December 2022 Meeting



Frm Executive Director of Biden Cancer Initiative

Frm Executive Director of White House Cancer Moonshot

Frm Director of Global Policy, Pfizer

Mr. Simon has held senior positions in both chambers of Congress, served in two Presidential administrations, was a senior strategy consultant to a variety of international technology CEO's, co-founded with Michael Milken, and led, FasterCures, co-founded and led the Melanoma Research Alliance, was the Senior Vice President at Pfizer for Worldwide Policy and Patient Engagement, and was the CEO of Poliwogg, a financial services company creating unique capital market opportunities and indexes in healthcare and life sciences. He has developed a reputation as a visionary strategist, a dynamic public speaker and writer, and as an expert analyst of emerging trends in healthcare, information technology, innovative drug research and development, and patient advocacy. Most recently, Greg was the President of the Biden Cancer Initiative, a nonprofit formed by Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden to continue the work of the White House Cancer Moonshot to double the rate of progress in preventing, detecting, diagnosing, treating, and surviving cancer. He came to that position after serving as the Executive Director of the White House Cancer Moonshot Task Force established by President Barack Obama and led by Vice President Biden. 



CEO, Geneius Biotechnology

Former CEO, Bluebird Bio

Former Head of Product Development, Genetech

Dr. Slanetz is the founder of Geneius Biotechnology and has been President, Chief Executive Officer and a director of the Company full time since its inception. Prior to co-founding the Company, he served as Chief Executive Officer and President of Bluebird Bio.


Dr. Slanetz also served as Vice President, Business Development of TRANSGENE in May 1996. From 1994 to 1996, he served as Manager, New Product Planning and Development at Genentech Inc. Prior to that, Dr. Slanetz was a Management Consultant for Arthur D. Little.


He received his Ph.D. in Molecular and Immunobiology from Yale University, as well as a Masters from Brown University.



CEO, President, and CSO, Bectus Therapeutics

CSO, Xilio Therapeutics

Former Director, Oncology Drug Development, Merck

Ronan is the CEO, President, and CSO of Bectus Therapeutics, a startup focused on bringing dynamic precision and human insight to develop drugs that can overcome a major resistance mechanism mediated by myeloid suppression cells.  Myeloid derived immune suppression could account for over 50% of non-responders to current T-cell checkpoint inhibitors, representing an addressable market of over $10 billion per annum.   The company's Co-Founder of 2018 Nobel Laureate Jim Allison.  

Prior to Bectas, Ronan was chief scientific officer at Xilio Therapeutics. Dr. O’Hagan has 25 years of oncology and research and development experience across industry and academia.  Prior to Xilio, he led the oncology discovery program at Merck with a particular emphasis on approaches to enable and enhance immune-modulatory therapies in cancer.   Prior to Merck, Dr. O'Hagan was a founding scientist and research leader at AVEO Oncology.



Director of Breast Cancer Research Program at Harvard/Mass General

Professor, Medicine, Harvard Medical School

As the Director of Breast Cancer Research Program at MGH, Dr. Bardia is interested in advancing research to improve the outcomes with breast cancer. Dr. Bardia has led the clinical development of antibody drug conjugate (ADC), sacituzumab govitecan, the first ADC approved for patients with metastatic triple negative breast cancer. Dr. Bardia has received several research awards including outstanding award for research excellence at Mayo Clinic, Young Investigator Award from ASCO, and Douglas Family Foundation prize for excellence in oncology research at MGH. Dr. Bardia is the editor of precision medicine clinic section of The Oncologist, co-leader of the Molecular and Precision (MAP) tumor board at MGH, and editorial board member of ASCO molecular oncology tumor board.



Leading Expert in Cross-section of Obesity and Diabetes with Cancer

Medical Oncologist, Memorial Sloan

Neil Iyengar is a medical oncologist and clinical-translational researcher at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC). He is an Assistant Attending Physician in the Breast Medicine Service at MSKCC and also holds a joint research appointment at the Rockefeller University as an Associate Attending. He received his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago. He complete residency training in Internal Medicine at the University of Chicago followed by fellowship in medical oncology and hematology at MSKCC. His research has been supported by grant awards from several organizations including Young Investigator Awards from the Conquer Cancer Foundation and from Expedition Inspiration, as well as awards from the NCCN, the American Association for Cancer Research, and others. He has been invited to speak at international meetings and he has published several peer reviewed articles.

Dr. Iyengar steers the multi-institutional Obesity & Cancer Working Group – a highly productive translational research team that includes basic scientists, clinicians, epidemiologists, exercise physiologists, and other experts. Dr. Iyengar specifically studies the role of metabolic health and inflammation in the development and progression of breast and several other cancers. Given the rising rates of obesity worldwide, Dr. Iyengar and his team are working to develop feasible and highly-targeted preventive and treatment strategies aimed at adipose tissue inflammation, which are poised to have a broad public health impact.


Founder, Catalytic Impact Foundation

Partner, Easton Capital


Richard Lipkin is a Managing Director of New York-based Easton Capital Investment Group. Previously, he was a partner of Commerce Health Ventures, a life sciences healthcare fund, and Laird & Co., a private merchant bank; a biotech analyst consultant for a Goldman Sachs hedge fund and for DARPA; Executive Director of the Strang Cancer Prevention Center; and a prolific author, awarded the American Chemical Society’s Grady-Stack Award for research analysis.


Mr. Lipkin studied theoretical neuroscience at Columbia University, and serves on many boards, councils, and committees for the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rockefeller and Columbia Universities, MBL, the New York Academy of Science, and Montefiore Medical Center.


Mr. Lipkin is an honors graduate of Princeton University, holds an MBA from Columbia University, and is a Senior Staff Associate in Columbia University’s Department of Neuroscience. 

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Deputy Director and Chair, Licensing and Entrepreneurship, NCI

Steven M. Ferguson currently serves as the Deputy Director, Licensing and Entrepreneurship. Prior to joining NIH Office of Technology Transfer in 1990, Mr. Ferguson served in marketing and management positions in biomedical firms subsequent to being a scientist at the National Cancer Institute. His healthcare experience has also included work as Director of Marketing and Public Relations for a rural 70-bed hospital. Registered to practice before the USPTO and a Certified Licensing Professional (CLP), Mr. Ferguson also holds Master's Degrees in Business Administration (George Washington University) and Chemistry (University of Cincinnati) as well as Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry (Case Western Reserve University). Mr. Ferguson has been an economic reviewer for Maryland Industrial Partnerships (MIPS) as well as the Advanced Technology Program (ATP) grant programs and is an instructor for both the USDA Graduate School and the NIH FAES Graduate School where he is also the department chair for the new Certificate in Technology Transfer Program. Mr. Ferguson was also the Susan T. and Charles E. Harris Visiting Lecturer at the Watson School of Biological Sciences at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and has published articles on licensing and technology transfer issues.

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Director Invention Development and Marketing Unit (IDMU), NCI

Dr. Michael Salgaller leads the Invention Development and Marketing Unit (IDMU) within the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI’s) Technology Transfer Center, where he leverages over 20 years of business, scientific, and investment experience in various life science sectors to support technology development and commercialization. The IDMU serves in a business development role to foster licensing and collaborative activity between buy-side stakeholders and the NCI (as well as NIH in general). Immediately prior to returning to the NCI, Michael was a Vice President at The Conafay Group, a healthcare-focused government affairs firm in downtown DC, where he led alliance development activities centered on civilian health. He served as President of Biologics Consulting Group, a boutique firm providing professional services focused on regulatory affairs. Michael spent several years on the investment team of an early-stage venture capital firm dedicated to the life sciences. He began his buy-side career as Vice President of R&D for Northwest Biotherapeutics, where he led the development of cancer cell therapies that achieved clinical benefit. He began his career as a Senior Scientist with Dr. Steve Rosenberg at the NCI. He is the author of “Biotechnology Entrepreneurship,” and teaches an entrepreneurship class at NIH. He is on the Board of Canines-N-Kids, a foundation supporting cooperation between researchers in pediatric and veterinary oncology. He has written over 70 scientific/business articles and book chapters. Dr. Salgaller received his PhD in Pathology from The Ohio State University.