Dr. Matthew Dowling, Ph.D. is Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of gel-e. Matt completed his graduate work at the Fischell Department of Bioengineering at the University of Maryland in May 2010 and has since pursued gel-e on a full-time basis. In 2005, after graduating in chemical engineering from the University of Notre Dame, he was awarded the Fischell Fellowship in Biomedical Engineering for his innovative ideas in drug delivery systems. Matt then co-created the gel-e platform, raising several initial grants to develop the technology, which led to being named the Dean’s Doctoral Research Award from the UMD Clark School of Engineering for his work on chitosan-based self-assembled soft materials for use in wound treatment. He has since successfully licensed gel-e from UMD and has raised another $2.0M in non-dilutive funding which has been astutely used to achieve a first FDA clearance for gel-e, a large and growing patent estate and numerous peer-reviewed publications in high-impact journals. Matt’s work was recently featured on the BBC TV program, Brave New World with Stephen Hawking.
Emily P. English, PhD, is the Chief Executive Officer of Gemstone Biotherapeutics, LLC. Dr. English is a proven innovator with a passion for transitioning early-stage technologies to operational capabilities and commercial products. In her current role, she is guiding the commercialization of Gemstone’s innovative biomaterials technology, with a goal of bringing solutions for scar-free skin regeneration to market. She has published seven peer-reviewed papers, holds four patents, and is the principal investigator on three grants. Prior to joining Gemstone, Dr. English spent eight years at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, where she was the Global Communications Program Manager and led a team of 35 scientists and engineers. She holds a Bachelor’s degree, Magna cum laude, in chemistry from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Outside of work, Dr. English enjoys spending time with her family, and she is an avid curler.
Woodie Kessel, B.S.E.E., M.D., M.P.H., is a pediatrician and child advocate with experience as an educator, investigator, and practitioner in medicine, public health, bioengineering, community-based programming, and public policy. Dr. Kessel is currently the CEK Senior Child Health Scholar in Residence at the C E Koop Institute, Dartmouth College and Medical School; Professor of Pediatrics, Geisel School of Medicine, Dartmouth College; and Professor of the Practice at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Health. Previously, Dr. Kessel served in the U.S. Public Health Service as an Assistant Surgeon General and senior advisor on child and family health matters to the White House, Cabinet Secretaries, Surgeons General, and Health and Human Services officials spanning eight administrations.
Dr. Knight recently joined Penn State to lead research and graduate programs at the Behrend College in Erie, Pennsylvania. Prior to this academic appointment he was senior VP and CTO at Canon U.S. Life Sciences and Canon BioMedical, Inc., where he oversaw the R&D functions of both companies. During his career at Canon he established Canon’s biomedical research and development organization and facility in Rockville, Maryland, and led the development of the first products brought to market. Prior to joining Canon, Dr. Knight was a professor at James Madison University, where he taught and conducted research in molecular genetics and microbiology. He has published widely in his field and is an inventor on numerous patents in the area of diagnostic instrumentation and chemistry. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Advisory Board Chair
Claudio Knizek joined The Boston Consulting Group in January 2006 and is a Partner and Managing Director in BCG's Washington D.C. office. Throughout his tenure at BCG, he has focused on a variety of operational and strategic issues affecting the Industrial and Consumer Goods sectors. The majority of Claudio's work at BCG has been focused on operational topics, particularly manufacturing and supply chain. Claudio currently co-leads BCG's Manufacturing Topic globally. Prior to joining BCG, Claudio worked at A. T. Kearney for five years. Claudio has a B.S. and M.S. from Stanford University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
Steven Lehrer brings over 30 years of experience starting, growing and running life science-based businesses focused on commercializing new technology and expanding businesses globally. SBLehrer LLC works with life science companies to develop and introduce drugs worldwide. Steve has extensive experience in pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical and biosimilar R&D, regulatory, operations and commercialization. In addition, his companies and businesses have developed and commercialized new drug delivery approaches for pharmaceuticals, multiple molecular genetic diagnostic tests and developed outcomes databases for bioinformatics and healthcare econometric modeling. Steve has built and run businesses in the US, EU, Brazil, China, India, Japan and SEA. Steve previously served as Head of Biologicals at Cipla Ltd., CEO at Cipla BioTec, President at Glycominds, EVP at Adamas Pharma, CEO at GeneOs Ltd, CEO at DNA Sciences and division President at Monsanto. Prior to Monsanto, Steve worked for McKinsey & Co. and P&G. Steve has a Master’s Degree from The Graduate School of Business at Harvard University and a B.S.E. in Chemical Engineering as well as a B.A. in Economics from the University of Maryland.
David Alexander Lindsay, PhD is the Directorate Head of the Vaccine Clinical Materials Program (VCMP), within the Clinical Research Directorate at the Frederick National Lab (FNL) in Maryland, He is responsible for the scientific, technical and administrative oversight and operation of a good manufacturing practices (GMP) vaccine pilot plant. The mission of the VCMP at FNL is to advance the development, manufacture, analytical testing, release and regulatory support of biologically-derived clinical materials, discovered/developed by the Vaccine Research Center (VRC) at NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), for subsequent evaluation in Phase I/II clinical trials in humans. While the focus to date has been on broadly neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) for passive treatment of HIV-AIDS, there is a renewed emphasis on universal flu/influenza, and emerging/re-emerging infectious diseases of global significance including Chikungunya, Ebola, Malaria, RSV, Tuberculosis and ZIKA. At present, the pilot plant is engaged in all aspects of product development relating to novel, structure-based vaccines, nanoparticles and peptide conjugates for HIV and Influenza, as well as a variety of different mAbs directed at different HIV epitopes, and unique Ebola virus and Malaria targets. David holds a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from Lafayette College (Easton, PA) and a PhD from Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD). With research interests straddling the fields of Virology and Bio/Chemical Engineering, David is a passionate leader that believes in advancing science-based, collaborative partnership-based solutions to public health challenges faced by patients nationally and globally. He has over 24 years of industry experience, including cell culture process development to tech transfer to clinical and commercial manufacture of biologics/recombinant vaccines. Prior to joining the FNL in March 2015, David worked at MedImmune LLC-Astra Zeneca in both Gaithersburg and Frederick locations (2002-2014), Schering-Plough Research Institute in Union, New Jersey (1995-2002), and the University of Maryland at College Park’s bioprocess scale-up facility (1994-1995).
As the founder of ChromoLogic, Dr. Menon is passionate about developing novel biomedical solutions that result in new biological insights and lead to superior patient outcomes while ensuring that the solutions are cost effective and affordable. Dr. Menon received his Ph.D. in physics from Purdue University, with an emphasis in sensor fabrication, instrumentation and novel data analytic methods that were applied at multiple national and international laboratories toward fundamental physics discoveries. Dr. Menon's early career was spent at Corning Incorporated and Northrop Grumman Mission Systems, where he was groomed for leadership positions in multiple businesses. Founded in 2007, ChromoLogic is a boutique product development organization developing innovative solutions that save lives and make the world secure. ChromoLogic's products range from bioinspired solutions for establishing traceability of items, such as medical implantables, to at-home HIV viral load analysis kits, and from an ophthalmic system to assess physiological stress to a unique digital telehealth platform. In addition to the company's broad product portfolio, ChromoLogic continues to develop instruments and assays that lead to new fundamental insights into the biome.
Dr. Susanna Naggie completed her undergraduate degrees in chemical engineering and biochemistry at the University of Maryland, College Park, and her medical education at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She conducted her internal medicine and infectious diseases fellowship training at Duke University Medical Center, where she also served as Chief Resident. She joined the faculty in the Duke School of Medicine in 2009. She is an Associate Professor of Medicine with Tenure and currently holds appointments at the Duke University School of Medicine, at the Duke Clinical Research Institute (Director of ID Research), and at the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Dr. Naggie is a clinical investigator with a focus in clinical trials and translational science in HIV and HCV. Dr. Naggie is a current member of the DHHS Guidelines for the Use of Antiretroviral Agents in Adults and Adolescents Living with HIV and was a prior co-Chair of the AASLD/IDSA HCV Guidance Committee. She services the Duke SOM as the Associate Dean of Clinical Research and Regulatory Affairs.
Dr. Michael O’Connor is the Director, Strategy and Project Management with Medtronic, Plc. Medtronic is a global healthcare solutions company committed to improving the lives of people through their medical technologies, services, and solutions. O’Connor has over 29 years of professional experience in the Medical Device Industry developing products from idea to commercialization. He holds patents in the areas of medical catheters and stents, and has graduate degrees in project management, technology management and business administration. O’Connor earned his Ph.D. in civil engineering, majoring in project management, from the University of Maryland’s A. James Clark School of Engineering. He was selected as an American Society for Quality Fellow (ASQ), , American Academy of Project Management Fellow (AAPM), Association for Project Management Fellow (APM), Biomedical Engineering Society Fellow (BMES), and Medtronic Technical Fellow. He is currently a Minnesota PMI Board Member and Director at Large. He is on the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) Educational Committee and is also a member of the BMES Wallace H. Coulter Healthcare Innovation Award Subcommittee. O’Connor is also an Adjunct and Community Faculty Member teaching graduate-level Project Management, Project Capstone, Project Procurement, and Culture/Organizational course(s).
Brenda Ogle is Professor and Head of Biomedical Engineering, Professor of Pediatrics, and Director of the Stem Cell Institute at the University of Minnesota. Her research team investigates the impact of extracellular matrix proteins on stem cell behavior especially in the context of the cardiovascular system. Insights gleaned over the years established mechanistic links between integrin engagement and the activity of critical transcription factors and most recently led to the development of optimized, extracellular matrix-based bioinks for 3D printing of cardiac muscle mimics featured in Newsweek. The primary strength of her laboratory is the ability to span multiple subdisciplines within both basic science (i.e., stem cell biology, cell-cell fusion, and extracellular matrices) and engineering (cytometry, instrumentation, and 3D printing) fields. Her work received funding from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, the American Heart Association, the Coulter Foundation, Regenerative Medicine Minnesota, and MnDRIVE. She has partnered on research projects with Becton Dickinson, iCyt and Medtronic. Professor Ogle is an elected fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and a member of the Board of Directors of the Biomedical Engineering Society. She has served as co-chair of the Women’s Faculty Cabinet, UMN and is recipient of the Mullen-Spector-Truax Women’s Leadership Award.
John Page, Vice President of Engineering, BD Integrated Diagnostic Solutions has over 35 years of product development experience for the Defense and Medical Diagnostics industries. John’s early career included embedded Software development, (10 years, Lockheed Martin), and Medical Device/Data Management systems, (25+ years, Becton Dickinson). John has many years of cross-functional program management experience leading development teams from initial concepts to commerical launches of Medical Diagnostic products that consist of hardware, software and reagents. John’s background includes running the BD Diagnostic Systems Program office in Sparks, MD, which serves the Point of Care, Women’s Health and Cancer, Molecular, and Microbiology businesses of BD Diagnostic Systems. John has been involved with early acquisitions, including the BD Kiestra line of laboratory automation equipment, for which John has led the R&D function for several years. Since the fall of 2020, John has been leading the Engineering organization for BD’s Integrated Diagnostic Solutions business unit. John holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland, and an MS in Technical Management from John’s Hopkins University.
Todd Pantezzi is a Senior Vice President with ICF, representing the firm’s public health, biomedical research, health informatics, information technology, management consulting, health communications, cyber security, survey research, and digital media consulting practices. He has been a growth executive and consultant in the federal health industry since 1992, primarily focusing on civilian health agencies (NIH, CDC, FDA, and EPA) representing corporations including CSRA, General Dynamics, United-Health Group, and Northrop Grumman, as well as small and mid-size firms. Mr. Pantezzi holds industry leadership positions including Trustee with The Children’s Inn at NIH, and chair of the Professional Services Council’s annual survey of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. He was named to the FedHealthIT100 in 2017.
Dr. Minh-Quan K. Pham is a patent attorney with over ten years of experience in protecting innovations and providing creative legal solutions through a unique combination of perspectives, including as an inventor, a scientist/engineer, an entrepreneur, an examiner, and an attorney. Dr. Pham is experienced in all aspects of intellectual property protection, including counseling, prosecution, litigation, licensing, and portfolio management. He has represented authors, artists, educators, engineers, physicians, scientists, as well as universities, small companies, and international corporations. Prior to his legal practice, Dr. Pham was a patent examiner in group 1600, examining biotechnology patent applications. He was also a founder of Chesapeake PERL, a recombinant protein production company. Dr. Pham received his B.S. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Maryland, and his J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center.
Dr. Jon A. Rowley is the Founder & Chief Product Officer of RoosterBio Inc. Jon started RoosterBio in 2013 as part of his personal quest of having the biggest impact possible on the commercial translation of technologies that incorporate living cells, including cellular therapies, engineered tissues, and tomorrow’s medical devices. Jon holds a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in Biomedical Engineering and has authored over 35 peer-reviewed manuscripts and 20 issued or pending patents related to biomaterials development, tissue engineering, and cellular therapy. Jon started his industry career at BD as a scientist and R&D manager in a Cell & Tissue Technologies group focused on applying high throughput screening technologies to cell therapy media development and tissue engineering. Jon then contributed to the clinical development of Aastrom Biosciences’ Tissue Repair Cell product, where he was Sr. Manager of Process Development responsible for manufacturing process improvements and cell delivery to the patient. Jon most recently spent five years as Director of Innovation and Process Development in Lonza’s Cell Therapy CMO business, and currently resides in Walkersville, MD with his wonderful wife and their three young children.
Bret Schreiber has worked for 20 years in the field of government and community relations, driving policy and economic development initiatives and developing strong ties to local, state and national legislators and policy leaders. Currently, Mr. Schreiber is Vice President for Life Sciences and Technology for Fulton Bank. Fulton Bank is a $22 billion financial institution based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Mr. Schreiber will be overseeing the development of a new division for Fulton Bank, creating disruptive, innovative initiatives to support and grow the life science and technology industries in Fulton’s five state footprint.
Most recently, Mr. Schreiber led the Office of BioHealth and Life Sciences for the Maryland Department of Commerce, seeking to develop and build the State’s thriving Life Science ecosystem. Among other efforts, the Office developed innovation assets for the industry, created International Pipelines to bring companies into the State, and sought to provide fiscal and other support to companies already located in the State. Prior to leading the Office of BioHealth and Life Sciences, Schreiber was recruited to Commerce to start a new Division -- Education and Innovation. This new office focused on the collisions between colleges, universities and innovators, entrepreneurs and startups. Mr. Schreiber also oversaw all workforce development initiatives for the Department of Commerce.
Prior to Commerce, Mr. Schreiber was the Director of Governmental and Community Relations for Harford County Maryland where his office focused on higher education, K-12 education and funding, identifying funding for local law enforcement for safe streets and safe schools, and addressing the county’s growing heroin addiction problem. His efforts helped to increase the county’s presence in Annapolis and Washington, D.C. In addition to the priorities of education, healthcare and law enforcement, Mr. Schreiber’s efforts included planning for the high-tech industry, federal jobs, public safety, business development and tourism.
Mr. Schreiber served as a vice-president of the Maryland Independent College and University Association (MICUA), leading policy development and involved in organizational operations. Primarily tasked with leading public policy initiatives in support of independent higher education in Maryland, Mr. Schreiber served as the chief lobbyist/liaison between MICUA and various public bodies, including the Governor’s Office, the Maryland General Assembly, the Maryland Congressional Delegation, the Maryland Higher Education Commission, the Department of Budget and Management, Local Governments and others. As MICUA’s Vice President, Mr. Schreiber helped to plan, implement, and manage the Association’s strategic national and statewide agenda in alignment with the missions and goals of Maryland’s independent higher education institutions;
Mr. Schreiber also spent 10 years working with the Johns Hopkins Institutions helping to plan, implement, and manage the Johns Hopkins Institutions’ strategic State agenda with elected and appointed officials, including: higher education funding and financial aid, economic development initiatives and policy, legislation, regulation, and capital assistance to the Johns Hopkins University and Health System. Mr. Schreiber also worked with the University and Health System leadership in developing and advocating a strategic state and local affairs agenda that served the Institution by protecting Johns Hopkins’ interests with state and local decision makers; and advancing Johns Hopkins’ agenda with State and local governments and groups.
A Harford County resident and North Harford High School graduate, Mr. Schreiber holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Johns Hopkins University. A lacrosse player for the nationally ranked Johns Hopkins University Blue Jays, Mr. Schreiber participated in three NCAA Final Four appearances. He also counts family members among his biggest influencers – particularly his wife Sharon and their three children. When not working, Schreiber likes to spend time with his family. He plays lacrosse in an “over 35 league that’s full of 20-year-olds,” and also plays basketball and golf.
Dr. Reginald Seeto has over 20+ years of experience in the healthcare and life sciences field. He is the President and CBO of CareDx a public biotech that is a leader in transplant diagnostics, where his responsibility includes the business development, commercial units, manufacturing and operations, R&D and international operations. Prior to this, he was the Chief Operating Officer of Ardelyx, a public biotech where he oversaw business development, commercial operations, corporate strategy and medical affairs. His experience also included being a member of executive leadership team at MedImmune, the Biologics unit for AstraZenecan in his roles as Head of Partnering & Strategy, and as Executive Vice President of Corporate Development and Strategy. He first joined MedImmune as Head of Global Strategic Marketing and Portfolio Management and later worked as a country General Manager for AstraZeneca in Asia. Earlier in his career, Dr Seeto led the Fertility and Emerging Biotech Franchises (oncology, immunology, vaccines) for Organon Biosciences as the Vice-President of Global Marketing and Flomax for Boehringer Ingelheim, which he grew to be a blockbuster and company’s largest selling US product at that time. He started his career as a physician, before then joining the strategy consulting firm, McKinsey and Company.
Andy Steggles, a serial entrepreneur, has founded and advised multiple software startups. His most notable software success started with an idea he formed while operating as the head of technology for a New York based association (RIMS), where he recognized the need for, and subsequently built, the next generation of large group collaboration software. After selling and delivering the software to several organizations, he then partnered with a friend and colleague to create what became Higher Logic. Over the next 8 years, Andy helped grow this Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) company into a “Community Platform”. In 2016, this small, bootstrapped company had grown to a $100MM+ enterprise. Andy and his business partner then decided to accept a $55MM growth equity investment, and once again hit the accelerator. One year later they had acquired four adjacent software businesses and tripled the size and value of Higher Logic.
In 2018, Andy decided to step out of his operating role to focus on his responsibilities as Co-Chair of the Board of Higher Logic as well as his other passions, which included completing his studies at Harvard Business School’s 3-year Owner/President Management (OPM) leadership program. Today, in addition to being an author, speaker, investor and board member, Andy focuses his time as CEO of his small family business, where he is able to leverage that same passion - which helped shape Higher Logic into what it is today - by helping leaders of early stage SaaS companies maximize their enterprise value while continuing to scale and preparing to exit.
Outside of his busy business world, Andy spends as much time as possible with his wife and four children as well as serving on several non-profit and for-profit boards. He is an active member and leader within both the Entrepreneurs Organization (EO) and Young President's Organization (YPO) where he currently serves as the Assistant Learning Chair of its Technology Network.
Dr. Peter Soltani is a native of greater Washington, D.C. and has been involved in the medical device and diagnostics space for nearly 20 years. Peter’s early career involved technology innovation involving semiconductor and optical materials for energy conversion and imaging. He joined Hologic, Inc., a women’s health focused medical device company, in 2000, where he led the company’s Women’s Health business segment. Notable accomplishments included helping develop Hologic’s digital mammography platform, and development and commercialization of the first 3D digital mammography system for early cancer detection. Peter joined Siemens Medical Solutions between 2014-2016 to lead its North American Healthcare Services business, helping develop solutions to meet the changing and complex needs of the healthcare delivery market. Peter has been with Beckman Coulter Diagnostics, Inc. (a Danaher company) since early 2016, leading its Hematology and Urine Analysis businesses.
Dr. Diana Yoon has been working as a regulatory scientist in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) since 2011. She started as a Commissioner’s Fellow working on a project evaluating standards for premarket review of bone regenerative medicine products. During her tenure at the FDA, she has conducted premarket regulatory review in the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research and the Center for Devices and Radiological Health. She is currently a Senior Scientific Reviewer for product classification and jurisdiction in the Office of Combination Products. In 2003, she received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering (Double Major) from Carnegie Mellon University. She attended University of Maryland, College Park (UMD) for her Ph.D. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and graduated in 2008. During her time at UMD, she was awarded the Fischell Fellowship in 2006 for translational research in cartilage tissue engineering. She attended Rice University as a postdoctoral fellow to conduct bone tissue engineering research and was awarded the Gulf Coast Consortia Nanobiology Fellowship.