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. 

Panelists include:
 - Jonathan Beer, Managing Partner at The Stevenson Group
 - Aurelie Bergugnat, Chief of Staff at Schneider Electric
 - Chesley Chen, Entrepreneur, Chief Executive Officer, and Board Member
 - Heather Faulds, Vice President, Regulatory Affairs at Scholar Rock
 - Lisa Huang, Associate at Atlas Venture
 - Anne Joseph, Life Sciences Consultant at Back Bay Life Science Advisors
 - Michelle Lugus, Consulting Safety Officer, Safety Partners
 - Jyoti Shah, Sr. Scientist, Scientific Data Strategy at Merck
 - Sharotka Simon, Research Associate for the Bentley University Center for Integration of Science and Industry


Jonathan Beer joined The Stevenson Group as Managing Partner in 2008 and played a key role in the 2010 transition to a partnership model that ushered in significant organic growth, expanded client relationships, and a stronger footprint in Life Sciences. Jonathan brings over 19 years of executive search experience partnering with biotech clients ranging from Series A through to commercial stage companies throughout the US with an emphasis on the biotech hubs of Boston, San Francisco, and NYC. Prior to TSG, Jonathan served as Director/Team Leader of the Strategic Staffing Group at Pfizer Pharmaceuticals where he helped build the internal executive search capabilities and led high profile searches across multiple functional and therapeutic areas. Jonathan’s early career experience includes serving as a Senior Consultant with a human capital management consulting firm. Jonathan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Ithaca College, and resides with his wife and two children in New Jersey.

Chesley M. Chen is an entrepreneur, Chief Executive Officer, and Board Member. He launched his professional career as an aerospace engineer and then pivoted to business and management at a very early stage. He has since taken his career - said another way, his career has taken him - in many different directions. He is currently on the Advisory Board of Benefunder, Inc., a financial technology start-up providing impact investing services. He was most recently CEO of Safety Partners, Inc., which provides environmental, health, and safety programs to over 200 life science companies each year. He has over 30 years experience in launching, scaling, and reinventing businesses in healthcare, life sciences, high tech, and financial services with firms which include Health Dialog, Good Measures, Goldman Sachs, The Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry, and Hughes Aircraft Company. Chesley holds a BS in Civil Engineering from Tufts University, an SM in Aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT, and an MBA from the Harvard Business School. In addition to the Board of WEST, he serves on the Advisory Board of the Harvard Medical School-Chinese Scientists and Scholars Association. He dedicates his time to mentoring new and experienced entrepreneurs. He is a devoted family man, rock climber, and black belt in Shotokan karate.

Heather Faulds is Vice President of Regulatory Affairs at Scholar Rock. She is a results-driven leader with a passion for rare disease drug development. Heather began her career in quality and manufacturing at the Gene Therapy Facility of Weill Cornell Medical School, and then pivoted into industry beginning with a position at Oxigene, Inc. where she advanced products from pre-clinical into clinical development. Having served in leadership positions at organizations ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 firms, Heather’s professional experience spans a continuum of business models. Prior to joining Scholar Rock, she was with Biogen for 12 years where she pursued a progressive career path, rising to the role of Senior Director, Head of Global Regulatory Strategy. In this role she led several innovative registrations including Spinraza, the first drug approved to treat spinal muscular atrophy, which was approved by the FDA in an unprecedented 90 days. She received a B.S. in Biology from the University at Albany and an M.S. in Drug Regulatory Affairs and Health Policy from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy.

Lisa Huang is currently Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Atlas, where she was previously an associate, and director of strategy and operations at Gemini Therapeutics. At Atlas Lisa was a founding team member of Magenta Therapeutics and worked directly with founding management teams of multiple Atlas portfolio companies on business and R&D strategy and operational infrastructure. Previously Lisa was a senior life science specialist at L.E.K. Consulting. Before that, she worked in the High Throughput Center at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine with Professor Jef Boeke and developed a novel genome-wide transposon mapping technique. Lisa holds a Ph.D. in Human Genetics and Masters in Biostatistics from Johns Hopkins University, and a BS in biochemistry with highest honors from UCLA.

Anne Joseph joined Back Bay Life Science Advisors as a consultant in 2017. Her role places particular emphasis on financial and strategic guidance for her life science and medical device clients. Leveraging her scientific background and commercial expertise, she has helped both startups and large-cap companies navigate complex decisions pertaining to commercial, research and development, corporate and business development, and transactional opportunities. Anne earned her PhD in Neuroscience from Brandeis University, where her research unraveled the interplay of molecular pathways that stabilize neuronal networks. Prior to graduate school, Anne was a research scientist at Boston Children’s Hospital, where she researched the fundamental molecular mechanisms of epilepsy and their clinical applications. Originally from Trinidad, Anne spent many years trying to adjust to the New England weather but has now come to accept this as a lost cause. 

Michelle Lugus joined Safety Partners as a safety consultant in 2015 supporting rapidly evolving and growing EHS programs at small to mid-size range biotech companies. Prior to her work with Safety partners, she was a Director of Research Programs with a green chemistry company in the Boston area where her work on non-toxic environmentally benign products resulted in 2 patents. It was during her time at the green chemistry company where she became involved in EHS implementing chemical safety and collaborating with the Director of EHS on the design of a new biosafety laboratory within the facility. Michelle holds an undergraduate degree in Toxicology & Pharmacology from the University of Wisconsin. Her Ph.D. is in Integrated and Applied Sciences with Dr. R. Scott Martin from Saint Louis University where she developed an integrated microfluidic device system capable of electrochemically detecting catecholamines released from neuronal cells. In her free time, she enjoys running, gardening that doesn’t involving weeding and spending time with her overscheduled family.

Jyoti Shah is an Associate Director of Data Development within Research & Development IT at Merck. She has a Master’s in Biomedical Engineering from UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas, specializing in computational biology. Jyoti started her career at Merck in 2006 as a Bioinformatics scientist and has since successfully led several bioinformatics, translational informatics and early development scientific data products and tools. During Jyoti's 11+ years at Merck, she has worked on numerous innovation opportunities geared towards exploring new technologies and methodologies , determining their feasibility and implementing them to solve scientific problems in creative ways. For example: Mining data from social-media platforms/wearables, improving data interoperability with crowd-sourcing technology as well as utilizing mobile health technologies to improve current clinical trial paradigms. Jyoti is interested in learning how technology can be applied to improve data and eventually drug discovery. On a personal front, Jyoti is a mom of three girls and loves to read and travel.

Sharotka (Xu) Simon is a Research Associate for the Bentley University Center for Integration of Science and Industry (CISI).  She sees her mission as bridging the divide between the scientific, professional, and policy communities to improve outcomes in science and technology companies. Xu earned her PhD in Biology from MIT in 2007 and conducted postdoctoral research in structural biology of Parkinson's Disease proteins at Brandeis University. She served two years as an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology Policy Fellow in the US Department of State's diplomatic office in charge of reducing the threat of chemical weapons use abroad. She earned her MBA in Global Business from Bentley University in 2015 and spent two years as Executive Vice President at Fluid-Screen, Inc., a device startup company based in Cambridge, MA. She is happy to return to her alma mater to spearhead CISI's policy arm.


Date and Time:  
June 6, 2018
6:00 - 8:30 PM


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


Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, 415 Main Street, Monadnock Room, Cambridge, MA 02142

Map and Parking Info

We appreciate the Broad Institute donating the use of their event space.  



Members: $20; Non-Members: $45
Summer Series (6/6, 6/13, 6/20, 6/27): Members: $75

Given our mission is to promote women's development in STEM we would like to offer a one-time free spot in our workshops to those in transition between jobs. Please contact [email protected] if you qualify.

A light dinner will be served. 


Thanks to Our Event Sponsor, Safety Partners!



To Register