Find all the speakers from our 2022 Global Summit and Award Ceremonies for Cancer Research & Entrepreneurship below.

Listed in order of appearance

6 (1)

Sujuan Ba, Ph.D.

Dr. Sujuan Ba has served as the President & CEO of the National Foundation for Cancer Research since 2019 and the founder & CEO of the Asian Fund for Cancer Research since 2005. Dr. Ba is a co-founder and a founding board member of the Global Coalition for Adaptive Research (GCAR), a non-profit organization pioneering the groundbreaking adaptive clinical trial platforms to deliver innovative therapies to patients faster. Dr. Sujuan Ba is also CEO & Co-founder of the AIM-HI Accelerator Fund, a non-profit organization focused on advancing oncology start-ups through venture and impact investments. She serves as a scientific advisor and a board member for more than half a dozen oncology start-ups. Learn More

7 (1)

Web Cavenee, Ph.D.

Dr. Webster Cavenee is the Director of Strategic Alliances, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and a Distinguished Professor of Medicine, 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. 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. Learn More

Ken C Anderson

Ken C. Anderson, M.D.

M.D., Professor of Medicine, Harvard; Physician Oncology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Dr. Anderson is the Kraft Family Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School as well as Director of the Lebow Institute for Myeloma Therapeutics and Jerome Lipper Multiple Myeloma Center at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He is a Doris Duke Distinguished Clinical Research Scientist and American Cancer Society Clinical Research Professor.After graduating from Johns Hopkins Medical School, he trained in internal medicine at John’s Hopkins Hospital, and then completed hematology, medical oncology, and tumor immunology training at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Over the last three decades, he has focused his laboratory and clinical research studies on multiple myeloma. He has developed laboratory and animal models of the tumor in it is microenvironment which have allowed for both identification of novel targets and validation of novel targeted therapies, and has then rapidly translated these studies to clinical trials culminating in FDA approval of novel targeted therapies. His paradigm for identifying and validating targets in the tumor cell and its milieu has transformed myeloma therapy and markedly improved patient outcome.

He is the recipient of many scientific and humanitarian awards including the International Myeloma Workshop Waldenstrom’s Award in 2003, the International Myeloma Foundation Robert A. Kyle Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005, the American Association for Cancer Research Joseph H. Burchenal Award in 2007, and the American Society of Hematology William Dameshek Prize in 2008. He was elected into the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars in 2009, as well as the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Colleges of Physicians and of Pathologists (UK) in 2010. In 2011 he received the American Society of Clinical Oncology David A. Karnofsky Award and the Hope Funds for Cancer Research Award of Excellence in Clinical Research, and in 2012 received the Ron Burton Humanitarian Award, the Harvard Medical School Warren Alpert Foundation Prize, and the American Cancer Society Medal of Honor. In 2013 he was the Distinguished Clinical Science Lecturer at Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine and received the Leonard P. Zakim Patient Advocacy Award, and in 2014 was the recipient of the David Workman Memorial Award from the Samuel Waxman Research Foundation, and the University of Miami Sylvester Cancer Center Annual Zubrod Memorial Award.

After graduating from Johns Hopkins Medical School, he trained in internal medicine at John’s Hopkins Hospital, and then completed hematology, medical oncology, and tumor immunology training at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Over the last three decades, he has focused his laboratory and clinical research studies on multiple myeloma. He has developed laboratory and animal models of the tumor in it is microenvironment which have allowed for both identification of novel targets and validation of novel targeted therapies, and has then rapidly translated these studies to clinical trials culminating in FDA approval of novel targeted therapies. His paradigm for identifying and validating targets in the tumor cell and its milieu has transformed myeloma therapy and markedly improved patient outcome.

He is the recipient of many scientific and humanitarian awards including the International Myeloma Workshop Waldenstrom’s Award in 2003, the International Myeloma Foundation Robert A. Kyle Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005, the American Association for Cancer Research Joseph H. Burchenal Award in 2007, and the American Society of Hematology William Dameshek Prize in 2008. He was elected into the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars in 2009, as well as the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Colleges of Physicians and of Pathologists (UK) in 2010. In 2011 he received the American Society of Clinical Oncology David A. Karnofsky Award and the Hope Funds for Cancer Research Award of Excellence in Clinical Research, and in 2012 received the Ron Burton Humanitarian Award, the Harvard Medical School Warren Alpert Foundation Prize, and the American Cancer Society Medal of Honor. In 2013 he was the Distinguished Clinical Science Lecturer at Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine and received the Leonard P. Zakim Patient Advocacy Award, and in 2014 was the recipient of the David Workman Memorial Award from the Samuel Waxman Research Foundation, and the University of Miami Sylvester Cancer Center Annual Zubrod Memorial Award.

J. Silvio Gutkind, Ph.D
University of California San Diego

J. Silvio Gutkind, Ph.D

Dr. Gutkind is a leader in cancer signaling, particularly at the intersection of tumor growth and immune evasion, which can be exploited for the development of novel multimodal precision immunotherapies. He is recognized for his pioneering work revealing the potent oncogenic (pro-cancer) activity of G proteins and G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) and by his studies unraveling the molecular mechanisms by which they promote normal and malignant cell growth. Learn more

Aaron N. Hata

Aaron N. Hata, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Aaron Hata received his MD and Ph.D. degrees at Vanderbilt University in Nashville TN, where he studied the structure and function of prostaglandin receptors in the laboratory of Dr. Richard Breyer in the Department of Pharmacology. He completed an Internal Medicine residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, followed by a Medical Oncology fellowship at Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Massachusetts General Hospital. Learn more

Isidore Rigoutsos, Ph.D.
Thomas Jefferson University
Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center

Isidore Rigoutsos, Ph.D.

Dr. Isidore Rigoutsos is an expert in combining computer modeling and cell- or molecular-based data to study problems from biology and medicine. One focus in his laboratory regard changes in tRNA fragments – which are fragments of RNA that do not code for proteins. He has developed a software platform called MINTmap, a tool that can identify human tRNA fragments from larger RNA molecules. Learn more

Suzanne L. Topalian, M.D.
Johns Hopkins University

Suzanne Topalian, M.D.

Dr. Topalian received her undergraduate degree from Wellesley College and went on to receive her medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine in 1979. She then went on to complete her residency in general surgery at the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, after which she held two fellowships — the first in Pediatric Surgery Research at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (1982-1983), and the second in Surgical Oncology at the National Cancer Institute, NIH in Bethesda, Maryland (1985-1989). Learn more

Katherine Uyhazi, M.D., Ph.D.
University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

Katherine Uyhazi, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Katherine E. Uyhazi is an ophthalmologist in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and is affiliated with multiple hospitals in the area, including Hospitals of the University of Pennsylvania-Penn Presbyterian and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center. She received her medical degree from Yale School of Medicine and has been in practice between 6-10 years. Learn more

5 (1)

Jennifer Grandis, M.D.

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. Learn More

Lisa Coussens, Ph.D.

Lisa Coussens, Ph.D.

Dr. Coussens is Chairwoman of the Department of Cell, Developmental and Cancer Biology and Associate Director for Basic Research in the Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Science University, where she holds the Hildegard Lamfrom Endowed Chair in Basic Science. Learn more

Daniel A. Haber, M.D., Ph.D.
Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center

Daniel Haber, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Haber is Director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and the Kurt J. Isselbacher Professor of Oncology at Harvard Medical School. His laboratory interests have focused on the area of cancer genetics, including the etiology of the pediatric kidney cancer Wilms tumor, genetic predisposition to breast cancer, and targeted cancer therapies. Learn more

Courtney W. Houchen, M.D.
Oklahoma Health Sciences Center

Courtney Houchen, M.D.

Dr. Houchen is section chief of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition, Department of Medicine, at the University of Oklahoma, College of Medicine. He also holds the Frances & Malcolm Robinson Chair and is a professor of medicine. He has a specific interest in preventing, diagnosing and treating gastrointestinal cancers, colorectal cancer screening, prostaglandin receptor and gastrointestinal injury. Learn more

daniel johnson

Daniel Johnson, Ph.D.

Daniel Johnson, PhD, is Professor and Vice Chair of Research in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery (OHNS) at the University of California, San Francisco. He obtained a bachelor of science in chemistry and a bachelor of arts in mathematics, both from North Park University in Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Johnson earned his MA and PhD in molecular biology from Princeton University, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco. Prior to joining UCSF OHNS Department in 2016, Dr. Johnson was a Professor in the Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Medicine, and Department of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology at the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Dr. Johnson was also the Scientific Director of the Acute Leukemia Working group at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.

Dr. Johnson has over 120 publications and is Editor of two books, entitled “Cell Death Signaling in Cancer Biology and Treatment” and “Targeting Cell Survival Pathways to Enhance Response to Chemotherapy”. He has maintained continuous NIH funding as a principal investigator since 1995, and has served as a standing member for both NIH and ACS study sections. Dr. Johnson continues to play an active role on multiple review panels for the NIH, VA, and other granting agencies, and serves on the Board of Scientific Counselors for NIH NIDCD. Since 2001 he has served as a Section Editor for Leukemia, the top-ranked journal for hematologic malignancies, and has also served as Editor for Cancer Research and Oncology Research. Dr. Johnson places a high priority on translating findings from his lab to the clinic, and has facilitated the development of clinical trials in both leukemia and head and neck cancer.

Kornelia Polyak Portrait

Kornelia Polyak, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Polyak obtained her M.D. degree in 1991 from the Albert Szent-Györgyi Medical School in Szeged Hungary and her Ph.D. degree in 1995 from Cornell University Graduate School of Medical Sciences/Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York. Dr. Polyak completed her postdoctoral training in Baltimore at the Johns Hopkins Oncology Center in the laboratory of Drs. Bert Vogelstein and Ken Kinzler. Learn more

Xiang-Lei Yang, Ph.D.

Xiang-Lei Yang, Ph.D.

The Yang laboratory studies a family of multi-functional proteins named aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases and their connection to human diseases, including neurodegenerative diseases, autoimmune disorders, cancers, and diabetes. Learn more

8 (1)

Alfred Slanetz, Ph.D.

Dr. Alfred Slanetz is the founder, president, and chief executive officer of Geneius and has been since its incorporation. He also has served as a director on Geneius’s board since its incorporation in 2012. 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. Learn More

3 (1)

Rose Wang, MBA

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. Learn More

Summit-Speakers-250x350-Woodcock (1)

Janet Woodcock, M.D.

Janet Woodcock is the FDA’s Principal Deputy Commissioner. In this role she works closely with the Commissioner of Food and Drugs to develop and implement key public health initiatives and helps oversee the agency’s day-to-day functions.

She served as the Acting Commissioner of Food and Drugs from Jan. 20, 2021 until Feb. 17, 2022.

Dr. Woodcock began her FDA career in 1986 at the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER). At CBER, she served as Director of the Division of Biological Investigational New Drugs and as Acting Deputy Director. She later became Director of CBER’s Office of Therapeutics Research and Review, which oversaw the approval of the first biotechnology-based treatments for multiple sclerosis and cystic fibrosis during her tenure.

In 1994, Dr. Woodcock was named Director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER), leading the Center’s work that is the world’s gold standard for drug approval and safety. There she conceived and implemented many of the FDA’s drug initiatives, including introducing the concept of risk management as a new approach to drug safety; modernizing drug manufacturing and regulation through the Pharmaceutical Quality for the 21st Century Initiative; advancing medical discoveries from the laboratory to consumers more efficiently under the Critical Path Initiative; launching the Safety First and Safe Use initiatives designed to improve drug safety management within and outside the FDA, respectively; developing the Sentinel Network for drug safety and spearheading CDER efforts on patient-focused drug development.

In 2004, Dr. Woodcock became the FDA’s Deputy Commissioner and Chief Medical Officer. Later she took on other executive leadership positions in the Commissioner’s Office, including Deputy Commissioner for Operations and Chief Operating Officer. Learn More.

Anna Barker head shot 2 (1) (1)

Anna D. Barker, Ph.D., FAACR

Dr. Barker has received a number of awards for her contributions to cancer research, cancer patients, professional and advocacy organizations and the Nation’s effort to prevent and cure

cancer. Examples include: Distinguished Public Service Award for Science, Advocacy and Policy, AACR, 115th Anniversary in 2022; the 2019 Founders Team Science Award, along with Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the NIH, from the American Association for Cancer research for The Cancer Genome Atlas project; Ellen V. Sigal Advocacy Leadership Award from Friends of Cancer Research; 2018 AACR Distinguished Award for Exceptional Leadership in Cancer Science Policy and Advocacy; 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award, The Ohio State University; 2009 AACR Margaret Foti Award for Leadership and Extraordinary Achievements in Cancer Research, AACR 100th Anniversary Meeting; Frances Prescott Award for Breast Cancer Research and Advocacy,

Vanderbilt University; 1999 Named Fellowship Award (Anna D. Barker Basic Science Fellowship), American Association for Cancer Research; and the Friends of Cancer Research Public Service Award.

Dr. Barker was elected as a Fellow of the AACR Research Academy in 2020 and she is a Presidentially appointed member of the National Cancer Institute’s National Cancer Advisory Board.

Dr. Barker completed her M.A. and Ph.D. at the Oho State University, where she trained in immunology and microbiology. Her research interests include information theory and complex adaptive systems, convergence science (convergence of physical and biological sciences), biomarkers, innovative clinical trials, immunotherapy, and free-radical biochemistry in cancer etiology and treatment. She is a self-described polymath.

2 (1)

Pam Garzone, Ph.D.

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. Learn More

Dimitra Georganopoulou, Ph.D.

Dimitra Geroganopoulou, Ph.D.

Innovation Faculty – MIT linQ CATALYST, MIT

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.


Beverly Lu, Ph.D.

Investment Manager, Health of 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.

johanna webb

Johanna Webb

President, RiverWalk Therapeutics

Johanna is an experienced Drug Development Project Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the biotechnology industry. She is skilled in technology evaluation, pre-clinical development, rare pediatric and orphan diseases, and IND-preparation.

Johanna currently serves as President at RiverWalk Therapeutics, Inc., an early-stage company developing small molecules for the treatment of metastatic triple negative breast cancer (TNBC).She is a strong program and project management professional with a Master of Science (MS) focused in Biotechnology from The University of Texas at San Antonio and Bachelor of Science in Biochemical Engineering from Texas A&M University.

revital mandil-levin

Revital Mandil-Levin, Ph.D.

CEO & Co-Founder, Nanocarry Therapeutics

Dr. Mandil-Levin has more than 15 years’ experience in biotech startups and product development in the pharmaceutical industry. She is currently the CEO and founder of Nanocarry Therapeutics Ltd., a private company developing a proprietary platform technology for the delivery of biologics across the blood-brain barrier for CNS indications.

From September 2019 to November 2020, she served as VP Corporate Development of Anima Biotech, a private company with a novel approach for the discovery of small molecules involved in mRNA translation, and from April 2018 to February 2019, she served as Chief Business Development Officer of CollPlant Ltd. (NASDAQ: CLGN), a regenerative and aesthetic medicine company. From January 2014 to February 2018, Dr. Mandil-Levin served as Vice President Business Development at NeuroDerm Ltd (NASDAQ: NDRM), a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company developing next-generation treatments for CNS disorders, where she had a major role in the acquisition of NeuroDerm by Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation for $1.1 billion. From 2004 to 2013, Dr. Mandil-Levin served as Vice President Business Development at HealOr Ltd, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company that developed novel drugs for skin regeneration in hard to heal wounds and dermatological diseases. Prior to that she served as Business Development Manager at Proteologics Ltd.

Dr. Mandil-Levin received her PhD in Biochemistry from Bar-Ilan University, Israel and an MBA from the Israeli College of Management School of Business.

rosa hwang

Rosa Hwang, M.D.

Co-Founder, Stellanova Therapeutics

Dr. Hwang co-founded Stellanova and brings her expertise in the fields of surgical oncology, breast and pancreatic cancer, and translational research on the tumor microenvironment. She is currently a tenured Professor and surgeon-scientist with a joint appointment in the Departments of Breast Surgical Oncology and Surgical Oncology at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX. She is also the Associate Medical Director for Surgery at the Nellie B. Connally Breast Center at MD Anderson. Her lab is focused on the role of cancer-associated fibroblasts in tumorigenesis and resistance to therapy and first identified DKK3 as a promising therapeutic target in pancreatic cancer. The anti-DKK3 antibody clones were developed in Dr. Hwang’s lab and have been licensed to Stellanova for drug development targeting cancer and its surrounding microenvironment. She holds an M.D. from the University of Maryland, completed surgery residency at the University of Southern California (USC Keck School of Medicine), clinical fellowship in Surgical Oncology at MD Anderson and a postdoctoral research fellowship in Cancer Biology with Dr. Isaiah J. Fidler at MD Anderson.

Dr. Li Chai (1)

Li Chai, M.D.

Co-Founder, Believer Pharmaceuticals

1666051419-square (1)

Rajiv Datar, Ph.D.

Co-Founder & CEO, Propelle Therapeutics

A Biochemist, Chemical and Biochemical Engineer by training, with 25+ years experience in developing biopharmaceuticals. The first ten years were at Senior Technical Positions covering R&D, technical and financial collaborations either in European or US multinational companies, and fifteen years at Senior Management Positions either as VP, Head of SBU, Founding-CEO or CEO of publicly traded or startup biotech ventures. Currently, a Co-Founder and CEO of Propelle Therapeutics, Inc. – a biopharmaceutical company targeting early inflammation within the tumor microenvironment to rebalance the immune system, aiming thereby to cut-off dysregulated inflammation from turning precancerous cells into cancer.

Have had full responsibility for projects, budgets, technology deals and biotech start-ups ranging in size from $15 million to $50 million and have raised a cumulative total of $90 million across projects, products and start-ups.

Lora Green

Lora Green, Ph.D., J.D.

Partner, Patents and Innovations, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

Lora Green is a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, where she is a member of the post-grant review practice.

From 2001 to 2018, Lora was an administrative patent judge at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), which included serving as a lead administrative patent judge from 2011 to 2017.While at the USPTO, she managed post-grant review proceedings, such as inter partes and covered business method reviews. She also mentored judges who were new to post grant-review proceedings and reviewed opinions of other authoring judges. In addition, she decided ex parte appeals from the biotechnology and pharmaceutical examining groups. Specifically, she reviewed the appellant’s brief, the examiner’s answer, the application, the relevant prior art, and any additional evidence to determine the proper disposition of the appeal, and she wrote the opinions as the authoring judge.

As a lead administrative patent judge, she supervised administrative patent judges who decided ex parte appeals and managed post grant-review proceedings and interlocutory calls and oral hearings. Among other duties, she was also responsible for writing and performing employee performance reviews, including 120-day reviews of new judges and mid-year and end-of-year reviews.

Earlier in her career, Lora was an associate in the Washington, D.C., office of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, where she prosecuted applications in the biotechnology field before the USPTO and international applications submitted under the Patent Cooperation Treaty. She also served as a law clerk to the Honorable William C. Bryson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and was a patent examiner at the USPTO. Before entering the legal industry, she was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Maryland, working in a laboratory and using NMR-based methods to determine the three-dimensional structures of mature GAG protein isolated from the Human Immunodeficiency Virus.

Raju Kucherlapati, Ph.D.

Raju Kucherlapati

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). 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.  Learn More

Aim-hi portfolio Companies

AIM-HI Portfolio Companies

Paul Finn

Paul Finn, Ph.D

CSO, Oxford Drug Design

Paul has been leading scientific progress at Oxford Drug Design after an extensive career at Pfizer, Smithkline Beecham (GSK) and TopoTarget. His expertise extends over drug discovery and early pharmaceutical development. At TopoTarget, where he was Director of R&D, Paul led the preclinical development Beleodaq®, of which he is also an inventor, used to treat patients with peripheral T-cell lymphoma.

At Oxford Drug Design he has led our computational drug discovery platform as well as our drug discovery efforts and has been instrumental in the raising of c. £10M of non-dilutive finance internationally. Paul studied biochemistry at the University of Oxford and obtained his PhD at the University of Manchester. He is a Professorial Research Fellow at the University of Buckingham School of Computer Science, working at the interface of drug discovery and machine learning.

Pritesh Gandhi

Pritesh Gandhi, PharmD

CEO, TellBio

Pritesh Gandhi has a broad range of experiences in academia and the biopharmaceutical industry. Previously, he was General Manager at Alnylam Pharmaceuticals where he led cross-functional teams to bring forward a rare disease medicine from Phase 1/2 development to global commercialization. Earlier at Alnylam, Pritesh was responsible for building a world-class global medical affairs vision, strategy, and operational capability to launch two novel RNAi therapeutics. Prior to joining Alnylam, Pritesh had a wide-range of global medical affairs responsibilities in launching four first-in-class medicines in hematology/oncology at Genzyme Corporation (Sanofi Genzyme).

Pritesh launched his professional career in the biopharmaceutical industry at Millennium and then Alexion. He commenced his professional journey in academia with faculty appointments at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and The University of Massachusetts Medical School where he conducted scholarly work and contributed to the medical literature.

Pritesh graduated with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and completed a residency at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has received multiple awards for excellence in teaching, leadership, and community service.

16 (1)

Vlad Hogenhuis, M.D., MBA

CEO, Chimera Bioengineering

Dr. Vlad Hogenhuis, MD, is President and CEO of Chimera Bio, a biotech company based in San Francisco developing novel cell therapies for cancer. He recently served as Chief Operating Officer of Ultragenyx with responsibilities for global commercial operations, business development, and manufacturing. Before that, Dr. Hogenhuis served as Senior Vice President and Global Franchise Head, Specialty Pharmaceuticals of GlaxoSmithKline Plc. from 2012 to 2018, overseeing Oncology and Immunology. From 1994 to 2012, he served in leadership positions at Merck & Co in the US, China, and Europe, where he was responsible for managing the P&L of specialty and cardiovascular care medicines. He also served as an NIH Fellow at New England Medical Centre in Boston, and as a Naval Lieutenant Surgeon in the Royal Dutch Navy.

Dr. Hogenhuis currently serves on the boards of Rezolute Bio, a public biotech company (RZLT- Nasdaq) specializing in metabolic diseases, and GATT Technologies B.V., a private company in the Netherlands developing novel surgical hemostats. He previously served as a member of the Board of Directors of Vision 2020, a program of the World Health Organization for the prevention of blindness. Dr. Hogenhuis received an M.D. degree in Medicine Cum Laude from the University of Leiden in the Netherlands. He received an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of Business at The University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

18-e1664397737579 (1)

John Luk, DMedSc, EMBA

CEO, Arbele Bio

Dr. John Luk is currently Founder & CEO of Arbele, a biotech and biopharmaceutical company that has created proprietary discovery platforms to accelerate the development of multifunctional “first-in-class” immunotherapeutics. Dr. Luk received his education and training at the University of Hong Kong, Karolinska (Stockholm) and Harvard (Boston). He taught as an academic professor for 18 years in the US, HK and Singapore, and published >200 papers including NEJM, Cell, Nature Medicine, Nature Genetics. He identified and patented CDH17 at HKU (Global License Arbele).

In 2011, Dr. Luk moved to drug industry at senior leader position in Roche China and senior director in Johnson & Johnson Medical China to lead drug discovery and development programs in oncology, immunology and hepatitis. His former honorary professorship included those at leading institutions in HK, China and Asia. He was visiting associate professor at Harvard. Dr. Luk established strong scientific, clinical and industrial networks globally.

17 (1)

Ken Malone, Ph.D.

CEO, Rasio Therapeutics

Dr. Ken Malone is the CEO of AIM-HI Portfolio Company Rasio Therapeutics. Ken has extensive leadership and business operations expertise & has engaged in the commercialization of hundreds of products in advanced materials and life sciences.

Ken co-founded and serves as Managing Director of Early Charm Ventures, a venture studio founded in 2012 in Baltimore (Charm City) that converts science to business. Early Charm specializes in taking brilliant scientific discoveries made at universities and turning them into companies focused on growth. They don’t chase quick exits but build companies that create sustainable value.

Ken received his Bachelor Degree in biochemistry and chemistry from the University of Miami. He earned his Ph.D. in Polymer Science in 1991 from the University of Southern Mississippi.

Ms. Maria Varela

María Varela


María currently serves as CEO of ARDAN PHARMA, an early-stage company that aims to revolutionize cancer treatment by developing therapies that boost the innate immune system and overcome tumor resistance.

Biochemist Degree from University of the Republic of Uruguay, and Biotechnology Magister Program, led María to the experience and interaction in several laboratories. Despite the variable focus of each department she’s worked in, her experience as scientist led me to discover that my real motivation relies on the translational bridge from laboratory to clinical impact. As a Biotech Entrepreneur she found in ARDAN PHARMA the perfect opportunity to jump into new interactions between academia and industry.

CharlieWeatherspoon-1-1 (1) (1)

Charlie Weatherspoon

Chair of the Board, AIM-HI Accelerator Fund

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.

doug lowy

Doug Lowy, M.D.

Principle Deputy Director U.S. National Cancer Institute

Dr. Lowy currently serves as Principal Deputy Director of the National Cancer Institute. As Laboratory Chief, Dr. Lowy’s two main research areas focus on basic and translational aspects of human papillomavirus infection and on cancer genes. His joint research with John Schiller in the Laboratory of Cellular Oncology (LCO) has identified many aspects of the human papillomavirus (HPV) life cycle, developed technology underlying the FDA-approved HPV vaccines, and elucidated mechanisms for the high efficacy of the vaccines. Secondly, his research is currently examining the DLC1 tumor suppressor, which encodes a Rho-GAP that is down-regulated in a wide variety of cancers, leading to the high Rho activity seen in many advanced cancers. This research has identified important scaffold functions for DLC1, including protein-protein interactions that contribute to the regulation of its activity and its role as a tumor suppressor, and identified kinases that activate and inactivate the functions of DLC1 and the mechanisms by which they do so.

Douglas R. Lowy, M.D., is Chief of the Laboratory of Cellular Oncology and, since 2010, has also served as a Deputy Director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI). In March 2019, he became Acting Director of NCI, a role he also held from April 2015 to October 2017. Dr. Lowy received his medical degree from New York University School of Medicine in 1968, and trained in internal medicine at Stanford University and dermatology at Yale University. He has directed a research laboratory at NCI since 1975, after receiving training as a Research Associate in the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Dr. Lowy is a member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and of the Institute of Medicine of the NAS. For his research with John Schiller on technology that enabled the preventive HPV vaccines, they have jointly received numerous honors, including the 2007 Federal Employee of the Year Service to America Medal from the Partnership for Public Service, the 2011 Albert B. Sabin Gold Medal Award, the 2012 National Medal of Technology & Innovation (awarded in 2014), the 2018 Szent-Györgyi prize and the 2017 Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award, the country’s most prestigious honor for biomedical research. Dr. Lowy has also received the National Medal of Honor for Basic Research from the American Cancer Society and is an fellow of the AACR Academy.

Rakesh K. Jain, Ph.D.

Rakesh Jain, Ph.D.

Director of the Edwin L. Steele Laboratories for Tumor Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital

Dr. Jain is the director of the Edwin L. Steele Laboratories for Tumor Biology at the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Andrew Werk Cook Professor of Radiation Oncology at Harvard Medical School. In four decades of pioneering work – Dr. Jain, an engineer by training – continues to combine physical sciences, engineering, mathematical modeling, physiology, biology, and immunology at the laboratory bench and patient’s bedside to develop and support his seminal hypotheses on how the abnormal TME – the surrounding blood vessels, immune cells, other cells such as fibroblasts, and the extracellular matrix – thwarts the delivery and efficacy of conventional and emerging anticancer medicines and how to overcome this challenge. Learn more

12 (1)

Lance Kawaguchi

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 has experienced first-hand the impacts of cancer, losing his mother to the disease in 2016. In her memory, he has committed to utilizing his skills and talents to positively impact and drive change in the cancer research sector. Learn More

*Speakers Subject to Change.