Partnering Model for Sustainable Funding

The Plenary Keynote Program panel is designed to discuss partnering between various stake holders such as drug discovery startups, VC firms, large pharmaceutical companies and academic labs in order to advance new target discovery and preclinical research. VC companies, and pharma search & evaluation departments will be represented on the panel.

Jens Eckstein, PhD, President, SR One

Barbara K. Sosnowski, PhD, Vice President and Global Head, External R&D Innovation, Pharmatherapeutics and WRD External Partnerships, Pfizer, Inc.

 Kevin_BittermanKevin Bitterman, PhD, Partner, Atlas Venture

 Vivian_BerlinVivian Berlin, PhD, Director of Business Development, Life Sciences, Office of Technology Development, Harvard University

Plenary Technology Panel
Advancing Innovation in Drug Discovery and Translational Research

 Ashley_KarkAshley Rae Kark, MBS, Director, Corporate Relations,

Other panelists to be Announced

This year's Plenary Technology Panel features a group of technical experts from life science technology and service companies, who share their perspectives on various trends and tools that will likely change the way in which we traditionally approach preclinical drug discovery and development. Attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions and understand the impact of recent technical advances.

Sponsorship Opportunities Available

Speaker Biographies:

Ashley Rae Kark, MBS, Director, Corporate Relations,
Ashley Rae Kark holds a Bachelor's in Cell and Molecular Biology from Montclair State University and a Master's of Business and Science in Drug Discovery and Development from Rutgers University. After 4 years as a university researcher, Ashley entered into the business side of science as an entrepreneur and organizer. She joined in 2017 after offering CRO services on the marketplace for several years.

Barbara K. Sosnowski, PhD, Vice President and Global Head, External R&D Innovation, Pharmatherapeutics and WRD External Partnerships, Pfizer, Inc.
Barbara Sosnowski is Vice President and Global Head, External R&D Innovation Pharmatherapeutics and WRD External Partnerships. As part of the Pharmatherapeutics team, Barbara is the cluster lead for Cardiovascular Metabolic and Inflammation and Immunology Research Units for externally focused efforts. Dr. Sosnowski has more than 30 years in the health care industry. Prior to joining Pfizer 6 years ago, Barbara was Vice President, Biologics Development of Cardium Therapeutics and was appointed Chief Operating Officer of Tissue Repair Company following Cardium's acquisition of Tissue Repair Company in August 2006. Prior to the acquisition, Dr. Sosnowski served as President and CEO of Tissue Repair Company. From June 2001 to December 2004 she served as Vice President Research and Development of Selective Genetics Inc. a tissue repair company that developed wound repair, orthopedic and cardiovascular products. At Selective Genetics, she co-invented and helped develop the targeted gene therapy program, both viral and non-viral. Prior to Selective Genetics she was employed by Prizm Pharmaceuticals from October 1992. Prior to joining Prizm, Dr. Sosnowski was at Ligand Pharmaceuticals, where her efforts were focused on identification of small molecule inhibitors of osteoporosis. Dr. Sosnowski received her BA in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Berkeley and PhD in Biological Sciences from Johns Hopkins University. She is also a registered patent agent.

Jens Eckstein, PhD, President, SR One
Jens Eckstein is President of SR One, the corporate venture capital arm of GlaxoSmithKline. He joined SR One from TVM Capital where he was last a venture partner, entrepreneur-in-residence and appointed CEO and president of SelectX Pharmaceuticals. Prior to that, he was a general partner in TVM's Boston life sciences practice where he focused on earlier-stage investments. Jens was the founder of Akikoa Pharmaceuticals, a biotechnology start-up company focusing on hearing loss, and North Haven Systems, a life science IT company. Prior to joining TVM Capital, he led drug discovery programs at Enanta Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Mitotix, Inc. Jens is currently chairman of the board of directors of Thrasos Therapeutics, and a director at Palleon Pharma, Decibel Therapeutics, ZappRx, Gladius Pharmaceuticals, and BioHealth Innovation (BHI). He was previously a member of the board of directors for Alios Biosciences, CoNCERT Pharmaceuticals, Enanta Pharmaceuticals, SelectX Pharmaceuticals, Rapid Micro Biosystems, Anchor Therapeutics, and an advisor and board observer to Sirtris Pharmaceuticals. He is the author of multiple scientific publications and holds several issued and pending patents. As a Kauffman Fellow and angel investor Jens enjoys mentoring young entrepreneurs. Jens lives with his family in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Vivian Berlin, PhD, Director of Business Development, Life Sciences, Office of Technology Development, Harvard University
Vivian joined OTD in 2008. Prior to joining Harvard, over the last 17 years, Vivian held positions in research management and business development at Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Mitotix and GPC Biotech. She has led multiple R&D programs, advanced programs from discovery to late pre-clinical development, and helped to establish proprietary positions in several therapeutic areas. She has also been a strategic consultant to several life science companies and investor groups. Vivian holds an M.S. from the Harvard School of Public Health, a Ph.D. from Stanford University, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research.

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