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How New York is Creating a Next-Generation of Life Science Executives
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How New York is Creating a Next-Generation of Life Science Executives

When: Thursday, May 4, 2017
6:00 - 8:30 pm
Where: Grand Central Tech
335 Madison Avenue
New York, New York  10017
United States
Contact: Administrator

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How New York is Creating a Next-Generation of Life Science Executives

On Thursday, May 4, a panel of distinguished New Yorkers led by Bunny Ellerin, the new director of CBS’ healthcare management program, will discuss executive skills needed to shape the next generation of life sciences companies in NYC and CBS’ role in filling the talent gap. The panel will highlight how new public-private sector initiatives are propelling the city, after years of struggling, into becoming one of the nation’s top life sciences clusters, and CBS’ engagement in these efforts.

Bunny has led the CBS healthcare management program since September 2016. She has a long and distinguished career as a healthcare entrepreneur, collaborator, and strategist. She will be joined by Maria Gotsch, President and CEO of the Partnership Fund of New York, which has played a critical role in accelerating the region’s life sciences growth; Shoshana Shendelman, PhD, founder and CEO of Applied Therapuetics, which targets areas of debilitating diseases for which no treatment is available, with technology licensed from Columbia; and Sam Sia, professor in the department of biomedical engineering at Columbia’s School of Engineering and a prolific life sciences entrepreneur, who is founder of Clarus Diagnostics and Harlem Biospace.

THE FOCUS: After years of playing catch-up, the New York metropolitan region is attracting unprecedented interest from venture capitalists, pharmaceutical companies, real estate developers and leading life sciences entrepreneurs. A serious industry cluster is finally emerging. However, New York is still not on par with famously established centers. In 2016, a high-profile report by The Partnership Fund for NYC listed four urgent areas of need for investment in the region, including more entrepreneurial talent. Its publication has been followed in 2017 with exciting, new public-private initiatives.

An engaged and robust core of experienced and entrepreneurial management talent is vital for NYC’s life sciences ecosystem, and also to the health of NY’s academic institutions, which are so symbiotic. Columbia faculty such as Sam Sia have combined scientific and business talents to lead the way in founding companies based on discoveries from their labs, such as Claros Diagnostics, now Opko Diagnostics, EpiBone, Kallyope Pharma, and even newer companies like Applied Therapeutics, which just closed a Series A round backed by Alexandria Venture Investments and other crossover funds. But it’s only a start. This panel will address the gaps as well as opportunities and potential solutions for filling the entrepreneurial gap in NY.  (The panelists' bios appear below.)

DATE: Thursday, May 4, 2017
TIME: 6:00-8:30 pm
LOCATION: Grand Central Tech, 335 Madison Avenue, NY (bet. E. 43rd-44th Sts.)
TICKETS:  CBSACNY Members: $30.00; CBSACNY student members: $15; Non-Members $45.00
(Special discount available for CU students: $15; CU Faculty: $30 - please contact us for a promo code before registering!)

SPECIAL OFFER: Attend two events for free this year with the purchase of a one-year ($85 or more) membership to the Columbia Business School Alumni Club of New York. Click here to join now and then contact us for your promotional code before you register for the events of your choice (cannot be combined with other promotional codes; sports events and holiday parties are excluded.)


Bunny Ellerin is the Director of the Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Management Program at Columbia Business School since September 2016. There, she handles a variety of strategic, curricular, and industry outreach initiatives, working closely with students, faculty and staff members, and alumni. She is also the co-founder and president of NYC Health Business Leaders (NYCHBL), a professional community dedicated to building a healthcare ecosystem in the New York region. The organization fosters collaboration across sectors and brings together the best minds to discuss important issues and spur innovation. Bunny sits on the board of The Fund for Public Health NYC, an independent, nonprofit organization that connects the NYC Health Department with public and private sector partners to build public health programs that make our city healthier and safer. She also serves as an advisor to several private, venture-backed companies including Context Matters, Vitalis, and Metamason. Bunny received a BA in Political Science from Columbia University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Shortly after graduation from HBS, she founded the Harvard Business School Healthcare Alumni Association, which she built into one of the largest alumni organizations at HBS. She lives in Brooklyn with her son, who Bunny expects will create a video game soon, make millions and hire his mom for duties other than making pb&j sandwiches.

Maria Gostsch is the President and CEO at the Partnership Fund for New York City, which is the investment arm of the Partnership for New York City. In addition to leading the Fund’s operations, Maria has spearheaded the creation and operation of a number of the Fund’s strategic initiatives across industries, including BioAccelerate Prize NYC (proof-of-concept funding for university-based biomedical research); Arts Entrepreneurial Loan Fund (low cost loans for mid-size arts groups); and ReStart Central and Financial Recovery Fund (assistance and funding for small businesses impacted by 9/11/01).
Prior to joining the Fund in 1999, Maria was a Managing Director at BT Wolfensohn (now part of Deutsche Bank), providing strategic and financial advice related to mergers, acquisitions, dispositions, joint ventures and the development of business strategies. Before starting with Wolfensohn, Maria worked at LaSalle Partners in the New York area and for Merrill Lynch Capital Markets in New York and London. Maria has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a B.A. from Wellesley College. She was also the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship to study international relations at the Institut Universitaire de Hautes Etudes Internationales in Geneva, Switzerland.

Shoshana Shendelman, PhD is the founder and CEO of Applied Therapeutics. Prior to founding Applied, she founded Clearpoint Strategy Group, a boutique strategic advisory firm in NYC, where she currently serves as a Senior Advisor. Dr. Shendelman has directed products through early and late stage development, from conceptual design to product lanch for clients including top 10 pharmaceutical companies, biotech start-ups, and VC firms. She received her doctorate from Columbia University in Cellular, Molecular, and Biophysical Studies (CMBS), where her graduate work focused on neuronal stem cell differentiation and molecular mechanisms of Parkinson Disease.

Sam Sia is a Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Columbia University, where he has been on the faculty since 2005. His lab focuses on using microfluidics for global health diagnostics and for 3D tissue biology. He is a founder of Claros Diagnostics, a venture capital-backed company developing diagnostics products, which was acquired by Opko Health, and Harlem Biospace, New York City's first life-science incubator. Sam obtained his B.S. in Biochemistry at the University of Alberta, Ph.D. in Biophysics at Harvard University, and postdoctoral fellowship in chemistry at Harvard University. He was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Predoctoral Fellow, National Science and Engineering Council of Canada Predoctoral Fellow, and Canadian Institute of Health Postdoctoral Fellow. His lab's work has been supported by the NIH (NHLBI and NINR), NSF, USAID/Grand Challenges Canada/Gates Foundation, Wallace H. Coulter Foundation, American Heart Association, and World Health Organization. He was named one of the world's top young innovators by MIT Technology Review (2010), and is an elected fellow of AIMBE (American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering).

A special thanks to Grand Central Tech for co-sponsoring this program, which was organized by the CBSACNY Healthcare Committee.  Thank you also to our co-sponsors New York City Health Business Leaders and the Healthcare Industry Association of Columbia Business School for their wonderful support and refreshments.

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