Forum Leadership

MassBio's Working Groups are governed by volunteer leadership.

Forum Advisory Liasons include:

  • Debbie Benjamin, Facilities, Corporate Services, Celgene Corp.
  • Nils Bergenhem, PhD, Director, Strategy & Externalization, CVMD iMed, AstraZeneca
  • Bob Bondaryk, PhD, President and CEO, Kerafast, Inc.
  • Roger Frechette, PhD,  US East Coast  Ambassador, Medicon Valley Alliance; Principal, New England Pharm Associates
  • Tsvetelina Lazarova, PhD, Co-Founder & Co-Owner, MedChem Partners
  • John Hession, Partner, Morse, Barnes-Brown & Pendleton, PC

Working Group Co-Chairs include:

Mission: To provide a Forum to focus on trends, innovation and challenges facing the industry as we strive to utilize biological discoveries in the production of useful products for healthcare. Discussions will address such key issues as workforce development – connecting academic coursework with manufacturing needs to get adequately trained workers on the floor; bridging the gap between R&D and the Biomanufacturing communities – create awareness & appreciation for Massachusetts’ current  workforce & manufacturing capacity; business models of Biomanufacturing, regulations and oversight.

  • Norman Garceau, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer, Blue Sky BioServices
  • Sam Guhan, PhD,  Vice President Operations Technology, Amgen
  • Geoff Hodge,  Bioprocess Technology Leader, GE Healthcare
  • Kamal A. Rashid, PhD, Director & Research Professor, Biomanufacturing Education and Training Center, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • Stacy L. Springs, PhD,  Director, Biomanufacturing Research Program, MIT

Biostatistics / Data Management / Clinical Trials
Mission: To provide a Forum for presenting and reviewing new ideas and findings in clinical research and drug discovery and to ensure consistency in clinical trials and efficacy in lead development. Discussions will feature industry and regulatory guidelines, journals, articles, references, standard operating procedures and consultant resources for conducting clinical trials, both with in house expertise or external clinical trial organizations.

  • Kevin Anderson, Associate Director, Global Clinical Operations, Alexion Pharmaceuticals
  • John Balser, PhD, President, Veristat
  • Michelle Harrison, Associate Director, Clinical Data Management, Vertex Pharmaceuticals 
  • Miganush Stepanians, PhD, President & CEO, PROMETRIKA, LLC
  • Ilker Yalcin, PhD, VP, Biostatistics, Statistical Programming, Data Management and Medical Writing, Synta Pharmaceuticals

Business Development & Finance
Mission: To provide a Forum to address the challenges of driving innovation to commercialization in the rapidly evolving Biotech and Pharma industries and acquiring a competitive advantage via engaging academia and accessing innovation from external sources.  Discussions will focus on various business models including licensing, merger and acquisition and the venture capital community.

  • Paul Conrad, PhD, MBA, Senior Director, Global Business Development, Baxalta
  • Jason Hafler, PhD, Director of Investments, Sanofi-Genzyme BioVentures
  • Helen Ho, PhD, Director, Business Development & Operations, Agios Pharmaceuticals
  • Josh Mandel-Brehm, MBA, Director, Business Development and M&A, Biogen Idec, Inc.
  • John P. Reilly, VP Business Development, Tetragenetics, Inc.
  • Maude Tessier, PhD, Director, Search & Evaluation, Business Development and Licensing, Boston Innovation Hub, Merck Research Laboratories

Mission: To represent the Massachusetts CRO/CMO community and its vital function within the life sciences industry; creating new jobs by attracting new companies to locate in Massachusetts and  presenting outsourcing alternatives which can be a major force in reducing the costs and development timelines for the commercializing of new therapeutics, diagnostics and medical devises. These Forums will showcase the impact that Massachusetts CROs and CMOs have on the Massachusetts biotech supercluster.

  • Maurizio V. Cattaneo, Founder & CEO, BioVolutions, Inc.
  • Gerry Cox, Co-Founder & COO, Velesco Pharmaceutical Services
  • Mack Rubley, PhD, Vice President, Consulting Services, Boston Biomedical Associates
  • Bayan Takizawa, MD, Co-Founder & Chief Business Officer, CONTINUUS Pharmaceuticals 

Drug Discovery
Mission: To provide a Forum for drug discovery and early development executives, managers and researches to exchange ideas, information and resources in order to expedite the discovery and validation of new targets and drugs. Forums will focus on small molecule, biological and platform technologies, as well as, academic research.

  • Russell Garlick, PhD,  CSO, SeraCare Life Sciences
  • Eric M. Grund, PhD, Director of Integrative Biointelligence, Berg
  • Masha Hareli, PhD, Founder & President, ATR, LLC
  • Steve Riesinger, PhD, Co-founder, MedChem Partners
  • Robert Suto, PhD, President and CSO, Xtal BioStructures Inc. 

Entrepreneur's University
Mission: To provide a Forum for business leaders to present key elements essential for guiding startups from creative ideas and R&D through the development of business opportunities that fuel company operations and growth. Discussions will include hot topics for entrepreneurs such as strategic investments and alliances, board development and management, term sheets, negotiation strategies.

  • Steve Altieri, PhD, Associate, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
  • Peter Barnes-Brown, Partner, Morse, Barnes-Brown & Pendleton, P.C.
  • Greg Benning, MBA, Managing Director, Head, Financial Advisory, Back Bay Life Science Advisors
  • Marc Cote, Co-founder & COO, Accellient Partners, LLC
  • Lana Gladstein, Partner, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP
  • Luba Greenwood, Lecturer in Law, Boston University School of Law

Formulation and Drug Delivery
Mission: To provide a Forum for open discussions on formulation and drug delivery concepts and novel approaches for macromolecule stabilization and to examine requirements for successful implementation of new formulation as a part of the product life cycle management and infrastructure for formulation and drug delivery research.

  • Angelos Dovletoglou, PhD, Executive Director of Preclinical Development Sciences, Epizyme
  • Craig Dunbar, PhD, VP of Pharmaceutical Development, Ironwood Pharmaceuticals
  • Bhavishya Mittal, PhD, Staff Fellow, Office of Pharmaceutical Quality, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, US Food and Drug Administration
  • Alex Nivorozhkin, PhD, Co-Founder & COO, Neo-Advent

Human Resources
Mission: To provide educational and informative programming for professionals of all levels on a broad spectrum of HR topics. Discussions will bring additional expertise and insight to the complex human resource issues impacting the Biotech industry and the HR community.

  • Lauren Celano, Co-founder & CEO, Propel Careers
  • Leigh Cowdrick, R&D HR Business Partner, Shire
  • Patrick Marshall, Chief Business Officer/Co-Founder, StratAcuity
  • James Richardson, AIF©, Client Executive, William Gallagher Associates
  • Frank Sally, Of Counsel, Kenney & Sams, P.C.
  • Colleen Wilson, Vice President, Human Resources, Chiasma

Legal & Regulatory
Mission: To provide a Forum for attorneys and professionals to discuss and collaborate on key issues relating to IP, biotech, healthcare and employment law.  Discussions will include review of legal and regulatory related subjects, including efforts to ensure that biotechnology products meet or exceed regulatory standards, and strategies for establishing and maintaining strong working relationships with regulatory authorities.

  • Michael Biro, Senior Counsel,  CRISPR Therapeutics, Inc.
  • Mladen Bozic, Senior Director, Global Regulatory Policy & Intelligence, Shire
  • Konstantin Linnik, PhD, Partner, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP
  • David Mantus, PhD, VP Regulatory Affairs, BIND Therapeutics
  • Gwyn Reis, VP Regulatory Affairs, Ironwood Pharmaceuticals
  • Jayati Vaidya, Consultant, Slalom Consulting

Marketing & Communications
Mission: To provide a Forum for professionals to discuss and collaborate on best practice marketing and communications issues affecting biotechnology companies – small, medium and large. Discussions will include investor relations, public relations/affairs, marketing issues (discovery through commercialization) and corporate strategies impacting the evolution of biotech and pharma companies.

  • David Altman, Manager, Marketing and Communications, Technology & Innovation Development Office, Boston Children's Hospital
  • Jim Baker, Executive Director, Market Development, Idera Pharmaceuticals
  • Thomas F. Dunn, Partner, Morse, Barnes-Brown & Pendleton, P.C.
  • John M. King, Senior Marketing Director, Gaucher & MPS Portfolios, Genzyme
  • Ilana Robbins, Senior Manager, Digital and Social Media, Biogen Idec

Safety, Environmental and Facility Operations
Mission:  To provide a Forum for sharing information, promoting responsible practices and disseminating timely information regarding regulatory changes. Discussions will address regulatory interpretations by key agency representatives and stakeholders as well as facility management and practical issues.

  • Dick Aichelmann, Associate Director EH&S, Ironwood Pharmaceuticals
  • Denise Aronson, President, Safety Partners
  • Barton Nielsen, Environmental Health & Safety and Facilities Manager, Infinity
  • Betsy Parsons, Manager EHS, Biogen Idec
  • Masha Ushomirsky, Lab Operation/EHS Manager, Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, Inc.


About MassBio

MassBio is a not-for-profit organization committed to advancing Massachusetts' leadership in the life sciences to grow the industry, add value to the healthcare system and improve patient lives.

Founded in 1985, MassBio represents over 650 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, research hospitals, and service organizations involved in life sciences and health care, and works to advance policy and promote education, while providing member programs and events, industry information, and services.

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