Life Science Innovation Northwest

Keynote Speaker

Amy Abernethy, MD, PhD

Principal Deputy Commissioner at FDA

As the Principal Deputy Commissioner of Food and Drugs, Dr. Amy P. Abernethy, M.D., Ph.D., helps oversee the agency’s day-to-day functioning and directs special and high-priority initiatives that cut across offices overseeing FDA’s regulation of drugs, medical devices, tobacco and food.

Dr. Abernethy, a hematologist/oncologist and palliative medicine physician, is an internationally recognized clinical data expert and clinical researcher. Her areas of expertise include cancer data, real world evidence, clinical trials, health
services research, patient reported outcomes (PROs), clinical informatics, and patient-centered care.

Daphne Koller, PhD

CEO & Founder at insitro

Daphne Koller is CEO and Founder of insitro, a machine-learning enabled drug discovery company. She is co-founder of Engageli and was a Computer Science Professor at Stanford, co-founder of Coursera, and Chief Computing Officer of Calico. Daphne was one of TIME Magazine’s 100 most influential people and is a MacArthur Fellow, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and a Fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the International Society of Computational Biology. 

Speakers

Leslie Alexandre, DrPH

President & CEO at Life Science Washington
Speaker

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.

Mara Aspinall

Co-Founder and Professor of Practice, Biomedical Diagnostics at Arizona State University and Advisor to the Rockefeller Foundation
Speaker

Mara Aspinall is a healthcare industry leader and pioneer committed to active civic involvement. She is Managing Director and Co-Founder of BlueStone Venture Partners, a venture fund investing in life sciences technology companies in the US Southwest. She is also Managing Director of the Health Catalysts Group, a consulting firm dedicated to the growth of health information technology and diagnostics firms, publishing the popular Health Catalysts Diagnostics Year in Review. Aspinall is certified in Cybersecurity Oversight from Carnegie Mellon. Aspinall is an advisor to The Rockefeller Foundation and co-author of The Foundation's reports on COVID testing.

As President and CEO of Ventana Medical Systems, a billion-dollar division of The Roche Group, (now Roche Tissue Diagnostics) Aspinall led her world-class team to new financial success, more than two dozen major instrument and assay launches as well as global leadership in companion diagnostics.

Previously, Aspinall spent 13 years at Genzyme Corporation where she served as President of Genzyme Genetics and Genzyme Pharmaceuticals. Genzyme Genetics was a leading provider of diagnostic testing and genetic counseling in the oncology and reproductive markets. Aspinall transformed the business from a small, specialized player to one of the top five laboratories in the country while setting the industry standard for quality testing. The business was sold to LabCorp for nearly $1billion. Previously, she led Genzyme Pharmaceuticals and its transformation to an international leader in specialized pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturing.

Trevor Bedford, PhD

Associate Professor for Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division at Fred Hutch
Speaker

Dr. Trevor Bedford uses powerful computers and complex statistical methods to study the rapid spread and evolution of viruses, including those that cause COVID-19, influenza, Ebola and Zika. Data gathered from these processes help researchers develop successful strategies for monitoring and controlling infectious diseases. He is a leading advocate for the immediate release of research analyzing viral evolution during epidemics, fresh information that can make a lifesaving difference.

Sharon Benzeno, PhD

Chief Business Development Officer at Adaptive Biotechnologies
Speaker

Sharon Benzeno, PhD is the Chief Business Development Officer and leads the Drug Discovery group of Adaptive Biotechnologies. Prior to joining Adaptive in 2014, Sharon was Senior Director at Elsevier Inc., a healthcare informatics company. Prior to Elsevier, Sharon co-led the oncology business unit at Capgemini SE, a consulting and technology services company. Prior to Capgemini, Sharon served in a variety of management roles at AstraZeneca.

Rick Bright, PhD

Senior Vice President of Pandemic Prevention and Response at Rockefeller Foundation
Speaker

Robbie Cape

CEO & Co-Founder at 98point6
Speaker

Robbie passionately believes everyone deserves excellent, affordable primary care. With that in mind, he co-founded 98point6 in 2015 to harness the power of technology to improve both access and the quality of care. Robbie's 25-year career has centered around building consumer technology businesses and products, including founding Cozi Inc., where he served as CEO from its inception until it was acquired by Time Inc. in 2014.

Alice Chen, PhD

Vice President at Accelerator Life Science Partners
Speaker

Valerie Daggett, PhD

Co-Founder and CEO at AltPep
Speaker

Valerie Daggett is the founder and CEO of AltPep and a professor of Bioengineering at the University of Washington. She has over 250 peer-reviewed publications and is a fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering and The Biophysical Society. AltPep is a recent spinout from her UW lab focused on early diagnostics and disease-modifying therapeutics for Alzheimer’s Disease targeting a novel protein structure discovered in her lab.

Simone Fishburn, PhD

VP and Editor in Chief at BioCentury
Moderator

Simone serves as Vice President and Editor in Chief at BioCentury, bringing experience from both industry and academia in translational science, where she focused for over 15 years on the scientific, commercial and strategic considerations for advancing laboratory discoveries to products for patients.

Steve Harr, MD

President and CEO at Sana Biotechnology
Speaker

Prior to co-founding Sana, Steve served as Chief Financial Officer and Head of Corporate Development for Juno Therapeutics until its acquisition by Celgene in early 2018. He was a member of the Board of Directors of Loxo Oncology prior to its acquisition by Eli Lilly in early 2019. Steve also was a co-founder and member of the Board of Directors of JW Therapeutics, a cell therapy company in China. Prior to joining Juno, Steve was at Morgan Stanley, most recently as Managing Director and Head of Biotechnology Investment Banking and previously as a biotech research analyst and co-head of global healthcare research.

Martin Heidecker, PhD

Managing Director at Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund USA Inc.
Speaker

Dr. Heidecker joined Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund in 2010 in Germany and moved to Boston, MA in 2013 to open US offices for the fund. He served as board member of ArmaGen Technologies, Inc. and of Tilos Therapeutics, which was acquired by Merck in June 2019. Currently, he serves as board member of Sentien Biotechnologies in Lexington, Abexxa Biologics in Arlington, Libra Therapeutics in San Diego, Rgenta Therapeutics in Cambridge, and TigaTx in Cambridge.

Carole Ho, MD

Chief Medical Officer & Head of Development at Denali Therapeutics, Inc.
Speaker

Carole Ho is the Chief Medical Officer and Head of Development at Denali Therapeutics, Inc. Carole has built an integrated development organization that is responsible for advancing therapeutic candidates from IND enabling toxicology through Phase 1 to Phase 3 testing. Under Carole’s leadership, Denali has advanced more than five programs into clinical development since Denali’s founding in 2015 across therapeutic areas including Rare Disease, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer's disease, and ALS.

Leen Kawas, PhD

President and CEO at Athira
Speaker

Leen Kawas, Ph.D., has served as chief executive officer and as a member of Athira Pharma’s board of directors since January 2014. Previously, Dr. Kawas served as vice president. Dr. Kawas serves on multiple boards, including the Washington Governor’s Life Science Advisory Board, Scientific Review Board for the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, and Alzheimer’s Association – Washington Chapter Board. She also served as the co-chair of the International Alzheimer's Association Business Consortium.

Nina Kjellson

General Partner at Canaan
Speaker

Nina Kjellson has been a General Partner at Canaan since 2015 and invests in biopharma and digital health start-ups that serve high unmet needs. She has 20 years of experience funding, growing and transacting early-stage companies. As a leader of Canaan’s Women of Venture program, Nina is a vocal advocate for female entrepreneurs and investors. She serves as an advisor to Springboard Life Sciences, Nina Capital (no relation), The Gates Foundation and serves on the boards of Essential Access Health, Girl Effect and the Oliver Wyman Health Innovation Center.

Peter Kolchinsky, PhD

Managing Partner at RA Capital Management
Speaker

Peter Kolchinsky is a founder and Managing Partner at RA Capital Management. Peter is active in both public and private investments in companies developing drugs, medical devices, diagnostics, and research tools and serves as a Board Member for various publicly- and privately-held companies. Peter also leads the firm’s engagement and publishing efforts, which aim to make a positive social impact and spark collaboration among healthcare stakeholders, including patients, physicians, researchers, policymakers, and industry.

Thomas Lynch, MD

President & Director at Fred Hutch
Moderator

As president and director of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Dr. Lynch sets the strategic direction of the center, oversees centerwide initiatives and represents the Hutch’s interests to major partners and governmental bodies. He also directs the Fred Hutch/University of Washington Cancer Consortium and is principal investigator of its Cancer Center Support Grant.

Paul Matteis

Managing Director at Stifel
Moderator

Paul Matteis joined Stifel in 2018.  Based out of the Boston office, Mr. Matteis is a Managing Director, Senior Analyst, and Co-Head of the Biotech Research Team.

Bruce Meadows

Managing Partner at Takeda Digital Ventures
Speaker

Mr Meadows has been a Partner of several healthcare investment funds since 1999. Previous to Takeda Digital Ventures, Bruce was the Senior Investment Director of MTIP, a Swiss-based healthcare fund. Here Bruce led the group in its digital health strategy that ultimately led to its investment in Tyto Care Inc and Quanta Dialysis Technologies. Bruce has been a director of many portfolio companies, leading them through IPOs and trade sales.

Alison Moore, PhD

Chief Technical Officer at Allogene Therapeutics
Speaker

Alison Moore, PhD, is the Chief Technical Officer for Allogene, overseeing product sciences, supply chain, manufacturing, quality and technical operations. Alison has extensive experience in all aspects of biomanufacturing and CMC product development, working in both operations and research and development. She most recently served as Senior Vice President, Process Development, at Amgen.

Gregory Moore, PhD

Corporate Vice President at Microsoft Health
Speaker

Dr. Moore leads Microsoft’s Health efforts globally and is responsible for product strategy, product development, and research including AI and machine learning technology for healthcare and life sciences.  He is also Microsoft’s senior executive leading dedicated research and development collaborations with Microsoft’s strategic alliance partners in this domain with the goal of enabling a more open, interoperable, and AI-infused foundation for healthcare delivery that aspires to enable access to healthcare for all globally.

Greg is an engineer (MIT PhD), practicing neuroradiologist, clinical informaticist, neuroscientist, and innovator experienced in assembling and inspiring highly talented teams to positively transform healthcare for the benefit of humankind.  Prior to joining Microsoft, Greg was Vice President Google Inc, Google Cloud Healthcare & Life Sciences and founder of the healthcare vertical for Google Cloud.  Prior to his leadership appointment at Google, he was Chief Emerging Technology and Informatics Officer at Geisinger Health System where he also was Director of the Institute for Advanced Application and served as Interim Chair of System Radiology.  His prior appointments include Los Alamos National Laboratory (University of California), Wayne State University School of Medicine, Children’s Hospital of Michigan and Penn State University Hershey Medical Center where he was a tenured Professor in the College of Medicine. Greg currently serves on the board Hillrom Inc, and is an Adjunct Clinical Professor of Radiology at Stanford University School of Medicine. 

Moore is board certified in Diagnostic Radiology, Neuroradiology and Clinical Informatics and holds degrees from North Park College-Chicago (BS),  Massachusetts Institute of Technology (SM-Nuclear Engineering and PhD-Radiological Sciences), and Wayne State University School of Medicine (MD-Doctor of Medicine) and completed residency in Diagnostic Radiology and a fellowship in Neuroradiology, both at Penn State University Hershey Medical Center.

Robert Overell, PhD

President at Foundation BioVentures
Moderator

Robert Overell is President of Foundation BioVentures, through which advises life science companies on entity formation, corporate strategy and fundraising. Most recently, he was President and CEO of PhaseRx, which he cofounded and where he raised over $75M through private/public financings and corporate partnerships. Prior to PhaseRx, he was a General Partner with Frazier Healthcare Ventures, where he formed companies and invested in early stage ventures across the life science spectrum from therapeutics, technology platforms and instrumentation to digital health, and participated in raising over $600M in venture funds. Bob joined Immunex in 1984, where he built and led R&D programs in cell and molecular biology and developed the first HIV gene therapy trial in the world. Bob has served on numerous corporate boards, including Array Biopharma (Nasdaq: ARRY), XenoPort (Nasdaq: XNPT) and Chimerix (Nasdaq: CMRX). He holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from University of London and a BSc in Biological Sciences from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Bob is also involved with YouthCare, a Seattle non-profit that helps homeless youth transition off the streets and into educational, vocational and transitional housing opportunities, where he was a board member from 2005-2020 and Chairman from 2007-2010. 

Michael Pellini, MD

Managing Partner at Section 32
Moderator

Mike is a Managing Partner of Section 32, a venture capital fund investing at the frontiers of technology, healthcare and life sciences. Prior to joining Section 32 in 2017, he served as CEO and Chairman of Foundation Medicine, a company which transformed the way pharmaceutical companies and physicians evaluate the genomic changes underlying a patient’s cancer, until he transitioned to chairman through the close of Roche’s (NASDAQ:RHHBY) acquisition of FMI in August 2018. Previously, he was President and COO of Clarient, a national leader in molecular pathology, which was acquired by GE Healthcare in 2010.

Chad Robins

CEO & Co- founder at Adaptive Biotechnologies
Speaker

Chad Robins co-founded Adaptive Biotechnologies in September 2009 and has served as the Chief Executive Officer and a member of our board of directors since incorporation. Prior to co-founding the company, Chad held numerous executive-level positions in medical technology, investment and real estate companies. Chad holds an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a BS in Managerial Economics from Cornell University.

Rachel Sha

Vice President, Digital Strategy and Governance at Sanofi
Speaker

Rachel Sha is the Vice President of Digital Strategy and Governance at Sanofi, leading global strategy, business development, and governance of digital programs to transform Sanofi and healthcare. Additionally, she serves on the Life Sciences Council of Springboard Enterprises and is an executive sponsor of Mass Next Gen, both of which focus on developing women entrepreneurs

Michal Silverberg

Managing Director at Novartis Venture Fund
Speaker

Michal Silverberg is a Managing Director at the Novartis Venture Fund in Cambridge, MA, USA. Prior to joining NVF, she was a Senior Partner at Takeda Ventures and, before that, worked at Novo Nordisk in roles of increasing responsibility including as Senior Director Business Development and New Product Commercialization, serving as a member of the BioPharm leadership team. Since 1998, Michal has held positions in various sectors of the life science industry including in the Office of the Chief Scientist of Israel (The Incubator program), venture capital (Ofer Brothers Hi Tech) and global pharmaceutical and biotech companies, including various positions at MGVS, an Israeli biotech company and at OSI Pharmaceuticals in a business development role. She received her B.A. in Economics and Business Management from Haifa University, her M.B.A from Tel-Aviv University in Israel and her Master's degree in Biotechnology from Columbia University in New York.

Otello Stampacchia, PhD

Founder at Omega Funds
Speaker

Otello founded Omega Funds in 2004 and leads the firm’s investor relations and strategic initiatives. He is a member of the firm’s investment committee and is also heavily involved in a number of Omega’s therapeutic areas of interest, particularly in oncology, rare diseases and inflammatory disorders.

Julie Sunderland

Managing Director at Biomatics Capital
Speaker

Prior to co-founding Biomatics Capital Partners in 2016, Ms. Sunderland was director of Program Related Investments for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She led the foundation’s $1.5 billion strategic investment pool, which focused on global health, global development and education. Ms. Sunderland sits on the Board of Directors for several of Biomatics' portfolio companies including Aledade, BlackThorn, eGenesis and Verana.

Luke Timmerman

Journalist at Timmerman Report
Moderator

Luke Timmerman is an award-winning journalist who has been covering biotechnology since 2001. Before founding Timmerman Report in 2015, Luke wrote about the industry for a regional newspaper (The Seattle Times), a global financial publication (Bloomberg News), and an online startup (Xconomy). Luke was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in Biotechnology by Scientific American in 2015 and has won a number of journalism prizes.

Scott Wolchko

President and CEO at Fate Therapeutics
Speaker

Mr. Wolchko is the President & Chief Executive Officer at Fate Therapeutics and is responsible for the company’s finance, administration and operations. Prior to joining Fate Therapeutics, Mr. Wolchko served as the Chief Financial Officer of Bocada, Inc., where he oversaw all corporate service-related operations, and previously led Corporate Development at drugstore.com, where he was responsible for sourcing, evaluating and executing financial and business development opportunities.