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Our Team

 


 

Leslie M. Alexandre, DrPH

Chief Executive Officer and President

 


 

206.456.9562

 

Dr. Alexandre is an established business leader and 30-year veteran of the life science and health care industries.  Her background includes leadership roles in companies ranging in size from startup to Fortune 500, the National Institutes of Health and prominent research institutions.  At the Georgia Cancer Center, Dr. Alexandre led teams of scientists, clinicians and administrators to secure millions of dollars in funding for research, infrastructure and community outreach from biopharmaceutical companies, foundations and government agencies.

As President and CEO of the internationally renowned North Carolina Biotechnology Center from 2002-2007, Dr. Alexandre led the development and execution of a strategic plan for growing the economy statewide through biotechnology.  Developed on behalf of the governor, this plan resulted in tens of millions of dollars of new State investment in biotechnology education and workforce training, research, and company creation over the next five years.  

Dr. Alexandre previously served as Assistant Director of Industrial Relations for the National Cancer Institute, facilitating scientific collaborations with industry to accelerate progress in cancer research.  She also led corporate affairs for Oncormed, the first commercial provider of cancer-related genetic predisposition and pharmacogenomics testing services, served in senior health policy positions for two U.S. senators, and was the primary liaison between EDS and the Washington, DC health policy community.  

The recipient of numerous business awards and other honors, Dr. Alexandre has extensive experience serving on corporate, academic and non-profit boards.  She received her BA in Community Health Administration from the University of California at Davis, and her MSPH and DrPH from the UCLA School of Public Health, with a concentration in the financing and delivery of health care.

 


 

Christina Cantillo
Commercialization Program Coordinator

 



206.456.9567

 

Ms. Cantillo first joined the Life Science Washington team in April 2016 as the Interim Executive Assistant to the President & CEO. In July 2016, she became Life Science Washington’s Commercialization Program Coordinator. She has more than seven years of experience in administration as well as with event coordination & client services.


Ms. Cantillo first came to the Pacific Northwest from Las Vegas, NV to attend Pacific Lutheran University. She received her BA in English in 2008.

 

Marc Cummings

Vice President,

Public Policy & External Affairs

 

 

206.456.9566

Mr. Cummings is a seasoned policy veteran with experience representing high-tech industries in both Washington, DC and Olympia.

Prior to joining Life Science Washington, he served as Director of Policy & External Affairs for the PNNL, which is operated by Battelle for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).  While at the PNNL, Mr. Cummings was actively involved in creating and advocating for several statewide bioscience initiatives including the Life Sciences Discovery Fund and a new State-Federal bioproducts and biofuels research center at WSU Tri-cities.  Due to Battelle’s philanthropic focus on math & science education, he was also deeply involved a range of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education partnerships and science education initiatives. Mr. Cummings has over 20 years of policy experience at both the federal and state level supporting the growth of high-tech industries and creating innovative, public-private partnerships. 

He holds a MS degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) and a B.S. degree from the University of Puget Sound.

 


Yesenia Green, PhD

Associate Director,

Capital Formation & Partnerships

 

206.456.9580

Dr. Green joined Life Science Washington in August 2014 as the Commercialization Manager. She is also the Program Manager for WINGS, the Washington Medical Technology Angel Network.

She completed her thesis research at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, working on microRNA extracellular transfer. Prior to joining Life Science Washington, Dr. Green had experience working in technology transfer as a Technology Licensing Fellow at the Center for Commercialization at the University of Washington.

She received her PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Washington.


Megan Jeffrey

Communications Manager

 

 

megan@LifeScienceWA.org 
206.456.9572

 

Ms. Jeffrey joined Life Science Washington in February 2013 as Communications Manager. Throughout her educational and professional career she has completed projects for a wide array of organizations including the University Of Washington School Of Drama, The Land Conservancy, and the Growing Together Initiative. She brings to Life Science Washington a strong background in digital communications platforms and production management. 

Before joining Life Science Washington, Ms. Jeffrey served as a Marketing Coordinator and Social Media adviser for Interior Architects. She maintained and supported the organization's active presence on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other social media channels. She holds a BS in Journalism from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and Communications MS from the University of Washington. 

 

 

Deborah Kohr
Executive Assistant

 

206.456.9568

 

Ms. Kohr joined Life Science Washington in 2016 as Executive Assistant to the President & CEO. 

 

She has more than 15 years of healthcare experience as well as expertise in public administration, event planning, office administration and project coordination. Ms. Kohr previously worked a Providence Health & Services where she was the Executive Assistant to the VP of Revenue Cycle. 


Kathleen Poston

Vice President,

Administration

 

kathleen@LifeScienceWA.org 

206.456.9564

 

Ms. Poston joined Life Science Washington in 2004 as Director, Administration. She has more than 15 years of non-profit experience and expertise in database administration, event planning and organizational management.  Ms. Poston previously worked at Melby, Cameron & Hull, an association management company where she was Assistant Director for the Washington Society of Association Executives, Northwest Florists Association and Office Manager.


 

Ingrid Ruf, PhD
Grant Support Program Manager



206.456.9563

 

 

 

Dr. Ruf joined Life Science Washington in February 2016 as a Commercialization Associate. In July 2016 she became the Program Manager for the Grant Support Program.

 

Before joining Life Science Washington, she was an Assistant Professor at the University of California, Irvine pursuing research in viral oncology and a Staff Scientist at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center working on microRNAs as biomarkers.

 

She received her PhD in Genetics and Molecular Biology from Emory University and completed postdoctoral studies at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis Tennessee.


 

Jessica Roberto, PhD

Commercialization Program Manager 

 

jessica@LifeScienceWA.org

206.829.2394

 

Dr. Roberto joined Life Science Washington in August 2016 as a Commercialization Program Manager. She is responsible for the development of educational resources and tools to support life science entrepreneurs.

Prior to joining Life Science Washington, Dr. Roberto served as a Bridge Fund Associate at the W Fund, while also conducting research in liver immunology as a Post-Doctoral Scientist at the University of Washington. She has additional experience in due diligence consulting for early stage life science investors and companies.

She received her PhD in Pathobiology/Global Health from the University of Washington.



 

Brady Ryan

Business Development Manager 

 

 

brady@LifeScienceWA.org

206.456.9571

 

Mr. Ryan first joined Life Science Washington in June 2012 as a Commercialization Intern for Life Science Washington and Project Intern for WINGS, the Washington Medical Technology Angel Network.  In August, after a successful internship, he became Life Science Washington's full-time Commercialization Associate. Mr. Ryan works with the Commercialization Team to support life science innovators realize successful product launches and funding endeavors. 

 

He graduated from Willamette University in Salem, OR in May, 2012, with a degree in biology.


 

Wendy Yang, PhD
Commercialization Program Associate

 

wendy@LifeScienceWA.org

206.829.2390

 

 

Dr. Yang joined Life Science Washington in August 2016 as a Commercialization Program Associate.

Prior to joining Life Science Washington, Dr. Yang completed her doctoral research in stem cells within the context of pancreatic biology. She gained commercialization experience while serving as a Program Operations Specialist at the UW Coulter Translational Research Partnership and as an Innovation Fund Fellow at the CoMotion Innovation Fund.

She received her PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Washington.


 

Kayla Young, PhD
Commercialization Program Associate

 

kayla@LifeScienceWA.org

206.829.2392

 

Dr. Kayla Young joined Life Science Washington in August of 2016 as a Commercialization Program Associate. Before starting at Life Science Washington, she received her PhD in Molecular Physiology and Biophysics from Vanderbilt University, where her research focused on the mechanisms of insulin secretion during stress.

 

She is originally from Denver, CO and attended the University of Puget Sound for her undergraduate degree in Biology.


Darcy Ellsperman

Associate Director, Events 

206.456.9570

Darcy Ellsperman joined WBBA in December of 2009 as the Event Manager and is responsible for the execution of all WBBA events -  including educational programming, WBBA Signature events, (e.g. Life Science Innovation Northwest), and all social and membership-centric events.  Ms. Ellsperman has a strong background in hospitality and event planning and has been working in the field for more than 13 years. 

 

Ms. Ellsperman spent five years at the Microsoft Executive Briefing Center in Redmond working in an event planning capacity, and before joining WBBA, managed all private events at a fine dining restaurant with locations in Seattle and Bellevue.

Ms. Ellsperman holds a BA in Communications from the University of Washington.


 

Darcy Ellsperman

Associate Director, Events 

206.456.9570

Darcy Ellsperman joined WBBA in December of 2009 as the Event Manager and is responsible for the execution of all WBBA events -  including educational programming, WBBA Signature events, (e.g. Life Science Innovation Northwest), and all social and membership-centric events.  Ms. Ellsperman has a strong background in hospitality and event planning and has been working in the field for more than 13 years. 

 

Ms. Ellsperman spent five years at the Microsoft Executive Briefing Center in Redmond working in an event planning capacity, and before joining WBBA, managed all private events at a fine dining restaurant with locations in Seattle and Bellevue.

Ms. Ellsperman holds a BA in Communications from the University of Washington.


 

Yesenia Green, PhD

Commercialization Manager

206.456.9580

Yesenia Green joined the WBBA in August 2014 as the Commercialization Manager. She is also the Program Manager for WINGS, the Washington Medical Technology Angel Network.

Dr. Green completed her thesis research at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, working on microRNA extracellular transfer. Prior to joining the WBBA, Dr. Green had experience working in technology transfer as a Technology Licensing Fellow at the Center for Commercialization at the University of Washington.

Dr. Green received her PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Washington.

 

Yesenia Green, PhD

Commercialization Manager

206.456.9580

Yesenia Green joined the WBBA in August 2014 as the Commercialization Manager. She is also the Program Manager for WINGS, the Washington Medical Technology Angel Network.

Dr. Green completed her thesis research at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, working on microRNA extracellular transfer. Prior to joining the WBBA, Dr. Green had experience working in technology transfer as a Technology Licensing Fellow at the Center for Commercialization at the University of Washington.

Dr. Green received her PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Washington.

 
more Calendar

1/5/2017
Intensive SBIR/STTR Workshop: NIH Focus- WSU Spokane

2/28/2017
VIP Forum with Japan Tobacco Pharmaceutical Division

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