HealthAdvance Mentors-in-Residence

The primary role of the HealthAdvance™ Mentors-in-Residence (MIRs) is to collaborate with their matched Innovators and craft compelling proposals for a commercially viable product or solution, with a strong focus on improving human health.

Mentors are individually matched to the Innovator teams that have been invited to submit a full application to the program by the HealthAdvance team. The Innovator teams are selected based on the Pre-Qualification Applications they submit to express interest in pursuing this funding opportunity.


Meet the HealthAdvance MIRs


Christopher Schaber

Christopher Schaber, PhD

President and CEO of Soligenix, Inc., a publicly traded company

Christopher J. Schaber, PhD has over 30 years experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry. Dr. Schaber has been Soligenix's President and Chief Executive Officer and a director since August 2006. He also served on the board of directors for the Alliance for BioSecurity and for the Biotechnology Council of NJ (BioNJ), where he is currently Chair.

He has been a member of the corporate councils for both the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) and the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (ASBMT). Prior to joining the company, Dr. Schaber served from 1998 to 2006 as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Discovery Laboratories, Inc., where he was responsible for overall pipeline development and key areas of commercial operations, including regulatory affairs, quality control and assurance, manufacturing and distribution, preclinical and clinical research, and medical affairs, as well as coordination of commercial launch preparation activities.

From 1996 to 1998, he was a co-founder of Acute Therapeutics, Inc., and served as its Vice President of Regulatory Compliance and Drug Development. From 1994 to 1996, he was employed by Ohmeda PPD, Inc., as Worldwide Director of Regulatory Affairs and Operations. From 1989 to 1994, Dr. Schaber held a variety of regulatory, development and operations positions with The Liposome Company, Inc., and Elkins-Sinn Inc., a division of Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories.

Dr. Schaber received his BA from Western Maryland College, his MS in Pharmaceutics from Temple University School of Pharmacy and his PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the Union Graduate School. During his career, Dr. Schaber has played a significant role in raising in excess of $300 million through both public offerings and private placements, as well as over $80 million through the achievement of government grant and contract awards.

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Areas of Expertise: ​
  • Biopharma: Drug Delivery, Therapeutics, Vaccines, Animal Models of Disease
  • Therapeutics: Blood & Lymphatic Disease, Dental/Oral, Dermatology, Ear, Nose & Throat, Gastroenterology & Digestive Disease, Immunology, Autoimmune & Inflammation, Infectious Diseases, Oncology, Pediatrics, Respiratory & Pulmonary, Transplantation
  • Biomedical: Public Health, Biodefense​
  • Devices and Instrumentation: Biomedical
  • Software & Applications: Life Sciences & Biomedical Applications
  • Other: Neonatology, Cancer Supportive Care, Combination Products/Therapy, Orphan/Rare diseases, Market Research, Protocol Design, GMP, GLP, GCP, Regulatory, Preclinical, Clinical Trials, Phase 1, 2, and 3, Pre-IND, Pre-NDA, IND, Government Funding, Fundraising, Start-up, Commercial Launch, Investor Relations, and more.

Michael Baran

Michael Baran, PhD, MBA

Partner, Pfizer Ventures, Executive Director, Emerging Science and Innovation World Wide R&D, Pfizer, Inc.

As Partner on the Pfizer Ventures team and Executive Director in the Emerging Science and Innovation group, Mike has responsibility for growing venture investment transactions and managing equity investments aligned with future directions of Pfizer. He currently has responsibility for Pfizer’s investments in Accelerator NYC, Magnolia Neurosciences, BlueLight Therapeutics, ImCheck Therapeutics, ImmunOs Therapeutics, Autobahn Therapeutics, and Mediar Therapeutics.

From 2017-2018 Mike served as Senior Director of Portfolio Strategy and was responsible for critically assessing the R&D portfolio from a volume, value, quality, risk and productivity perspective with the ultimate objective of maximizing R&D productivity and value generation. From 2011-2017 Mike was Senior Director, Scientific Affairs for the R&D President’s Office where he was responsible for enabling and communicating the R&D strategic agenda as well as leading colleague development capabilities. Mike joined Pfizer in 2008 in the market access space providing strategic and analytical support around marketing and managed care contracting with commercial and government payers.

Prior to 2008, Mike worked within the NIH Protein Structure Initiative’s Northeast Structural Genomics Consortium coordinating protein structure production efforts, including bioinformatics, protein expression/purification and 3D structure determination. Mike is also a co-founder of Nexomics Biosciences, a NJ based biotechnology company focused on providing gene-2-structure services as well as early stage drug target validation. He is actively involved in the local biotechnology community participating in eLabNYC, Rutgers HealthAdvance, and the BioIdea NYC.

Mike earned his Ph.D. from Robert Wood Johnson Medical School / Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey in biochemistry where his research focused on structural biology and scientific software development. He holds a M.B.A. from Rutgers Business School with a focus in pharmaceutical management and received his B.S. in Biochemistry / Information Technology from Syracuse University.

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Areas of Expertise: ​
  • Biopharma: Vaccines
  • Therapeutics: Blood & Lymphatic Disease, Cardiovascular, Dermatology, Diabetes, Metabolism, Endocrinology & Obesity, Gastroenterology & Digestive Disease, Immunology, Autoimmune & Inflammation, Infectious Diseases, Nephrology – Renal, Neurodegenerative, Oncology, Ophthalmology, Respiratory & Pulmonary, Transplantation, Regenerative Medicine – Tissue Engineering
  • Biomedical: Genomics, Precision Health​
  • Other: Rare diseases
    Photo of Bob Bishop

    W. Robert Bishop, PhD

    Network Partner, Synergy Partners R&D Solutions

    Bob has over 30 years of experience in oncology drug discovery and early development from target validation through clinical proof of concept. During his 25 years at Schering-Plough Research Institute, Bob served as the Executive Director of Virology Discovery and world-wide head of Oncology Discovery.  He retired from his position as Executive Director, Oncology at Merck Research Labs in 2011 and has been consulting in the field of oncology translational research since that time. He possesses in-depth knowledge of signal transduction pathways in cancer cells and cancer pharmacology.

    Bob also worked closely with the Progeria Research Foundation to investigate the farnesyl transferase inhibitor lonafarnib in children with the rare premature aging disorder Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome.

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    Areas of Expertise:
    • Biopharma: Therapeutics, Vaccines 
    • Drug Discovery Technology: Animal Models of Disease 
    • Therapeutics: Blood & Lymphatic Disease, Immunology, Autoimmune & Inflammation, Infectitious Diseases, Oncology
    • Other: Small molecule and biologic target therapies for cancer, Small molecule antiviral drug discovery, Solid understanding of cancer immunotherapeutics, Drug discovery and early development, Translational studies and use of biomarkers for target engagement and patient selection, Rare genetic diseases.
    Photo of Tanya Borsuk

    Tanya Borsuk, PhD

    Vice President, Portfolio Strategy and Alliances, Flagship Pioneering

    Tanya has spent over a decade helping companies in the Biotech and Pharmaceutical industries develop their technology and drug pipelines. Her roles in the Pharmaceutical industry have spanned from R&D consulting at a top global boutique consulting firm in NYC, to launch planning, and global business insights and competitive intelligence. She is currently the Vice President of Portfolio Strategy and Alliances at Flagship Pioneering. Prior to that, Tanya served as Director of Business Development at Celgene Corporation (acquired by BMS in November 2019), where she was responsible for search and evaluation of new business opportunities for the Oncology-Hematology franchises.

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    Areas of Expertise:
    • Biopharma: Therapeutics, Vaccines 
    • Drug Discovery Technology: Animal Models of Disease
    • Therapeutics: Blood & Lymphatic Disease, Diabetes, Metabolism, Endocrinology & Obesity, Immunology, Autoimmune & Inflammation, Oncology
    • Other: Drug launch, Hematology, Hematology-Oncology, Solid tumors, Orphan diseases, Competitive Insights, Marketing, Clinical development, Gene therapy, Platform technologies, CAR-T, TCRs, Portfolio strategy.
    Photo of Stephen Chang

    Stephen Chang, PhD

    Chair of the Board of Directors, Histogen, Inc.

    Stephen is a human geneticist with over 32 years of commercial experience in life sciences in areas of stem cells, cell and gene therapy and drug development. Entrepreneur, teacher and scientific and business leader in life science with specific emphasis on small company startups and non-profits. He provides leadership, strategy, startup counseling and drug development of complex drug products and organizational structure. Stephen is a strong believer in teams and their functions, and a recognized pioneer in commercial gene therapy and complex biologicals. Two recent positive drug success in Instilligen rAd-fin/ syn3 (In PDUFA review) and Intravail diazepam (approved) are from his lab or direct involvement.

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    Areas of Expertise:
    • Advanced Materials and Chemicals: Biomedical Applications 
    • Biopharma: Drug Delivery; Therapeutics; Vaccines
    • Drug Discovery Technology: Medicinal Chemistry; Biomedical Research Tools; Animal Models of Disease
    • Therapeutics: Blood & Lymphatic Disease; Cardiovascular; Dental/Oral Health; ; Dermatology; Diabetes, Metabolism, Endocrinology & Obesity; Ear, Nose & Throat; Gastroenterology& Digestive Disease; General & Plastic Surgery; Immunology, Autoimmune & Inflammation; Infectious Diseases; Musculoskeletal Disorders, Orthopedics – Bone; Neurodegenerative; Oncology; Ophthalmology; Regenerative Medicine – Tissue Engineering; Respiratory & Pulmonary; Transplantation
    • Biomedical - Other: Genomics; Precision Health; Biodefense
    • Imaging: Tracers/Probes/Reporters
    • Software and Applications: Life Sciences and Biomedical
    • Other: Biologics manufacturing; Biologics startups; Pitch decks; Antibodies: Stem cells and Cosmetics.


    Bruce Galton

    Bruce Galton

    Principal, Galton Consulting, LLC, a biopharmaceutical and healthcare practice.

    Bruce has over 20 years of experience as the President and CEO of publicly and privately held development stage biotechnology companies and manufacturers. He has negotiated licenses and sales agreements, has in-licensed technologies and sponsored research projects with major universities across North America and has participated in the acquisition and divestiture of product lines and companies. He has also helped to raise tens of millions of dollars in equity financing. As a consultant, he has been a project manager for pre-clinical toxicology, drug metabolism, and pharmacokinetic IND enabling studies, participated in technology portfolio assessments and provided development prioritization plans, negotiated IP licenses, drafted business plans, assisted clients with VC networking and has supported client due diligence for partnering negotiations. Bruce is also co-inventor on several biotechnology patents and applications.

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    Areas of Expertise: ​
    • Biopharma: Vaccines
    • Therapeutics: Immunology, Autoimmune & Inflammation, Infectious Diseases, Oncology, Respiratory & Pulmonary.
    • Other: Finance, Organizations, Negotiations
    Photo of Peter Golikov

    Peter Golikov

    Principal, Panteleimon Life Science Consulting

    Peter is a resourceful, results driven leader with >20 years of experience in general management, drug development and business development. Peter has a strong business and technical experience in bio-pharmaceutical environments.

    He has previously helped North American universities in marketing unlicensed technologies, mentoring faculty and emerging life science companies in business planning, IP portfolio management, grant applications, fundraising and general management.

    Peter has been a leader at two pharmaceutical companies: Virologix, and EpiCept Corporation and was responsible for hiring/managing R&D staff, raising over $18M in private equity capital. During his tenure at EpiCept, he successfully submitted 5 IND’s and moved 3 products into late stage clinical development. Earlier in his career, Peter was a senior clinical research associate for 12 years and gained experience in Phase I-IV clinical studies in several therapeutic areas including analgesia, cardiovascular, and infectious disease. During this tenure 4 NDAs and NDA Amendments were approved by the FDA.

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    Areas of Expertise:
    • Biopharma: Biomedical Applications, Diagnostics, Drug Delivery, Therapeutics, Vaccines
    • Therapeutics: Biomedical Research Tools, Animal Models of Disease, Blood & Lymphatic Disease, Cardiovascular, Immunology, Autoimmune & Inflammation, Infectious Diseases, Oncology, Psychiatry, Radiology, Regenerative Medicine - Tissue Engineering, Respiratory & Pulmonary, Transplantation
    • Biomedical Other: Precision Health, Biodefense
    • Devices and Instrumentation: Consumer Applications, Biomedical
    • Imaging: Software, Systems, Tracers/Probes/Reporters
    • Software Applications: Life Sciences and Biomedical
    Al DiRienzo

    Albert J. Di Rienzo

    President and CEO, Radicle Innovation, LLC

    Al is an entrepreneurial, high energy, and accomplished executive with broad experience in scientific, technological, and business leadership – building, creating, and sustaining cultures of innovation within fast-paced, high-growth, agile, and productive environments. He is a unique visionary with passion for excellence, and innate ability to set and communicate vision, mission, and strategy to technical and non-technical audiences alike.

    During his career, Al has been responsible for billions of dollars in revenue via the release of well over a 100 successful products. In a career spanning nearly 35 years in academia, government and industry, Al has held positions with the Forensic and National Security Sciences Institute at Syracuse University, One Health Group, RedSky, Blue Highway, National Biodefense Science Board, Welch Allyn, Phillips Medical Systems, Siemens Medical Systems, Honeywell Aerospace and General Dynamics.

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    Areas of Expertise:
    • Therapeutics: Cardiovascular, Ear, Nose & Throat, Neurodegenerative, Oncology, Ophthalmology, Respiratory & Pulmonary, Transplantation.
    • Biomedical Other: Precision Health, Public Health, Healthcare Delivery, Biodefense
    • Digital Health: Health IT
    • Devices and Instrumentation: Consumer Applications, Industrial Applications, Biomedical
    • Imaging: Software, Systems
    • Software Applications: Life Sciences and Biomedical
    Harvey Homan

    Harvey D. Homan, PhD, MBA

    Principal, HDH Associates International LLC

    Harvey is a corporate executive, founder, director, CEO, investor and advisor to pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device, and digital health companies, with a passion for innovation and entrepreneurship. He has held leadership roles at Sterling Health and The Boots Company in new product development, clinical, regulatory, sales, and strategic marketing that supported commercialization of dozens of international products for brands including Bayer, Neurofen, Strepsils, Midol, Phillips, Diaparene, and E45.

    Harvey is a member of Advisory Boards for the Therapeutics and Biomedical Device Accelerators at Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUMC) and development teams for potential breakthrough discoveries. He has served as a mentor and EIR for NYU Berkley Innovation Labs, Blackstone Launchpad@NYU; the EDC@NJIT; and Industry Mentor and adjunct faculty for NSF I-Corps. PhD (neuropharmacology), UGA; MBA, NYU Stern.

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    Areas of Expertise:
    • Biopharma: Diagnostics, Drug Delivery, Therapeutics
    • Therapeutics: Dermatology, Gastroenterology & Digestive Disease, Musculoskeletal Disorders, Orthopedics - Bone, Neurodegenerative Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Psychiatry, Urology
    • Digital Health: Digital Health/Health IT
    • Devices and Instrumentation:  Consumer Applications, Biomedical
    • Imaging:  Software, Systems, Tracers/Probes/Reporters
    • Software Applications: Life Sciences and Biomedical
    • Other: Combination drug and device, Lab-on-a-chip
    Photo of Jon Kiel

    Jonathan Kiel, PhD

    Chief Science Officer, SOLUtion Medical

    Jon has held engineering positions at DuPont and multiple positions at start-up companies, including co-founding and successfully commercializing the Nima Sensor, a food allergen sensing platform. He spent over six years as a Managing Scientist at Exponent providing scientific solutions in a variety of areas, such as materials, sensors, risk assessment, and technical due diligence. Jon is currently the Chief Science Officer at SOLUtion Medical, a company focused on simplifying adrenal crisis health management.

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    Areas of Expertise:
    • Advanced Materials and Chemicals: Biomedical Applications 
    • Biopharma: Diagnostics, Drug Delivery 
    • Biomedical-Other: Precision Health, Healthcare Delivery, Biodefense 
    • Devices & Instrumentation (Hardware): Consumer Applications, Industrial Applications, Biomedical 
    • Technology-Other: 3-D Printing 
    Photo of Zvi Loewy

    Zvi Loewy, PhD

    Board Member, Commercialization Center for Innovative Technologies

    Dr. Zvi Loewy is a senior academic leader and an experienced global pharmaceutical – biotechnology executive. He leverages a diversified background in big-pharma senior management, biotech startup creation and academia. Zvi has served as a board member of the New Jersey Bioscience Center Incubator since 2010. From 2005 – 2020 he was a board member of the Jerusalem College of Technology.

    His international experience has included leading international research teams; championing the penetration and commercial launch of healthcare products world-wide; and leading open innovation in the Mid-East. Zvi received his B.A. from Yeshiva University, MS from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and a PhD in Molecular Biology from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Dr. Zvi Loewy has over 25 issued patents.


    Visit Zvi's LinkedIn profile

    Areas of Expertise:
    • Advanced Materials and Chemicals: Biomedical Applications 
    • Biopharma: Diagnostics, Drug Delivery, Therapeutics, Vaccines. 
    • Therapeutics: Cardiovascular, Dental/Oral, Dermatology, Diabetes, Metabolism, Endocrinology and Obesity, Infectious Diseases, Oncology, Regenerative Medicine-Tissue Engineering, Respiratory and Pulmonary.
    • Biomedical: Genomics.
    • Biomedical-Other: Precision Health, Biodefense 
    • Devices & Instrumentation (Hardware): Consumer Applications, Biomedical 
    • Imaging: Tracers/Probes/Reporters.
    • Software & Applications: Life Sciences & Biomedical Applications.
    • Other: Drug development and validation, Pharmaceutical format development, Drug delivery platforms, Medical device design and development, Diagnostic platform development and validation, Consumer healthcare products and systems, Genomics technology, Intellectual Property strategy, Global business development strategy. 
    Photo of Ron Rothman

    Ron Rothman, PhD

    Principal, Strategic Bio Insights

    Ron leads Strategic Bio Insights, a consultancy providing actionable recommendations through competitive intelligence and market intelligence on medical devices, pipeline therapeutics, nanotechnology, devices and biotechnology since 2007.  Among his other major engagements is his role as a QED Business Advisor, University City Science Center, successfully securing milestone-based funding of 4 medical device ventures for market-driven prototype development and pre-clinical proof-of-concept studies;  Member, Board of Directors, Pharmaceutical Consulting Consortium, Inc., a 501(c)(6) nonprofit association with 400 Life Science industry members; and whose mission is to help early- to mid-stage life science companies to succeed by improving their business model, strategies and commercial viability.

    Ron is also the Chief Business Officer and Founder, BioRegenics, Inc., an orthopedic medical device development company focused on innovation for repairing cartilage and bone.

    Visit Ron's LinkedIn profile

    Areas of Expertise:
    • Biopharma: Diagnostics, Drug Delivery, Therapeutics 
    • Therapeutics: Dermatology, Immunology, Autoimmune & Inflammation, Infectious Diseases, Musculoskeletal Disorders, Orthopedics - bone, Neurodegenerative, Oncology, Ophthalmology, Regenerative Medicine - Tissue Engineering, Respiratory & Pulmonary, Transplantation 
    • Biomedical-Other: Precision Health 
    • Digital Health/Health IT 
    • Other: Go-to-market strategy, Ideation, Competitive Intelligence, Regulatory, Lean Start-up Business model 
    Mentor Photo

    Adrienne Tymiak, PhD

    Adrienne is a retired BioPharma executive now serving as a Science and Technology Advisor and Mentor. She has over 35 years of experience in natural products research, analytical and bioanalytical chemistry, drug discovery and regulated pharmaceutical development.

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    Areas of Expertise:
    • Advanced Materials and Chemicals: Biomedical Applications
    • Biopharma: Diagnostics; Drug Delivery; Therapeutics
    • Drug Discovery Technology: Biomedical Research Tools
    • Therapeutics: Diabetes, Metabolism, Endocrinology & Obesity; Infectious Diseases; Oncology
    • Devices & Instrumentation (hardware): Biomedical
    • Imaging: Tracers/Probes/Reporters
    • Software and Applications: Life Sciences and Biomedical
    • Other: Bioanalytical; Quantitative Analysis; NMR; Mass Spectrometry; Spectroscopy; Metabolomics; Drug Discovery; High-throughput Screening; Natural Products; Structure Determination
    Photo of Peter Young

    Peter Young

    Peter is a life-science industry consultant with over 35 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry, spanning all areas of the business from sales representative to country-level general manager at multinationals like Abbott and Glaxo as well as biotech start-ups. In the mid-1990s, he led the global introduction of combination HIV therapy for Glaxo Wellcome while keying industry leadership on global treatment access. 

    Currently, Peter serves as a venture partner with Pappas Capital leading the firm’s initiatives in translational medicine and is the Program Manager for Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center’s Technology Development Program. He also serves as an Executive in Residence at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories and the Center for Biotechnology at Stony Brook University. He is a member of the Oversight Committee for the University of Miami Wallace H. Coulter Center for Translational Research, the Long Island Bioscience Hub External Review Board and the Long Island Biomentor Initiative, a past member of the BIO board and chairman of the North Carolina Biosciences Organization, and was a director of Memory Pharmaceuticals from 2004 until its sale to Roche in 2009. 

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    Areas of Expertise:
    • Biopharma:  Drug Delivery; Therapeutics; Vaccines 
    • Therapeutics: Cardiovascular; Dermatology; Diabetes, Metabolism, Endocrinology & Obesity; Ear, Nose & Throat; Emergency Medicine; Gastroenterology & Digestive Disease; Immunology, Autoimmune & Inflammation; Infectious Diseases; Nephrology – Renal; Neurodegenerative; Oncology; Psychiatry; Regenerative Medicine – Tissue Engineering; Respiratory & Pulmonary; Urology 
    • Biomedical-Other: Precision Health; Public Health; Healthcare Delivery; Biodefense 
    • Other: Specialty Pharma; Ag Bio and Ag tech; Venture capital, investment and fundraising; Business development and partnering; Pricing and Access policies 
    Photo of Wayne Weiner

    Wayne Weiner

    Wayne Weiner is the principal of Pharmatech Solutions LLC, a consultancy that provides strategic planning, M&A advisory and business development services to pharmaceutical, nutrition and personal care industries. Over the last 20 years, he has held senior level positions at major global corporations, as well as venture back start-ups. He has played a key role in multiple acquisitions with total value of ~ $4 billion. 

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    Areas of Expertise: 
    • Advanced Materials and Chemicals: Biomedical Applications 
    • Biopharma: Drug Delivery 
    • Drug Discovery Technology: Medicinal Chemistry