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We are thrilled to welcome a diverse group of speakers representing many roles in industry.

Lauren Celano is the Co-founder and CEO of Propel Careers, a life science search and career development firm in Boston, founded in 2009. Lauren has worked with thousands of students, postdocs, medical residents and professionals to advance their careers and with > 50 companies to help them hire talent.  Before Propel, she spent about 10 years in life sciences advancing drug molecules through SNBL USA, Aptuit, Quintiles, and Absorption Systems. She has a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Gettysburg College and an MBA with a focus in the health sector and entrepreneurship from Boston University. Lauren is the Vice-Chair on the Board of MassBioEd and the Advisory Boards of the Boston University School of Public Health Pharmaceuticals Program, the Professional Science Masters Program at Framingham State University and NE GWISE. She also serves on the selection committee for the Life Sciences Immigrant Entrepreneur of the Year Award since 2014 with the Immigrant Learning Center. 

Ben Doranz is President and CEO of Integral Molecular. Dr. Doranz co-founded the company in 2001 and has led all aspects of the company’s growth since its inception, bringing five different technologies from research to market and growing the company into a profitable commercial entity. He is an inventor on six of the company’s patents, the principal investigator on over 20 NIH grants, and an author on over 90 publications, including articles published in Cell, Science, and Nature.

Dr. Doranz is an established life science entrepreneur previously responsible for directing the biotechnology program at the Port of Technology business incubator in Philadelphia and helping create startups at the Center for Technology Transfer at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Doranz earned a Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Pennsylvania where he led the discovery of the coreceptor for HIV (CCR5), an MBA at Wharton where he co-founded the Penn Biotech Group and won the Wharton business plan competition, and a B.A. at Cornell University.


Dr. Becca Senter is the Associate Director of Non-Clinical Research at Flexion Therapeutics.  She is responsible for leading preclinical pipeline development, including overseeing pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, and toxicology programs across small molecule and gene therapy platforms.  She also serves as the head of clinical bioanalytical development to support clinical programs.  Prior to joining Flexion in 2017, Becca was a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Mark Bear’s lab in the Picower Institute of Learning and Memory at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  She received her PhD pharmacology from Vanderbilt University in 2015 as a member of Dr. Jeff Conn’s lab in the VCNDD.

Brian Yaspan, PhD, is a Senior Scientist in Human Genetics with Genentech in South San Francisco. Prior to his current role, Dr. Yaspan was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and a graduate student in Cancer Biology and Human Genetics at Vanderbilt University. Before he began his graduate training, Dr. Yaspan spent five years as a research technician at The Scripps Research Institute. He also received his Master of Public Health in Epidemiology from San Diego State University and a BS in Biochemistry from the University of California San Diego.

Dr. Larry Zeitlin received a B.A. in Biophysics and his doctorate in Reproductive Biology from The Johns Hopkins University. After serving as a Research Scientist at ReProtect, LLC (Baltimore, MD), and a Senior Scientist at Epicyte Pharmaceutical (San Diego, CA), together with Dr. Kevin Whaley, he co-founded Mapp Biopharmaceutical and LeafBio, Inc. (San Diego, CA). He has been an adjunct faculty member of the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University since 2004. Larry’s career focus has been on the development of monoclonal antibody based products to address unmet public health needs in infectious disease.

Uade da Silva, MBA, PhD, is currently the Associate Director of Global Regulatory Affairs at Merck in Philadelphia, PA. Dr. da Silva received his PhD in Neuroscience from Vanderbilt University under the supervision of Elaine Sanders-Bush. After training, he served as the manager of regulatory affairs and quality control at DCI Donor Services. He earned his MBA at the Naval Postgraduate School, while serving for seven years as a Program Manager, Biomedical Health Scientist, and active duty Naval Officer in the US Navy.

Kim Riley, PhD, CCRP, received her PhD in Cell and Developmental Biology from Vanderbilt University in 2015. She then took a role with the Duke University Health System as a Clinical Research Coordinator where she organized clinical trials for the Medical Retina Department from start-up to close-out. Since 2017, Dr. Riley has been with PPD in Clinical Research roles, serving as a research monitor on a variety of clinical drug trials.

Dr. Todd Townsend is the Regional Medical Scientific Director for Cardiovascular & Metabolism at Merck and has served several Medical Affair roles with Merck since 2017. Prior to his time in industry, Dr. Townsend served as a Staff Fellow/PI for the National Center for Toxicological Research with the FDA, serving prior as a Commissioner’s Fellow, where he received the 2016 Individual Award for Outstanding Service. Dr. Townsend received his PhD in Pharmacology from Vanderbilt University under Dr. Joey Barnett where he examined TGF-Beta signaling pathways.