Janet Bandows Koster

Janet Bandows Koster

Executive Director and CEO
Association for Women in Science

Closing Remarks

Janet has been at the helm of AWIS since July 2006. She has over 25 years of experience leading organizations in both the United States and overseas with particular expertise in global gender and workforce issues. In addition to her newest book “Equitable Solutions for Retaining a Robust STEM Workforce: Beyond Best Practices,” which addresses work/life integration and satisfaction issues faced by those in STEM careers, Janet has authored numerous reports and presented at professional meetings about STEM-related issues.

Janet is principal investigator and co-principal investigator on several federal grants including AWARDS (Advancing Ways of Awarding Recognition in Disciplinary Societies), which partners with 20 disciplinary societies to increase women’s contribution to the research enterprise. She holds degrees in international relations as well as an MBA. She is a Certified Association Executive, a member of the American Society of Association Executives and the Council of Engineering and Scientific Society Executives.

Lisa Durham

Lisa Durham

Director, Leadership Institute and Principal Environmental Engineer
Argonne National Laboratory

Speaker

As the Leadership Institute director, Lisa provides strategic direction and management of creative programs designed to cultivate the leadership potential of all employees and to enable them to maximize their unique contributions to science, engineering and Argonne’s mission. In the role of principal environmental engineer, Lisa is responsible for programs, projects, and research associated with geoenvironmental analyses.

Lisa received her BS in geology from Texas A&M University and her MS in geosciences from Purdue University. She is recognized for her work in the areas of soil and groundwater investigations, data analysis and interpretation and environmental modeling in support of characterization and remediation at hazardous, toxic and radioactive waste sites. Lisa has more than 25 years of scientific and professional experience working with federal agencies in providing innovative technical approaches and expertise to investigate, characterize, and remediate environmentally contaminated legacy sites as a result of the nation’s early atomic weapons and energy programs.

Krisztina Eleki, PhD

Krisztina Eleki, PhD

Executive Director
Chicago Council on Science and Technology

Speaker

Krisztina Eleki is the Executive Director for the Chicago Council on Science and Technology (C2ST), a non-profit organization dedicated to enhance the public’s understanding and appreciation of science and technology and its impact on society. Prior to working for C2ST, she was the Life Science Program Director for the California Science Center in Los Angeles where she designed and oversaw the implementation of life science exhibits and public programs aligned with the mission of the Center. After earning her PhD in environmental science in 2007, Krisztina worked as a Research Associate at Iowa State University. During this time she obtained a Masters of Public Administration degree reflective of her interest in science in society.

Holly Falk-Krzesinski, PhD

Holly Falk-Krzesinski, PhD

Vice President
Strategic Alliances in Global Academic Relations
Elsevier

Speaker

Holly J. Falk-Krzesinski, PhD, is the Vice President for Strategic Alliances in Global Academic Relations for Elsevier where she is focused on how insight from data and analytics guide strategic planning for the research enterprise. Holly’s engagement activities emphasize building partnerships around important issues related to: research analytics; economic development; scholarly communication; open science; information management; expertise discovery & collaboration; and research metrics.  Dr. Falk-Krzesinski is also broadly involved in promoting early career researchers and women leaders in STEM, serving on the NIH’s BEST program External Scientific Panel and as Editor-in-Chief for the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) Magazine. She also serves as a board-alternate for ORCID.

Dr. Falk-Krzesinski is a graduate of the University of Illinois, Chicago with a BS in Biological Sciences and Chemistry.  She earned her Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine and a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. She has retained a faculty appointment at Northwestern University where she continues to teach grantsmanship courses in the Philanthropy and Nonprofit program.

John Flavin

John Flavin

Executive Director
Chicago Innovation Exchange

Speaker

John is the founding executive director of the startup the Chicago Innovation Exchange at the University of Chicago. John is an entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience in the life sciences innovation field. He co-founded and built several companies and has raised over $220 million in private and public capital including two successful NASDAQ IPOs. John also built and led the Chicago Innovation Mentors consortium, which catalyzes faculty and student innovation emerging from several institutions including University of Chicago, Northwestern University and University of Illinois and now includes over 200 mentors and 80 ventures.

John helped lead the planning and launch of MATTER, a new healthcare innovation center in Chicago, is a member of Governor Bruce Rauner’s Innovate Illinois Council and Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s ChicagoNEXT Tech Council and also serves on the Illinois Science and Technology Coalition board. He has a bachelor’s degree from Marquette University and a master’s of business administration from Lewis University.

Laura Frerichs

Laura Frerichs

Director
University of Illinois Research Park and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Economic Development

Speaker

Laura is responsible for managing entrepreneurship programs at EnterpriseWorks’ technology incubator, marketing the Research Park and supporting the university’s economic development efforts. She has developed innovative entrepreneur support programs including the Entrepreneur-in-Residence program, the I-Start new company launch program, Student Shared Services and SBIR and Industrial Design assistance. Laura is also the principal investigator for the EDA funded University Center at the University of Illinois. Under her leadership the Research at the University was named AURP Outstanding Research Park of the Year in 2011, by Inc. Magazine as one of the top 3 College Town Incubators in 2013, and by Forbes as one of 10 Incubators Changing the World.

Laura was named “Woman of the Year” by Central Illinois Business Magazine for the Forty Under Forty business awards in 2009. In 2011, she was awarded the Entrepreneur Advocacy Award at the Champaign County Innovation Celebration. Laura has a BS from the University of Illinois’ College of Media.

Barbara Goodman, MBA

Barbara Goodman, MBA

Senior Vice President
PROPEL Center

Speaker

Barbara joined Illinois Biotechnology Industry Organization (iBIO) and the iBIO Institute in 2007. She is now responsible for leading iBIO Institute’s PROPEL Center which offers programs aimed at increasing the number and success rate of early-stage life sciences companies in Illinois as well as supporting iBIO’s international activities. Before joining iBIO and the iBIO Institute, Barbara worked in corporate strategy and business development at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Cardinal Health in its Medical Products and Services Division and Chesapeake Corporation.

Barbara earned her bachelor of arts degree in international relations from the University of Minnesota and a master’s of business administration from Thunderbird School of Global Management. She serves as the Chair of the Coalition of State Bioscience Institutes’ Entrepreneurship Committee, on the Advisory Board for the University of Illinois Urbana – Champaign’s professional science master’s program, and on the External Advisory Board of University of Illinois at Chicago’s Bioengineering Program.

Mark Harris

Mark Harris

President & CEO
Illinois Science & Technology Coalition (ISTC)

Moderator

Mark Harris is the President & CEO of the Illinois Science & Technology Coalition (ISTC), a member-driven nonprofit organization that works to increase the impact of research and technology on the state’s economy. Created by the State of Illinois 25 years ago, the ISTC forges public-private partnerships among industry, research universities, federal labs, regional economic development organizations, the entrepreneurial community, and government to increase investments in research and technology, develop talent, promote awareness and policies at the state and federal level, and support economic growth in Illinois.  

Mark also leads the Illinois Science & Technology Institute, (ISTI), a 501c3 affiliate created in 2011 that advances Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education and talent development in the state.   He has more than a decade of experience working in government, economic development, and higher education.  Mark holds a BS from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and an MA from the University of Chicago. 

Bahija Jallal, PhD

Bahija Jallal, PhD

President-Elect
Association for Women in Science
Executive Vice President, AstraZeneca and Head of MedImmune

Speaker

Bahija was appointed executive vice-president at MedImmune in January 2013 and is responsible for biologics research activities. Bahija is tasked with advancing the biologic pipeline of drugs. She joined MedImmune in 2006 as vice-president, Translational Sciences and has held roles of increasing responsibility at AstraZeneca. Prior to joining AstraZeneca, Bahija worked with Chiron Corporation where she served as vice-president, Drug Assessment and Development and at Sugen, Inc. as its senior director.

Bahija received a master’s degree in biology from the Université de Paris VII and her doctorate in physiology from the Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris. She conducted her post-doctoral research at the Max-Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried, Germany. Bahija is a member of the American Association of Cancer Research, the American Association of Science and the Pharmacogenomics Working Group, as well as the president-elect for the board of directors of the Association of Women in Science.

Katherine Kim, JD

Katherine Kim, JD

Principal
Spark IP Law

Speaker

Katherine is the founder of Spark IP Law and a registered patent attorney with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. She holds an MS in Chemistry and is a current part-time PhD candidate in biochemistry. In the legal field, Katherine’s experience includes extensive litigation work and drafting opinions of counsel concerning Hatch-Waxman patent infringement cases; the preparation and prosecution of patent and trademark applications with a focus in the mechanical, medical device, biotech and chemical arts; and the negotiation of IP license agreements. She also regularly counsels clients on non-infringement and invalidity of patents, patentability of inventions and the strategic development of IP portfolios.

In addition to her work with Spark IP, Katherine is an adjunct professor of general chemistry and organic chemistry at DePaul University and the City Colleges of Chicago. She is also the author of seven scientific papers and journal publications, and has significant prior R&D experience in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries.

Alicia Löffler, PhD

Alicia Löffler, PhD

Executive Director of the Innovation and New Ventures Office (INVO), Associate Provost for Innovation and New Ventures, and Associate Vice President for Research at Northwestern University

Speaker

As executive director, Alicia supervises the management of over 200 inventions per year, 200 active licenses, 3,200 patents and more than 35 funded startups – with 65% of the startups in the fields of biotech and medical devices. She is responsible for establishing product development plans and product milestones to ensure innovations reach the market. INVO oversees the transfer of Northwestern’s inventions to the marketplace, including translational, entrepreneurial and intellectual property efforts and generates approximately $190 million per year.

Previously, Alicia founded the Center for Biotechnology Management at the Kellogg School, focusing on management of biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical device sectors and was a founding board member of the Biotechnology Institute. She received her BS from University of Minnesota, and PhD from the University of Massachusetts, with post-doctoral work at Caltech in biochemical engineering. Among the many honors Alicia has received, she was given the 2010 Association for Women in Science Innovator Award.

Pavle Sabic, FRM

Pavle Sabic, FRM

Director
Head of Market Development
S&P Global Market Intelligence

Speaker

Heading up the Market Development team for the Corporates Segment of S&P Global Market Intelligence, Pavle Sabic focuses on business development and has worked in UK, Europe, Africa, Middle East and the Americas. He joined the firm’s London office in 2011 and as of 2013 has been based in NYC.

Pavle is regularly published in the media (WSJ, Barron’s, FT etc) and is a frequent on-air contributor to broadcast networks like CNBC on topics such as corporates, hedge fund, sports finance and M&A. He graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Mathematics and Economics from Herriot-Watt University in Edinburgh and holds an MSs in Finance and Investment from the University of Edinburgh Business School. He also has an FRM certification from the Global Association of Risk Professionals. Pavle is 2013 recipient of the M&A Advisor’s “40 Under 40 Recognition Awards.”

Maryam Saleh, PhD

Maryam Saleh, PhD

Vice President, Programs
MATTER

Speaker

Mayam is passionate about moving research into the market, where it can have impact and improve lives. Her path started off at Cyberkinetics Neurotechnology Systems, Inc. where she teamed up with neuroscientists at Brown University to spin out a brain implant designed to help restore movement in paralyzed individuals. She’s also performed research herself, while pursuing her PhD in computational neuroscience at the University of Chicago. Most recently, she founded the Center for Device Development at Northwestern University, a fellowship program in medical device innovation, where doctors and engineers test drive their own medical device business idea.

Through her work, she’s come to realize the importance of building bridges between stakeholders in order to move an opportunity forward. Her goal as MATTER’s vice president of programs is to actively engage with MATTER’s members to build an experience that is customized to address their individual needs.

Anne Sissel, MBA

Anne Sissel, MBA

Managing Director
Baxter Ventures

Speaker

Chicago has precious few life science investors, and Anne has been on both sides of the table. She has more than 15 years of finance and executive leadership experience and has been managing director at Baxter Ventures since 2014. She was on the founding and executive teams for Veracyte, Inc. a life sciences company. Anne was a cross-functional leader from early discovery and co-lead (with the CEO/Co-Founder) of the VC fundraising process and execution of commercial partnerships with Genzyme and Thyroid Cytopathology Partners. Prior to Veracyte, Anne worked in the Investment Banking Division of Goldman, Sachs & Co. She began her career in audit and financial advisory at PricewaterhouseCoopers where she focused on the healthcare and technology sectors.

Anne has completed over $200 billion in financing and M&A transactions for clients in the healthcare and technology industries. Anne holds an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a BS in Finance from Indiana University.

Nancy Sullivan

Nancy Sullivan

CEO and Senior Managing Director
IllinoisVENTURES, LLC

Speaker

With over ten years of experience in the commercialization and entrepreneurial sector, Nancy leads the IllinoisVENTURES, LLC economic development and seed stage investment portfolio. Nancy promotes the development of new companies commercializing university technologies by assisting with obtaining seed and venture capital funding, recruiting management talent and obtaining necessary business services. She serves as a valuable link to venture capital and angel networks to enhance Illinois company formation.

Prior to joining the IllinoisVENTURES, LLC, Nancy was the director of the office of technology management at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the senior director of business development for biotechnology company KeraCure. Previously, she was a director at Northwestern University focused on the creation and commercialization of technologies emanating from the Northwestern. Nancy earned her MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and a master’s in biotechnology, also from Northwestern. She earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Loyola University.

Maria Velissariou, PhD

Maria Velissariou, PhD

Vice President
Nutrition R&D
Grains, Dairy & Convergence Platforms
PepsiCo

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Maria Velissariou is currently the Vice President for Global Grains, Dairy and Convergence Platforms in Nutrition R&D with responsibility for global technologies that drive scale and growth in line with the Global Nutrition Group agenda. Maria is a member of the PepsiCo STEM Executive Council and also a member of the Board of Directors of the Chicago Council for Science and Technology (C2ST). Maria holds an undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, and a Master of Science and PhD in Biochemical Engineering from the University of Birmingham, England.  During her PhD work, Maria held the position of Research Associate at the Center of Biochemical Engineering, University of Birmingham, England. Maria has several scientific publications and global patents. Maria is a native of Greece, naturalized in the United Kingdom and a permanent resident in the USA. She enjoys arts, reading, politics, power walking and traveling with her husband and two daughters.

Kapila Viges

Kapila Viges

Director
EnterpriseWorks

Speaker

As an engineer, entrepreneur and economic developer, Kapila has over 15 years of experience in starting and growing early stage technology companies, organizational strategy and innovation-based economic development policy. She has directly funded, raised funds for and managed incubators, accelerators, research parks and entrepreneurial support organizations. With experience from early stage companies Kapila brings an industry perspective to her program and policy work.

In her current role as director of EnterpriseWorks Chicago at the University of Illinois, Kapila has launched a new model for technology and startup incubation operations to support the commercialization of complex research and high-tech innovation. Cofounding “Innovate@UIC” with complementary University commercialization activities, she is working to accelerate the social and economic impact of cutting edge research on the community and also serves as visiting director of the Proof of Concept Fund for IllinoisVENTURES. Kapila received her degree in materials science and engineering at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

Nicole Walker

Nicole Walker

Director
Venture Capital, Baird Capital

Speaker

Nicole joined Baird Capital’s Venture Capital team in 2013 with a focus on healthcare investments. She is a current member of the board of directors at Palyon Medical Corporation, NeuMoDx and Molecular Imaging. She has over 20 years of operational and investment experience in the healthcare industry, especially medical devices and diagnostics. Prior to joining Baird Capital, Nicole was with Abbott Ventures where she managed the strategic planning, market development and product portfolio initiatives for multiple brands in discrete and continuous blood glucose monitoring. Before Abbott, she was with ONSET Ventures, where she specialized in seed and early-stage healthcare technology investments, as well as Guidant Corporation, where she held a variety of roles within operations, product design and development, engineering management and marketing.

Nicole received her bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, her MBA from the Kellogg School of Management and her masters of engineering management from the McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University.

Emily Wengel

Emily Wengel

Valuations Associate
Silicon Valley Bank

Speaker

Emily is an associate with SVB Analytics, responsible for conducting due diligence and financial analysis on valuation engagements for early-stage, venture-backed life sciences companies. Prior to joining SVB Analytics, she worked as a business analyst at BioMotiv, an early stage biotech accelerator focused on commercializing breakthrough discoveries from research institutions into therapeutics for patients. At BioMotiv, Emily took on a variety of functional roles, including analyses to help guide potential investment decisions and modeled the impact of potential co-investment structures on project-based returns and company-level IRR.

Emily graduated cum laude from University of Pennsylvania, where she received a BS in economics and a BA in biology. After graduation, she traveled to China where she combined her passion for business, entrepreneurship and China as she worked on affordable housing case studies and interviewed experts and practitioners on policy and best practices.

Karen Wolf

Karen Wolf

Senior Director
Drug Development Management
Takeda Oncology Company

Speaker

Karen is a seasoned professional with 30+ years experience in clinical research and has been recognized for strategic leadership and tactical execution throughout her career. She has developed and implemented numerous successful business and operational initiatives to meet corporate objectives including both in-sourced and out-sourced work on a global scale. Before joining Takeda her roles encompassed a wide variety of operational responsibilities in clinical research, including project management, business development and ultimately P&L accountability as Vice President of Clinical Project Operations for a mid-sized CRO. Her experience includes domestic and international projects in phases I-IV in a variety of therapeutic areas, including Cardiovascular, GI, CNS, Autoimmune and Inflammatory disorders, Infectious disease and Oncology indications in drug and medical device development.

As a recognized expert facilitator, leadership coach, innovative thinker and clinical drug developer, she is sought after as a consultant, teacher, mentor and public speaker. Karen received her degree in biology/biological sciences from Emmanuel College and in 2015 was the recipient of Takeda’s Chief Medical & Scientific Officer’s Award.