Career Possibilities Panel & Speed Networking: Research & Discovery

In the world of business, careers are no longer linear or predictable. What was once a clearly sign-posted path as you progressed through milestones, a career road map is now circuitous presenting new challenges and opportunities at every bend. Life-long careers in one sector or one company are becoming a rarity as new technologies and shifting social norms disrupt traditional careers. Both employers and employees are seeking more diversity of experience, lifestyle flexibility and alternative paths.

This panel is designed to help you think about your career path and the different options that are open to you. The panel will have an informational interview type feel with panelists sharing their career paths, a look at what their job entails, transferrable skills for those looking to make a change, tips for uncovering opportunities, advice for others, and how to make brave leaps. Panel discussion moderated by Kristine McKinney, Sr. Director at Moderna Genomics and WEST Advisory Board Member.

Panelists Include:

- Daniela Cipolletta, Director of Immunology, Seismic Therapeutic
- Dennis Dean, Principal Investigator, Seven Bridges
- Kate Henry, Scientist II in the Gene Therapy Accelerator Unit, Biogen
Kristin Horton, Sr. Director Translational, Rubius Therapeutics
- Colles Price, Research Scientist, Vizgen

- Lilly Vollmann, Associate Principal Scientist, Merck

Bios below

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Date and Time:  
January 19, 2022
6:15-7:45 PM EST

5 mins: Welcome
60 mins: Panel discussion
10 mins: Small group speed networking
5 mins: Learnings
10 mins: Small group speed networking




Members, Students, Postdocs: $5; Non-Members: $15

Given our mission is to promote women's development in STEM we would like to offer a free spot in our workshops to those in transition between jobs or who cannot afford the ticket price. Please contact [email protected] if you qualify.


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Daniela Cipolletta is the director of immunology for Seismic Therapeutic, a startup developing a new generation of immunology therapies enabled by machine learning. Daniela has over 15 years of immunology focused research with emphasis on bridging immunology with different disease areas including oncology, metabolism, and tissue regeneration. Prior to joining Seismic, Daniela held roles of increasing responsibility at Novartis, where she led and supported several novel immune modulatory programs from early target identification to drug candidate selection and biomarker research. Daniela has also held positions at Amgen and Tempero. In addition to contributing to the advancement of drugs to the clinic, Daniela has been actively involved in coaching and mentoring younger scientist to navigate the complexity of matrix organizations and building highly effective teams while increasing self-awareness and confidence. Daniela earned her Ph.D. in Immunology from the European School of Molecular Medicine and completed her post-doctoral training with Drs. Diane Mathis and Christophe Benoist at the Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Dennis A. Dean, II is a Principal Investigator at Seven Bridges where he leads several national-scale genomic analysis projects and mentors a scientific team in the Boston office. He leads Seven Bridges collaboration with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Patient Derived Xenograph Network funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Dr. Dean is passionate about training the next generation of scientists. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Biomedical Science Career Program where he focuses on developing post-doctoral training programs and supporting STEM trainees. Dr. Dean trained as a research fellow in medicine at the Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital in the Program for Sleep Epidemiology and the Program for Sleep and Cardiovascular Medicine. He earned his PhD in biomedical engineering and biotechnology and M.S. in computer science from the University of Massachusetts. He earned his B.S. in computer science from SUNY, Empire State College. 

Kate Henry is a Scientist II at Biogen. She recently joined the Gene Therapy Accelerator Unit to study immune responses to viral vectors and improve viral vector performance. Kate joined Biogen in 2013 and has worked on various indications, first focusing on autoimmunity and later extending her work to study how inflammatory processes contribute to neurodegeneration. These efforts have provided her with drug discovery experience in multiple modalities including small molecules, antisense oligonucleotides and gene therapy vectors. Kate is currently pursuing her doctorate in Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics through a collaboration between Biogen and Boston University. She has a M.S. in Immunology and Molecular Pathogenesis from Emory University and a B.S. in Biology from Brandeis University. 

Dr. Elisabeth (Lilly) Vollmann is an Associate Principal Scientist at Merck Research Laboratories, where she leads the Tolerance Group within the Immunology Department. Lilly has 7 years of drug discovery experience in small biotech and large pharma under her belt. She has a proven track record of successfully leading drug programs from target identification through lead optimization (small molecules, nucleic acids, recombinant proteins, antibodies) in autoimmunity, immune-oncology, chronic inflammation, and neuro-immunology. Lilly is an experienced group and program team leader who leads with emotional intelligence and enjoys mentoring and developing junior scientists. Lilly is a classically trained Immunologist who earned her PhD from the University of Vienna, Austria, and conducted her post doc work at Harvard Medical School before transitioning into industry (Biogen, Verseau Therapeutics and Merck).