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.

Ali Ansary, MD

CEO & CoFounder at Ozette Technologies

Ali is a physician fascinated by finding answers to the unknown. Prior to founding Ozette, he served as a consultant for McKinsey & Company and advisor to startups and venture capital firms. Ali completed his medical training at the University of Washington, where he continues to hold a part-time clinical appointment with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center. He has cultivated his curiosity into a lifelong passion for helping to deliver high quality science and medicine to the patients he serves.

Monica Beam, PhD

Senior Vice President at Science & Technology at Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. and Alexandria Venture Investments

Monica Beam, PhD, is Senior Vice President – Science & Technology at Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. and Alexandria Venture Investments. She co-leads the Science & Technology Team, which includes Alexandria Venture Investments and Alexandria LaunchLabs™ and supports Alexandria’s west coast operations by providing scientific expertise and insights on the life science and technology sectors. Dr. Beam has led venture capital investments in more than 30 life science companies in the areas of therapeutics, enabling technologies, and diagnostics and supports strategic corporate initiatives. Dr. Beam represents Alexandria as a Board Observer for BioGraph 55, Immusoft, and Trex Bio and previously served as a Board Observer for DiCE therapeutics.  

Anna Chen, PhD

Vice President at Frazier Life Sciences

Anna H. Chen is a Vice President at Frazier Life Sciences, a life sciences venture firm investing globally in private and publicly traded therapeutics companies. She focuses on evaluating new investment opportunities and creating new ventures. Anna has been involved in Frazier’s creation of and investments in Amunix (acquired by Sanofi), Lengo (acquired by Blueprint), Hillevax (NASDAQ: HLVX), SanReno, and others. Prior to joining Frazier, Anna was a management consultant at L.E.K. consulting, advising leading biopharma clients on strategic planning, M&A, R&D and BD strategy. She received her Ph.D. in systems biology and A.B. in biochemical sciences from Harvard University.

Tanya Chiatovich

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

As a senior director at Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson 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.

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.

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.

Eric Dobmeier

President & CEO at Chinook Therapeutics

Eric is President and CEO of Chinook Therapeutics. Previously, he was President and CEO of Silverback Therapeutics, a Seattle-based biotechnology company in the immuno-oncology space. Prior to that, he spent more than 15 years at Seattle Genetics, most recently as Chief Operating Officer, where he oversaw business development, corporate communications, manufacturing, program/alliance management activities and corporate strategy initiatives. While at Seattle Genetics, Eric was also directly involved in raising more than $1.2 billion in equity capital, and led negotiation and completion of multiple corporate alliances with leading biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Earlier in his career, he represented technology companies in connection with public and private financings, mergers and acquisitions and corporate partnering transactions. Eric has a J.D. from University of California, Berkeley School of Law and an undergraduate degree from Princeton University. He is also a director of Atara Biotherapeutics.

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.

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.

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.

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.

William Jakobowski

Executive Director, Business Development & Licensing at Merck

Bill serves as Executive Director for Merck’s BD&L Pacific Innovation Hub which encompasses the North American West Coast and Asia Pacific. His responsibilities include structuring and negotiating partnerships with companies that offer differentiated early-stage therapeutic opportunities. Prior to joining Merck, Bill held positions in Corporate & Business Development at Jazz Pharmaceuticals and Transcept Pharmaceuticals. In addition, Bill has experience in finance and management consulting

Merika Koday, PhD

Principal at Accelerator Life Science Partners

Merika Koday, PhD, currently serves as a Principal for Accelerator where she is responsible for sourcing and evaluating emerging biotechnology investment opportunities. Dr. Koday also provides project management and scientific development oversight to select Accelerator portfolio companies, including ALSP Orchid Acquisition Corporation I, KayoThera, Inc. and Lydian Neurosciences.

Before joining Accelerator in 2018, Dr. Koday served as project manager for Cell and Gene Therapy at Seattle Children’s Research Institute. She helped advance basic research programs into clinical development and supported industry partnerships and collaborations. Previously, Dr. Koday was a co-founder and Senior Scientist at Virvio, a University of Washington spin-out company focused on developing de novo designed proteins as therapeutic alternatives to monoclonal antibodies. Merika received her Ph.D. from the University of Washington and a B.S. from the Colorado School of Mines.

Beth Kolko 

Senior Venture Partner at Pioneer and Founding Venture Partner at Pack Ventures

Beth is an academic researcher turned medtech founder turned venture investor.

She's a Senior Venture Partner at Pioneer and Founding Venture Partner at Pack Ventures, a Y Combinator alum and spent 10 years as Founder & CEO of Shift Labs, launching two medical devices.

In her work as a Senior Venture Partner at Pioneer Fund she developed a commitment to using venture investing as a mechanism to create a more equitable world. She joined Pack Ventures to help increase access to capital for the heavily first-generation college graduates of UW, and help support UW colleagues spinning out innovative technologies.

Jayesh Kulkarni, PhD

CSO & Co-Founder at NanoVation Therapeutics

Dr. Kulkarni obtained his PhD from the University of British Columbia and has over 10 years of academic and industry experience in the nanoparticle drug delivery field. He has published over 25 peer-reviewed articles in prestigious journals. Dr. Kulkarni’s research has focused on the role of the various lipid components in LNP and the biophysics that governs particle formation. His work has contributed to clinical translation, including scale-up and manufacturing of LNP systems in accordance with GLP and GMP regulations. Dr. Kulkarni is a leader in the design and development of lipid nanoparticle (LNP) formulations of small molecule and nucleic acid therapeutics.

Tim Leaver

Strategy Leader at Precision NanoSystems

Tim Leaver is the Strategy Leader at Precision NanoSystems (PNI) where he focuses on developing and bringing together solutions that accelerate new medicines by enabling any scientist to be a genomic medicine developer. PNI’s Genomic Medicine Toolbox offers scientists and drug developers access to delivery systems, manufacturing platforms, mRNA payload technology and leading expertise in mRNA LNPs. Since joining the company as on of the earliest employees, Tim has teams across Product Development, Operations and Commercial. Tim holds a degree in Engineering Physics from the University of British Columbia and is a graduate of the adMare Bioinnovations Executive Training Institute. He is a co-inventor on various patents including PNI’s NxGen technology.

Jeff Leek

Chief Data Officer, Vice President, and J Orin Edson Foundation Chair of Biostatistics at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center

Jeff is Chief Data Officer, Vice President, and J Orin Edson Foundation Chair of Biostatistics at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center. Previously, he was a professor of Biostatistics and Oncology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and co-director of the Johns Hopkins Data Science Lab. His group develops statistical methods, software, data resources, and data analyses that help people make sense of massive-scale genomic and biomedical data. As the co-director of the Johns Hopkins Data Science Lab he helped to develop massive online open programs that have enrolled more than 8 million individuals and partnered with community-based non-profits to use data science education for economic and public health development. He is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association and a recipient of the Mortimer Spiegelman Award and Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies Presidential Award.

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.

Alice Ly, PhD

Vice President at Alexandria's Venture Investments and Head of Alexandria LaunchLabs - Seattle

Alice serves as a Principal on Alexandria’s Venture Investments and Science & Tech teams where she engages the company’s investment and tenant portfolios based in the Pacific Northwest, respectively. Additionally, as the Head of Alexandria LaunchLabs – Seattle, Alice collaborates with entrepreneurs and supports early-stage companies in the Seattle region. Ultimately, these roles contribute to Alexandria Real Estate Equities’ efforts in fueling the growth and development of each of Alexandria’s regional life science innovation clusters located around the United States.

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.

Bruce Montgomery, MD

Former CEO at Avalyn Pharma, Cardeas Pharma, and Corus Pharma

A. Bruce Montgomery, M.D., has more than 30 years of drug development, operations and financing experience, including positions at Genentech, Inc., Pathogenesis Corporation, Corus Pharma, Gilead Sciences, Cardeas Pharma and Avalyn Pharma. Dr. Montgomery served 4 years as Senior Vice President of Gilead and 6 years as Chief Executive Officer of Corus Pharma, a specialized biotechnology company that he founded, and which was acquired by Gilead in 2006. He has been involved in 8 NDA/BLA programs that received FDA approval, including three that he invented and led teams through FDA advisory boards.   While at Gilead, Dr. Montgomery successfully led the development of Cayston (aztreonam) as a treatment for cystic fibrosis patients. Dr. Montgomery also served as Executive Vice President of Research and Development at PathoGenesis Corporation until its acquisition by Chiron Corporation in 2000. Dr. Montgomery has served for over 20 years on four public company boards.  Dr. Montgomery is a board certified internist and pulmonologist.

Lucas Nivon, PhD

CEO and Co-Founder at Cyrus Biotechnology

Lucas is trained in computational biophysics and protein engineering. Prior to Cyrus he was a Translational Investigator & Senior Fellow at the Baker lab at UW, developing small-molecule binding proteins and protein design algorithms. Lucas is the founder of PedalAnywhere, an online-only bicycle rental company. Lucas’ scientific work includes a patented computationally designed enzyme, an RNA-dynamics-modeling software toolkit (built during his Ph.D. with Eugene Shakhnovich and Xiaowei Zhuang at Harvard), and algorithm optimization for automation of computational protein design. Harvard A.B., Biochemical Sciences (summa cum laude and Goldwater Scholar) and Ph.D., Biophysics; Hertz Fellow.

Kevin Parker, PhD

President & CEO at Cartography Biosciences

Kevin Parker is the CEO and Co-Founder of Cartography Biosciences. Kevin completed his PhD at Standford working in the interface of genomics, immunology, and computational biology. He holds a BA in Human Development and Regenerative Biology from Harvard University, Kevin has co-authored papers in journals such as Cell and Science directed at understanding immunotherapy responses, analyzing antigen profiles, and developing novel single-cell genomics methodologies. At Cartography, he is motivated to improve patient outcomes and bring new therapies to patients, and outside of Cartography, Kevin is an avid rock climber.

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.

Christopher Pirie, PhD

Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer at HDT Bio

Dr. Christopher Pirie is co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of HDT Bio. He previously served as co-founder and CEO of Virvio, a biopharmaceutical company spun out of the Institute for Protein Design and focused on designer mini-proteins for respiratory diseases like influenza. Before that he co-founded Manus Bio, a synthetic biology company developing sustainable chemical manufacturing methods where he built and ran the enzyme engineering team while leading intellectual property development. Dr. Pirie has also coached global entrepreneurship bootcamps around the world with MIT Sloan Business School and mentored early-stage startups through the Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship at UW.

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.

Alex Rosenberg, PhD

CEO & Co-Founder at Parse Biosciences

Alex cofounded Parse Biosciences and leads the organization as its Chief Executive Officer. Alex is an experienced leader and technologist with a track record of pushing innovation in next-generation sequencing, machine learning, and predictive models of biology. As a Commercialization Fellow at the University of Washington, Alex co-invented the single cell technology that inspired Parse’s foundational Evercode™ platform. Alex is an active technical leader and inventor with multiple publications in high-profile journals such as Cell and Science and several patents.

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. 

Kathleen Sullivan

Senior Director, Strategy & Operations at Microsoft Research Health Futures

Kathleen leads Microsoft’s global strategy, partnership and operations focused on research and incubation in the health and life sciences. She is responsible for driving incubation strategy and defining partnerships at the intersection of AI and life sciences and healthcare. Prior to joining Microsoft, Kathleen led corporate development and partnership creation across the healthcare ecosystem at Castlight Health, a start-up enabling better health navigation, and investment strategy and growth in venture capital. She also spent time leading strategy development in machine learning, medical informatics and emerging technologies within the health payer space. She began her career in financial services, developing investment strategies and establishing new co-developed product partnerships for Barclays.

Kathleen is also an early stage investor, board member and active volunteer with a number of humanity, health and sustainability focused non-profits and is a member of several professional societies to support and mentor women in STEAM.

Karen Tkach Tuzman, PhD

Director of Biopharma Intelligence 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.

Sheri Wilcox, PhD

Vice President of Affinity Reagent Development at Nautilus Biotechnology

Sheri Wilcox has spent more than two decades at the forefront of the proteomics revolution to transform biomedicine. At Nautilus, she leads the development of short-epitope binding reagents that enable its platform to uncover novel scientific insights about the proteome. Sheri’s track record also includes positions at SomaLogic, where she was instrumental in the building of its proteomics platform and in bolstering its library of aptamers to 7,000 targets, and Pharmacia prior to its merger with Pfizer. Sheri holds a Ph.D. from The Scripps Research Institute, and a B.S. from Vanderbilt University.