Speaker Biographies

Elizabeth Aselage, Specialist, Patient Advocacy & Discovery & Translational R&D, Retrophin, Inc.

Emerging leader in the healthcare industry with expertise in strategic partnerships and program development from experiences working in the start-up biotech industry. Established proficiency in the development of strategic partnerships and innovative models of collaboration between industry, academia, and advocacy. Increased capacity to comprehend highly complex disease-state pathophysiologies and therapeutic modalities, identify new strategic opportunities, and successfully streamline operational program efforts from conceptualization through to contract execution and finalization. Proven ability to identify and create scientific synergies between rare disease research institutions and patients effectively streamlining scientific efficiency, and accelerating the drug development process. Thrive in dynamic environments, and driven by a strong commitment to helping patients.

Judy Baselice, Director, Alliance Management, Worldwide Business Development, Pfizer

Judy is the director of alliance management in the Pfizer worldwide business development group. In her role, Judy is responsible for ensuring alliance effectiveness for Pfizer's oncology clinical research and commercial collaborations. Prior to joining Pfizer, Judy held positions of increasing responsibility at Forest Laboratories and Eisai Inc. in the areas of alliance management, clinical and manufacturing outsourcing, sales operations and finance. Judy is on the board of trustees for The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, N.J. She serves on the hospital's investment and audit & compliance committees as well as the research advisory group. Judy holds a BS in business administration & accounting from Meredith College and is a certified public accountant.

Jonathon Bell, Director, Alliance and Integration Management, AstraZeneca

Jonathon is a Business Development Professional with over 22 years in the industry. He started his career in global Drug Safety at Roche before moving into a number of increasingly commercial roles in the industry and Management Consulting and finally into Business Development. Jon worked from 2003 to 2009 for the UK affiliate of AstraZeneca as head of Licensing and New product development before leaving to join Eisai as a European Business Development Director. He subsequently moved to an international role at GSK before returning to AstraZeneca in 2015 in Global Business Development Operations. Jon has run a number of buy and sell side Due Diligences including the recent divestments of AstraZeneca’s Antibiotics Business Unit to Pfizer for over $1Bn and most recently, the Due Diligence for the $1.6Bn partnership with Merck for Lynparza and selumetinib.

Aida Bendt, Head, Alliance Management, MedImmune

Aida is leading the Alliance Management Group within Pipeline Management at Medimmune and is responsible for the biologics R&D portfolio of strategic alliances. MedImmune is the biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca.  Aida has 20 years of experience in the biopharma industry including Project & Portfolio Management, Program Management, Laboratory Compliance, and Alliance Management. During her 12 years at Medimmune Aida has held positions of increasing responsibility while managing a variety of drug development projects and partnerships across Oncology, Respiratory, Inflammation, Autoimmunity, and other therapeutic areas. She has broad experience launching and managing global partnerships in Research, Clinical Development, and broad strategic collaborations with Academic Institutions. Aida, along with her team, has established innovative alliance best practices, advanced systems, and capabilities at Medimmune. She is President of the DC/Mid Atlantic Chapter of the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals, and CA-AM certified.

Richard Butterworth, Senior Director, Alliance Management, Global Clinical Operations, Merck KGaA

For more than 25 years, Rich has worked in Life Sciences and Healthcare, building and leading teams in business development, operations, product and partnership management in the Pharma and CRO industry. Rich has spent the majority of his career creating new global partnerships, building and growing high-value businesses, encouraging and translating strategic vision into successful operational delivery and driving success through enhanced trust and confidence between partners.

Elspeth Carnan, Vice President Supplier Performance Management, Global Clinical Operations, EMD Serono

A global bio pharmaceutical industry executive with a PhD and a strong technical background in clinical operations, adept at driving strategic transformation of the clinical trial execution platform, with over 27 years of both domestic and international accountability. Intuitive leadership and communication skills in partnering with senior management teams on executing a focused alignment of strategic and tactical initiatives. Strategic problem solver with a demonstrated track record of proven clinical operational leadership grounded in lean sigma principles of innovation and operational effectiveness.

Debby Concavage, Director, Alliance and Integration Management, AstraZeneca

Debby is part of the Alliance and Integration Management Team at AstraZeneca with over 30 years working in the pharmaceutical industry.  Her background is in Supply Chain with the last four years in Business Development.  She has a broad breadth of experiences within business development having led projects from negotiations through to transition completion in acquisitions, divestments, alliances and spin offs.  She has worked in multiple therapeutic areas including oncology, cardio vascular, antibiotics and anesthetics, managing varying levels of complexity while leading global, cross functional teams.  Debby holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from Villanova University and an MBA from the University of Delaware.

Joy Dicker, Director, Alliance Management, Mount Sinai Innovation Partners

Sean L. Evans, PhD, Associate Director, Business Development & Corporate Partnerships, Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures

Sean has a passion for the translation of potentially impactful life science discovery and innovation with a combined 10 years of academic biomedical research and technology transfer experience. He has worked in healthcare business development and alliance management at JHU since April 2014. In this role, Sean works with JHU researchers and potential life science industry partners to identify and foster strategic partnerships that maximize the impact of JHU’s discovery engine and clinical expertise. The Business Development & Corporate Partnerships team at JHTV is responsible for “cradle to grave” partnering activities as well as management and expansion of existing alliances. Sean received an M.S. in Biotechnology (2008) and a Ph.D. in Molecular Microbiology and Immunology (2014) from the Johns Hopkins University.

Julia Gershkovich, Head, North America R&D Alliance Management, Sanofi Group

Julia Gershkovich is the Head of North America, R&D Alliance Management for Sanofi managing the portfolio of early stage to proof of concept strategic alliances. Prior to joining Sanofi in 2012, Julia spent 20 years with Genzyme holding a variety of positions in R&D, alliance management, and general management. She built a profitable Aesthetics and Biomaterials Business by securing strategic alliances with commercial and development partners: Alcon, Allergan, Davol and J&J and by creating a competitive product portfolio. Julia received an MS in polymer science from Chemical Technological University of Russia and did a doctorate study in polymer chemistry at GIPI LPC / Instititute of Physical Chemistry, Academy of Sciences in Moscow, Russia.

Bernhard Gerstmayer, PhD, Alliance Manager, Miltenyi Biotec

Dr. Gerstmayer has worked in the Biotech industry for more than 20 years. He started his professional career in 1998 in a start up company that was acquired by Miltenyi Biotec, one of European’s largest privately owned biotech companies. He has worked for more than 15 years in different positions in R&D and managed projects with increasing complexity and responsibility. He then became department head and lead different teams in the field of Biomarker Discovery, Genomics Services and Microarray Production. Dr. Gerstmayer joined Miltenyi’s Biotec’s Business Development team in 2013 and is responsible for alliance and program management with industry partners. Dr. Gerstmayer has a background in Biochemistry and Immuno-Oncology.

Andrew Hall, Executive Director, Global Alliances & Business Development, Celgene

Tim Hammonds, PhD, Deputy Director Drug Discovery, Therapeutic Discovery Labs, Cancer Research UK

Tim has been in his current role since April 2014. He leads multiple aspects of translational drug discovery and has strategic responsibility for the Cancer Biology Advisory Board and the design, planning, negotiation and management of multi-site academia-industry alliances. During his 16 years at CRT, Tim has been central to establishing our small molecule drug discovery capabilities. Tim joined CRUK-TDL (then CRT-DL) after 5 years postdoctoral enzymology research at the University of Leicester and had been been central to establishing their small molecule drug discovery capabilities. He has a degree in Pharmacy and a PhD in pharmaceutical chemistry and microbiology from the University of Nottingham.

Brent Harvey, Director, Alliance Management, Eli Lilly

Brent leads teams focused on maximizing the value of partnered assets at each stage of the development and commercialization cycle. Brent has played an integral role in some of the largest development and commercial alliances at Lilly, including worldwide partnerships with BMS, Merck KGaA, Daiichi-Sankyo, and Innovent Biologics. He is also the alliance manager on collaborations with venture capitalists, AstraZeneca, GSK, Merck, Sanofi, and WuXi. Brent has responsibilities for M&A integration as well. Brent has an engineering degree from Purdue and an MBA from Indiana University. He also has a CA-AM and is a certified management accountant (CMA).

Dana Hughes, Vice President & Global Head, Integration and Alliance Management, Worldwide Business Development Group, Pfizer

Dana Hughes is a Vice President in Pfizer’s Worldwide Business Development group where he is the Global Head for Integration Management, Global Head of Alliance Management and also BD Operations. He completed the integration of Wyeth ($68B, 2009-2010, directly leading integration of the pharmaceutical business), completed the integration of King Pharmaceuticals ($4B, 2011) and managed the separation of Pfizer’s Nutrition and Animal Health businesses ($29B, 2011-2012). From 2012 on, Dana has sponsored the Pfizer Integration Community to propagate common tools, vocabulary and a cross-functional, integration-experienced cadre of colleagues that serve the variety of Pfizer’s successful integration projects. Most recently, he directly led the Allergan integration program (until cancelled in April 2016), and oversaw the integration of Anacor and Medivation. Pfizer’s enterprise alliance team oversees the largest, most complex partnered programs with peer global pharmaceuticals such as Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, Merck and Merck KGaA. In addition to integration and alliance oversight, Dana has been involved in enterprise projects in corporate strategy, innovative deal structures and the design and construction of Pfizer’s new, sustainable Worldwide Research and Development organization. Prior to Pfizer, Dana was a Principal in The Boston Consulting Group, focusing on the strategy and financial performance of healthcare and information technology clients.  Earlier, Dana advised multi-industry businesses with Lazard Frères & Co. He was also a Senior Associate at the former CSC Index. Mr. Hughes has an MBA in international finance from Columbia Business School and an AB cum laude in Classical Archaeology from Harvard College. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Michael Kennedy, PhD, MBA, Director, Alliance Management, Business Development & Licensing, Bayer Healthcare

Stuart Kliman, Partner, Vantage Partners

Stuart Kliman is a founder and Partner of Vantage Partners. Stuart works with his clients to help them maximize the value they get out of key, complex relationships. Stuart is a frequent speaker and writer on issues of negotiation and relationship management. He is a co-author of Vantage’s study on Alliance Management and he has written numerous publications. In addition to his work at Vantage Partners, Stuart has taught at the Harvard Program on Negotiation. Stuart is a graduate of Franklin and Marshall College and Harvard Law School and is a member of the Maryland Bar. He has two children, Jessica and Max.

Thomas Krucker, PhD, Director, Alliance Management and Partnering, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR)

Thomas Krucker is currently the Director of Alliance Management and Partnering at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR) in Emeryville, California. In this role, he leads the execution of operational, cross-functional, and strategic alliances, as well as directs partnerships with funding agencies that support the Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases (NITD). He has additional leadership and advisory roles with Novartis BIOME (Novartis digital innovation lab), Genesis Labs (accelerator to fuel the Novartis pipeline), and Open Innovation @ NITD (in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation). Previously, as a member of the Novartis Infectious Diseases Bacteriology leadership team, Thomas established a group to address major gaps in drug discovery through external innovation. He also led the Novartis West Coast Search and Evaluation team, and as the Partnering Lead for the Novartis Bay Area site successfully executed numerous high-impact alliances. In 2005, Thomas was recruited to establish and lead the Molecular Imaging platform at the Novartis R&D headquarters in Cambridge, MA. From 2000 to 2005, Thomas held a faculty position in the Department of Neuropharmacology at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, CA, as well as led international research teams at the University of Zürich and the ETH in Switzerland. From 2003-2008 he was Associate Director for the NASA Specialized Center of Research, investigating space radiation effects on the CNS. Thomas has an MS in Biology and a Ph.D. in Neurobiology from the University of Zürich in Switzerland. His graduate work was conducted at Sandoz before obtaining a fellowship and grants to complete postdoctoral research at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, CA.

Yaminah Leggett-Wells, Senior Director, Project Management, Viela Bio

Yaminah brings more than 15 years in leading teams and overseeing programs throughout the drug development lifecycle.  In her current role, she has responsibility for the development and execution of alliance and project management activities for clinical stage programs in Viela’s portfolio.  Prior to her current role, Yaminah served as Director of Biologics Project Management at MedImmune, with primary responsibility in managing Respiratory, Inflammation, and Autoimmunity programs and alliances.  Additionally, she has held roles in the Global Medicines Development group of AstraZeneca. Before her tenure with MedImmune/AstraZeneca, Yaminah assisted in growing and strengthening the project management and clinical pharmacology unit operations globally at ICON plc.  She is a certified project management professional (PMP) and holds a MS in Pharmacology from Howard University and a MBA from Johns Hopkins University.

Anna Maroney, PhD, Vice President & Head, Alliance Management, AbbVie, Inc.

Anna Maroney joined AbbVie as Head of Alliance Management in July 2013. Anna has over 20 years of experience in drug discovery and clinical development with a unique blend of biotech and large pharma research and business development. Prior to joining AbbVie, Anna had increasing roles of responsibilities at GSK, where she was Head of the U.S. Site for the Center of Excellence for External Drug Discovery and a Medicine Development Leader on a late-stage clinical asset. Earlier work experiences in R&D Project Leader roles include Cephalon Inc., 3-Dimensional Pharmaceuticals and Johnson & Johnson PRD. She earned her Ph.D. in biochemistry at the University of Rochester and completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania as a Howard Hughes Fellow.

MaryAnne McCarthy, Senior Director, Alliance Management, Genmab, Inc.

MaryAnne McCarthy is the Senior Director of Alliance Management at Genmab where she leads the strategic management and coordination of Genmab’s global commercial, development and scientific collaborations.  Prior to Genmab she was Executive Director, Alliance Management at Incyte Corporation.  Prior to working in Alliance Management, MaryAnne focused on Clinical Operations and Project Management with leadership positions at Incyte, J&J/Centocor, AstraZeneca and Wyeth.  MaryAnne has an M.B.A. from Widener University and a B.S. in Medical Technology from the University of Delaware. 

Pat J. Morin, PhD, Executive Director, Strategic Alliances, Abramson Cancer Center, University of Pennsylvania

I have dedicated my career to cancer research, first as an active research scientist at National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Johns Hopkins Medicine, and more recently as a research administrator at the American Association for Cancer Research and at the Abramson Cancer Center.

Steven Pessagno, Alliance Director & Head of CoE Operations, Alliance Management Worldwide Bus Dev, GlaxoSmithKline

Steve Pessagno currently works for GSK in its Worldwide Business Development group where he: (a) manages a portfolio of strategic alliances focused on developing new medicines for patients with cancer and HIV, (b) leads the group’s Center of Excellence for Alliance Management, and (c) works on large-scale acquisition and divestiture teams. Steve has held a variety of commercial and business development roles at GSK in his 18 years there, including Sales, Marketing, Commercial Operations, and New Product Planning. In 2011, Steve participated in GSK’s PULSE volunteer partnership and leadership development program through which he worked at Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, a leading pediatric cancer philanthropy based in the Philadelphia area for 6 months. During his PULSE assignment, Steve worked with leaders from across the childhood cancer community to create a business plan to launch a collaborative across various stakeholder groups that share the mission of improving the lives of childhood cancer patients and their families as well as discovering cures for pediatric cancers. The project led to the founding of the Coalition Against Childhood Cancer (referred to as CAC2), a 501c3 nonprofit organization with over 130 dues-paying members; Steve is the Treasurer of CAC2 and sits on its Board of Directors. Before working in the pharmaceutical industry, Steve worked in medical publishing in New York City. Born in Baltimore, he completed his undergraduate studies in 1992 at the University of Pennsylvania, where he majored in Communications. He obtained an MBA from the University of Michigan in 1998.

Mark Ralph, Executive Director & Global Head, Contracts & Alliance Management, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Mark Ralph is a member of Boehringer Ingelheim’s Business Development and Licensing team, responsible for leading contract negotiations and alliance management of collaborations with academic partners and enabling technology companies. Mark has over 10 years of experience identifying, evaluating and executing relationships with strategic outsourcing, biotechnology and academic partners.  In addition, Mark has held strategic roles in the planning and management of budgets in the marketing and discovery research organizations. 

Timothy Salfi, Leader, US Business Development, Merck

Christopher Salvatore, Director, Strategic Alliances, Global Project & Alliance Management, Merck

Ben Siddall, Partner, Vantage Partners

Ben Siddall is a partner at Vantage Partners, LLC, and a member of the firm's sales advisory and alliances practices. Ben works primarily with customer-facing groups to achieve breakthrough results by building deeper relationships with their internal and external stakeholders, identifying new forms of value, and negotiating more effective agreements with customers and between partners. Ben has worked with sales and alliance organizations in numerous industries, with a particular focus on pharmaceutical, medical device, healthcare, and information technology. Ben regularly works with pharmaceutical companies to enhance their market access effectiveness. This work includes leading negotiation, stakeholder engagement, and collaboration workshops; helping develop customized negotiation support and execution tools; supporting product-specific mock negotiations; and supporting identification and execution of local and global partnerships to support product launches. During his career at Vantage Partners Ben has contributed to a number of Vantage Partners publications, including the Customer-Supplier Negotiation Study and Extreme Negotiations with Customers. Ben also regularly speaks at conferences on market access negotiation, collaborating with customers, and cross-industry partnerships. Prior to joining Vantage, Ben led business development and partnership outreach at a start-up technology company in Boston, Massachusetts. He also worked as a lawyer at Covington & Burling in Washington D.C., and as an economic consultant. Ben received his JD from Georgetown University Law Center and his BA in political science from Boston University.

Emer Smyth, PhD, Director, Cancer Research Alliances, Assistant Dean for Cancer Research, Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, Columbia University

Emer Smyth, PhD, joined the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center (HICCC) at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) in November 2016 as director of cancer research alliances and assistant dean for cancer research. Born and raised in Ireland, Smyth received her Bachelor’s Degree in Science and PhD in Pharmacology from the National University of Ireland’s University College Dublin. Before coming to HICCC, Smyth worked at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) as director of the Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) translational research grant programs where she managed the administration and scientific review and oversight of US and international “Dream Team” multimillion dollar grants, as well as other funding models. She provided scientific administrative and communications support to SU2C and their funding partners, as well as SU2C scientists and Scientific Advisory Committees, across all phases of program launch, evaluation, selection, and post-award review. Prior to her time with the AACR, Smyth was a research associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania, where her group investigated a family of inflammatory lipid mediators in breast cancer and vascular disease. She has contributed close to 50 peer-reviewed research publications, scholarly reviews, and chapters over the course of her career thus far. At the HICCC, Smyth manages and directs the operations that establish, enable, and support the discovery efforts of the Celgene Cancer Drug Discovery Consortium. More broadly, she enhances the scope and impact of cancer research at Columbia by supporting development of large scale funding programs in cancer research and increasing awareness of CUMC’s cancer research and care programs, within and beyond Columbia. As a faculty member in the Department of Pathology and Cell Biology, Emer contribute to mentorship and enhances and supports the department’s goals for research and education.

Mary Jo Struttmann, Executive Director, Alliance Management, Astellas

Mary Jo Struttmann, MBA, CA-AM is Executive Director, Alliance Management at Astellas Pharma, Inc.  Mary Jo is responsible for establishing and maintaining major development and commercial alliances.  Mary Jo led the formalization of Astella’s Alliance Management model, including the development and implementation of processes and tools for effective alliance management. Mary Jo has established and managed highly successful alliances working with key partners such as Medivation, Boehringer Ingelheim, GlaxoSmithKline and Roche. Prior to joining Astellas, Mary Jo held various leadership positions in Managed Care, Sales, Marketing & Business Development within DuPont Pharmaceutical and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Jan Twombly, CSAP, President, The Rhythm of Business

For nearly 20 years Twombly has served as a trusted, expert advisor to global and emerging companies. She works as an extension of the partnering and alliance management team, helping them develop their ability to accelerate outcomes from partnering and alliances. Partnering with the executive suite, she helps companies reach higher levels of alliance success by integrating partnering into all aspects of the business. A few of the many companies she has worked with include Abbott, Astellas, AT&T, Bayer, Becton Dickinson, Biogen, Boehringer Ingelheim, Colgate-Palmolive, Dun & Bradstreet, EMC, Equifax, FIS, IBM, Intel, Novartis, Sanofi, Shire, and Xerox. Twombly serves on the executive and management committee of the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals (ASAP). She is editorial advisor to ASAP Media, which publishes Strategic Alliance Magazine, and contributed to The ASAP Handbook of Alliance Management. Together with business partner Jeffrey Shuman, Twombly has a rich history of developing, publishing, and presenting strategic and practical thinking that advances the art and science of partnering and alliance management.

Doug Wilson, PhD, Director, Alliance Management, Business Development, GSK

Dr. Wilson has worked in the pharmaceutical industry for 24 years (all with GlaxoSmithKline) in the areas of clinical pharmacology, project management and leadership, and currently, in alliance management which he has been doing for 10 years.  Dr. Wilson has managed a wide variety of high value, high risk and high complexity alliances from target discovery to commercialization and across numerous therapeutic areas. Prior to joining the pharmaceutical industry, Dr. Wilson was a licensed pharmacist and worked at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia as a clinical pharmacist in pharmacokinetics. His primary hobbies are playing golf and piano. 


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