Register Today for the BioFlorida Conference and hear from leaders representing Biopharma, MedTech, HealthIT & Venture Funding.
Co-Founder and President
The Alexis Group Consultants, Inc.
Gina Alexis is President and Co-Founder of The Alexis Group Consultants, a marketing communications firm that specializes in developing strategic programs for life science organizations.
Her clients have ranged from FORTUNE 500 firms to start-ups and emerging companies and major non-profits such as the National Brain Tumor Foundation, Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the American Academy of Allergy and Immunology among others.
An active participant in growing Florida’s life sciences industry, Gina is a former Board Member and past Chair of BioFlorida, and currently serves as Chair of BioFlorida’s Southeast Region. She is also a Board Member of CareerSource Broward and served as an inaugural Advisory Board Member for StartUp Quest, a $12 million state-wide grant from the U.S. Dept. of Labor to train professionals to become life science and technology entrepreneurs.
She co-founded the Bioscience Task Force for the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce and is a former member of the Bioscience Advisory Board for One Community One Goal.
She is a recipient of multiple awards and is a graduate of the City University of New York at Queens College.
Julia M. Amadio
Chief Product Officer
Ms. Julia M. Amadio has been Chief Product Officer at TherapeuticsMD, Inc. since January, 2012. Ms. Amadio has an extensive, 25-year background in general management and leading pharmaceutical marketing and product development organizations. Julia has worked at large and small biopharma companies, starting with J&J, Wyeth (running new products in Women’s Health), Rhone-Poulenc, Aventis, and Daiichi. In addition to having her own consulting company - JMA Consulting, LLC, she worked at Parexcel and MeadWestvaco Healthcare Division. Since starting with TherapeuticsMD, Julia helped start the hormone program, working with formulation, target product profiles, all initial IND submissions with CROs and managed scientific communications with Precise Publications. She now manages Advocacy and Corporate Relations with scientific agencies, consumer and patient advocacy groups.
Ibraheem T. Badejo, PhD
Sr. Director, New Ventures, Medical Devices
Johnson & Johnson Innovation
Ibraheem (Ib) leverages his expertise in smart materials and biomaterials to support the medical device sector of Johnson & Johnson. From 2010 to 2013, Ib was a Research Fellow at Global Surgery Group of Johnson & Johnson, where he was responsible for external and front-end innovations and intellectual property for Ethicon Biosurgery. From 2006 to 2010, he was the Director of Applied Research & New Technology Assessment of novel biomaterials. Prior to that, he was the Chief Scientist of Closure Medical Corp (acquired by Johnson & Johnson in 2005). Ib has held various positions at Bayer, North Carolina State University, and the College of Charleston. He currently serves as an Adjunct Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Drexel University.
During his career, Ibraheem has led teams in the development of commercialized biomaterials-based products and new technology / products licensed or acquired. Ib received his PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Toledo, where he was the Robert Whiteford Memorial Scholar for Outstanding Graduate Research and a Petroleum Research Fund Fellow. Ib received the Science Alumni Award, Avila University in 2014. Ib is also the recipient of 24 US patents, he’s also well published in many peer review journals.
Ib spends some of his spare time meeting the needs of others and giving back to the world. He has participated and led mission trips – rural North Carolina, Mexico, Kenya, Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago and also serves in Boston Rescue Mission – meeting the needs of homeless in the Boston. He currently serves as board of trustee of Avila University, board member of MedShare – a not for profit medical mission organization, Visiola Foundation, member of the executive committee and board member of Southeast Medical Device Association (SEMDA), Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center (M2D2), Center for Advancing Point of Care Technologies (CAPCaT) – NIH Funded Center @ UMass Medical School. He also supports Coulter Foundation Programs at Georgia Tech / Emory Univ, Drexel Univ, Univ of Michigan, Univ of Pittsburgh and the Science Center – QED Program on advisory role.
Matthew R. Benson, MD
Nemours Children’s Health System
Dr. Matthew Benson, MD, FAAP is a board certified pediatrician, pediatric endocrinologist and junior clinical scientist with multiple peer reviewed publications. He is currently faculty at the Nemours Children’s Health System in Jacksonville, FL. He is involved in teaching residents, fellows and medical students from the University Of Florida College Of Medicine and the Mayo Medical School. His research publications have included important work related to lipid metabolism, vitamin D deficiency and nutritional rickets. His current research interests include the metabolic effects of human growth hormone on skeletal muscle function in pre-pubertal children. Dr. Benson is also actively studying juvenile diabetes mellitus (type 1 diabetes mellitus) with a focus on developing safe and effective tools to improve the care of patients with T1D. He has been part of an active National Institutes of Health study, funded by NIDDK (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases) as a Co-Investigator. This randomized clinical trial which is still ongoing at Nemours in Orlando and Delaware is assessing the utility of tele-health technology as a means to deliver trans-disciplinary care to children with T1D. His current work involves the use of diabetes technology and closed loop insulin delivery systems, also known as the “artificial pancreas” in children with T1D as means to improve the metabolic control of children and adults with T1D.
Douglas A. Bingham
Executive Vice President
Florida Operations, Scripps Research
Douglas A. Bingham is the executive vice president of Scripps Research, a non-profit biomedical research organization based in Jupiter, Florida and La Jolla, California. Mr. Bingham played an instrumental role in launching Scripps Research’s expansion to Florida in 2004. In 2018, Mr. Bingham returned to Jupiter full-time to serve as Florida site head. As former general counsel, he oversaw the merger of the California Institute for Biomedical Research with the larger Scripps Research organization, expanding the institute’s ability to move discoveries toward the clinic. He also oversaw the integration of Dr. Eric Topol’s Scripps Translational Science Institute into Scripps Research, reinforcing the institute’s preeminence as a driver of genomic- and technology-based precision medicine. As former chief patent counsel, Mr. Bingham helped to develop the institute’s successful licensing program for scientific discoveries. Prior to 2005 when he was appointed to the position of chief operating officer, he served in numerous management positions at the institute. From 1987 to 1991, Mr. Bingham was a patent lawyer and partner at Dressler, Goldsmith, Shore, Sutker & Milnamow, a law firm he joined in 1983.
Laura M. Bohn, PhD
Professor, Department of Molecular Medicine
Laura M. Bohn, Ph.D. is a Professor of Molecular Medicine and Neuroscience at The Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter, FL where she is endowed by the Dembling Fund for Drug Discovery and Human Health Research. She is actively pursuing new therapies for the treatment of pain and addiction by modulating G protein-coupled receptors which are critically involved in how patients respond to many therapeutics, including opioid analgesics. Dr. Bohn earned degrees in Chemistry and Biochemistry from Virginia Tech and a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from St. Louis University School of Medicine. She completed post-doctoral training at Duke University Medical Center in the laboratory of Dr. Marc Caron in collaboration with Dr. Robert Lefkowitz. Dr. Bohn was a tenured Associate Professor of The Ohio State University College of Medicine in the Departments of Pharmacology and Psychiatry before she joined TSRI in 2009. She has received a young investigator award from the Society for Neuroscience, the Joseph P. Cochin Award from CPDD, the Viktor Mutt Lectureship from the International Regulatory Peptide Society, and the John J. Abel Award in Pharmacology from the ASPET. Her research program is funded by the National Institutes on Drug Abuse.
Sr Marketing Manager, Robotics Portfolio Strategy
Eric Branch is the Senior Marketing Manager for Robotics Portfolio Strategy at Stryker. He has over 10 years of experience developing and launching orthopedic applications on the Mako robotic system. In his role as the product manager of the Mako platform, Mr. Branch uses his engineering background to bridge the needs of clinical experts to the skills of technical experts. In his tenure at Stryker, Mr. Branch has had an opportunity to see the value of the integrating implant technology, robotics technology, and software to make a positive impact in patients’ lives. Mr. Branch earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Nuclear and Radiological Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Christian Brechot, MD, PhD
Senior Associate Dean for Research in Global Affairs, USF Health Morsani College of Medicine
Associate Vice President, International Partnerships and Innovation
Professor, Department of Internal Medicine
Prof. Christian Bréchot holds both MD and Ph.D. degrees. Beginning in 1981, he studied molecular biology, virology, and cellular biology at the laboratory of Pierre Tiollais at the Pasteur Institute, and at the Necker School of Medicine (Paris Descartes University); he obtained his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Paris VII in 1985.
From 2001 to 2007, Christian Bréchot was General Director of Inserm, the French National Agency for biomedical research. In 2008, he was appointed as Vice-President of Medical and Scientific Affairs of the Institut Merieux Company. From October 2013 to September 2017, Dr. Bréchot served as President of the Institut Pasteur, developing programs to recruit eminent scientists, implementing an international multidisciplinary education and teaching program, fostering collaborative research and training strategies with major universities and research organizations.
He is now a full Professor with tenure at the University of South Florida in Tampa, as well as Executive Director of the Romark Institute for Medical Research LLC, also based in Tampa. Since 2017, Dr. Brechot has served as President of the Global Virus Network, a network of 48 research centers worldwide, headquartered in Baltimore.
Dr. Bréchot's research activities have been focused on viral hepatitis: hepatitis B (HBV) and C (HCV), particularly with regard to their role in liver cancer (Hepatocellular carcinoma: HCC) and to the molecular mechanisms that drive liver regeneration and cancer (in particular, cell cycle deregulation and the impact of oxydative stress). He has been the member of numerous scientific committees and societies and has received prestigious awards. Dr. Bréchot is the author of over 350 articles published in medical and scientific journals. In addition, his research activities have led him to obtain 13 patents and to contribute to the creation of three biotech companies: Rarecells, ALFACT Innovation, and The Healthy Aging Company.
Charles J. Bruce, MD
Chief Innovation Officer and Medical Director, Life Sciences Incubator
Mayo Clinic Florida
Charles Bruce, MD, serves as Chief Innovation Officer for Mayo Clinic Florida. He also serves as the Medical Director of the Life Sciences Incubator as well as Associate Medical Director for Mayo Clinic Ventures, and Director for Business Development in the Center for Regenerative Medicine at Mayo Clinic in Florida. He is a practicing cardiologist as well as a researcher, inventor, and professor of Medicine. His unique perspective into the challenges of health care delivery are shaped by his medical experiences in South Africa and the United States. Dr. Bruce is an accomplished innovator who helped create seven start-up companies. He holds more than 21 issued patents for medical inventions.
Douglas W. Calder
Douglas W. Calder’s active roles include serving as: President of Vycellix™, Inc.; Member of the Board of Directors for BioFlorida, and; Member of the Society for Natural Immunity. Headquartered on the campus of the Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, Florida, Vycellix is a closely-held immunotherapy-focused, discovery company with the mission to fundamentally impact the challenges that currently prevail in the area of cell & gene based-therapies. The Company is engaged in the development of proprietary approaches for cell-based immunotherapeutic products and to improve patient outcomes. Vycellix’s products were all discovered by scientists at the world-renowned Karolinska Institutet (KI) in Stockholm, Sweden. Ongoing R&D activities at KI researchers’ laboratories are supported by Vycellix. KI is globally recognized for its Nobel Assembly, which awards the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
Mr. Calder has 28-years of life science executive experience, having served in various senior executive roles for Florida-based biotechnology companies and research institutes including Viragen, Accentia Biopharmaceuticals, Biovest International and the Vaccine & Gene Therapy Institute of Florida, as well as having formerly served as a registered financial portfolio manager with a focus on life science equities with the NYSE-member firms, Gruntal & Co. and Dean Witter Reynolds.
Tamiami Angel Funds
Timothy J. Cartwright is a partner at Fifth Avenue Family Office. Fifth Avenue Family Office provides a broad range of services ranging from investment management to sophisticated estate planning, evaluation of private equity and venture investment opportunities, thoughtful multi-generational legacy transfers and lifestyle services. Mr. Cartwright serves as volunteer Treasurer of the Florida Gulf Coast University Foundation and was recently named as one of Florida Trend’s 500 Most Influential Floridians due to his venture capital and private equity activity with the Tamiami Angel Funds and Adrenaline Venture Fund.
Prior, he co-founded By-Products Interactive, an electronic trading, market research and publishing company; and Benchmark Solutions, a supply chain consulting company. He began his career working with middle market companies at Arthur Andersen in Chicago, Illinois. He resides in Naples with his wife and three children. He is a softball coach, a soccer coach, and an active member of First Baptist Church of Naples.
City of Tampa
Jane Castor is the 59th Mayor of the City of Tampa.
She served 31 years with the Tampa Police Department, working her way from a beat cop to the first female Chief of Police. Castor helped reduce major crime by 70% citywide. She ensured public safety during the 2012 Republican National Convention and the first Bollywood Awards in America. She also oversaw the security plan for Super Bowl XLIII and led the Department of Homeland Security’s Tampa Bay Urban Area Security Initiative.
Community outreach has always been a cornerstone of Castor’s career. As a cop, Jane knew the families, business owners, and community leaders in her neighborhood and, as Chief, she expected every officer to do the same. Under her watch, everyone was to be treated with dignity and respect.
She also implemented several programs to help at-risk youths. Under Jane’s leadership, the police department built a RICH House in the city to provide a safe haven for hundreds of economically disadvantaged kids. She also raised $4 million to build a recreation center. The Police Athletic League now offers after school/summer programs for 500+ at-risk youths.
On a national and local level, Castor is recognized for her leadership in law enforcement and community involvement. She has received multiple awards including the 2015 USF President’s Distinguished Citizen Award, 2014 Tampa Chamber of Commerce’s Woman of Influence Award, and more.
Jane is a proud born and raised Tampanian. She resides in Seminole Heights where she raised her two sons, Sergei and Seely.
Kathy Chiu is currently a managing partner at DeepWork Capital, a venture capital firm that invests in Florida-based, early stage, technology and life science companies.
Previously, Kathy was a strategy and business development consultant that specializes in new market entry and has clients ranging from US based Fortune 500 to foreign technology companies. She also ran an angel network, and was an investment professional at Denver-based iSherpa Capital, a wireless technology venture capital firm. She served as a product manager at Lefthand Networks and Level (3) Communications. She also worked as a quantitative financial analyst at Cornerstone Research and in the corporate strategy department of Compaq Computers.
Prior to embarking on the business career track, Kathy was an electrical engineer and worked in technical positions at Superconducting Supercollider Laboratory, Tektronix, and MIT’s Media Lab.
Kathy has an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business, and an BS and an MS in Electrical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She speaks Chinese and Taiwanese with native fluency.
R. Scott Crawford
Science Studio Leader
Mr. Crawford is an architect and senior project manager with RS&H, Inc. and has more than 20 years in the industry. He is the Science Studio Leader and has developed his experience in the design of advanced science facilities for academic institutions, private companies, and governmental agencies. With a thorough knowledge base in design and construction, he can design, produce, and manage projects of significant complexity with diligence and innovation. Laboratory expertise includes ISO class cGMP clean room suites, BSL3 containment suites, vivarium and biomedical laboratories, engineering and chemical processing laboratories, and research and teaching laboratories.
American Cancer Society / BrightEdge
BrightEdge is the American Cancer Society’s strategic venture philanthropy platform, targeting investments in advanced therapies to treat, detect, and prevent all types of cancer. Prior to the BrightEdge Fund, Bob was a Sr. Partner at Harbert Growth Partners where he led the healthcare practice, where he served as a board member or board observer on Shipt - acquired by Target in 2017, Wellcentive – acquired by Royal Philips in 2016, nContact - acquired by Atricure in 2014 and Novamin - acquired by GSK in 2009.
He also serves on the boards of the Southeastern Medical Device Association, the Southern Capital Forum, the Atlanta Global Center for Medical Innovation, HealthSouth Connect, and the True Vine Foundation. Most recently, he was the Executive Director of Innovate Birmingham, an 18-month initiative in which he led a team to assess, evaluate and recommend to Birmingham’s economic development organizations strategies for accelerating the growth of that market’s technology-based economy. During this time, he also served as an Operating Advisor to Harbert Growth Partners, after stepping down as the Senior Partner and Healthcare Practice Leader in 2017. Prior to Harbert he was Vice President/General Manager of the Pharmacy Services Division at US Oncology, a privately held, vertically integrated cancer care provider network, that sold to McKesson in 2010. Prior to US Oncology, he was a Senior Executive at Cardinal Health where he served as Vice President/General Manager of New Ventures. Prior to Cardinal he was the founder and CEO of Surgical Innovations & Services, Inc. (SIS).
Bob is a graduate of the University of Georgia and holds Bachelor of Science degrees in Political Science and Chemistry.
Stacey S. DeLoye
Director of Communications
Stacey Singer DeLoye is the Director of Communications for Scripps Research in Jupiter, Florida. A former science and health journalist and blogger whose work appeared in The Palm Beach Post, the Sun-Sentinel and the Chicago Tribune, she founded Boynton Beach-based health and science communications firm, AuthentiVox before joining Scripps Research full-time in 2017.
J. Lee Emel
Southeast Regional Leader
Lee H. Evans
Executive Director, Head of North America Capability Center and Global Strategic Operations
Lee leads Bristol-Myers Squibb’s North America Capability Center, and is also responsible for global capability center model strategies. Lee joined BMS in 2009 as R&D Global Development Informatics Director; in 2011 his responsibilities expanded to include R&D Information and Analytics Sciences.
Previous roles were Clinical and Regulatory Development Informatics Group Director at Merck; Vice President of Life Sciences Management for a global consulting company; President and CEO of a contract research organization. Lee began his career at SAS Inc., ending up as President of spin-off, iBiomatics LLC.
Lee holds Biological Engineering and Economics degrees from North Carolina State University. He lectured at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business, and actively engages in private/public technology partnership advocacy, and improving biopharmaceutical informatics. Speaking engagements include “big data” in the biotech/pharma sector, evolving global business services models, and leadership for employee empowerment.
Lee is committed to his community and is a Director of Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation, on the Board of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, the Tampa Bay Partnership, and BioFlorida.
Director of Engineering
Bausch & Lomb
As the Director of Engineering, Nicole oversees the technical operations at the plant including major capital investments, process engineering, contract manufacturing, validation, facilities, utilities, maintenance and calibration. She graduated from USF with her Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Chemical Engineering. She has a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification from the Project Management Institute. She has been with Bausch and Lomb Pharmaceuticals in Tampa for over 19 years holding various positions throughout the organization.
Founded in 1853, Bausch and Lomb is one of the oldest continually operating companies in the US. Part of Bausch Health Companies Inc, the manufacturing facility in Tampa, which received its first FDA approval in 1993, produces over 70 million branded and generic pharmaceutical products annually to improve the health of our patients around the world. In an environment where quality and innovations are critical, we employ professionals with the skills and passion to meet the expectations of our customers, as well as the regulatory bodies that govern the development and manufacturing of our eye care products.
Chief Technology Officer
Sensus Healthcare, Inc.
Before joining Sensus Healthcare, Kal Fishman served as Vice President of Sales and Business Development with an artificial intelligence image diagnostics company. He has extensive P&L experience, along with a broad customer and vendor relationship base in the diagnostic medical imaging arena. Fishman previously served as a Global Product Manager and Six Sigma Black Belt at General Electric Medical Systems where he oversaw a successful $20MM global product line and led the Discovery™ LS PET/CT scanner e-campaign. During his tenure as Director of Sales and Marketing with Siemens Medical Systems, Fishman established and led the successful preclinical imaging division—achieving an 80 percent global market share and 100 percent CAGR throughout his leadership. Fishman holds an industry patent for the invention and commercialization of a handheld imaging device used in nuclear medicine and PET diagnostic imaging.
Weaver H. Gaines
Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO
Evren Technologies, Inc.
Weaver Gaines has over 40 years of entrepreneurial, management, and legal experience, including over 25 years as a founder, fund-raiser, and manager of start-up life science companies. Most recently, he was a co-founder and CEO of OBMedical Company, a medical device company that developed and received FDA clearance for an electronic maternal fetal monitor, which was acquired by Philips Healthcare in 2018. From 2008 to 2017, Gaines was Chairman of the Board of Nanotherapeutics, Inc. (now Ology Bioservices, Inc.), a specialty pharma company and manufacturer of a bone extender cleared by the FDA. Prior that that, Gaines founded Ixion Biotechnology, a Florida-based, clinical-stage biotechnology company that developed stem cell and probiotic therapies focused on treatment of metabolic disorders. Ixion’s probiotic technology was acquired by QMed AB in 2007. Gaines received a BA from Dartmouth College and a JD from the University of Virginia School of Law and was an Infantry officer who served in Vietnam from 1969-70, with a final rank of Captain.
Stephen Gardell, PhD
Dr. Gardell received his PhD in biochemistry from Cornell University Graduate School of Medical Sciences and did postdoctoral training at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Gardell spent 22 years pursuing drug discovery at various pharmaceutical companies (Merck, Bayer, Wyeth) in the areas of thrombosis, heart failure, atherosclerosis, obesity, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. In 2009, Dr. Gardell joined the Sanford Burnham Medical Discovery Institute (Orlando, Fl) where he began to study an enzyme, nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT), which is involved in NAD+ biosynthesis. His research team discovered small molecule NAMPT activators that raise intracellular NAD+ levels, an effect with potential therapeutic utility for metabolic disease and healthy aging. Dr. Gardell also started a Metabolomics Core at the Sanford Burnham Institute and was a Co-PI for the Southeast Center for Integrated Metabolomics (SECIM), an NIH-funded partnership with the University of Florida. In May 2018, Dr. Gardell joined the Translational Research Institute (TRI) at AdventHealth (Orlando, Fl) where he continues his research on NAMPT and has established an expanded Metabolomics Core.
Life Sciences Senior Director, Business Development
Orlando Economic Partnership
Habeel Gazi serves as Senior Director of Business Development with a focus on life sciences and healthcare for the Orlando Economic Partnership. In this role, Habeel is primarily responsible for helping build a more robust ecosystem for life sciences companies to thrive in Orlando, as well as attracting new players to the region.
Habeel has been involved in the life sciences innovation field for the last 10 years and in the information technology industry prior to that. His direct experience was in the medical device and software space for neurosurgery, spinal surgery and other orthopedic solutions. Throughout his career, Habeel has had first-hand experience with product development, from concept to manufacturing, and securing FDA clearance and intellectual property rights. He has a bachelor’s in computer science from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and an MBA from Ivey School of Business at the Western University in Canada.
Habeel is a co-chair of the Central Florida Chapter of BioFlorida and serves on the medical device committee. He has served as an Industry Mentor in the National Science Foundation (NSF) I-Corps program at the University of Central Florida and the National NSF I-Corps program for MedTech and Health Tech companies.
Director of Substance Abuse and Mental Health
Department of Children and Families
Ute Gazioch currently serves as the Director of Substance Abuse and Mental Health for the Florida Department of Children and Families. Previously she served as Mental Health Lead, responsible for the oversight of statewide grants and programs as well as providing programmatic expertise to develop adult and children’s behavioral health policy. Prior to joining the Department in 2012, Ms. Gazioch spent 16 years working with adults, children, and families in the child welfare and behavioral health fields. Ms. Gazioch has extensive experience with direct care provision as well as program development, management and evaluation. She has trained providers and system partners on System of Care Principles, Wraparound and Stepping Stones to Recovery. Ms. Gazioch earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology with a minor in Social Work from Florida State University.
Co-Founder, CEO and President
Mr. Glover has over 32 years of business experience in biopharmaceuticals and life sciences. Mr. Glover is formally the Co-Founder of Coherus Biosciences where he was focused on the business strategy, partnerships, product development efforts and capitalization of the company. Prior to Coherus, he was the President of Insmed Therapeutic Proteins as well as Chief Business Officer of Insmed Incorporated. At Insmed, Mr. Glover was responsible for the creation of the biosimilar business unit and the divestiture of the business to Merck. As Chief Business Officer he led Insmed's strategic review process which resulted in the merger of Insmed and Transave. Prior to Insmed, Mr. Glover held the position of Senior Vice President and General Manager at Andrx Laboratories and Andrx Therapeutics, both divisions of Andrx Corporation. At Andrx Mr. Glover was responsible for the strategy and operation of the Andrx Labs which developed and marketed products in metabolic diseases and Men's Health, and Andrx Therapeutics which was focused on the development of new controlled release products and contract manufacturing. He earlier held multiple sales, marketing and operational roles at Hoffman LaRoche, Amgen Inc. and IMS Health. Mr. Glover has multifaceted experience in Fortune 100, start up and entrepreneurial environments. His transaction experience covers over 25 transactions totaling over $10 billion, and he serves on the Boards of PDS Biotechnology, INCON, and Asclepius Lifesciences.
Geoff Green has been with Longeveron since 2016, previously as SVP of Clinical Operations. Mr. Green is a versatile executive with over 20 years of experience in leadership roles in the life sciences industry. His background spans clinical drug development, clinical operations, and business and corporate development. He has held the positions of VP of Operations at Partikula, VP of Business Development & Clinical Affairs at Accu-Break Pharmaceuticals, Acting President and CEO of DOR BioPharma, VP of Business Development & Operations at Heart Genomics, and Director of Clinical Affairs at IDDS. Mr. Green earned a BA in biology from Kenyon College, and an MBA from Barry University’s Andreas School of Business.
President and CEO
ADMA Biologics, Inc.
Adam is a leader in the biopharmaceutical industry and has been the driving force behind ADMA Biologics’ mission to develop and bring to market novel plasma derived products to address certain unmet medical needs for immune compromised patients. Adam has over 25 years of experience in the blood and plasma products industry, which includes experience in launching new products, building and managing national and international sales forces, managing and designing clinical trials as well as developing strategies and executing solutions to resolve complex quality assurance, manufacturing and regulatory affairs issues. Additionally, he has negotiated and completed multiple business development and merger and acquisition transactions.
Adam began his career as a hospital-based plasma products sales representative focusing on treatments for immune compromised patients. This opportunity provided him with a first-hand view of certain challenges patients faced, while gaining an understanding of how decisions were made by treating clinicians. Subsequently, Adam worked at MedImmune, Inc. as part of the marketing teams for RSV and CMV immunoglobulins, and at the American Red Cross, where he participated in the launch of new products with the Biomedical Services division. Additionally, Adam was the Executive Vice President of National Hospital Specialties and GenesisBPS, a position he held between 1994 and 2011.
Adam utilized his unique understanding of the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries to co-found ADMA Biologics, taking it public in 2013. As Chief Executive Officer, Adam led the asset acquisition of the Biotest Therapy Business Unit in 2017, which transformed ADMA Biologics into a vertically integrated plasma products manufacturing company based in the U.S. Subsequent to the asset acquisition, he led the successful integration of business operations, revamped and overhauled the site-wide quality and compliance functions, as well as led the company’s regulatory affairs strategy resulting in FDA approvals for BIVIGAM®’s Prior Approval Supplement (PAS) and ASCENIV™’s Biologics License Application (BLA). Adam’s efforts led to the FDA granting a new license for the Boca Raton manufacturing plant. Adam has successfully guided ADMA through multiple capital markets equity financing and debt facility transactions.
Adam has been a member of the ADMA Biologics Board of Directors since 2007, has served as its President and Chief Executive Officer since October 2011 and was the President and Chief Operating Officer between 2007 and October 2011. In 2015 and 2017, the U.S. Patent Office issued Adam patent #’s 9,107,906, 9,714,283, 9,815,886, which are the basis for the manufacturing methods and composition used by ADMA in the manufacturing of its product ASCENIV™.
Adam is a graduate of American University, receiving a B.S. in Business Administration, with a specialization in International Business and Marketing.
Founder and Principal
Sean earned a Bachelor of Science in Product Design from The Ohio State University’s Industrial Design program, minoring in human factors. Sean has over 30 years of R&D experience in a variety of industries ranging from luxury yachts to ruggedized electronics and medical devices. He has experience working with robotic systems for Smith & Nephew, Ethicon, Medicaroid (Kawasaki), TransEnterix and Mako.
Since founding BlackHägen Design in 1995, he has led research and usability design projects, in both institutional and home environments, across twenty countries. Sean has contributed to usability standards as a contributing author for AAMI TIR 50, 59 and in the revisions of HE75 and IEC 32366. He was the IDSA Medical Section Chair for 8 years and served two terms on the Board of Directors. He is currently the Chair of the Patient Safety Taskforce.
Vice President of Research Operations
Rob Herzog serves as AdventHealth’s Vice President of Research Operations and the Nicholson Center, providing administrative oversight of all research activities as well as clinical and surgical training and education, in support of the Chief Scientific Officer. AdventHealth Research Institute is the largest footprint for clinical research throughout the 49-hospital, 80,000 employee national AdventHealth system. His scope includes the clinical research operations for fourteen different research departments across Central Florida, including Cancer Research, Cardiovascular Research, Neuroscience Research and the Translational Research Institute for Metabolism and Diabetes, with a total portfolio of more than 500+ active clinical studies at any given time. During his tenure, Rob has established new infrastructure to facilitate high-impact clinical research including launching the Office of Sponsored Programs, the Office of Research Integrity and the Center for Collaborative Research, a core service designed to leverage the scale of the AdventHealth System-wide ‘data lake’ with the goal to use rapid learning to advance discovery and improve the health of our communities. The Nicholson Center is a 54,000 sq/ft advanced medical learning facility equipped with multi-specialty, state-of-the-art equipment to provide comprehensive clinical and surgical training. This high-tech learning and simulation center has grown extensively to support a collaborative teaching environment that brings together global professionals to foster ongoing learning and medical innovation.
Rob began his career with AdventHealth in 2004, advancing to the role of Administrative Director for the Neuroscience Institute before moving into his current position in the Research Institute. He has served as an instructor for AdventHealth’s leadership development training, launched multi-agency pilot programs to improve the health of the Central Florida community and supported grass-roots innovation through the Community Health Impact Council (CHIC). Rob is a board member and current Vice Chair of BioFlorida.
Prior to joining AdventHealth, Rob spent four years as the Director of Operations for Coventry Healthcare, Inc. He earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Virginia, attending James Madison University and the University of Virginia, respectively.
Rob enjoys forging relationships with AdventHealth’s 225+ clinical investigators, striving to link their innovative spirit with industry and academic partners to achieve the shared goal of transforming healthcare for the sake of each patient that we serve.
Smith & Hopen
Anton Hopen is an Honors College graduate of the University of South Florida in Interdisciplinary Science and a graduate of the University of Florida College of Law. Prior to his career in intellectual property law, he served as a felony criminal prosecutor for the 6th Judicial Circuit of Florida trying over fifty (50) jury trials to verdict as lead counsel. He also taught forensic DNA analysis at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement transitioning from RLFP to PCR technologies in the mid-1990s. Mr. Hopen is admitted to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, all U.S. District Courts in Florida, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. He is Board Certified in Intellectual Property Law by the Florida Bar. Mr. Hopen is recognized as an expert in intellectual property law by the Wall Street Journal and Money Magazine. He has been "AV" rated by Martindale-Hubble since 1998. Mr. Hopen has created a number of start-up companies including those in the pharmacology industry. The technology he developed is licensed by all branches of the U.S. military in addition to a numerous other federal agencies, universities and laboratories. He is also currently participating in several startup endeavors in the aerospace and medical technology fields.
Joseph P. Iannotti MD, PhD
Chief of Staff and Chief Academic and Innovation Officer
Cleveland Clinic Florida
Joseph Iannotti is Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Chief of Staff and Chief Academic and Innovations Officer at the Cleveland Clinic Florida Health System. He is past chairman of the Orthopaedic and Rheumatology Institute at the Cleveland Clinic 2000 - 2018.
Dr. Iannotti received his MD from Northwestern University in 1979, completed his Orthopaedic Residency training at the University of Pennsylvania in 1984, and received a PhD in cell biology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1987.
Dr. Iannotti’s clinical and basic science research program focuses on innovative treatments for tendon repair and tendon tissue engineering, prosthetic design, software planning and patient specific instrumentation.
Dr. Iannotti has published three textbooks and has authored over 350 original peer reviewed articles, review articles and book chapters. He is a three time recipient of Charles Neer Research Award and the Cleveland Clinic 2011 Sones Award for Innovation. Dr. Iannotti holds 120 US and International patents in the areas of Orthopaedic implants, instrumentation, software and biologic meshes that have been licenses to 8 orthopaedic companies. In 2016 he was inducted into the National Academy of Inventors. He is past Chief Scientific Officer for Custom Orthopaedic Solutions.
He has served as Past Chair of the Academic Affairs Council and the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery, Past-president of the American Shoulder and Elbow, Past-chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery.
Senior Research Scientist
AdventHealth Nicholson Center
Danielle Julian, M.S., is a Senior Research Scientist at AdventHealth Nicholson Center. Her current research focuses on robotic surgery simulation and effective surgeon training. Her current projects include intelligent tutoring system, rapid prototyping of surgical education devices, and the evaluation of robotic simulation systems. She is a certified instructor for surgical robotics courses delivered to surgeons and OR staff members. Her background includes research in Human Factors and learning and training to enhance the higher-order cognitive skills of military personnel. She is currently a Ph.D. student in Modeling and Simulation at the University of Central Florida where she previously earned an M.S. in Modeling and Simulation, Graduate Simulation Certificate in Instructional Design, and a B.S. in Psychology.
CEO and Chief Possibilities Officer
JBK Associates International, Inc.
Julie Kampf founded JBK Associates International, Inc. in 2003 to create an executive talent solutions organization that pushes the boundaries way beyond the limitations of standard executive search.
Her success has made JBK a diversity leader honored with dozens of awards, valued by the Fortune 500 companies and other organizations that seek its expertise in building high-performance teams, and accepted as a member of Amrop (Amrop JBK), one of the world’s largest retained executive search partnerships.
Julie brings more than 30 years of search and industry experience to her work advising CEOs, recruiting board talent, speaking out on talent-related issues, and leading a diverse team that develops long-term client partnerships, provides in-depth expertise and delivers the comprehensive solutions that are the order of business today.
Beyond JBK, which is certified as a women-owned business by the prestigious Women's Business Enterprise National Council, Julie brings her commitment to women and diversity to her many volunteer activities. She serves on Howard University's John H. Johnson School of Communications Board of Visitors, is a founding member of the Bergen County (NJ) chapter of Women United in Philanthropy, is a past-President of the Metro chapter of the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association and is an active member of BioNJ. In addition, she has served on the Board of Directors of the International Association of Corporate and Professional Recruitment (IACPR) and on the Girl Scout Council of Bergen County. In her spare time, she raises money for charities including Guiding Eyes for the Blind, Good Grief, Table To Table and The Women's Health and Counseling Center. Julie earned a BA in Political Science from the University of Rhode Island, where she minored in Marketing.
Norma Sue Kenyon, PhD
Chief Innovation Officer
University of Miami
Norma Sue Kenyon, PhD is Vice Provost for Innovation at the University of Miami and Chief Innovation Officer of the Miller School of Medicine. Under her leadership, the U Innovation team, including the Office of Technology Transfer and the Wallace H. Coulter Center for Translational Research has successfully increased the number of licensing agreements and startups emanating from faculty innovations across the university's 11 schools and colleges. The Launch Pad and Launch Pad Med provide mentoring for emerging student, alumni and faculty entrepreneurs throughout the university community, and Kenyon is leading establishment of the ‘Cane Angel Network to provide investment opportunities to all startups connected to the university. Together with community partners, Kenyon is working to grow the Converge Miami innovation district (previously known as the UM Life Science and Technology Park), and as part of the university's roadmap initiative, is heading up planning for a hemispheric innovation hub at the U.
The Martin Kleiman Professor of Surgery, Microbiology & Immunology and Biomedical Engineering at the Diabetes Research Institute, Dr. Kenyon and her research team have focused on ways to transplant insulin producing islet cells, in both clinically relevant transplant models and in clinical studies, without the need for life-long anti-rejection drugs. Key accomplishments include development and sharing of methods for islet and islet/bone marrow transplantation, demonstration of insulin independence and long-term islet survival and incorporation of stem cells to enhance islet engraftment and survival. Kenyon has received research funding from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International, the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation and several industry collaborators. She has served as a member of both the National Advisory Allergy and Infectious Disease Council and the NIH Council of Councils. Kenyon was a scientific advisor to the Food and Drug Administration, spending half her time at the FDA for a year and has participated in several panels involving islet transplantation and stem cells.
Kenyon earned her undergraduate degree from Duke University and her PhD from Virginia Commonwealth University, followed by post-doctoral positions at UCLA and the University of Miami. Subsequent to post-doctoral training, Kenyon was a Senior Scientist and Lab Head at Coulter Corporation, holding positions in both research and product development.
Matthew H.J. Kim, JD
Co-Founder and Chairman
STAT3 Therapeutics, Inc.
An accomplished leader and serial entrepreneur, Matthew H.J. Kim brings more than 20 years of experience encompassing business and corporate development, intellectual property monetization, and commercialization of various product launches to his leadership role at STAT3 Therapeutics, winner of the 2018 BioFlorida BioPitch award and the 2019 Florida Venture Forum Early Stage Conference Seed Stage Company award. Prior to founding STAT3 Therapeutics, Matthew successfully founded Vigilant Biosciences, a company that develops solutions that aid in the early detection and intervention of head and neck cancer. Inspired by both his parents’ battle to overcome their affliction with head and neck cancer, Matthew was instrumental in Vigilant’s corporate development and financing efforts including raising $20MM in both investor and grant funding to advance technology exclusively licensed from the University of Miami from concept to commercialization. Additionally, Matthew played a key role in establishing strategic partnerships and leading efforts to develop the company’s pipeline. Before Vigilant Biosciences, Matthew was involved in the founding of several start-ups, including a lung disease-focused specialty pharmaceutical spin-off from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Matthew received his bachelor’s degree in Biology from Washington University in St. Louis and his Juris Doctorate from Georgia State University. He is also admitted to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Among his past honors and recognitions include being awarded BioFlorida’s Weaver H. Gaines Entrepreneur of the Year Award for his extraordinary contributions to the growth of Florida’s life sciences industry in the leadership of a company.
John Koomen, PhD
Moffitt Cancer Center
Dr. Koomen is an associate member of the Moffitt Cancer Center in the department of Molecular Oncology, who also serves as the scientific director of the Proteomics and Metabolomics Core. His research focuses on using mass spectrometry to better understand cancer biology and improve methods for patient assessment. Efforts to integrate different omics strategies (genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics) represent the cutting edge of cancer research, because they can address complex hypotheses and provide unique insights. Recent work includes a collaboration with Ken Shain, MD/PhD at Moffitt and Tim Garrett, PhD at the University of Florida, which is focused on the integration of proteomics and metabolomics to elucidate mechanisms of drug resistance in multiple myeloma.
Patricia Lawman, PhD
Patricia Lawman, PhD, Co-Founder and CEO of Morphogenesis, Inc., received her graduate education in molecular biology and immunology from the College of Medicine at the University of Florida where she served as a Postdoctoral Fellow in Pediatric Hematology and Oncology. Prior to founding Morphogenesis, Dr. Lawman was Division Director of Cancer Molecular Biology at the Walt Disney Memorial Cancer Institute in Orlando, FL, where she initiated and coordinated molecular biology, gene targeting and universal stem cell projects. She has held adjunct faculty positions at the University of Central Florida and the University of South Florida and has served on numerous committees at local/state/federal levels. Dr. Lawman holds over 25 patents and as many publications and has received multiple honors, including 2012 Tampa Bay Business Journal Technology Business Woman of the Year. Under her direction, Morphogenesis has raised over $25M and is about to enter Phase II human clinical trials for its cancer immunotherapy.
Center for Medical Simulation and Innovative Education, Johns Hopkin’s All Children’s Hospital
A medical simulation and technology innovation expert with vast experience in medical robotic simulations, special effects, and professional multimedia production. Matthew serves as a simulation engineer at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital. Matthew has over eleven years of professional experience in medical simulation robotics and over fifteen years of professional multimedia experience. He is a Certified Healthcare Simulation Operational Specialist (CHSOS) and is extremely passionate about the future of medical simulation. Matthew is currently involved in multiple innovation technology projects at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital regarding Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, 360 Educational Media, and 3D Printing.
Matthew has held multiple positions at Uchealth’s Center for Advancing Medical Simulation Center located in Colorado Springs, CO. Over the last nine years these roles have included: managing simulation labs, budgets, capital requests, curriculum design, audiovisual systems design and overall operations. Additional Roles include: operating medical simulators, administering simulation repairs, creating realistic special effects, and creating medical task trainers. Matthew also was responsible for creating multimedia content, managing video debriefing systems, and coordinating inter-professional training.
Matthew started his career in medical simulation in Overland Park, KS at the Johnson County Community College Healthcare Simulation Center where his passion developed for education technology. Matthew’s pursuits of innovative technology throughout his career has fueled his passion for embracing technology through immersive learning.
Mark S. Long
Director, Incubation Services
Mark S. Long is currently the Director of Incubation Services for UF Innovate at the University of Florida, which includes the Sid Martin Biotechnology incubator in Progress Park, one of the top bioscience business incubators in the world, UF Innovate | The Hub, a mixed-use facility in downtown Gainesville and he oversees the Gainesville Innovation District. Mark is also managing the Collaboratory for Women Innovators, a 5-year partnership with the US EDA and the University of Florida to educate, inform and encourage women in technology startups. Mark was formerly a Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship and Management at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business, and a 2010/2012 winner of the IU Trustees Teaching Award. Mark is the President of Long Performance Advisors, LLC, a global consulting company focused on accelerating efforts in business incubation, technology transfer, small business formation/management and economic development – Mark has completed studies for over 100+ business incubators and research parks around the world. Mark was a board member of the International Business Innovation Association (InBIA), and in 2014 he received the InBIA President’s Award for Lifetime Achievement in Business Incubation. He has authored numerous books on incubation and economic development and is considered a global authority on policies, procedures, design and operations for business incubators. Long is the former President and CEO of the Indiana University Research and Technology Corporation (IURTC). As CEO of IURTC, Long directed the activities of IU’s business incubator, the Indiana University Emerging Technologies Center; the Technology Transfer Office; the Office of Indiana University Trademarks and Licensing; and Kelley Executive Partners, the executive education arm of the Kelley School. Mark was the previous Director of Technical Operations at Washington University in St. Louis. Mark has more than thirty years of experience in medical diagnostics in sales, marketing, and technical services, holding additional positions at Sigma Diagnostics, Coulter Corporation and Baxter Healthcare. Mark has an A.S. degree in Medical Laboratory Technology from Indian River Community College, Ft. Pierce, Florida (2007 Distinguished Alumni Award Winner); B.S. degree in Biology from Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida; and an M.S. degree in Molecular Biology from Florida State University.
Keith March, MD, PhD
Professor of Medicine, UF Division of Cardiology and Director, UF Center for Regenerative Medicine
Keith L. March, MD, PhD, FACC, has dedicated his career to bringing new medical approaches to patients. His publications include more than 150 manuscripts. He was the editor of the first book dedicated to cardiovascular gene transfer. Dr. March’s research has resulted in more than 55 worldwide (20+ U.S.) patents, with others pending. He invented the Closer, a widely-utilized patented suture-mediated closure device, used to close the puncture wound in an artery following heart catheterization. This device allows a patient to “walk off the table” after a catheterization without requiring prolonged bedrest. In 1999, Abbott Vascular, an affiliate of Abbott Laboratories, acquired the company that developed this technology; and the Closer approach has been used worldwide to treat more than 8,000,000 patients. He has served as a scientific advisor to numerous pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies. Most recently, he co-founded Theratome Bio, based on a patented platform of technology originating in his laboratory that establishes the therapeutic factors secreted by stem cells as powerful therapeutics for critical medical needs, including degenerative and ischemic diseases of the nervous system. With FDA input, Theratome Bio is pursuing this off-the-shelf approach to markedly reduce stroke and prolong quality life in ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), as two near-term goals.
His laboratory focuses on vascular biology, with a particular emphasis on the function and translational study of stem cells found in the adipose (fat) tissue, which his laboratory identified as cells with critical roles in blood vessel growth and control of inflammation. Dr. March is recognized as a leading expert in the field of adult stem cell research, particularly that involving adipose-derived stem cells. From 2008-2012, he was Chair of the National Institutes of Health Data and Safety Monitoring Board that oversees cell therapy trials in the areas of heart, lung, and blood diseases. In 2012, his center was selected as one of the seven Cardiovascular Cell Therapy Research Network (CCTRN) centers in the USA which would work together to conduct NIH-sponsored cell therapy clinical trials during a seven year period. He has obtained FDA approval to conduct two U.S. trials employing one’s own adipose-derived stem cells: one to avoid amputations in legs of patients with severe circulatory disease; and another to avert knee replacements in patients with severe arthritis.
In addition to his research roles, Dr. March has served as the President (2007) of the International Federation of Adipose Therapeutics and Science (IFATS), and continues to serve on the IFATS Board; and as the Chief Medical Advisor for the Cell Therapy Foundation. In both affiliations, he has worked to advance collaboration as well as public awareness about the significance of adult stem cells.
Gary S. Margules, Sc.D.
Vice President for Office of Research and Technology Transfer
Nova Southeastern University
Dr. Margules has direct business experience in technology management, academic technology transfer, strategic planning, corporate ventures, R&D/project management, licensing, regulatory affairs, clinical trials, and product development. Prior to joining NSU, he gained twenty-nine years of research management experience; eight years with Cordis Corporation as Senior Scientist, three with Pfizer Hospital Products as Assistant Director of Technology Development, three with Senmed Medical Ventures as Director, Medical Technology, and fifteen with the University of Miami as Assistant Vice Provost for Technology Transfer and Industry Research.
Dr. Margules broad experience has given him an in depth knowledge in medical devices, therapeutics, biotechnology, and diagnostics. He earned Doctor of Engineering Science and Master of Science degrees in chemical/bio-engineering from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical/biomedical engineering from the University of Miami.
Peter J. Mariani
Mr. Mariani joined Axogen in March 2016. He brings more than 25 years of experience as a financial executive in private and public companies. He previously served as Chief Financial Officer of Lensar, Inc, a privately held laser refractive cataract surgery company, from July 2014 through January 2016, following the sale of Lensar in December 2015. From June 2011 to June 2014 he served as Chief Financial Officer of Hansen Medical, a publicly traded medical device company developing robotic solutions for intravascular procedures. From 2007 through 2010 he served as Chief Financial Officer for two privately held companies (Harlan Laboratories: 2007 – 2009; and BMW Constructors: 2009 – 2010). From 1994 through 2006 he served in various senior financial roles with Guidant Corporation, a publicly traded leader in the development and sale of medical devices for the treatment of cardiovascular disease. Pete began his career with Guidant as Director of Corporate Financial Reporting where he supported the initial IPO of Guidant and ultimately served as Vice President, Controller and Chief Accounting Officer. His experience at Guidant included two years as Director of Financial Reporting, Guidant Vascular Intervention in Santa Clara, California, and four years in Tokyo, Japan, mostly as Vice President Finance and Administration. While in Japan he helped to facilitate the conversion and scale of the Japan business from a distributor network to a direct sales and marketing organization. Following the 2006 sale of Guidant to Boston Scientific Corporation, he co-led the initial integration of the two companies. From 1987 to 1994 Pete worked with Ernst and Young, LLP, where he served a diverse client base as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Pete received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from Indiana University.
Senior Director, Research Services
Founder and CEO
Karen Moore is an acknowledged leader in the media relations, public relations, crisis communications and public affairs arena. Called by Henry Kissinger, “one tough lady,” Karen is the CEO and Founder of Moore, Inc. (formally Moore Communications Group.) This innovative advocacy and marketing communications firm, with offices in Tallahassee/West Palm Beach/ New Orleans/Denver, is one of the largest independently owned communication firms in the U.S.
Karen was named in both 2018 and 2019 by Florida Trend as one of the 500 Most Influential Floridians. In addition to the Moore Agency, she is a frequent public speaker and has facilitated strategic marketing, advocacy and media training sessions for Fortune 500 companies and the British Olympic Team. Recognition for her work has brought numerous honors including the Silver Medal Award by the Advertising Federation, the Stan Tate Award for Lifetime Excellence and Achievement by the Public Relations Association, the Distinguished Leader Award by the National Association of Community Leaders, and the Florida Economic Development Champion of the Year. Her book, “Behind the Red Door: Unlock Your Advocacy Influence and Success” was published in 2016 and was listed on the Amazon bestseller’s list.
Karen currently serves on numerous boards including Florida CURED, BioFlorida, Florida College System Foundation, Florida College System Trustees Commission, Association of Florida Colleges Foundation, Nashotah House, Honor Flight, Florida TaxWatch and Hancock Bank. Appointed by Governors Crist, Scott and DeSantis, she serves on the Tallahassee Community College District Board of Trustees. She chaired the College’s successful $23 million capital campaign to support student scholarships and founded the Moore Veterans Leadership Academy, which help veterans succeed in college and in the workforce.
The Moore Agency has been named by Inc. Magazine as one of the “Fastest Growing Business in America”, the “Top PR Firm to Work for in US” by PR Week and by Florida Trend Magazine for eight straight years as “Top Place to Work in Florida.” Additional honors include: “Top Public Affairs in the Southeast, Top Branding Companies and Top US Latino Marketing Firm” in the US. The firm has received more than 450 state and national awards for its multidiscipline state and national marketing and public affairs campaigns.
Stephanie Nelson Wimmer
Vice President, Reimbursement and Health Economics, Pain Therapies and Brain Therapies
Stephanie Nelson Wimmer, MBS, MPH is currently the Vice President of Reimbursement and Health Economics for Medtronic’s Pain and Brain Therapies Businesses. She leads the global reimbursement, health economic and outcomes research, prior authorization services, and state government affairs functions for these businesses. Wimmer also champions the Pain Therapies Opioid Initiative focused on disrupting the U.S. Opioid Crisis. She has been with Medtronic for the past 17 years in various leadership roles within the Reimbursement function.
Wimmer has more than two decades of financial, management, and consulting experience in the healthcare industry. Her most intensive focus is in the areas where business and healthcare interests intersect— health economics, reimbursement, and market access. She has expertise in U.S. and global reimbursement environments; healthcare provider revenue cycle management; developing evidence to meet the needs of economic stakeholders; and advocating with government and non-government payers globally.
Prior to Medtronic, Wimmer worked as a management consultant advising healthcare and life sciences organizations. She is a graduate of General Electric’s Financial Management Program.
Wimmer holds a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies from Hamilton College; a Master of Business Administration from The Tuck School at Dartmouth College; and a Master of Public Health from the Mailman School at Columbia University.
Mark O’Brien is an expert on criminal justice and addiction with over a decade of experience leading national coalitions and local collaborations, developing strategic partnerships, and managing projects involving multiple stakeholders and organizations.
As the Executive Vice President of Programs and Education at Addiction Policy Forum, Mark led the organization’s work to educate the public and policymakers about the disease of addiction. He worked with state and local governments, health systems, and community-based organizations to plan and execute new strategies for responding to addiction.
Prior to joining Addiction Policy Forum, Mark served as Baltimore City’s Director of Opioid Overdose Prevention and Treatment, managing a high-profile overdose response cited as a model by the Surgeon General and Director of National Drug Control Policy. He led the city’s Interagency Fentanyl Task Force and Overdose Fatality Review Board.
He was a Senior Criminal Justice Policy Associate and Director of Communications in Legal Action Center's Washington, D.C. office where he co-authored the Roadmap for Promoting Health and Justice: A Smarter, More Effective National Drug and Alcohol Policy.
He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine’s Action Collaborative on Combatting the U.S. Opioid Epidemic and the collaborative’s criminal justice working group.
He recently started Springlake Solutions LLC to provide strategic support to organizations working at the intersection of criminal justice and behavioral health.
Mark has a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center and a B.S. in Law and American Civilization from Towson University.
Assistant Vice President for Commercialization
University of Florida
As the Assistant Vice President of Commercialization, and Director of Tech Licensing, Jim is responsible for commercializing UF technologies into the marketplace, all UF startup activity and it’s two world class business incubators. Jim’s broad background includes business and product development, as well as extensive technology transfer experience from the University of Michigan and the University of Miami. He has worked in both large corporations, Stryker, and small high tech startups, Xoran Technologies and Sensicore. In his more than 20 years in industry, Jim’s roles have always focused on growing and establishing businesses, while commercializing new, high tech products, with both operations and engineering responsibilities. He has helped commercialize over 35 different products including biomaterials, RF Ablation devices, infusion pumps, surgical power tools, high volume sterile disposables, CT Scanners, surgical navigation systems, resorbable plates and screws, and is a patented inventor. He has a BS in Aeronautical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and an MS in Engineering Management from the University of Maryland. Prior to industry, Jim was a helicopter pilot in the U.S. Air Force.
VP, Marketing and Corporate Development
ADMA Biologics, Inc.
Mr. Pantello is the Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Development for ADMA Biologics. He is responsible for leading marketing and business development and efforts across all the ADMA immunoglobulin brands.
Prior to joining ADMA Biologics in January of 2018, Drew was the account management lead supporting ADMA’s launch preparation activities at H4B Chelsea/Havas Health. At H4B/Havas, Drew worked hand in hand with the C-team at ADMA Biologics for over 4 years dissecting the layers of the plasma products market, leading all market research and focus group activities to gain insights and form the basis for the company’s marketing strategies. Drew brings to ADMA the experience of holding various roles of increasing responsibility in developing brand strategies for product launches across a wind range of therapeutic categories. He has over 20+ years in pharmaceutical advertising, brand strategy, market access and market research. He has held positions at LM&P, Euro RSCG Life, H4B Chelsea and Havas Health across Account Management and Business Development functions where he was responsible for leading numerous major product launches for brands across immunology, HIV, infectious disease, diabetes and neuroscience.
Mr. Pantello holds a bachelor’s degree in History from Ramapo College of New Jersey.
Founder, Chairman and CEO
Espero BioPharma, Inc.
Quang Pham is a biopharmaceutical entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience in founding, financing, and growing companies. Quang Pham is the Founder, Chairman & CEO of Espero BioPharma, an cardiorenal drug development company in Jacksonville with an FDA-approved antiplatelet, an orphan phase 3 anticoagulant and a pre-clinical antiarrhythmic. He has served as the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman since he founded Espero in 2014.
Richard E. Pietroski
Lung Bioengineering, Inc.
Richard has worked in the field of heath care for more than 40 years in the areas of emergency medicine, clinical pathology and mental health, with the last 35 years in the field of organ donation and transplant. He held the title of CEO with the Gift of Life Michigan organ procurement organization for nine years, and is currently that organization’s CEO Emeritus.
As of March 2016, Richard was appointed to the position of President at Lung Bioengineering, Inc., a United Therapeutics Company based in Silver Spring, Maryland. The company accepts lungs deemed unsuitable for transplant directly from a donor and incorporates technologies approved by the FDA to allow the lungs to undergo lifesaving transplant in a centralized facility.
Formal education includes undergraduate majors in biology and biochemistry, and a graduate degree in physiology, all from Eastern Michigan University, and a health care risk management graduate degree from Madonna University. As a healthcare executive his experience includes:
Developing, monitoring, and variance justification for a $60+ million annual budgets; Planning for long range time horizons, business continuity and disaster preparedness; Oversight of CLIA certified, ASHI and CAP accredited, and FDA registered laboratories; Development of a stand-alone intensive care unit and surgicenter for organ donation; Liaison activity with municipal governments, state legislators and the US Congress; Oversight of surgical and research construction projects: $55M, $14.2M, and $12M; and Serving on a wide range of institutional and national and international boards.
His experience includes the production of more than 50 abstracts, journal articles and book chapters on topics addressing donation and transplant administration, operations and economics. He has also been an invited lecturer for programs sponsored by Canada, Germany, Japan, Poland and Spain.
Shari Pilon-Thomas, PhD
Moffitt Cancer Center
Shari Pilon-Thomas is an Associate Member of the Immunology Department at Moffitt Cancer Center. Her research focuses on the advancement of immunotherapy as a powerful weapon against cancer, including vaccines and adoptive T cell therapy. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry from the University of Michigan and her PhD in Immunology/Microbiology from Wayne State University. She completed her Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Surgery, Tumor Immunology, Immunotherapy from University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She is currently the co-director of the Center for Immunization and Infection Research in Cancer (CIIRC). Dr. Pilon-Thomas’ research program is one of the leading efforts in bridging the space between basic science and clinical immunotherapy trials for patients with solid tumors at Moffitt Cancer Center.
Goodwin Biotechnology, Inc.
Karl is an entrepreneurial, seasoned executive whose career spans over 27 years in executive management and international business in the USA and Asia. He has a successful track record in consulting with, managing and growing organizations on a global scale and has served in management positions and on the boards of a number of life science and technology companies worldwide. Karl has been on the board of Goodwin since 2004 and has served as its Chief Executive Officer since 2013, leading the company through its evolution from a services provider focused on early stage biotech products to an organization providing regulatory approved solutions for late stage and commercial products. He led the diversification of Goodwin’s ownership structure with its recent round of institutional investment as part of an ongoing transformation in scale and operation of the company.
Karl has a Bachelors degree in Engineering, earned a Masters in Management Studies from the University of Bombay and now lives in Florida with his wife and two school going children.
Boone M. Prentice, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry
University of Florida
Professor Prentice received his B.S. in Chemistry from Longwood University in Farmville, VA and his PhD in Chemistry from Purdue University in West Lafaytte, IN. He was a postdoctoral research fellow in Biochemistry at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN before joining the Department of Chemistry at UF as an assistant professor last fall. His research focuses on developing next-generation bioanalytical mass spectrometry to better understand the molecular basis of health and disease. Specifically, his research includes the development of gas phase reactions to improve sensitivity and specificity in imaging mass spectrometry, with applications of this technology focused on studying diabetes, infectious disease, cancer, and drug pharmacology.
Head of Facilities
Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience
Jim currently serves as the Head of Facilities at the prestigious Max Planck Florida Institute in Jupiter, Florida and has over three decades of experience managing increasing complex, technical facilities. His experience includes medical care facilities, research and development laboratories, containment laboratories, pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities and containment vivaria. Aside from managing facilities operations, Jim applies his knowledge and hands-on experience with the commissioning and turnover of these facilities to the design, engineering and construction delivery process and is especially experienced in bridging the gap between construction in progress and operational transitions. Jim is a member of IFMA and a certified facility manager (CFM). He has also been certified as a commissioning engineer and is a member ASHRAE. Prior to joining Max Planck Florida Institute, Jim worked for Total Systems Commissioning. Jim is a frequent presenter at Tradeline; IFMA; Lab Animal Managers Association; Siemens; and the Design Build Institute of America.
Life Science Women’s Conference
An innovator, Patti started Globiox ten years ago with the belief that her company could help other companies, through Quality, Compliance, IT and Regulatory consulting, to improve performance and combat their inefficiencies. Today, Globiox provides companies in the fields of pharmaceuticals, IT, biotech, medical devices, and laboratories with consultative services that get them on the right track to regulatory and quality compliance and efficient computerized workflows.
Under the leadership of Ms. Rossman, Globiox has provided a host of consultative services to US Companies from Coast to Coast and Internationally. Globiox’s team of experts, many with over 20 years of FDA regulated industries experience, work directly with their clients developing relationships based on providing professional services and expertise as well as building trust with their clients.
Patti Rossman is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, and the Software Quality Institute in the Department of Engineering, University of Texas at Austin. She is a Certified Software Quality Engineer (ASQ).
Patti co-founded Life Science Women’s Conference in 2017 to inspire women working in life sciences, and those who want to work in life sciences, to explore ways to further their careers and advocate for gender equality in the industry. Her progressive and visionary thinking compelled her to create the forthcoming 2nd Annual Life Science Women’s Conference, which will be held on February 19 - 20, 2020 in Tampa, Florida. “By every industry statistic and reality, women are woefully under-represented in Life Sciences management”, says Patti, adding, “The Life Science Women’s Conference will encourage more women to make a long-term career in the Life Sciences and provide an environment where they will make those contacts essential for networking, mentorship and career advancement ”.
Project Leader, Corporate Telepresence & Robotics
United Therapeutics Corporation
Diagnosed at 5 years old with a life-threatening orphan heart disease, Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH), Jenesis Rothblatt is the inspiration and motivation behind United Therapeutics Corporation (www.unither.com). Spurred by necessity due to a lack of viable treatments and a race against the clock, Jenesis and her parents Dr. Martine & Bina Rothblatt founded United Therapeutics to find a cure for PAH and other uncommon medical conditions deemed “unprofitable” by big pharma companies.
Today, Jenesis is one of the longest living survivors of PAH and continues to address the unmet needs of PAH patients worldwide, making a difference in their quality of life. United Therapeutics Corporation is currently a leader in the field of PAH treatments and remains dedicated to the only known cure for PAH—creating an unlimited supply of organs for transplantation, specifically the lungs.
Douglas M. Ruth, Jr.
The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company
Doug Ruth is Vice President of The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company, Tampa Office. He joined Whiting-Turner in 1994 and has more than 28 years of construction industry experience. Doug is proficient in all aspects of project management, and has maintained a strong focus on the science and technology industry throughout his career. He has worked for clients such as Actavis, BioTest, Boston Scientific, Ology Bioservices, Pharmavite, TEVA Pharmaceuticals, University of Central Florida, University of Florida, University of South Florida, USF Research Foundation, and the former Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute (VGTI). Doug graduated from Florida International University with a Bachelor of Science in Building Construction, after achieving an Associates Degree from the University of Florida. Doug is a LEED Accredited Professional, DBIA Accredited, and maintains involvement with the USGBC, ISPE, DBIA and BioFlorida associations.
Maha Sallam, PhD
Founder & President
Maha Sallam, PhD is the founder and President of VuEssence, Inc. based in Tampa, Florida. VuEssence is focused on creating innovative solutions for aiding in the diagnoses and treatment of stroke and other neurological injuries. The company utilizes advanced molecular analysis technologies to develop specialized diagnostic devices.
Dr. Sallam is a graduate of the University of South Florida where she completed her undergraduate studies and subsequently earned her Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Engineering from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. She later completed the Leadership and Strategy in Pharmaceuticals and Biotech Executive Education program at the Harvard Business School in Boston, Massachusetts.
Previously Dr. Sallam cofounded and led ISSI, Inc., a start-up company based in Tampa, FL, that successfully developed and commercialized image analysis solutions for Computer Aided Detection of breast cancer in mammograms. ISSI was later acquired by iCAD, Inc. (NASDAQ: iCAD) an industry-leading provider of cancer detection and treatment solutions headquartered in Nashua, New Hampshire. Dr. Sallam served on the Board of Directors of and held several management positions at iCAD where she continued to lead new product initiatives including Computer Aided Detection solutions for CT Colonography.
Dr. Sallam currently serves on the USF Department of Computer Science and Engineering Advisory Board and chairs the Board of Trustees for RVU College of Osteopathic Medicine. She also frequently mentors new entrepreneurs drawing on over 20 years of research and industry experience with a broad focus that spans research and development, clinical testing, regulatory approval and commercialization of new medical devices.
Michael L. Salgaller, PhD
Supervisor, Invention Development and Marketing Unit
National Institutes of Health
Dr. Michael Salgaller leads the Invention Development and Marketing Unit (IDMU) 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. The IDMU serves in a business development role to foster licensing and collaborative activity between buy-side stakeholders and the NCI (and NIH in general). He is a long-time industry executive who has held various positions in boutique professional service and early-stage biotechnology firms – as well as several years in government affairs and on the investment team of a venture capital firm dedicated to the life sciences. He is the author of “Biotechnology Entrepreneurship,” and teaches an entrepreneurship class at NIH. He is on the Board of Canines-N-Kids, a foundation supporting cooperation between researchers in pediatric and veterinary oncology. He has written over 100 articles, presentations, and book chapters, and was the editorial boards of several journals. Dr. Salgaller received his PhD in Pathology from The Ohio State University.
David Samuels, MD
TeamHealth Anesthesiologist, Tampa General Hospital and Founder, NOPE! (Non-Opioid Perioperative Engagement)
David Samuels, MD, is a board-certified anesthesiologist in practice since 1990 at Tampa General Hospital (TGH). He was Assistant Professor at University of South Florida, College of Medcine from 1990-1993. At that time, he was the Co-Director of Acute Pain Management services at TGH. He was the medical director of the operating rooms at Tampa General Hospital from 1993-1996. He had a small anesthesia practice at TGH which cared for four surgeons by request for the next twenty years. From 2016 through 2018 he was facility medical director for TeamHealth at an ENT ambulatory surgery center where he cared for more than 3200 patients without using any opioids intraoperatively. He is the founder of NOPE! (Non-opioid Patient Engagement). Dr. Samuels’ study, “Opioid-free Anesthesia Results in Reduced Post-operative Opioid Consumption” was recently published in the Journal of Clinical Anesthesia and Pain Management.
Dr. Samuels received his medical degree from the University of South Florida, College of Medicine and completed his residency at Albert Einstein Medical Center. His areas of expertise includes utilizing non-opioid anesthesia as a gateway to turning the tide on the prescription opioid crisis.
David is the Senior Director of Orthobiologics for Arthrex, Inc. A Global Sports Medical Device company based in Naples, FL. David has been with Arthrex since 2003 with his primary focus in the development of treatments for orthopedic disease and injuries using biologic scaffolds, growth factors, and cellular technologies. The role includes activities both in upstream design and development as well as downstream marketing and educational efforts, training clinicians on the latest Orthobiologics innovations as well as trends in the field. Throughout his career with Arthrex he has been involved with clinical and basic scientific research as well as the regulatory processes involved in the development of Orthobiologic products. He has also received ten patents on developments in the field. His education and research background is primarily in the area of molecular and cellular biology at Florida Institute of Technology and further graduate work in Business Administration at the University of Florida. Prior to working with Arthrex, David was the Director of Donor Recovery Services at the University of Florida Tissue Bank, managing recovery and research operations, and also increasing public and health care professional awareness of organ and tissue transplantation.
Robert J. Shovlin
President, Clinical Services
NeoGenomics Laboratories, Inc.
Mr. Shovlin joined NeoGenomics in 2014 as the Chief Operating Officer, and now serves as the President, Clinical Services Division. Previously, he served as Chief Development Officer for Bostwick Laboratories, a leading provider of anatomic pathology testing services. From 2005 to 2011, he served in several positions of increasing responsibility, ultimately as President and Chief Executive Officer for Aureon Biosciences, Inc., a venture-backed diagnostics company focused on developing novel and proprietary prostate cancer tests. Mr. Shovlin also served as Executive Director of Anatomic Pathology and as Director of Managed Care for Quest Diagnostics from 2003 until 2005, and held sales leadership positions at Dianon Systems from 1997 until 2003. Mr. Shovlin served as a Captain, Infantry Officer, in the United States Marine Corps from 1992 until 1997 where he served as a Platoon Commander and Company Commander with 1st Battalion 4th Marines and as an Instructor and Staff Platoon Commander at The Basic School. He received his bachelor’s degree from Pennsylvania State University, and his MBA in Finance from Rutgers University.
Senior Scientist/Project Team Lead
Charles (Chip) Steiner
Director, Business & Product Development, Innovations
Charles Steiner is Director of Product and Business Development for Cleveland Clinic Innovations, the commercialization arm of Cleveland Clinic. He has been developing and commercializing medical technology for 30 years in the areas of surgical navigation, minimally invasive surgery, surgical simulation, neuromodulation and healthcare information technology. He currently manages the technology development program for Cleveland Clinic Innovations which invests in commercially viable projects to validate their technology, de-risk future investments and generate increased value for the intellectual property holder. Additionally he is the program manager for the joint Cleveland Clinic & IBM Watson advanced cognitive computing initiative, a collaborative project with the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine. Charles is the holder of 6 US Patents, many of which are current components of clinical devices or processes. Charles has advised several early stage medical technology companies through pre-seed, seed and later rounds of funding. Two companies Charles has advised have been acquired with others approaching monetization. Charles manages the Clinical Innovation Award for Enterprise Ireland and coordinates the commercialization Steering Committee for Cleveland Clinic Innovations.
Jeffrey L. Tate, PhD
Chief Operating Officer and Chief Quality Officer
Cyclo Therapeutics, Inc.
Dr. Jeffrey Tate is Chief Operating Officer and Chief Quality Officer at Cyclo Therapeutics, Inc. (formerly CTD Holdings) where he is a member of the public company’s (OTCQB:CTDH) Board of Directors. Dr. Tate is a seasoned executive with 30+ years of accomplishment in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical and nutritional supplements industries including: orphan drug development, branded generic drugs, intellectual property strategy, product formulation, manufacturing process development, and cGMP manufacturing. He is intimately familiar with food and drug marketing approval procedures, documentation and strategy in U.S. and foreign markets. Dr. Tate is experienced in implementation of all aspects of regulatory compliance and in successfully communicating with regulatory agency representatives. He has successfully established integrated regulatory compliance programs resulting in timely, cost effective corporate-wide compliance, meeting regulatory agency requirements and customer expectations.
Jane E. Teague
Institute for Commercialization of Florida Technology
Jane Teague is Executive Director of the Institute for Commercialization of Florida Technology (the Institute), a statewide agency that supports seed funding and growth of innovative startup companies in Florida. In this role she is responsible for operational and administrative oversight of the organization including its seed capital fund and other entrepreneurial support programs.
Prior to joining the Institute, Teague served as Executive Director of the Enterprise Development Corporation of South Florida (EDC), a public/private partnership organization that assists emerging science and technology companies. In that role she was responsible for fundraising as well as oversight of EDC’s mentor/protégé program, the award-winning Technology Business Incubator and Incubate Miami programs, annual EDC conferences, and launch and administration of New World Angels and the Miami Innovation Fund.
Teague has been an active supporter of the technology community since moving from Boston to Florida in 2000. She serves on a number of committees and boards dedicated to the growth of Florida’s science and technology sector. In 2007 she received the In Focus Magazine “Quiet Storm” award, and in June 2009 was recognized as one of the Power Players in “The Power Issue” of South Florida Business Leader Magazine.
Teague has over 30 years of experience in the software and technology industries including a variety of marketing management positions with Dun & Bradstreet Software, (formerly McCormack & Dodge), and HighGround, Inc., a provider of public relations and marketing support for emerging technology. Teague graduated McGill University, Montreal, Quebec.
Global Director of CQV Services
Commissioning Agents, Inc.
Nathan Temple is a project manager and licensed Professional Engineer with twenty consecutive years of experience in the fields of start-up, maintenance, commissioning, and qualification. He is a certified Project Management Professional. Nathan has extensive engineering, test execution, and project management experience with a wide variety of systems and equipment. Nathan is a computer system validation subject matter expert providing project consulting and support. Nathan is a member of the ISPE C&Q Community of Practice Steering Committee. He is currently the Global Business Area Leader for CQV Services for CAI, a 480 person Global professional services provider.
Allele Capital Partners
Shawn Titcomb has over 20 years’ experience in life science investments, investment banking and advisory. He is currently the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Allele Capital Partners, Allele Risk and Insurance, and Stratify Investment Partners. Previously, he served as the Head of Investment and Merchant Banking at Noble Life Science Partners, a division of Noble Capital Markets. Prior to Noble, he was a Founding Partner at Variant Research Corporation and Senior Vice President of Avalon Research Group both of which focused on long and short life sciences equity research. Shawn is highly proficient in scientific and corporate due diligence with the ability to leverage proprietary relationships with scientific KOLs and C-level life sciences executives. He has a demonstrated ability of creating and identifying emerging life sciences companies with successful management teams, milestone outcomes and investment returns. Shawn is a Co-Founder and former Chairman of ZyVersa Therapeutics and serves on Tribal Capital Market’s Equity Capital Life Sciences Division where he holds FINRA series 7, 24, 63, 65 and 79 licenses.
Jonelle L. Toothman
Co-Founder and CEO
NeXtGen Biologics, Inc.
Jonelle Toothman is a founding partner and Chief Executive Officer of NeXtGen Biologics, Inc., a medical device company that focuses on regenerative medicine. Since its incorporation in April of 2014, she has led the company from proof of concept to an accelerated path toward commercialization. As CEO, she has successfully raised $5.3M in SEED capital and intends to bring its innovative .
Ms. Toothman began her career at Pfizer, Inc. in business development and sales in 2013. At the company, she consistently ranked as top 10% of representatives nationwide in performance from 2003-2005. Ms. Toothman won accolades for ranking #1 in product growth sales and market share penetration. Her success at Pfizer caught the attention of medical device company, Integra Life Sciences, and was recruited in 2005 to be a Neuro Specialist. She was quickly promoted to Regional Sales Product Trainer, and from 2005-2007 she drove her team to increase sales by more 33%.
After working with Integra Life Sciences, Ms. Toothman joined Codman Neurovascular, a Johnson & Johnson company. As the World Wide Sr. Product Director, she led her team in executing strategic marketing and sales initiatives of an underperforming product. Ms. Toothman developed and implemented robust programs that increased product sales by more than 100%. She pioneered processes that are still in place today. Working closely with the sales organization and manufacturers, she directed a team to gain significant market share and profitability through 2012.
Ms. Toothman’s leadership was seen among top companies in the industry, and she was recruited by the Senior Vice President of UCB, Inc. She joined the Immunology division as Associate Director of Operational Effectiveness where she was responsible for strategic sales implementation, budgetary planning and utilization, compensation development and tracking, operations management, marketing analytics, and therapeutic market trend reports.
Following UCB, Ms. Toothman’s desire to be part of the entrepreneurial community inspired her to join a start-up company, Blockade Medical in 2013. Ms. Toothman was a partner and Regional Sales Director for Blockade Medical. She spearheaded the commercialization efforts and product launch into the US market. Successfully converting the highest volume of Southeast hospitals in the first month of joining the company, she managed a high performance team to increase revenue by more than 1100% month over month. She worked closely with executive management to drive strategies for expansion and positioning the organization for acquisition.
In addition to her leadership roles in sales and marketing, Ms. Toothman has started new ventures which include Half Cork’ed and Scout. Ms. Toothman earned her BA in Journalism, majoring in Mass Communications and Public Relations from Marshall University.
Juan Carlos Varela
Vice President, Restorative Therapies Group Latin America
Juan Carlos Varela is the Vice President for the Restorative Therapies Group (RTG) for Medtronic Latin America. In this position, he is responsible for the vision, strategy, business development, and commercial results of RTG.
Previously, Juan was the Director of Medtronic’s Neuromodulation business including brain modulation, spinal cord stimulation, targeted drug delivery, and pelvic health in Latin America. Juan has over 24 years of experience in the medical device and diagnostics industry in Latin America. His experience spans key markets including: clinical diagnostics, electrophysiology, orthopedics, urology, and neurosurgery. Juan has held positions in commercial leadership, sales, marketing, supply chain, and project management.
Juan is the current Chairman of the Board of Directors for BioFlorida, Treasurer of Tennis for Colombia –
a not-for-profit supporting young athletes – an active member of Medtronic’s Women’s Network and Hispanic and Latino Network.
Juan received his Master’s in Industrial Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from the University of Washington.
Harry Venezia, Jr.
Healthcare Capital Advisors
Mr. Venezia co-founded HealthCare Capital Advisors after 13 years on Wall Street. His experience in healthcare investment banking and equity research at Raymond James & Associate, one of the nation’s largest investment banking firms, positioned him to launch HealthCare Capital Advisors in 2000.
Harry manages the investment banking services for HCCA’s clients, directly working with more than 800 institutional healthcare investment firms throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. He also consults with clients to develop proper positioning prior to entering the capital markets. He is Series 7 and Series 79 licensed and has been designated a two-time Wall Street Journal “All-Star Analyst”.
Harry earned an A.B. in Economics and Biology at Duke University. After being accepted to the Duke University Medical School in 1984, he decided to focus his career in healthcare financial services. Harry holds an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.
Harry also has volunteered in leadership and mentor roles for the Duke Tampa Bay Club, the Tampa Bay Technology Incubator, BioFlorida, Inc., the University of South Florida Research Foundation, the Tampa Bay Innovation Center, and the Tampa Bay Technology Forum.
Sigrid M. Volko, PhD
President and CEO
Sigrid holds a PhD in Biology from the University of Basel in Switzerland, and worked as a Research Fellow at the Harvard Medical School in Boston. She is an experienced business development professional and a Certified Licensing Professional with more than 14 years of experience in technology transfer at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
Sigrid moved to Tampa in July 2007 and continued to work long-distance for Johns Hopkins Technology Transfer until 2011. She then worked for the Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation in Tampa, before co-founding Nilogen Oncosystems. She has been serving as Nilogen’s CEO & President since 2013.
Chief Investment Officer
Ryan Whittemore is the Chief Investment Officer for Florida Funders, a hybrid Venture Capital Fund and 1200 member accredited investor syndicate focused on seed to early stage tech in Florida. Ryan’s team oversees approximately 1,000 deals per year across 3 managed funds which has resulted in 29 portfolio companies in the primary fund and approaching $100M in investments across the three funds. Ryan leverages a diverse background including venture, private equity, corporate operations, legal, and capital market portfolio management & research analysis to identify the best tech investment opportunities for Florida Funders.
Prior to joining Florida Funders, Ryan was corporate counsel to a private equity group handling responsibilities including all legal work, all financial modeling & analysis of existing portfolio companies as well as new investments, leading M&A transactions completing 12 deals in 4 years, and operational oversight of certain assets. Prior to this Ryan worked in investment banking at Raymond James, led an equity hedge fund, and earlier began his career as an analyst and then portfolio manager for the largest trust company in Florida.
Ryan is a graduate of the University of Florida with a degree in Finance as well as an MBA, and a Juris Doctor from Stetson College of Law, and is a licensed attorney in Florida. Ryan outkicked his coverage with his amazing wife Ashley, and loves spending his time with his 17 month old little girl Finley. When not changing diapers, Ryan is an avid spearfisherman, paddleboarder and loves inconsistently hitting golf balls.
President and CEO
X-Vax Technology, Inc.
Prior to joining X-VAX, Ulf was Chief Executive Officer of H. Lundbeck A/S, a global pharmaceutical company developing and marketing treatments for brain diseases. He has previously served on the boards of several healthcare industry associations and held multiple executive roles at Wyeth, one of the world’s largest research-driven pharmaceutical companies that was acquired by Pfizer in 2009. He served as President of Wyeth Europe, Africa and Middle East; President of Consumer Healthcare; and Managing Director of Wyeth UK. In these roles he also oversaw the launches of two novel vaccines, Prevenar® and Meningitec®. Ulf currently serves on the boards for several companies including UCB SA, Agenus Inc., Hansa Biopharma AB, and Alfa Laval AB.
Chairman and Co-Founder
New World Angels
Rhys L. Williams serves as the Managing Director of FAU Tech Runway and also as an Associate Vice President within Florida Atlantic University’s Division of Research. Mr. Williams has almost two decades of experience in the early-stage life sciences realm, having co-founding three biotech spinouts from three of Florida’s institutions of higher learning. He is also an active member of the angel investor community, having co-founded the New World Angels in 2003, Florida’s most established and successful structured angel investor group (immediate past president; current chairman), with four successful exits across the domains of therapeutics, diagnostics, and healthcare IT. Presently he is the Managing Director for FAU’s angel investor group (FAU Tech Runway Investor Network [FAU-TRIN]). Mr. Williams received his undergraduate degree from Harvard College magna cum laude and his law degree and an MBA from the University of Florida (class president). Additional work experience includes Capitol Supply (e-commerce venture), SI Ventures (institutional venture capital firm affiliated with Gartner), Smith Barney, TranZitions (HR venture), and American Express. Mr. Williams is a U.S. Army veteran, having served as commander of a Special Forces Combat Diver Detachment (“green berets”). He is presently a director for the Harvard Alumni Association (national board), the Florida Venture Forum, the Angel Resource Institute, and the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium (immediate past chairman).
Hing Wong, PhD
Founder and CEO
Dr. Hing Wong is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer at HCW Biologics. He has over thirty years’ experience working in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry and has founded several biotechnology companies. Prior to HCW, he was the Chief Executive Officer of Altor BioScience Corporation (Altor), a leading biotechnology company in the development of immunotherapeutics for oncology and infectious diseases. During his leadership at Altor, he launched more than 20 Phase I, Phase II, and Phase III clinical trials for cancer and HIV indications for immunotherapy product candidates and acquired “Fast Track” designation from the FDA for ALT-803, a IL-15 superagonist, in bladder cancer.
In August 2017, Dr. Wong led the merger of Altor with NantCell, a NantWorks LLC, in a valuation of over $1 Billion in cash and equity. According to PriceWaterhouseCoopers and CB Insights MoneyTree report, this is the largest transaction in the state of Florida, on record. In April 2018, Dr. Wong set up HCW Biologics Inc. to pursue his lifelong passion in developing immunotherapeutic for “extension of human healthspan”.
In his expansive career, Dr. Wong has founded many companies and has extensive experience in corporate operations in corporate financing, acquisitions, technology licensing, spin-offs and joint ventures. Dr. Wong was also the founder and the Chief Executive Officer of Sunol Molecular Corporation. Dr. Wong sold the lead assets of Sunol to Tanox Inc. in 2006, which was subsequently purchased by Genentech Inc. in 2009. Prior to founding Sunol, Dr. Wong was the Director, Biology Skills Center, of Baxter Healthcare Inc (1992-1996) and was the Director of Microbial Genetics of Cetus Corporation (1983-1992), which was subsequently acquired by Chiron Corporation and then Novartis. During his tenure with Sunol and Altor, he raised over $150 million in capital via equity and debt placements, set up many major pharmaceutical partnerships and collaborations. Dr. Wong was named the recipient of the “2017 Entrepreneur of the Year Award” by BioFlorida, In. He is the Principal Investigator of NIH grants, an inventor of over 100 issued patents, an author of numerous scientific publications in major, prestigious peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Wong received his Ph.D. degree in Microbiology and Immunology at the University Massachusetts, Amherst and completed his postdoctoral training at the University of Washington in Seattle.
Director of Operations
USF Health CAMLS
A national award-winning healthcare professional with extensive experience in healthcare simulation management and innovation through technology. Phillip serves as the Director of Operations for The Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation (CAMLS) and currently serves as a volunteer Site Reviewer for the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH).
Prior to joining CAMLS, Phillip Wortham spent the last six years leading Intermountain Healthcare’s Simulation Consortium comprising of 24 hospitals and 6 simulation centers as the Simulation Business Director of Operations and Technology. As a member of the Simulation Executive Council, he partnered with cross-functional team leads for overall strategic vision, and priorities for system-wide learning while providing recommendations on design, implementation, and evaluation of all simulation activities, training material, technology, and course outcomes.
In addition to his role at Intermountain Healthcare, Phillip served as the Technology Chair for the Utah Simulation Coalition, working to bridge the gap between academic institutions and healthcare facilities using technology and innovation.
Prior to his extensive work at Intermountain Healthcare, Phillip held positions as Simulation Operations Specialist at Children’s Hospital Colorado where he was integral in the development of a new simulation program on the University of Colorado campus. His journey in healthcare started at Denver Health Medical Center as the Chief Video Production Engineer where he oversaw emerging technologies such as Telehealth. As Colorado's primary safety-net institution, Denver Health provides billions of dollars in uncompensated care and serves as a model for other safety net institutions across the nation.
Recognized for his creativity and passion for the arts. Phillip has received several awards for his post production work in video editing and motion graphics. Phillip has received Telly Awards for his work on several documentaries, AVA Gold awards and an Emmy Nomination for his work on a documentary about Idaho’s 148 Pad, Desert Storm.
General Manager and Ex Vivo Lung Specialist
Lung Bioengineering Inc.
Brandi Zofkie is one of world’s first Certified Ex Vivo Specialists, trained by Drs. Shaf Keshavjee, Marcelo Cypel, and Tom Waddell at Toronto General Hospital on the surgical and functional aspects of ex vivo lung perfusion (EVLP). As a new class of healthcare worker, Brandi combines a variety of cross-functional clinical and technical skills to assess marginal donor lungs outside of the body for transplant determination. Currently, Brandi works as an Ex Vivo Lung Specialist at Lung Bioengineering Inc., a subsidiary of United Therapeutics, to provide a state of the art service that will revolutionize lung transplant practice thereby increasing the number of available organs for transplant. She is also the Associate Director & General Manager, educating organ procurement organizations and transplant center personnel on the operations and how together we can increase the number of available lungs for transplant, while expanding our facilities to our newest location in Jacksonville, FL.
Prior to her position at Lung Bioengineering, she was a Certified Procurement Transplant Coordinator (CPTC) at Indiana Donor Network where she medically managed organ donor patients in the ICU. Brandi contributed as a Physician Educator Liaison, bridging the gap between physicians and organ donation initiatives. She has seen firsthand how the gift of donation saves lives. Up until this point, there were no options for evaluating lungs outside of the body, a disappointing limitation in the ICU when the goal is to maximize the gift from the organ donor.
As a public health professional, Brandi focuses on addressing health disparities and promoting community health. She believes that utilizing EVLP to assess organ function over extended periods of time will greatly expand the number of lungs available for transplant thus eliminating deaths on the lung waitlist. This technique is a platform for a number of future therapies, and provides the potential for similar techniques extending to other organs. Brandi believes that this application promises a new era in transplantation.
Brandi holds a BA in Biochemistry from Capital University, a MPH from A.T. Still University and a MSBS in Human Donation Science from the College of Medicine at the University of Toledo. Brandi is an active member of The International Society for Heart & Lung Transplantation (ISHLT), the North American Transplant Coordinators Organization (NATCO), and is a credentialed CPTC through the American Board for Transplant Certification.
Ezequiel Zylberberg, PhD
Manager, Strategic Alliances
Dr. Ezequiel Zylberberg is Manger of Strategic Alliances at Akron Biotechnology, which manufactures ancillary materials and provides specialized services to accelerate the development and commercialization of advanced therapies. In this role, Ezequiel manages the company’s commercial, academic, and clinical partnerships, and conducts research on cell and gene therapy manufacturing, which has appeared in Cytotherapy, Stem Cells Translational Medicine, and the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology. Ezequiel leads the Florida Organization for Regenerative Medicine (FORM), a multi-stakeholder initiative that aims to foster a strong regenerative medicine ecosystem in the State of Florida. Ezequiel is a Research Affiliate of MIT’s Industrial Performance Center (IPC), where he conducts research on industrial development and innovation ecosystems around the world. He holds a Doctorate in Management Studies from the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School, an MSc in Development Economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a BA in Anthropology, Religious Studies, and Latin American Studies from the University of Florida.