Matthias Adler joined Autolus as SVP, Chief Business Officer and Company Secretary in July 2017. Previously, he served as the Executive Vice President, Business Development and Licensing, of Sucampo Pharmaceuticals Inc. from October 2014 to March 2017, and as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of the company from May 2015 to June 2017. During his tenure at Sucampo, Matthias established a late stage development pipeline in orphan and rare diseases through acquisitions and strategic collaborations. Prior to joining Sucampo, he served as Executive Vice President of Corporate Development and Legal Affairs and Corporate Secretary at Cytos Biotechnology AG, a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of targeted immunotherapies, from 2013 to October 2014. From 2006 to 2012, Matthias held various executive management roles at Micromet, Inc., serving as Senior Vice President Administration, General Counsel and Secretary at the time of the acquisition or Micromet by Amgen in 2012. Earlier in his career Matthias was a partner in the Life Sciences Transactions Practice at Cooley LLP from 2000 to 2006, after joining the firm as an associate in 1997 from Novartis, where he was in-house counsel for its pharmaceutical business. Matthias holds law degrees from the University of Basel and the University of Miami and is qualified to practice law in Switzerland and the United States.
Gayatri Varma is Director of Partnering & Strategy at AstraZeneca where she leads business
development activities focused on respiratory biologics. She engages in partnering activities including
with industry, academia and government.
Prior to joining AstraZeneca, Gayatri was the Executive Director of the Office of Technology
Commercialization at the University of Maryland. There she oversaw the licensing and patenting
activities and was involved in developing and amending policies, as well as initiating new programs. She
started her career at the University of Maryland as a licensing associate in the life sciences.
Gayatri serves as a Board of Directors for AUTM and is on the Life Sciences Sector Leadership committee
Neil J. Weissman, MD, FACC, FASE, is the Chief Scientific Officer for MedStar Health and President
of MedStar Health Research Institute. Dr. Weissman is a professor of medicine at Georgetown
University School of Medicine and an internationally recognized cardiologist with expertise in
echocardiography and clinical trials.
As chief scientific officer, he provides leadership for the development and implementation of specific
scientific priorities, with a commitment to further advancing MedStar Health as an academic
healthcare system. As president of the Research Institute, he is responsible for the overall strategic
and operational direction of the research arm of MedStar Health.
Dr. Weissman’s research interests include the use of cardiovascular ultrasound imaging in clinical
trials on valvular heart disease, prosthetic heart valves, and intravascular therapeutics. He has served
as principal investigator for numerous national and international multi-center trials served on several
national organizations and editorial boards and written hundreds of original reports published in high
profile peer-reviewed journals. He is frequently invited to serve as an expert on U.S. Food and Drug
Administration advisory panels and National Institutes of Health commissions and held many national
leadership positions including past president of the American Society of Echocardiography and past
chair of the American College of Cardiology’s Imaging Council.
Dr. Weissman received his medical degree from Cornell University Medical College in New
York. He completed his internship, residency and chief residency in Internal Medicine at New
York Hospital. He followed his residency training with a clinical and research fellowship in
Cardiology and a fellowship in Cardiac Ultrasound at Massachusetts General Hospital in
Phillip Singerman is the Associate Director for Innovation and Industry Services at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). He has appointed to this position in January 2011, after a 35-year career in tech based economic development. In this capacity he is responsible for the NIST suite of technology partnership, quality, and advanced manufacturing programs, including the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership, the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, the Office of Advanced Manufacturing, the Technology Partnership Program and other extramural activities.
Mr. Singerman currently serves as the U. S. Co-Chair of the Israel–U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development “BIRD” Foundation, the widely emulated 40-year-old program that promotes innovate R&D activities, and on the recently established U.S.–India Science & Technology Endowment Board. He also served on the Stakeholders Council of the Advanced Functional Fabrics of America, one of the 14 Manufacturing USA Innovation Institutes.
Eric Risser has over 20 years of business development, strategy and portfolio management experience across both small biotechnology and large pharmaceutical companies. During his career, he has led multiple major transactions in the pharmaceuticals area, including company acquisitions, divestments, equity financings, product licenses and research collaborations. He currently leads the business development, program management and new product planning functions at MacroGenics, and was responsible for the execution of MacroGenics’ partnerships with Roche, Incyte, Janssen, Takeda, Gilead, Servier, Pfizer and Boehringer Ingelheim. Prior to joining MacroGenics, he served as Executive Director, Business Development at Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceuticals, which he joined in 2003. Before Johnson & Johnson, Mr. Risser started and built a successful consulting practice that provided counsel to emerging life science companies in the United States and Europe. He has also worked as a venture capitalist with BankAmerica Ventures and as an investment banker with Lehman Brothers, where he began his career in their New York and London offices. Mr. Risser holds an M.B.A. from Stanford University and a B.A. from Yale University.
Lili Portilla has worked in the area of strategic alliances at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), since 1989. She has extensive expertise in negotiating and developing commercialization strategies for complex, and multi-party collaborations and public private partnerships. Since December of 2011, Ms. Portilla has been serving as the Director of the Office of Strategic Alliances at the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) at the NIH. NCATS is the newest Center at the NIH focusing on the transformation of the translational science process so that new treatments and cures for disease can be delivered to patients faster. She oversees the Center’s partnership, strategic alliance, and technology transfer functions as well as the Program Director for the NCATS SBIR and STTR grant and contract programs.
Prior to NCATS, Ms. Portilla served as the Senior Advisor to the Director of the National Center for Research Resources and was also the Director of the National, Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, Office of Technology Transfer and Development. Ms. Portilla has also published several papers on pubic private partnerships. She received a Masters in Public Administration in 1992 from American University and a Bachelor in Business Administration in Finance in 1986 from Stephen F. Austin State University.
Ken Mills is the founding President and Chief Executive Officer of REGENXBIO. Prior to REGENXBIO, Mr. Mills was the Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Business Development at Meso Scale Diagnostics, a privately held life sciences company. There, he served as a member of the founding management team, and worked to establish the company’s operations and ongoing business strategy. In this position, Mr. Mills supervised all company activities, including direct management of corporate and business development, strategic planning, finance and accounting activities. Prior to Meso Scale Diagnostics, he was Director of Business Development for IGEN International, a medical diagnostics company. Mr. Mills received an S.B. in chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Locascio previously worked at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, MD, rising from a research biomedical engineer to senior leadership positions, including, most recently, Acting Principal Deputy Director and Associate Director for Laboratory Programs, providing leadership and operational guidance for NIST’s seven scientific and mission-focused laboratories.
Locascio’s most recent honors and awards include the 2017 American Chemical Society Earle B. Barnes Award for Leadership in Chemical Research Management, and the 2017 Washington Academy of Sciences Special Award in Scientific Leadership. She has published 115 scientific papers and holds 11 patents in the fields of bioengineering and analytical chemistry. Her honors and awards include the US Department of Commerce Silver Medal, US Department of Commerce Bronze Medal Award, ACS Division of Analytical Chemistry Arthur F. Findeis Award, and the NIST Applied Research Award. She is a Fellow of the American Chemical Society (ACS) and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE).
Mr. Kramer serves as the president and chief executive officer and a member of the board of directors of Emergent BioSolutions, a global life sciences company that provides specialty products that address public health threats. Mr. Kramer was appointed CEO effective April 2019 after serving as president and chief operating officer since March 2018. Mr. Kramer served as executive vice president and chief financial officer from September 2012. Mr. Kramer first joined Emergent in 1999 as its CFO. From 1999 until his retirement in 2010, he held various executive positions with the last being president of Emergent Biodefense Operations Lansing. Mr. Kramer returned to the company in 2011 as the interim head of the biosciences division, and then as interim executive vice president, corporate services division.
Prior to joining Emergent in 1999, Mr. Kramer held various financial management positions at Pharmacia Corporation, which subsequently merged with the Upjohn Company in 1995 and eventually became part of Pfizer Inc.
Mr. Kramer received an M.B.A. from Western Kentucky University and a B.S. in industrial management from Clemson University.
Dr. Kalayoglu is co-founder and CEO of Cartesian Therapeutics, a clinical-stage cell and gene therapy company headquartered in Gaithersburg. Prior to Cartesian, Dr. Kalayoglu was co-founder and CEO of Topokine, which he led from concept to late-stage clinical trials, followed by a successful sale to Allergan (NYSE:AGN). Dr. Kalayoglu was also co-founder and COO of HealthHonors Corporation, which he led from concept to commercialization, followed by a successful sale to Healthways (NASDAQ:HWAY). Dr. Kalayoglu is a board-certified ophthalmologist who completed his residency and research Fellowship at Harvard, MD/PhD in immunology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management.