RESEARCH YOUR FUTURE: Career and Networking Symposium
MARCH 19, 2013

Jorge L. Benach
David Bynum
Doreen Ware

Patent Law
Vladimir Drozdoff
James F. Harrington
Nadim Shohdy

Biotech and Finance
Jeffrey Saelens
Mark Lesko
James Egan

Karim Berrada
Zygmund Roth
John C. McKew
Melpomeni Melek
Franklin Carrero-Martinez



9:45-10:30 am Academia Panel

benachJorge L. Benach Ph.D., Chair, Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Stony Brook University

A leading researcher in the study of infectious disease processes, Dr. Benach is a decorated investigator at the Center for Infectious diseases at Stony Brook University. By studying the bacterial agent that causes Lyme disease, Borreliae, his research interest focuses on the disease pathogenesis, as well as combative mechanisms of the host used to fight the bacterial infection. With such a high incidence of this disease here in Long Island, his research generates a particularly large impact locally. 


bynumDavid Bynum Ph.D., Director, Center for Science and Mathematics Education, Stony Brook University

As the founding director of Stony Brook’s CESAME (Center for Science and Mathematics Education) program, Dr. David Bynum is the driving force behind many of the university’s successful initiatives to foster the development of students into future science educators.  He is not only an administrator, but as a professor of biochemistry and cell biology himself, he continues to thrive in the type of career he impresses upon the program’s students. Thanks to his teaching experience and continual efforts, the university can keep supporting future science educators at many different levels of academia.


asdDoreen Ware, Ph.D., Adjunct Associate Professor, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Doreen Ware received her PhD in plant biology from Ohio State University in 2000. She then joined Lincoln Stein's lab at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory with a focus on grass genomics. In 2003 she was appointed a Research Investigator at CSHL as well as a Research Scientist for the USDA. Her current work and numerous publications fuse comparative and functional genomics in plants, with an emphasis on understanding genome organization and gene regulation and expression. To study these questions, the lab uses multi-disciplinary approaches combining data integration, computational analysis, and experimental verification.







10:45-11:45 am Patent Law Panel

asdfVladimir Drozdoff Ph.D. J.D., Patent Counsel, Office of Technology Transfer, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Vladimir Drozdoff is the patent counsel at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL), where he specializes in patent litigation and prosecution, intellectual property, and licensing. He received a Ph.D. in Radiation Biology and Biophysics from Cornell, and a law degree from Vanderbilt University Law School. Prior to his current position at CSHL, he practiced as an Associate in Clifford Chance US LLP and as a Senior Associate at Kaye Scholer LLP.


jamesJames F. Harrington M.S. J.D., Patent Attorney and Partner, Hoffmann & Baron LLP

James Harrington is a partner in Hoffmann & Baron, LLP and has experience in a broad range of matters concerning patents and trademarks. Prior to joining the firm in 1998, he spent five years as a trial attorney. Mr. Harrington has lectured, participated in panel discussions, and authored articles on various topics of patent law relating to biotechnology.



asdfNadim Shohdy Ph.D., Business Venture Analyst, Office of Industrial Liaison, New York University
Dr. Nadim Shohdy received his PhD with Distinction in Microbiology from Columbia University and was the 2006 Richard C. Parker Graduate Student Award recipient. His thesis work focused on elucidating virulence mechanisms of Legionella pneumophila. Dr. Shohdy completed his postdoctoral training at Rockefeller University where he was awarded an NRSA Fellowship to study the cell biology of hepatitis C virus. During this time, Dr. Shohdy was a member of the Executive Committee of the Rockefeller Postdoctoral Association and a Co-Founder of the Rockefeller University Biotechnology Forum. Currently, he works on the commercialization of NYU biomedical technologies. Previously, he was a Research Analyst in the Innovation Fund at the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), a non-profit product development partnership.








1:00-2:00 pm Biotech and Finance Panel


jeffJeffrey Saelens Ph.D., Regional Center Director, Small Business Development Center, Stony Brook

Dr. Saelens recently joined the SBDC staff at Stony Brook University. He received his B.S. in Chemistry from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from Albany Medical School, and did his postdoctoral research at Harvard Medical School. Following 24 years in Research and Development in the pharmaceutical industry, Dr. Saelens worked in NYS government technology-oriented agencies for 17 years. Prior to joining the SBDC, he was the Director of Research at the NYS Foundation for Science, Technology and Innovation in Albany.


leskoMark Lesko J.D., Executive Director, Accelerate Long Island

Mark Lesko currently serves as the Executive Director of Accelerate Long Island, a collaboration between various Long Island science research institutions and hospitals to build an innovation-based economy on Long Island. As Executive Director, he works to foster an entrepreneurial environment focused on commercializing research conducted at Long Island’s research institutions. Prior to his current position, Mark served as Supervisor of the Town of Brookhaven and spent 10 years as a federal prosecutor for the U.S. Department of Justice. He is a graduate of both Yale University and Georgetown University Law School where he received his law degree.


asdfJames Egan Ph.D., Director of Business Development, IRX Therapeutics, Inc.

James Egan currently serves as the Director of Business Development for IRX Therapeutics, Inc., negotiating drug development collaborations with major universities and pharmaceutical companies including GlaxoSmithKline, ImmunoVaccine, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He received his Ph.D. in Molecular Pharmacology from Stony Brook University and followed this with a postdoc at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory before joining IRX Therapeutics. During his tenure with this company, he also received an MBA in finance from Stony Brook University.





2:15-3:15 pm Industry/Government Panel

aKarim Berrada Ph.D., Director, DNA formulation at Applied DNA Sciences Inc.

Karim Berrada is currently the Director of DNA formulation at DNA Applied Sciences, Inc. and was also Director of Drug Discovery at Ingenious Targeting Laboratory, Inc. He was delegated the responsibility to identify new drug discovery targets and drive projects from inception to IND readiness. Dr. Berrada has represented development programs for potential investors and also acquired and negotiated collaborations and partnerships with other companies and laboratories worldwide. Dr. Berrada earned a B.S., M.S. in Biology from Cleveland State University and a Ph.D. in Regulatory Biology from Case Western Reserve University.


rothZygmund Roth Ph.D., Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance, IRX Therapeutics Inc.

Dr. Zygmund Roth is the Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance at IRX Therapeutics, Inc. He received his Ph.D. in Pharmacology at The Hebrew University, and did his postdoctoral research in Biochemistry/Biophysics at the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to joining IRX Therapeutics, Dr. Roth held several Director and VP level positions in Quality Control and Regulatory Affairs at V.I. Technologies, Inc./Melville Biologics.    

mJohn C. McKew
Ph.D., Chief, Therapeutics Development Branch, NIH Center for Translational Therapeutics

Dr. McKew is the Chief of the Therapeutic Development Branch at the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences at the NIH. Prior to joining the NIH, Dr. McKew held a Director level position at Wyeth Research and began his career at Genetics Institute in Cambridge, MA where he spent a total of 17 years. Prior to that Dr. McKew spent 10 years working in the inflammation therapeutic area resulting in multiple compounds entering clinical evaluation. 


mMelpomeni Melek Ph.D., Global Head of Hematology, Global Regulatory Affairs, Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc.

After receiving her Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Biophysics, Dr. Melek studied molecules important for regulating the genetically influenced diversity of antigen detection in the immune system. Since then she has exhibited a level of versatility on par with the mechanisms she studied, holding a wide variety of positions in industry ranging from Consultant to Senior Director of Regulatory Affairs. She currently holds an administrative position as the Global Head of Hematology at Bayer Health Care. 


asdfFranklin Carrero-Martinez, Ph.D., Foreign Affairs Officer, Office of the Science and Technology Adviser, U.S. Department of State
Dr. Franklin Carrero-Martínez is a Foreign Affairs Officer in STAS and is the 2012-2013 Roger Revelle Fellow in Global Stewardship. As the Revelle Fellow, Franklin is using his broad, multidisciplinary background in science and science education towards solutions important to global sustainability problems by making practical contributions for the more effective use of scientific and technical knowledge in the policy-making process. His work in STAS focuses on urbanization strategies and policies, U.S.-South Central Asia science cooperation and science diaspora networks. Franklin earned his Ph.D. in Cell Biology in 2005 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He completed his undergraduate studies in Biology in 1997 from the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras. He is currently on sabbatical license from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez where he is a tenured Associate Professor with an active research lab. The longterm goals of his research program are twofold: Understand cellular events leading to successful synapse formation and understanding the process to develop talent among students with high potential, but lacking experience and exposure to research careers.






DirectionsDirections to campus

MapsMap of campusMap of the Wang Center

Hotel Accommodations:

There are many hotels on Long Island. The closest ones to campus are listed here: Mention of these resources is for information only and is not intended as an endorsement. The following is listed solely for your convenience and their inclusion implies no recommendations or guarantee on the part of the University.

Holiday Inn Express
3131 Nesconset Highway
Centereach, NY 11720
Three Village Inn
150 Main Street
Stony Brook, NY 11790
Danfords Hotel and Marina
25 East Broadway
Port Jefferson, NY 11777

Parking: Students and postdocs should park in the Administration Parking Garage. Panelists and companies should park in the M&H parking lot, just north of the Wang Center. A map of both parking venues is viewable here.

Problems or questions?
Contact any of the conference coordinators:

Participating companies; panelists:
Logistics and Venue:
Media and Website:
Corporate Registration:

Room 2438, Computer Science Building, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794-4433 Phone: 631.632.7531 Fax: 631.632.7243