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WIB-Capital Region Presents: "HERstory Gala 2018: Honoring Outstanding Women in Biotech"
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When: Thursday, December 13, 2018
7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. EST
Where: VisArts Rockville
155 Gibbs Street
Rockville, MD  20850
United States
Contact: WIB-Capital Region

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WIB-Capital Region Presents: "HERstory Gala 2018: Honoring Outstanding Women in Biotech"

The HERstory Gala is the premier event for our chapter and supporters. This elegant event attracts men and women from industry, government, non-profits, and academia from across the Capital Region Metro Area and provides unique opportunities to meet with some of the region’s most successful women. This event is focused on highlighting women trailblazers in the life sciences who have made a significant impact in the region during the year. Ticket price includes open bar, cocktail reception, seated 3-course dinner, and access to biotech industry leaders in the Capital Region.

*A single entrée selection at registration is needed for each ticket purchased. Entrée options are:

  • Vegetarian lasagna
  • Beef and Chicken: Filet Mignon- Lightly Grilled Filet served with Chef Ricardo’s Wild Mushroom Sauce - Chicken Normandy- Boneless Breast of Chicken Stuffed with Mushrooms, Onions, Pecans, Smoked Gouda and topped with a Madeira Wine Sauce.

Rising Star Award Program

The Rising Star Award recognizes life sciences women in the early to mid-stage* of their career. Recipients of this honor represent various sectors of the life sciences who have made significant contributions within the Capital Region. Nominees are designated by HERstory Gold Sponsors and Capital Region Chapter Leading Sponsors; each sponsor designates one nominee who meets the award criteria. Additional nominations of WIB members are accepted as well. The award is presented during the annual HERstory Gala. *Mid-stage career is defined as up to 15 years of life sciences industry experience.

For more information and how to nominate, please click here! Nomination Packets DUE BY NOV. 29, 2018


Speaker Biographies

Dr. Sachiko Kuno is the co-founder and Chair of Halcyon, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the power of human creativity and innovation. Halcyon’s programs include the acclaimed Halcyon Incubator, Halcyon Arts Lab, Halcyon Dialogue, and By the People. Dr. Kuno also serves as President and CEO of S&R Foundation, a 501(c)(3) she co-founded in 2000 to support talented individuals with great potential and high aspirations in the arts, sciences, and social entrepreneurship, especially those who are furthering international cultural collaboration.

Dr. Kuno was the founding CEO of Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCMP) until she stepped down in 2012. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for numerous organizations including Johns Hopkins Medicine and The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation.

Dr. Kuno has received recognition as the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the Greater Washington Area in the Life Sciences Category (‘07), one of 25 “Women Who Mean Business” by The Washington Business Journal (‘09), Forbes Magazine’s Top 50 America’s Richest Self Made Women (‘15), Forbes Japan’s World’s 100 Most Powerful Women (‘15), Harvard Business School of Japan 2016 Stateswoman of the Year, AVON Awards to Women (‘16), and was named one of Washingtonian’s 2017 Tech Titans. In 2017 Kuno was recognized as one of ‘The Most Powerful Women in Washington’ by Washingtonian Magazine.


Dr. Karen Nelson is the President of the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI). Prior to being appointed President, she held a number of other positions at the Institute, including Director of JCVI's Rockville Campus, and Director of Human Microbiology and Metagenomics in the Department of Human Genomic Medicine at JCVI. Dr. Nelson received her undergraduate degree from the University of the West Indies, and her Ph.D. from Cornell University. She has authored or co-authored over 170 peer reviewed publications, edited three books, and is currently Editor-in-Chief of the journal Microbial Ecology. She also serves on the Editorial Boards of BMC Genomics, GigaScience, and the Central European Journal of Biology.

Dr. Nelson is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences and serves on their Board of Life Sciences. Other honors include being named ARCS Scientist of the Year 2017; a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology; an Honorary Professor at the University of the West Indies; and a Helmholtz International Fellow.

Dr. Nelson has extensive experience in microbial ecology, microbial genomics, microbial physiology and metagenomics. Dr. Nelson has led several genomic and metagenomic efforts, and led the first human metagenomics study that was published in 2006. Additional ongoing studies in her group include metagenomic approaches to study the ecology of the gastrointestinal tract of humans and animals, studies on the relationship between the microbiome and various human and animal disease conditions, reference genome sequencing and analysis primarily for the human body, and other -omics studies.


Margot Connor is the Chief Executive Officer of RoosterBio Inc. Ms. Connor brings over 25 years of diversified Life Science industry experience which includes executive level accountability for business operations, corporate development and M&A.

Ms. Connor joined RoosterBio after 4 years of operating her private consulting company specializing in Corporate Development and M&A. Over the course of her career M&A activities, she was involved in approximately 20 transactions valued at $1.5 billion.

Prior to this, Ms. Connor held various positions with Lonza Group. While residing in Basel, Switzerland, Ms. Connor was Lonza Group's Head of Corporate Communications and Investor Relations. Following this international position within Lonza, she was appointed Vice President and Head of Business Development at Lonza Walkersville, MD USA. Her continued tenure with Lonza returned to the corporate level, assigned as Director of Corporate Development.
Throughout her career Ms. Connor led the global growth of several businesses, which included full P&L and operations responsibility. She has held senior positions in business management, strategic marketing and business development with companies such as FMC, Chr. Hansen and Unilever.

Ms. Connor holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Textile Chemistry/Marketing from the University of Maryland.


Walk-Ins Accepted?

Walk-ins are not accepted – be sure to register early!



7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.        Cocktail Reception

8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.      Dinner and Presentations


Pricing Information

Early Bird Discount through October 31, 2018:

  • Members: $75
  • Non-Members: $105
  • Table of eight (8) seats $760

Regular Pricing Starting November 1, 2018

  • Members: $95
  • Non-Members: $125
  • Table of eight (8) seats $950 

 *If purchasing a table of 8 please provide the names of the individuals in your party.


Registration Deadline

November 29, 2018


Special Pricing for Guests

When registering, members can register 1 guest at member price


Parking Information

Metered street parking and public garage parking nearby.


Public Transit Information

VisArts is located three blocks from the Rockville Metro station on the Red Line.


Maximum Capacity



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