Presenter Bios

in alphabetical order

a | b | c | d | e | f | g | h | i | j | k | l | m | n | o | p | q | r | s | t | u | v | w | x | y | z

Laurie Actmanlaurie-actman
Penn Center for Innovation (PCI)

Laurie Actman serves as the Chief Operation Officer of the Penn Center for Innovation (PCI) at the University of Pennsylvania.  Laurie as part of the Executive Team oversees the strategic implementation of PCI’s growth including the development of strategic programs and partnerships, marketing, communications, legal affairs, intellectual property and finance. Previous to PCI she has worked for notable organizations in the private, non-profit and public sectors in Philadelphia.  She received her undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis and a Masters Degree from UNC-Chapel Hill.  Actman lives in Bala Cywnyd with her husband and three children and is an elected Board Member of the Lower Merion School District.


Mark G. Allenmark-allen
Scientific Director, Singh Center for Nanotechnology
Alfred Fitler Moore Professor
Electrical and Systems Engineering
Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics
University of Pennsylvania


Danny Cabreradanny-c

Danny Cabrera is founder of BioBots which is empowering people to build with life. His customers design and engineer biology to cure disease, eliminate the organ waiting list, revert climate change, and live on other planets. BioBots’ first product is a 3D bioprinter called BioBot 1. In addition to being featured on CNN and Fortune, BioBots was recently a TechCrunch Disrupt 2015 Finalist and named The Company of the Year by the Philadelphia Business Journal. Danny was the SXSW 2015 Most Innovative award winner, and he is an Inc. and Forbes 30 under 30.


Noah Claynoah-clay
Director of the Nanofabrication Facility
Singh Center for Nanotechnology

Noah Clay is the Director of Nanofabrication in the Singh Center at the University of Pennsylvania.  Prior to joining Penn in 2013, Noah managed nanoscale process integration at Cornell University, developing and implementing advanced device applications.  He also served as Nanofabrication Manager at the Harvard University Center for Nanoscale Systems, where he was responsible for day-to-day operations of its cleanroom, and managing associated technical staff.  Noah has held technical staff positions at United Technologies in Princeton, NJ, and at Infinera Corporation in Silicon Valley, CA, where he fabricated photon-counting devices and photonic integrated circuits, respectively. He attended SUNY, earning an undergraduate degree in Physics (Honors) and performed Master’s work in Electrical Engineering at Tufts University.


Jean-Yves Delannoy

Laboratory Manager

Jean-Yves Delannoy director of COMPASS, received his MSc (2002) and PhD degree (2005) from the École Normale Supérieure Lyon. He began working as a research scientist specializing in the modeling of reinforced polymers in MICHELIN’s research center in Clermont Ferrand (France) before moving to the SOLVAY Group in February 2011. Before taking managerial responsibilities, Jean Yves worked for Solvay on various modeling problems dealing with Polymer materials. Jean Yves has co-authored several publications and has been invited to different international conferences. Jean Yves has managed many collaborative projects both at the French national Level (ANR) and  European Level (FP7). He moved to Solvay USA in August 2015 as manager of the COMPASS lab. Since 2016 he is also the global leader for modeling and simulation for the group.


Paul Ducheyne

Paul Ducheyne is Professor of Bioengineering and Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery Research at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA. He also has been a Special Guest Professor at the University of Leuven, Belgium, where he obtained his Materials Science and Engineering degrees.

Paul Ducheyne has lectured around the world and currently serves, or has served on, the editorial board of more than ten scientific journals in the biomaterials, bioceramics, bioengineering, tissue engineering, orthopaedics and dental fields. He has authored about 360 papers and chapters, and he has edited 16 books and book volumes. His papers have been cited more than 11,000 times with an “h-factor” of 60; his ten most visible papers have been cited about 3,000 times. He is Editor-in Chief of Comprehensive Biomaterials, a 6-volume, 3,650-page major reference work published by Elsevier in August 2011.

One of the major achievements of Professor Ducheyne is training pioneering leaders in biomaterials and bioceramics. Among his trainees are also Professors around the world. Among the six U.S. Associate Editors of the Journal for Biomedical Materials Research, the official journal of the Society for Biomaterials, three were his PhD students.

Paul Ducheyne has been Secretary of the European Society for Biomaterials, is Past President of the Society for Biomaterials (USA) and Past President of the International Society for Ceramics in Medicine. Among other recognitions, he is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), he was the first Nanyang Visiting Professor at the Nanyang Institute of Technology, Singapore, was the recipient of the inaugural Bioceramics Pioneer Award,  and he has received the C. William Hall Award and the Founders Award from the Society for Biomaterials.


Alexander Feldmanalex-feldman
Principal Scientist

Alexander Feldman is currently a Principal Scientist at Akoustis Inc where he has been working based out of the Charlotte, NC area since April, 2015. Akoustis develops, designs, and manufactures filter products for radio frequency (RF) front-ends that are used in mobile wireless device industry. Prior to Akoustis, Dr. Feldman worked as a Sr. Process Engineer at Avago Technologies from September, 2014 to April, 2015, and at FLIR Systems from August, 2013 to September, 2014. He began his career as an R&D Engineer for Tessera Israel for 3 years before moving to DigitalOptics Corporation, a subsidiary of Tessera in Charlotte, NC, for over 4 years as a Sr R&D Engineer. Dr. Feldman has extensive experience and is an expert in the fields of wafer level technologies, polymers, semiconductors and optics industries. Dr. Feldman holds a Ph.D in Applied Chemistry from The Hebrew University, Israel.


Eamon Gallaghereamon-gallagher
Program Director
IC @3401 Science Center

Eamon Gallagher works with several entrepreneurship and startup initiatives in and around Philadelphia, including as Program Director at ic@3401, Philadelphia’s largest community of funded start-ups, and as co-organizer of Philly New Tech Meetup, the city’s largest active monthly tech meetup. He is an attorney and worked in Drexel’s Entrepreneurial Law Clinic, founded Drexel’s Transactional Law Team, volunteered at Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, and participated in Keiretsu Forum’s Due Diligence Fellowship program.

Eamon’s first career was in corporate recruiting. He earned a J.D. from Drexel Law with a concentration in Business and Entrepreneurship Law. He also holds a B.S. in Public Policy and a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Rhode Island.


Brian Gimelsonbrian-gimelson


Jason Gleghorngleghorn-jason
Assistant Professor
Biomedical Engineering
University of Delaware

Dr. Jason Gleghorn is an Assistant Professor in the University of Delaware Department of Biomedical Engineering and Director of the Tissue Morphodynamics and Regenerative Medicine Laboratory. His lab develops and uses microfluidic and microfabrication technologies to determine how cells behave and communicate within multicellular populations to form complex 3D tissues and organs. The long-term goals of this research are to develop techniques to engineer physiologically relevant 3D culture systems with well-defined structure, flows, and cell-cell interactions to study tissue-scale biology and disease. These techniques in combination with what we learn in our studies of the native cellular behaviors and interactions in the embryo will be used to define new therapeutic approaches for regenerative medicine. Dr. Gleghorn completed postdoctoral fellowships at Princeton University with Dr. Celeste Nelson and Cornell University with Brian Kirby. During his postdoctoral training, Dr. Gleghorn applied microfluidic and microfabrication techniques to identify new physical mechanisms that regulate organ development and he created new microfluidic systems to isolate rare circulating tumor cells from patient blood samples respectively. During his graduate training at Cornell University with Dr. Lawrence Bonassar and Dr. Abe Stroock he developed cellular 3D microfluidic hydrogel scaffolds to spatially and temporally regulate the chemical microenvironment in engineered tissues.


Bojana Gligorijevicbojana-gligorijevic
Assistant Professor
Temple University

Dr. Bojana Gligorijevic holds appointments as Assistant Professor in the Department of BioEngineering at Temple University and in Cancer Biology Program, Fox Chase Cancer Center. Dr. Gligorijevic received an M.S. and Ph.D. from the Department of Chemistry at Georgetown University in 2007, for her work on development of imaging technologies for malaria research. During the postdoctoral years in Biophotonic Center at Albert Einstein (New York), Dr. Gligorijevic worked on intravital microscopy of metastasis, contributing a series of quantitative tools for imaging, manipulation and classification of tumor microenvironments in mouse models. Application of such precise methodologies can facilitate the discovery of novel markers for early metastasis. In a recent example, Gligorijevic lab demonstrated that the extracellular matrix-degrading protrusions in cancer cells (invadopodia) are essential for cancer cell intravasation and metastasis in vivo and importantly, can be eliminated by normalization of extracelullar matrix. Dr. Gligorijevic currently holds a NCI K99/R00 and Concern Foundation Career Awards to study the tumor cell plasticity in complex environments.


Yury Gogotsiyury-gogotsi
Distinguished University and Trustee Chair Professor
Drexel University

Dr. Yury Gogotsi is Distinguished University Professor and Trustee Chair of Materials Science and Engineering at Drexel University. He also serves as Director of the A.J. Drexel Nanomaterials Institute. He received his MS (1984) and PhD (1986) degrees from Kiev Polytechnic and a DSc degree from the Ukrainian Academy of Science in 1995. His research group works on nanostructured carbons, 2D carbides and other nanomaterials. He has co-authored 2 books, edited 13 books, 16 book chapters, more than 450 papers in peer-reviewed journals and obtained more than 50 patents.

He has received numerous awards for his research including the European Carbon Association Award, S. Somiya Award from the International Union of Materials Research Societies, International Nanotechnology Prize (Rusnano Prize), R&D 100 Award from R&D Magazine (twice) and two Nano 50 Awards from NASA Nanotech Briefs. He has been elected a Fellow of the American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS), Materials Research Society, American Ceramic Society, the Electrochemical Society, Royal Society of Chemistry, as well as Academician of the World Academy of Ceramics and Full Member of the International Institute for the Science of Sintering. He also serves on the MRS Board of Directors.


John Gosierjohn-gosier
Venture Capitalist
Cross Philly


Anthony P. Greenanthony-green
Vice President
Technology Commercialization Group
Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania

Anthony P. Green, Ph.D., is Vice President, Technology Commercialization Group for Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern PA. He is also a Visiting Research Professor, School of Biomedical Engineering, Drexel University.  At Ben Franklin, Dr. Green is focused on Ben Franklin’s larger and region-wide technology partnerships and major initiatives in emerging technologies including nanotechnology, energy and water.  He is also focused on new and evolving life sciences initiatives, university/industry partnerships in digital health, advanced textiles advanced manufacturing and the development and implementation new commercialization models.  He is a member of the Board of Visitors of the University of the Sciences Misher College of Arts and Sciences and the PA Life Science Leadership Advisory Council and serves on the Oversight/Advisory Committees for the Coulter-Drexel Translational Research Partnership, the Science Center’s QED Program and the Philadelphia Pediatric Medical Device Consortium.  Dr. Green has over 30 years experience in the biotechnology industry focusing on diagnostics and gene transfer technologies.  Dr. Green’s track record includes research, development and commercialization of cutting-edge technologies primarily through small, emerging companies, including Centocor, BD and Puresyn.  Dr. Green earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Immunology, with Honors, from Brown University, in Providence, Rhode Island and his Ph.D. from Temple University School of Medicine, in Microbiology and Immunology.


Adam Greenspanadam-greenspan
Director of Business Incubation
University City Science Center


Piotr GrodzinskiPiotr Grodzinski
Office of Nanotechnology Research
National Cancer Institute

Dr. Piotr Grodzinski is a Director of NCI Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland. He coordinates program and research activities of the Alliance to form interdisciplinary centers as well as fund individual research and training programs targeting nanotechnology solutions for improved prevention, detection, and therapy of cancer.

Dr. Grodzinski graduated from the University of Science and Technology (AGH) in Krakow, Poland and continued his studies at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, where he researched novel semiconductor materials used in low threshold lasers. In mid-nineties, Dr. Grodzinski left the world of semiconductor research and got interested in biotechnology. He built a large microfluidics program at Motorola Corporate R&D in Arizona. The group made important contributions to the development of integrated microfluidics for genetic sample preparation with its work being featured in Highlights of Chemical Engineering News and Nature reviews. After his tenure at Motorola, Dr. Grodzinski was with Bioscience Division of Los Alamos National Laboratory where he served as a Group Leader and an interim Chief Scientist for DOE Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies (CINT). At the National Institutes of Health (NIH), in addition to his programmatic responsibilities, he co-chaired Trans-NIH Nanotechnology Task Force, which is coordinating the nanotechnology efforts across 27 institutes of the agency with the budget over $300M/year.

Dr. Grodzinski received Ph.D. in Materials Science from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles in 1992. He is an inventor on 17 patents and published over 60 peer-reviewed papers and 10 book chapters. Dr. Grodzinski has been elected a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) in 2014.

Joe Hackettjoe-hacket
MI-12 Ventures LLC


Jennifer Harttjennifer-hart
Director of Investments
Benjamin Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania

Jennifer Hartt is Director of Investments, Life Sciences, for Ben Franklin. Hartt directs all of Ben Franklin’s life sciences investments in companies with technologies ranging from clinical healthcare IT, medical devices and diagnostics to therapeutics. Hartt has invested in over forty companies for Ben Franklin since arriving in 2005. Hartt holds a Master’s in Biology and Bachelor’s degree, graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, with both degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. She has prior experience in lab research, clinical settings, business consulting for small and large companies, technology evaluation and transfer, licensing and equity management. Prior to joining Ben Franklin, Hartt was Associate Director of Business Development & Equity at the University of Pennsylvania. Hartt is involved in regional activities in technology development education and commercialization programs such as in being on science curriculum audit and design committees, evaluating business plans, judging entrants in the Eastern Technology Council Enterprise Awards, mentoring students and representing her organization on the oversight committee for Coulter funding of translational research at Drexel University.


David Issadoredavid-issadore
Assistant Professor
Electrical and Systems Engineering
University of Pennsylvania

David is an Assistant Professor of Bioengineering and Electrical and Systems Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania. His research focuses on the integration of microelectronics, microfluidics, nanomaterials and molecular targeting, and their application to medicine. This multidisciplinary approach enables Issadore’s lab to explore new technologies to bring medical diagnostics from expensive, centralized facilities, directly to clinical and resource-limited settings for applications including early detection of pancreatic cancer, Tuberculosis diagnosis in patients co-infected with HIV, and prognosis of traumatic brain injury. His academic background in electrical engineering and applied physics (PhD, Harvard 2009) and his research experience in a hospital research laboratory (MGH) have prepared him to work and collaborate effectively on these inherently cross-disciplinary problems.


Christopher Janetopoulosc-janetopoulos
Associate Professor
Biological Sciences
University of the Sciences
Faculty Member
University of Pennsylvania Muscle Institute
CEO, In Vivo Imaging Solutions

Dr. Janetopoulos received is BA in Biology/PreMed at Augustana College in Illinois, his Ph.D. in Biology at Texas A&M University, and did a fellowship in Biological Chemistry and Cell Biology at Johns Hopkins Medical School. Dr. Janetopoulos is interested in how cells polarize during migration and cell division. We use normal and human cancer cell lines, mice, various ciliated protozoa, and the amoeba D. discoideum for these studies. Current projects include:  1) Investigate, using several sophisticated microscopy techniques, the signaling and cytoskeletal events that regulate cell morphology. We are particularly interested in the influence of the plasma membrane lipids on the cytoskeleton. Most of the regulators we study have been implicated in cancer. 2) Develop new techniques for imaging cells in vitro, in vivo and in living animals (intravital imaging). We develop microfluidic devices for a number of imaging needs.  Dr. Janetopoulos has been issued multiple patents on techniques and devices from his lab.

Dr. Janetopoulos deciphered critical components underlying the mechanism of otilith formation during development in the inner ear and also discovered a novel transient organelle found during Ciliate development while performing his PhD research at Texas A&M.  He developed the first in vivo heterotrimer G protein activation assay and also linked the regulation of plasma membrane lipids in migration with similar activity found during cell division during his postdoctoral studies at Johns Hopkins University.


Rangaramanujam Kannankannan-rangaramanujam
Co-Director Center for Nanomedicine
Johns Hopkins University

Dr. Kannan Rangaramanujam is a professor of ophthalmology and co-director of center for nanomedicine at the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and Materials Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins. He obtained his PhD in Chemical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology, and a post-doc from the University of Minnesota. His research interested are in the field of translational nanomedicine, focused on a dendrimer platform and inflammation. He has initiated an interdisciplinary translational research program based on dendrimers, with a specific focus on systemic, targeted drug delivery strategies for a variety of central nervous system and ocular disorders. Dr. Kannan is an author of many patents (issued and pending, licensed), more than 85 peer-reviewed publications. He has won several recognitions, including the NSF CAREER and Unilever awards. His research is primarily funded by NIH. He serves at the Chief Technology Officer of Ashvattha Therapeutics and Orpheris Inc., two spinoffs from his team’s patented dendrimer technologies.


Cherie Kagancherie-kagan
Stephen J. Angello Professor
Electrical and Systems Engineering
Materials Science and Engineering
University of Pennsylvania

Cherie R. Kagan is the Stephen J. Angello Professor of Electrical and Systems Engineering, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, and Professor of Chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania. Kagan graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1991 with a BSE in Materials Science and Engineering and a BA Mathematics. She earned her PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1996 working with Moungi G. Bawendi. In 1996, she went to Bell Labs as a postdoctoral fellow and in 1998, she joined IBM’s T. J. Watson Research Center, where she most recently managed the “Molecular Assemblies and Devices Group.” In 2007, she joined the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania.

The Kagan group’s research is focused on studying the chemical and physical properties of nanostructured and organic materials and in integrating these materials in electronic, optoelectronic, optical, thermoelectric and bioelectronic devices. The group combines the flexibility of chemistry and bottom-up assembly with top-down fabrication techniques to design novel materials and devices and explores the structure and function of these materials and their devices using spatially- and temporally-resolved optical spectroscopies, AC and DC electrical techniques, electrochemistry, scanning probe and electron microscopies and analytical measurements. The materials and devices impact low-cost and flexible macro- and nano-electronics and nano-photonics/plasmonics, solar photovoltaics, and chemical and biological sensors.

Kagan is an Associate Editor of ACS Nano and serves on the editorial boards of Nano Letters and NanoToday. She serves on the World Economic Forum, Global Agenda Council on Nanotechnology; on the Department of Energy, Basic Energy Sciences Materials Council; and on the advisory board of the US Summer Schools in Condensed Matter and Materials Physics. She served on the Materials Research Society’s Board of Directors from 2007-2009 and the editorial board of the ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces from 2008-2011


Peter Kimpeter-kim
Vice President
Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation
Associate Surgeon-in-Chief
Children’s National Health System

Peter C. W. Kim, MD, CM, PhD, is Vice President of the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation. Dr. Kim also serves as Associate Surgeon-in-Chief of the Joseph E. Robert, Jr., Center for Surgical Care at Children’s National Health System. An internationally known pediatric surgeon and scientist, Dr. Kim will implement the institute’s vision of innovative, multidisciplinary research, and development in pediatric surgery.

In addition to overseeing the institute, Dr. Kim’s research focuses on the development of intelligent surgical tools, including image guidance and robotics; smarter simulation technologies; and the potential of imaging technologies such as high frequency/intensity-focused ultrasound (HIFU) as non-invasive alternatives to conventional surgery. He is the lead for FDA funded National Capital Consortium for Pediatric Device Innovation (NCC-PDI). He collaborates closely with the Sheikh Zayed Institute’s bioengineering team to further explore the possibilities in preventive/regenerative medicine, with an eye on developing personalized medicine for children.

Dr. Kim joined Children’s National from the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Ontario, a national and international leading institution in pediatric research and care. There, he served as a general neonatal and thoracic surgeon, founding lead for the Centre for Image-Guided Innovation and Therapeutic Intervention (CIGITI), and senior associate scientist in the hospital’s research institute. His clinical specialties are complex surgical airway reconstructions, advanced minimally invasive surgery, and vascular reconstructive surgery for hepatobiliary diseases in children.

Dr. Kim received his medical training, including the distinction of Master of Surgery, at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. He completed his surgical residency training at the University of Toronto as well as his fellowship in pediatric surgery at the University’s Hospital for Sick Children.


Hyun (Michel) Koomichel-koo
University of Pennsylvania


Lenny Kravetslenny-kravets
Organizer and Co-Founder
Internet of Things ( IOT ) MeetUP


Jill Lentz
Senior IT Project Manager
University of Pennsylvania Medical


Alexander Liddle

J. Alexander Liddle, Ph.D.

Nanofabrication Research Group
Deputy Director (Acting)
Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Alexander Liddle received his B.A. and D. Phil. degrees in Materials Science from the University of Oxford in 1986 and 1989 respectively. He spent the next decade at Bell Laboratories, where his primary efforts were directed towards the research, development and eventual commercialization of a novel electron-beam lithography technology. He subsequently became the leader of an optical telecommunications MEMS group before moving to Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. There, he led the nanofabrication group in the Center for X-ray optics, before becoming Lead Scientist of the Molecular Foundry nanofabrication user facility, where he was involved in research ranging from quantum computation to guided self-assembly. In 2006 he moved to NIST, where he is now a Senior Scientist and leader of the Nanofabrication Research Group in the Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology.  He has been acting Deputy Director of the Center for the past year.  He has published over 250 papers in areas ranging from electron-beam lithography to DNA-controlled nanoparticle assembly and is a fellow of the APS.  His current focus is on nanofabrication and self-assembly for nanomanufacturing.


Han Liu
Research Science Manager
Applied Nano Solutions (ANS) – Lockheed Martin


Frank Materofrank-matero
University of Pennsylvania

Frank G. Matero is Professor of Architecture and former Chair of the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation at the School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director and founder of the Architectural Conservation Laboratory and a member of the Graduate Group in the Department of Art History and Research Associate of the University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. He was previously on faculty at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation of Columbia University and guest lecturer at the International Center for the Study of Preservation and the Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) in Rome, as well as visiting lecturer at the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico. He received his graduate education in architecture and preservation at Columbia University and in fine arts conservation at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University.  He is a Professional Associate of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works and former Co-chair of the Research and Technical Studies Group and on editorial boards of The Getty Conservation Institute and the Journal of Architectural Conservation.  He is founder and editor-in-chief of Change Over Time, a new international journal on conservation and the built environment published by Penn Press.


Mark Mondrinosmark-mondrinos
Postdoctoral Fellow
University of Pennsylvania

Mark J. Mondrinos received bachelor degrees in Biological Chemistry and Chemical Engineering from Florida State University and a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Drexel University, where he developed extracellular matrix-inspired biomaterials including nanofibrous electrospun fiber scaffolds before focusing on engineering of hydrogel-based lung organoid tissues in vitro and in vivo for his PhD thesis work. Following graduate school, he spent 2 years as a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Lung Inflammation, Translational and Clinical Research at Temple University School of Medicine, focusing on preclinical models of lung inflammation in the context of systemic critical illness to build a deeper understanding of key challenges in the preclinical research process. With the goal of engineering next generation human tissue and organ models to serve as an additional level of validation between animal models and patients in the preclinical pipeline, he then joined Dr. Dan Dongeun Huh’s laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania as a postdoctoral fellow. His current research addresses critical challenges in the organ-on-a-chip field, leveraging various microengineering approaches to improve biomimicry and combine 3D tissue culture approaches with microfluidic platforms toward the goal of engineering fully organotypic microphysiological models of exposure-induced lung tissue injury and organ fibrosis.


Yuriy Porytkoyuriy-porytko
123 Invest

Yuriy is the entrepreneur’s resource champion – networking, partnerships, community building, alliances, funding, mentoring, and – especially today – learning to do more with less, maximizing yields from limited resources. Yuriy is a Senior Executive with strategy, business development and Fund Management expertise derived from 20+ years of US and international experience. He is currently a Founding General Partner of SmartInvest Ventures and a Managing General Partner of SmartStart, a transatlantic startup accelerator/incubator. Yuriy Co-Chairs Open Access Philadelphia a think tank and movement of civic-minded, innovative, entrepreneurial leaders from government, academia and business in Philadelphia, who convene monthly to share projects and passion. Yuriy continues to hold advisory roles in Philadelphia Start-up Weekend, Leto Investments LLC and LABACA Venture Capital among others.

Yuriy was Founder and COO of Brooks Capital (a $500m Venture Fund) generating multiple high-value portfolio exits in Trade Sales to public and private companies. As a Principal in Sage Technology resources, Yuriy manages deal-flow and due diligence as well as participating as interim-CXO and Board Member in portfolio companies. Yuriy has worked with more than thirty technology start-ups under many funding structures and successful exits.

Yuriy is an active participant and speaker in many Entrepreneurship and Start-up communities including PSL, Philadelphia Startup Leaders, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Delaware and Lehigh Valley Startup Weekends, Code for America Philly Brigade and Philly Health Codefest among others. He has participated in both Company and Product launches at Suburban Connect, Network Visions, Metromedia International and Motorola Toperator, Solar Communications- Camanco, PCRoomlink, BCG portfolio: Medcases, Alliance Consulting, Netcarrier, Eclipse Aviation, Santera Systems, Sage Technology Resources, Airdesk, DreamIt, GCV, Chariot ETE, University City Science Center QED technology transfer incubator programs.

Yuriy has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in European History, University of Pensylvania, 1991. He is fluent in Ukrainian and proficient in Russian and has travelled extensively in Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the former Soviet Union.


Jody Robertsjody-roberts
Institute for Research
Chemical Heritage Foundation

Jody A. Roberts (PhD, Science and Technology Studies) is Director of CHF’s Institute for Research and Managing Director of CHF West. CHF’s Institute for Research initiates, coordinates, and conducts research at the core of CHF’s mission to foster dialogue on science and technology in society. In this capacity Roberts oversees CHF’s Centers for Oral History and Applied History and ensures that research at CHF bridges the institution’s unique ability to speak through museum exhibitions, live, print, and digital programming, and CHF’s unparalleled collections in the history of science. The goals of our work are to develop the methods and tools that experiment with the unique capabilities of the science humanities to contribute to a more inclusive conversation about the place of science and technology in our lives; to share those tools with our peers; and to cultivate and mentor a new generation of science studies practitioner capable of taking these ideas out into the world.

Roberts’s research interests are in the area of the history sustainability and environmental regulation, but with a greater interest in developing tools for opening up narrative spaces that imagine sustainable futures. He is also beginning new research focused on the intersection of materials innovation and social innovation for disability needs.

In addition to his work at CHF, Roberts serves on the Advisory Board for SANDBOX, at Washington College, as a Senior Fellow in the Environmental Leadership Program, and as Research Faculty in the Center for Science, Technology, and Society at Drexel University. From 2013 to 2015 he served as a Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturer.


Archna Sahayarchna-sahay
Entrepreneurial Investment
Greater Philadelphia Department of Commerce

Archna Sahay currently serves as Director of Entrepreneurial Investment for the City of Philadelphia. She is responsible for business and economic development for the tech sector in the City. As part of her role Archna manages StartupPHL, the City of Philadelphia’s platform for supporting entrepreneurship and startup activity in the City which also includes a $6 million fund investing in early stage ventures in the city. More at


Paul Sehnertpaul-sehnert
Real Estate Development
Pennovation Works

Mr. Sehnert manages the development and acquisition processes for a portfolio of real estate assets controlled by Penn.  Mr. Sehnert directs and manages University Real Estate development projects, including initiating and recommending development strategies, negotiating and structuring joint ventures for development, preparing feasibility studies, and valuation analysis, and providing asset management, acquisition due diligence and project management oversight.

Mr. Sehnert received a Master of Science in Real Estate Development from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1988).  He graduated Magna Cum Laude from the College of Architecture at the University of Cincinnati (1979), and registered as an Architect in State of Ohio 1980, nationally accredited by NCARB 1981.

Mr. Sehnert coordinates the University’s projects and ventures with real estate developers in order to implement the real estate strategic plan.  Current projects include the $51 M acquisition and coordination of the $700 M public private redevelopment of the 24-acre USPS property including “Cira South”, the $100 M luxury apartment and mixed-use development “Domus” at 34th and Chestnut, a $75 M 500 Bed student residential and mixed used development “Radian Apartments,” and the 120-unit $23 M public private, developer-built apartment building at 40th & Chestnut “HUB”.  Other Projects include the acquisition of strategic properties and development of various mixed-use and housing developments throughout the Campus and neighborhood.  Sehnert managed and coordinated University efforts to acquire and redevelop the 24-acre United States Postal Service property in 2005-07, the 17-acre 124,000 SF biotech lab and vivarium from Dupont in 2006 and the 23-Acre former Marshall Research lab in 2010.  Current efforts focus on the redevelopment of the site as the Pennovation Center, a $35M business incubator, to drive the technology transfer business and commercialization as a R&D office park.

Representative completed projects range from the completion of the $75 M Biotech Translational Research Laboratory (“TRL”) for the School of Medicine, the $14 M WXPN/World Café Live performance venue and sound stage, the development of a $24 M turnkey development of the former Divinity School site for the Penn Assisted Alexander K-8 School for the School District of Philadelphia and the construction completion of the $30.5 million joint venture parking structure with CHOP.

The University Projects that are lead by Mr. Sehnert have been recognized by professional and trade organizations.  The University Urban Development initiatives received the 2004 ULI Award for Excellence. The TRL project was awarded a preservation award by the GPBCA and the World Café WXPN project was the recipient of a deal of the year award by the Philadelphia Business Journal (PBJ).  The Domus mixed-use Residential project has been awarded the PBJ Best Residential Deal for 2007.

Mr. Sehnert serves as co-chair of the Board of Directors for the Community Design Collaborative in Philadelphia and previously served on the Board of Directors for the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Philadelphia. Serves as a Professional practice lecturer in Real Estate Finance and Investment at PennDesign and for the Center for Urban Redevelopment Excellence (CUREx) at the University of Pennsylvania.


Zack Sewardzack-seward
Editor-in-Chief Philly

Zack Seward is Editor-in-Chief of, the local technology news network. Previously, Seward was the Innovations Reporter at WHYY and in Philadelphia. Before that, he worked at WXXI in Rochester, N.Y., as a reporter and editor for a statewide public radio reporting project on the reinvention of the upstate New York economy. Seward is an alumnus of Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism. He’s originally from San Francisco and went to college at the University of Chicago.


Krishna Singh

Krishna P. Singh, Ph.D.

Holtec International

Dr. Singh received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (1972), M.S. in Engineering Mechanics also from Penn (1969), and B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from BIT Sindri (Ranchi University), India (1967). Dr. Singh is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and a member of the American Nuclear Society. He is a registered Professional Engineer in Pennsylvania and Michigan. Over the past 40 years, he has published over sixty technical papers in the permanent literature, authored an authoritative text book on heat exchangers, and contributed to numerous monographs, symposia volumes, as well as national codes and standards. An array of patents (over 60 U.S. and foreign patents granted, and 27 in the process of being granted) memorialize Dr. Singh’s inventions over the past 40 years and form the bedrock of technology that supports Holtec International’s global leadership in nuclear, solar, fossil and geothermal technologies.

Dr. Singh has held executive management positions since 1979. Since 1986, he has led Holtec International, building the company into a technological powerhouse respected for its engineered goods and services around the world with nine major operations centers in three countries and an active business presence on four continents. A firm believer in the power of the atom to power the globe, Dr. Singh has been driving the development of an innovative small modular reactor design since 2009, with the goal of making nuclear energy the paragon of safety and a commercially attractive source of clean energy around the world.

Dr. Singh serves on the following boards: Board of Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania, Board of Overseers of the University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, Board of Trustees of the Cooper Health System based in Camden, New Jersey, Board of Directors of the Nuclear Energy Institute, Board of Directors of Holtec International (Chairman), Member of the Advisory Board to the Nuclear Engineering Department of the University of California at Berkeley, and Board of Directors of the KPS Charitable Foundation (Chairman).

The Foundation’s signature accomplishment is the completion of the Krishna P. Singh Center for Nanotechnology at the University of Pennsylvania.


Sameer Sonkusalesameer-sonkusale
Associate Professor
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Principal Investigator
Nanoscale Integrated Sensors and Circuits Laboratory
Tufts University

Sameer Sonkusale is currently a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Tufts University with a joint appointment in the department of Biomedical Engineering.  At Tufts University, Dr. Sonkusale directs an interdisciplinary research group Nano Lab with research focus on micro- and nano-electronics, nanoscale sensors, biomedical devices, circuits and systems. Prior to coming to Tufts, he was an Assistant Professor at Texas A&M University from 2002 to 2004. Sonkusale also held the position of visiting associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital for 2011-2012. He is currently affiliated with the Biomaterials Innovation Research Center, Wyss Insitute for Biologically Inspired Engineering,  Harvard Medical School to explore applications in tissue engineering.

Dr. Sonkusale received his B.E in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from BITS Pilani in India, and an MS and PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania.  Dr. Sonkusale has received several awards including the the National Science Foundation CAREER award in 2010, the National Academy of Engineering US Frontiers of Engineering Fellowship in 2015, the National Academy of Sciences Arab-America Frontiers fellowship in 2014,  and several best paper awards at international conferences and meetings such as BIOCAS 2014, FTM 2009, NANO 2008, SENSORS 2008, ISDRS 2009 to name a few.

Dr. Sonkusale’s current research on “smart threads” to use engineered smart nano-infused threads for surgical sutures, wound dressings and wearable diagnsotics has been featured prominently by leading news organizations Wall Street Journal, Fortune Magazine, Fast Company,, National Public Radio (WBUR),IEEE Spectrume, Telegraph (UK) to name a few.

Dr. Sonkusale is on the editorial boards of Nature Scientific Reports, IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Circuits and Electronic Letters. He is the past chair of the Biomedical and Lifesciences Circuits and Systems Technical Committee of the IEEE CAS Society. He is a senior member of the IEEE, OSA, MRS and AAAS.


Anne Stameranne-stamer
Weiss Tech House

Ms. Anne Stamer is the Director of the Weiss Tech House hub of technological innovation at the University of Pennsylvania designed to support undergraduates in the development and/or commercialization of innovative technologies. In this capacity, she manages the day-to-day activities, inspires over sixty volunteer students to achieve the goals, handles marketing, public relations and fundraising.  The Weiss Tech House impacts over 1,000 students by providing over 40 educational events, funding and incubation space to students.   Prior to  Anne Stamer received her Bachelor of Science from in Cornell University in 1990 and her Masters of Science from the University of Pennsylvania in 1997.


Ken Tomlinsonken-tomlinson

Before joining NextFab as CFO in 2014, Ken worked as an accountant and analyst for First Round Capital, a leading venture capital firm in Pennsylvania, where he managed corporate accounting as well as valuation and accounting processes for the more than 250 startup companies First Round invested in. Ken has also served as a fund accountant for LEM Capital, a real-estate investment company in Pennsylvania.

Ken also serves as a Board Member for the Juniata College Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership and as a Board Member to the Cherry Hill School District in Cherry Hill, NJ.


Brett Topchebrett-topche
Managing Director
MentorTech Ventures

Mr. Topche joined MentorTech Ventures in 2007 and has more than a decade of venture capital and private equity experience.  He has spent much of his career primarily focusing on investments in ecommerce, digital media, mobile applications, marketing technologies and B2B software.  He represents MentorTech on the Boards of Directors of Cloudmine and PayPerks and served on the Board of Wanderfly prior to its acquisition.  He also serves as a Board Observer at Curalate, Quad Learning, Soft Tissue Regeneration and TicketLeap and was a Board Observer at prior to its acquisition by Bankrate. He also served as a member of the Investor Advisory Board of SnipSnap prior to its acquisition by Slyce.

Prior to joining MentorTech, he was a member of the Fund Investments Team at Hamilton Lane Advisors, a fund-of-funds manager and private equity investment consultant.  In this capacity, he evaluated private equity funds across a broad spectrum of stages and strategies on behalf of both discretionary and non-discretionary clients.  During his time at Hamilton Lane, Mr. Topche reviewed more than 100 funds, including venture capital, mezzanine, buyout and real estate funds.  Based in part on reports he drafted, more than $1 billion was invested into these funds.

Prior to working for Hamilton Lane, Mr. Topche spent more than four years as an Associate with NJTC Venture Fund, where he focused on investments in early-stage companies in the software, Internet and communications sectors.  His responsibilities included deal flow generation, initial company reviews, performing due diligence on potential investments, participating in deal structuring, reviewing legal documentation and working with companies post-investment, occasionally as an Observer on Boards of Directors.

Mr. Topche is a magna cum laude graduate of the Wharton School, with a B.S. in Economics, with concentrations in Finance and Legal Studies and a Political Science minor from the College and Arts and Sciences.


Paul Vorbachpaul-vorbach
Principal Partner

Paul Vorbach is the second principal partner in HAHN – VORBACH & Associates LLC., a collector car restoration firm located in Harmony, PA just north of Pittsburgh. Paul joined the organization in December of 2008 after a 35 year career in Financial Services and Information Technology.

More recently, Paul and his business partner, Bill Hahn, co-founded HV3Dworks LLC., a high tech start-up that is bringing 3D Scanning and Printing technology to the automotive restoration and customization industry.

An avid car enthusiast, Paul has constructed hot rods and participated in numerous car related activities over the years. He brings with him a solid background in project management and computer systems along with a knowledge and appreciation of all things automotive that allows him to fill many roles within the organization.

Paul is a lifelong resident of Western Pennsylvania. He and his family have resided in Economy Borough for over 25 years. In addition to car related activities, Paul is an accomplished guitarist and songwriter. His personal projects include a 1923 Ford T-Bucket Hot Rod, and a 1927 Ford T-Coupe Hot Rod (Project in Progress).


Dave Voylesdave-voyles
Tech Evangelist

Dave Voyles is a construction worker turned Technical Evangelist at Microsoft and based out of Philadelphia, PA. HIs biggest passion is in working with students and startups across the country, to help get their projects off the ground.

His work frequently has me building projects on game consoles, the web, and high performance mobile applications.



Ira Wallaceira-wallace
Angle Investor

Ira has spent the past 16 years in creating and implementing strategies to build great companies that deliver high value to founders, management and investors. Ira has demonstrated that leveraging the company’s innovations, skills and intellectual property results in commercial and financial success,

As a consultant, Ira leverages market intelligence and intellectual property strategy to create and protect a profitable market position for his clients. Whether the goal is M&A, a partnership or growth of sales and profits, Ira guides strategic plans and execution road maps that pave the path to their business goals.

As founder and CEO of EyeIC, a venture backed company, Ira created the business plan that resulted in funding. He then executed on that plan, leading the company through development, FDA 510k, CE mark and launching the initiative that resulted in a new payment code.

During his medical career, Ira was a leader in the introduction of new technologies and new techniques into medical practice. He designed and implemented innovative marketing strategies for new clinical technologies. He trained physicians world wide in the clinical and business aspects of bringing new technologies into practice.

Ira graduated Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania. He holds an MD degree from the Medical College of Pennsylvania (now Drexel University School of Medicine). Ira completed his MBA at Columbia University with concentrations in finance and entrepreneurship and is a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma MBA honor society. As an investor, Ira serves as Regional Vice-President for Keiretsu Forum Mid-Atlantic, is on the steering committee of the Mid-Atlantic Bio Angels and is a member of Investors Circle of Philadelphia .In his leisure time Ira enjoys bicycling, hiking and the outdoors.


George “Pat” Watsonpat-watson
User Programs
Singh Center for Nanotechnology

George Patrick Watson is the Director of User Programs at Singh Nanotechnology Center and U Penn.  He helps new users i gett access to the Singh laboratories and is involved in using the research facility in learning as well.  Pat has a Ph.D. in Materials Science from Cornell and has been involved in micro- and nano-scale device fabrication and characterization for over 25 years at Princeton University, Bell Laboratories, and 2 startups.

Brock Wetherupbrock-wetherup
Philly Startup Leaders



Shu Yangshu-yang
Professor Materials Science and Engineering (MSE)
Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (CBE)
University of Pennsylvania

Shu Yang is a Professor in the Departments of Materials Science & Engineering, and Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at University of Pennsylvania, and Director of Center for Analyzing Evolved Structures as Optimized Products (AESOP): Science and Engineering for the Human Habitat. Her group is interested in synthesis, fabrication and assembly of polymers, liquid crystals, and colloids with precisely controlled size, shape, and geometry; investigating the dynamic tuning of their szie and structures, and the resulting unique optical, mechanical and surface/interface properties. Yang received her BS degree from Fudan University, China in 1992, and Ph. D. degree from Chemistry and Chemical Biology while researching in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Cornell University in 1999. She worked at Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies as a Member of Technical Staff before joing Penn in 2004. She received George H. Heilmeier Faculty Award for Excellence in Research from Penn Engineering (2015-2016). She is elected as Fellow of National Academy of Inventors (2014) and TR100 as one of the world’s top 100 young innovators under age of 35 by MIT’s Technology Review (2004). She was a recipient of ICI (1999) and Unilever (2001) student awards from American Chemical Society (ACS) for outstanding research in polymer science and engineering.