Career Possibilities - Speed Networking Night

Do you want to define your value proposition, explore career possibilities, and be inspired by people who have used their science and technical training to advance their careers in different directions?

Join us for WEST’s Annual Career Possibilities Event. The evening will start with facilitated networking, so you can meet the other attendees and panelists. This will be followed by a panel discussion to learn more about each panelist and their key lessons learned. Then you will have the opportunity to break into small groups and talk with the different panelists. 

The panel discussion will be moderated by Sandra Glucksmann, Ph.D., Chief Operating Officer at Editas Medicine Inc.

Panelists include:

Anupama Ahuja, Associate Director, Office of Technology Licensing, Brandeis University

Dr. Anupama (Anu) Ahuja recently joined Brandeis University as the Associate Director of the Office of Technology Licensing. In this role, she is responsible for identifying new industry partners and developing strategic relationships to commercialize University inventions. For several years, prior to Brandeis, Anu managed all aspects of the IP portfolio in a broad area including the life sciences, chemistry and engineering at the North Carolina State University.  She has been involved in counseling businesses, fostering new startups as well as negotiating complex deals with multinational companies. Anu has a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Wayne State University, MI and M.S. in Biotechnology from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi.  Later, as a postdoctoral fellow and a research faculty at Yale University, Anu was responsible for developing new mouse models for immunotherapy and for understanding the adaptive immune response.  While at Yale, she took her first step to transition into the IP space by interning at the Office of Cooperative Research.

Denise Aronson, President, Safety Partners, Inc.

Denise Aronson is a pioneer in the life science health and safety industry. Denise founded Safety Partners Inc. in 1992. Since then, Denise and her team have implemented safety programs for more than 275 top life science companies. Prior to founding Safety Partners, Denise served as an environmental, health, and safety manager at T Cell Sciences, and managed a clinical prenatal diagnostics laboratory. She began her career as a research associate at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Boston, after receiving a BS in Biochemistry from the University of New Hampshire. Denise is a certified chemical hygiene officer through the National Registry of Certified Chemists. She is active in more than 20 professional societies and trade organizations, and was a founding member of the New Hampshire Bio/Medical Council, Preferred Provider Leads Group; the Tom Vance, Life Sciences Connector Group; and the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce, Life Sciences Leads Group. She is a regular on the industry speaking circuit, a member of the MassBio SEF Working Group, and an American Chemical Society (ACS) Expert. Denise also serves on the Advisory Board for the UMass Lowell Department of Work Environment as well as the Boards of The Bioscience Network and The Waldorf High School of Massachusetts Bay. Safety Partners is a Certified Woman-Owned Business, and has been named one of the 25 Best Small Companies by Working Mother magazine.

Cristin Berkey, Technology Specialist, Lando & Anastasi

Cristin prepares and prosecutes U.S. and foreign patent applications in all areas of the life sciences, with a focus on genetics, microbiology, and immunology. She also performs patentability, freedom to operate, due diligence, infringement, and invalidity analyses. Cristin has experience managing client portfolios for a variety of client types, from small start-ups to large pharmaceutical companies. Prior to working in patent prosecution, Cristin was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School/Children's Hospital Boston, where she successfully identified several new host genes involved in cholera infection. As a graduate student, Cristin worked in the lab of Marian Carlson to characterize two yeast transcriptional repressors necessary for fungal pathogenesis. Cristin is the author of a number of scientific research articles published in theJournal of ImmunologyCellular MicrobiologyCurrent GeneticsEukaryotic Cell, and Molecular and Cellular Biology.

Martha Cox, Channel Sales Manager, Dassault Systèmes

Martha is the Channel Sales Manager for Dassault Systemes EXALEAD brand.  EXALEAD creates search based applications for the industrial, aero and automotive verticals. She also has a background of content/document management and collaboration software and has led several sales teams selling both SaaS and on-prem software solutions in North and South America.  She has a chemical engineering degree from Purdue University and has taken executive business classes at London Business School. She lives in Back Bay with her husband, Andrew and her 7 year old son, James.

Ari DanielDigital Producer, PBS NOVA, and Independent Science Reporter

Ari Daniel has always been drawn to the natural world.  As a graduate student, Ari trained gray seal pups (Halichoerus grypus) for his Master's degree at the University of St. Andrews and helped tag wild Norwegian killer whales (Orcinus orca) for his Ph.D. at MIT and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.  These days, as a science reporter for public radio and NOVA, Ari records a species he’s better equipped to understand – Homo sapiens.  In the fifth grade, Ari won the "Most Contagious Smile" award.

Susan Riley Keyes, Vice President, Nemucore Medical Innovations, Inc.

Susan provides leadership and guidance for Nemucore’s business strategy as well as overseeing many of the company’s day-to-day operations. Previously Dr. Keyes was the Associate Director and Technology Transfer Executive of Northeastern University’s Office of Technology Innovation & Commercialization and was responsible for marketing and licensing of the university intellectual property to established and early stage companies. Prior to joining Northeastern, Susan was involved for over 15 years in drug development in academia and industry, including positions at Yale, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Ipsen Pharmaceuticals/ Biomeasure Inc, focusing primarily in Oncology. Susan a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Connecticut Medical School (Farmington) and a J.D. from Suffolk University School of Law. Dr. Keyes is an active member of Association of Univ. Tech. Managers (AUTM), especially as a member of the AUTM Eastern Regional Meeting Planning Committee, and recently completed a term on AUTM’s Board of Directors as the VP, Regional Meetings. Susan also served a number of terms on the Board of Trustees and Scientific Advisory Board for National Tay-Sachs and Allied Diseases, the oldest genetic disease foundation in the USA.

Alexandra Makarova, Senior Analyst, Cubist Pharmaceuticals

Alexandra Makarova, MD, PhD, is a Senior Analyst at the Decision Support team at Cubist Pharmaceuticals. Previously Dr. Makarova worked as an Analyst and subsequently a Director at Decision Resources Group, where she analyzed commercial and therapeutic strategy of biopharmaceutical companies, provided an advisory service and authored multiple reports covering market dynamics and drug development opportunities within various therapeutic areas. Her previous experience includes over ten years of biomedical research conducted at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, American Red Cross Holland Lab, and other research centers. Dr. Makarova completed a postdoctoral fellowship at MassGeneral Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease, completed an internship at the office of Corporate Sponsored Research and Licensing at MGH, and worked as a technology transfer specialist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Technology Ventures Office.

Erika Reynoso, Senior Analyst II, Biogen Idec

Erika recently transitioned to the Global Medical Scientific Meetings group at Biogen Idec where she serves as Project Manager in the planning and execution of Biogen Idec Global Medical congress presence and activities for hematology meetings. She also supports the Scientific Meetings team by providing scientific expertise to develop and implement medical objectives and strategy, execute Global Medical booths, and assist and coordinate the development of new disease-related booth content. Previously, she was Senior Medical Communications Specialist within Medical Affairs at Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated. At Vertex, she led the development of all medical/scientific publications activities for the HCV franchise as well as oversaw development of publications for the epilepsy and oncology therapeutic areas. In addition, she built and maintained relationships with medical/scientific thought leaders and cross-functional teams to communicate and develop publication plans for the company. Prior to joining Vertex, she worked for two years as a Senior Analyst at Health Advances, LLC, a strategy and research consulting firm focused exclusively in the life science and healthcare industries. She worked with teams to actively advise clients from pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, and diagnostic companies on R&D and commercial strategy, identification and prioritization of applications and indications for new products and technologies, clinical trial design, new product launch, and other areas. She has conducted research in the areas of innate immunity, oncology, autoimmunity, and inflammation. Erika holds a Ph.D. in immunology from Harvard University and a B.S. in microbiology, summa cum laude, from California State University Los Angeles.


Date and Time:  
November 18, 2014
6:00 - 8:30 PM


5:50-6:10pm: Registration, mingling, and light dinner
6:10-6:30pm: Facilitated networking
6:30-7:15pm: Career possibilities panel discussion
7:15-8:15pm: Small group speed networking
8:15-8:30pm: Optional networking



Microsoft, One Cambridge Center, 4th Floor, Hawthorne Room, Cambridge, MA 02142

We appreciate Microsoft donating the use of their event space.  Microsoft requires all attendees to check in on the first floor with a government issued photo id card.



Members: $35; Non-Members: $55, Workshop and Annual Membership: $120

A light dinner will be served. 





If you are a student looking for financial assistance to attend this event, please visit