The Healthcare Technology Report is pleased to announce The Top 25 Women Leaders in Biotechnology of 2023. Despite ongoing challenges for biotech stocks, the industry is experiencing a notable surge in talented leaders. Among these leaders, women have played an increasingly pivotal role extending beyond the laboratory, influencing corporate strategies, and shaping global health initiatives while driving innovation that has tangible, real-world impacts. The women featured on this list stand as a driving force, ensuring diverse perspectives on scientific breakthroughs and groundbreaking therapies. Their achievements serve as inspiration, paving the way for future generations of women leaders in biotech to continue shaping the future of healthcare.
Some of the elite leaders on this year’s list include Michele Stone, the Chief Scientific Officer at Kriya, a biopharmaceutical company that aims to develop life-changing gene therapies to treat diseases impacting millions of people around the world. Another notable honoree, Tiffany Freitas, Chief Operating Officer at PathAI, brings a wealth of experience from her tenure at the Walt Disney Company's Interactive Division, playing key roles in strategy, M&A, and driving substantial revenue growth, ultimately contributing to the division's profitability. Additionally, Jennifer Low joined 23andMe as Head of Therapeutics Development where she currently oversees the transition of potential therapeutics from its research laboratories into clinical development studies.
We commend these individuals for their commitment to the organizations they serve. Please join us in celebrating The Top 25 Women Leaders in Biotechnology of 2023.
1. Dr. Paola Arbour
Company: Tenet Healthcare
Title: Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer
Paola Arbour serves as Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer for Tenet Healthcare. In this role, she oversees the leadership and strategic direction for Tenet’s IT systems and identifies opportunities to support the company’s expansive care network through the application of digital technology, data analytics, automation, and customer experience. Arbour has over 35 years of experience leading and transforming IT organizations. Prior to joining Tenet, she served in VP and President roles at ServiceNow and ProV International. At ServiceNow, she led the agile implementation of the company’s platform for enterprise customers worldwide. During her tenure at ProV, she built a customer-facing sales and delivery team of consultants and technical architects specializing in agile implementations and solutions.
Earlier in her career, Arbour served as VP of service delivery at Dell Services, where she was responsible for global service delivery and customer experience with $1 billion in fiscal management. Prior to Dell, Arbour spent 24 years at Electronic Data Systems in several leadership roles within IT operations in various locations in the US and Europe. Her responsibilities included customer service, account management, technical operations and senior positions in global delivery and enterprise accounts including General Motors and the Navy Marine Corps. Arbour is on the BoD for Texas Capital Bancshares. In addition, she is a governing board member of both Technology Business Management and Evanta organizations and is an active member of the customer advisory boards for HCL and Netskope. Arbour has a BS in Telecommunications Arts and Sciences from Michigan State University and holds executive degrees from the London Business School and Columbia University.
2. Patricia Ryan
Title: Senior Director and Chief Information Security Officer
Patty Ryan is QuidelOrtho’s Chief Information Security Officer. She is responsible for defining the firm’s global Information Security strategy, roadmap and operating infrastructure. Partnering globally with IT, Compliance, Commercial, Regulatory, Legal, Quality, R&D and Operations leadership, she ensures that all Information Security controls operate effectively and efficiently, that staff are aware of their responsibility to protect client and proprietary information, and that the security team defines and manages information risk appropriately.
Ryan is the force behind new cybersecurity technologies that identify threats to prevent attacks from occurring. She advocates for cybersecurity and its challenges in the healthcare context, creates awareness for security breaches of donor or patient data that could impact labs or hospitals, and is vigilant about how cybersecurity changes over the years. Ryan is also a participant in QuidelOrtho Women’s Leadership Network (QWLN) and extends her personal experience and knowledge working in environments where women can put themselves forward to learn, grow and own their careers.
Ryan joined QuidelOrtho in April 2018, and has over 30 years of IT experience, over half of that in Information Security executive positions. She has worked in financial services (Bankers Trust, Citi, CitiStreet), life sciences (Johnson & Johnson) and legal (Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen and Loewy LLP) and brings a wide range of experience to QuidelOrtho. She holds a BA in Economics from Columbia College, Columbia University and an Executive MBA from the Stern School of Business at New York University.
3. Cindy Reiss-Clark
Company: West Pharmaceutical Services
Title: Chief Commercial Officer
Cindy Reiss-Clark is the Chief Commercial Officer at West Pharmaceutical Services, a leading provider of innovative, high-quality injectable solutions and services. She joined the company as a VP and GM of Global Biologics. From there, she became SVP of Market Units and Commercial Solutions. As a trusted partner to established and emerging drug developers, the company helps ensure the safe, effective containment and delivery of life-saving and life-enhancing medicines for patients. With approximately 10,000 team members across 50 sites worldwide, West helps support its customers by delivering over 45 billion components and devices each year.
Reiss-Clark has been fueling growth in the life science industry for over 15 years. These days, she specializes in market-led offer strategies and leveraging data to quantify real value measures to solve business challenges. She aims to help connect people and educate them about transparency through understanding, problem-solving, and accountability. Before joining West, Reiss-Clark was an SVP of global marketing at Lonza Pharma & Biotech and a VP of global sales at SAFC. She graduated from The University of Kansas with an undergraduate degree in biochemistry.
4. Leslie Orne
Company: Trinity Life Sciences
Title: President and Chief Executive Officer
Leslie Orne, President and CEO of Trinity Life Sciences, is a singular force for change in the life science industry. Her passion for science and her understanding of what it takes to transform scientific discovery into commercially successful, life-changing therapies have enabled her to make data-driven and evidence-based decisions that bring maximum value to Trinity Life Sciences, its clients and the patients that life science industry seeks to serve.
Starting at Trinity over two decades ago, Orne has been a leading force in growing the company from a respected boutique consultancy into an industry powerhouse. Trinity advises clients on driving effective corporate strategy development, insightful pre-commercial planning and commercial execution. Through Trinity’s mantra, every decision impacts a life, and Orne’s leadership, the company brings the right data, analysis and evidence together to enable decision-making across commercialization priorities. Orne graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Dartmouth College with a BS in Biology.
5. Brinda Balakrishnan, MD, PhD
Company: BioMarin Pharmaceutical
Title: Chief Business Development Officer
Brinda Balakrishnan, MD, PhD, joined BioMarin in early 2016 and currently serves as the Chief Business Development Officer. Dr. Balakrishnan leads the company’s initiatives on corporate strategy, M&As, and licensing. BioMarin is a global biotechnology company dedicated to transforming lives through genetic discovery. The company develops and commercializes targeted therapies that address the root cause of the genetic conditions that it seeks to treat, helping to better the lives of those struggling with rare genetic diseases. In addition, Dr. Balakrishnan serves as Executive Leader Liaison to the BioMarin Working Parents Community Resource Group.
Before joining BioMarin, Dr. Balakrishnan was the Co-Founder and VP of Corporate Strategy and Product Development at Vision Medicines, a start-up focused on developing treatments for rare ophthalmic diseases. In that role, she was responsible for in-licensing assets from big pharma and academia, fundraising, and advancing a program for the treatment of Stargardt Disease. Before Vision Medicines, she spent two years as a Consultant at McKinsey & Company in the healthcare practice, serving clients across small biotech, large pharma, and provider groups on topics relating to corporate strategy, corporate and business development, and operations. Prior to McKinsey, Dr. Balakrishnan was in BD at Genzyme. She earned a BS from MIT in chemical engineering and a PhD from MIT in biomedical engineering and chemical engineering. She also earned an MD from Harvard Medical School and conducted her medical training in internal medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, a Harvard hospital.
6. Anna Lucsok
Company: Zynex Medical
Title: Chief Operating Officer
Anna Lucsok currently serves as Chief Operating Officer for Zynex Medical. Founded in 1996, Zynex markets and sells its own design of electrotherapy medical devices used for pain management and rehabilitation. The company's proprietary NeuroMove device is designed to help the recovery of stroke and spinal cord injury patients. Zynex has also developed a blood volume monitor for use in hospitals and surgery centers.
Previously, Lucsok served as VP of Reimbursement and Sales Operations with Zynex. In this position, she was responsible for leading and expanding Zynex's order, reimbursement, patient experience, and inside sales support operations. During her tenure, each of these teams consistently achieved quarterly targets while also expanding in size. Lucsok brings more than nine years of healthcare operations experience as well as critical knowledge of revenue cycle management and medical care collections. She has been involved in various operations positions as well as management positions with Zynex since her start in 2018, including serving as Billing Manager. She previously held key positions with various institutions such as the University of Colorado Hospital, the US Air Force based in Germany and Japan, and Schryver Medical. Lucsok holds a certification in medical billing and earned her BS in healthcare administration and management from Colorado State University.
7. Marica Grskovic
Title: Chief Operations Officer
Dr. Marica Grskovic, Chief Operations Officer at CareDx, brings over two decades of profound expertise to the biotechnology arena. Her exceptional leadership, extensive management experience, and scientific acumen have been instrumental over the past decade at CareDx, where she currently oversees global lab operations, facilities, and regulatory affairs. Grskovic's ability to take on progressively substantial responsibilities is evident, reporting directly to the CEO and spearheading strategy and operations within the emerging Cell Transplant Therapy unit and Pharma Partnerships.
Grskovic's early career achievements include a crucial leadership role in developing AlloSure, a groundbreaking cell-free DNA test meticulously validated for transplant patients. Her visionary contributions extended to introducing AlloSure to kidney, heart, and lung transplant patients, marking significant milestones in the transplant industry. In 2023, Grskovic achieved a significant milestone by being selected for the Boardroom Ready Cohort, a recognition of her remarkable leadership, expertise, and unwavering commitment to patient welfare. Her established track record and exceptional leadership qualities affirm her status as a dynamic force in healthcare technology and product development at CareDx. Marica remains a key architect of CareDx's growth and a symbol of innovation and excellence in biotechnology.
8. Dr. Avni Santani
Title: Chief Genomics Officer
Dr. Avni Santani is the Chief Genomics Officer of LetsGetChecked, a global digital healthcare solutions company. She is responsible for the strategy, direction, and execution of the company’s genomics initiatives to enhance personalized healthcare. Prior to LetsGetChecked, Dr. Santani was the CMO at Veritas Genetics where she was responsible for its clinical development plans and medical affairs. Her expertise lies in developing a compelling product portfolio by leveraging the power of sequencing, informatics, and AI for rapid and effective disease diagnosis.
Previously, Dr. Santani served as the Director of Clinical Laboratories and Strategic Initiatives at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and was an Associate Professor of Pathology at the University of Pennsylvania. With over 17 years of experience at the forefront of clinical genomics, Dr. Santani is actively involved with the College of American Pathologists and the Association for Molecular Pathology, among other organizations. Dr. Santani holds a PhD in Genetics from Texas A&M University and is board-certified in clinical laboratory genetics and genomics by the American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ABMGG).
9. Natalie Welch
Title: Chief People Officer
Natalie Welch serves as Chief People Officer for PacBio. In her current role, Welch is responsible for leading PacBio’s overall human resources strategy, global talent management, organizational design, culture, and community development. Welch is a people-focused, results-driven executive with multiple decades of experience in diverse industries and geographies. Welch joined Pacific Biosciences in 2008 after a 15-year tenure with a hospitality company where she was responsible for people relations, talent planning, and learning and development initiatives.
During the last 12 years, Welch served in various roles of increasing responsibility in HR and Organizational Development for PacBio, building strong relationships to become a trusted partner with leadership, board teams, and employees across the company. Now, as Chief People Officer, she is changing the function, culture, and impact of HR across the company to support its business goals and strategy as well as the changing dynamics for employees working across the globe. Welch holds a BS degree in Psychology and post-graduate work in Counseling Psychology from The College of New Jersey.
10. Dr. Jennifer Christian
Company: Target RWE
Title: Chief Scientific Officer
As a pioneer and powerhouse in the field of epidemiology and real-world evidence, Dr. Jennifer Christian, PharmD, PhD, FISPE, is the Chief Scientific Officer at Target RWE. At Target RWE, Dr. Christian provides scientific oversight and leadership that focuses on generating meaningful, real-world evidence for regulators, clinicians, patients, and payers. During her 20+ year career, her research has focused on strengthening clinical effectiveness and safety evaluations of newly approved treatments through advanced epidemiology methods and novel study designs. She has published and edited numerous articles, including editor of AHRQ’s third edition of “21st Century Registries” book, and co-authored papers through the National Academy of Medicine, such as, “Generating Knowledge from Best Care: Advancing the Continuously Learning Health System.” Dr. Christian’s professional mission has been focused on improving the quality of health care and helping patients feel better through advancing a learning health system, where clinical medicine and clinical research are much more intertwined to help drive better clinical decisions for patients.
Dr. Christian is passionate about supporting and expanding the field of RWE. Among her many accolades, she is also a Fellow and VP of Finance for the International Society of Pharmacoepidemiology, an Anniversary Fellow of the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Medicine, a member of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute’s Clinical Trials Advisory Panel, a Co-Founder of the RWE Alliance, a member of the Duke Margolis RWE Methods Working Group, and an adjunct faculty member within the Division of Clinical Epidemiology and Evaluative Sciences Research at Weill Cornell Medical College. She holds a PharmD and an MPH in Epidemiology from UNC-Chapel Hill as well as a Doctorate of Epidemiology from Brown University.
11. Becky Buzzeo
Company: Maravai Life Sciences
Title: Chief Commercial Officer
Becky Buzzeo has over 20 years of commercial leadership experience with a strong background in translational science product development. Today, she is the Chief Commercial Officer of Maravai Life Sciences, a leading life sciences company providing critical products to enable the development of drug therapies, diagnostics, and novel vaccines and to support research on human diseases. Maravai’s companies are leaders in providing products and services in the fields of nucleic acid synthesis and biologics safety testing to many of the world's leading biopharmaceutical, vaccine, diagnostics, and cell and gene therapy companies.
Before joining Maravai, in 2022, she was the VP and GM for Advanced Therapies at Thermo Fisher Scientific, where she oversaw CDMO services for plasmid DNA, cell therapy, and mRNA. Prior to that, Buzzeo led commercial operations at Brammer Bio and held commercial roles of increasing responsibility at Patheon Biologics and Life Technologies before its acquisition by Thermo Fisher in 2014. She has extensive experience with business and commercial strategy development and holds a BS in biology from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania. She has played active roles in women’s organizations and established women’s employee networks and groups for the mentorship and advancement of women in the life sciences business.
12. Dr. Julie Chen
Company: Human Longevity
Title: Chief Medical Officer
Julie Chen, MD, is the Chief Medical Officer of Human Longevity. The company was founded in 2013 by Dr. Craig Venter as the first to sequence the whole human genome and to create the world’s most comprehensive database on human genotype and phenotype with extension into being the world’s leader in genomic precision medicine to revolutionize health care in recent years. Human Longevity is based in San Diego, CA, with locations in San Francisco, CA, and Beijing, China, with upcoming national and international expansion along with joint ventures with Massachusetts General Hospital as its co-branded partner. In her role, Dr. Chen has been integral in the development and growth of Human Longevity’s corporate protocols and structures enabling corporate expansion globally. She has led efforts to further advance healthcare technology innovations in its partnership programs.
Dr. Chen has a background in public health and has more than a decade of experience in clinical research at institutions such as National Institutes of Health and National Cancer Institute. She has been featured as a medical expert in numerous media outlets in print, radio, television, and online. She has been integral in developing corporate wellness programs in many Silicon Valley corporations and held numerous corporate leadership and advisory positions with a focus on products that empower people to manage their trajectory of aging. Her passion is in developing companies focused on longevity, preventive health care, and targeting early diagnosis of disease etiology.
13. Sulagna Bhattacharya
Company: Nanoscope Therapeutics
Title: Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder
Sulagna Bhattacharya is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Nanoscope Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing gene therapies for retinal degenerative diseases. She has decades of experience in management consulting at Deloitte and Hitachi Consulting with specialties in business intelligence and risk management. Her expertise includes market research, product and business development, planning budgeting, and forecasting.
Bhattacharya played a key role in seven full life cycle project implementations, including two multi-billion dollar mergers and acquisitions. She is a serial entrepreneur having co-founded several biotech and biomedical device/diagnostic companies. She has authored multiple publications and international patents.
14. Melika Davis
Title: Senior Vice President and Global Head of Clinical Operations
Melika Davis is the Senior Vice President and Global Head of Clinical Operations at BeiGene. She is an accomplished and highly experienced drug development professional leading a team of about 1,700 associates around the world who are responsible for planning and execution of all clinical trial activities at BeiGene, including trial management, country/site management, compliance, global clinical supply chain management, and innovative technologies. With a robust background of more than 25 years of experience in clinical research and quality assurance in development, Davis has been instrumental in designing and building successful global organizations. She has leveraged her expertise in operations to instill efficiency, reduce costs, build a culture of quality, set standards, and satisfy both external and internal customer’s needs. Davis is a result-driven and collaborative leader with proven success in clinical research management, monitoring, data transformation, and quality assurance. She has inspired teams to create innovative and effective operating models and systems that stand the test of time.
Over her career, Davis and her teams have brought 20+ products to the worldwide market in the last 10 years, mainly in oncology, vaccines, and anti-infectives, and she has managed a portfolio of up to 1,500 clinical trials a year. Prior to joining BeiGene, Davis held numerous positions at Novartis and Schering Plough Research Institute, with increasing responsibilities across the R&D organizations in oncology, transplant, anti-infective, respiratory, and vaccines. Davis has also been active in various clinical development professional associations with leadership roles in multiple committees and initiatives. Davis holds a master’s degree in molecular biology from Texas Woman’s University in Dallas, Texas and a License de Physiologie from the University of Sciences in Nice, France. In a recent article in MedNews titled “The girl who wanted to cure cancer,” Davis shared her journey and long-term vision, particularly in the pursuit of finding a cure for cancer.
15. Rachna Khosla
Senior Vice President and Head of Business Development
Rachna Khosla serves as a Senior Vice President and Head of Business Development at Amgen. Rachna leads a team that is responsible for all business development activities across Amgen, including mergers and acquisitions, licensing/collaborations, search and evaluation, alliance and integration management, Amgen Ventures, and strategy. She has been instrumental in shaping Amgen’s future to serve patients by bringing the best external innovation to Amgen and deployed over $50B in capital to external innovation. Rachna joined Amgen in 2013.
Rachna brings over 29 years of experience with a strategic mind-set for biotech and pharma deal-making. Earlier in her career, Rachna was a healthcare M&A banker at Lazard Freres & Co., Credit Suisse, JPMorgan, and Salomon Brothers. Rachna also spent 2.5 years at Aventis Capital, Aventis’ corporate venture capital arm, where she was a member of the investment committee and managed a portfolio of assets worth over a $1B. She has been involved with announced deals over $200B in total value. Rachna received her MBA from Columbia Business School and her BA in Economics from Barnard College, Columbia University. She also attended the London School of Economics for one year while at Barnard.
16. Dr. Ewa J. Kleczyk
Company: Target RWE
Title: Senior Vice President, Commercial Analytics and Data Curation
With two decades of dedicated service in healthcare analytics and operations, Ewa J. Kleczyk, PhD, stands as a beacon of excellence and innovation. As the Senior Vice President of Commercial Analytics & Data Curation at Target RWE, Dr. Kleczyk has helped pioneer cutting-edge real-world data solutions that are pivotal for drug development and commercialization in healthcare. Dr. Kleczyk is celebrated for her leadership, cultivating high-performing teams, and delivering innovative solutions throughout her career. A coveted speaker at many industry conferences and major events, she is a prolific contributor through publications and board memberships.
Dr. Kleczyk's passion for mentoring women in healthcare has earned her prestigious awards, including recognition from the Women in IT and Healthcare Businesswomen Associations, the title of Global Champion for Women in Healthcare Leadership, and the esteemed Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award. Engaged in community service, she serves on the Community Cancer Council as well as advocates for education as a respected University of Maine faculty member and Advisory Board Chairwoman. Previously, Dr. Kleczyk served as a VP of Advanced and Custom Analytics for Symphony Health, Icon. Holding a Doctorate degree in Agricultural & Applied Economics from Virginia Tech, her diverse background has significantly enriched her impactful contributions to the healthcare industry.
17. Shreya Jani
Title: SVP, Corporate Affairs
Shreya Jani joined BeiGene in 2021 and serves as Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs. In this role, she directs the global oncology company’s integrated approach to patient engagement and public health policy, social responsibility, along with colleague, leadership and digital communications, and media relations. Jani has a deep background in healthcare policy, as well as corporate and reputation communications, having worked in both public and private sector roles. She has applied this experience to build a full-service corporate affairs function that supports BeiGene’s founding vision of creating impactful medicines that are accessible to far more cancer patients around the world. This includes the creation of Corporate Social Responsibility and Global Patient Advocacy and Public Health practices, as well as the establishment of the BeiGene Foundation to improve access to quality healthcare, disaster relief, and community engagement.
In 2023, Jani led the creation and launch of BeiGene’s Global Health Equity initiative and built a partnership with the global non-profit Max Foundation to provide the company’s BTKi inhibitor, BRUKINSA, to help patients in 29 under-served countries gain access to this important treatment for chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Prior to joining BeiGene, Shreya worked at Pfizer, where she led Corporate Affairs for the vaccines, oncology, and consumer healthcare businesses, and counseled chief executives on communications, reputation, policy, and public affairs. At Pfizer, she served on the Corporate Affairs Leadership Team and supported the advancement of Asian colleagues as a founding member of the company’s Global Asian Alliance. Earlier in her career, Jani worked for non-profit organizations, including Margaret Sanger International and the World Health Organization in Geneva, where she focused on HIV/AIDS and reproductive health issues. She serves on the Board of the National Partnership of Women and Families and previously served as a David Rockefeller Fellow at the Partnership of NYC. She received a BA and MPH from New York University. Shreya lives in New York with her husband and three children.
18. Sarah McHatton
Company: Valent BioSciences
Title: Vice President, Global R&D & Regulatory Affairs
Sarah McHatton is the Vice President of Global Research and Development (R&D) and Regulatory Affairs at Valent BioSciences, a leading company in biorational products for agriculture, public health, and forest health. She directs the organization's R&D and regulatory activities, leveraging her expertise in microbiology and fermentation.
McHatton has a proven track record of guiding products from discovery to commercialization. Prior to Valent BioSciences, she held key roles, including Director of BioAg Applications Research and RTP Site Leader at Novozymes, and R&D Scientist at Dade Behring Microscan. McHatton holds a PhD and MS in Microbiology from the University of California, Davis, and an undergraduate degree in Biology from the University of Michigan.
19. Dr. Claribel Purcell (tie)
Company: Azenta Life Sciences
Title: Senior Vice President of Global Sales
Dr. Claribel Purcell joined Azenta Life Sciences as Senior Vice President of Global Sales in 2022, responsible for all global sales and sales operations. Azenta is a leading provider of life sciences solutions worldwide, enabling impactful breakthroughs and therapies to market faster. The company provides a full suite of reliable cold-chain sample management solutions and multiomics services across areas such as drug development, clinical research, and advanced cell therapies for the industry's top pharmaceutical, biotech, academic, and healthcare institutions globally.
Dr. Purcell joined Azenta after nearly ten years at Danaher, where she was most recently VP of Sales, Americas at Pall-FTAP. Prior to this role, she held a variety of leadership roles in Beckman Coulter Diagnostics, including VP and GM of Urinalysis. Dr. Purcell earned an MBA from Arizona State University and a PhD in Industrial Engineering from Texas A&M.
19. Tiffany Freitas (tie)
Title: Chief Operating Officer
Tiffany Freitas is the Chief Operating Officer at PathAI, a leading provider of AI-powered research tools and services for pathology. She is responsible for the business operations including business development, corporate strategy, and legal & compliance. During her time at PathAI, the company has grown by over 10x and completed a successful Series C led by top-tier investors, D1 Capital Partners and Kaiser Permanente.
Prior to PathAI, Freitas was the CFO at Vestmark and spent six years in the Interactive Division at the Walt Disney Company in a variety of leadership roles, including VP of Finance & Strategy. At Disney, her strategy and M&A leadership drove significant revenue growth and helped turn the business profitable. Freitas previously worked at both Bain Consulting and Citigroup Investment Banking, where she enabled technology companies to reach the next phase of growth. Freitas has her MBA from Harvard Business School and BA from Columbia University.
20. Jennifer Low
Head of Therapeutics Development
Jennifer Low joined 23andMe in 2018 as Head of Therapeutics Development. She oversees the transition of potential therapeutics from 23andMe's research laboratories into clinical development studies. Low has considerable drug development experience and has most recently worked as a consultant and advisor to biotech CEOs and investors on their drug development strategies. She has been the Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President of Research and Development at Loxo Oncology where she oversaw the clinical development of Vitrakvi (Trk inhibitor). Prior to that, she was a Senior Group Director at Genentech, and a member of the Roche Group, where she oversaw the Erivedge (hedgehog), Zelboraf (b-RAF), and Cotellic (mek) clinical development programs among many others.
Low received her undergraduate degree from Caltech, her MD and PhD degrees from Georgetown, and completed her internal medicine residency at the University of California Davis, her medical oncology fellowship at the National Cancer Institute, and was a Senior Investigator at the Cancer Therapeutics Evaluation Program at NCI. In addition, she was an attending physician in breast cancer at the National Institutes of Health and the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda. She has co-authored papers appearing in the New England Journal of Medicine, Science, Cancer Discovery, Journal of Clinical Oncology, and Nature Reviews Cancer.
21. Kristen Oelschlager
Company: Castle Biosciences
Title: Chief Operating Officer
Kristen Oelschlager is the Chief Operating Officer at Castle Biosciences, joining in 2008 as an Executive Director of Operations. With 15+ years in clinical nursing and research, she led the growth of Castle's lab and research functions from startup to full operations. She progressed from VP to Senior VP of Clinical Operations before her current role.
Castle Biosciences, a diagnostics company, prioritizes patients, clinicians, employees, and investors in transforming disease management. Oelschlager started as a Staff RN in 1995, later becoming the Director of Clinical Research at Arizona Pulmonary Specialists.
22. Erica Bell
Title: Senior Vice President, Chief People Officer
Erica joined Quanterix in 2022 and brings 25+ years of HR experience. Currently, she is the Senior Vice President and Chief People Officer of Quanterix, a company that is digitizing biomarker analysis with the goal of advancing the science of precision health. As a strategic HR leader, Bell has been recognized for her contributions to building best–in–class organizations, with expertise in Change Management and International HR. She has created global organizations as well as developed and integrated corporate cultures. Her view of HR is a strategic partner critical to the fulfillment of the corporate mission and vision.
Most recently, Bell was the SVP and Chief People Officer at BICO, a bio-convergence company. In this role, she focused on enhancing the company’s Total Rewards, Learning & Development, and Culture initiatives, while partnering with the BICO leadership team and subsidiary companies to enhance their overall HR framework. Prior to this role, she was at GE for 17 years where she held different leadership roles across varied industries. Bell holds an MM from Cambridge College and earned a Graduate Certificate in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution. She also holds a BS in Sociology and Communications.
23. Dr. Theresa LaVallee
Company: Coherus Biosciences
Title: Chief Development Officer
Dr. Theresa LaVallee is the Chief Development Officer of Coherus Biosciences, the leading biologics platform company solely focused on delivering high-quality biosimilar therapeutics that will expand patient access to life-changing medicines in regulated markets worldwide. She brings more than 25 years of drug discovery and development experience.
Most recently, Dr. LaVallee was VP, Translational Medicine and Regulatory Affairs at the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy where she provided scientific leadership for clinical strategy for the development of novel immuno-oncology therapies and helped establish the institute’s clinical, translational, and regulatory organization. Previously, Dr. LaVallee held executive roles at Kolltan Pharma and Celldex Therapeutics. From 2008 through 2013, she was a member of the immuno-oncology team at AstraZeneca (MedImmune), developing checkpoint inhibitors and related diagnostics. She earned her PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles, and her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
24. Michele Stone
Company: Kriya Therapeutics
Title: Chief Scientific Officer
Michele Stone is the Chief Scientific Officer at Kriya, a biopharmaceutical company that aims to develop life-changing gene therapies to treat diseases impacting millions of people around the world. Stone joined Kriya from Axovant Gene Therapies where she was VP of Early Development and Head of Nonclinical and Bioanalytical. Prior to Axovant Gene Therapies, Stone was Executive Director of Vaccine Development and Bioanalytical at Liquidia Technologies. She was also the Director of R&D at Aeras where she was responsible for developing and leading partnerships to advance multiple vaccine platforms (viral vector, protein, and nucleic acid) into and through clinical development.
In addition, Stone was a Senior Scientist at Canon US Life Sciences where she contributed to the development of diagnostics targeted towards personalized medicine. She received her PhD in biochemistry and molecular biology and completed her postdoctoral fellowship in physiology and neuroscience at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Stone received her undergraduate degree in chemistry at Lynchburg College.
25. Rowena Albanna
Company: Aditxt Therapeutics
Title: Chief Operating Officer
Rowena Albanna is the Chief Operating Officer at Aditxt Therapeutics, a company focused on advancing immune system health through technologies in immune monitoring and reprogramming. With over 20 years of experience, Albanna has held senior leadership roles, demonstrating proficiency at the intersection of operational and technical domains in diverse industries.
Her career spans technology startups and public companies, showcasing adaptability across sectors such as biotechnology, insect control, nanotechnology, consumer electronics, finance, telecommunications, e-commerce, online marketing, medical, and defense. Prior roles include COO at ieCrowd, Head of Product Development at Qmotions, and VP of Product Development at Digital Angel Corp. Albanna started her career as a Research Engineer at General Dynamics in 1988. She holds an undergraduate degree in computer science from California State University-San Bernardino.