September 27-28
Andaz Hotel
San Diego, California

*Tentative schedule, subject to change.


Thursday, September 27

7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.


7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.

Continental Breakfast

8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

Engaging the Non-Life Science Industry

John Beane, MemComputing
Cristine Cooper, Facebook Reality Labs
Rohit Israni, Intel
Duncan Pilgrim, Integrated Device Technologies

While many universities think of biotech innovations as being more lucrative in the long run, the non-life sciences techs are more plentiful and just as life changing - and often provide more immediate opportunities and clearer returns. Accordingly, we are starting The Conversation off with a company panel of those who not only see possibilities through technology transfer and corporate relations, but also with their counterparts in life science companies. Join us for an engaging discussion from a different point of view.

9:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

Networking Break

10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Driving the Interface between Academia and Industry


Elaine Hamm, Ascend BioVentures
Jacob Johnson, Innovosource
Robert Lowe, Wellspring Worldwide
Shobha Parthasarathi, Harrington Discovery Institute

It would be unrealistic to deny the culture-divide between academia and industry/investors, and it is fair to say all parties work to bridge that gap. But the space between academia and industry does not exist in a vacuum, and there are other players helping us to lower the barriers to academic-corporate engagements. This panel will bring together a variety of perspectives from organizations who want to help enable the compromises we must all make to increase the flow of collaborations and deals. It is sure to stimulate conversation and kick start some new ways of thinking about our interactions.  

11:00 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.


11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

What Do Our Bosses Want? 

Kara Bortone, Jlabs
Paul Roben, University of California, San Diego
Tarsha Whitaker Calloway, Emory University

We all move towards the metrics set by our leadership, but how often does leadership over technology transfer, corporate relations and industry coalesce on one panel to truly dialogue and understand the similarities and differences of the directives that drive their teams forward? Join this group of senior personnel as they engage in an open discussion - and we all learn what they expect from these units.

12:15 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. Lunch

1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

The Challenge Session

In this session, you will have the opportunity to pose questions and/or challenges to the entire room. Framing questions should be kept to a minute, and each topic will receive no more than 10 or so (at the moderator’s discretion) minutes of discussion before the call for a new topic is made. This rapid-fire brainstorming session is being brought back from the AUTM archives by popular demand and is sure to take on an engagingly different twist with industry, VC and corporate relations colleagues as new participants in the brain trust! 

2:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Networking Break

3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

The Foundation Perspective: Perception is Reality


Marc Malandro, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
Lauri Spiliotes, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Melissa Stevens, Center for Strategic Philanthropy, Milken Institute
Ian Sweedler, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation 

Foundations affect all of us across the innovation and knowledge spectrum: helping to advance science across the research continuum, and often injecting interesting terms and perspectives in the process.  This panel includes both foundation and industry representatives for what is sure to drive an intriguing debate among themselves - and all attendees.

4:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Networking Break

4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Engaging Our Alumni and Extended Family


Sam Pai, Stanford Alumni Consulting Team Program, Product Salus North America, Inc.
Taunya Phillips, University of Kentucky, Alumni Association and Strategic Alliances
Tim Schigel, Refinery Ventures LLC

An untapped resource is our traditional development office and their network of parents and alumni. This panel of development and advancement colleagues will discuss how they have worked with technology transfer, corporate relations and industry/VC colleagues - as well as any ideas they have on how we can all work better together to further advance our mutual interests. 

5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Networking Reception

Mix, mingle and network in a casual fashion - continue to analyze a topic from the daytime, advance an existing discussion or deal, or initiate a brand new collaboration. The possibilities are endless…


Friday, September 28

7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.


7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.

Continental Breakfast

8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

The Life Science Industry

Ravi Kiron, EMD Serono, Inc. 
Mat Muller, Corteva Agrescience, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont, Inc.
Sharon Semones, Eli Lilly and Company
Bruce Taillon, Elanco Animal Health

Day two kicks off with our life science industry representatives, as they engage in a conversation surrounding the issues on their minds when dealing with each other, corporate relations, VC's and technology transfer professionals.

9:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. 

Networking Break

10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

What Engages Scientists?

Doug Frantz, University of Texas, San Antonio
Andrew Korytko, Eli Lilly and Company
Joseph Shaw, Montana State University

What motivates - and even excites - our scientists to engage with all of the players present at The Conversation? And is there more we could do for them, and to help achieve their goals? This panel brings together scientists from industry, academia and foundations to determine the commonalities and differences in their scientific perspectives on our interactions.

11:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m..

Networking Break

11:30 a.m - 12:30 p.m.

The Current State Of Intellectual Property: A Broad Spectrum Conversation


Jun Axup, IndieBio‚Äč
Laura Johnson, DexCom, Inc. 
Paul Michel, Former Chief Justice, United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
Heidi Nebel, McKee, Voorhees & Sease, P.L.C.

Whether a VC, corporate, technology transfer or corporate relations professional; The intricacies of intellectual property impact all of our daily lives and color our interactions. This expert panel is uniquely qualified to discuss the changing face of intellectual property - and how it impacts all types of collaborations, and not only technology transfer interactions.

12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Networking Lunch

2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Inter Academic Partnerships: Can They Accelerate The Conversation on All Fronts?


Abi Barrow, Cambridge Innovation Partners
Tommy Martindale, San Diego State University Research Foundation
Michael Poisell, University of Pennsylvania
Sven Zimmer, Lead Discovery Center GmbH

When we lower the activation energy to engage with us, the reactions between academia, VC's and industry can expand exponentially faster. This session will explore some examples of inter-institutional collaboration and how it has benefited industry among the panel members - as well as soliciting new stories and ideas from attendees as well.

3:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Networking Break

3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

The Entrepreneurial Edge of our Ecosystem: Perspectives from VC's, Incubators and Start-ups


Kirsten Leute, Osage University Partners
Han Lim, Atomwise, Inc. 
Nick Pashos, Bioaesthetics
Caroline Winnett, Skydeck, University of California, Berkeley

The players in the entrepreneurial edge of our ecosystem are an integral part to our jobs - whether it be licensing, innovation advancement, engagement, or a pipeline for our next line of company products. Representatives from a traditional VC, incubator, startup and a corporate VC discuss the issues of most importance to them and you!

4:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Closing Out The New Conversation: Report Out and Feedback

To close out The Conversation, your moderators will recap themes and highlights from our expert panels, attendees and challenge session. And you'll have the opportunity to point out anything you think we did well, or missed!

5:00 p.m. - 6:00  p.m. 

Closing Reception

Enjoy a drink at this last networking event before heading off to dinner.