MIT Sloan BioInnovations Conference
February 24, 2012
Boston Marriott Cambridge Hotel
Kendall Square, Cambridge MA

Keynote Speakers

Chris Viehbacher

Christopher A. Viehbacher, born March 26, 1960, holds German and Canadian nationalities. He is a graduate in Commerce of Queens University (Ontario-Canada) and a certified public accountant.

After beginning his career in finance with PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Chris joined the pharmaceutical company, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), in 1988. Over the next 20 years, Christopher rose through the ranks quickly working across a number of areas and divisions and acquiring broad international experience in Europe, in the United States and in Canada. His talent in finance, together with keen expertise and passion for strategy, resulted in his last position within the company, as President, Pharmaceutical Operations North America. He was also a member of the Board and Co-Chairman of the Portfolio Management Board.

As of December 1, 2008, Christopher A. Viehbacher is a Sanofi board member, CEO, and a member of the Strategy Committee. He is also Chairman of Genzyme, the biotech company Sanofi acquired in early 2011. Over the past three years, Christopher has led the company through a total transformation, particularly in R&D; and adapting the organization for future success. As a result of his vision and strategy, the company has faced and overcome one of the largest patent cliffs in the industry. His experience, from both sides, in mergers & acquisitions has resulted in Sanofi been considered one of the best companies to partner with and be acquired by.

Christopher A. Viehbacher is Chairman of PhRMA in the United States since December 2010 and was elected Chair of the CEO Roundtable on Cancer in February 2011.

Christopher A. Viehbacher is married with three children. He speaks French, English, and German fluently and was made a knight of the French Legion of Honor in 2003 as a commendation of his commitment to public health, while he served as General Manager of GSK France.

Phillip A. Sharp

Phillip A. Sharp is co-founder of Biogen (now Biogen Idec) and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc. Biogen Idec is the oldest free standing biotechnology company founded in 1978. Dr. Sharp was a member of the Board of Directors from 1985-2008 and before this Chair of the Scientific Board. He currently serves as Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board and member of the Board of Directors of Alnylam Inc, a RNAi company founded in 2002.

At MIT, Sharp is Institute Professor and faculty member of the Department of Biology and the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research. He joined the Center for Cancer Research (now the Koch Institute) at MIT in 1974 and served as its director from 1985 to 1991, before taking over as head of the Department of Biology, a position he held for the next eight years. His next administrative appointment was founding director of the McGovern Institute (2000 to 2004). Sharp made many contributions to the cell biology of gene expression, particularly in mammalian cells relative to processes that cause cancer. He is most noted for his discovery in 1977 of split genes and analysis of RNA splicing for which he received the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Over the years, his laboratory has developed technology for the biochemical characterization of protein complexes and interactions of factors with DNA and RNA. More recently, his laboratory contributed to the recognition of the fascinating roles of noncoding RNAs in processes related to RNAi and gene regulation. Sharp has authored over 380 scientific papers. His work has earned him numerous cancer research awards and presidential and national scientific board appointments. He is elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Royal Society, UK, and the American Philosophical Society. He is also the recipient of the Gairdner Foundation International Award, the Lasker Basic Medical Research Award, and the National Medal of Science. A native of Kentucky, Dr. Sharp earned a B.A. degree from Union College, Barbourville, KY, and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.

George Scangos

George A. Scangos, PhD, was appointed Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors of Biogen Idec in June 2010. He joined the company from Exelixis, Inc., where he served as President and CEO and a director since October 1996. From September 1993 to October 1996, Dr. Scangos served as President of Bayer Biotechnology, where he was responsible for research and development, business development, process development, manufacturing, engineering and quality assurance of Bayer's biological products. Before joining Bayer in 1987, Dr. Scangos was a Professor of Biology at Johns Hopkins University. He is also a member of the Board of Visitors of the University of California, San Francisco School of Pharmacy, and the National Board of Visitors of the University of California, Davis School of Medicine. He is currently an Adjunct Professor of Biology at Johns Hopkins. Dr. Scangos holds a B.A. in Biology from Cornell University, a Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Massachusetts, and was a Jane Coffin Childs Post-Doctoral Fellow at Yale University.

Lunchtime Keynote Panelists

Alexandra Drane, Founder, Chief Visionary Officer and Chair of the Board, Eliza Corporation

Alexandra has devoted her career to inspiring people to lead healthier, happier and more engaged lives through the use of innovative technology. Her entrepreneurial spirit and passion for technology and design have led to the launch of four successful healthcare ventures over the past 15 years. Alexandra has proven herself a visionary and an innovator, whose ideas on using technology to engage people in their health — and her belief in adding a touch of joy to the often staid world of healthcare communications — have been adopted by the nation's top healthcare organizations.

Alexandra is currently Founder, Chief Visionary Officer, and Chairman of the Board of Eliza Corporation, the pioneer and leader in Health Engagement Management and one of Entrepreneur magazine's "100 Brilliant Companies." The company's intelligent, tailored interactions—including automated calls powered by a patented speech recognition engine, rich web and multi-modal delivery platform and proprietary sophisticated data analytics—make health and healthcare information more accessible, more actionable and more engaging.

Eliza draws on its database of more than 500 million interactions with individuals about their health to better understand what makes people "tick" and create programs with measurable and sustained impact. Examples include increasing the number of patients who get their recommended diabetes screenings by 76%; more than doubling prescription refills over a six-month period; quadrupling participation in an online smoking cessation program; and boosting younger members' perceptions of their health plans' brands beyond what far more expensive traditional advertising campaigns deliver. But perhaps most important are the countless saved lives as the result of timely, personalized health outreach.

Alexandra is also a co-founder of Engage with Grace, a not-for-profit movement launched in October 2008 aimed at helping people understand, communicate and have honored their end-of-life wishes. She received the Boston Business Journal's "Champions of Healthcare" award for her efforts in this area, and Engage With Grace has been added as to the healthcare lexicon.

Based on her experience engaging people in conversation about health topics, in 2010 she co-founded a non-profit, web-based movement called SeduceHealth that aims to reframe how the healthcare industry communicates with the people it serves by adding greater passion, joy, and inspiration.

Prior to founding Eliza, Alexandra was a founder of three other healthcare ventures — all focused on developing products that enable individual behavior change through the use of technology. The output of these ventures included the web-enabled injury-tracking software system adopted by the US Olympic Committee, software that automates dialysis clinics across the U.S., and a medical device proven in clinical trials to improve asthma treatment compliance by over 35%.

Alexandra sits on the board of Eliza, the Board of Trustees for Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (a Harvard Teaching Hospital) in Boston, MA, the Board of Advisors of TEDMED, and on the Board of Directors for the Society for Women's Health Research (a national non-profit organization dedicated to improving women's health through advocacy, education, and research). She also sits on the Board of Directors and the Operations Committee of the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care (C-TAC) and co-chairs C-TAC's Public Engagement Workgroup. In addition, she is on the Germaine Lawrence Board of Advocates. Alexandra is a member of the Health Executive Leadership Network, Women Business Leaders of the U.S. Health Care Industry Foundation, and is a trustee of several charitable trusts.

Alexandra has been named to the Boston Business Journal's "40 Under 40" list and also appears on the Healthspottr Future Health 100 list, which includes some of the most creative and influential people working in healthcare today.

Kevin Starr, Partner, Third Rock Ventures

Kevin Starr is a proven operational leader with over 25 years of experience building and operating leading biotech companies. Kevin co-founded Third Rock Ventures in 2007 and focuses on the formation, development and business strategy of our portfolio companies as well as actively identifying and evaluating new investments. He also assumes active leadership roles in our portfolio companies, functioning as Chief Executive Officer through the first 12-18 months post launch. Prior to Third Rock Ventures, Kevin was Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, where he led key roles in raising billions of dollars in capital through strategic alliances and public financing and driving growth through company expansion and mergers and acquisitions. Earlier in his career, he served in various executive roles at Millennium BioTherapeutics, Biogen and Digital Equipment Corporation. Kevin holds a MS in Corporate Finance from Boston College and a BA in Mathematics and Business from Colby College. He is currently a Board Member of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals. Kevin is also a founding investor in Prospect Pictures, an independent film and entertainment company.

Michelle Dipp, MD, PhD, Founder and Partner, Longwood Fund

Dr. Dipp is a Founder and Partner of Longwood Fund, which founds and invests in healthcare companies. Dr. Dipp currently serves as the CEO and co-founder of OvaScience, a Longwood I portfolio company. Dr. Dipp also co-founded Longwood I portfolio companies Alnara Pharmaceuticals and Verastem. Previously, Dr. Dipp was the Senior Vice President and Head of GSK's Centre of Excellence for External Drug Discovery (CEEDD). Prior to leading GSK's CEEDD, Dr. Dipp was the Vice President of Corporate Development at Sirtris (NASDAQ: SIRT acquired by GlaxoSmithKline in 2008). Dr. Dipp led the successful acquisition of Sirtris by GSK in June 2008 for $720 million. Before joining Sirtris as a founding employee, she worked in healthcare private equity at The Wellcome Trust, London. Dr. Dipp holds an MD from Oxford University Medical School and a PhD in Physiology from the University of Oxford. Dr. Dipp did her post-doctoral research in the departments of Pharmacology and Cardiothoracic Surgery, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford. Dr. Dipp serves on the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Board of Overseers and the Board of Directors of the City on a Hill Charter School in Roxbury, Mass.