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Our Team

 


 

Leslie M. Alexandre, DrPH

President & CEO

  


 

 

Dr. Alexandre is an established business leader and 30-year veteran of the life science and health care industries. Her background includes leadership roles in companies ranging in size from startup to Fortune 500, the National Institutes of Health and prominent research institutions. At the Georgia Cancer Center, Dr. Alexandre led teams of scientists, clinicians and administrators to secure millions of dollars in funding for research, infrastructure and community outreach from biopharmaceutical companies, foundations and government agencies.

As President and CEO of the internationally renowned North Carolina Biotechnology Center from 2002-2007, Dr. Alexandre led the development and execution of a strategic plan for growing the economy statewide through biotechnology. Developed on behalf of the governor, this plan resulted in tens of millions of dollars of new State investment in biotechnology education and workforce training, research, and company creation over the next five years.  

Dr. Alexandre previously served as Assistant Director of Industrial Relations for the National Cancer Institute, facilitating scientific collaborations with industry to accelerate progress in cancer research.  She also led corporate affairs for Oncormed, the first commercial provider of cancer-related genetic predisposition and pharmacogenomics testing services, served in senior health policy positions for two U.S. senators, and was the primary liaison between EDS and the Washington, DC health policy community.  

The recipient of numerous business awards and other honors, Dr. Alexandre has extensive experience serving on corporate, academic and non-profit boards. She received her BA in Community Health Administration from the University of California at Davis, and her MSPH and DrPH from the UCLA School of Public Health, with a concentration in the financing and delivery of health care.

 


 

Patricia Beckmann, PhD

Vice President, Commercialization

 

 

 (206) 456-9560

 

Dr. Beckmann's career spans biomedical research, operations, law and venture capital.  She spent most of her research career at Immunex (co-inventor of Enbrel, Mobista and Nuvance) as well as several years in the Immunex and Amgen Law Departments performing technology assessment for licensing, intellectual property and litigation support.  She was part of the bioscience investment team at Vulcan Capital and the original strategy team establishing the Allen Institute for Brain Sciences.  She was founding Chief Scientific Officer at the Accelerator-backed diagnostics company Homestead (now Integrated Diagnostics) and a Kauffman Fellow at Accelerator.  Subsequently she was President and Executive Director of the non-profit Oregon Translational Research and Development Institute (OTRADI) where she established a small fund and incubator model for Oregon start-ups.  More recently Patricia has been Managing Director of BioStrategy, LLC where she has advised early-stage biotechnology, medical device, digital health and agriculturally-related companies. 

She earned her undergraduate degree at the Evergreen State College in biology, chemistry and art and her PhD in biochemistry and pharmacology from the University of Arizona, College of Medicine.  Patricia is a two-time Fulbright Fellowship recipient (Sweden and India).  She pursued postdoctoral studies as an American Cancer Society Fellow at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in Uppsala, Sweden and as an NRSA Fellow at the National Cancer Institute.  She has over 50 peer-reviewed scientific publications and more than 40 issued U.S. Patents.

On a more personal note, Patricia raises golden retrievers, loves music, cooking and great red wines.  

 

 

Christina Cantillo
Commercialization Program Coordinator

 



 

Ms. Cantillo first joined the Life Science Washington team in April 2016 as the Interim Executive Assistant to the President & CEO. In July 2016, she became Life Science Washington’s Commercialization Program Coordinator. She has more than seven years of experience in administration as well as with event coordination & client services.


Ms. Cantillo first came to the Pacific Northwest from Las Vegas, NV to attend Pacific Lutheran University. She received her BA in English in 2008.

 

 Marc Cummings 

Vice President,

Public Policy & External Affairs

 

 

marc@LifeScienceWA.org

 (206) 456-9566

 

Mr. Cummings is a seasoned policy veteran with experience representing high-tech industries in both Washington, DC and Olympia.

Prior to joining Life Science Washington, he served as Director of Policy & External Affairs for the PNNL, which is operated by Battelle for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). While at the PNNL, Mr. Cummings was actively involved in creating and advocating for several statewide bioscience initiatives including the Life Sciences Discovery Fund and a new State-Federal bioproducts and biofuels research center at WSU Tri-cities. Due to Battelle’s philanthropic focus on math & science education, he was also deeply involved a range of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education partnerships and science education initiatives. Mr. Cummings has over 20 years of policy experience at both the federal and state level supporting the growth of high-tech industries and creating innovative, public-private partnerships. 

He holds a MS degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) and a B.S. degree from the University of Puget Sound.

 


 Deborah Kohr 

Executive Assistant

 

 

 

Ms. Kohr joined Life Science Washington in 2016 as Executive Assistant to the President & CEO. 

 

She has more than 15 years of healthcare experience as well as expertise in public administration, event planning, office administration and project coordination. Ms. Kohr previously worked a Providence Health & Services where she was the Executive Assistant to the VP of Revenue Cycle. 

 

Jodi Kunz

Controller

 

 

jodi@LifeScienceWA.org 

(206) 456-9565

 

Ms. Kunz joined Life Science Washington in October of 2016 as Controller. She has more than fifteen years of experience in the accounting industry.  Prior to joining Life Science Washington, she served as interim Controller for a local non-profit and before that was Controller at the Seattle Aquarium for five years. She graduated from Western Washington University with a degree in Accounting.

 Kathleen Poston

Vice President,

Administration

 

 

kathleen@LifeScienceWA.org 

(206) 456-9564

 

Ms. Poston joined Life Science Washington in 2004 as Director, Administration. She has more than 15 years of non-profit experience and expertise in database administration, event planning and organizational management. Ms. Poston previously worked at Melby, Cameron & Hull, an association management company where she was Assistant Director for the Washington Society of Association Executives, Northwest Florists Association and Office Manager.

 

Jessica Roberto, PhD

Associate Director, Entrepreneurship & Innovation

 

 

jessica@LifeScienceWA.org

(206) 829-2394

 

 

Dr. Roberto joined Life Science Washington in August 2016 as a Commercialization Program Manager. She is responsible for the development of educational resources and tools to support life science entrepreneurs.

Prior to joining Life Science Washington, Dr. Roberto served as a Bridge Fund Associate at the W Fund, while also conducting research in liver immunology as a Post-Doctoral Scientist at the University of Washington. She has additional experience in due diligence consulting for early stage life science investors and companies.

She received her PhD in Pathobiology/Global Health from the University of Washington.



Ingrid Ruf, PhD 

Grant Support Program Manager

 



(206) 456-9563

 

 

Dr. Ruf joined Life Science Washington in February 2016 as a Commercialization Associate. In July 2016 she became the Program Manager for the Grant Support Program.

 

Before joining Life Science Washington, she was an Assistant Professor at the University of California, Irvine pursuing research in viral oncology and a Staff Scientist at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center working on microRNAs as biomarkers.

 

She received her PhD in Genetics and Molecular Biology from Emory University and completed postdoctoral studies at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis Tennessee.


 

Brady Ryan

Business Development Manager 

 

 

 

brady@LifeScienceWA.org

(206) 456-9571

 

Mr. Ryan first joined Life Science Washington in June 2012 as a Commercialization Intern for Life Science Washington and Project Intern for WINGS, the Washington Medical Technology Angel Network.  In August, after a successful internship, he became Life Science Washington's full-time Commercialization Associate. Mr. Ryan works with the Commercialization Team to support life science innovators realize successful product launches and funding endeavors. 

 

He graduated from Willamette University in Salem, OR in May, 2012, with a degree in biology.


 

Katy Tollefson

Events Manager 

 

 

katy@LifeScienceWA.org

(206) 456-9570

 

Ms. Tollefson joined Life Science Washington in December of 2016 as Events Manager. She is responsible for the planning and execution of Life Science Washington events including educational programming, membership networking events, and signature events such as Life Science Innovation Northwest. Prior to Life Science Washington, she worked for the Seattle-based nonprofit organization the Technology Alliance in an events and project management role. She holds a BA in English from Western Washington University, and a Certificate in Project Management from University of Washington. 
 

Amanda Tran

Vice President, Membership Services

 

 

amanda@LifeScienceWA.org

(206) 456-9569

 

Ms. Tran joined Life Science Washington in October of 2016 as Vice President, Membership Services. She has twenty years of nonprofit experience in membership and events management. Ms. Tran previously worked at the Washington State Dental Association. She earned her BA in Hotel & Restaurant Management from Washington State University.
 

Wendy Yang, PhD
Commercialization Program Associate

 

 

wendy@LifeScienceWA.org

(206) 829-2390

 

 

Dr. Yang joined Life Science Washington in August 2016 as a Commercialization Program Associate.

Prior to joining Life Science Washington, Dr. Yang completed her doctoral research in stem cells within the context of pancreatic biology. She gained commercialization experience while serving as a Program Operations Specialist at the UW Coulter Translational Research Partnership and as an Innovation Fund Fellow at the CoMotion Innovation Fund.

She received her PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Washington.


 

Kayla Young, PhD
Commercialization Program Manager

 

 

kayla@LifeScienceWA.org

(206) 829-2392

 

Dr. Kayla Young joined Life Science Washington in August of 2016 as a Commercialization Program Associate. Before starting at Life Science Washington, she received her PhD in Molecular Physiology and Biophysics from Vanderbilt University, where her research focused on the mechanisms of insulin secretion during stress.

 

She is originally from Denver, CO and attended the University of Puget Sound for her undergraduate degree in Biology.


 

Darcy Ellsperman

Associate Director, Events 

206.456.9570

Darcy Ellsperman joined WBBA in December of 2009 as the Event Manager and is responsible for the execution of all WBBA events -  including educational programming, WBBA Signature events, (e.g. Life Science Innovation Northwest), and all social and membership-centric events.  Ms. Ellsperman has a strong background in hospitality and event planning and has been working in the field for more than 13 years. 

 

Ms. Ellsperman spent five years at the Microsoft Executive Briefing Center in Redmond working in an event planning capacity, and before joining WBBA, managed all private events at a fine dining restaurant with locations in Seattle and Bellevue.

Ms. Ellsperman holds a BA in Communications from the University of Washington.


 

Darcy Ellsperman

Associate Director, Events 

206.456.9570

Darcy Ellsperman joined WBBA in December of 2009 as the Event Manager and is responsible for the execution of all WBBA events -  including educational programming, WBBA Signature events, (e.g. Life Science Innovation Northwest), and all social and membership-centric events.  Ms. Ellsperman has a strong background in hospitality and event planning and has been working in the field for more than 13 years. 

 

Ms. Ellsperman spent five years at the Microsoft Executive Briefing Center in Redmond working in an event planning capacity, and before joining WBBA, managed all private events at a fine dining restaurant with locations in Seattle and Bellevue.

Ms. Ellsperman holds a BA in Communications from the University of Washington.


 

Yesenia Green, PhD

Commercialization Manager

206.456.9580

Yesenia Green joined the WBBA in August 2014 as the Commercialization Manager. She is also the Program Manager for WINGS, the Washington Medical Technology Angel Network.

Dr. Green completed her thesis research at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, working on microRNA extracellular transfer. Prior to joining the WBBA, Dr. Green had experience working in technology transfer as a Technology Licensing Fellow at the Center for Commercialization at the University of Washington.

Dr. Green received her PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Washington.

 

Yesenia Green, PhD

Commercialization Manager

206.456.9580

Yesenia Green joined the WBBA in August 2014 as the Commercialization Manager. She is also the Program Manager for WINGS, the Washington Medical Technology Angel Network.

Dr. Green completed her thesis research at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, working on microRNA extracellular transfer. Prior to joining the WBBA, Dr. Green had experience working in technology transfer as a Technology Licensing Fellow at the Center for Commercialization at the University of Washington.

Dr. Green received her PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Washington.

 
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2/28/2017
VIP Forum with Japan Tobacco Pharmaceutical Division

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