Texas Life Science Forum

10th Annual TLSF Agenda

We're looking forward to seeing you at the 11th Annual Texas Life Science Forum on Tuesday, November 8, 2022. We are still finalizing the program. In the meantime, checkout our agenda from our most recent conference in February. 

Event Schedule

10th Annual Texas Life Science Forum: February 24, 2022

  • Ann Tanabe, Chief Executive Officer, BioHouston 
    Brad Burke, Managing Director, Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship 

  • Isaac MiddletonCOO, Texas Medical Center 

  • Reggie DesRoches, Howard Hughes Provost, Rice University

  • Stephen M. Hahn M.D., CEO-Partner, Flagship Pioneering; Chief Executive Officer, Harbinger Health; and Former Commissioner of Food and Drugs, U.S. Food and Drug Administration

  • Tom Luby, Ph.D., Director, TMC Innovation 

  • Jason Bock, PhD, Vice President and Head of Biologics Product Development, MD Anderson Cancer Center

  • Fiona Mack, Ph.D., Head of JLABS @ TMC – Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Johnson & Johnson

  • Moderator | Emily Reiser, Ph.D., Associate Director, TMC Innovation
    Adam Berman, CEO, Alleviant
    Jordan Miller, Ph.D., Co-Founder, Volumetric & SVP, Chief Scientist for Regenerative Medicine, 3D Systems
    Sarma Velamuri, M.D., CEO & Co-Founder, Luminare

    Several Texas born and grown companies have reached significant milestones in the last two years. This conversation will celebrate these milestones, interrogate how these CEOs have navigated their teams to achieve these milestones, and discuss the advantages and challenges of growing high-growth, medical and life science startups in Texas.

  • Brian Toglia, Executive Vice President/Life Science Practice Leader, Higginbotham

  • Thomas Richardson, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, CGT Process Development, Lonza

    Jeffrey WadePresident & CFO, Lexicon Pharmaceuticals 

    Frank Stokes, CFO, Castle Biosciences 

  • Moderator | Sarah Hein, Ph.D., Entrepreneur in Residence, ACT, TMC Innovation
    Dan Hargrove, J.D., Co-Founder & President, Cancer Insight
    Suzanne Tomlinson, Ph.D., Director, Research Programs, Gulf Coast Consortia, Rice University
    Dan Watkins, Ph.D., CEO, Mercury Data Science (MDS); Partner/Co-Founder, Mercury Fund

    Texas is known for having incredible research and clinical care, but very few assets fully commercialized in Texas. This discussion is focused on early stage biotech companies in Texas, discussing the new resources that are available to investigators and founders and what still needs to be built out to see more successful biotech startups in the state.

  • Roger Trinh, Owner, Roger Trinh Talent Solutions

  • CaseCTRL
    Dynamic Light

  • Moderator | John (JR) Reale, Venture Lead, TMC Venture Fund, Managing Director, Integr8d Capital

    Kyle Robertson, Vice President, Press Ganey; Co-Founder and CEO, NarrativeDx (acquired by Press Ganey)

    Rachel Stillman, Senior Associate, 7wireVentures

  • Moderator | Jaye Thompson, Ph.D., Vice President Clinical & Regulatory Affairs, Greenwich LifeSciences; Clinical Advisor, Proxima

    Bruce Butler, Ph.D., Vice President, Research and Technology Director, Office of Technology Management, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

    Michael Dilling, Ph.D., Executive Director, Commercialization, Technology Management; BCM Ventures, Baylor College of Medicine 

    John Schultz, Director, Office of Technology Transfer, Houston Methodist Hospital and Research Institute

  • Gabrielle Guttman, Business Operations Senior Lead, Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS

    Ricardo Jimenez, Vice President of Technical Operations, Neurogene

    Vince Flickinger, Senior Associate, Design Director, Gensler

    Daniel Crank, Senior Associate, Studio Director (Lab Design), Gensler

    With research and technology rapidly evolving, scientific startup companies need flexible spaces that provide the foundation and resources for growth and expansion. This session will focus on the benefits of accelerator/incubator spaces and provide attendees with perspectives from an accelerator/incubator owner, a startup company, and lab designer. The case study will predominantly focus on the JLABS @ TMC location.

    Neurogene, a startup company that was previously housed in JLABS incubator spaces, will share their success story and lessons learned after transitioning out of the incubator space and moving into a location of their own. Neurogene and Gensler, a global architecture, design, and planning firm, will further explain how the original incubator space was designed as a flexible work environment that also supported opportunities for growth.

    Gensler has designed multiple award-winning spaces for JLABS, including the TMC location, and is currently the design architect for Neurogene's new location. Gensler will discuss the importance of place for ideation and innovation while also touching on the types of traits necessary for renovating existing buildings to meet specific lab needs.

  • Brad Burke, Managing Director, Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship


  • Kristin Naidysh, J.D., Attorney, Winstead 

    Initial public offerings (IPOs) and special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) offer two different exit and fundraising strategies for emerging technology companies. This presentation will focus on the nuances between IPOs and SPACs to equip life sciences founders with the tools they need to prepare for the future of their ventures. Topics include: pros and cons of IPOs vs. SPACs, emerging trends, and practical implications.

  • Chester Koh, M.D., Professor of Urology, Pediatrics, and OB/GYN, Texas Children’s Hospital, Baylor College of Medicine; Director, Southwest National Pediatric Device Innovation Consortium (SWPDC)  

    George Hutchinson, CEO, Invictus

    Christine Luk, Associate Principal, Fannin Innovation Studio

    Daniel Powell, CEO, Spark Biomedical 
    Isabella Schmitt, Director of Regulatory Affairs, Proxima 
    This panel discussion is focused on the challenges that face pediatric device development and how Southwest National Pediatric Device Innovation Consortium (SWPDC), the FDA-funded multi-institutional pediatric device consortium that is based at Texas Children’s Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine, Rice University, Texas A&M University, University of Houston, and Fannin Innovation Studio, assists innovators to overcome the challenges. The discussion includes two panelists who are pediatric device innovators and will be followed by an update on a proposed national ecosystem for pediatric device development.  The intended audience is entrepreneurs, investors, academicians, clinicians, engineers, students, and trainees who are interested in learning more about pediatric device development. 

  • Corveus Medical (Formerly Caridian Medical)
    Tesa Medical
    Vivifi Medical
    Starling Medical
    Lifelet Medical
    XN Health 

  • Jonathan Gallion, Ph.D., Principal Data Scientist, Mercury Data Science
    Angela Holmes, COO, Mercury Data Science
    Dan Watkins, Ph.D., CEO, Mercury Data Science; Partner & Co-Founder, Mercury Fund

    Increasingly AI is a differentiator in life science and healthcare, allowing companies to use the power of data science to improve patient outcomes, develop new drugs, and efficiently automate workflows. Panelists will discuss trends that they are seeing for how AI is changing the landscape in biopharma, medical devices, and healthcare software. Panelists will also discuss how companies can more rapidly gain insights from data sets and will provide considerations for an AI-based competitive strategy.

  • Moderator | Juan Pablo Segura, Co-Founder and President, Babyscripts
    Sean Blackwell, M.D.,Professor and Chair, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, McGovern Medical School-UTHealth
    Andrea Caracostis, M.D., CEO, Hope Clinic
    Donica O'Connor, Director of Practice Operations, Privia Health Gulf Coast

    Rates of maternal and infant mortality are elevated in Texas. This panel will include local leaders in OB and community care to discuss the current state and what the future of Obstetrics can do to better care for moms and babies in Texas.

  • NERv Technology
    Breathe BioMedical (formerly Picomole)
    Vena Medical

  • Fiona Mack, Ph.D., Head of JLABS @ TMCJohnson & Johnson Innovation, Johnson & Johnson

    Rachel Rath, Director, BARDA Alliance, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Johnson & Johnson

    Christopher Pavlos, Ph.D., Director of Research and Development, Jurata Thin Film

    Upendra Marathi, Ph.D., President & CEO, 7 Hills Pharma

    Curious about resources that are available to early-stage innovators in Texas? This discussion will cover opportunities available when accessing the support of a life science incubator, like Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS and public-private partnerships, like Blue Knight. These types of resources may offer guidance and support for navigating development and commercialization, to ultimately bring potential solutions to patients more efficiently. We’ll showcase two local Blue Knight companies from JLABS @ TMC, 7 Hills Pharma and Jurata Thin Film, who will discuss their experiences with these resources. You will learn about areas of interest for Blue Knight, as well as the unique strengths of the Texas region and potential alignment.

  • YAP Therapeutics
    4M Therapeutics
    Drusolv Therapeutics
    TEZCAT Laboratories
    Aether Therapeutics
    Ares Immunotherapy

  • Moderator | Aleece Hobson, Venture Partner, HX Venture Fund

    Rima Chakrabarti, M.D., Partner, KdT Ventures

    Michelle Ho, Ph.D., Senior Associate, 5AM Ventures

    Tim Marx, Venture Partner, Baird Capital

    Jorge Ramirez, Head of Investments, Trialspark Investments

  • Amplified Sciences
    Lantha Sensors
    Hera Biotech
    Matica Biotechnology
    Cx Precision Medicine

  • Cindy WalkerPeach, Ph.D., Chief Product Development Officer, Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas

  • Kieron Jones, CEO & President, K2Bio

  • Maxwell Biosciences
    Immatics US
    7 Hills Pharma
    Hummingbird Bioscience
    Tachyon Therapeutics
    Yaso Therapeutics
    Ridgeline Therapeutics

  • Arthur Greenspan, J.D., Partner, Perkins Coie (New York Office)

    Valeska Pederson Hintz, J.D., Partner, Perkins Coie (Austin Office)

    Andrew (Andy) Smetana, J.D., Partner, Perkins Coie (Austin Office)

    Building and funding a life science company in a “move fast and break things” culture brings inherent challenges as the pressure to grow competes with the “do no harm” ethic and legal obligations to investors and customers. Join for a discussion of lessons learned from Theranos’ meteoric rise and fall, including a review of facts revealed in the Elizabeth Holmes trial and conviction.  This panel will include emerging company lawyers with in-house experience, who routinely help companies and investors navigate fundraisings, disclosure and due diligence obligations, and corporate governance, as well as a seasoned white collar litigator who regularly advises on high-stakes criminal, legislative, and regulatory investigations and proceedings, internal investigations, and securities and other litigation.

  • Spark Biomedical
    Bluejay Diagnostics
    Vascular Perfusion Solutions
    Solenic Medical
    Nia Therapeutics

  • 10 Most Promising Companies 
    Michael E. DeBakey Award

  • Please join us for an hour of networking as we highlight the companies presenting at today's event.