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WIB-Pittsburgh: P.O.W.E.R. – Pittsburgh Outstanding Women Entrepreneurs Rally, Speaker Profile: Courtney Williamson, Ph.D.

Posted By Marsha Morgenstern, Thursday, September 17, 2020

Courtney Williamson, Ph.D.
CEO and Founder of AbiliLife

 

Courtney earned her Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior and Theory from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). She founded AbiliLife as a doctoral student at CMU’s Tepper School of Business where she realized the need for a product to help her mom, a 25-year Parkinson's disease patient, with her posture. Before Courtney's mom passed away, Courtney invented the Calibrace+ that has developed into a full-service medical device company that will change the way that the geriatric population shops for medical equipment.

 

AbiliLife

Courtney Williamson, Ph.D., is the CEO and Founder of AbiliLife, a biomedical device company developing products to improve the posture, balance, and quality of life for elderly and neuromuscular patients. AbiliLife's first product, the Calibrace+, is a back brace that has a patent, is 100% reimbursed by Medicare and commercial payors, is patented, and is an FDA registered device. AbiliLife's future product, the SmartCalibrace, is a clinical wearable device embedded in the Calibrace+ to monitor
motor symptoms in real time to indicate fall risk.

Tags:  2020  Speaker Spotlight 

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WIB-Pittsburgh: Mindfulness: Much More Than Just an App, August 26, 2020

Posted By Ceren Tuzmen, Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Women In Bio-Pittsburgh’s virtual event was hosted by Awaken Pittsburgh on August 26, 2020. Awaken Pittsburgh is a non-profit organization providing mindfulness training for those dealing with high-stress situations. These trainings are based on neuroscience research and have the goal of not only reducing stress but also teaching lifelong skills to handle difficult situations, to create a positive outlook that would ultimately transform lives and relationships.


During the event, Dr. Stephanie Romero, Ed, the Founder and Executive Director of Awaken Pittsburgh, talked about anchoring the attention, perceiving one’s stress level, understanding the stress response, and how to be mindful to deal with stress. She emphasized practicing mindfulness is part of self-care and can play an important factor in caring for our families and others in our circle. She showed evidence-based results of meditation, a mindfulness practice, changing our brains, and our response to stressful situations. She guided the audience through a short mindfulness activity and gave ideas on where to start practicing mindfulness. The event was free to all attendees and received positive feedback from all guests. Those, who are interested in learning more about Awaken Pittsburgh, can sign up for the organization’s newsletter on their website.

Tags:  2020 

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WIB-Pittsburgh: P.O.W.E.R. – Pittsburgh Outstanding Women Entrepreneurs Rally, Speaker Profile: Amy O'Sullivan

Posted By Marsha Morgenstern, Tuesday, September 8, 2020
Amy O'Sullivan
President/CEO, SCOPE USA

 

Amy is the President/CEO of SCOPE USA and the Director of the North American Operations, SCOPE AG. Amy brings to bear 12 years of clinical research experience and 29 years of building experience in leading SCOPE USA. As a first career social worker, Amy built a wide range of research-based service programs from HIV prevention to transitional housing for homeless families. Mid-career, she obtained her BSN so that she could pivot into the clinical research industry. She co-led the rebuild of phase 1 clinical research administrative services, led the rescue of a phase 3 study through market approval, and successfully guided SCOPE USA through its first FDA inspections. She continues to drive innovation in risk-based trial management and virtual clinical studies to ensure that new treatments make it to patients faster, especially in these challenging times.

 

Scope International USA, Inc

Scope International is a full-service global Contract Research Organization (CRO) with our US company based in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. At SCOPE, we strive to differentiate ourselves from other full-service CROs in quality, flexibility and commitment to meet the goals and demands of our pharmaceutical and medical device partners. We appreciate the many years that our clients persevere to invent and refine a product so that it is ready for clinical trials. Our experts accompany our clients through each step of the clinical development process to ensure high quality, timely data with an eye toward the marketing application. Ultimately, SCOPE is a “people” company: SCOPE’s “people” work to serve our clients’ “people”, who help and improve the lives of “people” around the globe. 

Tags:  2020  Speaker Spotlight 

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WIB-Pittsburgh: P.O.W.E.R. – Pittsburgh Outstanding Women Entrepreneurs Rally, Speaker Profile: Sarah Palya

Posted By Marsha Morgenstern, Tuesday, September 8, 2020
Sarah Palya
Founder and CEO, Gus Gear LLC


Sarah is the founder and CEO of Gus Gear LLC, where she is focused on maximizing patient safety and quality of life for those with medical challenges by allowing patients to live their lives to the fullest. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University with a bachelor’s degree in Music Education, Sarah is passionate about educating consumers, their parents, and medical professionals about improving safety and quality of life for patients. Sarah’s leadership of Gus Gear has been recognized by awards, including 2018 Pittsburgh Business Times Innovator and 2018 Oley Innovator of the Year. Sarah is currently collaborating with UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh clinicians on a Clinical and Translational Science Institute Pitt Innovation Challenge
(PInCh) -funded project to evaluate the performance of Gus Gear products in a clinical setting.


Gus Gear
Gus Gear LLC is a Pittsburgh, PA-based medical textile company that makes securement devices and covers for medical implements like central lines, feeding tubes, and ostomy pouches. Gus Gear provides safety and enhances quality of life for those with medical challenges. Our securement devices and covers maximize safety and quality of life, enabling our customers to live their lives to the fullest.

Tags:  2020  Speaker Spotlight 

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WIB-Pittsburgh: P.O.W.E.R. – Pittsburgh Outstanding Women Entrepreneurs Rally, Speaker Profile: Lisa Beers

Posted By Marsha Morgenstern, Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Lisa Beers
Co-Owner and Vice President of Operations, Kay Square Scientific

Lisa is currently an owner and Vice President of Operations at Kay Square Scientific, overseeing all internal operations. Prior to Kay Square, she was the Senior Director of Operations for JK Associates, another medical communications company based outside Philadelphia. She joined JK as its first hire in 2004 and helped grow the company until it was sold to a UK parent company in 2014; she stayed on with JK through 2018 to manage the corporate transition. She has lived in the Pittsburgh area since 2009, after meeting her husband at the (in)famous Rachel Carson Trail Challenge. She has a master’s degree from New England Conservatory and a nontraditional corporate background that has assisted her in orchestrating collegial, supportive office environments.


Kay Square Scientific (KSS)

In the pharmaceutical and biologics world, constant scientific research generates data and advances understanding…KSS strategically delivers that clinical data. We are a medical communications company and consulting agency, providing services primarily to the pharmaceutical and biotech industry, and educating healthcare professionals (HCPs) about products that are undergoing clinical trials or are already on the market. We work with top thought leaders to create a solid strategy, and then develop and deliver product and disease data in line with that strategy, presenting a factual, evidence-based scientific story that gives the data clinical context and supports clinical decision-making and reimbursement. Some of our learning initiatives include journal articles for scientific publications, educational materials for HCPs, health economics and market access initiatives, and poster presentations, in-person and online meetings, interactive sessions, and advisory boards at scientific conferences.

Tags:  2020  Speaker Spotlight 

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WIB-Pittsburgh: P.O.W.E.R. – Pittsburgh Outstanding Women Entrepreneurs Rally, Speaker Profile: Jessica Gibson

Posted By Marsha Morgenstern, Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Jessica Gibson
CEO and Co-Founder, Ariel Precision Medicine


Jessica is CEO and Co-Founder of Ariel Precision Medicine, a private health technology solutions company enabling the early diagnosis and targeted management of complex digestive and metabolic diseases. Translating research and evidence-based medical discoveries into real-world health care solutions has always been a primary motivator for Jessica. Under her leadership, Ariel was awarded the 2018 Emerging Company of the Year award from Life Sciences PA. She lead the development, validation, and commercial launch of Ariel’s proprietary Enterprise Software platform, ADVANCE®, and the first comprehensive genetics test for pancreatitis and CFTR related disorders, PancreasDx®. Jessica has focused on working with multiple stakeholders, including establishing partnerships with National Pancreas Foundation, therapeutic discovery with Mission Cure, and trials with various pharmaceutical companies. She served as Chief Commercial Officer of Ariel Precision Medicine until 2016, leveraging a broad healthcare and Pharma experience, earning multiple national awards and recognition for her work with Purdue and Shionogi Pharmaceuticals.

Jessica gained early experience in complex genetics from her work in the biotechnology field with Gene Wiz Inc. prior to her work in the pharmaceutical industry. Before entering industry, she worked in emergency care and academic research at the University of Pittsburgh, developing a great appreciation for both the research and the practice of medicine. Early on in her career, she worked with the Center for Emergency Medicine in emergency care and was also a research assistant for projects both in Gastroenterology and with the Cancer Institute. Jessica received her Executive MBA from Liberty University after earning a Bachelor of Science in Emergency Medicine from the University of Pittsburgh.


Ariel Precision Medicine
Ariel is an integrated genomics and health technology solutions company empowering clinicians to make earlier and more informed decisions to prevent, mitigate or reverse the progression of otherwise chronic digestive and metabolic diseases. Ariel’s Advance® Platform leverages heuristic modeling to identify the unique mechanisms of disease by comprehensively evaluating each patient’s genetics and health information in order to provide the most advanced insights based on systems biology, evidence-based medicine and domain expertise and facilitate an earlier diagnosis and align treatment for each patient. Ariel is currently focused on pancreatic diseases including pancreatitis, diabetes and pancreatic cancer. The next products will be focused on other digestive and metabolic conditions like NASH and IBD.

Tags:  2020  Speaker Spotlight 

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WIB-Pittsburgh: P.O.W.E.R. – Pittsburgh Outstanding Women Entrepreneurs Rally, Speaker Profile: Mara McFadden

Posted By Marsha Morgenstern, Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Mara McFadden
Vice President of Product and Medical Devices, LifeX

Mara is a seasoned startup mentor and leader and is passionate about working alongside great people to build innovative new MedTech products. She is currently the COO of Noctem Health, a digital health startup, where she is responsible for building the business strategy and quality systems to launch a transformative behavioral sleep software solution. Mara also advises as an Executive in Residence with LifeX Labs and serves in an adjunct faculty role at the Carnegie Mellon University Center for Leadership Studies. Mara is a UC Berkeley mechanical engineer with an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University, which in combination has allowed her to develop, commercialize, and drive market growth for industry leaders such as Johnson & Johnson and Philips Healthcare, as well as early-stage companies.

 

About Noctem LLC

Noctem offers enterprise digital health software that seeks to optimize health and performance through better sleep medicine. Using science, scalable personalized technology, and AI, Noctem allows providers to reimagine the delivery of sleep care. Noctem is headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and we strive to make a real difference in the lives of people we serve.

 

About LifeX Labs

LifeX strives to grow and develop life sciences startups in Pittsburgh, PA. LifeX offers an Incubator, Accelerator, as well as community resources to help new life sciences companies thrive. We offer entrepreneurs a single point of access to the entrepreneurial resources and activities of the southwestern Pennsylvania life sciences ecosystem. LifeX is driven to take the incredible innovation in our region from the benchtop to the bedside, attracting capital, corporate partners, and talent, ultimately making Pittsburgh into a regional hub of life sciences startup activity.

Tags:  2020  Speaker Spotlight 

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WIB-Pittsburgh: Leadership Spotlight with Kathrin Gassei, Ph.D.

Posted By Vinitha Ganesan, Monday, August 31, 2020
Updated: Friday, August 28, 2020

Each month, we are featuring profiles of WIB-Pittsburgh members. We asked about their career path and experience in WIB. Read on for some interesting stories and insights!

Kathrin Gassei, Ph.D.
Finance Chair, WIB-Pittsburgh

Career position: Sr. Program Manager, Center for Commercial Application of Healthcare Data, Pitt and Assistant Director, sciVelo Academic Commercial Translation program at Pitt


Education: MSc in Biotechnology and Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Münster in Germany


Other training: Postdoctoral Fellowship at Magee-Womens Research Institute, Certificate in Medical Product Innovation from the Swanson School of Engineering, Pitt. I am starting the EMBA in Healthcare Program at Katz Graduate School of Business this Fall.


Research interests: My research during my Ph.D. and Postdoc was focused on stem cell biology, reproductive medicine and Oncofertility. I later worked in a startup supporting the development of quantitative systems pharmacology models for autoimmune diseases. I currently work with Pitt researchers from various fields who are interested in commercializing digital health research products to solve unmet clinical needs in a variety of diseases and specialties.


Fun facts: Pre-Covid I enjoyed recreational rowing with an all women's team at Three Rivers. I also love road biking in the Laurel Highlands, baking cakes and cookies, and traveling.


Experience in WIB

What drew you into the life sciences field and WIB?

Natural curiosity and aptitude for science paired with great teachers in school made it easy for me to choose a science degree program when I applied to University. Later during my postdoc I became more and more interested in the translation and commercialization of basic research ideas into solutions that can help patients. I realized that besides an academic career, there are so many other career paths available to scientists that I wanted to learn more about.


How has WIB played a role in promoting your personal or professional growth?

WIB-Pittsburgh programming is excellent and has challenged me many times to evaluate my goals, reflect on my past experience, and readjust my path if necessary.


If you had one piece of advice to give a new WIB member, what would it be?

At WIB, I have met so many incredible peers and mentors from various areas. Take advantage of the connections you build, not only to land your next job but to build a strong and lasting network.


Career Trajectory

How did you come to find a career that is a good fit for you?

I am currently at the intersection of academia and industry, which I like a lot.


What has been the biggest challenge in your career and how did you overcome it?

That would probably be the process of transitioning from academic research towards a non-research, scientific role. Talking to as many people as possible and exploring different career paths was key I think.

Tags:  2020  Leadership Spotlight 

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WIB-Pittsburgh: Powering Your Virtual Job Search , July 29, 2020

Posted By Ceren Tuzmen, Monday, August 10, 2020

On July 29, 2020, WIB-Pittsburgh hosted another virtual career event Powering Your Virtual Job Search presented by Amylyn Kyler. Amylyn is a recruiter with over 20 years of experience and the founder Kyler Professional Search and ResumeCoaches.

Click here for more photos


During the event, Amylyn provided valuable tips about how to find and apply for jobs during COVID19, such as how to use LinkedIn for networking, job searching, and professional development, and how to interview in a virtual setting. Amylyn highlighted the benefits of WIB membership, including opportunities for board training, resume reviewing and other career services that provide job listings. She mentioned this would be a good time to revisit your career aspirations, expand your skillset, consider remote jobs or contractor positions. Amylyn suggested a systematic approach with setting goals every day to keep the momentum of your job search and networking on LinkedIn to keep your brand in front of people. She thinks that this kind of approach would ultimately bring success to your job search. The event has the highest number of attendees compared to other virtual events hosted by WIB-Pittsburgh since March.


Tags:  2020 

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WIB-Pittsburgh: Member Spotlight on Stephanie Puig

Posted By Vinitha Ganesan, Monday, July 20, 2020

Each month, we are featuring profiles of WIB-Pittsburgh members. We asked about their career path and experience in WIB. Read on for some interesting stories and insights!



Stephanie Puig

Co-Chair, Communications Committee, WIB-Pittsburgh



Career position: Research Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh


Education: Ph.D. Neuroscience University of Paris Descartes, France


Other training: Two years Post-doc the University of Texas MDACC, Three years Post-doc at the University of Pittsburgh.

Fun facts: I speak three languages; I have two citizenships (maybe three soon?). My multicultural background helps me to easily blend with other cultures/environments, which I love to learn from! Otherwise, I love to dance, bike, hike, ride horses, and read!


Experience in WIB


What drew you into the life sciences field and WIB?


Everything in nature and biology is so perfect and so perfectly adapted, which fascinates me and makes me want to understand it. Like many, I was interested in joining WIB for two reasons: To learn about other career opportunities outside of Academia in the Life Sciences and to network with other women with similar career paths.



How has WIB played a role in promoting your personal or professional growth?


WIB is composed of many inspiring women at all career stages. Everyone is very supportive. Joining WIB has been so beneficial to help me focus, prioritize, and self-care!



If you had one piece of advice to give a new WIB member, what would it be?


Network! My experience is that everyone who I have asked advice has always been very willing to take the time to talk (over a coffee, or even through Zoom). I would also recommend attending as many events as possible. They great to provide a new perspective on yourself and on your career by learning about others! Finally, I also recommend getting involved in WIB leadership. It has been very beneficial to me as it provides the opportunity to work with amazing women (network) on a topic that is important to all of us: promoting women in science.

Career Trajectory


How did you come to find a career that is a good fit for you?


Finding a good fit is very hard as there are so many things out there that I wish I could do! My career goal is to be in science and to participate in/lead discoveries that could improve people’s quality of life. I am currently pursuing a career path in academia. I hope to be able to collaborate/ work with people in the industry to make things move at a faster pace! I keep my eyes open to opportunities, but try to stay focus setting up short-, mid- and long-term goals (very easy to get distracted as everything is interesting!)


What has been the biggest challenge in your career and how did you overcome it?


My biggest challenge is to let go and to learn how to say no. I know it will be a life-long struggle, but I am learning to do it one step at a time. It is important to work hard but what matters the most is self-care! Life balance makes you more focused and efficient and can lead to better success!


Who has been a good mentor to you and why?

WIB! All WIB people who I have met (all at different stages of their career) have inspired me! The MAPS program is great to mentor and get mentored! My Ph.D. advisor has also been a great mentor. I make sure I stay connected with her although I have not seen her since I graduated seven years ago.

Tags:  2020  Member Spotlight 

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