Innovation-in-Research-Headers-2018 (1).png
Bringing together scientists, engineers, and clinicians from many companies and institutions is the best way to stimulate future research collaborations.
— Dr. Carla Romney, Fordham University
speaker snip iir18.PNG

June 12, 2018, 8:30-5 EDT
Host: Purchase College, SUNY
Natural Science Lecture Hall
735 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase, NY 10577
Register Now
Free with Email


This is a serious and friendly environment, a time to share your knowledge and learn about your peers. The audience will include Ph.D. level professionals from university, industry, nonprofit, and government labs.  In addition, experts in commercialization including tech transfer, funding, legal, and the regulatory environment will convene.


Scroll Down for Speaker Bios

8:00 - Registration/Coffee

9:00 - Welcome
Westchester Biotech Project:
Michael Welling
Partner, Meridian Risk Management
Joanne Gere
Executive Director

Community Partners
Amy Allen
Vice President, Westchester County Association
Suzanne Kessler, Ph.D.
Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences,
Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, Purchase College

9:15 - Biotech Cluster Update
Surprise Guest

9:30 - Building Companies that Target Aging
Keynote: Nir Barzilai, MD
Director, Institute for Aging Research
Albert Einstein College of Medicine

10:00 - The Need for New Therapeutic Approaches
     for Chronic Neurological Diseases
Dianna E. Willis, Ph.D.
Associate Director, Burke Neurological Institute

11:00 - The Case for In Silico Research
Asghar Shah
Visiting Scholar, Computational Research
Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai

11:20 - Roundtable Updates

1:00 - On the Horizon:
All Claims Database for Researchers
Paul Savage
Health Care Program Director, Iona College Business School

1:20 - Cells, Mars and the Bomb
Karine Kleinhaus, Ph.D. 
Divisional Vice President, North America Pluristem

1:40 - How Medical is Cannabis?
Stephen Dahmer, MD
Chief Medical Officer, Vereo Health

2:30 - Dreaming Big: 
Westchester Rare Disease Hub
Antonio Molina, Ph.D.
Founder and CEO, Advanced Medical Projects

2:50 - Microbiome Research at Purchase College, SUNY
Stephen Harris, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Biology

3:10 - Opportunities in Biotechnology Beyond Healthcare
Karl Schmieder
CEO, messagingLAB

3:40 - Fireside Chat: Investors’ Perspective
Sergei Petukhov, DVM, Partner, Enso Ventures
Michael Welling, Partner, Meridian Risk Management

4:10 - Final Comments/Adjourn

Speaker Bios

Nir Barzilai.jpg


Nir Barzilai, MD, Director
Institute for Aging Research
Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Dr. Barzilai is a world-renowned expert and scholar on the biochemistry and genetics of aging, with over 230 peer-reviewed papers, reviews, and textbook chapters. He discovered the first longevity genes in humans, gene variants of HDL and LDL cholesterol, linked to healthy aging. He has also identified numerous gene variants in various metabolic and growth pathways that protect against age-related health symptoms. 

We have the potential to live a healthier life, and we are on the way to realizing this promise.
— Dr. Nir Barzilai

He is a founding member of CohBar, a company at the forefront of mitochondrial peptide research and discovery with a mission to increase healthy lifespans. In addition to CohBar, Dr. Barzilai leads The Longevity Genes Project at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, a project identifying longevity factors in the genomes of centenarians with the potential for translation into healthy aging therapeutics. Alongside this work, he leads an international effort to approve drugs targeting age related conditions.

Selected Speakers:

Stephen Dahmer, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Vireo Health

SMD Head Shot.jpg

Dr. Dahmer is a board-certified family doctor whose passion for health and healing has taken him around the globe. A fellow of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, for over a decade he has studied the relationships between plants and people, working closely with diverse cultures and documenting their uses of plants.

Aspiring to understand ethnomedical systems as well as the plants and traditional beliefs that support them, he has worked in divergent settings including Umbanda terreiros in the heart of Brazil’s second largest slum, Maori clinics in New Zealand, native healers on the Palauan Islands, and as a hospitalist to the Navajo (Dine) Tribe in Chinle, Arizona. Prior to starting full time work for Vireo Health of New York, Dr. Dahmer was most recently Assistant Clinical Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai where he passionately provided innovative primary care for over seven years in New York City where he lives and resides with his family.

Karine Kleinhaus, MD, Divisional Vice President, North America
     Pluristem Therapeutics

Dr. Kleinhaus is an experienced executive in the biotechnology industry who draws on an extensive background in medicine, research, and data base analysis to design innovative strategies and implement effective solutions to complex problems.

karine kleinhaus.jpg

She has worked with multiple public and private biotechnology companies in both public and investor relations. Prior to her current position, she was an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Psychiatry at the NYU School of Medicine. At NYU, Dr. Kleinhaus conducted medical research funded under a multi-year NIH grant. She published more than 25 papers in leading peer-reviewed journals such as the Annals of the New York Academy of ScienceAmerican Journal of Medical Genetics, and the American Journal of Epidemiology. Before that Dr. Kleinhaus practiced obstetrics and then completed two fellowships at Columbia University.

Dr. Kleinhaus received her medical degree from Tel Aviv University, earned a Master of Public Health from Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health, and a bachelor’s degree, cum laude, from Princeton University.

Antonio Molina-Pachon, Ph.D., Founder and CEO
       Advanced Medical Projects

antonio molina.jpg

Dr. Molina-Pachon is an entrepreneur developing solutions for rare diseases and cancer. He is collaborating with the Westchester Biotech Project and international partners to develop a regional hub for researchers who are addressing the most complex, and promising, discoveries.

Since 1997 he has held many executive positions, including Director of Discovery, Director of Business Development, CSO, and CEO positions. He has been the founder of 6 companies, all of which are still running today. 

Sergei Petukhov (1).jpg

Sergei Pethukov, DVM, Partner, Enso Ventures

Dr. Petukhov leads Enso's biotechnology investments and holds several board positions in Enso portfolio companies including Seres Therapeutics, Galera Therapeutics, Cavion, NeuroVia and Cellectar Biosciences. He has been the Managing Director at CLS Capital, worked at RUSNANO investment fund, and was an advisor at Kaye Scholer LLP for number of US pharmaceutical companies.

He has worked and studied at The Rockefeller University, The University of Edinburgh, The University of Cambridge, Moscow 1st Medical Academy, and Moscow State Academy of Veterinary Medicine and Biotechnology.

Paul Savage.jpg

Paul Savage, Healthcare MBA Program Director, Iona College, Hagan School of Business

Mr. Savage has had a long career in Healthcare Administration, largely in the New York region at such prestigious institutions as Mt. Sinai Medical Center, Columbia-Presbyterian and St. Vincent's; before joining academia.  He has been the Program Director of the Healthcare Management program at Iona College as well as adjunct faculty for Hofstra University and New York Medical College focusing on the field of Analytics and Population Health.  Mr. Savage also supports 'Big Data' applications with the resources of HealthCare Intelligence, LLC extending his expertise into competitive intelligence, clinical decision support, product-line management and operations Improvement across the healthcare field, embracing the many disciplines of Data Science.

Karl Schmieder, co-author, What's Your Bio Strategy?:
How to Prepare Your Business for Synthetic Biology. 

Synthetic biology – the rapidly developing field that makes biology easier to engineer – is quickly transforming industries and changing the rules of business. 

Karl Schmeider.png

Thought leader Karl Schmieder has been working with life science leaders for decades, observing the massive advances making biology accessible to researchers, engineers, and data scientists.

“The last 50 years have been dominated by microprocessors and information technology,” he writes. “The next 50 will be dominated by living systems engineered to function as biological machines”. 

In his book, Schmieder interviewed the entrepreneurs and innovators who are currently disrupting trillion-dollar industries: George Church (Harvard University), Andras Forgacs (Modern Meadow), Christina Agapakis and Jason Kelly (Ginkgo Bioworks), Andrew Hessel (Autodesk), Suzanne Lee (Biofabricate), Pamela Silver (Harvard University), J. Craig Venter and many others. 

messagingLAB partners with life science leaders to create strategic content marketing programs that drive the industry forward.

Dianna Willis.jpeg

Dianna E. Willis, Ph.D., Associate Director
     Burke Neurological Institute

Dr. Willis's research is focused on understanding how local protein synthesis within axons contributes to the proper function of neurons and to their ability to respond to injury or insult. Her lab is interested in how aberrant axonal biology may lead to sensory and motor neuropathy in diseases such as diabetic peripheral neuropathy, chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, SMA, and ALS.

In addition to her role as Associate Director, she is also Lab Director of the Laboratory for Axonal and RNA Biology, Co-Director of the Center for Pain and Sensory Research, and an Assistant Professor of Neuroscience at the Brain and Mind Research Institute of Weill Cornell Medicine. 

  Nezih Cereb MD ,   CEO, Histogenetics -  Advances in Genomic Technologies in Research as the Foundation for Precision Medicine (from Innovation in research 2017)

Nezih Cereb MD, CEO, Histogenetics - Advances in Genomic Technologies in Research as the Foundation for Precision Medicine (from Innovation in research 2017)

Click Here for Innovation in Research 2017

Interested in becoming a Community Partner?
Great! Please send a note to:

We'll get right back to you. Or, call 914-719-2226.