Our Staff

Rich Giersch

Interim Executive Director
Rich Giersch is Interim Executive Director for Life Science Washington Institute and a principal investigator on a $3.5MM STTR that…

Rich Giersch is Interim Executive Director for Life Science Washington Institute and a principal investigator on a $3.5MM STTR that networks 24 academic institutions and is focused on building the commercialization ecosystem for life science companies in the Southeast US. Additionally, he is Chairman of the Board for the Bioscience Association of West Virginia, and CEO of WV based Valtari Bio.

Rich has held Director level positions at two venture capital firms, was the chief operating officer of a biotech company in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, and the Chief Science Officer for the New Jersey Center for Biomaterials at Rutgers University. He has helped companies secure over $100 million in federal funding, tax, and relocation incentives and written over $15M in successful SBIR/STTR applications.

 

 

Aylin Kim , MBA

Manager of Entrepreneurship
Aylin is the Manager of Entrepreneurship Programs for Life Science Washington Institute. She is the primary contact for all programs…

Aylin is the Manager of Entrepreneurship Programs for Life Science Washington Institute. She is the primary contact for all programs including Startup Assistance Consulting, WA Innovation Network Mentoring Program, the SBIR/STTR Assistance Program, and the Lunch and Learn series. Aylin is also the Project Lead for LSW Institute’s partnership with the BARDA DRIVe Accelerator Network. In this role, she maintains knowledge of funding available to innovators, assists entrepreneurs with their applications, and collaborates with other DRIVe Network Partners to provide wrap-around services and develop programming to connect innovators with BARDA.

Aylin’s career focus has been on development of early-stage medical device concepts into commercial products. She is founder and board member of SPIWay LLC, a medical device start-up with an FDA cleared product and revenue. Aylin brings sales and marketing experience from Johnson & Johnson, where she won multiple awards related to the Ortho-Evra® drug-delivery patch, and manufacturing experience while working pre-launch on Pfizer’s insulin (Exubera®) delivery device. She also played a key role in launching PCAsso Diagnostics, an ophthalmologic diagnostic start-up. Aylin has also helped conduct multiple Phase II & Phase III clinical trials and has been awarded 3 patents and 3 STTR grants. Aylin’s B.S. in Biomedical Engineering and an MBA in Healthcare and Entrepreneurship, both from Columbia University, allow her to communicate well with both the entrepreneurs and industry leaders.

 

Chris Porter

Commercialization Advisor
As the Medical Technology and Biotechnology Consultant for LSWI, Chris has over 40 years of experience in the medical device…
Chris Porter

As the Medical Technology and Biotechnology Consultant for LSWI, Chris has over 40 years of experience in the medical device and biotech industry in both major corporations (3M, Johnson & Johnson, and Pfizer) and early stage medical companies. He is a serial entrepreneur with 42 patents and he has been influential in introducing over 35 medical products.

Ami Yamamoto

Commercialization Intern
Ami is a commercialization intern for Life Science Washington Institute, working directly with Aylin. Ami received her Bachelor of Science…
Ami Yamamoto - Commercialization Intern

Ami is a commercialization intern for Life Science Washington Institute, working directly with Aylin.

Ami received her Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Molecular & Cellular Biology Program (MCB) at UW. She is completing her dissertation work in a research lab at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, studying breast cancer metastasis (how breast cancer spread to other parts of the body). Ami also has a passion for making science and scientific institutions a place where everyone can feel like they belong. She organizes many diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts at UW and Fred Hutch, focusing particularly on educational outreach. Outside of work, Ami enjoys hobbies such as cooking, baking, knitting, watercolor, racquetball, and volleyball.

Our Board

Marc Cummings

Marc Cummings

Board Chair
President & CEO, Life Science Washington
Marc Cummings

Marc Cummings

Board Chair
President & CEO, Life Science Washington
Marc Cummings

As President & CEO of Life Science Washington (LSW), Marc sets the strategic direction, guides policy priorities, and directs business operations to ensure our members have the talent, investment, and partnerships needed to sustain the industry’s robust growth and solidify Washington state’s reputation as one of the top life science clusters in the nation. Marc also serves as the Chair of the Life Science Washington Institute, which is an affiliated non-profit focused on supporting life science entrepreneurs and growing start-up companies in Washington.

Before taking the helm as President & CEO, Marc served as Vice President, Public Policy & External Affairs for LSW. Prior to joining Life Science Washington, he served as Director of Policy & External Affairs for Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), where he was actively involved in creating and advocating for several statewide bioscience initiatives including the Life Sciences Discovery Fund. He was also deeply involved in a range of PNNL’s philanthropic science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education partnerships and science education initiatives. Prior to moving to Washington state, Marc held a variety of policy and consulting positions in Washington, D.C.

Marc has served on several gubernatorial task forces including the Washington Clean Energy Leadership Council and the Life Science & Global Health Advisory Council.  Marc currently serves on the Tech Alliance Board as well as the Board of the Bothell Biomedical Innovation Partnership Zone. Additionally, Marc has previously served on a number of statewide trade association boards, including Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA) and the Washington Clean Technology Alliance (WCTA).

Marc loves playing tennis, waterskiing, mountain biking, and Oregon Pinot Noir.

FULL BIO – PDF

Magali Eaton

Magali Eaton

Assistant. Director, Innovation Training, UW Co-Motion
Magali Eaton

Magali Eaton

Assistant. Director, Innovation Training, UW Co-Motion
Magali Eaton

Magali Dieny Eaton leads Innovation Training efforts at the University of Washington Co-Motion office. As part of her role at Co-Motion she curates a broad set of compelling commercialization content, delivers inclusive trainings to create interest in commercialization and bridge the gap to the next opportunity, and offers industry mentor and ecosystem connections. She notably heads the NSF-funded UW I-Corps program which trains on average 90 startup teams per year, many of which go on to succeed in follow on programming across the nation. She also leads regional ecosystem-building efforts around the I-Corps program.

Before joining the university, she practiced law in two major international firms in France and in Seattle. She managed intellectual property portfolios and transactions for clients in a wide breadth of industries, including retail, manufacturing, therapeutics, wine, publishing, luxury goods and gaming. In her spare time, she also started and grew a youth leadership organization.

Magali joined the UW in 2014 through the entrepreneurial law clinic, a program pairing law students with mentors to offer legal advice to low-income entrepreneurs. She also teaches intellectual property law at the University of Washington’s School of Law.

A member of the New York bar, she holds law degrees from Universite Jean Moulin and Universite de Strasbourg in France, and an LLM in intellectual property law from the University of Washington where she attended thanks to a Fulbright scholarship. In her free time, she likes to mountaineer, ski, and paint.

Loretta Little

Loretta Little, MBA

Managing Director, WRF Capital
Loretta Little

Loretta Little, MBA

Managing Director, WRF Capital
Loretta Little

Ms. Little focuses on investment opportunities in the life sciences such as medical devices, digital health and scientific instrumentation. Her portfolio includes consumer technology, software and advanced materials companies. She has worked closely with several of WRF Capital’s investments including C-SATS (acquired by J&J/Ethicon), FlexMinder (acquired by JellyVision), Clarisonic (acquired by L’Oreal), Mirador Biomedical (acquired by Centurion Medical Products), Amnis (acquired by EMD Millipore), Mobisante (acquired by Renew Group), and EKOS (acquired by BTG plc). She oversees WRF Capital’s investments AbSci, Lightspeed Microscopy, MDmetrix, Medcurity, Direct AMS, Transformative Med, and Cardiac Insight.

Previously, Ms. Little served as senior technology licensing manager at Washington Research Foundation. Before joining WRF, she worked as a marketing manager for a biotechnology company and as a market consultant.

Ms. Little received an MBA from the University of Arizona and a B.A. in zoology from Pomona College. She currently serves as a board member with the Alliance of Angels.

Scott Maloney

Scott Maloney, MBA

Director of Innovation and Private Sector Research Engagement, Washington State University
Scott Maloney

Scott Maloney, MBA

Director of Innovation and Private Sector Research Engagement, Washington State University
Scott Maloney

Scott Maloney is an executive and multiple division leader with experience in Fortune 500 companies and $1B+ startups.  He serves as the Director of Innovation and Private Sector Research Engagement for Washington State University with responsibility of moving technologies into industry through partnership negotiations and ventures.

Scott has worked as the CEO and Co-Founder of Seed Worthy, a technology platform for developers that amassed users around the world.  Prior to that he was VP of Strategy and Operations for @Pay, a mobile payment startup where he led the Product, Production, and Creative teams, and provided direct leadership for all strategic initiatives.  Before that, Scott was the Senior Operations and Strategy Manager for LivingSocial, where he was responsible for leadership of several operational and strategic teams, and he was a key driver of growth for one of the company’s fastest growing divisions.  LivingSocial was acquired for a publicly undisclosed amount.  Scott ran R&D finance and planning for Human Genome Sciences prior to their acquisition by GlaxoSmithKline for $3.5B.  Prior to that Scott was finance lead to the Emerging Markets Unit at Pfizer where he provided business development and financial efforts for nearly $400M in partnerships deals and international operations.  Throughout his career Scott has successfully raised significant investment rounds from Angels, VCs, and funds.

Scott holds degrees in Genetics and Cellular Biology from Washington State University and an MBA from Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, a Top 20 MBA program.

Scott is a third-generation entrepreneur, guest lecturer at major universities, keynote speaker, consultant, Innovator-In-Residence to a major startup incubator, and board member for several large companies. In his free time, he enjoys travel, amazing food, and practicing martial arts as a holder of black belts in multiple styles.

Sean McClain

Sean McClain

Founder & CEO, Absci
Sean McClain

Sean McClain

Founder & CEO, Absci
Sean McClain

Sean McClain, founder and CEO of Absci, started the company in 2011 with a bold goal to re-engineer E. coli to be an effective biomanufacturing system for twenty-first century biologics. Having accomplished that, and driven by the mantra “believe in the impossible,” Sean went on to build one of today’s most powerful platform technologies for drug discovery, which Absci is applying in pursuit of a vision to design drugs directly from patient tissues entirely in silico – with the click of a button. Uniquely merging cutting-edge machine learning AI with proprietary bioinformatics pipelines and high throughput synthetic biology methods, Absci takes protein-based drug discovery beyond nature’s boundaries to bring breakthrough medicines into the lives of patients with unprecedented speeds. Under Sean’s leadership, Absci has raised over $425M, become a publicly traded company (Nasdaq: ABSI), grown to more than 200 employees, acquired pioneering deep learning company Denovium and target discovery company Totient, and established partnerships with industry-leading pharmaceutical and biotech companies including Merck and Astellas. Sean, who studied biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Arizona, has been recognized as an “allstar” in the 2019 Forbes 30 Under 30 cohort in Science, named as an Entrepreneur of The Year 2020 Pacific Northwest Region Award Winner, included among the 2021 Endpoints News 20 Under Forty Biopharma leaders, and awarded the OEN 30th Anniversary Award. Sean serves as a board member for the Oregon Bioscience Association, the Oregon Translational Research and Development Institute, and Life Science Washington.

Katrina Rogers

Katrina Rogers

Founder, Katrina Rogers Consulting
Katrina Rogers

Katrina Rogers

Founder, Katrina Rogers Consulting
Katrina Rogers

Katrina Rogers is a change expert with over 20 years of experience discovering, developing, and manufacturing medicines and related technologies. An expert in laboratory and technical operations, she is also an ASQ Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence and Pharmaceutical GMP Professional. She is an adjunct faculty member in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at Washington State University Health Sciences Spokane, and she is active in the local bioscience industry. Her executive services firm specializes in helping entrepreneurs, investors, and leaders change the world with their new medicines and medical devices.

Kayla Young

Kayla Young, PhD

Chief Operating Officer, Phase Genomics
Kayla Young

Kayla Young, PhD

Chief Operating Officer, Phase Genomics
Kayla Young

Dr. Young received her PhD from Vanderbilt University in Molecular Physiology & Biophysics in 2016 at which point she started working for Life Science WA with an interest in being at the interface of business and science. In her role there, she managed the Washington Innovation Network (WIN) Entrepreneur Mentoring Program where she worked with founders in their earliest stages. In 2017, she started working with Phase Genomics where she is now the Chief Operating Officer. Kayla has a passion for early-stage biotechnology companies and designing operational processes to help these companies be successful.

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