Career Possibilities - Speed Networking Night

Do you want to define your value proposition, explore career possibilities, and be inspired by people who have used their science and technical training to advance their careers in different directions?

Join us for WEST’s Annual Career Possibilities Event. The evening will start with facilitated networking, so you can meet the other attendees and panelists. This will be followed by a panel discussion to learn more about each panelist and their key lessons learned. Then you will have the opportunity to break into small groups and talk with the different panelists. 


Panelists include:

Susan Altschuller, Ph.D., Associate Director, Business Planning, Biogen

Susan Altschuller joined Biogen in 2013 as Associate Director in Business Planning. Her work is focused on long-range P&L planning and strategic financial projects supporting the US Commercial business. Prior to joining Biogen, Dr. Altschuller worked for a number of years as a consultant for the Frankel Group, a boutique life science strategy firm. While there, her engagements included BD due diligence and target screening, market entry/product positioning strategies, and disease area franchise planning. Dr. Altschuller received her PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology where she was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. Following her PhD, Dr. Altschuller attended MIT Sloan for her MBA.

Jacqueline Ashmore, Ph.D., Lead of PV Technologies, Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems

Dr. Jacqueline Ashmore is the Engineering Program Manager at the Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems, where she is primarily focused on managing a multi-disciplinary program developing novel solar systems with low installation costs for the residential market. Previously, she was the Director of Program Development at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), where she directed scientific analyses of climate and energy issues that UCS used to inform policymakers and the public. Her focus on sustainability and cleantech over the last five years builds on four years of prior experience leading technology development projects in the private sector, developing hardware and software prototypes. Dr. Ashmore received her PhD in applied mathematics from Harvard University and her undergraduate degree from the University of Oxford, UK.

Cherie Butts, Ph.D., Associate Director of Discovery Portfolio Management, Biogen

Dr. Butts is Associate Director of Discovery Portfolio Management at Biogen (Cambridge, MA).  She obtained undergraduate (chemistry) and master’s (biotechnology) degrees from The Johns Hopkins University. Her pre-doctoral studies at the University of Texas Health Science Center – Houston/UT MD Anderson Cancer Center focused on characterizing anti-tumor immune responses in patients with epithelial ovarian cancer. To better understand regulation of immunity by neuroendocrine factors, Dr. Butts conducted postdoctoral studies at the National Institutes of Health. She continued this work at the US Food & Drug Administration and took on responsibilities of evaluating drug and biologics applications. She brought her scientific and drug/biologics review expertise to Biogen and moved into project management in the Immunology Research group. In this role, she worked with teams to facilitate project progress, make critical decisions, and assess risk involved with different activities. Currently, she is responsible for managing all projects across the R&D organization up to the preclinical stage.   

Theresa C. Kavanaugh, Ph.D., Senior Partner, Goodwin | Procter LLP

Theresa Kavanaugh is a senior partner in the Life Sciences Group at Goodwin Procter LLP, where her legal practice focuses on advising life science companies on complex patent matters and market exclusivity strategies.  She received her Ph.D. in chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was a NSF Postdoctoral Fellow at Brown University.  Prior to her legal career, she was the Director of the Harvard Chemistry Library.

Charlene Stern, Senior Director, IP & Legal Affairs, Editas Medicine

Charlene Stern is Senior Director, Intellectual Property and Legal Affairs at Editas Medicine.  Prior to joining Editas, Charlene was senior patent counsel at AVEO Oncology where she advised the executive management team on all aspects of intellectual property law related to the company’s therapeutic pipeline and technology platform. Prior to joining AVEO Oncology, Charlene was a senior attorney in the Boston Office of Goodwin Procter LLP, where her practice focused on counseling life sciences and biotechnology companies on strategic patent portfolio development and management, and all aspects of intellectual property law in connection with various corporate financings and transactions. Previously, Charlene was a patent agent at Foley Hoag LLP, in Boston. Before beginning her legal career, Charlene was an American Cancer Society post-doctoral fellow at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.  Charlene holds a J.D. from Suffolk University Law School and a Ph.D. in cell and molecular biology from Yale University.

Andres Tellez, Director of Business Development, Cerulean Pharma

Andres Tellez is Director of Business Development at Cerulean Pharma (NASDAQ: CERU) where he focuses on strategic partnerships for Cerulean’s product candidates and platform technology. Andres was previously a consultant with C1 Consulting, a strategy and market research consulting firm, where he performed forecasting and market research engagements for targeted therapies in solid tumor oncology. Andres earned a B.S. and a Masters of Engineering in Computer Science from MIT. He received a Ph.D. in Biomedical Informatics from Stanford University, where he also completed a Post-Doc in Microbiology and Immunology. 


Michaela Levin, Ph.D., will moderate the panel discussion.

Dr. Levin has gained experience in patent prosecution as a Technical Specialist at Saul Ewing, a Boston-based law firm. Prior to joining Saul Ewing she was a Business Development Associate at Harvard Office of Technology Development fostering collaborations with industry partners to accelerate commercialization of Harvard’s scientific innovations. She has additional industry experience from her time as a European Outreach Scientist at Addgene, a Cambridge-based plasmid repository, for which she traveled to Europe to promote Addgene overseas and create new partnerships. Michaela has a PhD in neuroscience form the University of Virginia and did her postdoc at Boston Children's Hospital in Epilepsy and Traumatic Brain Injury. She is currently advising start-ups in neuroscience.


Date and Time:  
December 2, 2015
6:00 - 8:30 PM


5:50-6:10pm: Registration, mingling, and light dinner
6:10-6:30pm: Facilitated networking
6:30-7:30pm: Career possibilities panel discussion
7:30-8:15pm: Small group speed networking
8:15-8:30pm: Optional networking



Microsoft, One Cambridge Center, 4th Floor, Hawthorne Room, Cambridge, MA 02142

Map and Parking Information

We appreciate Microsoft donating the use of their event space.  Microsoft requires all attendees to check in on the first floor with a government issued photo id card.



Members: $35; Non-Members: $55, Workshop and Annual Membership: $120

A light dinner will be served. 





If you are a student looking for financial assistance to attend this event, please visit