Women in Bioscience & Healthcare Conference Speakers

BioOhio is proud to present an amazing line up of speakers, moderators, and panelists for Women in Bioscience & Healthcare. Below you will find brief biographies and links to their respective organizations.

9:30 – Introduction & Opening Remarks

Jennifer Goldsberry, Manager, Membership & Events, BioOhio, and Director of Programming, HBA Columbus Chapter

Jen manages BioOhio membership activities and benefits, including recruitment, cost-savings programs, and member-to-member connections. She also plans, coordinates and executes BioOhio events. Born and raised in Ohio, Jen attended Bowling Green State University and completed her interpersonal communications degree with an internship at Walt Disney World. She spent some time in Tallahassee, Florida working as a blood drive coordinator for the local blood center and then as a stewardship program and events director at Florida State University Foundation before returning to Ohio. Jen is also a singer, songwriter, and banjo player for her folkgrass jam band, The Goldsberrys.

Heather Brod, Executive Director of Faculty Affairs & Center for FAME, OSU Wexner Medical Center, and President, HBA Columbus Chapter

Heather Brod aligns faculty with organizational goals by strategically, programmatically and operationally directing career development activities for 1800 full-time and 1400 volunteer faculty. Heather joined the College of Medicine in 2009. Prior to that, she was in private art collection management. Her educational background in art history (M.A., Ohio State, B.A., University of Minnesota) is well suited to making connections across disciplines through rigorous observation. Heather serves on the Association of American Medical College’s Group on Faculty Affairs Membership and Nominating subcommittee and was competitively selected to attend the Higher Education Resources Services (HERS) leadership institute in 2015.

10:30 – Navigating Your Career: From Science or To Science

Rozy Park, Director, Culture, HR, and Legal Affairs, Tedia Company

Rozy is a passionate advocate for employee happiness and satisfaction at her company, Tedia Company. She is responsible for the Learning and Growth perspective of her company’s operations, which includes developing the concepts of employee engagement and intra-company innovation and knowledge-sharing. Rozy has been with Tedia, her family’s chemical manufacturing company, for over 15 years, and during that time, has seen the company more than quadruple in size and revenue and the high purity solvents industry change significantly. Rozy holds a joint JD and Master of Public Affairs from Indiana University – Bloomington and her BA in Sociology from the University of Chicago.

Erica Conroy, PhD, VP, Product Development & Customer Success, Pharma, CoverMyMeds

Before coming onboard with CoverMyMeds, Erica spent five years at Vertex Pharmaceuticals as a medicinal chemist. Erica completed her Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from California Polytechnic State University, her Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from The Ohio State University and continued on to achieve a Post-doctorate in Organic Chemistry from The Scripps Research Institute. As VP of Operations at CoverMyMeds, Erica is responsible for overall leadership of operations, analytics, forecasting, recruiting and training.

Cris LeBlanc, Director, Community & Corporate Relations, Xavier University School of Nursing

Cris connects people’s passion with a direct pathway to achieve their dream job. With over 16 years in higher education and sales recruitment, Cris develops strong, robust relationships to bridge education and people’s desire to work in a hands-on, patient focused healthcare environment– jobs that directly have impact on the community we live in. With 81% of the nursing population planning to retire in the next 10 years- Cris brings awareness and opportunity to develop the 147,000 RN’s needed in Ohio by 2024.

Tracey Papenfuss, DVM, MS, PhD, DACVP, Principal Pathologist, Immunotoxicology Scientific Advisor, Charles River

At Charles River, we are passionate about our role in improving the quality of people’s lives. Our mission, our excellent science and our strong sense of purpose guides us in all that we do, and we approach each day with the knowledge that our work helps to improve the health and well-being of many across the globe.

11:30 – Expanding Research and Your Career

Jaime Fensterl, MS, MBA, Associate Director, Program Management, Abeona Therapeutics, Inc.

Jaime Fensterl earned her M.S. in Biotechnology from Duquesne University and began her career as a research technician at the University of Pittsburgh, where she worked with mouse and cell culture models to study mechanisms leading to preterm labor. She later moved on to work at the Cleveland Clinic in a lab that studied the innate immune response to viral infections. After several years on the bench, Jaime transitioned to clinical research as a study coordinator and project manager for the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Center. While working as a project manager, she went back to school at Cleveland State University and earned her MBA. After receiving her MBA, Jaime took on a new role as a research program manager in the Pediatric Institute at Cleveland Clinic, where she was responsible for research compliance, budget development, resource allocation, personnel management, and overall oversight of the pediatric research department. In January of this year, Jaime left the hospital setting to take on an exciting role at Abeona Therapeutics. She currently works as a program manager at Abeona and is responsible for developing, leading, and executing a product development plan for a novel gene therapy product from IND filing through regulatory approval and commercialization.

Suguna Rachakonda, PhD, MBA, Senior Director, Product Development & Strategic Partnerships, Cleveland Clinic

Suguna Rachakonda, PhD, MBA, is Senior Director for Product Development & Strategic Partnerships within Cleveland Clinic Innovations, the technology transfer arm of Cleveland Clinic. Her primary responsibility at Cleveland Clinic is with NIH Centers for Accelerated Innovations (NCAI-CC). In this role, she is responsible for scouting and evaluation of early stage therapeutics & diagnostics assets at NCAI-CC partner institutions across Ohio. Prior to Cleveland Clinic, she was a faculty at Kent State University for a year and then moved into the role of Director of Technology Commercialization, leading all aspects of innovation management, commercialization, and operations for the office. Suguna earned her PhD in Organic Chemistry from the University of Hyderabad, India, and her MBA in Finance from the Leonard N. Stern School of Business, New York University.

Louise Rodino-Klapac, PhD, VP, Gene Therapy, Sarepta Therapeutics, Chief Scientific Officer, Myonexus Therapeutics

Dr. Rodino-Klapac is a co-founder of Myonexus Therapeutics and has served as Chief Scientific Officer since the Company’s incorporation in February 2017. She is a principal investigator in the Center for Gene Therapy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the Ohio State University. Her laboratory is dedicated to developing gene therapies for Limb Girdle and Duchenne Muscular Dystrophies already leading six programs from the bench to clinical trial. Her dedication to innovation has been recognized by recent awards such as the 2014 Junior Faculty of the Year Award for Innovation and Columbus Business First Forty under Forty Class of 2017 Awards. Dr. Rodino-Klapac received her B.S. (summa cum laude) in biology from King’s College, PA and Ph.D. from the Ohio State University in Molecular Genetics.

1:00 – Harnessing Ideas in Healthcare & Research

John Barnard, MD, President, The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital

John A. Barnard, MD, is chief of Pediatrics at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, president of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s and holds the Ann I. Wolfe Endowed Chair in Pediatric Research Leadership. He is chair of the Department of Pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine, where he is a professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. He is also a practicing gastroenterologist in the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at Nationwide Children’s. An accomplished physician-scientist, he has authored more than 80 peer-reviewed journal articles, reviews and book chapters and garnered NIH support for more than 2 decades.

Alice T. Epitropoulos, MD, FACS, Ophthalmic Surgeons & Consultants of Ohio, The Eye Center of Columbus, Clinical Assistant Professor, The Ohio State University

Alice T. Epitropoulos is a board certified ophthalmologist who specializes in refractive and cataract surgery and has a Dry Eye Center of Excellence. She is a native of Columbus, Ohio. She is a founding member and proud to be a part of The Eye Center of Columbus, an innovative affiliation of more than 80 ophthalmologists located in Downtown Columbus. Dr. Epitropoulos also serves as a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Ophthalmology at The Ohio State University. Epitropoulos received her bachelor’s degree in Nursing and her medical degree both from THE Ohio State University. Dr Epitropoulos also serves as one of the team physicians for the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Susan E. Sherman, MHA, Chief Executive Officer, The LAM Foundation

Susan Sherman, MHA, is the CEO of The LAM Foundation. Under Susan’s five years of leadership, the Foundation has distributed more than $2.5M in research funding to LAM investigators, hosted seven international research conferences and LAMposiums, implemented an in-person scientific advisory board study section and launched an online patient portal to integrate the patient voice into research design. Susan is a member of the Board of Directors of The National Health Council, the NIH/NCATS Tool Kit Workgroup and the Rare Diseases Clinical Research Network’s Coalition of Patient Advocacy Groups. Susan joined The LAM Foundation as Executive Director in 2013. She holds a Master of Health Administration from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, a Bachelor of Science in biology from Indiana University, and was formerly a certified executive coach.

David Taffany, PhD, Innovation Solutions Product Manager, Fuse by Cardinal Health

David is an Innovation Solutions Product Manager with Cardinal Health’s enterprise strategy team. With a PhD in molecular biology and an entrepreneurial background, he has deep expertise across research, technology, science and business. His work drives planning and execution of technology, R&D and innovation to help create technology solutions that improve workflow efficiency in pharmacy settings, communication between caregivers and empower patients to take charge of their health

2:15 – Keynote Session – Painted Barriers: Redefining a Scientist

Dr. Frederic Bertley, President & CEO, COSI

As President and CEO of COSI, Dr. Frederic Bertley is shepherding the leading Central Ohio science center to its next great iteration in a legacy of successful science center history. Prior to becoming President and CEO of COSI, Dr. Bertley was the Senior Vice President for Science and Education at The Franklin Institute. After graduating from McGill University where he studied Physiology, Mathematics and the History of Science, and earned a Ph.D. in Immunology, Dr. Bertley worked internationally in preventative medicine, and basic vaccines in Haiti, The Sudan, and the Canadian Arctic. Dr. Bertley continued this focus by joining a vaccine research group at Harvard Medical School focusing on the development of DNA vaccines for HIV/AIDS.

Kirsten M. Ellenbogen, Ph.D., President & CEO, Great Lakes Science Center

A widely published science center veteran, Dr. Kirsten Ellenbogen brings more than 25 years of experience to her role as the third president of Great Lakes Science Center. Dr. Ellenbogen’s energetic leadership during the last two decades has advanced informal STEM education through four grant-funded, national centers. Her leadership activities at Great Lakes Science Center have included the launch of a new strategic initiative, Cleveland Creates, developed in collaboration with regional workforce development leaders to change the community’s manufacturing narrative through STEM education opportunities for diverse middle-school youth and families. She holds a Ph.D. in Science Education from Vanderbilt University and a B.A. from University of Chicago.

3:15 – STEAM Empowered: Getting Girls Involved Early in Science

Sumithra Jagannath, President, ZED Digital

Sumithra Jagannath is a driven, technology-focused President with deep roots in software development. Ms. Jagannath is a McGill University post graduate and served as professor of software usability at Concordia University graduate school in Montreal, Canada. She founded a consulting firm in software usability fresh out of college and has not looked back since. She now sits on the Web Development Board of Advisors at Franklin University and is the Ohio Chapter Director-at-Large in Marketing for Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association. Her expertise stems from her passion for computers and 20+ years of experience in software development and implementing usability engineering processes in organizations such as utility companies, banks and Government organizations. Through her career, Ms. Jagannath has led international teams based in Canada, India, USA and South Africa.

Kimberly Clavin, VP of Engineering, Loop by Pillar

Kimberly Clavin leads the design and deployment of LOOP which enables organizations to accelerate and scale embedded development. Loop increases time to market by offering a simple mechanism for software developers of all levels to use mock or actual devices on an embedded communications bus (e.g., CAN Bus) in a language-independent manner so that software developers can focus their activities on test-driving their production code. In this role as well as other roles at Pillar, Kimberly has worked to drive strategy around mobility and connectivity including autonomy, IoT, wearables and emerging markets. Kimberly earned her M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from The Ohio State University and her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University.

Richard Louke, Executive Director, Blossom Scholastic

Richard Louke is the Executive Director of Blossom Scholastic, a social venture creating experiences that empower girls to explore science and technology. He is a Marine Corps veteran, and attended Ohio State on the G.I. Bill, graduating with degrees in biochemistry and economics. He has led Blossom for the past three years, from the initial crowdfunding through it’s multi-state expansion. He also enjoys bluegrass banjo, Western classics and crafting owlbears from polymer clay.

Meka Pace, Executive Director, Metro Schools

Meka Pace serves as the Superintendent of the Metro Schools network. Mrs. Pace was part of Metro Early College’s founding group of teachers for the inaugural 2006-2007 school year. First, she worked as the school’s intervention coordinator. She also served as dean of students and assistant principal. Mrs. Pace seeks to ensure personalized, innovative educational opportunities for students, while leading teachers as they focus on rigorous, equitable education for all students. Mrs. Pace earned her bachelor’s of science in education from Bowling Green State University; her master’s degree in educational administration from Capella University and coursework for her superintendent’s licensure from the Ohio State University.