal-IRI, pexidartinib and others. His clinical trial work has led to the approval of 3 of the 4 drugs approved by the FDA for treatment of patients with advanced pancreatic cancer. At present, he and his colleagues are concentrating on the development of therapies for patients with advanced pancreatic cancer.

Dr. Von Hoff has published more than 741 papers, 143 book chapters and over 1186 abstracts. Dr. Von Hoff received the 2010 David A. Karnofsky Memorial Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology for his outstanding contributions to cancer research leading to significant improvement in patient care and most recently the AACR Distinguished Public Service Award in recognition of his extraordinary clinical research career and leadership in establishing the AACR/ASCO Methods in Clinical Cancer Research Workshop to educate and train young clinical investigators.

Dr. Von Hoff was appointed to President Bush’s National Cancer Advisory Board in 2004-2010. Dr. Von Hoff is the past President of the American Association for Cancer Research (the world’s largest cancer research organization), a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, and a member and past board member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. He is a founder of ILEX™ Oncology, Inc. (acquired by Genzyme after Ilex had 2 agents, alemtuzumab and clofarabine approved by the FDA for patients with leukemia). Dr. Von Hoff is founder and the Editor Emeritus of Investigational New Drugs – The Journal of New Anticancer Agents; and, past Editor-in-Chief of Molecular Cancer Therapeutics. He is a co-founder of the AACR/ASCO Methods in Clinical Trial Cancer Research Workshop, which has graduated more than 2100 clinical trial physicians. He is also proud to have been a mentor and teacher for multiple medical students, medical oncology fellows, graduate students, and post-doctoral fellows.

Barbara Weber, M.D.

President & CEO, Tango Therapeutics

Barbara Weber, M.D.

President & CEO, Tango Therapeutics

Barbara is President and CEO of Tango Therapeutics, a biotechnology company she began building shortly after joining Third Rock Ventures (TRV) in March 2015.  Tango launched with a $55M Series A from TRV in March 2017 and Barbara as interim CEO.  In September 2017, Barbara accepted the position as permanent President and CEO, while remaining a part-time venture partner at TRV. Tango has a target discovery engine based on the genetic principle of synthetic lethality, several lead drug discovery programs and a developing pipeline of novel genetic targets selected to make important contributions to cancer patients.

In her role at TRV, Barbara was interim CMO for Neon Therapeutics from launch in April 2015 until September 2017 and played a leadership role in creating Relay Therapeutics, launched in March 2016.  Barbara also is a member of the Board of Directors of Revolution Medicine, another exceptional cancer drug discovery company launched by TRV in 2015.

Prior to joining Third Rock Ventures, Barbara was SVP and Global Head, Oncology Translational Medicine at Novartis from 2009 to 2015 and VP, Oncology Discovery and Translational Medicine at GlaxoSmithKline from 2005 to 2009. Prior to joining the pharmaceutical industry, Barbara was Professor of Medicine and Genetics at The University of Pennsylvania, leading a clinical and translational research program in cancer genetics.

Barbara is an elected member of the American Association of Physicians and the American Society for Clinical Investigation, of which she served as President in 2005. Barbara also has served on the Board of Directors of both ASCO and AACR. She is a graduate of the University of Washington School of Medicine, completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Yale University and her fellowship in Medical Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Charlie Weatherspoon

Chairman and Co-founder

Charlie Weatherspoon

Chairman and Co-founder

Charlie Weatherspoon co-founded The AIM HI Translational Research Fund (AIM-HI) and serves as the chairman of the board. He is the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Integral CFO Services LLC. Integral CFO Services provides resource networking, business consulting and various management related services in finance, marketing and investor relations.

Bachelors of Administrative Sciences, Yale University

Integral CFO Services specializes in strategic planning for small and medium size businesses in assisting them in obtaining and maintaining resources as well as assisting with their working capital needs. Charlie has been active in providing these services since the mid-1990’s in various capacities. In addition, he has served as Strategic Account Manager for McKesson, interim manager for Tech Services International’s Credit Department and as a credit specialist for FCI and Medrad.

Presently through various partnerships, Charlie provides his skills and experiences in assisting the economic development and growth of small businesses in the African, Caribbean and African-American communities in Delaware.

In 1989, Charlie was the area credit manager for E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Company’s Asia Pacific and domestic exports. Before leaving DuPont in 1992, he was a credit account manager in the Automotive Products Department. From 1978 to 1989, Charlie held various financial positions at Mellon Bank N.A. including Corporate Financial Planning and Control, Credit Review and Recovery Department (workouts) and assistant section manager of the Energy and Utilities Section with a $2 billion exposure. Prior to leaving Mellon, he was a relationship manager in the Corporate Banking Department’s western division with responsibility for a $175+ million portfolio as well as being assigned the relationship manager for the major companies in
the steel industry. As relationship manager, Charlie was directly responsible for working with the executives of these companies to ensure that all their finance concerns were being appropriately
addressed. This included but was not limited to traditional loan products, cash management, project finance, and mergers and acquisitions.

Charlie is active in various non-profit organizations. He is a member of the Board of Advisors of the National Foundation for Cancer Research and is currently the Vice President of the Board of Directors and a board member of the West Center City Early Learning Center (Delaware), which provides education for inter-city children from low-income families. He is also active in efforts in the fight against colon cancer through the Eric Davis Foundation’s involvement with the National Colorectal Cancer Round Table.

Matt Tremblay, Ph.D.

Vice Chairman

Matt Tremblay, Ph.D.

Vice Chairman

Dr. Tremblay currently serves as the Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of AIM-HI. He is the chief operating officer of Scripps Research, as well as the chief operating officer for its drug discovery division, the California Institute for Biological Research (Calibr). He is responsible for developing and implementing corporate strategy for Scripps Research and Calibr, as well as the management of day-to-day operations. Tremblay works closely with the chief executive officer to create the long term strategic vision for the institute and advance new business development opportunities. Administrative functions reporting to the chief operating officer span business development, program management and clinical operations, legal and research services, information technology, and facilities, and encompass over 300 employees.

Doctorate in Chemistry, Columbia University

Tremblay played a key role in establishing Calibr in 2012, where he led a team of biologists in the discovery of new therapeutic agents for metabolic, cardiovascular and autoimmune diseases.

As Calibr grew to a 100+ employee drug discovery organization, he facilitated the launch of a number of strategic collaborations with major foundations and pharmaceutical companies, and was subsequently promoted to chief operating officer. When Calibr became an affiliate of Scripps Research in 2016, Tremblay took on the additional role of vice president for Business Development at the institute, before being named chief operating officer of the combined institutes in 2018. Tremblay earned his doctorate in Chemistry at Columbia University. Following postdoctoral work in the laboratory of Peter Schultz at Scripps Research, he led a group at the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation before joining Calibr.

Franklin Salisbury, Jr.

Co-founder and Director

Franklin Salisbury, Jr.

Co-founder and Director

Franklin Salisbury, Jr. has a background in economics, law and religion. Trained in resource economics at Yale, he has spent his career fostering innovative collaborations with experts in different fields so they might work together to address and solve acute social, healthcare and environmental issues.

Bachelors of Economics, Yale University
Masters of Religion, University of Chicago
Juris Doctor, University of Chicago School of Law

Salisbury served as CEO of the National Foundation for Cancer Research from 1997-2018 where under his leadership NFCR has become a catalyst stimulating the kind of “disruptive innovation” to accelerate new approaches to preventing, diagnosing and treating cancer. Many of the strategic research initiatives of NFCR have become a global research platform that is facilitating both basic and translational research to accelerate cancer research and transform 21st century cancer prevention, diagnostics and care.

Salisbury is also a co-founder of the Asian Fund for Cancer Research, headquartered in Hong Kong, which has enabled cancer researchers in Asia and worldwide to pool their resources and stop duplicating their efforts—accelerating discoveries being made and reducing the cost of achieving them for Asian prevalent cancers.

In 2018, Salisbury co-founded the Adaptive Innovative Medical Hi-Impact Initiatives Translational Research Fund (AIM-HI), a 501(c)(3) accelerator fund which provides university based oncology startups with funding to bridge the “Valley of the Death.” The AIM- HI Translational Research Fund supports a virtual “pipeline” of cancer therapeutics development from the discovery phase through several stages of clinical evaluation, accelerating FDA approval and commercialization of these new approaches to preventing, diagnosing and treating cancer. Eight startups have been launched to commercialize the research discoveries for potential new treatments.

Mark Baran

Director

Mark Baran

Director

Mark R. Baran currently serves on the board of AIM-HI. He is the Founder and President of Net Lease 1031, LLC which was formed to provide a customized approach for real estate investors and their advisors by leading a coordinated strategy for unique solutions in the disposition of their real estate in a tax efficient manner.

Bachelors of architecture and administrative science, Yale University
Certified Investment Management Analyst, University of Pennsylvania Wharton School

Prior to Net Lease 1031 he was the Co-Founder of Four Springs Capital, LLC where he originally led the Capital Markets Group since its formation in 2008 before specializing in the 1031 DST tax deferred division of the firm during which he advised investors, accountants and attorneys throughout the country. Mark has more than thirty years of experience in real estate, investment management and private equity including senior roles in real estate at JMB Realty and Boston Capital. Prior to Four Springs Capital, LLC, Mark advised high net worth investors, family offices and foundations at Neuberger Berman, Nicholas Applegate, State Street Research and Spencer Trask Ventures as well as Yale University raising funds for the Yale endowment. 

Mark currently serves on the Council of Advisors for the National Foundation for Cancer Research and is the former chairman of its investment committee. He is also the founder of Swim4TheCure and has been active in various community and alumni organizations at Yale University and in Greenwich Connecticut.

Brian Leyland-Jones, MBBS, Ph.D.

Chief Medical Officer

Brian Leyland-Jones, MBBS, Ph.D.

Chief Medical Officer

Brian Leyland-Jones, BSc (Ist class Hons), MBBS, PhD, FRACP, FRCPC is the Chief Medical Officer and Scientific Advisory Board Member for the National Foundation for Cancer Research (NFCR) and Chief Scientific Officer of The Darwin Foundation. He also serves as the Chief Medical Officer of Xylonix and the N OF 1 Mission, collectively devoted to the implementation of prevention and cure of malignancy globally.  He sits on several national and international boards including the Asian Foundation for Cancer Research (AFCR), NED Biosystems, Non-Pareil, Ratio and is Director Emeritus for the WIN Consortium.  He founded Xanthus, AKESOgen and Viviphi.

Dr.  Leyland-Jones holds biochemistry, medical, and doctoral degrees from the University of London. Following residency training at Hammersmith, Brompton, St. Bartholomew’s and London hospitals, he completed a clinical pharmacology fellowship at Cornell University and a medical oncology fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He then joined the academic staff at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and New York Hospitals with a special research interest in Early Phase clinical, clinical pharmacological and biomarker evaluation of many anticancer compounds, including the platinums and anthracycline analogs in use today. In 1983, he moved to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to head the Developmental Chemotherapy section. During his time with the NCI, he was responsible for the overall development of approximately 70 anti-cancer compounds in various stages of transition from in-vitro screening to Phase III clinical trials, including overseeing the early development of paclitaxel in Phase 1 and 2 trials. From 1990 to 2000, he served as founding chair of Oncology and director of the McGill University Comprehensive Cancer Centre. He recruited and built a broad multifaceted cancer centre, including a robust cross-hospital clinical trials enterprise, with deep clinical pharmacologic and biomarker support. Dr. Leyland-Jones continued as the Minda de Gunzberg Chair in Oncology and professor of medicine at McGill University in Montreal, Canada for 7 additional years, focusing on the development and biomarker strategies of several of the new targeted oncologic agents.

He joined Emory University in 2007. As Director of the Winship Cancer Centre and Associate Vice-President of Health Sciences, Dr. Leyland-Jones lead the Centre to obtain National Cancer Institute Cancer Centre Designation, the first in the State of Georgia, and for the first time in 30 years.  Dr. Leyland-Jones was instrumental in building the Genomics Medicine Program at the Avera Cancer Institute in Sioux Falls, SD where he was the Vice President of Molecular and Experimental Medicine from 2014-2019.   Dr. Leyland-Jones’ principal academic contributions have been in the fields of anticancer therapy development, the pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacogenetics of oncological clinical trials, the translation of preclinical models into the clinic, biomarker endpoints in Phase I/II clinical trials, and screening and mechanistic studies of novel targeted and chemotherapeutic anticancer agents.

Dr. Leyland-Jones is the recipient of numerous research grants, and has served as principal, co-principal and co-investigator on more than 100 clinical studies. He has authored and co-authored more than 210 peer-reviewed articles and book contributions, 25 books and book chapters, 425 abstracts and 35 patents.  He has a robust speaking and private consulting practice that takes him all over the world.

Brian Leyland-Jones, BSc (Ist class Hons), MB BS, PhD, FRACP, FRCPC is the Chief Medical Officer and Scientific Advisory Board Member for NFCR. He also serves as the Chief Medical Officer of OTraces and the N OF 1 Mission, CSO of The Darwin Foundation, collectively devoted to the implementation of prevention and cure of malignancy globally. He sits on several national and international boards including AFCR, NED Biosystems, Non-Pareil, Ratio and is Director Emeritus for the WIN Consortium. He founded Xanthus, AKESOgen and Viviphi.

Dr. Leyland-Jones holds biochemistry, medical, and doctoral degrees from the University of London. Following residency training at Hammersmith, Brompton, St. Bartholomew’s and London hospitals, he completed a clinical pharmacology fellowship at Cornell University and a medical oncology fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He then joined the academic staff at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and New York Hospitals with a special research interest in Early Phase clinical, clinical pharmacological and biomarker evaluation of many anticancer compounds, including the platinums and anthracycline analogs in use today. In 1983, he moved to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to head the Developmental Chemotherapy section. He was responsible for the overall development of approximately 70 anti-cancer compounds in various stages of transition from in-vitro screening to Phase III clinical trials. From 1990 to 2000, he served as founding chair of Oncology and director of the McGill University Comprehensive Cancer Centre. He recruited and built a broad multifaceted cancer centre, including a robust cross-hospital clinical trials enterprise. Dr. Leyland-Jones continued as the Minda de Gunzberg Chair in Oncology and professor of medicine at McGill University in Montreal, Canada for 7 additional years, focusing on the development and biomarker strategies of several new targeted oncologic agents. He joined Emory University in 2007 as Director of the Winship Cancer Centre and Associate Vice-President of Health Sciences. Dr. Leyland-Jones was instrumental in building the Genomics Medicine Program at the Avera Cancer Institute where he was the Vice President of Molecular and Experimental Medicine from 2014-2019.  

Dr. Leyland-Jones’ principal academic contributions have been in the fields of anticancer therapy development, the pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacogenetics of oncological clinical trials, the translation of preclinical models into the clinic, biomarker endpoints in Phase I/II clinical trials, and screening and mechanistic studies of novel targeted and chemotherapeutic anticancer agents. Dr. Leyland-Jones is the recipient of numerous research grants, and has served as principal, co-principal and co-investigator on more than 100 clinical studies. He has authored and co-authored more than 210 peer-reviewed articles and book contributions, 25 books and book chapters, 425 abstracts and 35 patents. He has a robust speaking and private consulting practice that takes him all over the world.

Alfred Slanetz, Ph.D.

Director

Alfred Slanetz, Ph.D.

Director

Dr. Alfred Slanetz currently serves as a Director of the Board of the the National Foundation for Cancer Research (NFCR).  He is the founder, president, and chief executive officer of Geneius Biotechnology, Inc. (Geneius) and has been since its incorporation. He also has served as a director on Geneius’s board since its incorporation in 2012.

Bachelors of Science in Biology, Hamilton College
Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering, Brown University
Ph.D in Molecular and Immunobiology, Yale University

Geneius, an immuno-oncology start-up, is researching ways to help cancer patients’ immune systems detect and attack cancer cells. This new therapy is dubbed Targeted DiversiTy and when combined with surgery, it promises to change the difficult process or surgery, drugs and radiation that is the current standard.

Between 2006 and 2011 Dr. Slanetz was President and CEO at Bluebird Bio. He served as President and CEO of Genetix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. He served as Vice President, Business Development of TRANSGENE in May 1996. From 1994 to 1996, he served as Manager, New Product Planning and Development at Genentech Inc. Prior to that, Dr. Slanetz was a Management Consultant for Arthur D. Little.

In 1993 Dr. Slanetz received his Ph.D. in Molecular and Immunobiology from Yale University. He earned his Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering from Brown University in 1986. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Hamilton College.

Yajun Xu, Ph.D.

Director

Yajun Xu, Ph.D.

Director

Dr. Yajun Xu is a seasoned biotech investor with more than 20 years of senior management experience in Biotech and pharma. Yajun is currently a managing partner of Hongsen Capital, a co-founder of Epimab Inc., and serves as a board member and advisor for numerous biotech companies and investment firms in U.S. and China.

Bachelors of Science, Beijing University of Chemical Technology
Master of Science, Beijing University of Chemical Technology
Ph.D in Biochemistry, Brandeis University in Massachusetts

Yajun has previously served as the President of Shangpharma Investment Group, as Senior Vice President of Corporate Development of Shangpharma, as Vice President of Biology and Pre-Clinical Services at Chempartner (a Shangpharma affiliate), as Director of Inflammation at Millennium Pharma Inc., and as Senior Scientist at BASF Bioresearch Corp. (now AbbVie Bioresearch Corp.).

Yajun received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry at Brandeis University and completed her postdoctoral training at Harvard University School of Public Health.

Webster K. Cavenee, Ph.D.

Director of Strategic Alliances, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research

Webster K. Cavenee, Ph.D.

Director of Strategic Alliances, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research

Dr. Cavenee did his graduate and postdoctoral training in cell biology, biochemistry and human genetics. He received his Ph.D. with honors in 1977 from the University of Kansas Medical School and then did postdoctoral work at the Jackson Laboratory, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the University of Utah. He has held faculty positions at the University of Cincinnati and McGill University (where he was the Founding Director of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Montreal Branch).  From 1991-2015 he was Founding Director of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, San Diego Branch and Distinguished Professor of Medicine at the University of California at San Diego. Since 2015, he is Director, Strategic Alliances-CNS of Ludwig Cancer Research with global responsibilities. He is also Distinguished Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego.

His research has evolved over the years to the interplay between oncogenic and suppressive mutations in the genesis and progression of human tumors, particularly those of the central nervous system, and their influence on therapeutic response. This work involves cellular genetics, engineered mouse models, protein biochemistry and tumor biology. Dr. Cavenee’s most recognized accomplishments are in the genetic basis of cancer predisposition, tumor progression, oncogenic cellular signaling and the use of genetic approaches for cancer diagnosis and prognosis. He has served on many NIH review and advisory panels including the Boards of Scientific Counselors of the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and advisory boards for several NIH Cancer Center Support, SPORE and PO1 grants, as well those of several private foundations and international institutions. He has been President of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Dr. Cavenee is an elected member/fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, the Chinese Academy of Engineering, the Leopoldina German Academy of Science, the AACR Academy, the International Union Against Cancer, the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the American Academy of Microbiology. He has published more than 380 scientific papers and received more than 120 honors, most notably the Charles S. Mott Prize of the General Motors Cancer Research Foundation, the Albert Szent-Gyorgyi Award from the National Foundation for Cancer Research, the Margaret Foti Award for Leadership and Extraordinary Achievements in Cancer Research from the American Association for Cancer Research, the Feldman Founder’s Award from the National Brain Tumor Society and the Friendship Award from the People’s Republic of China.

Pamela Garzone, Ph.D.

Chief Development Officer, Anixa Biosciences

Pamela Garzone, Ph.D.

Chief Development Officer, Anixa Biosciences

Pamela Garzone currently serves as Chief Development Officer of Anixa Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: ANIX), a biotechnology company focused on the treatment and prevention of cancer and infectious diseases, where she oversees Anixa’s vaccine and therapeutic development programs. Prior to that, Pamela was most recently the Chief Medical Officer of Calibr, a division of Scripps Research. Prior to joining Calibr, Pamela spent ten years at Pfizer (2009-2019), located in South San Francisco, CA. Before Pfizer, Pamela was Senior Director of Clinical Development at Elan Pharmaceuticals (2006-2009), focusing on early stage assets in neurodegenerative and autoimmune diseases. Prior to Elan, Pamela provided consulting services to countless executives in the area of drug development for over a decade. In the early years of her industrial career, Pamela created her pathway to leadership- managing preclinical groups such as toxicology and pharmacokinetic and drug metabolism functions in addition to planning and developing protocols for clinical pharmacology studies. Pamela has taught undergraduate and graduate students , providing courses in clinical research, experimental design and clinical pharmacology, while a faculty member of the School of Pharmacy at the University of Pittsburgh. She received the Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy Distinguished Alumni Award in 2019.

Pamela is a respected pharmaceutical executive with a significant record of achievement in drug development and leadership, ascending to the level of Chief Medical Officer. She has led teams successfully through the regulatory process, culminating in clearance of multiple INDs in different therapeutic areas and approval of registration dossiers. Pamela is valued as an authentic leader, providing inspiration and motivation, mediating conflict resolution and was chief influencer of executive management. She has interacted with health authorities (US, CHMP, PMDA, HC) for pre-IND meetings, EOP2 meetings, FDA advisory committees, and EMEA scientific advice meetings. Pamela is an invited speaker at international meetings and for prominent organizations as well as an author of peer reviewed scientific articles. Recognized for her strategic, scientific and regulatory leadership in drug development, she serves as advisor to executives of start-up and clinical stage biotechnology companies, venture capitalists and non-profit research foundations and as the co-chair of AIM-HI Women’s Venture Competition. She has extensive experience helping boards and committees achieve aggressive goals and fulfill key objectives.

Pamela has comprehensive experience providing trusted leadership on boards and committees for a variety of organizations. She has achieved outstanding achievements as National Sponsorship Chair of Women in BioScience. Additionally, she has been profiled in Clinical Leader and served as a member of its Advisory Board. She has volunteered for numerous professional and community organizations.

Pamela earned a Ph.D. in Clinical Science and M.Sc. in Pharmacy from the University of Pittsburgh and a B.Sc. in Pharmacy from Purdue University. She also obtained 2 certificates from Harvard University- the first one in Special Studies Administration and Management and Women on Boards from Harvard University. In addition, she received a certificate in Non-Profit Board Governance from College of San Mateo in California.

Pamela is married with one child. She enjoys scuba diving, hiking, running, cycling and travelling around the world.

Chih-Kao Hu, Ph.D., MBA

Management Consultant, Qral Group

Chih-Kao Hu, Ph.D., MBA

Management Consultant, Qral Group

Chih-Kao is an experienced management consultant working with top 100 pharmaceutical and biotech companies across more than 50 countries. His consulting approach concentrates in providing evidence-based commercialization strategies to healthcare clients by integrating scientific, clinical knowledge into commercialization. Chih-Kao has assisted companies with their commercial design, operation, business expansion and licensing deals. He also has managed several major pharmaceutical merger and acquisitions.

Prior his consulting career, Chih-Kao did a significant amount of scientific research for EGF-like peptides with Nycomed Pharma AS. Its fundamental concept led to the discovery of the anticoagulant Angiomax (bivalirudin). In addition, Chih-Kao worked on a key development project with Boehringer Mannheim and evaluated pharmacokinetic properties of the anti-fibrinolytic protein, Retavase (BM06.022, recombinant tissue plasminogen activator). He has published more than ten scientific articles based on his pharmaceutical research work.

Chih-Kao is a regular speaker on commercialization and scientific topics in various international conferences. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Applied Chemistry summa cum laude from Tamkang University in 1986. He earned a Ph.D. in Chemistry (Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Physics Program) from Carnegie Mellon University in 1995, and a MBA at the Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University in 1997.

Lance Kawaguchi

Chief Executive Officer, Cure Brain Cancer Foundation

Lance Kawaguchi

Chief Executive Officer, Cure Brain Cancer Foundation

Mr. Lance Kawaguchi is an internationally recognized executive leader and board member, with over 25 years of global finance and banking experience, including living and working throughout North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East.

Lance is the CEO of Cure Brain Cancer Foundation (www.curebraincancer.org), a non-profit organization in Australia dedicated to defeating brain cancer.  Lance currently serves as the Chairman of the Asian Fund for Cancer Research (www.AFCR.org), and actively supports the organization’s BRACE Award Venture Competition, which provides seed funding to biotechnology companies that develop products for cancers prevalent in the Asian population. He is also a Member of the Board of Directors of the National Foundation for Cancer Research (www.NFCR.org), a non-profit organization in the US co-founded by Nobel Laureate Albert Szent-Gyorgyi in 1973.  He is also the strategic advisor for the AIM-HI Accelerator Fund (www.AIM-HIAccelerator.org), a non-profit organization in the US focused on advancing oncology start-ups through venture and impact investments.

As CEO of Cure Brain Cancer Foundation, Lance launched the world’s first brain cancer-dedicated Clinical Accelerator program to support early-stage biotechnology companies, researchers, and industry partners to progress innovative therapeutics into the clinic rapidly.  Due to Lance’s unwavering tenacity, Cure Brain Cancer Foundation led the critical funding to bring the revolutionary trial GBM AGILE to Australia through the partnership with the Global Coalition for Adaptive Research (www.gcaresearch.org), a non-profit organization pioneering ground-breaking adaptive clinical trial platforms to deliver innovative therapies to patients faster.

Throughout his career, Lance’s outstanding leadership and innovative approach to diversity and inclusion have seen him recognised by many peak global bodies including the Treasury Management International, prestigious BAME100 Board Talent Index and as one of UPstanding’s 100 leading ethnic minority executives.

Raju Kucherlapati, Ph.D.

Paul C. Cabot Professor of Genetics, Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Raju Kucherlapati, Ph.D.

Paul C. Cabot Professor of Genetics, Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Since 2001 Dr. Kucherlapati is the Paul C. Cabot Professor of Genetics and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and was the first Scientific Director of the Harvard Medical School-Partners HealthCare Center for Genetics and Genomics (HPCGG).

Raju Kucherlapati received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana and did his post-doctoral work at Yale University.  He was assistant professor in the Department of Biochemical Sciences at Princeton University, and then became professor in the Department of Genetics at the University of Illinois College of Medicine. In 1989 Dr. Kucherlapati went to the Albert Einstein College of Medicine where he was the Lola and Saul Kramer Professor of Molecular Genetics and University Chairman of the Department of Molecular Genetics, a position he held for eleven years.  

Dr. Kucherlapati contributed to several different areas of research.  These include gene targeting and homologous recombination, human gene mapping, and generation of physical maps of the human genome with special emphasis on human chromosome 12, development of techniques to modify genes in mammalian cells and in cloning many human disease genes He was a member and Chair of several review committees at the NIH, was a member of the National Advisory Council for Human Genome Research at the National Human Genomics Research Institute, and was a co-chair of the steering committee for the National Cancer Institute’s Mouse Models for Human Cancer Consortium. He served on the editorial board of the New England Journal of Medicine and was editor in chief of the journal Genomics.  He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the National Academy of Medicine. Dr. Kucherlapati was a member of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues during the Obama administration.  

Dr. Kucherlapati was a Founder of several biotechnology companies including Cell Genesys, Abgenix (acquired by AMGEN) and Millennium (acquired by Takeda). He serves on the Boards of several privately held biotechnology companies and is a Board member of a publicly traded company called Puretech Health that trades on the London Stock Exchange. He has been active in promoting Precision Medicine in China and is the co-Chair of the International Cancer Precision Medicine Conference that just held it fourth annual meeting in Chongqing.

Lou Lieto, Ph.D., J.D.

Partner, Wilson Sonsini

Lou Lieto, Ph.D., J.D.

Partner, Wilson Sonsini

Dr. Louis D. Lieto is the leader of the patents and innovations department at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and is a partner in the firm’s Boston office. Lou advises biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies on strategic patent counseling, global patent portfolio development and management, and IP counseling for M&A and capital markets in complex life science fields.

Lou has decades of experience advising biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and life science clients on all aspects of patent law and related business matters. He works with innovators engaged in highly technical fields, including CRISPR, cell therapy, immunotherapeutics, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, stem cells, biofuels, regenerative medicine, and transgenic animals. He designed and implemented IP Strategy for multiple companies with drugs in active clinical trials, such as Aileron Therapeutics, Charleston Laboratories, Curemark, Gadeta B.V., BioNTech, Myeloid Therapeutics, Stoke Therapeutics, and TCR2 Therapeutics. He has extensive experience representing investors and companies in Financings and M&A.

Lou received his Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky, where he focused on characterizing the molecular and genetic basis of hereditary disease. Subsequently, Lou completed his postdoctoral fellowship in immunology at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

Prior to joining Wilson Sonsini, Lou was a patent examiner at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office where he examined applications for inventions encompassing proteins, DNA vectors, nucleic acid vaccines, immune cell therapy, stem cell therapy, transgenic animals, and gene therapy.

Jimmy Lu, J.D., MBA

Co-Founder, R3 BIO

Jimmy Lu, J.D., MBA

Co-Founder, R3 BIO

Mr. Jimmy Lu has over 25+ years of high tech and venture capital experience. Having a background in technology investing, he focuses much of his time now on healthcare related investments.

Mr. Lu is Member Of The Board Of Advisors at Elm Street Ventures. He is actively involved as Board Director of DeepBiome Therapeutics (microbiome drug discovery company leveraging deep learning methodologies), Panorama Medicine (advanced computational approaches addressing RNA-based diseases), Kindstar Globalgene Technology (China’s leader in specialty clinical lab testing), PaperG/Thunder (cross platform marketing technologies) and Wonder Workshop (educational toys/devices teaching children how to code). Previously he represented WI Harper on the boards of CNano Technology, China Diagnostics Medical Corporation (Chemclin), StemCyte Inc., Circle Pharma and Quixey.

Prior to joining WI Harper in 2010, Mr. Lu co-founded and was a General Partner of iD Ventures (Acer Technology Ventures), with key investments that included iRobot Corporation (NASDAQ: IRBT), Harmonix Music (creators of Guitar Hero and Rock Band franchises, acquired by MTV/Viacom; NYSE: VIA), ArtX (acquired by ATI Technologies; NASDAQ: AMD), Allayer Communications (acquired by Broadcom; NASDAQ: BRCM), Monolithic Power Systems (NASDAQ: MPWR), Fortinet (NASDAQ: FTNT), and Atrua Technologies (acquired by AuthenTec, later sold to Apple; NASDAQ: AAPL).

Mr. Lu joined the Acer Group, in 1992, and as General Counsel, worked closely with senior management to negotiate and structure Acer’s international joint ventures, strategic alliances, acquisitions, global financings and commercial transactions. Before joining Acer, he was with the McCutchen law firm in San Francisco, specializing in M&A and venture transactions, debt and equity financings, and public securities work. He also spent several years covering Fortune 100 companies as a banker with JP Morgan in New York City.
Mr. Lu earned a BA from Yale College, an MBA from Harvard Business School and a JD from UC Berkeley School of Law. Mr. Lu has spoken at many conferences sponsored by international organizations and has guest lectured and presented at Yale, Harvard, Stanford and Wharton. He has served as the Chair of the Yale Alumni Association and a trustee of the PK Yonge Laboratory School. He is currently a member of the Yale President’s Council on International Activities, the Vice-Chair of the Yale Alumni Magazine board and an Associate Fellow of Trumbull College. He also serves on the University of Florida College of Engineering West Coast Advisory Board and is a member of the advisory board of Elm Street Ventures.

Patty Obermaier

Vice President, US Health and Life Sciences, Microsoft

Patty Obermaier

Vice President, US Health and Life Sciences, Microsoft

Patty Obermaier leads Microsoft’s US sales strategy for driving digital transformation across customers and partners within the health and life sciences marketplace. Responsible for the 400+ sales organization and $3.5B in revenue, Patty is a recognized industry leader in health care and technology. With a strong track record for accelerating business results and building high performance teams, Patty is passionate about driving innovation in the health care industry so every person on this planet can achieve more.

Before she joined Microsoft, Patty founded Resigility LLC and served as CEO between 2015 and 2019. Resigility LLC is a strategic consulting firm dedicated to improving the resiliency and agility of corporations, government agencies, and communities. Patty joined IMS Health in 2009 as part of TPG Capital’s $5 billion private equity take-private / takeover of IMS Health, where she served as Head of Government Solutions and led successful turnaround of US Government business while contributing significantly to corporate growth and profit improvement initiatives. IPO of IMS Health in April 2014 is considered one of the most successful and largest turnarounds in healthcare private equity history. She was Head of US Payer, Provider and Government Markets between 2014 and 2015.

Prior to this, Patty had extensive experiences in CRM, business development, practice development, strategy development and people management with corporations such as Unisys and Collaborex.  She co-founded consulting firm, The ALLERIS Group, in 1993 and served as President until 2000.

Patty received a MBA in Business Administration and General Management from Darden School of Business, University of Virginia. She holds a Bachelor Degree in Biology from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Throughout her career, Patty has built a reputation for thinking differently and seeking innovation. These guiding principles have helped her develop organizations that deliver exceptional results in revenue growth and profitability. As a senior executive and entrepreneur in several industries (healthcare, information technology, and professional services), she has received multiple awards for improving bottom lines and building successful, diverse teams.

Patty is passionate about shaping the future generation’s leadership skills, and is honored to lend her voice as Board Member of the Global Good Fund, and as a volunteer for Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts. Her family is enthusiastic about cycling advocacy and are grateful to have been spotlighted on Nickelodeon’s Worldwide Day of Play, NPR, and Salud America.

Monica Bertagnolli, M.D.

Richard E. Wilson Professor of Surgery in the Field of Surgical Oncology, Harvard Medical School

Monica Bertagnolli, M.D.

Richard E. Wilson Professor of Surgery in the Field of Surgical Oncology, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Bertagnolli is a professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School, and chief of the Division of Surgical Oncology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. She has worked at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital since 2000. She previously served as an associate surgeon at the Strang Cancer Prevention Center in New York from 1994-2007 and as an attending surgeon at New York Presbyterian Hospital–Cornell from 1994-1999.

Dr. Bertagnolli’s laboratory studies the APC (Adenomatous Polyposis Coli) gene, an important factor in colorectal carcinogenesis and in the development of desmoid tumors. Using animal tumor models of the human disease, Familial Adenomatous Polyposis, the laboratory investigates the mechanisms of tumor transformation initiated by APC mutation or loss. The laboratory also studies modulation of APC gene activity and tumor formation by chemopreventive drugs. This work includes animal model studies, and also human clinical trials in colorectal adenoma prevention and risk assessment.

Dr. Bertagnolli maintains an active research laboratory focused on understanding the role of the inflammatory response in epithelial tumor formation. In 1999, she extended her basic laboratory observations to the clinical trials setting as the lead Principal Investigator of the Adenoma Prevention with Celecoxib Trial. This pivotal study, reported in 2006, demonstrated dramatic suppression of colorectal adenomas with selective cyclooxygenase-2 inhibition, but also uncovered unanticipated cardiovascular toxicity with these agents.

Dr. Bertagnolli has served on the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Board of Directors (2007-2011), as well as served on on numerous committees; she was elected as its President in 2018-2019. Dr. Bertagnolli also serves as vice president of Coalition of Cancer Cooperative Groups, chair of Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology, president of the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology Foundation, and CEO of Alliance Foundation Trials, LLC. Since 2012 she has served on the National Academy of Medicine’s National Cancer Policy Forum. In 2011, she received the Partners Healthcare Partners in Excellence Award: Personalized Cancer Medicine Partnership Team, and in 2015, she received the CEO Roundtable on Cancer Charles H. Sanders Life Sciences Award.

Dr. Bertagnolli received her undergraduate degree from Princeton University and her medical degree from the University of Utah College of Medicine; she performed her residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Carlo M. Croce, M.D.

Professor of Internal Medicine, The Ohio State University

Carlo M. Croce, M.D.

Professor of Internal Medicine, The Ohio State University

Dr. Croce entered the school of medicine of La Sapienza University of Rome and graduated in 1969 summa cum laude in medicine and Latin.  He began his career in the United States the following year as an associate scientist at the Wistar Institute of Biology and Anatomy in Philadelphia. In 1980, he was named Wistar Professor of Genetics at the University of Pennsylvania and associate director of the Wistar Institute, titles he held until 1988. He was at Wistar from 18 years. From 1988-91, he was director of the Fels Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Biology at Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia. Croce rapidly expanded the faculty and staff and launched a PhD programme in genetics.

In 1991, Croce was named Director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson Medical College at the Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. While at Jefferson, he discovered in 2002 the role of microRNAs in cancer pathogenesis and progression, implicating a new class of genes in cancer causation – he found that loss of two miRNAs that target BCL2 caused chronic lymphocytic leukemia in mice. 

In 2004, Croce moved to Ohio State University, where he had been an external advisor since 1988. Under his direction, the faculty within the Human Cancer Genetics Program conduct both clinical and basic research. Basic research projects focus on how genes are activated and inactivated, how cell-growth signals are transmitted and regulated within cells, and how cells interact with the immune system. Clinical research focuses on discovering genes linked to cancer and mutations that predispose people to cancer.

Dr. Corce is noted for research into the genetic mechanisms of cancer. His work focuses on microRNAs and their role in oncology. He discovered the juxtaposition of the human immunoglobulin genes to the MYC oncogene and the deregulation of MYC in Burkitt lymphoma; the MLL gene involved in acute leukemias; the TCL1A gene associated with T-cell leukemias; and cloned, named and characterized the BCL2 gene involved in follicular lymphoma. Croce also uncovered early events involved in the pathogenesis of lung, nasopharyngeal, head and neck, esophageal, gastrointestinal and breast cancers.

Dr. Croce received numerous awards, including the 2006 Clowes Memorial Award from the American Association for Cancer Research for his discoveries of the molecular mechanisms of leukemia. In 2010, he was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He received the Szent-Györgyi Prize for Progress in Cancer Research (2011), the Outstanding Investigator Award from National Cancer Institute (2015) and the Dan David Award (2018).

Aleksandra Filipovic, M.D., Ph.D.

Head of Oncology, PureTech Health

Aleksandra Filipovic, M.D., Ph.D.

Head of Oncology, PureTech Health

Aleksandra Filipovic MD, PhD, is head of oncology at PureTech, where she manages Oncology Asset Sourcing, review of oncology/ immuno oncology technologies and platforms from academia world-wide as well as biotech assets and pipelines amenable for commercialization and partnership. She is also responsible for pre-clinical and clinical development of therapeutics, prognostics/diagnostics and treatment delivery and imaging modalities from concept all the way leading up to product launch.

Previously, Dr. Filipovic served as associate medical director of Bristol Myers Squibb (New York) for early phase oncology and immuno-oncology clinical trials. She graduated from medical school at the Faculty of Medicine University of Nis, Serbia, and completed her PhD on the identification and validation of novel therapeutic targets in breast cancer and monoclonal antibody drug development at Imperial College in London, UK. Following this, she received a Fellowship from the College for the continuation of the translational research work and continued clinical practice in medical oncology.

Dr. Filipovic is also a practicing clinician at Imperial College NHS trust, faculty member at European School of Oncology, scientific committee member of Sharing Progress in Cancer Care (SPCC), associate editor for Frontiers in Oncology, and a member of American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO), American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC).

Dimitra Georganopoulou, Ph.D.

Innovation Faculty, MIT linQ CATALYST

Dimitra Georganopoulou, Ph.D.

Innovation Faculty, MIT linQ CATALYST

Dimitra is an experienced biotech professional with deep knowledge of personalized medicine projects, therapeutics. medical devices, diagnostics, and Health IT.

Dimitra is a general partner of Qral Ventures, and serves as Chief Business Officer (CBO) in select portfolio companies. She is currently a member of the Innovation Faculty team for MIT’s LinQ Catalyst program, mentoring and guiding innovators solving health and medical challenges. Dimitra currently serves as a technical dilligence lead for the Keiretsu Forum Midwest Investments and a Venture Partner for MBx Capital (formerly FundRx), a next-generation of healthcare and life science venture capital firm. Dimitra serves as an advisor to the AIM-HI Accelerator Fund, a mentor for the mHUB MedTech Accelerator and mentor for the Polsky COMPASS program. Dimitra is also a Director at Large for Women in Bio {WIB}, responsible for the Executive Women in Bio Committee in Chicago, and on the board of National WIB, an organization dedicated to promoting careers, leadership, and entrepreneurship of women in the life sciences.

She was previously with Baxter International, where she was hired as the Innovation Scout, supporting late-stage technology scouting and tech assessment for due diligence M&A deals. Prior to that, she was the Director of Commercialization for Northwestern University’s Innovation and New Ventures Office, where she actively pursued innovation management, commercialization and funding strategies as well business development opportunities for inventors, ranging from start-up ventures to strategic partnerships, and established and directed an I-Corps like program called INVOForward. Before joining Northwestern, Dimitra was the VP of R&D of Ohmx Corporation, a diagnostic company with novel POC (point-of-care) technology and prior to that she worked for Nanosphere (now Luminex) and Inverness Medical (now Alere / Abbott), in novel biosensor development.

Dimitra earned a Ph.D. in Bioelectrochemistry from University College London (UCL), an M.Sc. in Biosensors from King’s College London; her post-doctoral work focused on nanoparticle based diagnostics. She is the author of numerous peer-reviewed publications and patents.

Jennifer Grandis, M.D.

American Cancer Society Professor, University of California San Francisco

Jennifer Grandis, M.D.

American Cancer Society Professor, University of California San Francisco

Dr. Jennifer Grandis is an otolaryngologist and associate vice chancellor for clinical and translational research at UCSF. She directs the Clinical and Translational Science Institute, which provides resources and builds partnerships to facilitate more efficient and effective research, with the goal of improving individual and community health.

Dr. Grandis’s research focuses on the signal transduction in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) development and progression with the ultimate goal of targeting key pathways for therapeutic benefit. By taking key findings from the clinic and investigating mechanisms in a series of preclinical models, as well as developing novel therapeutic approaches in the laboratory and carrying out innovative clinical trials that employ these treatment strategies.

Grandis earned her medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, where she also completed a residency in surgery, a residency in otolaryngology and a fellowship in infectious diseases. Prior to joining UCSF, she led the University of Pittsburgh’s head and neck cancer program.

Grandis is an American Cancer Society Clinical Research Professor and a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, Association of American Physicians and National Academy of Medicine. She has published more than 260 peer-reviewed articles and has contributed to more than 50 review articles (summaries of scholarly research) and book chapters. She holds the UCSF Robert K. Werbe Distinguished Professorship in Head and Neck Cancer.

Kim Kamdar, Ph.D.

Managing Partner, Medical Excellence Capital

Kim Kamdar, Ph.D.

Managing Partner, Medical Excellence Capital

Kim Kamdar, Ph.D. is a Managing Partner with Medical Excellence Capital. Kim has been involved in cutting edge therapeutic start-ups and companies with promising molecular and companion diagnostics to support personalized medicine for over 17 years. Kim has helped to create and served on the board of over a dozen companies. She was founding CEO for Truvian Sciences where she remains Chair. Kim has also helped to create Seraphina Therapeutics and currently serves as Chair. She was the Founding CEO for Obalon Therapeutics (NASDAQ: OBLN) and Aspen Neuroscience. Kim was an early investor and helped to create companies including Syndax Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: SNDX), Singular Genomics (NASDAQ: OMIC) and Pleno. Additional investments and BOD memberships include Alume Biosciences, EPIC Sciences, Evofem Biosciences (NASDAQ: EVFM) and Sera Prognostics (NASDAQ: SERA).

Kim was involved with Ariosa Diagnostics until the company was sold to Roche in January 2015 for $625MM, Omniome until the company was sold to Pacific Bioscience (NASDAQ: PACB) in September 2021 for $800M, Corthera until the company was sold to Novartis in February 2010 for $620MM and BiPar Sciences until that company was sold to Sanofi in April 2009 for $500MM.

Kim has been part of Domain Associates since 2005 and a Partner since 2010. Prior to Domain, Kim was a Kauffman Fellow at MPM Capital where she participated in the firm’s investments in Transform Pharmaceuticals, Portola Pharmaceuticals and Affymax. Previous to that, she was a research director at Novartis, where she built and led a research team that focused on the biology, genetics and genomics of model organisms. Kim is the author of ten papers as well as the inventor on seven patents. She received her B.A. from Northwestern University and her Ph.D. in biochemistry and genetics from Emory University.

Kim is currently an Advisory Board Member for Dr. Eric Topol’s NIH supported Clinical and Translational Science Award for Scripps Medicine and an advisor and on the Investment Committee for Adjuvant Capital, a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation sponsored venture fund focused on global health. Kim also serves as a BOD member for Connect San Diego and Access Youth Academy, a non-profit helping to transform the lives of underserved youth through academic enrichment, health and wellness, social responsibility, and leadership through squash.

Scott Lippman, M.D.

Director, Moores Cancer Center, UC San Diego Health

Scott Lippman, M.D.

Director, Moores Cancer Center, UC San Diego Health

Scott M. Lippman, MD, is director of Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego Health, professor of Medicine at UC San Diego School of Medicine, senior associate dean and associate vice chancellor for Cancer Research and Care and holds the Chugai Pharmaceutical Chair in Cancer. He is also an adjunct professor at the Salk Institute, the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute and MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Dr. Lippman has been recognized in every major “Top Doctor” listing including U.S. News & World Report. He has received numerous awards, including the American Cancer Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Award, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Award and the ASCO Statesman Award.

Dr. Lippman brings more than 25 years of experience as principal investigator of translational research involving investigator-initiated clinical trials. He has participated in the national leadership of clinical/translational research planning and development within the National Cancer Institute Cooperative Group setting and currently serves on the National Cancer Institute’s Clinical Trials and Translational Research Advisory Committee. He is also a member of the Board of Directors for the AACR, the Association of American Cancer Institutes and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network and has served on the FDA Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee.

Dr. Lippman is an elected member of the prestigious Association of American Physicians. He has authored more than 300 publications in high-impact journals, including The New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of the American Medical Association, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and The Lancet, and chapters in major medical textbooks.

Before joining UC San Diego Health, he was chair of the Department of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Lippman completed fellowships in hematology and medical oncology at Stanford University and the University of Arizona. He completed an internship and residency training in internal medicine at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. He received his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is board-certified in internal medicine, hematology and medical oncology.

Beverly Lu, Ph.D.

Investment Manager, Health, Emerson Collective

Beverly Lu, Ph.D.

Investment Manager, Health, Emerson Collective

Beverly Lu is a Biotech VC Investment Manager at Emerson Collective. Prior to joining Emerson, Beverly was a Director at Amgen, responsible for driving strategy and operations of the US portfolio. She was also an Engagement Manager at McKinsey and Company where she advised healthcare corporations in pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and medical device.

Beverly is a trained scientist and received her PhD in Chemistry from Caltech and was a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University.

Amy Millman

President & Co-Founder, Springboard Enterprises

Amy Millman

President & Co-Founder, Springboard Enterprises

Amy Millman is a passionate advocate for women entrepreneurs building Big Businesses Starting Small. In 2000, Amy co-founded Springboard Enterprises, to accelerate the growth of entrepreneurial companies led by women through access to essential resources and a global community of experts. It is now the leading network of influencers, investors and innovators dedicated to building high-growth companies led by women who are transforming industries in technology and life science.

The Springboard portfolio numbers over 750 companies securing investment of financial and human capital for product development and expansion, having raised nearly $10 Billion, created tens of thousands new jobs and generated billions in annual revenues. With 190 exits to strategic acquirers and 19 IPOs, Springboard entrepreneurs are transforming industries.

During her career in Washington, DC, she served as a lobbyist for several industry groups and was appointed as Executive Director of the National Women’s Business Council, a US federal commission, from 1993-2000. She’s a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University and holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from The George Washington University.

Eifion Phillips, Ph.D., J.D.

Patent Attorney

Eifion Phillips, Ph.D., J.D.

Patent Attorney

A medicinal chemistry scientist turned patent attorney, Dr. Eifion Phillips has helped secure his clients’ intellectual property portfolios across various fields and innovations, including those pertaining to small and large molecule pharmaceuticals, drug formulation and delivery, methods of treatment, biochemical processes and manufacturing. He previously worked at Omeros Corporation, serving as a senior in-house legal advisor of the commercial-stage pharmaceutical and biotechnology company. From 2007 to 2018, Dr. Phillips served as a principal at Fish & Richardson P.C., where he provided client counseling, patent preparation and global patent prosecution services in the areas of pharmaceuticals, chemistry, and biotechnology. He earlier worked as a medicinal chemist at AstraZeneca, where he was an inventor for 21 issued U.S. patents and 29 Patent Cooperation Treaty patent applications.

Dr. Phillips received a D. Phil. in chemistry from the University of Oxford, and pursued a postdoctoral fellowship at Columbia University. He earned his J.D. from the Widener University School of Law. Dr. Phillips is currently admitted to practice in the U.S. states of Delaware and Pennsylvania, as well with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Kanaga Sabapathy, Ph.D.

Head, Division of Cellular and Molecular Research, National Cancer Center Singapore

Kanaga Sabapathy, Ph.D.

Head, Division of Cellular and Molecular Research, National Cancer Center Singapore

Dr. Sabapathy obtained his Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Immunology from the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB), A*STAR, Singapore, in 1995. After a post-doctoral stint at the Institute of Molecular Pathology in Vienna, Austria, he moved to the National Cancer Center of Singapore (NCCS) in late 1999 as the Principal Investigator of the Laboratory of Molecular Carcinogenesis. In 2013 Dr. Sabapathy became Head of the Division of Cellular and Molecular Research, overseeing NCCS’ research activities. He is also the Research Director of the Academic Clinical Program in Oncology at SingHealth. Dr. Sabapathy is a joint Professor with the Department of Biochemistry at the National University of Singapore (NUS), a Professor with the Cancer and Stem Cell Biology Program at Duke University-NUS and a joint Research Director at the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology. Furthermore, he is a fellow to the United Kingdom’s Royal College of Pathologists and was awarded the inaugural Singapore National Research Foundation Investigatorship award in 2015.

Dr. Sabapathy’s research is focused on better understanding the molecular mechanisms contributing to carcinogenesis and the alterations that lead to therapeutic resistance. His research helped to understand how mutant p53—the most widely mutated gene among cancer cells – contributes to cancer development and drug resistance. His lab has also unraveled how changes associated with another key gene, p73, lead to cancer.

Continued research into these two gene pathways might aid in identifying the most feasible molecular targets in anticipation of new therapeutic methods and advances in genetic engineering. Dr. Sabapathy’s lab has also developed updated models that recapitulate human cancers such as liver cancer. These models enable his team to identify new biomarkers for early detection as well as potential molecular targets for timely intervention.

Michael Salgaller, Ph.D.

Supervisory Invention Development & Marketing Specialist, National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute

Michael Salgaller, Ph.D.

Supervisory Invention Development & Marketing Specialist, National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute

Dr. Michael Salgaller leads the Invention Development and Marketing Unit within the National Cancer Institute’s Technology Transfer Center, where he leverages over 20 years of business, scientific, and investment experience in various life science sectors to support technology development and commercialization. Previously, he provided technical and strategic expertise to The Conafay Group, a DC-based government affairs firm – leading efforts on non-dilutive funding and alliance development. Previously, he was a key member of the business development team for the healthcare practice at SAIC, a Fortune-500 government contractor. He helped lead and deepen relationships with the Department of Health and Human Services – especially NIH and FDA – as well as foundations and patient advocacy groups. Before SAIC, he was a long-time industry executive who has held various positions in early-stage biotechnology and boutique professional service firms. In addition, Dr. Salgaller was on the investment team of Toucan Capital, a $120M early-stage venture firm dedicated to the life sciences, where he guided company formation and helped raise follow-on financing. He began his career as a Senior Staff Scientist with Dr. Steve Rosenberg at the National Cancer Institute, where he oversaw a lab developing immunotherapies for patients with terminal cancer.

Dr. Salgaller serves on the Life Sciences Advisory Board of the Maryland-Israel Development Center, as well as NCI liaison to the Maryland Technology Council. He is an advisor to DC ArchAngels and the Cooperative Angel Alumni Group. He is the author of “Biotechnology Entrepreneurship,” which is used as a reference text for courses at NIH and Catholic University, among others. He is the author of over 100 articles, presentations, and book chapters, and is on the editorial boards of several journals. Dr. Salgaller received his PhD in Pathology from The Ohio State University.

Paul Schimmel, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, The Scripps Research Institute

Paul Schimmel, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, The Scripps Research Institute

Paul Schimmel, Ph.D., is a biophysical chemist and he received his B.A. in biochemistry and biophysics from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1962, and then went on to earn his Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Currently, Dr. Schimmel is the Ernest and Jean Hahn Professor of Molecular Biology and Chemistry at The Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology at The Scripps Research Institute. He formerly was the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics in the Department of Biology at MIT. 

Throughout his career, Dr. Schimmel has received numerous honors and awards, including the American Chemical Society’s Pfizer Award in Enzyme Chemistry, the Biophysical Society’s Emily M. Gray Award for significant contributions to education in biophysics, the Chinese Biopharmaceutical Association Brilliant Achievement Award and the Stein and Moore Award of the Protein Society. He was also elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society and the Institute of Medicine. He has also been active in many scientific and academic organizations and committees, including serving as Chairman of the Division of Biological Chemistry of the American Chemical Society. In addition to these honors and positions, Ohio Wesleyan University (his undergraduate alma mater) conferred on him an honorary Doctor of Science Degree. 

Dr. Schimmel has given many honorary lectures, including the Peter Debye Lectures (Cornell University), the Sherman Beychok Lecture (Columbia University), the Reilly Lectures (University of Notre Dame), the Mildred Cohn Lecture (University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine), the University Lecture Series (University of Texas Health Sciences Center (Dallas), the Stanley Gill Memorial Lecture (University of Colorado), the Sir Hans Krebs Lecture (Sheffield, UK), the Nucleic Acids Award Lecture (Biochemical Society and Royal Society of Chemistry, UK), Henry Kamin Lecture (Duke University), the Perlman Lecture Award (American Chemical Society) and the Marker Lecture Series (Pennsylvania State University). 

Dr. Schimmel is the author or co-author of more than 400 scientific papers and a widely-used three-volume textbook on biophysical chemistry, and he’s an editorial board member of ten different scientific journals. He holds several patents and is a co-founder or founding director of eleven biotechnology companies: Alkermes, Inc., Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc., aTyr Pharma, Inc., Avicena Group, Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Momenta Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Repligen Corporation, and Sirtris Pharmaceuticals. These companies develop new therapies for human diseases and disorders.

Fei Shen, Ph.D.

Managing Director, Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund USA

Fei Shen, Ph.D.

Managing Director, Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund USA

Fei is an Investment Director in the Boehringer Ingelheim Corporate Venture Fund. She joined the Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund in 2020 and is located in Boston, MA.

Fei received her Ph.D. in Neuropharmacology from Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine and a B.Sc in Biochemistry from East China University Science & Technology.

In 2007, she started her industrial career at Theravance Biopharma as an in vivo pharmacologist and led a lab in driving multiple research projects from exploratory, lead optimization to development candidate nomination, including TD-1473 in Ulcerative Colitis, Ampreloxetine in Fibromyalgia, Velusetrag in Gastroparesis, TD-8954 in Post-operative Gastrointestinal Dysfunction. In 2015, she joined Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc. Global Immunology and Respiratory Disease Research in Ridgefield where she started as a Laboratory Head and became the Head of in vivo Pharmacology group in 2016. From 2015 to 2020, before joining the BI Venture Fund, Fei led a group of ~20 in vivo pharmacologists supporting the Immunology and Respiratory Portfolio for small molecule, antisense and antibody projects.

Thea Tlsty, Ph.D.

Professor of Pathology, University of California San Francisco

Thea Tlsty, Ph.D.

Professor of Pathology, University of California San Francisco

Dr. Thea Tlsty is Professor of Pathology at the University of California, San Francisco. She is known for her research in cancer biology, and her involvement in the discovery of cells that may be at the origin of metaplastic cancer, an invasive form of breast cancer.

Dr. Tlsty led an eight-year research study, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute in 2010, which established a means to predict whether women with early stage breast cancer might develop more serious tumours, using “biomarkers” (biological indicators in the body) to determine cancer risk. She also led research into ‘pluripotent’ stem cells in breast tissue, seeking to identify if these caused tumours. This research had looked at wound cells in breast tissue, and identified ‘repair cells’ that could transform into a range of other cells, including neurons, bone and cartilage – with the potential therefore to also treat cancers and other diseases.

In 2015 Dr. Tlsty co-authored research into the use of 3D tissue culture models to study breast cancer cell generation, and later collaborated with Adam Engler of the University of California, San Diego in developing devices to test how strongly cells attach to tumor tissue, exploring if adhesion strength could be an accurate marker of metastatic cells.

Dr. Tlsty was awarded a 2019 Cancer Research UK Grand Challenge award to support a research project in collaboration with scientists from the UK, Canada, and Israel. The project will focus on understanding how chronic inflammation contributes to cancer.

Dr. Tlsty gained a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology from the University of South Florida, Tampa (1973). She started a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, which she completed in 1980 after transferring to Washington University in St. Louis.

Daniel D. Von Hoff M.D., F.A.C.P.

Physician-in-Chief & Distinguished Professor, Translational Genomics Research Institute

Daniel D. Von Hoff M.D., F.A.C.P.

Physician-in-Chief & Distinguished Professor, Translational Genomics Research Institute

Daniel D. Von Hoff, M.D., F.A.C.P. FASCO, FAACR is currently Physician in Chief, Distinguished Professor at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) in Phoenix, Arizona. He holds the Virginia G. Piper Distinguished Chair for Innovative Cancer Research at HonorHealth Clinical Research Institute and the Margaret Givan Larkin Endowed Chair in Developmental Cancer Therapeutics at Hoag Hospital and Medical Director of Research at McKesson Specialty Health and the Chief Scientific Officer for US Oncology Research specializing in phase I clinical trials. He is also Professor of Medicine at the University of Arizona and at the Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, AZ and Senior Consultant of Clinical Investigation at the City of Hope.

Dr. Von Hoff’s major interest is in the development of new anticancer agents, both in the clinic and in the laboratory. He and his colleagues were involved in the beginning of the development of many FDAapproved agents we now use routinely, including: mitoxantrone, fludarabine, paclitaxel, docetaxel, gemcitabine, irinotecan, nelarabine, capecitabine, lapatinib, vismodegib, nab-paclitaxel, nal-IRI, pexidartinib and others. His clinical trial work has led to the approval of 3 of the 4 drugs approved by the FDA for treatment of patients with advanced pancreatic cancer. At present, he and his colleagues are concentrating on the development of therapies for patients with advanced pancreatic cancer.

Dr. Von Hoff has published more than 741 papers, 143 book chapters and over 1186 abstracts. Dr. Von Hoff received the 2010 David A. Karnofsky Memorial Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology for his outstanding contributions to cancer research leading to significant improvement in patient care and most recently the AACR Distinguished Public Service Award in recognition of his extraordinary clinical research career and leadership in establishing the AACR/ASCO Methods in Clinical Cancer Research Workshop to educate and train young clinical investigators.

Dr. Von Hoff was appointed to President Bush’s National Cancer Advisory Board in 2004-2010. Dr. Von Hoff is the past President of the American Association for Cancer Research (the world’s largest cancer research organization), a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, and a member and past board member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. He is a founder of ILEX™ Oncology, Inc. (acquired by Genzyme after Ilex had 2 agents, alemtuzumab and clofarabine approved by the FDA for patients with leukemia). Dr. Von Hoff is founder and the Editor Emeritus of Investigational New Drugs – The Journal of New Anticancer Agents; and, past Editor-in-Chief of Molecular Cancer Therapeutics. He is a co-founder of the AACR/ASCO Methods in Clinical Trial Cancer Research Workshop, which has graduated more than 2100 clinical trial physicians. He is also proud to have been a mentor and teacher for multiple medical students, medical oncology fellows, graduate students, and post-doctoral fellows.

Barbara Weber, M.D.

President & CEO, Tango Therapeutics

Barbara Weber, M.D.

President & CEO, Tango Therapeutics

Barbara is President and CEO of Tango Therapeutics, a biotechnology company she began building shortly after joining Third Rock Ventures (TRV) in March 2015.  Tango launched with a $55M Series A from TRV in March 2017 and Barbara as interim CEO.  In September 2017, Barbara accepted the position as permanent President and CEO, while remaining a part-time venture partner at TRV. Tango has a target discovery engine based on the genetic principle of synthetic lethality, several lead drug discovery programs and a developing pipeline of novel genetic targets selected to make important contributions to cancer patients.

In her role at TRV, Barbara was interim CMO for Neon Therapeutics from launch in April 2015 until September 2017 and played a leadership role in creating Relay Therapeutics, launched in March 2016.  Barbara also is a member of the Board of Directors of Revolution Medicine, another exceptional cancer drug discovery company launched by TRV in 2015.

Prior to joining Third Rock Ventures, Barbara was SVP and Global Head, Oncology Translational Medicine at Novartis from 2009 to 2015 and VP, Oncology Discovery and Translational Medicine at GlaxoSmithKline from 2005 to 2009. Prior to joining the pharmaceutical industry, Barbara was Professor of Medicine and Genetics at The University of Pennsylvania, leading a clinical and translational research program in cancer genetics.

Barbara is an elected member of the American Association of Physicians and the American Society for Clinical Investigation, of which she served as President in 2005. Barbara also has served on the Board of Directors of both ASCO and AACR. She is a graduate of the University of Washington School of Medicine, completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Yale University and her fellowship in Medical Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

National Foundation for Cancer Research

The National Foundation for Cancer Research (NFCR) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides scientists in the lab the funding they need to make and apply game-changing discoveries in cancer treatments, detection, prevention and, ultimately, a cure. NFCR has distinguished itself by emphasizing long-term, transformative research often overlooked by other major funding sources and/or deemed too risky. Since its establishment in 1973, NFCR has provided more than $380 million for cancer research and public education.

Microsoft

Microsoft’s mission is to enable people and businesses throughout the world to realize their full potential by creating technology that transforms the way people work, play, and communicate. Microsoft life sciences empower healthcare organizations of all sizes to reimagine the ways they bring together people, processes and health data insights to improve care delivery. The corporation provides pharma and life sciences solutions to enable personalized patient experiences, accelerate innovation, and improve operational outcomes within a secure and compliant environment.

Scripps Research

Scripps Research ranks as among the most influential scientific organizations in the world, unparalleled in propelling innovation in science and medicine. Its unique structure merges foundational studies in biology, chemistry and computer science with translational science to produce the next generation of drugs and advances in digital and precision medicine. Scientists in the institute’s five academic research departments work hand-in-hand with researchers of the Scripps Research Translational Institute and Calibr. Together, they cultivate the next generation of scientific leaders and expand the frontiers of knowledge to drive innovation that improves lives around the planet.

Springboard Enterprises

Springboard’s mission is to accelerate the growth of entrepreneurial companies led by women through access to essential resources and a global community of experts. We are a leading network of influencers, investors and innovators dedicated to building high-growth companies led by women who are transforming industries in technology and life science.

Asian Fund for Cancer Research

The Asian Fund for Cancer Research (AFCR) is a non-profit organization committed to curing cancers that have significant impacts on Asian populations. Headquartered in Hong Kong, AFCR is uniquely positioned to implement in Asia the newest cancer research discoveries and technologies from around the world, investigate the distinct causes of cancer in Asian populations through innovative genetic and molecular research, and develop more effective therapies tailored to the region’s cancer patients.

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

Representing the technology pioneers and disruptors associated with market-changing innovation, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati’s legacy closely traces the birth and evolution of Silicon Valley. For more than six decades, the firm has represented the technology pioneers associated with virtually every milestone innovation.
Today, Wilson Sonsini is synonymous with ushering promising, innovative companies through their business life cycle. The firm now represents many of the largest companies in the world—and thousands of the smallest ones, too.

Incubate

Incubate is a 501(c)(4) organization of venture capital organizations representing the patient, corporate, and investment communities. Our primary aim is to educate policymakers on the role of venture in bringing promising ideas to patients in need. Their mission is to insure patients continue to reap the benefits of the unrelenting innovation spurred by venture capital investment in the life sciences industry and protected by the American system of intellectual property.

Dorsey & Whitney LLP

Clients have relied on the international law firm of Dorsey & Whitney LLP since 1912 as a trusted legal advisor and valued business partner. With locations across the United States as well as Canada, Europe and Asia, Dorsey provides an integrated, proactive approach to its clients’ legal and business needs. Dorsey represents a number of the world’s most successful companies from a wide range of industries, including leaders in the health care and life sciences industries. Dorsey’s diverse client base includes more than one-third of Fortune 100 companies.

GoMo Health

GoMo Health is a leader in designing, implementing, and marketing award-winning, personalized patient engagement solutions that support the continuum of care. Their solutions are highly scalable and cost-effective, enabling better self-management, healthy decisions making, and improved outcomes. By connecting behavioral science and technology to enhance outpatient care, the company is powering mobile, digital therapeutics that personalize care to improve healthcare outcomes.

BLA Regulatory

BLA Regulatory, as a Trusted Partner in Regulatory Affairs, will guide their clients through every step of the regulatory process by creating a tailored end-to-end approach depending on the product and company’s needs. With a combined experience of more than 130 years, the team brings in collective knowledge from major biopharmaceutical companies, CROs, and the FDA. Their qualified expertise expands across CMC, nonclinical, clinical, statistics, scientific writing, and project management.

rooom

rooom is an international company with several locations in Germany and the USA. With experienceCloud, rooom offers an all-in-one platform for the creation, management and marketing of impressive 2D, 3D, AR and VR experiences. The company specializes in virtual and hybrid events, 3D product presentations and virtual showrooms for companies in any industry.

Partners and Sponsors

National Foundation for Cancer Research

The National Foundation for Cancer Research (NFCR) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides scientists in the lab the funding they need to make and apply game-changing discoveries in cancer treatments, detection, prevention and, ultimately, a cure. NFCR has distinguished itself by emphasizing long-term, transformative research often overlooked by other major funding sources and/or deemed too risky. Since its establishment in 1973, NFCR has provided more than $380 million for cancer research and public education.

Microsoft

Microsoft’s mission is to enable people and businesses throughout the world to realize their full potential by creating technology that transforms the way people work, play, and communicate. Microsoft life sciences empower healthcare organizations of all sizes to reimagine the ways they bring together people, processes and health data insights to improve care delivery. The corporation provides pharma and life sciences solutions to enable personalized patient experiences, accelerate innovation, and improve operational outcomes within a secure and compliant environment.

Scripps Research

Scripps Research ranks as among the most influential scientific organizations in the world, unparalleled in propelling innovation in science and medicine. Its unique structure merges foundational studies in biology, chemistry and computer science with translational science to produce the next generation of drugs and advances in digital and precision medicine. Scientists in the institute’s five academic research departments work hand-in-hand with researchers of the Scripps Research Translational Institute and Calibr. Together, they cultivate the next generation of scientific leaders and expand the frontiers of knowledge to drive innovation that improves lives around the planet.

Springboard Enterprises

Springboard’s mission is to accelerate the growth of entrepreneurial companies led by women through access to essential resources and a global community of experts. We are a leading network of influencers, investors and innovators dedicated to building high-growth companies led by women who are transforming industries in technology and life science.

Asian Fund for Cancer Research

The Asian Fund for Cancer Research (AFCR) is a non-profit organization committed to curing cancers that have significant impacts on Asian populations. Headquartered in Hong Kong, AFCR is uniquely positioned to implement in Asia the newest cancer research discoveries and technologies from around the world, investigate the distinct causes of cancer in Asian populations through innovative genetic and molecular research, and develop more effective therapies tailored to the region’s cancer patients.

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

Representing the technology pioneers and disruptors associated with market-changing innovation, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati’s legacy closely traces the birth and evolution of Silicon Valley. For more than six decades, the firm has represented the technology pioneers associated with virtually every milestone innovation.
Today, Wilson Sonsini is synonymous with ushering promising, innovative companies through their business life cycle. The firm now represents many of the largest companies in the world—and thousands of the smallest ones, too.

Incubate

Incubate is a 501(c)(4) organization of venture capital organizations representing the patient, corporate, and investment communities. Our primary aim is to educate policymakers on the role of venture in bringing promising ideas to patients in need. Their mission is to insure patients continue to reap the benefits of the unrelenting innovation spurred by venture capital investment in the life sciences industry and protected by the American system of intellectual property.

Dorsey & Whitney LLP

Clients have relied on the international law firm of Dorsey & Whitney LLP since 1912 as a trusted legal advisor and valued business partner. With locations across the United States as well as Canada, Europe and Asia, Dorsey provides an integrated, proactive approach to its clients’ legal and business needs. Dorsey represents a number of the world’s most successful companies from a wide range of industries, including leaders in the health care and life sciences industries. Dorsey’s diverse client base includes more than one-third of Fortune 100 companies.

GoMo Health

GoMo Health is a leader in designing, implementing, and marketing award-winning, personalized patient engagement solutions that support the continuum of care. Their solutions are highly scalable and cost-effective, enabling better self-management, healthy decisions making, and improved outcomes. By connecting behavioral science and technology to enhance outpatient care, the company is powering mobile, digital therapeutics that personalize care to improve healthcare outcomes.

BLA Regulatory

BLA Regulatory, as a Trusted Partner in Regulatory Affairs, will guide their clients through every step of the regulatory process by creating a tailored end-to-end approach depending on the product and company’s needs. With a combined experience of more than 130 years, the team brings in collective knowledge from major biopharmaceutical companies, CROs, and the FDA. Their qualified expertise expands across CMC, nonclinical, clinical, statistics, scientific writing, and project management.

rooom

rooom is an international company with several locations in Germany and the USA. With experienceCloud, rooom offers an all-in-one platform for the creation, management and marketing of impressive 2D, 3D, AR and VR experiences. The company specializes in virtual and hybrid events, 3D product presentations and virtual showrooms for companies in any industry.

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