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Leslie Alexandre, DrPH

President & CEO


(206) 456-9562 |



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 


(206) 829-2391 |



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 of Public Policy & External Affairs


(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.




Brian Dershowitz

Business Development Manager 


(206) 456-9571 |


 Mr. Dershowitz joined Life Science Washington in March 2017 as Business Development Manager.


Prior to this role, Mr. Dershowitz spent over five years with New York Road Runners responsible for revenue generation, including securing and renewing corporate sponsors and oversight of the Expo business unit.


He helped secure Tata Consultancy Services as the first ever Premier Partner of New York Road Runners, representing the largest revenue deal in endurance sports. Prior to New York Road Runners, Mr. Dershowitz worked for Argyle Executive Forum, overseeing the content of one day peer-to-peer business conferences.


He holds MS degrees from Purdue University in Movement & Sport Science and New York University in Sports Management. He completed his Bachelor of Arts at Rutgers University-Camden where he majored in Psychology.



Kathleen Goodfellow


Executive Assistant

(206) 456-9568 |


Ms. Goodfellow joined Life Science Washington in March of 2017 as Executive Assistant to the President & CEO.


Prior to joining Life Science Washington, Ms. Goodfellow served as the Executive Assistant to the Editor at The Seattle Times, supporting the Executive Editor, Managing Editor, Deputy Managing Editors and the Associate Publisher. Before the Times she spent nine years in the Seattle consulting office of PG Calc, a company that assists charities in setting up and running planned giving programs. She has more than 20 years of experience in administrative support.


Ms. Goodfellow is a true Washingtonian. She grew up in Pullman, Washington, attended high-school in Richland, Washington and earned her BA degree at the University of Washington in Seattle, where she has remained. 








Jodi Kunz



(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 of Finance & Administration 


(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


(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.






 Katy Tollefson

 Events Manager 


(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


(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.













Colleen Toomey

Communications Director 


(206) 456-9572 |



Ms.Toomey joined Life Science Washington in February 2017 as Communications Director. She supports strategic communications and branding across the organization.


Prior to this role, she worked in communications at the University of Washington for five years where she oversaw marketing and public relations efforts for nine academic units and several research groups within the Natural Sciences division. She also supported major philanthropic communications and gift stewardship for university donors.


Ms. Toomey holds a Master of Public Administration and Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the Evans School of Public Policy & Governance at the University of Washington. She completed her Bachelor of Arts at Western Washington University where she majored in Journalism and Public Relations. 




 Wendy Yang, PhD 

Commercialization Program Associate


(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


(206) 829-2392 |



Dr. 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.


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