Scientific Advisory Board
President/CEO of On-Q-ity
Mara Aspinall is President and CEO of On-Q-ity, Inc., an innovative diagnostics company dedicated to improving the treatment of individual cancer patients through real time, non-invasive monitoring to better target therapy and improve patients' quality of life. Previously, Mara was President of Genzyme Genetics, a leading provider of testing services in the oncology and reproductive markets. Under her leadership, the company set the standard for industry quality, exhibiting profitable growth at an unprecedented pace. She transformed the business, expanding its scope and market reach to become one of the nation's largest diagnostic laboratories. The company successfully completed and integrated multiple acquisitions, expanded research and development, launched more than two dozen new products and initiated new programs for community outreach and education during her tenure. Mara has been on the Board of Predictive Biosciences since its inception, serving as Chairman for the past year. She is also a Board member of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, and is appointed as Lecturer in Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School where each year, she teaches a seminar series on medicine and business. During 2008, Mara was on sabbatical from Genzyme working at the Medical School and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute on the implementation of personalized medicine into physician education, clinical practice and research. She is an active member of the Federal Secretary of Health and Human Services' Advisory Commission on Genetics, Health and Society as well as Board Director of the Personalized Medicine Coalition. She co-authored, "Realizing the Promise of Personalized Medicine" in Harvard Business Review in 2007. Mara began her business career at Bain & Company, an international strategic consulting firm She earned her Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School and her undergraduate degree in International relations from Tufts University.
Consultant, Clearview Healthcare Partners
Steve Chao joins ClearView Healthcare Partners from Leerink Swann Strategic Advisors, where he was a Vice President. In that role, he led therapeutic area, clinical development, and product launch strategy initiatives, as well as due diligence and asset search engagements. He joined Leerink Swann in 2004 from McKinsey and Company, where he led strategic engagements in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, payer, and provider industries. He received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School and his Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Harvard Medical School. He has published over 20 articles and led neuroscience research in the laboratories of Dr. Lawrence Benowitz and Dr. Jonathan Seidman. He graduated summa cum laude with his B.A. in Biochemistry from Harvard College.
President, Cambridge BioPartners
Pearl Freier is President of Cambridge BioPartners, Inc., a strategic advisory firm specializing in targeted search and business development services for the biopharmaceutical and healthcare technology industries. The firm’s methodologies have been used as best practices for several industry groups throughout North America over the years. Pearl has been quoted in publications including BIO-IT World, The Boston Globe, Nature, The Philadelphia Inquirer and Science and has served the biopharmaceutical and healthcare technology industries for over 10 years.
Vice President of Research, Vertex
Dr. Namchuk received his BSc with honours in Chemistry from the University of Alberta. He then studied Bio-Organic Chemistry with Steve Withers at the University of British Columbia, where he received his Ph.D. Upon completion of his graduate work, Dr. Namchuk moved to California where he was a HFSP Fellow at UCSF studying auto-antigens associated with Type I diabetes. In 1996, he accepted a position with Cubist Pharmaceuticals as the head of the Enzymology group. At Cubist, he built a group responsible for assay development and enzyme QC for screening and counter screening purposes. In January of 1998, Dr. Namchuk joined Vertex Pharmaceuticals. He has held several positions at Vertex, including the Head of High Throughput Screening and the Worldwide Head of research for the Vertex/ Novartis Kinase Program. In this capacity, he has lead numerous drug discovery programs that focused mainly in the areas of infectious disease, inflammation and oncology. In 2005, Dr. Namchuk took on his current role as Vice President of Research for Vertex in Cambridge.
CEO, Diagnostics For All
Research Professor of Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine
Dr. Ryan is the current CEO of Diagnostics For All and was formerly the President and CEO of AVANT Immunotherapeutics, Inc., a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company developing vaccines. Dr. Ryan is also Research Professor of Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine and serves on its Board of Visitors. She serves on a number of boards including Waltham Technologies Inc., AMRI Global, IQuum, the Business Advisory Board of BIO Ventures for Global Health, the Scientific Advisory Board of Genocea, Inc.
Dr. Ryan holds a Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from Cambridge University and an Honorary Doctor of Science Degree from Bristol University in 2009. She was a Howard Hughes Investigator, NIH MERIT Awardee and an Established Investigator of the American Heart Association.
Diagnostics for All is a Cambridge based non-profit enterprise fusing biotechnology and microfluidics, dedicated to creating low-cost, easy-to-use, point-of-care diagnostics designed specifically for the 60% of the developing world that lives beyond the reach of urban hospitals and medical infrastructures. Professor George Whitesides and his team at Harvard University have pioneered the technology underlying the devices.
Joint Professor at Harvard Business School and the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at Harvard University
Vicki L. Sato, Ph.D, is Professor of Management Practice at Harvard Business School, and also Professor of the Practice in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, Harvard University. She also teaches in HBS Executive Education programs. She is a business advisor to Atlas Ventures and other enterprises in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. Dr. Sato retired in 2005 from Vertex Pharmaceuticals, where she served as President since 2000, with responsibility for research and development, business and corporate development, commercial operations, legal, and finance. Prior to becoming President, she was Chief Scientific Officer, Senior Vice President of Research and Development, and Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board. Under her leadership, Vertex created a diversified pipeline of drugs, including two HIV protease inhibitors approved and marketed by GlaxoSmithKline, an oral protease inhibitor (VX 950) for the treatment of hepatitis C, now in late clinical development, two anti-inflammatory drug candidates in clinical development, a novel molecule for the treatment of cystic fibrosis now in Phase I clinical testing, and two kinase inhibitors being for the treatment of cancers. In addition, a new molecule for the management of pain has been recently licensed to GlaxoSmithKline. Before joining Vertex, Dr. Sato was Vice President of Research at Biogen, Inc, where she led research programs in the areas of inflammation, thrombosis, and HIV disease, and participated in the executive management of the company. Several molecules from those programs have now reached the marketplace. She also served as a member of the Biogen Scientific Board. Currently, Dr. Sato is a member of the Board of Directors of publicly held companies Bristol Myers Squibb Company, PerkinElmer Corporation, and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals. She is also Chair of the Overseers of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, a founding member of the Board of Scientific Counselors of the Broad Institute, and a board member of Prize4Life, a non-profit organization focussed on finding cures for ALS, founded by HBS alumnus Avichai Kremer. Dr. Sato received her AB from Radcliffe College, and her AM and PhD degrees from Harvard University. Following postdoctoral work at both the University of California Berkeley and Stanford Medical Center, Dr. Sato was appointed to the faculty of Harvard University, where she was an Assistant and Associate Professor of Biology.