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.