East West Life Science Summit

Keynote Speaker

Sandeep Patel, PhD

Director at BARDA DRIVe

Sandeep Patel, the first Director of BARDA’s new Division of Research, Ventures, and Innovation (DRIVe), oversees a diverse portfolio of health security innovations to address current and emerging threats. He is an entrepreneur and restless innovator who uses his experience to advance high impact science, build new products, and launch new programs and initiatives that focus on health and wellness. Sandeep’s experiences highlight his commitment to public service as evidenced in his prior roles in the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) where he focused on advancing innovative policies and funding solutions to complex, long-standing health-related problems. He co-founded and led a new $35M+ public-private partnership, KidneyX, that advanced development and lowered the commercialization risks of breakthrough therapies for kidney disease, notably an implantable artificial kidney to displace dialysis. He spearheaded the Advancing American Kidney Health Initiative, which is reforming the nation’s organ transplant system, getting more patients off of dialysis, and incentivizing a focus to prevent kidney failure. And he built a $50M program scaling the use of incentive prizes and crowdsourcing as 21st century problem-solving tools across the family of HHS agencies

Sandeep is a nanotechnologist by training and has built his career around understanding and guiding scientific and technological insights to building products and services that ultimately improve lives on a global scale. Previously he has served in a number of science policy roles, including as a Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the National Academy of Sciences and as a scientific consultant for Thomson Reuters. He is the recipient of the American Society of Nephrology’s President’s Medal, honoring those who have transformed kidney care, for which he was also awarded a Secretary’s Distinguished Service award. He founded a company in Uganda focused on rapid design and development of novel products for agriculture and health using portable 3D printing services. He holds a PhD in physical chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a BA in chemistry from Washington University in St. Louis. (331)


Leslie Alexandre, DrPH

President & CEO at Life Science Washington

Dr. Alexandre is President and CEO of Life Science Washington (LSW) and Executive Director of LSW Institute. LSW connects its hundreds of members to each other and to talent, funding, partners and essential business services. The association promotes policies that strengthen the environment for ground-breaking research and product development that improves and saves lives. A 30-year veteran of the health care and life science industries, Dr. Alexandre received her Doctor of Public Health from UCLA. Her career includes leadership roles in companies ranging in size from startup to Fortune 500, prominent research institutions and non-profit organizations, and as senior staff for two U.S. senators.

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.

Susan Ashe

Executive Director at Health Sciences & Services Authority (HSSA) of Spokane County

Susan Ashe is the Executive Director of the Health Sciences & Services Authority (HSSA) of Spokane County, an organization that invests funds in bio- and health sciences research and infrastructure to encourage bioscience-based economic development. In addition, a portion of HSSA funding supports increasing access to health care for vulnerable populations in the county. To date, HSSA has invested over $8 million creating 500 jobs and over $100 million in local economic activity.

Prior to consulting with the HSSA and subsequently being named its Executive Director, Ashe had started her own successful public affairs small business. She brings over 30 years of public affairs experience and success to both the private and public sectors.

Ashe served as the Director of Legislative Affairs for the City of Spokane where in just over five years she raised nearly $125 million in state and federal funding for many familiar city infrastructure projects such as the Riverside Avenue extension (Martin Luther King, Jr. Way), Fish Lake Trail, Monroe and Freya streets bridges, and design work for the then proposed University District Pedestrian Bridge. She also raised $2 million to extend high speed broadband “gigapop” to Spokane from Seattle. In 2004, she managed a successful $117 million street bond campaign that had failed three times previously. During her tenure at the City she worked for four mayors.

Ashe spent 24 years with Kaiser Aluminum, the last 10 years as its Regional Public Affairs Manager for four aluminum production and manufacturing plants in Washington State with over 3,000 employees. She directed the $1.5 million annual regional public affairs effort for the company, which included government and community relations and all forms of communications. She led a successful community effort that sought a written guidance by the EPA on windborne dust that impacted air quality in Spokane over which the community had no control, and identified the areas that could be controlled to improve air quality without unnecessary costs.

Susan Ashe has been active in her community and region serving on boards such as Life Science Washington, the Spokane Public Schools Foundation, the University District  Board, and former Board Chair of the YWCA of Spokane. She chaired the 2015 annual YWCA Women of Achievement fundraiser at which record funds were raised. Ashe served on Mayor David Condon’s Transition Team and was appointed by the Mayor to serve on the Spokane Civic Benefit Fund, established by David and Kristin Condon.

She formerly served on the boards of the Association of Washington Business, where she was awarded the AWB “Heavy Lifter” award in 2002, and Greater Spokane Incorporated (GSI), where she serves on its  Public Policy Council and remains active in life science matters. She is a former member of the GSI Board, and an alumni of Leadership Spokane.

In 2019 Ashe was named a YWCA Woman of Achievement for Community Enhancement. Prior to that in 2016 Ashe was selected to receive the Eastern Washington University Alumni Award for Service and was a nominee for the City of Spokane Citizen Hall of Fame. She also received a Pillar Award in 2019 for involvement in the successful regional End the Violence initiative.

Chandima Bandaranayaka, MS, PSM

CEO at Photon Biosciences

Chandima is the CEO of Photon Biosciences, LLC.  Prior to Photon Biosciences, Chandima held various roles in diagnostics and contract research organizations. Initially trained as a research & development scientist in developing diagnostic assays from the conceptual stage through R&D and commercialization, Chandima held positions in product management and global business development. He was also a director for the nation's largest animal health trade representative group Animal Health Institute (AHI), and involved in policy and regulatory process development work through collaboration with government and private organizations. Over the last two-plus years, Chandima navigated Photon Biosciences to develop its flagship technology platform for at-home diagnostics applications.  He earned a BSc (Hons) at the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. Chandima also earned an MSc. in Molecular Biology & Biophysics and a Professional Science Masters (PSM) degree at Washington State University.

Stephen Bone

CEO at Crimson Medical Solutions

Stephen Bone is CEO of Crimson Medical Solutions, a Spokane healthtech startup empowering nurses to provide excellent patient care. Stephen recently graduated from Washington State University with a Biomedical Engineering degree. He has researched, designed, developed, and tested an innovative Intravenous (IV) management system for nurses in Hospitals to reduce IV line errors and increase the quality of patient care. In college, he's been in multiple leadership roles and received awards in technical research presentations.

John Bowers

Advisor at SharpArrow Medical

John Bowers is an advisor to SharpArrow Medical.  He has more than 30 years’ experience in the medical technology field developing and commercializing products for cardiovascular, surgical, neurological and imaging specialties.  Most recently, John was Chief Commercial Officer at Verathon Medical, the global leader in video laryngoscopy and bladder volume measurement and a subsidiary of Roper Technologies (NYSE: ROP). Prior to that, he was Chief Operating Officer at ultrasound therapy startup Kona Medical, Senior Vice President at ultrasound leader SonoSite (acquired by FujiFilm for $1B), and Chief Executive Officer at NorthStar Neuroscience where he and the founder led a successful IPO that raised over $100M.  Earlier in his career John served in various management roles at Guidant Corporation and Eli Lilly and Company.  John earned a Master in Business Administration with Distinction from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts, Honors in Economics-Accounting from Gonzaga University.

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. 

Will Canestaro, PhD

Managing Director at Washington Research Foundation, WRF Capital

Dr. Will Canestaro is a venture capitalist, health economist and meta-epidemiologist with a demonstrated history of working in the biotechnology industry. He manages the Foundation’s biotech and engineering VC investment portfolio. Through WRF, Dr. Canestaro has made 25 investments in 19 Washington-based companies. He teaches courses at the UW School of Business and School of Pharmacy on Health Innovation and Meta-Analytic methods, respectively. Will earned his doctorate from the University of Washington’s School of Pharmacy Pharmaceutical Outcomes Research and Policy Program and he received an M.Sc. in medical anthropology from Oxford University and an A.B. in medical sociology from Dartmouth College.

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.

David Hojah

CEO & Founder at FlyParrots

David has more than twelve years of experience in artificial intelligence, machine learning, medical devices, robotics engineering, manufacturing, and HealthTech. David studied a BS in Mechanical Engineering and an MS in health management at Harvard University. David has invented and developed many medical devices, dental instruments, smart wheelchairs, a medical drone for emergencies, and a medical app tracking health for people with chronic diseases. He also built an autonomous personal transporter for wheelchair users that can convert any manual wheelchair into an electric wheelchair. He has been featured in many global events and organizations such as Fast Company, Harvard innovation, Microsoft, Amazon, TechCrunch, Wired, McKinsey, Verizon, SXSW, Stanford and Novartis. 

Georgina Lynch, PhD

Co-founder at Appiture Biotechnologies

Dr. Lynch is an assistant professor in the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences at the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine. She has over 20 years of clinical experience with ASD as a speech-language pathologist and holds an interdisciplinary PhD in neuroscience and psychology. She is an expert in ASD, eye-tracking, clinical diagnostics, and neurodevelopment. Dr. Lynch is co-founder of Appiture Biotechnologies, Inc., a startup company spun out of research conducted in her lab at WSU examining biomarkers for early detection of ASD within routine healthcare.

Scott Maloney

Director of Innovation and Private Sector Research Engagement at Washington State University

Scott Maloney is an executive and multiple division leader with experience in Fortune 500 companies and $1B+ startups.  He serves as the Director of Innovation and Private Sector Research Engagement for Washington State University with responsibility of moving technologies into industry through partnership negotiations and ventures.

Scott has worked as the CEO and Co-Founder of Seed Worthy, a technology platform for developers that amassed users around the world.  Prior to that he was VP of Strategy and Operations for @Pay, a mobile payment startup where he led the Product, Production, and Creative teams, and provided direct leadership for all strategic initiatives.  Before that, Scott was the Senior Operations and Strategy Manager for LivingSocial, where he was responsible for leadership of several operational and strategic teams, and he was a key driver of growth for one of the company’s fastest growing divisions.  LivingSocial was acquired for a publicly undisclosed amount.  Scott ran R&D finance and planning for Human Genome Sciences prior to their acquisition by GlaxoSmithKline for $3.5B.  Prior to that Scott was finance lead to the Emerging Markets Unit at Pfizer where he provided business development and financial efforts for nearly $400M in partnerships deals and international operations.  Throughout his career Scott has successfully raised significant investment rounds from Angels, VCs, and funds.

Scott holds degrees in Genetics and Cellular Biology from Washington State University and an MBA from Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, a Top 20 MBA program.

Scott is a third-generation entrepreneur, guest lecturer at major universities, keynote speaker, consultant, Innovator-In-Residence to a major startup incubator, and board member for several large

Jason Miller

Founder & Manager at CareerExplore NW - KSPS PBS

Jason is the project founder and manager of the KSPS PBS initiative CareerExplore NW  (www.careerexplorenw.org) highlighting careers, career paths, and opportunities in our geographic region. He has more than 20 years of experience in fundraising and non-profit management in both Alaska and our Spokane region with organizations such as the American Heart Association, the Spokane Symphony and his current post at KSPS PBS public television as the Director of Corporate Investments and Partnerships.  He is passionate about his family (wife and two boys), music, education and traveling. In his free time he is learning guitar and planning family experiences.

Marcelo Morales

Founder at A4Ventures

Marcelo Morales is the founder of A4Ventures, a Washington state-based health technology investment company with activities in the United States, Canada, and Chile. He is the Co-founder, President and CEO of Allele Diagnostics, a diagnostics laboratory focused on rapid genetic testing and genetic research. He is also the Co-founder of Amend Health, a digital health care technology integrator. Marcelo has either sold or continues to sit on the board of directors of several Washington State based companies including Celere Talent, a biotechnology talent acquisition and advisory firm; Arevo Health, a cloud-based SaaS organization focused on providing health care cost transparency; ChalkLabs, a data visualization and analytics company, Share Farm, a peer-to-peer food delivery and distribution company. Marcelo is an acting Adjunct with Washington State University Ellison S. Floyd College of Medicine.
Prior to founding A4Ventures, Marcelo held the position of Chief Executive Officer for Jubilant HollisterStier, a subsidiary of Jubilant Life Sciences. Prior to joining Jubilant HollisterStier, Marcelo was the Canadian Industry Segment Leader for the Life Sciences practice of Deloitte & Touche LLP, and a member of their global Life Sciences leadership team, based in Toronto, Canada.

Marcelo either currently serves or has recently served on the following not-for-profit boards: Greater Spokane Incorporated; The Innovia Foundation; The World Economic Forum’s Health Care Initiative, and the Spokane United Way Association.

Marcelo is a graduate of the University of Toronto where he received a Masters of Business Administration, and a graduate of McMaster University where he received a Bachelors of Sciences specializing in Biochemistry.

Shane Needham, PhD

Owner & Director at Alturas Analytics and Needham Scientific

Dr. Shane Needham received his B.S. degree in chemistry from Washington State University and his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Rhode Island. Dr. Needham is Founder, Owner and Director of Alturas Analytics, Inc. and Needham Scientific, Inc. in Moscow, ID. Alturas Analytics, Inc. is a leader in the bioanalytical industry and known for their high-level science and problem solving skills. Needham Scientific, Inc. is a consulting company that solves, bioanalytical and business challenges for clients. Shane has more than 200 publications in the area of LC-MS/MS. In 2014, Alturas Analytics, Inc. was voted as one of the fastest growing companies in the United States by Inc. 5000. His laboratory leads in the area of dried blood spot (DBS) analysis, microflow HPLC-MS/MS and large molecule (ADC’s, biomarkers, NBE’s, etc.) to support DMPK research.

Dr. Needham has been the chair and organizer of several workshops at national conferences. Dr. Needham was program chair of the 2013 CPSA-USA conference. Dr. Needham also teaches LC/MS courses at international conferences including, Pittcon and AAPS conferences. Dr. Needham is also a reviewer for several peer reviewed journals including, Bioanalysis, Journal of Chromatography, Analytical Chemistry and Journal of Chromatographic Science. Dr. Needham also serves on the editorial board for the publication, American Pharmaceutical Review. Dr. Needham is a member of the American Chemical Society, American Society for Mass Spectrometry, American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists and the International Society of the Study of Xenobiotics.

Dr. Needham is board member on several foundations, including a founding member of the CPSA Foundation. The CPSA Foundation is a non-profit foundation for the support and betterment of students in the pharmaceutical sciences. Dr. Needham is a board member of the Professional Science Master’s Program at Washington State University.

Shane has four children, Berlyn, Britton, Scotlin and Finnlan and considers his children his biggest accomplishment. Shane was a coach of Moscow Wrestling Club from 2010-2017. As the club continued to grow, Shane moved into the Director role in 2014. Under Shane the club experienced >20% annual growth. Since 2012 the club has >9 state champions and 30 state placers. Shane is a champion bodybuilder and state champion powerlifter. Shane also considers nutrition and a healthy lifestyle a passion.

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.

Valerie S. Senatore, PhD

Provost/Chief Learning Officer at Community Colleges of Spokane

Dr. Valerie Senatore is an impassioned educator and administrator. She has served as a faculty member, chair, and dean at both public and private institutions in the Dallas, Boston, and Philadelphia areas. Like many of the students we serve, she took the circuitous route to her terminal degree in psychology, making credentialing detours through sociology and history. As faculty member, she has been an advocate for undergraduate research and has been an advisor on approximately 50 quantitative projects with students.

As an administrator, she has marshalled resources on behalf of faculty and students to support innovative teaching and learning strategies. Her current interests lie in workplace bullying, which is estimated to result in eight billion dollars in productivity losses each year. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, reading, and watching her grown children fumble pretty effectively through life.

Nadine Woodward

Mayor at City of Spokane

Born and raised in Washington State, Mayor Woodward believes in the value of hard work and giving back to the community. As Mayor, she is dedicated to working with citizens and community leaders to move Spokane forward with positive and impactful solutions to today's most pressing issues.

With a passion for journalism and strong work ethic, Mayor Woodward worked her way through college, graduating from the University of Portland with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Communications Management. During her college years, she served on student government, was an editor on the student newspaper, an award-winning member of the debate team, and did video production work.

After arriving in Spokane in 1990, Mayor Woodward had a 28-year career as an award-winning broadcast journalist on local television. She passionately reported on Spokane issues - from the change in city government to a “strong mayor” system, the revitalization of downtown, and the challenges of growth and development in our neighborhoods. During her television career, she made the Spokane community the focus of her work and was awarded the prestigious Silver Circle Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, one of the highest honors television professionals can achieve.