TechSandBox: MetroWest Innovation Hub 

Our Mission:   Deliver the comprehensive resources needed by Innovation-driven enterprises and their entrepreneurs, accelerating success by bringing the ecosystem together, right here in MetroWest.

Life Sciences SIG
3rd Monday of the Month
, unless there's a holiday, which happens a lot this year! We start food, networking and registration at 5:30p with program proceedings 6- 6:15p.  $25 up until a week before the program/ $30 until 2pm day of program/ $35 at door; Includes food. Members of this SIG are admitted free.

SIG SPONSORS:         Colliers supporters of TechSandBox Life Sciences SIG    Optimum Technologies supporter of TechSandBox

Our life sciences special interest group includes medical devices, cell biology, pharmaceutical development and medical records.

SNOW CANCELLATION. February 8 MOVED TO March 21, 2016: Nuts & Bolts for Getting an Early Stage Biotech Launched  5:30 PM to 8:30 PM --  registration link

A Biotech/pharma CRO/CMO Panel Discussion: The Nuts & Bolts for an Early Stage Biotech to Launch and Lead a Strategically Sound External Research/Outsourcing Operation

The panel this evening will present info on how to get your project or product ‘produced’ and through the necessary steps using contract resources. After brief presentations, we will engage in an interactive dialogue to help you navigate the complex and, often expensive, world.

With experienced life science cluster experts in biotech, pharma, and CRO/CMOs, join us as they share best practices from the trenches. Get questions answered on how to meet the daily challenges of picking your company’s project (sourcing manager) leader, and identifying, selecting, evaluating, managing and completing critical POC projects/studies with the right external resources (CROs/CMOs and consultants).

  • Moderator: Shelley Amster, Founder and Principal, ShelleyCO, LLC; Chair, MassBio Annual CRO CMO Symposium and EAST WEST CRO CMO SUMMIT; VP TLC Incubator
  • Michael Briggs, PhD, President & CSO at Woodland Pharmaceuticals, LLC, a member of the NEP Network
  • Carol Gebert, PhD, Director of Business Development New England Pharma (NEP), a Network of CROs
  • George KaramPresident at BioAlliance - Scientific Sourcing & Consulting LLC
  • Joining us is a startup as a case example:Parth Patwari, M.D., Sc.D., Chief Scientific Officer & Co-Founder of ProteoThera

Michael Briggs, CSO Woodland Pharma at TechSandBox  Carol Gebert, NEP, at TechSandBox  George Karam Biotech/Pharma Exec at TechSandBox  Shelley Amster,  at TechSandBox  Parth Patwari, MD PhDParth Patwari, MD PhD


Shelley Amster has over 30 years of experience in life sciences, beginning as a scientist and evolving into a recognized business development leader and entrepreneur. She specializes in working with executives and entrepreneurs to build bridges to critical resources and pivotal business opportunities.  Shelley was a pioneer in the infertility/IVF industry. In addition to having been one of the first IVF lab directors in the US, Shelley helped commercialize multiple early IVF products and services and was instrumental in the growth of the New England Fertility Society membership, program offerings and fundraising success.  She organized, unified and continues to lead the Mass CRO/CMO cluster community, a growing force of more than 200 independent life sciences service providers.  She cofounded and helped build the CreaGen Chemistry Incubator and is currently developing and raising money to launch a second life science incubator, The Lab Concourse (TLC), with plans to launch in the second quarter of 2016.  She is founder of The New England Women in Science Executives Club (NEWISE), a peer-to-peer organization for women executive leaders in the science, healthcare and academic communities. Shelley is a key leader and catalyst in the life science community; she makes things happen by bringing people, and the institutions they represent, together, always collaborating with individuals on a personal level - in all endeavors, she thinks locally and acts globally. 

Michael Briggs, PhD is an experienced pharmaceutical executive with multifaceted experience in large and small pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and more recently leading a CRO.  Primary focus in discovery research with a strong emphasis on relevance to human biology and translation to clinical success.  Teams I have been associated with at the Director level have developed clinical candidates in oncology (2), antivirals (including Incivek®), arthritis and inflammation (Celebrex® and Jak3 inhibitor (Ph2)), metabolic disease (PPAR modulators), and cardiovascular and lipid metabolism (LDL-cholesterol modulation).  In the past 8 years I have focused heavily in oncology translational medicine.  Recent work in the CRO space has focused on liver diseases – NAFLD and NASH, leading to liver cancer.

George Karam received degrees in Physics and Geology, and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Iowa State University, then went on to become a Research Associate, a Rudolph Anderson Fellow, and a research Affiliate at Yale University Medical School working on Blood biochemistry and protein-DNA interaction. He taught Cell Biology, Microbiology, Biochemistry, Anatomy and Physiology for 12 years at various academic institutions overseas and in the US before moving to Pfizer, CT as a Senior Principal Protein Biochemist.

At Pfizer, George managed an internal protein Chemistry portfolio and pioneered the establishment of a process for outsourcing the development of preclinical biological reagents and bioanalytics. Consequently, George blended both portfolios, then diversified and directed the process for 23 years. Under his leadership, the outsourcing portfolio expanded by >100-fold to support nearly 500 research programs representing all preclinical and early clinical discovery processes at all global Pfizer sites. Until recently, George has directed a global portfolio for the Pfizer centralized External Research. He has partnered with over 250 CROs and led internal and external teams of over 150 FTEs in the US, Europe, and Asia, to deliver a portfolio of >12,000 discovery projects spanning all areas of preclinical and early clinical discovery for all therapeutic needs.

George is the founder and president of Bioalliance, a consulting company focused on leading and managing external scientific research and collaborations.

George’s strength in this field is to direct a global and diverse research portfolio, develop global partnering strategies and guidelines, identify new vendors and areas of need, develop and implement continuous improvement processes, and provide guidance throughout the industry.

Carol Gebert PhD, is a specialist in biopharma sales and marketing, currently a co-founder at Woodland Biosciences, and also representing the network of related CROs, including Cambridge Biomedical.

She has a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering from Sydney University and a PhD in Bioprocessing from the University of NSW.

Carol held a postdoc position at Boston University investigating JAK-STAT signalling in the liver before switching to the business side of biopharma.  In the past ten years, Carol has represented a range of CROs offering preclinical services, most recently at Woodland Biosciences, a provider of in vivo models for oncology and metabolic diseases.  Carol also consults to some other CROs, most notably Cambridge Biomedical, a provider of GLp and clinical-grade biomarker services.

Parth Patwari, M.D., Sc.D., Chief Scientific Officer & Co-Founder of ProteoThera, a company that is an early stage biotechnology company that is advancing drug targeting technology, that he co-founded based on research from his former laboratory at Brigham & Women's Hospital. He is an expert in protein engineering, metabolism, and translational medicine, with a highly interdisciplinary background. Dr. Patwari joined the faculty of Harvard Medical School in 2006 after completing his postdoctoral training in molecular biology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He earned his doctoral degree in electrical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2003 for studies on cartilage and osteoarthritis. Prior to that, he attended the Honors Program in Medical Education at Northwestern University.

Dr. Patwari has authored over 25 publications in top scientific journals and is an inventor on more than a dozen patent filings. He has obtained funding from the National Institutes of Health and the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center. For his research contributions, Dr. Patwari has been awarded multiple honors including the Louis N. and Arnold M. Katz Basic Science Award Finalist, the Michael Lerner Cardiovascular Research Award, and the J. Ira and Nicki Harris Family Junior Faculty Award.


April 11, Clinical Potential of Cardiovascular Epigenetics with Dr. Dan Levy of the Framingham Heart Study (click HERE to register) Register early!

Committee: Patti DurrPeter Allen, Jerry Shapiro, Mark Hediger, Amy LaChappelle, Carmel Denis

Co-Chairs, Jerry Shapiro and Barbara Finer

    Medical Devices, to Biotech, to Pharma and Cell Biology, to eMR, imaging, medical robotics, 510K, FDA   Jerrold Shapiro, PhD FemMedical   Peter Allen  Patti Durr, Tri-Star Design  Carmel Denis, Medical Device project managemet  Amy LaChappelle, QBD  Mark Hediger, MEH                    



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