Life Science Innovation Northwest 2023

Keynote Speaker

John Maraganore, PhD

Former & Founding CEO at Alnylam Pharmaceuticals

Dr. John Maraganore served as the founding CEO and a Director of Alnylam from 2002 to 2021, where he built and led the company from early platform research on RNA interference through global approval and commercialization of the first four RNAi therapeutic medicines. At Alnylam, he also led the company’s value creation strategy, building over $25B in market capitalization and forming over 20 major pharmaceutical alliances. He continues to serve on the Alnylam Scientific Advisory Board. 

Prior to Alnylam, he was at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where he was responsible for the company’s product franchises in oncology, and cardiovascular, inflammatory and metabolic diseases, in addition to leadership of M&A, strategy, and biotherapeutics functions. Before Millennium, he held scientific and business roles at Biogen, Inc. where he invented and led the discovery and development of ANGIOMAX® (bivalirudin) for injection. Previously, he was a scientist at ZymoGenetics, Inc. and the Upjohn Company. 

Dr. Maraganore is currently a Venture Partner at ARCH Venture Partners, a Venture Advisor at Atlas Ventures, an Executive Partner at RTW Investments, a Senior Advisor for Blackstone Life Sciences, and an Advisor for M28. He is also member of the Board of Directors of publicly traded companies, including Agios Pharmaceuticals, Beam Therapeutics, Kymera Therapeutics, ProKidney Corp., and Takeda Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Maraganore is on the Board of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, or “BIO,” where he was Chair from 2017-2019 and is Chair Emeritus. He received his BA, MS, and PhD in biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Chicago.

Luke Timmerman

Journalist at Timmerman Report

Luke Timmerman is a biotech journalist, author, and entrepreneur. He is the founder of Timmerman Report, a leading biotech industry newsletter, and author of "Hood: Trailblazer of the Genomics Age," a biography of automated DNA sequencing pioneer Leroy Hood. Luke was named one of the 100 most influential people in biotech in 2015 by Scientific American. He has a bachelor’s in journalism from the University of Wisconsin, and in the 2005-2006 academic year, he was awarded a Knight Science Journalism Fellowship at MIT. His mountain climbing campaigns have mobilized the biotech community to give more than $6 million to fight cancer and poverty.

Andy Plump, MD, PhD

President of Research & Development at Takeda

Andrew Plump, MD, PhD, is the president of Research & Development at Takeda and serves as a member of the company’s board of directors. His career spans nearly 30 years in the pharmaceutical industry and academia. Dr. Plump has been recognized for his contributions to the healthcare industry, education, and the arts. He serves on several not-for-profit boards including the Board of Trustees for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Sarnoff Cardiovascular Research Foundation, the Biomedical Science Careers Program, and as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the PhRMA Foundation.

Prior to Takeda, Dr. Plump served as head of Research & Translational Medicine, deputy to the president of R&D at Sanofi, based in Paris, France. Prior to Sanofi, Dr. Plump served as worldwide cardiovascular research head at Merck. Dr. Plump received his M.D. from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), his Ph.D. in cardiovascular genetics and his B.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He completed a residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in medical genetics at UCSF.


Tina Albertson, PhD

Chief Medical Officer and Head of Development at Lyell Immunopharma

Dr. Tina Albertson is Chief Medical Officer and Head of Development of Lyell Immunopharma, a T-cell reprogramming company committed to curing solid tumors with cellular therapies.  Dr. Albertson has over a decade of leadership in the clinical drug development of biologics and cellular therapies, from first-in-human to registrational clinical trials.  Prior to Lyell, she was VP of Global Drug Development at Juno Therapeutics, a BMS company, where she led a global team in the development of lisocabtagene maraleucel, a CD19-directed CAR T-cell product, from the first patient treated to BLA submission.  Dr. Albertson is a Pediatric Oncologist by training and has her MD from Stanford University and her PhD in Cancer Biology from the University of Washington.

Jeff Calcagno, MD

Head of JLABS, Bay Area at Johnson & Johnson Innovation

Jeff Calcagno, MD is an entrepreneurial physician executive who combines both large and small company experience at the intersection of life sciences, technology, and patient care. He has worked at Johnson & Johnson Innovation (JJI) since its creation in 2012 and, uniquely, has worked in all three divisions of JJI: the Innovation Centers, JJDC (the venture group), and JLABS (incubators).

Prior to joining Johnson & Johnson, Jeff fulfilled complementary roles within top-tier organizations: Principal & Kauffman Fellow at Scale Venture Partners; venture-backed Chief Financial Officer & Chief Business Officer; financial analyst at JPMorgan H&Q; strategy consultant at McKinsey; and physician at UCLA.  He has served as a director or observer on over a dozen corporate boards.

Jeff’s education includes an A.B. in Biology, Phi Beta Kappa, from Harvard University, and an M.D. from Harvard Medical School (where he was awarded a Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholarship). He completed an internship, residency, chief residency, and fellowship in psychiatry at UCLA’s Neuropsychiatric Institute & Hospital. Jeff maintains his physician license in California.

Tanya Chiatovich

Senior Director of Business Operations and Research Administration at Fred Hutch Cancer Center

As a senior director at Seattle’s Fred Hutch Cancer Center, one of the country’s foremost cancer centers, Tanya Chiatovich oversees the administrative teams responsible for finances and implementation of clinical trials in cellular immunotherapies for cancer. Tanya has been at Fred Hutch for more than 17 years, working across administration, project management, and finance.

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.

Scott Dixon

Chief Commercial Officer at ObvioHealth

Scott, a versatile leader, has spent over 25 years bringing integrated commercial and operational planning expertise to Life Science, Pharmaceutical and Healthcare software companies—including Flywheel, Suvoda, Clario, and Oracle. Scott’s results-driven mindset is leading ObvioHealth’s commercial team in the successful global rollout of its next generation DCT platform and app.

Theresa Deisher, PhD

President & CSO at AVM Biotechnology

Theresa A. Deisher, Ph.D., graduated from Stanford University School of Medicine with a doctoral degree in Molecular & Cellular Physiology. She has over 47 issued patents and 4 discoveries in clinical trials. Dr. Deisher has extensive scientific and management experience in the commercial biotechnology field at Genentech, Repligen, ZymoGenetics, Immunex, and Amgen and has led a team of innovative scientists at AVM Biotechnology – a clinical stage company - since 2008.

Jeremy Duffield, MD, PhD

Chief Scientific Officer at Prime Medicine

Jeremy Duffield, MD, PhD, FRCP, is the Chief Scientific Officer of Prime Medicine. He has many years of drug discovery experience at Vertex Pharmaceuticals and Biogen Inc. preceded by a distinguished career in academic medicine.

Dr. Duffield has held several leadership roles, with focus in the fields of human genetics, innate immunity, and regenerative medicine. He served as Global Head of Human Biology at Vertex Pharmaceuticals and as Vice President of Business Development where he and his team played important roles in discovering and advancing candidates to clinical studies in rare diseases. At Biogen, Dr. Duffield served as Senior Research Fellow and Vice President with responsibilities in early research programs, as joint Head of Innate Immunity and Regenerative Medicine therapeutic area, and as Head of the Biogen Post-Doctoral program.

Prior to joining the leadership at Biogen, Dr. Duffield had a distinguished academic career on the faculty at the University of Washington and Harvard Medical School as Head of the National Institutes of Health/National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences/American Heart Association-funded Laboratory for Innate Immunity and Regeneration.

Dr. Duffield served on NIH study sections, several company scientific advisory boards, is a member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation and received many scientific awards including the ASN-AHA Young Investigator Award and the NIH Early Career Investigator/Scholar Award. Dr. Duffield received his BA and MD (BM, BCh) from Oxford University and a PhD in Immunology from the University of Edinburgh in the laboratory of Sir John Savill.

Brian Finrow

CEO and Co-founder at Lumen Bioscience

Brian Finrow is CEO and co-founder of Lumen Bioscience, a Seattle-based, clinical-stage biotechnology company developing biologic drugs for highly prevalent diseases. Lumen’s unique drug development and manufacturing platform offers the potential to transform the biologics industry through increased speed, mass-market scale, and exponentially lower costs than current approaches. Brian started his career practicing law out of Harvard Law School as a corporate lawyer representing biotech companies for 10 years, his entry into the industry.

David Fontana, PhD

Chief Operating Officer at Umoja Biopharma

Umoja Biopharma is creating curative treatments for solid tumors and blood cancers by reprogramming a patient’s immune system in vivo. The vision is to deliver therapeutics to any patient, with any tumor, at any time. Umoja raised a $210M Series B in 2021, soon after raising a $53M Series A in 2020.

Since 2006, Dr. Fontana has worked for regional life science firms ZymoGenetics, BMS, Seattle Genetics, Juno Therapeutics, Celgene, and now Umoja, and has contributed to the development of several drugs including Breyanzi (JUNO/Celgene/BMS), ADCETRIS (Seagen), and LAG3 (BMS). Founded in 2019 based on pioneering work performed at Seattle Children’s Research Institute and Purdue University, Umoja’s novel approach is powered by integrated cellular immunotherapy technologies including the VivoVec™ off-the-shelf in vivo delivery platform, iCIL off-the-shelf cell therapy platform, the RACR™/CAR in vivo cell expansion/control platform, and the TumorTag™ targeting platform.

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.

Brad Gray

President and Chief Executive Officer at NanoString Technologies, Inc.

R. Bradley Gray has served as a member of the board of directors and as President and Chief Executive Officer since June 2010. Prior to joining our company, Mr. Gray held various positions at Genzyme, a biotechnology company acquired by Sanofi in 2011. He served as Vice President of Product & Business Development for Genzyme Genetics, the diagnostic services division of Genzyme, from June 2008 to May 2010, leading the development of molecular diagnostics and partnering activities. From September 2006 to June 2008, he served as Vice President of Business & Strategic Development for Genzyme Genetics, leading growth efforts through partnerships and licensing. Mr. Gray joined Genzyme in October 2004 as Director of Corporate Development, supporting business development and leading Genzyme Ventures, the corporate venture capital fund of Genzyme. Prior to joining Genzyme, Mr. Gray was a management consultant in the healthcare practice of McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm, from September 2000 to October 2004, where he worked with senior healthcare executives in the United States and Europe on a broad range of issues including pharmaceutical and diagnostic product strategy, post-merger integration, organization design, and operational turnarounds. Mr. Gray received a B.A. in Economics and Management from Oxford University, where he studied as a British Marshall Scholar, and an S.B. in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Steve Gillis, PhD

Managing Director at ARCH Venture Partners

Dr. Gillis joined ARCH as a Venture Partner in 2005 and became a Managing Director in 2006. He is focused on the evaluation of new life science technologies and on the development and growth of ARCH’s biotechnology portfolio companies. He is a director of Homology Medicines and Carrick Therapeutics. He serves as director and Chairman of Codiak Biosciences, Faraday Pharmaceuticals, eGenesis, HiberCell, Skylark Bio, Walden Biosciences, OncoResponse, Mozart Therapeutics, Bitterroot Bio, and VBI Vaccines. Dr. Gillis also serves as a director of Takeda Pharmaceuticals.

Dr. Gillis is an immunologist by training with over 300 peer-reviewed publications in the areas of molecular and tumor immunology. He is credited as being a pioneer in the field of cytokines and cytokine receptors, directing the development of multiple marketed products including Leukine, (GM-CSF), Prokine (IL-2) and Enbrel (soluble TNF receptor-Fc fusion protein) as well as the regulatory approval of Bexxar (radiolabeled anti-CD20). Dr. Gillis received a B.A. from Williams College and a Ph.D. from Dartmouth College.

Ryan Helwig

Principal and Project Director at TEConomy Partners

Ryan Helwig is an accomplished economist and consulting professional with more than 20 years of experience spanning the public, private, and non-profit sectors, including the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Economic Policy Institute, and Battelle’s Technology Partnership Practice prior to co-founding TEConomy Partners, LLC.

Ryan’s diverse knowledge base and research skills have led to conducting numerous signature projects in regional industry cluster strategy, economic impact analysis, competitive benchmarking assessments and workforce strategy development for a range of clients, including the Maryland Life Science Advisory Board, Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, the Oregon Workforce Investment Board, BIO, PhRMA, Science Foundation Arizona, the Iowa Economic Development Authority, the State of Washington, and the North Carolina Biotechnology Center. His work has included a particular focus on advanced industry workforce and STEM education issues.

Judith Li

Partner at Lilly Asia Ventures

Judith J. Li is a Partner at Lilly Asia Ventures (LAV), based in San Francisco and focused on early and growth stage investments across biopharmaceuticals, medical devices, and diagnostics both domestically and cross-border. Judith holds board appointments at a variety of LAV’s portfolio companies. Her prior experience includes McKinsey’s New York office, hospital administration at Partners Healthcare, and co-founding an interventional nephrology medical device venture.

Kelly Lisbakken

Managing Director, Head of Biopharma Investment Banking at Wedbush Securities

Kelly is a Managing Director in the Healthcare Investment Banking Group at Wedbush PacGrow and Head of the Biopharma practice. Kelly joined Pacific Growth Equities in 2004 and has completed over 350 transactions with the firm raising over $38 billion. Prior to Wedbush, Kelly worked at ICOS (now part of Eli Lilly) on Cialis and the PDE4 program. She is a member of the Intellectual Property Committee at the Benaroya Research Institute as well as the Board of Directors for the Retinal Degeneration Fund, a not-for-profit focused on making venture philanthropy investments on behalf of the Foundation Fighting Blindness. Kelly holds an AB in Molecular Biology from Princeton University where she completed her thesis under the direction of Dr. Thomas Shenk, the Elkins Professor in the Life Sciences and former board member of Merck & Co.

Sarah Lively, PhD

Senior Director, External Innovation, Discovery, Product Development & Supply at Johnson & Johnson Innovation

Sarah Lively, PhD, Senior Director, External Innovation, Discovery, Product Development & Supply (DPDS), is located at the Johnson & Johnson Innovation Center in South San Francisco, California. In this role, she has overall strategic and operational responsibility for the scouting and evaluation of external opportunities for DPDS in Western North America, Australia, and New Zealand across all synthetic drug modalities. She provides transactional support from a scientific and strategic perspective for DPDS-driven deals and assists the Therapeutic Area Innovation Leads with her scientific and technological expertise. Sarah also partners with the JLABS organization to identify and foster start-up companies that are aligned with DPDS strategy.

Prior to joining Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Sarah was VP of Innovation and New Technology at ChemPartner, a global discovery CRO organization for which she set up and managed US lab operations and led initiatives to broker partnerships with academic institutes for early-stage therapeutic discovery. She also introduced novel versions of B-cell cloning and DNA-encoded library (DEL) technologies to ChemPartner. Sarah has more than 20 years of experience in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries and has taken the lead in various small molecule discovery programs across a range of therapeutic areas, most notably at Tularik and Amgen.

Cindy McDonald-Everett

Senior Vice President, Global Value Access at Seagen

Cindy McDonald-Everett is Senior Vice President, Global Value Access and Pricing at Seagen. She joined Seagen in July 2018 from Amgen where she was most recently Executive Director, US Market Access – Oncology. In over ten years at Amgen, she held various roles leading market access strategy for multiple oncology products across the commercialization lifecycle including multiple global launches. Earlier in her career, she held pricing and market access roles at Eli Lilly and Company and Searle (Pfizer) Pharmaceuticals, including an ex-pat assignment in the UK. She earned her BA from DePaul University in Biology and Public Policy.

Agustin Mohedas, PhD

Portfolio Manager and Research Analyst at Janus Henderson Investors

Agustin Mohedas is a Portfolio Manager and Research Analyst at Janus Henderson Investors focused primarily on the biotechnology sector, a position he has held since 2022. Before joining the firm as a research analyst in 2019, Agustin was a senior analyst at Eventide Asset Management working on the Healthcare and Life Sciences Fund. In 2014, he was an analyst with RA Capital Management, a long/short hedge fund focused on biotechnology.

Chris Picardo

Partner at Madrona Venture Group

Chris is a partner at Madrona Venture Group which he joined in 2017. As part of the investment team, Chris is focused on identifying, evaluating, and leading new investment opportunities while working closely with existing companies. Chris spends the majority of his time helping lead Madrona’s investments in companies innovating around the intersection of life and computer science. He is an investor and board member in many life science-focused startups including Modulus Therapeutics, A-Alpha Bio, Ozette, Ovation, and Terray Therapeutics.

Prior to joining Madrona, Chris led finance, business intelligence, and strategy for consumer-focused startup n New York City. While there, Chris led several rounds of fundraising and helped oversee significant growth in the first 18 months of operations. Chris was also on the investment team at Invus – a New York City-based Private Equity firm – where he focused on life science and consumer investing and supporting the earliest stage portfolio companies.

David Rawlings, MD

Professor of Pediatrics and Immunology at University of Washington School of Medicine

Dr. Rawlings directs the Center for Immunity and Immunotherapies (CIIT) at Seattle Children’s Research Institute (SCRI) and is also chief of the Division of Immunology at Seattle Children’s Hospital (SCH). The SCH Immunology clinical program serves as the major referral center for pediatric and adult patients in the Pacific Northwest and nationally. The program is responsible for diagnosis and management of patients with genetic immune disorders. In collaboration with the Stem Cell Transplant program, the Immunology team jointly coordinates protocols for transplantation or gene therapy. As part of these efforts, Dr. Rawlings leads the CIIT’s basic and translational immunology research programs that includes 14 independent investigators focused on human immune disorders. He also directs the Program for Cell and Gene Therapy (PCGT) leading development of novel gene therapy and gene editing approaches for genetic immune diseases.

Dr. Rawlings’ independent research group includes over 30 members focused on studies of altered lymphoid development and signaling leading to immunodeficiency, autoimmunity and/or malignancies, and development of gene therapy and gene editing for immune diseases. The Rawlings Lab uses expertise in basic and clinical immunology, signal transduction and developmental biology to understand how altered signals can lead to immunologic disease, with the goal of developing translational therapies that specifically modulate key pathways. Most recently, his group established methods to generate engineered regulatory T cells and drug-secreting B cells; resulting in multiple patents and formation of new biotechs including GentiBio and BeBiopharma leveraging these novel cell therapies.

Pallavur Sivakumar, PhD

Vice President and Head of Discovery at the Immuno-Oncology and Cell Therapy Thematic Research Center at Bristol Myers Squibb

Pallavur (PV) Sivakumar is vice president and head of discovery at the Immuno-Oncology (I-O) and Cell Therapy Thematic Research Center in Seattle. In his role, PV leads discovery efforts for the early I-O and cell therapy pipeline across all modalities (biologics, small molecules and cell therapy). He leads a team whose goals are to find the next innovative therapy for treating patients with various cancers. His team debates new ideas, creates and uses innovative technologies to identify and design new products (antibodies, small molecules or cell therapy) that have the potential to affect resistance to current therapies and works with the larger Bristol Myers Squibb organization to bring these to patients. PV also helps establish and execute the broader I-O and cell therapy strategy, including working to identify and collaborate with key external partners that complement Bristol Myers Squibb’s internal portfolio. 

Karen Tkach Tuzman, PhD

Head of Discovery and Preclinical Research at BioCentury

As Head of Discovery and Preclinical Research, Karen guides BioCentury’s coverage of emerging biology and technologies. She has written extensively about immunology, synthetic biology, and data science, covering innovative breakthroughs in industry and academia, and dissecting trends in company formation and investments around new science. She oversees BioCentury's Distillery feature, and coordinates activities and interactions with BioCentury’s Scientific Advisory Board. She is a frequent guest on the BioCentury This Week, guiding the podcast’s monthly “What’s on Tap in the Distillery” feature.

Karen joined BioCentury in 2015 after a postdoctoral research fellowship in Stanford University’s Department of Chemical and Systems Biology. She holds a Ph.D. in Immunology from Weill Cornell Medicine and a B.A. in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of California Berkeley. Outside of BioCentury, she is passionate about youth leadership development and land use policy.