Career Possibilities: Speed Networking Night


Do you want to define your value proposition, explore career possibilities, and be inspired by women who have grown their science and technology careers in different directions?

Join us for WEST’s annual Career Possibilities: Speed Networking Night!

Panel Discussion and Networking with the following women:

Renuka Babu, MBA – Director of New Ventures in the Office of Technology Development at Boston University

Renuka is focused on commercializing University technology by starting new companies. Prior to this role, Renuka acted as the Head of Finance and Business Development at Medicine In Need (MEND), a start-up biotechnology company funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation where she led the group in a successful IND filing for an inhaled drug used in the treatment of MDR-TB and also engaged MEND in a number of successful partnerships. Prior to MEND, Renuka worked in the Business Development group at ArQule, a publicly traded biotechnology company, where she was part of the negotiation team that licensed out the Asian rights to a Phase 1 compound in a deal valued at over $150MM. Renuka started her career as an investment banker at J.P. Morgan where she developed expertise in the public markets and corporate finance while focusing on debt securitizations, IPOs and mergers & acquisitions.

Renuka holds an MBA degree from the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business, where she was a finalist in the New Venture Business Plan competition, and a B.A. from Bryn Mawr College where she was a recipient of a Howard Hughes Research Fellowship in Reproductive Biology.

Diala Ezzedine, PhD - Chief Business Officer at X-Chem Pharmaceuticals

Diala has over 12 years of business development, business strategy and entrepreneurial experience. In 2008 she joined Archemix Corp. as Head of Business Development and led execution of a major strategic partnership with GlaxoSmithKline. Prior to joining Archemix, Diala helped BioAssets Development Corporation develop its business plan, used to secure a major partnership with Cephalon. Earlier, diala was co-founder and CEO of HydroSpine, a startup developing innovative spine devices. Between 1999 and 2004, Diala was a member of the Business Development group at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, where she led and executed several strategic technology deals and led development of the business plan for a spinoff acquired by GeneLogic in 2004.

Diala holds a B.S. in Biology & Geology from the American University of Beirut in Beirut, Lebanon, an M.S. degree in Biology from Boston University and a Ph.D. in Genetics from Harvard Medical School.

Kelley Hill – Medical Writing Director at Shire Human Genetic Therapies

Kelley has over 15 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Presently, her group is involved with all clinical regulatory writing deliverables for Shire’s marketed products and products in development.  Her writing/editing experience includes a wide range of academic and scientific experience (peer-reviewed journal articles, laboratory manuals, and a critical reviewer of lab manuals), many types of presentations (posters, slide presentations, brochures) and all manner of clinical regulatory documents (Investigator’s Brochures, briefing documents, clinical study protocols, clinical study reports, Investigational Drug Applications, briefing books, and New Drug Applications).

Kelley’s early professional experience includes 16 years as Manager of Biology Laboratories at the University of Connecticut.  Her transition to the pharma industry was initially focused on screening orphan G-protein coupled receptors for early target discovery and lead identification, at Synaptic Pharmaceuticals, Schering Plough Research Institute and Millennium Pharmaceuticals, respectively.  She pursued several lateral transfers from the bench to Project Management in Oncology Drug Development, then to Project Manager and Medical Editor/Writer, first in Medical Affairs subsequently in Clinical Development.  Career milestones include identification of a novel histamine receptor (H4) and successful completion and submission of applications for 3 marketed drugs. 

She has a BS in Animal Science and an MS in Molecular Pharmacology, both from the University of Connecticut, certification in Project Management, a core competency certificate in Editing/Writing from the American Medical Writers Association, and Editor in Life Sciences certification by the Board of Editors in Life Sciences.

Jing L. Marantz, MD, PhD, MBA – Vice President, Global Medical Affairs at Ariad Pharmaceuticals

Prior to joining ARIAD, she spent 11 years at Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company in a variety of leadership positions, including most recently as Senior Director of Corporate Development and Senior Medical Director of Global Medical Affairs. Previously, she was a management consultant with the Strategic Decisions Group, specializing in product strategy and portfolio management. Dr. Marantz was briefly affiliated with Goldman Sachs and Massachusetts General Hospital after her post-doctoral research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Jing obtained her MD from Tongji Medical University from China, her PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the Medical University of South Carolina, and her MBA from the Haas School of Business at University of California Berkeley.

Laura McNamee, PhD – Research Scholar at the Center for Integration of Science and Industry and Adjunct Professor at Bentley University 

McNamee obtained her PhD in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where her work focused on experimental models of cancer cell death. Upon graduating, she pursued an unconventional, interdisciplinary post-doctoral fellowship focusing on the interface of science and business at Bentley University. As a post-doc, McNamee led projects looking at patterns of sustaining and disruptive innovation in biotechnology and analyzing technology metrics that contribute to effective business models within the biotech industry.  She is currently a Research Associate at the Center for the Integration of Science and Industry and continues to pursue research that identifies strategies that accelerate the translation of basic science into products for public benefit.

As an advocate for scientific literacy, she is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Biology, where she teaches non-science majors the basics of post-genomic biology and the technical and financial challenges of commercializing biotechnology. McNamee is also a Mentor Scientist at Science Club for Girls, an organization dedicated to promoting STEM education and careers for young women. 

Theresa O’Keefe, PhDChief Scientific Officer, Pharma Cycle Inc.

Theresa has over 25 years in Immunology and Molecular Biology, Drug Discovery and Development as well as innovative water cleaning solutions.  Following a Ph.D. at Tufts, and academic work at the MRC Lab Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK, Dr. O’Keefe was recruited to biotech to drive the creation of Therapeutic Antibodies (LeukoSite, Millennium, Critical Therapeutics, Pfizer).   Her work included safe therapeutics for acute and chronic diseases (i.e. RA, sepsis, Crohn's and psoriasis) as well as multiple types of cancer. Successes include many therapeutic drugs including Millennium’s Campath (for chronic lymphoid leukemia) and Vedolizumab (for Crohn’s). In addition, Dr. O’Keefe co-founded Waltham Technologies to develop waster cleaning to energy production processes.  She is committed to improved human health both through innovative drugs and the creation of safer living environments.  She is co-inventor of >25 patents and patent applications.

Theresa obtained her AB from Mount Holyoke College, her MS in Veterinary from Purdue University and her PhD from Tufts University.

Date and Time:  
November 27, 2012
6:00 - 9:00 PM


Whitehead Institute

9 Cambridge Center  

Cambridge, MA 02142


Members: $35; Non-Members: $55

A light dinner will be served.

To Register

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