Wednesday, April 14, 2010



One-Night Mentors Include:


Wannee Asavaroengchai, PhD, MBA, is a licensing associate in the Office for Technology Licensing & Industry Collaboration (OTL&IC) at Tufts University. OTL&IC manages intellectual property for Tufts University and Tufts Medical Center, and is responsible for transferring Tufts technologies for commercial development by identifying potential markets and negotiating license agreements with industry partners. Recently, she implemented the ready-to-signed online licenses for OTL&IC to provide potential licensees the fastest and most economical way to obtain Tufts technologies. In addition to drafting and negotiating agreements, she provides assistance in resolving patent infringement and breach of contract disputes. She earned a PhD in Pathology from University of Michigan and completed her post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard prior to entering a technology transfer field. 


Joyce Chiu, MBA, is Senior Project Manager at PAREXEL.  She has worked in chemical process, life science and CRO (contract research organization) industries, with a successful track record in project management, process and product development, quality engineering, supply chain, client service, and operational excellence.  She has led highly cross-functional teams in technology and product development programs.  Ms. Chiu received a BS in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University and an MBA from Babson College. 


Sharon Collins is Director of Human Resources at Novartis. Ms. Collins' career stated at the bench working for W.R Grace designing composite materials for oceanic drilling and exploration. Her experience at the bench with a specific composite project opened the door to a 9 year career in Health Safety and Environmental Management. Another door opened to move into Human Resources when she worked for a medical device company. Since the transition into Human Resources, Ms. Collins has worked in a variety of business sectors both small and large with companies such as, Deknatel, Cybex International, Merrill Corp, Millennium Pharmaceutical and currently for Novartis. Sharon has had specific accomplishments in the HR arena designing, skill based compensation systems, large scale change initiatives, specialized in-house training curriculum and most notably a year and a half assignment In Shanghai where she focused on co-creating an innovative scientific culture.   


Grace Cuenco, Ph.D. is a part-time Consulting Safety Officer at Safety Partners Inc., a unique firm that provides a combination of custom and hands-on health and safety program development, management, and implementation services for small and mid-size New England biotechnology companies.  She received her doctorate in Molecular and Cell Biology from Brandeis University. Dr. Cuenco’s previous experience includes a position as an adjunct instructor at a local community college and research scientist positions at various biotechnology start-ups in California and in the Boston area prior to completing her doctoral degree. 


Judith A. Glaven, PhD, is the Associate Dean for Basic and Interdisciplinary Research at Harvard Medical School, and served as Director of Basic Science Programs at Harvard Medical School from 2004-July 2008. Dr. Glaven has a diverse background in biomedical research and science communication.  She was Senior Scientific Editor at the journal Cell where she worked closely with the scientific community in the areas of basic Cell Biology, Immunology and Cancer Biology. Prior to her work at Cell, her own research focused on the molecular mechanisms regulating cell proliferation and migration. As Associate Dean for Basic and Interdisciplinary Research, Dr. Glaven works with the School leadership and scientific community to help build, support and advance the research programs.


Linda Gritz, PhD, is the Associate Director of Medical Writing at Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated, where she is preparing to file for approval by the FDA of a first-in-class direct-acting antiviral therapy for chronic hepatitis C.  Dr. Gritz has worked in many areas of biotechnology, from discovery research to clinical development.   As Director of Research at Therion Biologics Corporation, Dr. Gritz directed the development of novel vectors for the delivery of vaccines for infectious diseases and therapeutics for cancer.  She received her doctorate in molecular biology from the University of Wisconsin. 


Michelle Herrera Foster, PhD, is Principal of CTD Quality Consulting, with extensive expeience in regulatory affairs and expertise in planning and efficient preparation of CTD/eCTD (common technical dument) and CMC (Chemistry, Manufacturing, Controls ) submissions.  Dr. Herrera Foster has over 20 years experience preparing US and global clinical and marketing applications.  She has worked for or consulted with several large companies, including Genzyme, Biogen-Idec, Bristol Myers Squibb, Abbott Vascular, Boehringer Ingelheim, Wyeth, Millennium Pharmaceuticals and Schering Plough.  She has also worked with many small emerging companies throughout the USA. Dr. Foster has a PhD in Analytical Chemistry and does international training and presentations on CTD/eCTD  submissions.


Tsvetelina Lazarova, PhD, is Co-Founder of MedChem Partners.  Dr. Lazarova has over 15 years of experience in organic chemistry.  At Enanta Pharmaceuticals, she initiated the chemistry portion of the immunology program and advanced two lead series to pre-clinical status as potential therapies for asthma and psoriasis.  At Daiichi Asubio Research Laboratories, Dr. Lazarova led the nuclear hormone receptor project, which relied on structure guided drug design and rapid generation of focused libraries to develop novel cholesterol lowering agents. She has also held positions at ARIAD Pharmaceuticals and Cubist Pharmaceuticals.  Dr. Lazarova received her BA degree in Chemistry from Harvard University, M.A. from MIT and PhD from UCLA, both in Organic Chemistry.


Alexandra Makarova, MD, PhD is an analyst at Decision Resources, Inc., specializing in infectious disease. She authored several market research reports covering topics including vaccines and Hepatitis C virus. Dr. Makarova is fluent in Russian and actively participates in Decision Resources’ projects targeting emerging markets. Prior to joining Decision Resources, Dr. Makarova completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease, completed an internship at the office of Corporate Sponsored Research and Licensing at MGH, and worked as a technology transfer specialist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Technology Ventures Office. She is an author of several peer-reviewed research articles.  Dr. Makarova holds a PhD in Neuroscience from George Washington University and an MD with specialization in medical biochemistry from Russian State Medical University.


Carol Manahan, PhD was the Founding Chair of the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) and is currently Associate Director, Education Office, Novartis Institutes of BioMedical Research (NIBR). The NPA was established with the goal of fostering necessary improvements to the postdoctoral situation in the US. Dr. Manahan completed an Association for the Advancement of Science Policy Fellowship at the National Science Foundation where she served as the expert on postdoctoral researchers for a group creating a survey to determine the contributions of postdoctoral researchers to the US scientific enterprise. She was also a member of the National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council committee, “Building Bridges: Fostering Talent in the Biomedical Sciences.”  Dr. Manahan currently serves as a Vice President for the Association for Women in Science Boston-area chapter.


Mary K. Murray, PhD, JD, is Principal, Hamilton, Brook, Smith and Reynolds. Since joining the firm in 1997, Mary Murray has written and prosecuted patent applications in molecular biology, chemistry, polymer science, pharmaceuticals, medical device and material sciences; drafted freedom-to-operate, invalidity, patentability and inventorship opinions, license agreements, intellectual property agreements, confidentiality agreements; and participated in intellectual property litigation, trademark prosecution and trade secret protection of intellectual property. Dr. Murray was elected to the Board of Directors of MassMEDIC and is an active speaker, moderator, and author on issues relating to intellectual property law practice and the impact on business assets. She has served in a variety of organizational and speaking capacities for Suffolk University Law School and the institution's Center for Advanced Legal Studies. Before entering law school, Mary was a professor at Tufts University Health Sciences School in the Cell, Developmental and Molecular Biology Program and a Visiting Scientist at the Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine.  She has served on United States Department of Agriculture, National Institutes of Health, and National Science Foundation grant review panels. Dr. Murray was a member of the editorial board of several national and international scientific committees and has authored or co-authored over fifty research publications.


Sandra Ogueta, PhD, is Associate Director, Program and Alliance Manager, at Molecular Insight Pharmaceuticals, Inc (MIPI) where she is responsible for the tactical and strategic management of MIPI's oncology portfolio. She assisted her current organization on maturing program management through the implementation of best practices and project management business processes. She also serves as a technical expert on the planning of product development activities leading to registration. Prior to this, she played key roles in Research & Development at Therion Biologics Corporation, Cambridge, and Quality Control at Shire HGT, Cambridge. She holds a PhD in Biological Chemistry from the University of Buenos Aires (UBA), Argentina and two MS in Biochemistry and Pharmacy from the UBA. She is currently preparing to obtain the PMP certification from the Program Management Institute.


Lianna Orlando, PhD, is the Associate Director at the Fidelity Biosciences Research Initiative (FBRI).  FBRI was created to advance the discovery of novel therapeutic agents for the treatment of neurological disorders.  FBRI funds early-stage research in academia and the private sector, thereby supporting innovative discoveries and helping to bridge the gap for the translation of those discoveries into potential therapeutics.  Prior to her position with FBRI, Dr. Orlando was a junior faculty member in the Department of Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Harvard Medical School, where her research focused on glutamate receptors and neurodegenerative disease. Before joining the faculty at MGH, she received a Translational Neurology Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Harvard NeuroDiscovery Center.  She received her PhD in Neuroscience at Harvard University, where also completed a select Markey Biomedical Scientist Fellowship, receiving a M.MSc. in Medicine from Harvard Medical School. She has been involved in teaching both undergraduates and medical students and has written scientific news briefs for Trends in Neurosciences and other Elsevier Journals.  She received B.S. degrees in Chemistry and in Magazine Journalism from Syracuse University, graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa.


Yael Schwartz, PhD, is a Life Science Entrepreneur with a broad record of achievement amassed during 20 + years in both academic research and pharmaceutical preclinical discovery and development. Scientifically, her background is very diverse in multiple therapeutic areas.  She has built and led several research areas in women’s health, CNS disorders and respiratory diseases.  During the course of her drug development career she worked on teams that delivered 5 new chemical entities into clinical practice.   In addition to her scientific expertise, Yael’s other core competencies include her ability to build and manage both internal and external relationships, resolve conflicts, develop scientific talent, and lead organizations during times of change.  Dr. Schartz received her Ph.D. in Endocrine Physiology in a joint program between WPI and  the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester.  She conducted post-doctoral research in the Cell Biology and Immunology Department and the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.   She is no stranger to career change.  Prior to entering a career in science she worked as a social worker for the Massachusetts Department of Social Services for the child abuse and neglect division.  At present, Yael is tapping into her long dormant entrepreneurial yearning and is Founding CEO and President of Hygeia Therapeutics, Inc.


May Lee Tjoa, PhD, is a Medical Science Liaison (MSL) in Women’s Health, Merck (formerly Schering-Plough). Dr.  Tjoa’s education and background are in reproductive medicine.  Her PhD was focused on the prediction of hypertensive disorders pregnancies, for which she established and managed a large clinical study. As a postdoc, she worked on a variety of subjects including the development of non-invasive prenatal diagnosis, placental development and angiogenesis, and prediction of insulin resistance during pregnancy. When the opportunity came up to work for a pharmaceutical company in Women’s Health, covering both fertility and contraception, she jumped at the chance. As an MSL, her territory covers New England and New York State. It been a successful transition from academia to industry and she is happy to have made the choice.


Monika Trzcinska, PhD, is Director of Business Development at Repligen Corporation where she manages major strategic alliances and partnership.  Prior to her work at Repligen, Dr. Trzcinska was Business Development Manager and Technology Transfer Specialist at Sigma-Aldrich, Natick, MA, with a focus on Cell Biology and Proteomics.  She has also held a position as an Assistant Editor at Proteome Division of Incyte Genomics in Beverly, MA, where she managed scientific work of curators that contributed to the generation of a bioinformatics database. Previously, she was a Senior Scientist and a Lab Manager at Northeastern University, where she set research agenda, obtained sources of funding and managed a slim academic budget of $100,000 that supported a team of twelve young scientists.  Dr. Trzcinska holds a PhD in Psychology/Neuroscience from University of Ottawa, Canada.  She completed her post doctoral work at Boston University School of Medicine, while teaching several undergraduate classes at the Department of Psychology. She is fluent in French and Polish and is a member of the Society for Neuroscience, International Brain Research Organization and Healthcare Business Women Association.






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