Women In Bio E-Newsletter 

Inviting. Supporting. Succeeding. 
July 20, 2017 

 Young Women In Bio:


Women In Bio Makes the Most of BIO 2017

As in past years, Women In Bio was a strong presence at the 2017 BIO International Convention in San Diego, and made the most of the week-long event. WIB’s name and mission continue to grow awareness and support in the life science industry, making our efforts worth it and encouraging us to continue our goal of promoting women in the life sciences to achieve their highest career potential.

The Convention started with our third annual Roundtable Discussion, where over 40 leaders in the life sciences sector came together to discuss women in the industry and what it takes for one to be a change agent in her company or organization – a topic of ever-increasing relevance in light of studies showing that companies with diversified boards perform better. The group discussed tactics for growing awareness of the need to get Board-qualified women in front of companies seeking to fill board seats.

Roundtable Discussion event.

The Roundtable Discussion was followed by our annual WIB Plenary Event, the “Pitch Perfect Challenge,” on Monday, June 19, 2017. Once again the Plenary Event provided an inviting and fun environment for networking by bringing together people from all corners of the life sciences industry.

The Manchester Grand Hyatt on June 19, 2017.

Plenary Event attendees enjoyed networking before and after the evening’s main program.

The evening opened with keynote speaker
Carol Gallagher, Pharm.D., Partner of New Enterprise Associates, who discussed the life science investment landscape by providing an overview of fund-raising challenges and trends.

Carol Gallagher delivers the keynote address.

The event then moved into our Pitch Challenge where six women leaders in the life sciences delivered pitches and received valuable feedback from top female investors on presentation and delivery. The panel of investors included
Nina Kjellson of Canaan Partners, Margarita Chavez of AbbVie Ventures, Kristina Burow of ARCH Partners, Heather Behanna of Sofinnova Ventures, Marianne De Backer of Johnson & Johnson, and Carol Gallagher of NEA. The Pitch Challenge was moderated by Simone Fishburn, BioCentury Innovations.

Simone Fishburn introduces the Pitch Challenge event.

Investor panelists (left to right): Carol Gallagher, Marianne De Backer, Heather Behanna, Kristina Burow, Margarita Chavez, and Nina Kjellson listen to a pitch.

Delivering a pitch.

Giving feedback to a presenter.

Presenters gave their pitches in front of a packed house.

WIB had a booth on the Exhibit floor throughout the week, where over 20 WIB volunteers from our 13 chapter locations greeted and interacted with attendees.

The Women In Bio booth at BIO 2017.

WIB’s booth was a busy place throughout the week.

On Wednesday of BIO Week WIB hosted a Speed-Networking event where Executive Director, Jamie Griffin Strachota, orchestrated nearly 200 women and men to interact for two minutes before moving onto the next person in line. Each year this networking event grows and is a great way for people on the exhibit floor to converse with other BIO attendees and learn more about WIB.

Also on Wednesday, WIB President, Dawn Hocevar, participated in a BIO panel discussion titled, “Invest in Diversity to Drive Innovationthat explored the reasons why diversity is critical to innovation. Studies show that the number of women and underrepresented minorities in leadership roles and on boards of biotech and venture capital firms is far too low. However, conversely, the same studies demonstrate that companies with more diversity at the highest levels see a greater return on investment. To ignite innovation and increase the potential success of a company, the life sciences ecosystem must include all promising talent regardless of gender, race, or background to truly transform the demographics of industry leaders. The panelists discussed inclusive goals, existing efforts, resources, and programs available.

WIB President, Dawn Hocevar (third from left), sat on a panel that explored why diversity is critical to innovation.

On Thursday, the final day of BIO 2017, WIB hosted a panel at the BioProcess International (BPI) Theatre entitled, “My Path to the Boardroom,” where a panel of Boardroom Ready program graduates discussed their career and personal paths that led them to sitting on a corporate board. WIB President and Panel Moderator, Dawn Hocevar, led the panel of distinguished women that included Theresa Matkovits, Senior Vice President, Head of Drug Development at ContraVir Pharmaceuticals; Jennifer Carver, Chief Operating Officer at La Jolla Pharmaceutical Company; and Susan Dexter, Managing Partner at the Latham BioPharm Group. Thank you to Brian Caine and Anne Montgomery of BPI for hosting us.

Theresa Matkovits (second from left) answers an audience question.

A big thank you to BIO for supporting Women In Bio this year, and providing us the platform to work towards our mission of promoting women in the life sciences at the BIO Convention. A special thanks to Erin Lee at BIO for all of her help. WIB is a volunteer-run organization, and our initiatives are achieved thanks to our nearly 200 volunteers who work hard towards fulfilling our mission. We continue to make so much progress because of the work and dedication of our volunteers and supporters. We are grateful for your support of our passion and drive to fulfill our mission with the ultimate goal of the advancement of women in the life sciences. We continue to move forward!

Women In Bio Seeks Corporate Board Directors To Mentor Boardroom Ready Graduates

Women In Bio seeks accomplished men and women executives to serve as mentors to the 2017 Boardroom Ready class, an esteemed group of women executives ready for the boardroom. Mentors should be experienced in serving on a corporate board, and have a desire to help women attain a board seat. Mentors will be paired with 2017 Boardroom Ready graduates for a one-year mentorship program. Although no particular amount of contact time with mentees is required, mentors are encouraged to touch base with their mentees several times during the year. Each mentor will fill an important role as a bridge to an actual board placement by helping their mentee prepare and network for corporate board seats. To volunteer as a mentor, or for more information, please email boardroomready@womeninbio.org.

      Mary Thistle 
Boardroom Ready Graduate Joins Board of Directors

Women In Bio is pleased to announce that Mary Thistle, Chief Operating Officer at Dimension Therapeutics, Inc., has joined the Board of Directors of Enterome SA, a pioneer of innovative therapies for microbiome-related diseases, based in Paris, France, and Cambridge, MA. Ms. Thistle’s appointment marks the fifth successful placement made by WIB’s Boardroom Ready program graduates in less than a year. LifeSci Advisors, the founding sponsor of the Boardroom Ready program, has also been instrumental in making several of these placements. Read the entire news release.

WIB Video Spotlight Series: “What is the Path to Market?”

You have a product idea, you have secured funding, and you have built your executive team… so what's next? Find out from this expert panel with WIB-SF Bay area in our member-exclusive video library.

Women In Bio Partnership with SmartBrief
WIB has partnered with SmartBrief to produce a weekly e-mail newsletter, WIB SmartBrief, which brings the most important and timely news stories about women in all areas of the life sciences.
Learn more about WIB SmartBrief and to sign up for this free enewsletter!


Check Out WIB's Job Board!
Women In Bio has a job board! Visit 
http://wibcareercenter.com to get started. Whether you are a job seeker, or looking to fill a position, this is the resource for you!

Support WIB While Shopping at Amazon.com

Did you know you can support us while shopping at AmazonSmile at no cost to you? Designate Women In Bio as the recipient organization of AmazonSmile's donations here. By doing so, Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to WIB. Thanks for your support!


Upcoming Events


WIB-Atlanta Supper Club with Stacy Chick of UCB

Stacy Chick
On July 25, 2017, WIB-Atlanta will hold one of our Member-only supper club series dinners with featured guest Stacy Chick. Ms. Chick is Vice President and Head of US Pricing and Access at UCB, a global biopharmaceutical company with its U.S. Corporate Headquarters in Atlanta. The company focuses on products for the treatment of severe central nervous system and immunological disorders.
Central Texas 


About Our Chapter

The Women In Bio – Central Texas chapter provides easy reach to the home of some of the most prominent academic research centers in the country, including the University of Texas at Austin, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, The Texas Heart Institute, the Texas Biomedical Research Institute, the Texas A&M System, and the Baylor, Scott & White System of institutions. The many internationally recognized hospitals and medical research centers in Texas attract a highly skilled network of trained hospital staffers, nurses and doctors, as well as clinical trial organizations.

Our membership base includes academic and clinical researchers, sales professionals, venture capitalists, legal advisors, intellectual property advisors, technology transfer specialists, policy experts, clinical trials professionals, doctors, medical/science communicators, educators, students, and many other experts who support the health, pharmaceutical, and science industries. These and other qualities have nurtured the creation of a burgeoning biotech industry in the state, Texas having recently being dubbed the “Third Coast” of Biotechnology. Learn more about our chapter.



WIB-Chicago Attends Abbvie Professional Development Fair

On June 2, 2017, WIB-Chicago attended a Professional Development Career Fair hosted by Abbvie for its female employees. Our booth raised awareness among the Abbvie employees of the many benefits available to Women In Bio members, including professional development programming, mentoring, and a vast network of women in diverse areas of the biomedical field. WIB members chatted with 60 Abbvie employees interested in the organization. WIB-Chicago thanks Abbvie for the opportunity to participate! If your organization is interested in learning more about WIB-Chicago, contact us at Chicago@womeninbio.org.

WIB-Chicago representatives chatted with Abbvie employees about the benefits available to Women In Bio members.

Membership Discount for MATTER Members

MATTER members can save 25% on WIB membership costs! If you are a MATTER member, contact Chicago@womeninbio.org to learn more and receive the discount code.

Greater Boston


Call for Volunteers!

Interested in volunteering for our chapter? We seek active and enthusiastic volunteers for our Sponsorship, Communications, Membership, Mentoring, and Programming Committees. As a WIB-Greater Boston volunteer you will have the chance to support women in the life science field, enhance your professional network, and gain valuable experience - from marketing to event planning and outreach. Please contact boston@womeninbio.org for more information. To view past chapter event posts and photos check out our LinkedIn and Twitter pages!

Greater Montréal


About Our Chapter

The WIB-Greater Montreal Chapter seeks to bring together professionals from across Quebec with bio-related interests in diverse sectors. Business professionals, entrepreneurs and scientists from the private sector, government institutions, and academia are invited to join and benefit from WIB’s many resources which include networking, sharing insights and innovations, and learning about the latest developments, and opportunities within the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical devices industries. Learn more about our chapter!

A propos de notre chapitre

Le bureau montréalais de Femmes en bio souhaite rassembler les professionnelles de tout le Québec œuvrant dans divers secteurs liés aux biotechnologies. Les professionnelles des entreprises, les entrepreneures et les chercheures des secteurs privé, public et universitaire ainsi que les étudiantes sont invitées à devenir membres de Femmes en bio et à profiter des ressources offertes par l’organisme: réseautage, partage de connaissances et d’expertise, échange d’information sur les toutes dernières innovations et perspectives dans les domaines pharmaceutiques, biotechnologiques et des équipements médicaux. En savoir plus sur notre chapitre!

Meet WIB-Greater Montreal’s Chapter Leaders

Metro New York


WIB-Metro New York Presents: “The Intersection of Art and Science"

This July 26, 2017, event will open with Julia Buntaine, Director of the SciArt Center, setting the backdrop of how the apparently widely disparate fields of art and science have begun to merge in recent years. While science aims to deliver accurate information about the world, art can inspire and present scientific concepts to a broader audience. Ms. Buntaine’s introduction will be followed by a panel discussion on SciArt, moderated by artist and WIB member, Yana Zorina. The panel of artists will include Lauren Bierly, Julia Buntaine, Judith Modrak, and Cheryl Safren. Learn more!
       Julia Buntaine
Yana Zorina
            Lauren Bierly
Judith Modrak
         Cheryl Safren

Philadelphia Metro


About Our Chapter

Philadelphia is the birthplace of American medicine, and home to many United States health care “firsts”: medical school, children’s hospital, college of pharmacy, medical library, and hospital. The area is also home to a host of medical, biotechnology, pharmaceutical, higher education, research, engineering, and venture capital entities which provide access to a deep pool of experience and talent.

The WIB-Philadelphia Metro chapter is an organization of professionals actively committed to promoting the careers, leadership, and entrepreneurship of women in the life sciences in the Philadelphia tri-state area. Our chapter fosters a community of life science professionals while providing mentorship and professional development opportunities across the career continuum - from those just beginning their careers to industry veterans. We are dedicated to providing education, mentoring, and professional development to women working in all disciplines related to the life science industry. Learn more about our chapter.

Meet WIB-Philadelphia Metro’s Chapter Leaders



Get Social at Wigle Whiskey: A Speed Networking Event

Brush up on your networking skills this summer with Women In Bio! On July 24, 2017, we’ll turn up the heat and break the ice with speed networking - learn some tips and tricks from the crowd, practice, and have fun. Afterwards, socialize at the Wigle Whiskey distillery, named for a Pennsylvanian whiskey distiller who sparked the Whiskey Rebellion in the 1790s. Wigle Whiskey was the first distillery in Pittsburgh after Prohibition. Join us for samples of award winning local craft spirits. Bottles of Wigle Whiskey will be available for purchase at the event. Whiskey samples and light appetizers will be provided.

      Diana Petrovich
WIB-Pittsburgh’s Entrepreneurship Workshop #3: “Leadership Success - Maximize Your Potential”

Have you struggled to articulate your vision and create momentum as a leader? If so, join WIB-Pittsburgh on August 21, 2017, as we learn from our VIP speaker Diana Petrovich, Consultant with CRA, Inc., how to develop, build, and strengthen your leadership style. Diana advises organizations across industries on how to lead and communicate through some of the toughest culture, change, and strategy challenges. Learn from Diana how to be a more strategic leader so you can confidently motivate others, build credibility with them, and experience positive results. Effective leaders understand that strong personal relationships can greatly help you and your organization on the path to success. Learn how to build and nurture these relationships to bolster both your career and your company. Join us for an evening of fun and learning at the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse. Light food and drink will be served.

WIB-Pittsburgh Presents: "P.O.W.E.R. 4 - Precision Medicine"

Pittsburgh’s Outstanding Women Entrepreneurs Rally (P.O.W.E.R) is an annual celebration of the contribution local women are making to life sciences and healthcare. As our fourth annual P.O.W.E.R. event, P.O.W.E.R. 2017 showcases an emerging trend in healthcare – precision medicine, diagnosis, and clinical treatment based on the kaleidoscope of genetic, environmental and lifestyle inputs using patient-per-patient analysis.

Conditions summarized by a single word - Diabetes, Depression, Cancer – no longer fit within a “one-size-fits all” classification. On September 26, 2017, P.O.W.E.R. 2017 will take attendees right to the root of an illness and capture the individual variability in genes, environment, and lifestyle. Six successful Pittsburgh scientists and sector leaders will highlight the startling discoveries that fuel the engine of precision medicine, covering clinical perspectives as well as impact on patients, health care, and health insurance in Pittsburgh and across the globe. Learn more!
      Jennifer Xavier
Jessica Gibson
Rebecca Jacobson

Lisa B. Boyette 
       Diane P. Holder

  Linda McAllister-Lucas
Meet P.O.W.E.R. 2017 Speaker #2 of 6: Linda M. McAllister-Lucas, M.D., Ph.D.

Linda McAllister-Lucas, M.D., Ph.D., is Chief of the Division of Hematology and Oncology at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, a hospital of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. A pediatric hematologist-oncologist and physician-scientist, Dr. McAllister-Lucas investigates the relationship between cancer and inflammation. Her lab first investigated how inflammation can trigger the development of lymphoma, a cancer of the blood, and her group has expanded this work into other types of cancer. Dr. McAllister-Lucas has made significant, landmark discoveries that have stimulated research across the world.

Dr. McAllister-Lucas’ interest in signal transduction and targeted therapeutics began as a doctoral student at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. She was a faculty member at the University of Michigan Medical School for ten years prior to becoming Chief of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh in 2012. She has been named the National Childhood Cancer Foundations’ Laura and Greg Norman Research Fellow, received a Doris Duke Clinical Scientist Development Award in 2002, and received the American Pediatric Society Norman J. Seigel Award for Outstanding Science in 2015. Dr. McAllister-Lucas became a member of the Society for Pediatric Research as a Young Investigator in 2006, and in 2014 she was selected for membership in the American Society for Clinical Investigation.

The University of Pittsburgh’s Innovation Institute Widens the Doors for Women Scientists

Inject. Test (four hours). Nothing.

Inject. Test (three hours). Nothing.

Inject. Test (two hours). Nothing.

Inject. Test (one hour). Again, nothing.

Maliha Zahid
So it seemed to Maliha Zahid - that the accumulation of the last two years of her life amounted to nothing. The crumbling to the bench. The silence of defeat. Nothing.

And then: Inject. Test (thirty minutes)... Green lighted cells everywhere! The bright victory of discovery! “It took my breath away. I cannot put that feeling into words…” Read the entire article!



WIB-RTP Book Club Reviews Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy

It’s time for WIB-RTP’s annual summer book club discussion! Join us on July 21, 2017, for early morning networking and a discussion of Sheryl Sandberg’s and Adam Grant’s new book, Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy. Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook and author of the previous best seller Lean In, has co-authored a powerful, inspiring, and practical book about building resilience and moving forward after life’s inevitable setbacks. Our discussion will be led by Ronna Dornsife, M.S., and will include how to acknowledge life’s challenges and overcome both personal and career adversities.
         Sheryl Sandberg
            Adam Grant

Young Women In Bio Visits the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health

The University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health is consistently recognized as a leading public health school, and is currently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the top public school of public health in the nation! The school’s mission is to improve public health, promote individual well-being, and eliminate health disparities across North Carolina and around the world.

This August 1, 2017, event will include an introduction to the school, with a question and answer portion. The girls will then be taken on a tour of the school and its labs, where they can meet with graduate students and faculty, and learn about their research. This event is open to rising 6th-12th grade girls. Advanced registration is required.

San Francisco Bay Area


Tonight! - East Bay Ice Cream Social and Networking Event

Have a sweet tooth? Loving the warmer weather? Then come celebrate summer tonight, and network with amazing Women In Bio members and guests at our ice cream social, being held at Emery Pharma in Alameda! Loard’s ice cream will be on hand to help you build the perfect ice cream sundae.

“Themes in Translational Research: An Essential Element of Therapeutics”

On August 9, 2017, WIB-San Francisco Bay Area will host a panel discussion at Nektar Therapeutics featuring women at the forefront of translational research. Transferring insights from bench to bedside is a critical component of the biopharmaceutical industry’s mission, and this event will focus on demystifying translational research during a lively, interactive discussion. Our expert panelists will shed light on this underexplored process, drawing from their own experiences in therapeutic areas ranging from infectious disease to cancer to rare diseases. The panel includes Moderator, Maureen Cronin, Ph.D.; and features panelists Oranee Daniels, M.D.; Ellen Filvaroff, Ph.D.; Nancy K. Pryer, Ph.D.; and Victoria Sung, Ph.D. These veteran researchers will share insights and describe the paths that led them to success in translational research. Please join us for what promises to be an exciting evening of discussion and networking!

      Maureen Cronin

Oranee Daniels 
Ellen Filvaroff
Nancy K. Pryer
         Victoria Sung

MAPs Volunteer Mentor Info Session!

The WIB-San Francisco Bay Area MAPs team is looking for volunteer mentors! We are recruiting for our mentorship programs and looking for anyone--from postdocs to highly-experienced professionals--interested in making a difference. Share your experiences, build meaningful relationships and, of course, add brownie points to your CV. Mentor commitments range from once a month to one-off meetings, and mentees range in experience from high schoolers to postdocs. Come to the UCSF Helen Diller Comprehensive Cancer Center (Bakar Auditorium, 1450 Third Street, Mission Bay, SF) on August 16, 2017, at 5:30 p.m. to learn more about mentorship opportunities! You can also contact sanfranciscomaps@womeninbio.org for more information about our MAPs programs.

Join One of Our Growing MAPs Programs!

The WIB-San Francisco Bay Area’s MAPs program is growing, and new opportunities to join peer groups or become a mentor for students, postdoctoral fellows, and career professionals are now available. Contribute positively towards someone’s future! Please contact sanfranciscomaps@womeninbio.org for more information on the programs described below.

MAPs peer groups are getting a facelift! Join our peer groups to meet and build meaningful relationships with professional women in monthly meetings that will be structured around a specific theme. We offer small group sizes, focused networking opportunities, and so much more! Sign up for MAPs peer groups.

If you have ever considered becoming a mentor, or would like to make a difference in the lives of aspiring scientists by helping them choose their next steps, we encourage you to mentor for MAPs in one of our two programs:



WIB-Seattle Annual Summer Social and Networking Mixer

Join Women In Bio-Seattle on August 10, 2017, for our annual summer social and networking mixer. Come celebrate the summer with colleagues new and old. Learn more about what Women In Bio does and how you can get involved with the Seattle chapter. Light refreshments and drinks will be served. Thank you to our event sponsor Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Southern California


WIB-Southern California Presents: "The Jewels of Networking"

Please join us on August 9, 2017, for a networking reception with life science professionals at Unicorn Jewelry. The event will include: an opportunity to connect with the local professionals over wine and appetizers, a presentation from a store gemologist about the various precious gems, and a once in a lifetime opportunity to go behind the scenes and observe what takes place in the back rooms of a jewelry store.

Washington DC/Baltimore


   Kristin Backstrom 
WIB-DC/Baltimore Presents: "Honing Communication Skills for Better Leadership"

What if you could really understand what someone wanted? What if, by asking the right questions and listening to the words another person uses, you could better understand what they wanted – even before they did? What if you could improve all your relationships? Improved communication and a deeper understanding of others’ motivation is possible. By learning a repeatable framework, based on language choices that expose unconscious motivation, you can experience being “heard” and better understand others. On July 27, 2017, Dr. Kristin Backstrom, from the Centers for Motivation, will share insights on how language choices express what drives and motivates individuals, helping you learn how to improve teamwork, reduce conflict, and achieve goals. Learn more!


2020 Women on Boards to Present its Signature Program in November

2020 Women on Boards (2020WOB) presents its signature program, "The National Conversation on Board Diversity" on November 15, 2017, in more than two dozen cities across America. Over the last five years, the event has been held 37 times in various cities (four international) with over 8,500 attendees and more supporters participating on social media. This year's program will focus on how to increase the pipeline of qualified women to serve on company boards and the importance of diversity.

2020WOB aims to increase the percentage of women on U.S. company boards to 20% or greater by the year 2020 through education and advocacy efforts. The campaign’s primary research initiative is the 2020 Gender Diversity Index, which provides an annual analysis of the board composition of Fortune 1000 companies. 2020 Women on Boards is sweeping the country, with thousands of active supporters and 2020 campaign committees in cities across the U.S. helping to spread the message that gender diversity on company boards is important because:

  • Companies with women on their boards have higher returns on investment, lower relative debt levels, higher stock valuation, and higher average growth.
  • Companies with female directors and executive officers send a clear message that they value diversity and experience.
  • Women bring different perspectives to the challenges facing today’s corporations.
  • Diversity of thought leads to innovation and better decision-making.

To attend The National Conversation on Board Diversity on November 15, 2017 in a city near you, please contact Tammy Scholtes, Event Project Director at: Tammy@2020WOB.com or call: 646-634-8565 for more information.

Nominations Open for San Diego Business Journal Business Women of the Year Awards

Each year, the San Diego Business Journal recognizes dynamic women business leaders who have contributed significantly to San Diego’s corporate sponsors. The Business Journal recognizes these women by hosting its biggest and most anticipated reception and awards program to honor winners and guests. Celebrity emcees, a keynote speaker, and the awards program are staples of this landmark event. Honor a successful business women you know by submitting nominations for the 2017 Business Women of the Year. The nomination deadline is September 15, 2017.

To take advantage of a free subscription to WIB-Smartbrief, a weekly newsletter that will keep you updated about women making a difference in biotech and life sciences, please sign up here.

 WIB is funded in part by our National Sponsors


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