"Own It" Senior Panel Discussion - SOLD OUT

Join us for this flagship event to learn from seasoned senior leaders as they tell us about their inspiring journeys to success in the fast-paced world of science and technology. The topic will be our annual theme, "Own It! Empowering Your Career & Your Life." Hear advice they have for owning your career and taking charge of your future by exploiting your strengths with confidence and fine-tuning your skills to ask for what you want and need.  

Network with movers and shakers in the science and technology community and support career advancement of the next generation of women leaders in STEM!

 - Nicole Barna, Head of HR, Codiak
 - Michelle Luo, PhD, Global Head of Outcomes Research & Epidemiology, Gastroenterology, Takeda

 - Amber Salzman, President and CEO, Ohana Bioscience
 - Jackie Schumacher, VP, Regulatory and Quality, Lyndra Therapeutics 
 - Marianne Slight, Google Cloud Health Product Manager

 - Deborah Vernon, Partner, Womble Bond Dickinson LLP

Bios below


Date and Time:  
April 3, 2019
6:00 - 8:30 PM


6:00-6:20pm: Registration, mingling, and light dinner
6:20-6:40pm: Facilitated networking
8:00pm: Panel Discussion
8:00-8:30pm: Optional networking

LifeHub Boston, 610 Main Street, Cambridge, MA 02139 (Entrance at 1 Portland Street) 

$15 members, $40 non-members

Thank You to Bayer LifeHub Boston for providing the venue and catering!



REGISTRATION HAS CLOSED - This event has reached capacity and the waitlist is full.


Nicole Barna brings over 20 years of experience in human resources leadership and strategy. Prior to her current leadership role, Ms. Barna was Executive Director for Human Resources at Bioverativ where she led Bioverativ’s efforts in talent management, performance management, leadership development and global expansion. Ms. Barna was also instrumental in the creation of Bioverativ, a spin-off from Biogen, where she was responsible for organizational design and talent identification. Prior to Bioverativ, Ms. Barna held a number of positions of increasing responsibility and scope at Biogen, including Sr Director Human Resources for Emerging Markets and Latin America, Director of HR for the Japan Affiliate, Director of HR for UK/Ireland Affiliates and various positions in the US supporting the R&D organization. Prior to Biogen, she spent seven years at The Whitehead Institute/ Center for Genome Research where she held HR positions of increasing responsibility including leading HR for the team responsible for the Human Genome Project. Ms. Barna holds an MS in HR Management from Lesley University and a BS in Psychology from Kenyon College.

Michelle Luo is currently the Global Head of Outcomes Research & Epidemiology, Gastroenterology at Takeda Pharmaceuticals. In this leadership role, she focuses on driving value-based drug development, identifying patient-centered unmet needs, and demonstrating product value with comprehensive evidence to patients, healthcare providers and payers. Prior to Takeda, Michelle held a number of positions with increasing responsibilities across both R&D and commercial organizations at Baxter and Abbott. She brings nearly 20 years of experience from health economics and outcomes research, market access, marketing and biomedical research to provide innovative solutions to patients and healthcare decision makers. She has contributed to the success of product development and commercialization in various therapeutic areas including rare diseases. Michelle received her Ph.D. in Oncology Research and M.S. in Pharmaceutical Economics and Policy from the University of Southern California. She served on the National Pharmaceutical Council Research Committee, and on the CMS Medicare Evidence Development & Coverage Advisory Committee. In addition, Michelle plays leadership role in driving diversity at work place. She served as the President of the Asian Leadership Network at Baxter. Currently she serves as the Regional Director of Marketing Excellence for the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA). 

Dr. Amber Salzman is currently the President & CEO of Ohana Biosciences. Previously she served as the President & CEO at Adverum Biotechnologies (NASDAQ:ADVM). She was a Co-Founder of Annapurna Therapeutics SAS and served as its President & CEO prior to its merger with Avalanche Biosciences to create Adverum Biotechnologies. Prior to her role at Adverum Biotechnologies, Dr. Salzman served as President and CEO of Cardiokine, Inc. until it was acquired by Cornerstone Therapeutics. Prior to that, she was a member of GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK)'s research and development executive team. In addition to her roles in industry, Dr. Salzman is the President of the Stop ALD Foundation, a Medical Research Foundation dedicated to finding better therapies for people with adrenoleukodystrophy, and serves on the Boards of Lankenau Institute of Medical Research and Drexel University Dornsife School of Public Health.

Jackie Schumacher is currently the VP of Regulatory and Quality at Lyndra Therapeutics. Prior to Lyndra, Jackie spent most of her 30+ year career within Pfizer; starting as an analytical chemist followed by a long tenure within the CMC Regulatory organization in roles of increasing responsibility. She has led teams to develop successful global registration strategies for new small molecules, product enhancements, inhalation and injectable products. Jackie also held several business-facing/commercial roles, including the creation of a satellite Pharmaceutical Sciences team in Brazil supporting Latin American product and business development; regulatory leadership within the nascent Established Products Sterile Injectables organization and later as Portfolio Optimization and Strategy Leader; facilitating a matrixed team of Pfizer colleagues tasked with radically optimizing the value of the 600+ molecule portfolio. In addition to her Pfizer-based experiences, she has chaired an industry trade association, IPAC-RS, focused on strategic pharmaceutical and regulatory development objectives for orally inhaled and nasal drug products. Jackie has co-founded a recently launched non-profit organization, Optimists without Borders, USA, with one of her former colleagues and serves as one of the Directors. Jackie earned her B.A. degrees in Chemistry and Classical Studies from Hamilton College.

Marianne Slight leads Cloud Healthcare Analytics at Google. Her focus is applying scalable analytical technologies to healthcare problems, creating healthcare products with artificial intelligence. Prior to Google, she led healthcare NLP products at Nuance, perioperative and critical care products at Picis and then Optum, and analytic solutions at Oracle. She holds a BSc (Hons) in Physics from the University of Glasgow, and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland.

Deborah Vernon, Ph.D. is a partner at Womble Bond Dickinson LLP and a founding member of its Boston Office. Deborah assists clients in obtaining and enforcing intellectual property rights with a focus on technology in the chemical and mechanical arts. Deborah has successfully represented clients in appeals and contested proceedings before the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the Federal Circuit. Deborah obtained her J.D. from Suffolk University School of Law (magna cum laude). Prior to her legal career, Deborah obtained her doctorate degree in material science from Brown University, where she conducted research on thin films and ceramic materials. This research led her to develop novel processing techniques for controlling grain growth during the densification of nanophase ceramic compacts using chemical vapor deposition. In addition to serving on WEST’s Board of Directors, Deborah serves as a member of the Trinity Engineering Advisory Council at Trinity College.