East West Life Science Summit 2022

Keynote Speaker

Chris Holt

Vice President & Site Head, Cell Therapy Manufacturing at Bristol Myers Squibb

Chris Holt serves as vice president of Cell Therapy Manufacturing and site head at the Bristol Myers Squibb facility in Bothell, WA, where he oversees cell therapy manufacturing operations to deliver personalized (autologous) therapies to patients globally. In his role, Chris is responsible for leading day-to-day operations of the Bothell site. He also works with the company’s larger cell therapy network to set the strategic direction for the site to maximize the reach of commercially available cell therapies for patients and support the growth of its cell therapy pipeline.

The focus for Chris and his team is on deploying the technologies and manufacturing platforms used to produce, test and deliver innovative cell therapy medicines for pivotal stage clinical studies as well as for approved cell therapy products. For Chris there is a significant emphasis on creating and nurturing a culture of cross-functional collaboration. This has been critical in navigating the clinical-to-commercial manufacturing journey, especially for a site that has been front and center for the launch of Bristol Myers Squibb’s first approved chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy. As part of the company’s cell therapy network leadership team, Chris also contributes to the definition and adoption of enhanced manufacturing strategies and processes across the growing Bristol Myers Squibb global cell therapy manufacturing network.

Lisa Brown, PhD

Director at Washington State Commerce

Lisa J. Brown, Ph.D., was appointed Commerce director by Gov. Inslee and began serving the agency in February of 2019.

Lisa is a longtime resident of Spokane. Prior to serving as Commerce director, she served as chancellor of Washington State University and led the health science campus there, including the creation of the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine. Lisa represented the Spokane area in the state House from 1993-1996 as minority whip and minority floor leader, breaking ground as a single working mother. She then went on to the state Senate where she became the first Democratic female majority leader and served until 2013.

Lisa is an economist and has taught at Eastern Washington University and Gonzaga University. She earned her bachelor’s degree in economics at the University of Illinois and her masters and doctoral degrees at the University of Colorado in Boulder. She has worked extensively on efforts to create jobs and support working families across Washington state. 


Robin Andrulevich

Executive Vice President & Chief People Officer at Sana Biotechnology

Robin Andrulevich is Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer at Sana Biotechnology. Robin has more than 25 years of experience in human resources and operations at high-growth companies.

Most recently, Robin served as the Senior Vice President of People at Juno Therapeutics. She has also held several key senior leadership roles in human resources and talent at Amazon and Google. She has worked in early-and mid-stage venture capital with firms including Madrona Venture Group and Union Square Ventures.

Robin earned her BA in communications science from the University of Connecticut. She also attended Barnard College and earned a master’s degree in human rights studies from Columbia University.

Michaele Armstrong, PhD

Associate Director and Co-Founder at SP3NW

Michaele is the Associate Director and Co-Founder of SP3NW, the early-stage, life science incubator launched by WSU Health Sciences Spokane, where she mentors startup entrepreneurs and leads ecosystem/economic development through the Flexible Infrastructure for Resilient Entrepreneurship. Her experience includes small business ownership, 15+ years of bench and clinical research, IRB service, technology transfer and commercialization, biotech business consulting and life science trade association engagements. Her current activities include Leadership Spokane training and earning her pilot’s license.

Andy Billig

Senator at Washington State Senate Majority Leader

Andy Billig is a proud father, businessperson and member of the Spokane community. Having previously served a term in the state House of Representatives, he was elected to the state Senate by constituents of the 3rd Legislative District in 2012 and was re-elected in 2016. He was elected Majority Leader by Senate Democrats in 2018.

In the Senate, Andy continues to be an advocate for children, working families, and small businesses, putting people first in Spokane and throughout the state. He has been particularly active as a legislative leader on early learning and K-12 education. He has also led efforts to pass legislation to increase transparency and equity in our democracy. He was the prime sponsor of the DISCLOSE Act of Washington, a bill which has increased transparency in state campaign finance. He was instrumental in the passage of numerous laws that expanded voter registration and participation, including same-day voter registration and 16-17-year-old voter pre-registration.

Prior to joining the Senate, Andy represented Spokane in the state House of Representatives. As vice chair of the House Transportation Committee, he helped craft the state’s bipartisan 2012 transportation budget that created more than 43,000 jobs across Washington. Andy also led legislative efforts to improve water quality in the Spokane River as the prime sponsor of HB 1489, earning him the 2011 Inter-Continental Smackdown Champion Award from Fuse Washington.

Paul Bracke, PhD

Associate Provost, Institute for Research & Interdisciplinary Initiatives at Gonzaga University

Paul Bracke is the Dean of the Foley Library at Gonzaga University, a position he has held since 2016. In this role, Dean Bracke provides leadership and oversight for the Foley Library and the Office of Sponsored Research and Programs. Previously, he was Associate Dean for Research and Assessment at the Purdue University Libraries. At Purdue, he provided leadership in technology, digitization, research services, and assessment. He developed internationally-recognized research support services, including the development of data management services and institutional and data repositories. He also directed projects that explored the intersections of digitization and open access publishing, and of digitization and scholarly workflows in the social sciences.

He held previous positions at the University of Arizona, the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Bracke holds a bachelor’s degree in history and journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia, a master’s degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a doctorate in Higher Education from the University of Arizona. He was a member of the Association of Research Libraries’ Leadership Fellows 2013-2015 cohort.

Bracke’s research interests include social and relational capital in academic libraries, research services, digital libraries, and library automation. He has held leadership positions in the Library Information Technology Association, the Association of College and Research Libraries, DataCite, and the Catholic Research Resources Alliance.

Kevin Brockbank, EdD

President at Spokane Community College

Brockbank joined Community Colleges of Spokane in 2015 as vice provost of strategic initiatives in the district office. In his vice provost role, Brockbank successfully led major projects and initiatives including developing a new partnership with the Spokane business community to educate adult learners in the workforce, expanding the global education program, organizing significant international delegation visits and traveling to India to build new partnerships.

Prior to joining CCS, Brockbank worked as dean of the School of Applied Technologies and Professional Development at Salt Lake Community College in Utah.  The school consists of three divisions serving about 10,000 students annually. He also worked in leadership roles at Missoula College, a two-year college with the University of Montana, and at Helena College with the University of Montana.

In 2017, he completed his doctorate in educational leadership through the University of Montana, where he also earned his master’s degree in education-curriculum studies and his bachelor’s degree in business and information technology education.

Leslie Cornick, PhD

Professor and Dean at School of STEM at the University of Washington Bothell

Dr. Leslie Cornick joined the University of Washington Bothell as the Dean of the School of STEM in 2020, where she provides leadership and support to over 140 faculty and staff, and nearly 2,000 graduate and undergraduate students. Prior to joining the UW, Dr. Cornick was the Associate Dean of the College of STEM at Eastern Washington University, and the Dean of Research and Sponsored Programs at Alaska Pacific University. She earned her PhD in Wildlife Ecology from Texas A&M University in 2001 and was an NSF Minority Post-doctoral Fellow from 2002-2004. Her research has focused on the impacts of human activity on marine mammal foraging ecology and physiology, and on the impacts of climate change on subsistence users of living marine resources. She has served on numerous professional society boards, including the Marine Mammal Society and the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB), and was a Senior Policy Fellow for the Marine Conservation Institute. She currently serves on the board of the Council of Colleges of Arts & Sciences and the Innovation Partnership Zone. She is committed to creating a culture of diversity and inclusion in the organizations she serves, and mentoring women and underrepresented minorities in STEM. Her vision for the School of STEM is to be the indispensable partner in the region.

Marc Cummings

President & CEO at Life Science Washington

As President & CEO of Life Science Washington (LSW), Marc sets the strategic direction, guides policy priorities, and directs business operations to ensure our members have the talent, investment, and partnerships needed to sustain the industry’s robust growth and solidify Washington state’s reputation as one of the top life science clusters in the nation. Marc also serves as the Chair of the Life Science Washington Institute, which is an affiliated non-profit focused on supporting life science entrepreneurs and growing start-up companies in Washington.

Before taking the helm as President & CEO, Marc served as Vice President, Public Policy & External Affairs for LSW. Prior to joining Life Science Washington, he served as Director of Policy & External Affairs for Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), where he was actively involved in creating and advocating for several statewide bioscience initiatives including the Life Sciences Discovery Fund. He was also deeply involved in a range of PNNL’s philanthropic science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education partnerships and science education initiatives. Prior to moving to Washington state, Marc held a variety of policy and consulting positions in Washington, D.C.

Daryll DeWald, PhD

Vice President and Chancellor at Washington State University Health Sciences

Daryll DeWald is the Vice President of Washington State University (WSU) Health Sciences Chancellor WSU Health Sciences Spokane. He leads development of WSU’s rapidly growing, world-class center for health sciences education and research. DeWald joined WSU Health Sciences Spokane in September 2017 as its fourth chancellor and was named vice president for WSU’s statewide health sciences efforts in July 2019. An experienced academic leader and a successful life sciences researcher, DeWald is passionate about higher education and providing avenues for students, faculty, and staff to succeed. He oversees a downtown campus that is highly connected to Spokane’s medical community and central to Spokane’s urban growth and sustainability.

Magali Eaton

Assistant Director, Innovation Training at CoMotion at University of Washington

Magali Dieny Eaton is CoMotion’s Assistant Director for Innovation Training and a faculty member at the University of Washington’s School of Law. Before joining the university, she practiced law in two major international firms in France and in Seattle. She managed intellectual property portfolios and transactions for clients in a wide breadth of industries, including retail, manufacturing, therapeutics, wine, publishing, luxury goods and gaming. In her spare time, she also started and grew a youth non-profit organization. Magali joined the UW in 2014 through the entrepreneurial law clinic, a program pairing law students with mentors to offer legal advice to low-income entrepreneurs. She currently designs and deploys innovation training programs for faculty, startups and students at UW CoMotion and teaches intellectual property law at the University of Washington School of Law. A member of the New York bar, she also holds a Master’s degree in international law from Universite Jean Moulin in France, and an LLM from the University of Washington where she attended thanks to a Fulbright scholarship. In her free time, she likes to mountaineer, ski, and paint.

Richard Giersch

Executive Director at Life Science Washington Institute

As the Executive Director to Life Science Washington Institute Rich works on connecting entrepreneurial support resources across the state and leads the development and delivery of new Institute programs and services. Additionally, he is Chairman of the Board for the Bioscience Association of West Virginia, and was the founding CEO of Valtari Bio.

Prior to joining LSWI Rich held Director level positions at two venture capital firms, was the chief operating officer of a biotech company in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, and the Chief Science Officer for the New Jersey Center for Biomaterials at Rutgers University.  He has helped companies secure over $100 million in federal funding, tax, and relocation incentives and written over $15M in successful SBIR/STTR applications.

Alexander Kendall, PhD

Biotechnology Commercialization Manager at PNNL

Alex Kendall is a commercialization manager at PNNL responsible for identifying, protecting, and marketing the national laboratory's portfolio of intellectual property comprising biotechnology, bioprocessing, catalyst materials, and nuclear technologies. Alex most recently was a professor and PhD chemist with Oregon Health & Science University, where he taught biomaterials and biomechanics and worked on developing bioactive medical implants and polymer-based materials. Prior to this, Alex served as a senior research and development scientist at the Yale-based start-up company P2 Science in Connecticut. While there, he worked on green chemistry, process ozonolysis, plant-based nylon production, and bioactive compounds for the treatment of tropical diseases. He has authored 10 patent applications and 13 scientific articles from his career across academia and industry. He received his MS and PhD in Chemistry from the University of Oregon and his BS in Chemistry, from Western Washington University.

James King

Director of Quality Control at Jubilant HollisterStier

Mary Kuney

County Commissioner at Spokane County

Mary Kuney represents Spokane County, and District 2, on the Spokane County Board of Commissioners. Mary is a long-time resident of Spokane, having graduated from both Central Valley High School and Gonzaga University, with a degree in accounting. After college, Mary worked for a major accounting firm in San Francisco for three years, before returning to Spokane to stay. She met her husband Max here in Spokane, and they were married in 1992. They have two children.

In her career as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Mary spent ten years as a Washington State Auditor, auditing cities, counties, and school districts to ensure compliance with all state laws and regulations. She was the Auditor in Charge of the Spokane County audit for two years. She was also the volunteer chair of the City of Spokane Internal Audit Committee.

While taking time off from the State Auditor’s Office to raise their two children, Mary started two successful small businesses, as well as devoted her volunteer time to helping the youth in our community. She is a former board member of the Boys and Girls Club, helped chair the HUB Sports Center capital campaign, and is a sustaining member of the Junior League of Spokane. Her support for youth in need continues, as she is the incoming Board Chair for the Hutton Settlement and has been a board member for over ten years. Most recently, Mary has served Spokane County as the Chief Deputy Auditor, supervising both the County Financial Services Department and the Elections Department.

Loretta Little

Managing Director at WRF Capital

Loretta Little focuses on investment opportunities in the life sciences such as medical devices, digital health, and scientific instrumentation. Her portfolio includes consumer technology, software and advanced materials companies. She has worked closely with several of WRF Capital’s investments including C-SATS (acquired by J&J/Ethicon), FlexMinder (acquired by JellyVision), Clarisonic (acquired by L’Oreal), Mirador Biomedical (acquired by Centurion Medical Products), Amnis (acquired by EMD Millipore), Mobisante (acquired by Renew Group), and EKOS (acquired by BTG plc). She oversees WRF Capital’s investments AbSci, Lightspeed Microscopy, MDmetrix, Medcurity, Direct AMS, Transformative Med, and Cardiac Insight.

Previously, Ms. Little served as senior technology licensing manager at Washington Research Foundation. Before joining WRF, she worked as a marketing manager for a biotechnology company and as a market consultant. Ms. Little received an MBA from the University of Arizona and a B.A. in zoology from Pomona College. She currently serves as a board member with the Alliance of Angels.

April Needham

Director at Washington State University Center for Innovation

April Needham is the director of the Center for Innovation at Washington State University in Spokane, Washington. The Center provides support services for early-stage entrepreneurs and small business owners including guidance on value proposition and business model canvas development, market feasibility, executive summaries, and advising on business plans. Ms. Needham also mentors entrepreneurs on strategic planning and business operations. She is a conduit for connecting entrepreneurs to the many resources and individuals in the community which can assist them. Her passion for supporting those on the path to business ownership lies in assisting them in the development of a sound foundation from which to launch and grow.

Ms. Needham holds an MBA from Whitworth University and has been a leader in the regional entrepreneurial ecosystem for the past seven years. Her previous professional experience includes community and economic development and business operations for large corporations and nonprofits.

In her free time, Ms. Needham enjoys soaking up the beauty of the Inland Northwest through numerous outdoor recreation activities, treating her palate to new dishes at the multitude of restaurants around the area, and exploring new cultures through international travel.

Mark Norton

Principal at Norton Strategic Consulting

Mark Norton provides consulting services for B2B manufacturing and distribution, with a deep background in aerospace, medical, and alternative energy. Focus areas include business development and sales/revenue growth, market strategy, cluster development, economic development, workforce training, operations optimization, supply chain, and strategic partnerships.

Colleen O’Brien

Business Development Manager at SCHOTT

With more than 15 years of experience in pharmaceutical manufacturing focused on sterile injectable products and primary packaging components, Colleen is a Business Development Manager for Sterile Solutions at SCHOTT North America. She has a BS from Albright College and an MS in Engineering from Lehigh University. Her background includes process development and qualification of sterile injectable drug processes from formulation through fill finish as well as technical support for primary packaging components.

Meg O'Conor Bannecker

Workforce Consultant at Bannecker Public Affairs

Meg O'Conor is a partner at Bannecker Public Affairs. She brings more than twenty-five years of experience in journalism, corporate communications, and early-stage fundraising to her work.

Being a journalist at heart, Meg is a skilled storyteller and strategist who helps business leaders craft communication plans that resonate. She also applies her deep knowledge of the region and strong relationships to help companies develop effective community initiatives and public-private partnerships. 

Meg has developed pitch decks and communication plans for startups and established multinational companies, supporting fundraising and complex global business projects and deals. Many of the clients in her portfolio conduct business in regulated industries, including life sciences and healthcare.

Since 2018, Meg has served as an advisor to Life Science Washington, the statewide trade association. Working alongside the CEO, Meg has led the organization's workforce development initiative focused on addressing the severe talent shortage faced by the industry.  

Earlier, Meg held several high-profile roles with Kineta, Inc., a biotechnology company in Seattle. Meg was a key member of the fundraising team credited with closing many of the young company's largest and most influential investors. She also served as a communication and public affairs director. Navigating regulatory compliance, Meg led robust public relations campaigns garnering the early-stage biotech earned national media attention. Her work also included targeted government affairs campaigns to educate members of Congress on the dearth of funding sources for early-stage novel drug development and on the importance of prioritizing funding for infectious diseases.

Previously, Meg worked as a broadcast news reporter and anchor in the Seattle-Tacoma market. Meg holds a bachelor's degree from Smith College.

Darryl Potyk, MD

Assistant Dean for Regional Clinical Education at University of Washington School of Medicine

Darryl Potyk, MD, is a medical doctor who received his undergraduate degree from the University of California at Los Angeles and his medical degree from the University of California medical school. He is a practicing physician with nearly 25 years of experience in graduate medical education as well as other medical student education. He currently serves as the Associate Dean for the University of Washington in Spokane. He also serves as the Chief of Medical Education for the University of Washington-Gonzaga University Regional Health Partnership.

Katrina Rogers

CEO at Evergreen Bioscience Innovation

Katrina Rogers is a change expert with over 20 years of experience in discovering, developing, and manufacturing medicines and related technologies. An expert in laboratory and technical operations, she is also an ASQ Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence and Pharmaceutical GMP Professional. She is an adjunct faculty member in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at Washington State University Health Sciences Spokane, and she is active in the local bioscience industry. Her executive services firm specializes in helping entrepreneurs, investors, and leaders change the world with their new medicines and medical devices.

Zachary Rogers

Human Resources Manager at ALK Source Materials

Michael Sharapata

Managing Director at JLL

Mr. Sharapata provides a full range of transaction management and financial modeling for his clients at JLL. He has worked with over 30 Fortune 500 companies to create multi-faceted financial models for relocations, dispositions, acquisitions, sale leasebacks, and lease negotiations that consider each client’s sensitivity to current financial, economic, and local market conditions when presenting cash, tax and GAAP accounting impacts. Mr. Sharapata has been directly involved in over 1,000 transactions representing over 20M square feet, and currently represents ENGIE Impact, Envision Healthcare, and Swinerton Builders’ national portfolios totaling over 3M square feet.

Prior to joining The Staubach Company in 2006, Mr. Sharapata had a successful seven-year career in retail at DFS (LVMH). While at DFS, Mr. Sharapata held a wide range of positions that included planning, distribution, and corporate support services. In his last position as Associate Merchandise Planner, Mr. Sharapata managed retail sales in excess of $45 million dollars for luxury brands such as Armani, Bvlgari, Burberry, Coach, Fendi, Ferragamo, Gucci, Hermes, Paul Smith, and Tumi across more than 50 locations worldwide.

Ryan Takeya

North Creek Site Head, Senior Director of Manufacturing at Seagen

David Vachon, PhD

CEO & Founder at Iasis Molecular Sciences, Inc

Dr. David Vachon is a pharmaceutics and medical device entrepreneur, with training in Science (PhD) & Business (MBA). David has spent twelve years with a large medical device company and has vast experience in areas of product development, engineering, and management (St. Jude Medical, Minimed & Medtronic). Following the acquisition of Minimed by Medtronic, he moved into a role as CTO in his first startup, Aegis Biosciences. He relocated to Spokane, WA, in part due to the availability of more affordable laboratory space, a good school system, and a thriving community for his family. Following an exit from Boston Scientific, he founded Iasis Molecular Sciences.

Linda Zuckerman, PhD

Executive Vice Present, Global Head of Biotherapeutics at Just-Evotec Biologics

Linda Zuckerman, PhD, brings over 20 years of biologics drug development experience to Just – Evotec Biologics including executive-level accountability for preclinical, clinical, and regulatory functions as well as business development and portfolio management activities. Prior to joining Just, Linda served as CEO of two small start-ups and was the President of ProFibrix, Inc., overseeing US-based biologics drug development activities as well as its operations.

Linda has also worked at Genentech and ZymoGenetics/BMS overseeing biologics development activities and contributed significantly to the approvals and commercialization of Raplixa (US & EU), Recothrom, and Raptiva and the filing many INDs in the areas of autoimmunity, hemostasis, and oncology. Linda received her PhD in immunology from the University of Chicago and has expertise in the regulatory aspects of the immunogenicity of biotherapeutics.