Our Staff

Patricia Beckmann, PhD

President & Executive Director
Prior to founding the Life Science Washington Institute, Dr. Beckmann has been vice-president of Commercialization at Life Science Washington and…

Prior to founding the Life Science Washington Institute, Dr. Beckmann has been vice-president of Commercialization at Life Science Washington and Managing Director of WINGS – the MedTech Angel investment group.  Patricia’s career spans biomedical research, operations, law and venture capital. She spent most of her research career at Immunex (co-inventor of Enbrel, Mobista and Nuvance) as well as several years in the Immunex and Amgen Law Departments performing technology assessment for licensing, intellectual property and litigation support. She was part of the bioscience investment team at Vulcan Capital and the original strategy team establishing the Allen Institute for Brain Sciences.  She was founding Chief Scientific Officer at the Accelerator-backed diagnostics company Homestead (now Integrated Diagnostics) and a Kauffman Fellow at Accelerator.

Subsequently she was president and executive director of the non-profit Oregon Translational Research and Development Institute (OTRADI) where she established a small fund and incubator model for Oregon start-ups. More recently Patricia has been managing director of BioStrategy, LLC where she has advised early-stage biotechnology, medical device, digital health and agriculturally-related companies.

She earned her undergraduate degree at the Evergreen State College in biology, chemistry and art and her PhD in biochemistry and pharmacology from the University of Arizona, College of Medicine. Patricia is a two-time Fulbright Fellowship recipient (Sweden and India). She pursued postdoctoral studies as an American Cancer Society Fellow at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in Uppsala, Sweden and as an NRSA Fellow at the National Cancer Institute. She has more than 50 peer-reviewed scientific publications and more than 40 issued U.S. Patents.

On a more personal note, Patricia raises golden retrievers, loves music, cooking and great red wines.

Jessica Roberto, PhD

Associate Director, Entrepreneurship & Innovation
Dr. Roberto is responsible for the development of educational resources and tools to support life science entrepreneurs. Contact her with…

Dr. Roberto is responsible for the development of educational resources and tools to support life science entrepreneurs. Contact her with specific questions regarding the Startup Playbook, educational seminars/Boot Camps, Innovation Marketplace, Life Science Law Series, or Business Library.

Prior to joining Life Science Washington, Dr. Roberto served as a Bridge Fund Associate at the W Fund, while also conducting research in liver immunology as a Post-Doctoral Scientist at the University of Washington. She has additional experience in due diligence consulting for early stage life science investors and companies.

She received her PhD in Pathobiology/Global Health from the University of Washington.

Ingrid Ruf, PhD

Program Manager
Dr. Ruf is responsible for the entrepreneurial education programs within the Life Science Washington Institute, including the WIN Mentoring Program,…

Dr. Ruf is responsible for the entrepreneurial education programs within the Life Science Washington Institute, including the WIN Mentoring Program, SBIR grant support, health economics and career development programs. She also manages current grant funding within the Institute.

Before joining the Life Science Washington Institute, she was an Assistant Professor at the University of California, Irvine pursuing research in viral oncology and a Staff Scientist at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center working on microRNAs as biomarkers.

She received her PhD in Genetics and Molecular Biology from Emory University and completed postdoctoral studies at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.

Christina Cantillo

Commercialization Program Coordinator
Christina Cantillo has more than eight years of experience in administration as well as with event coordination and client services. She…

Christina Cantillo has more than eight years of experience in administration as well as with event coordination and client services. She manages events for the Life Science Washington Institute and WINGS commercialization programs and provides administrative support to the LSWI team. Christina first came to the Pacific Northwest from Las Vegas, Nevada to attend Pacific Lutheran University. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English in 2008.

Wendy Yang, PhD

Commercialization Program Associate
Dr. Yang joined Life Science Washington in September 2016 as a Commercialization Program Associate. Her roles include facilitating the Commercialization Consulting…

Dr. Yang joined Life Science Washington in September 2016 as a Commercialization Program Associate.

Her roles include facilitating the Commercialization Consulting program and the Venture Investment & Partnering (VIP) Forums. Dr. Yang also serves as a Program Manager for WINGS, the Washington Medical Technology Angel Network.

Prior to joining Life Science Washington, Dr. Yang completed her doctorate, studying stem cells within the context of pancreatic biology. She gained commercialization experience while serving as a program operations specialist at the UW Coulter Translational Research Partnership and as an Innovation Fund Fellow at the CoMotion Innovation Fund. She received her PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Washington. Contact Wendy regarding Commercialization Consulting, applying for VIP Forums, or applying for WINGS funding.

Our Board

Stephen Graham

Stephen Graham

Stephen Graham is co-chair of Fenwick & West’s life sciences practice and managing partner of the Seattle office. He concentrates in the areas of private and public mergers and acquisitions, public offerings, private placements, and corporate governance matters, including advising boards of directors, audit, compensation and nominating/corporate governance committees, preparation and filing of periodic SEC reports and other securities law compliance. Stephen’s diverse practice focuses on representing emerging and established high growth companies. He has represented companies and investment banks in numerous IPOs, a wide variety of M&A transactions, and private offerings of debt and equity.

Margaret McCormick, PhD

Margaret McCormick, PhD

Dr. McCormick is the Chief Administrative Officer at the Benaroya Research Institute. Previously, she served as CEO at Matrix Genetics, which she successfully spun out of Targeted Growth, where she served as COO. Prior to joining TGI, Dr. McCormick was a partner with Integra Ventures where she led Integra’s biotechnology investment strategy and its investment in TGI.  Earlier in her career she was a consultant with McKinsey & Company. Dr. McCormick earned a Ph.D. in Biology (with a focus on metabolic engineering) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a BS degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

Tom Clement, MS, MBA

Tom Clement, MS, MBA

Tom Clement is one of the region’s top medical device entrepreneurs with more than 30 years of experience and expertise in product development engineering, engineering management, and senior management. Tom is currently the CEO of Aqueduct Critical Care, Inc. a company he helped spin out of the University of Washington in 2011. Aqueduct is developing external drains for managing Cerebral Spinal (brain) Fluid post brain injury and brain surgery.

Ron Howell

Ron Howell

Ron Howell is President & CEO of the Washington Research Foundation (WRF), an independent non-profit, in 1989. He shaped the organization’s tremendously successful licensing programs, which has generated over $500M in revenue to support scholarship and research in Washington’s universities and non-profit research institutions. In 1994, under Ron’s leadership, the WRF leveraged staff expertise in evaluating research and intellectual property, and established WRF Capital, a return-on-investment mission early-stage venture capital organization which has invested in close to 100 early stage STEM-based companies and have seen returns that help with grant work. Earlier in his career Mr. Howell was in medical sales and operations. He was a Trustee of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center from 2005-2017. Mr. Howell holds a bachelor of science in biochemistry from Washington State University.

Leslie Alexandre, DrPH

Leslie Alexandre, DrPH

Dr. Alexandre is an established business leader and 30-year veteran of the life sciences and health care industries. Her background includes leadership roles in biotechnology and health care startups, as well as Fortune 500 companies. She was President & CEO of the internationally renowned North Carolina Biotechnology Center from 2002 to 2007 and has held senior positions at the National Cancer Institute and prominent research universities. Currently, Dr. Alexandre is the President & CEO of Life Science Washington.

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