Name:  Dima Elissa
WIB Position:  Chapter Chair
Company: VisMed-3D
Bio Data:  

Dima Elissa is CEO and founder of VisMed-3D, a biomedical design and consulting firm that has emerged as the leader for 3D biomedical visualization and printing in personalized medicine. Dima was selected by Chicago magazine as one of the top Women in Tech, ChicagoInno’s 50 on Fire, MakeItBetter’s Top Chicago Women in Science and by Chicago Tribune’s BlueSky Vault as one of the Top 100 entrepreneurs in Chicago. Her current venture, VisMed-3D, a biomedical design and consulting firm, is in keeping with her thirst for new technology and innovation. Alongside this novel start-up, she is pursuing her passion — devoting time, energy and guidance to women founders and entrepreneurs. As an adjunct faculty member or Entrepreneur-in-residence, teaching Entrepreneurship or as an in-demand speaker, she exemplifies her commitment to giving back and paying it forward. Her most recent designation as the American Medical Woman’s Association (AMWA) Tech and Innovation Lead under the Diversity, Inclusion & Innovation (DI&I) sector, she is building an accelerator to drive STEMM for girls and women seeking healthcare careers or who want to commercialize business ideas to improve the practice of medicine.

 Dima also serves as Board Member for mHUB, Chair of the STEM steering committee for the Apareció Foundation, Executive Advisory Board Member for Ms Tech, Chicago Chapter President for Women in Bio.

 Dima holds a B.A. in Chemistry from Hanover College and has earned her MBA from Texas A&M’s May’s School of Business with a concentration in Finance. She is also a member of the board of trustees of Hanover College.  @dimaelissa @vismed3d

Name:  Nancy Reid
WIB Position:  Chapter Vice Chair
Bio Data:  

Nancy has spent over 20 years in the marketing communications field specializing in video content. She has worked as a television/corporate communications producer and General Manager for some of the most prestigious video production and post-production facilities in Chicago.  She has managed projects for major advertising agencies, corporations, associations, universities and public relations. She specializes in healthcare communications including hospitals networks and pharmaceuticals. Nancy is a Committee Chair for Women In Bio-Chicago Sponsorships.

Name:  Heather Kissling
WIB Position:  Communications Chair
Bio Data:  

Heather R. Kissling draws from over a decade of experience securing biotechnology patents to develop worldwide filing and prosecution strategies that further her clients’ business objectives. Using her advanced training in biotechnology, she actively collaborates with bench scientists, business development personnel, and in-house counsel to maximize protection of biotechnology innovations in a broad range of technologies. Her background in interference and opposition proceedings also benefits clients seeking advice with respect to competitor patent positions and third party challenges in the patent office. Clients find her to be a forward-thinking advocate that shares their commitment to realizing the maximum value from their intellectual property assets.

Ms. Kissling was recognized in the 2nd edition of Managing IP’s IP Stars – Top 250 Women in IP, and was also named an “IP Star” in Managing IP’s 2015 World IP Handbook and Survey. She was selected for inclusion in the 2013-2015 Illinois Rising Stars® lists, featuring outstanding young attorneys in the state. Ms. Kissling was also designated as an "Emerging Lawyer" in the 2015 inaugural edition of Emerging Lawyers Magazine, in which individuals are recognized among the top up-and-coming attorneys in Illinois.

Name:  Geeta Singh
WIB Position:  Communications Co-Vice Chair
Name:  Yamina Belabassi
WIB Position:  Communications Co-Vice Chair
Name:  Iwona Maciagiewicz
WIB Position:  Program Chair
Name:  Natalia Marangoni
WIB Position:  Program Vice Chair
Name:  Anna Kelner
WIB Position:  Sponsorship Chair
Company: Cardinal Intellectual Property
Title: Patent Search Analyst
Bio Data:  

Anna Kelner, PhD, is a biochemist by training and a patent analyst in the biotechnology and chemical technology areas. At Cardinal IP, she conducts patentability, invalidity, and freedom-to-operate searches to protect her client's novel technologies. 

Anna received a Wellcome Trust PhD Student Fellowship to pursue Parasitology and Drug Discovery from the University of Dundee University in the UK and holds a B.Sc in Biochemistry from the 

Name:  Gule Sheik
WIB Position:  Sponsorship Vice Chair
Name:  Sharon Sintich, Ph.D.
WIB Position:  Young Women In Bio Chair
Company: Marshall, Gerstein & Borun LLP
Title: Partner
Bio Data:  

Dr. Sintich is a partner in the biotechnology practice group at Marshall Gerstein & Borun LLP. Her practice focuses on all aspect of biotech patent prosecution in the United States and abroad. Dr. Sintich in obtained her J.D. from The John Marshall Law School in January 2004. Previously, she earned a Ph.D. in Tumor Cell Biology from Northwestern University.  Her graduate research was conducted in the Department of Urology at Northwestern University Medical School, and focused on TGFß action in prostate cancer. She received a B.S. in Biology from Bradley University.

Name:  Micaela “Micki” Vargas Ph.D.
WIB Position:  Young Women In Bio Vice Chair
Company: Scigofer, LLC
Title: Research Consultant
Bio Data:  

Micki is a research consultant in medical technologies and biomedical sciences with a focus on regenerative medicine and oncology. She earned her undergraduate degree in Biology from Texas State University and her M.S. in Biology and Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology from The University of Texas at San Antonio. She was a recipient of several Postdoctoral Fellowships while completing her fellowship and training at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Name:  Shahila Mehboob Christie
WIB Position:  Membership Chair
Company: Novalex Therapeutics, Inc.
Title: Co-founder and VP of Science
Bio Data:  

At Novalex Shahila spearheads the design and development of novel anti-infectives that address the emerging issues of resistance.  Her strong scientific background stems from the numerous years spent as a researcher in the College of Pharmacy, University of Illinois, Chicago where she worked on several projects in the antibacterial space.  She has published consistently in leading journals and has presented her work at National conferences.    She obtained her PhD in the field of Biochemistry from Loyola University, Chicago.  Shahila is passionate about being an entrepreneur and enjoys creating new ideas and building new relationships.

Name:  Hien-Anh Nguyen
WIB Position:  Membership Vice Chair
Name:  Neelum Aggarwal
WIB Position:  MAPs Chair
Company: Rush University Medical Center
Title: Associate Professor, Department of Neurological Sciences and the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center; Director of Research, Rush Heart Center for Women
Bio Data:  

Neelum T. Aggarwal, MD, is a population health neurologist and clinical researcher in the field of longevity and aging. She is an Associate Professor and Faculty member in the Department of Neurological Sciences and the Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center. She is a Principal Investigator for multiple NIA and industry sponsored Alzheimer's disease clinical trials and is the Director of Research – Rush Heart Center for Women at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. For over 15 years she has served as the senior examining neurologist for community based observational studies, conducting over 2500  neurologic evaluations in the homes of Chicago area residents and is the Co- Principal Investigator for the Community Engagement for Early Recognition and Immediate Action in Stroke (CEERIAS), a PCORI funded grant, that seeks to reduce stroke disparities in Chicago’s underserved communities.

A long-standing voice for community based research and public health initiatives, she is a Steering Committee member for the American Medical Association (AMA) - Commission to End Health Disparities and serves on the Governing Council for the AMA - Women Physician Section.  She is responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with key stakeholders in health and public health organizations and incubating new project areas and public health advocacy.  Dr. Aggarwal has served in numerous leadership and mentorship roles throughout her career. In addition to serving as the American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA's) Chief Diversity Officer, she is a Chicago Innovation Mentor, and a MATTER mentor. She maintains  an active clinical practice while also continuing to serve as a grant reviewer,  consultant to a variety of profit and non-profit organizations, and participates on multiple advisory boards that draw upon her unique and diverse skill set as a clinician-researcher.

Dr. Aggarwal  holds a B.Sc. (Honors) from the University of Windsor, and a doctorate in medicine from Rosalind Franklin School of Medicine. She completed her Neurology training at Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, Michigan and completed an Aging and Neurodegenerative Disorders Fellowship from the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center in Chicago.  

Name:  Natalie King
WIB Position:  MAPs Co-Vice Chair
Bio Data:  

Natalie King completed her Doctorate in Neuroscience from the University of Illinois at Chicago where she her research was focused on the molecular biological pathways associated with Autism and Depression. Her work in the area of Mental Health has led to new insights particularly important for precision medicine and future predictive diagnostic testing for neuropsychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders. Her mission has always been centered on providing the basis of understanding for doctors as it relates to new and potentially valuable therapeutic interventions for patients dealing with this tragic and complex disease. After the completion of her degree, she made the transition to understand human behavior in organizations and joined a Chicago-based startup whose central mission was to develop and provide evidence-based tools for leadership development, particularly in the area of social and emotional intelligence. This work was very fascinating and proved invaluable in her own life as she worked to create and grow relationships within her sphere of influence. Currently involved in building mentoring relationships as the Vice Chair for MAPs with Women in Bio Chicago chapter, her professional career is expanding and focused in the areas of Medical Affairs and Medical Education. 

Name:  Raji Arora
WIB Position:  MAPs Co-Vice Chair
Name:  Anna Lisa Somera
WIB Position:  Grant Committee Chair
Company: Briteseed, LLC and Innoblative Designs
Title: VP of Quality and Regulatory Affairs
Bio Data:  

Anna Lisa Somera has over a decade of start-up experience as a venture capitalist, medical device consultant, technology transfer specialist, biomedical researcher, grant consultant, and entrepreneur specialized in early-stage medical companies. Amongst other roles, Anna Lisa co-founded and served as the Director of Regulatory Affairs at OrthoAccel Technologies, Inc., an orthodontic device company whose products are sold globally. As a Senior Analyst in the life science practice at Illinois Ventures, LLC, she helped drive the formation and raised angel and venture funding for several start-up companies while also serving as interim management for each venture. As the Director of Quality, Regulatory Affairs, and Operations at breast cancer imaging company, Diagnostic Photonics Inc., she led several successful efforts including winning >$4M in government grants and contracts, leading the company to ISO 13485 certification, and heading the regulatory efforts which led to FDA clearance and CE marking of their device.

Currently, Anna Lisa is the VP of Quality and Regulatory Affairs at 2 medical device companies: Briteseed, LLC and Innoblative Designs in Chicago. She is also a grant consultant at the University of Chicago and Northwestern University, a Chicago Innovation Mentor, a MATTER mentor, an Association for Women in Science career mentor, and a Heartland Angels member. Anna Lisa is also an avid athlete having completed nearly 100 races including several marathons and half ironman triathlons. She holds dual Bachelor’s degrees in Biology and Anthropology from Loyola University, a Master’s degree in Cellular Biology and Anatomy from Rush University, dual Master’s degrees in Public Health and Business Administration from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and a certificate in Clinical Trials Management and Regulatory Compliance from the University of Chicago. 

Name:  Mia DeFino
WIB Position:  Grant Committee Vice Chair
Name:  Zoe Quan
WIB Position:  Special Events Chair
Name:  Polina Feldman, PhD, MBA
WIB Position:  Member Benefits Chair
Company: Recovery Force
Title: Director of Research and Human Performance
Bio Data:  

Polina Feldman, PhD, MBA, is a neuroscientist by training and a clinical researcher in the fields of vascular health and pain management. She is the Director of Research and Human Performance at Recovery Force. At Recovery Force, she facilitates the development and clinical testing of their patented Active Compression Technology.

Previously, Polina was an Associate at Indiana University Research and Technology Corporation and focused on partnering with University faculty to spin out emerging healthcare start -up technologies and therapeutics by securing non-dilutive (SBIR/STTR) funding.

Polina is a graduate of Indiana University, earning a PhD in Medical Neuroscience, MBA in Entrepreneurship and Finance from the Kelley School of Business and holds a B.Sc in Biology and Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 

Also meet our Committee Associates, who assist the efforts of Chapter Chairs and support the successful implementation of their initiatives!