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2019 Life Science Innovation Northwest - Speakers
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Roger M. Perlmutter, MD, PhD

Executive Vice President and President, Merck Research Laboratories

Roger M. Perlmutter, MD, PhD, is executive vice president and president of Merck Research Laboratories. Prior to his current role, he was EVP and head of R&D at Amgen from 2001 to 2012 and held leadership positions of increasing responsibility at Merck from 1997 to 2001.

Previously, Dr. Perlmutter was professor and chairman of Immunology, University of Washington, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. He received his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from Washington University, and pursued clinical training in internal medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital and the University of California, San Francisco.


Panel Chair

James N. Topper, MD, PhD

Managing General Partner, Frazier Healthcare Partners

Jamie co-leads Frazier’s Life Sciences team and has over 25 years of experience working with entrepreneurs to found and build successful therapeutics-focused companies.

Jamie is a Managing General Partner of Frazier Healthcare Partners' Life Sciences team. He joined Frazier in 2003 and opened Frazier’s Menlo Park office in the same year. Throughout his 14 years as a General Partner, Jamie has invested across over 20 companies encompassing a broad spectrum of Life Science and Biopharmaceutical companies.

Jamie received his M.D. and Ph.D. in Biophysics from Stanford and holds a B.S. from the University of Michigan. He did his postgraduate training in Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Disease at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. He has authored over 50 publications and was the recipient of a Howard Hughes Scholars Award while on the faculty at Stanford.

Colleen Delaney, MD, MSc

Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Executive Vice President of Research and Development, Nohla Therapeutics

Dr. Colleen Delaney is the scientific founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Nohla Therapeutics, a Seattle biotech focused on the radical idea of offering patients with cancer and other critical diseases “off-the-shelf” cell therapies that provide universal patient benefit. The therapies hold the potential to be more effective and more accessible than traditional stem cell transplants. In 2006, as a member of the Fred Hutch clinical research division, Dr. Delaney established and became the director of the new Cord Blood Transplant Program at the Fred Hutch/Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. Since then, the cord blood program has grown to be one of the leading programs in the country, and serves as coordinator for multicenter clinical trials.

Dr. Delaney’s work has led to clinical studies aimed at offering patients better infection-fighting support while they undergo cancer treatments. It also resulted in the spin out of the technology and start of Nohla Therapeutics in December 2015. In 2018, the FDA granted Nohla’s lead product, Dilanubicel, fast-track orphan status for its potential to benefit patients. The European Medicines Agency has awarded it a similar designation.

Dr. Delaney is a graduate of Oxford University and Harvard Medical School and is the recipient of numerous awards, including the prestigious Damon Runyon Foundation Clinical Investigator Award. For her contributions and leadership to nurturing STEM education and helping future women scientists, Dr. Delaney last year was honored by American Women in Science.

Peter C.R. Emtage, PhD

Senior Vice President and Global Head of Cell Therapy Research, Kite Pharma, a Gilead company

Dr. Emtage currently serves as the Global Head of Cell Therapy at Kite Pharma, a Gilead company. Previously Chief Scientific Officer at Cell Design Labs, Inc. (CDL) recently acquired by Gilead. Prior to joining CDL, he was Vice President of Synthetic Immunology at Intrexon Corporation and was Vice President of Immune Mediated Therapy in the Oncology Innovative Medicines group at Medimmune. At Medimmune, Dr. Emtage designed and implemented a comprehensive immune therapy cancer strategy. He has over sixteen years of biologics development experience in the fields of oncology, autoimmunity, infectious diseases, and inflammation. Dr. Emtage holds a B.S. and M.S. in Molecular Biology and Genetics from the University of Guelph and received his Ph.D. in Molecular Virology, Immunology and Inflammation at McMaster University. At the beginning of his career, he also was a post-doctoral fellow at the National Institutes of Health and held roles at Aventis Pasteur and Harvard Medical School.

Damian Green, MD

Associate Member, Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutch

Damian Green, MD is a physician scientist and Associate Member in the Clinical Research Division at Fred Hutch with a joint appointment as Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Washington. His research laboratory focuses on the development of novel immunotherapy-based approaches to the treatment of multiple myeloma and other B cell malignancies. Dr. Green came to Seattle in 2004 to join the University of Washington/Fred Hutch Medical Oncology fellowship training program which prepared him for the combined responsibilities of patient care, laboratory-based discovery and translational clinical implementation of his research. In his clinic, Dr. Green sees patients with multiple myeloma and in addition he serves an attending physician on the immunotherapy and bone marrow transplant services at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. His research is funded by three competitive federal grants and through a variety of non-profit research foundation initiatives. He is the principal investigator on five current patient clinical trials including studies to evaluate chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy in multiple myeloma, and he is the sponsor of two active Investigational New Drug authorizations from the Food and Drug Administration associated with these trials. Dr. Green is also a lead investigator on a multi-center network grant through the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) designed to define optimal tumor and host signatures for immunotherapy of multiple myeloma and is the Deputy Director for Myeloma of the Seattle Translational Tumor Registry. Recently named a Next Generation Innovator in Hematology/Oncology and a recipient of an Immunotherapy Innovator Award, Dr. Green and his team seek to elucidate mechanisms of tumor resistance to therapy and to identify approaches that will eradicate multiple myeloma and other cancers of the blood and bone marrow.

Robert M. Hershberg, MD, PhD

Executive Vice President, Head of Business Development and Global Alliances, Celgene Corporation

Rob Hershberg currently serves as Executive Vice President/Head of Business Development and Global Alliances at Celgene Corporation. In this capacity, Rob serves as a member of the Executive Committee and is responsible for business development in all therapeutic areas within the Celgene portfolio. He joined Celgene in August 2014 to lead the scientific and early clinical efforts in Immuno-Oncology (I-O) and established a Therapeutic Center of Excellence for I-O in Seattle.

Prior to joining Celgene, Rob was the President and CEO of VentiRx Pharmaceuticals, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company, which he co-founded in 2006. Rob previously served as Senior Vice President and CMO at Dendreon Corporation, where he led the clinical, regulatory and biometrics groups, focusing on the development of Provenge® in metastatic prostate cancer.


Panel Chair

Remy Brim, PhD

Vice President, Regulatory Policy and Strategy, BGR Group

Coming Soon

Katlin McKelvie Backfield

Senior FDA Counsel, U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions, Ranking Member Patty Murray

Katlin McKelvie Backfield is Senior FDA Counsel to the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee for ranking member Senator Patty Murray. Before joining the Senate, Katlin spent eleven years at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, including nine years as Associate Chief Counsel for Drugs with FDA's Office of Chief Counsel. Katlin has also served as an attorney in private practice, counseling clients on pharmaceutical regulatory law, and as a law clerk for the Honorable Douglas P. Woodlock for the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. She graduated from Georgetown University Law Center and received her undergraduate degree from Davidson College.

Lindsay Owens, PhD

Deputy Chief of Staff, Representative Pramila Jayapal

Lindsay A. Owens, Ph.D., is the Deputy Chief of Staff and Legislative Director to Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chair, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (WA-07). She has previously worked as Legislative Director to Rep. Keith Ellison and Senior Economic Policy Adviser to Sen. Elizabeth Warren. She received her Ph.D. in sociology from Stanford University where she was a National Poverty Fellow at the Center on Poverty and Inequality and National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. She is a frequent author of opinion pieces and editorials, coeditor of a chartbook of 100 facts and figures on inequality (Inequality in the US: Understanding Inequality with Data), and a contributing author to the 2011 book, The Great Recession. Her research has appeared in some of the leading social science journals including Social Forces, Public Opinion Quarterly, and The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. Her research interests are in inequality, healthcare, economic sociology, housing, debt, consumption, and political attitudes.

Jennifer Brown Tomasello, MPA

Senior Policy Advisor, U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Devices and Radiological Health

Jennifer Brown Tomasello is a Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of Policy (OP) in the Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH) at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Ms. Tomasello works with Office and Center leadership on policy development activities related to all aspects of medical device regulation and oversight, including development of legislative proposals and other key policy initiatives. She also oversees Congressional affairs for CDRH, advising Center leadership and other officials on strategy for engagement with Congress and external stakeholders, and advancement of legislative and funding priorities. Prior to joining CDRH, Jennifer oversaw the medical devices portfolio as an analyst in FDA’s Office of Legislation (OL). There, she led negotiations for key provisions in the FDA Reauthorization Act of 2017 (FDARA), the 21st Century Cures Act of 2016, and the Food and Drug Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA) of 2012. In her role, she also served as liaison between Congressional members and staff and the Agency on issues related to regulation of medical devices and other products.

Jennifer has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Connecticut, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Wesleyan University.


Panel Chair

Jerel Davis, PhD

Managing Director, Versant Ventures

Jerel Davis, Ph.D., is a Managing Director based in Vancouver, Canada. Since joining Versant in 2011, he has been involved in launching and investing in a number of Versant’s portfolio companies including Quanticel (sale), Novira (sale), Crispr (2016 IPO), Inception 4 (sale), Inception 5 (sale), Northern, Turnstone, BlueRock, Repare, VenatoRx and Akero. He has led Versant’s execution of creative corporate transactions with multiple pharmaceutical partners including Celgene, Roche and Bayer, and was instrumental in establishing Versant’s presence in Canada, including the creation of our company-building infrastructure in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. Jerel was promoted to Managing Director at Versant in 2015.

Prior to joining Versant, Jerel was an Associate Principal at McKinsey and Company where he advised healthcare corporations in pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical device and molecular diagnostics. He has worked in a number of healthcare markets globally including the U.S., Canada, Europe, China, Russia and India. Jerel was a post-doctoral fellow at Stanford University, where he also completed his Ph.D., and trained at Amgen as a researcher.

Stacy Coen

Vice President Of Business Development, Editas Medicine

Stacy joined Editas Medicine as VP, Business Development in 2017 with more than 20 years of experience in Corporate and Business Development in the life sciences industry.

Prior to Editas, Stacy worked at Genzyme and Sanofi in corporate and business development roles of increasing responsibility, and most recently served as Global Head of Rare Disease Business Development at Sanofi. Over the course of her career, she has had led all facets of strategy and business development, including licensing, partnering and acquisitions.

Stacy has a degree in finance and economics from University of Massachusetts and an MBA from the Darden School of Business at University of Virginia. In addition to her role at Editas, Stacy currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of Huntington’s Disease Society of America. She is a mother of two and enjoys kayaking, running, and photography.

Philip D. Gregory, DPhil

Chief Scientific Officer, bluebird bio

Philip D. Gregory, D. Phil., has served as Chief Scientific Officer of bluebird bio since June 2015. Prior to joining bluebird Philip was at Sangamo BioSciences, Inc., where he held multiple leadership positions, most recently serving as Chief Scientific Officer and Senior Vice President, Research. Philip has led pioneering research in gene therapy and genome editing and was named by Thompson Reuters as one of “The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds 2014” and “Most Cited Researchers 2015”. He served as a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Keystone Symposia from 2009 to 2015, and the ASGCT Advisory Council from 2016. Before joining the biotechnology industry Philip was at the University of Munich, Germany, where he studied the role of chromatin structure in gene regulation. Philip earned a D. Phil. in biochemistry from the University of Oxford (Keble College) and holds a B.Sc. in microbiology from the University of Sheffield.

Ruwanthi Gunawardane, PhD

Director, Stem Cells & Gene Editing, Allen Institute for Cell Science

Ruwanthi (Ru) Gunawardane joined the Allen institute after spending 5 years at Amgen where she worked on assay development for multiple drug targets spanning oncology, inflammation, and cardiovascular diseases. As a group and project leader, she worked in multidisciplinary teams to screen for novel therapeutics, characterize lead candidates, and advance the early drug discovery pipeline. She also contributed to the rapid development of cutting edge technologies to streamline the drug discovery process by facilitating both internal and external collaborations. Prior to Amgen, Ru worked at Ambit Biosciences where she was part of a small team of scientists that identified and characterized AC220, a potent FLT3 kinase inhibitor that is currently in phase 3 trials for AML.

Andrew Scharenberg, MD

Chief Scientific Officer, Casebia Therapeutics

Andrew M. Scharenberg, MD, is an Attending Physician at Seattle Children’s Hospital, a Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Immunology at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, from which he is currently on leave. He presently serves as Chief Scientific Officer of Casebia Therapeutics in Cambridge, MA.

Prior to joining Casebia, Dr. Scharenberg co-directed (with David Rawlings M.D.) the Program in Cell and Gene Therapy at Seattle Children’s Research Institute, working to translate cell and gene therapies for the treatment of inherited immunologic and blood diseases. This work led to the development of a program in engineered regulatory T-cells, recently partnered with Casebia for the purpose of developing gene edited cell therapeutics for IPEX syndrome. Dr Scharenberg also is a past Chief Scientific Officer of Cellectis Therapeutics, where he initiated the development of an allogeneic CAR T-cell platform, and past co-founder of Pregenen Inc., a gene editing and cell-signalling technology company that was acquired by bluebird bio in 2014.


Panel Chair

Karen Bernstein, PhD

Chairman, BioCentury

Karen is co-founder and chairman of BioCentury Inc. and was Editor-in-Chief from October 1992 to August 2015. She is a director at Ovid Therapeutics Inc., which is developing drugs for orphan diseases of the brain, and at Achaogen Inc., which markets Zemdri plazomicin to treat cUTI. She is on the board of trustees of the Keck Graduate Institute of the Applied Life Sciences and is a member of the board of advisors of KGI's School of Pharmacy. She serves on the board of overseers of Scripps Research. Karen holds a Ph.D. in political science from Stanford University and a B.A. in politics and history from Brandeis University, where she served for many years as a member of the Brandeis University Science Advisory Council. In 2005, the annual gathering of biotechnology chief executive officers at The Biotech Meeting in Laguna Niguel, Calif., inducted Karen into their Hall of Fame, citing her lifetime contribution to the biotech community. In 2007, Karen received a Special Recognition award at the American Liver Foundation's Salute to Excellence, honoring individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to biotechnology and medical innovation. In 2013, she was named as one of the 100 Women of Influence in Silicon Valley by the Silicon Valley Business Journal. In 2015, Scientific American named Karen as one of The WorldVIEW 100 most influential people in biotech today. In 2016, she was named Commentator of the Year by the European Mediscience Awards.

Carol Gallagher

Partner, New Enterprise Associates

Carol Gallagher joined NEA in October, 2014. She is primarily focused on making biopharma investments. Carol is a proven entrepreneur, operator and more recently investor with nearly 30 years of experience in commercial, drug development and business development roles. Prior to joining NEA she was a Venture Partner with Frazier Healthcare and she served as an independent director on multiple Boards. From 2008-2011, Carol was president and CEO of Calistoga Pharmaceuticals which developed the first-in-class therapeutic now marketed by Gilead as ZYDELIG.

She currently serves as Chairman of the Board at Millendo Therapeutics, lead director at Atara Bio, and as a director at Metacrine, PIONYR Immunotherapeutics, Cleave Biosciences, AnaptysBio, and Xoc Pharmaceuticals.

KT Moortgat, PhD

Director, West Coast, AbbVie Ventures

KT Moortgat joined AbbVie Ventures in 2017 to lead venture investments in therapeutics startups on the US west coast. She brings a depth of operating and investing experience to her San Francisco Bay Area – based role at AbbVie Ventures. She is board observer at PACT Pharma, eFFECTOR, E-Scape Bio, and Tizona Therapeutics.

Prior to AbbVie Ventures, KT was CEO at a clinical-stage microbiome therapeutics company. She also held leadership and consulting roles in venture-backed life science companies. Earlier in her career, KT was at the venture capital firm Mohr Davidow Ventures with a focus on early stage opportunities in life science and energy. Previous to this, she founded and led the hub of entrepreneurship at QB3 and the University of California San Francisco. KT earned a BA from UC Berkeley, and a PhD for research conducted at the Salk Institute.

Andrew Schwab

Founder and Managing Partner, 5AM Ventures

Mr. Andrew J. Schwab, also known as Andy, B.S., co-founded 5AM Venture Management LLC in 2002 and has been its Managing Partner since 2002. Mr. Schwab serves as a Consultant at Aravis SA. He serves at Venture Associates AG. Mr. Schwab co-founded Ilypsa, Inc. in 2002. He joined Bay City Capital LLC in 1999 and served as its Principal and also led many of its investment and merchant banking activities for the clients and portfolio companies. Mr. Schwab served as Vice President of Business Development at Digital Gene Technologies, Inc. and the Vice President in the Life Science Investment Banking Group of Montgomery Securities, where he served biotechnology companies. He has been a Director of Cleave Biosciences, Inc. since October 11, 2011. He is a Director of National Venture Capital Association since May 10, 2017. He serves as Director of The Cincinnati Children's Hospital Technology Validation Advisory Board, and on the board of Trustees of the California Academy of Sciences and Davidson College. Mr. Schwab is a Member of the Davidson Alumni Association Board. He was a member of its 1992 Final Four soccer team. Mr. Schwab received a B.S., with honors, in Genetics and Ethics from Davidson College.

Peter Thompson, MD

Partner, OrbiMed Healthcare Fund Management

Peter Thompson, M.D., is a Partner on the private equity team, with over 25 years of industry experience. He held executive positions at Becton-Dickinson and Chiron, co-founded and was CEO of Trubion Pharmaceuticals, co-founded Corvus Pharmaceuticals, Cleave Biosciences, Silverback Therapeutics and serves as a Director on several company boards. Dr. Thompson is an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year awardee, an Affiliate Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Washington, an inventor on numerous patents and a board-certified internist and oncologist. He was on staff at the National Cancer Institute following his internal medicine training at Yale University.


David Baker, PhD

Director of the Institute for Protein Design, University of Washington

David Baker is the Henrietta and Aubrey Davis Endowed Professor in Biochemistry, Director of the Institute for Protein Design, Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and adjunct professor of Genome Sciences, Bioengineering, Chemical Engineering, Computer Science, and Physics at the University of Washington. He received his Ph.D. degree in biochemistry with Randy Schekman at the University of California, Berkeley and did postdoctoral work in biophysics with David Agard at UCSF. His research group is focused on the prediction and design of macromolecular structures, interactions and functions. Dr. Baker received young investigator awards from the National Science Foundation and the Beckman Foundation, and the Packard Foundation fellowship in Science and Engineering. He has also received the Irving Sigal Young Investigator award from the Protein Society and the Overton Prize from the International Society of Computational Biology. He is a recipient of the Feynman Prize from the Foresight Institute, the AAAS Newcomb_Cleveland prize, the Sackler prize in biophysics, and the Centenary award from the Biochemical society. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Sciences. His research group is a world leader in computational protein design and protein structure prediction.

Simone Fishburn, PhD

Vice President and Executive Editor, BioCentury

Simone serves as Vice President and Executive Editor of BioCentury and BioCentury Innovations. She was previously Editor of BioCentury Innovations, and prior to that was a senior editor for SciBX: Science-Business eXchange, a joint publication between BioCentury and Nature Publishing Group. Simone also serves as an advisor on two university translational programs: the CTSI Catalyst program at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and the SPARK program at Stanford University. Prior to joining BioCentury in 2013, Simone spent nine years in preclinical drug development at Nektar Therapeutics, where she headed the pain program as director of translational research, and two years at Exponent Inc., where she assisted small and large biotechs on a range of scientific projects. Before she entered the industry, Simone spent eight years in academia, first as a post-doc at UCSF and then performing research at the Weizmann Institute of Science. Simone is also active in programs to advance women's careers; she is a Board member of Women In Bio and served as president from 2013-2014. She is a Fulbright scholar, and holds a Ph.D. in molecular pharmacology from the Weizmann, and an M.A. and B.A. in pharmacology from Cambridge University.


Daniel-Adriano Silva, PhD

Acting Instructor and Translational Investigator, Institute for Protein Design, University of Washington

Dr. Daniel-Adriano Silva is a translational investigator at the Institute for Protein Design in the University of Washington, Seattle. He studied Biomedical Research and Biochemistry in the National University of Mexico and subsequently pursued postdoctoral training in the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (2011-2013, Hong Kong SAR) under the guidance of professor Xuhui Huang’s. In 2012, he was awarded the Pew Latin American Fellowship for further postdoctoral training at David Baker’s group in the Institute for Protein Design. Dr. Silva has extensive expertise in computer science applied to biological systems, as well as in experimental methods for studying and engineering proteins. His recent efforts have been focused on advancing the state-of-the-art of de novo protein design of functional proteins, both theoretically and experimentally. Several of his publications have been foundational for enabling the design de novo proteins for therapeutic applications for the first time. In the latest example of his research, Dr. Silva developed the theoretical foundation for building de novo proteins that mimic the function of natural proteins, as well as to the development of Neo-2/15, the first example of a de novo protein with relevant biological activity (a mimic of human IL-2 with optimized therapeutic properties). Based on this technology, he has now lead a translational team of researchers to co-found successfully, and spin-out a biotech startup, Neoleukin Therapeutics, which started operations in 2019 with the aim of bringing de novo designed therapeutics to the clinic.

Neil King, PhD

Co-founder and Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board, Icosavax Inc. & Assistant Professor of Biochemistry, University of Washington

NEIL P. KING, PhD is a UW Assistant Professor who joined the Institute for Protein Design as a translational investigator in 2014. During his time as a postdoctoral fellow in the Baker lab, he pioneered the development of general computational methods for designing self-assembling proteins with atomic-level accuracy. His group is extending these methods to design functional protein nanomaterials for applications in targeted drug delivery and the design of next-generation vaccines. Working with collaborators around the world, Dr. King’s group is establishing a design-build-test cycle to optimize the performance of the designed materials.

Ingrid Swanson Pultz, PhD

Chief Scientific Officer, PvP Biologics, Inc.

Ingrid Swanson Pultz, Ph.D., is a co-founder and the chief scientific officer of PvP Biologics. PvP is conducting Phase 1 clinical trials with a therapeutic intended to treat celiac disease that was engineered by Dr. Pultz and her colleagues at the UW’s Institute for Protein Design. Dr. Pultz also has a strong interest in training the next generation of effective leaders in science and technology. Dr. Pultz has received numerous awards and recognitions including a Life Sciences Discovery Fund grant, the Neil Groman Award for Excellence in Teaching, and an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.


Panel Chair

David Cassak, Managing Partner of Innovation 


David Cassak serves as a Principal of Medtech Insight LLC. Mr. Cassak serves as Co-Managing Partner of Windhover Information, Inc. He has been involved with the health care industry for more than 20 years. He worked with Cassak Publications Inc. He joined The Wilkerson Group in 1988 as an Editor of IN VIVO: The Business & Medicine Report. He wrote and spoke frequently about the medical/surgical and hospital supply industries. Mr. Cassak writes extensively about the medical device and hospital supply industries for IN VIVO and START-UP and is a frequent speaker before various companies and industry trade groups. Mr. Cassak holds a BA from Drew University and compled graduate work at Columbia and Princeton with an MA honors.

Eric Bell*

Managing Director, SpringRock Ventures

* also a panelist in The C-SATS Story

Eric is Managing Director of SpringRock Ventures. He has spent his entire career helping life sciences organizations translate innovation into commercialization. Eric is on the board of several of SpringRock’s portfolio companies.

Before co-founding SpringRock, Eric headed the Small and Medium Enterprise Program for the Invention Development Fund (IDF) at Intellectual Ventures (IV). Among prior work at IV, he led an international team focused on building a portfolio supporting his investment thesis in medical devices, using IV’s “invention capital” to build a new model for medtech financing – a seed medical device aggregator.

Prior to IV, Eric had spent most of his career in venture capital. He was an investment professional at Vulcan Capital, Paul Allen’s investment vehicle, and Tredegar Investments. There, he was responsible for early and mid-stage life sciences investments. Eric has also been Director of Business Development with Corixa Corporation, a biotechnology company in Seattle, WA.

Trevor Moody

Partner, Medical Devices

Trevor has broad, global experience with over 25 years in growth-oriented medical technology markets. Trevor’s 25+ year career in medical technology has included roles in product development, marketing, management consulting and venture capital investing. Trevor has been instrumental in working with M. H. Carnegie & Co. to build their healthcare portfolio. He has been directly involved in sourcing, negotiating and managing investments in high-growth medical device companies including Cardiac Dimensions (percutaneous mitral valve repair), Serene Medical (aesthetic medical devices), Renew Medical (accidental bowel leakage), Simplify Medical (cervical spinal disc replacement) and EBR Systems (leadless pacemaker). In 2015 Trevor also served as Interim CEO of Cardiac Dimensions.

Trevor serves on the board of the Center for Infectious Disease Research, the largest independent, non-profit research institute in the US focused on vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics for diseases of the developing world. He was the board chair from 2012 to 2014. He is also on the board of ElectroCore, Renew Medical, Serene Medical, Simplify Medical, Cardiac Dimensions and EBR Systems.

Jens Quistgaard, PhD

President and CEO, Taproot Medical Technologies

Jens U. Quistgaard is currently CEO of Taproot Medical, which is developing a class of novel biomaterials. He was formerly CEO of Mirabilis Medical (non-invasive therapy for uterine fibroids), CEO of LipoSonix (non-invasive aesthetic surgery devices), and was one of the founding employees of SonoSite, Inc. (hand-carried diagnostic ultrasound imaging). He also held several technical and management positions at ATL Ultrasound, Inc.

Mr. Quistgaard is a graduate of Stanford University and the University of Washington. He is a Director of Life Science Washington, Vice Chairman of the Washington State Medical Device Innovation Partnership Zone, and a member of the University of Washington College of Engineering Visiting Committee.

Rhonda F. Rhyne

President and CEO, Prevencio, Inc.

Coming soon


Panel Chair

Richard Samuelson, CFA

Independent investor and Chapter Co-President, Keiretsu Forum Tacoma

Mr. Samuelson spent the bulk of his career in investment banking, virtually all of it located in Asia. As an investment banker he specialized in equity and equity derivatives at both UBS and BNP Paribas. Mr. Samuelson began his career as an analyst and in his final position as a Managing Director he served as global head of equity and equity derivatives for both Asia and Japan at BNP Paribas.

Since settling in Gig Harbor, Washington in 2008, he has focused on angel investing, primarily through the Keiretsu forum. He has invested in more than 25 companies and enjoyed four exits. He currently serves on the Board of Kineta, Inc. and until recently, served on the Board of Bird Buffer, LLC. He is an official advisor to Y Strategies, a listed early stage fund headquartered in California and also served on the investment review committee for Keiretsu Capital Fund 1. He is currently co-president of the Tacoma chapter of Keiretsu Forum.

Mr. Samuelson holds a BA from Yale, an MA from the Fletcher School at Tufts and an MBA in finance from the Wharton School. His professional accreditations include: the CFA, FRM and CAIA designations.

Carla Fowler, MD, PhD

Managing Director, THAXA, Inc.

Carla Fowler is the Founder and Managing Director of THAXA, a boutique executive coaching firm specializing in the science of human performance. The firm works with leaders in the business and non-profit sectors to help them achieve greater success through brutal focus. A Seattle native, she earned her MD PhD at the University of Washington, with a specialization in cancer immunology, and completed her licensing year at Stanford in General Surgery. She is an active investor in life sciences as a part of Alliance of Angels and Keiretsu Forum. Recent investments include: First Light Biosciences, Joylux, Hemex Health, Mission Bio, Healionics, Virion Therapeutics, and TransformativeMed.

Jim Reed


Mr. James G. Wilders Reed serves as a Managing Partner of Reed Global Advisors, LLC. Mr. Reed served as Head of Global Markets, Managing Executive Officer, Co-Head of Global Markets & Products Division and Joint Head of Global Research Division of Mizuho Securities Co., Ltd. since April 2010. Mr. Reed has more than 26 years of investment banking experience. Mr. Reed served as the Chief Executive Officer, the President and a Managing Director of Mizuho Securities USA, Inc. of Mizuho Securities Co., Ltd. until April 2010. He has held executive management positions at ABN AMRO, Caspian Securities, Nomura Securities and Baring Securities. He also served as a Head of Equity Division and a Deputy President of Mizuho Securities USA Inc. of Mizuho Securities Co., Ltd. Mr. Reed has assisted a wide variety of start-up and high-growth companies in developing business and strategic plans, structuring and arranging venture and private equity financing and with initial public offerings. He has been Chairman of Mizuho Securities USA LLC since April 1, 2010. He is a Member of Advisory Board at Advocate, MD Financial Group Inc. Mr. Reed is graduated from Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan.

Bill Waller


Coming Soon!


Panel Chair

Fiona Wills


Fiona Wills has been with CoMotion since March 2003. Her responsibilities have included evaluating, patenting, and licensing technologies both to established biotechnology companies and to UW startups. Prior to joining CoMotion, she worked for the business development department of Molecular Probes, engaged in both in-licensing and out-licensing activities for the research reagent and diagnostic markets. She has also worked in the health technology assessment field, providing healthcare funding agencies with evaluations of new and emerging medical technologies.

Eric Bell*

Managing Director, SpringRock Ventures

* also a panelist in Current Trends in Medical Device Testing

Eric is Managing Director of SpringRock Ventures. He has spent his entire career helping life sciences organizations translate innovation into commercialization. Eric is on the board of several of SpringRock’s portfolio companies.

Before co-founding SpringRock, Eric headed the Small and Medium Enterprise Program for the Invention Development Fund (IDF) at Intellectual Ventures (IV). Among prior work at IV, he led an international team focused on building a portfolio supporting his investment thesis in medical devices, using IV’s “invention capital” to build a new model for medtech financing – a seed medical device aggregator.

Prior to IV, Eric had spent most of his career in venture capital. He was an investment professional at Vulcan Capital, Paul Allen’s investment vehicle, and Tredegar Investments. There, he was responsible for early and mid-stage life sciences investments. Eric has also been Director of Business Development with Corixa Corporation, a biotechnology company in Seattle, WA.

Thomas S. Lendvay, MD

Professor, Department of Urology, University of Washington; Director, Robotic Surgery Center, Seattle Children’s Hospital; CSATS Co-Founder and Former CMO

Dr. Thomas Lendvay is Associate Professor of Urology at the University of Washington and the Co-Director of the Seattle Children’s Hospital Robotic Surgery Center. He is a practicing Pediatric Urologist and is the Fellowship Program Director in Pediatric Urology. His research thrusts center on advancing minimally invasive surgery in pediatric urology and accelerating learning curves for surgical skills among trainees and practicing clinicians across all surgical disciplines.

Dr. Lendvay is the Principal Investigator on an extramurally funded US Department of Defense grant to test the hypothesis that virtual reality robotic surgery warm-up prior to surgery will enhance the technical skills of practicing robotic surgeons (DoD Award # W81XWH-15-2-0030). Dr. Lendvay has also pioneered the use of crowdsourcing to assess the technical skills of surgeons as a means of breaking down the objective skills assessment barriers of resource-intensiveness.

Loretta Little

Managing Director, WRF Capital

Ms. Little focuses on early stage investment opportunities in the life sciences such as medical devices, health care IT, and scientific instrumentation. Most of WRF Capital’s portfolio companies are commercializing inventions originating at Washington research institutions. She has worked with several of WRF Capital’s investments, including C-SATS (acquired by Johnson & Johnson), Clarisonic (acquired by L’Oreal), Mirador Biomedical (acquired by Centurion Medical Products), and EKOS (acquired by BTG plc). She oversees WRF Capital’s investments in AbSci, Accium Biosciences, Cardiac Insight, Nexgenia, NOHLA Therapeutics, Phytelligence, and Transformative Med.

She currently serves as a board member of the Alliance of Angels, WINGS (medical technology angels), and is on the commercialization committee at Life Science Washington.

Derek Streat

VP of Digital Education Solutions, Johnson & Johnson Institute and Co-Founder & CEO, C-SATS, Johnson & Johnson Institute

Derek Streat is an accomplished healthcare and technology entrepreneur having co-founded and/or been at the earliest stages of five venture-backed companies, four of which he led as CEO. Currently, as Vice President of Digital Education Solutions for the Johnson & Johnson Institute, Derek is leading the charge to transform the organization into a leading healthcare quality improvement and continuous learning institution that directly advances patient outcomes, provider efficiency and health system value through digital solutions. Within this scope of responsibility, Derek leads C-SATS, a Johnson & Johnson Institute company he co-founded, and a developer of technologies that enable healthcare organizations to achieve better outcomes by ensuring their practitioners continuously improve their technique and adhere to proper protocols.

Derek is the Co-founder and Chairman of the Improving Renal Outcomes Collaborative (IROC), the largest learning health system and data-sharing network serving over half of all pediatric transplant patients in the United States. He also currently serves on the Board of PEDSnet, a PCORI-funded consortium of eight leading pediatric hospitals working together to build the first real-time, comprehensive dataset about children with serious illness.

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