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NJ Chapter- Open Innovation
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NJ Event: Open Innovation: How Lifescience and Tech Companies can work with NJ Universities

When: Wednesday, September 11, 2019
6:00-9:00 p.m.
Where: Rutgers Club
85 Avenue E 2nd Floor
Piscataway, New Jersey  08854
United States
Contact: Lina Lahoz
(646) 752-8431

Online registration is closed.
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Join us to our End of Summer Event at the Rutgers Club!!

Light hors d’oevres, wine and beer will be served. 

Wednesday, September 11
6:00-9:00 p.m. 

Rutgers Club
85 Avenue E 2nd Fl.
Piscataway, NJ 08854


Hear real case studies and best practices from Members of Corporate Engagement departments of Princeton, NJIT and Rutgers as well as Healthcare Investors and corporate development professionals active in Tech and Pharma. 






Rutgers: Vincent Smeraglia


Vincent A. Smeraglia, Esq. is the Executive Director, Strategic Alliances of RUBRIC, developing translational research relationships with universities, foundations, and corporate partners. Previously, Mr. Smeraglia was the Executive Director of the Rutgers office of Technology Commercialization overseeing patenting and licensing of Rutgers inventions.  Mr. Smeraglia was also the Executive Director of the UMDNJ Office of Technology Transfer & Business Development.  He has also conducted biomedical research at Cytogen Corporation, developing antibody conjugates for diagnostic and therapeutic clinical uses.  Mr. Smeraglia has a B.S. in Biochemistry from Rutgers and a Masters of Intellectual Property and J.D. from the University of New Hampshire Law School.


Rutgers: Sacha Patera

Sacha Patera serves as Associate Vice President of the Rutgers Corporate Engagement Center, leading a team of corporate engagement professionals.  The CEC team provides a front door into Rutgers University for companies and brokers comprehensive research-based partnerships between the University, faculty and industry that enable academic innovation, translation and entrepreneurship.   Sacha is co-author of NACRO’s "Five Essential Elements of a Successful Twenty-First Century University Corporate Relations Program”.  She has held CR positions at Northwestern University and Dartmouth College.  In 1989, Sacha was part of a startup that sent protein crystallization experiments onto the Soviet Space Station MIR.  She is passionate about societal diversity and the professional development of scientists.  Sacha holds a biochemistry BS from McGill University, a chemistry PhD from Brandeis University and a business executive education certification from the Northwestern University.


NJIT: Judith Sheft

Judith A. Sheft is the Associate Vice President Strategic Relationships and External Affairs at New Jersey Innovation Institute at NJIT.  She is involved with regional economic and cluster development having responsibilities for the HealthIT Connections entrepreneurial cluster development program, the NJIT I-Corps Site and the Procurement Technical Assistance Center. She is engaged with technology /IP innovation and commercialization efforts working with faculty and students to create startup companies and establishing licensing relationships with corporate partners.  She advises external startups at NJIT’s high technology / life sciences business accelerator/incubator.  She is on the Board of Advisors to the NJIT Murray Women’s Center and serves as a mentor and coach to students and faculty.   She is a member of the NJ – Israel Commission and serves on the Board of Greater Newark Enterprise Corporation, StartUp Newark, Women’s Center for Entrepreneurship Corporation, Einstein’s Alley and NJEDA Technology Advisory Board, working to assist early stage tech and life sciences entrepreneurs foster regional economic growth.  She was a co-chair  of Governor Murphy’s transition advisory committee for Technology Government and Innovation (2017).


Princeton:Coleen Burrus

Coleen leads the CEFR team at Princeton. She has more than 25 years of experience spanning the higher education, philanthropic, corporate and government sectors. Coleen comes from Northwestern University, where she worked in foundation relations and as senior director of corporate engagement. Previously, she worked at the Harris School of Public Policy Studies at the University of Chicago. Coleen has extensive experience in government and has served on the city council of Evanston, Illinois, as well as on the city's planning commission. She also has held positions with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in Denver and with the St. Louis County Government. She has served as a board member of several community-focused organizations.






Alan Naidoff


ALAN NAIDOFF is the Founder and President of InnovationAdventure, L.L.C., an independent consultant in the life sciences and pharmaceutical industry, focusing on all aspects of enabling the transformation of ideas into reality via transactional excellence. 

Concurrent with his consulting activities, Dr. Naidoff was a Corporate Engagement Officer in the Princeton University’s Dean for Research’s Office.

Dr. Naidoff spent over fifteen years in Merck’s External Scientific Affairs and Business Development and Licensing Departments, culminating in the position of Site Lead and Director, Research Contracts Management.

Dr. Naidoff earned a J.D. with an emphasis on Health Law from Widener University School of Law, a D.M.D. from Temple University School of Dentistry and a B.S. in Biology from Cook College – Rutgers University, Additionally, he attended a two-year Hospital Residency program focusing on general dental practice, internal medicine, oral/maxillofacial surgery and pathology at the Medical College of Pennsylvania.


Akan Oton

Akan is a member of Barings Alternative Investments, a global real estate, private equity and real assets platform. Akan is a part of the Private Equity & Real Assets team and is responsible for leading the sourcing and underwriting of new Pharmaceutical investments. Akan has been a commercial leader in the pharmaceutical industry since 2002, following a technical career in the consumer products industry. Prior to joining the firm in 2017, Akan worked at Sandoz (a division of Novartis) where, among other duties, he was an Executive Director with responsibility for product acquisition, licensing and leading M&A initiatives in generics and branded dermatology segments for the US. Prior to Sandoz, Akan worked at Catalent Pharma Solutions where he was responsible for product partnering and technology licensing for the company’s venture group. Akan previously held marketing leadership roles at both Cardinal Health and Johnson & Johnson. Akan holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University, an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow, and a M.B.A. from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.





Before August 30

LES Member: $45.00
BioNJ Member: $45.00
Non-Member: $55.00
Student: $20.00


After August 30

LES Member: $55.00
BioNJ Member: $55.00
Non-Member: $65.00
Student: $25.00

 Thank You to Our Supporting Partner


The New Jersey Chapter uses online registration for members and non-members.  Members should login to the registration page with their LES online account.


Cancellations are non-refundable after August 16.  Substitutions are accepted. Contact LES at (703) 234-4058 for assistance.


Disability/Dietary Needs
Requests for ADA accommodations and special dietary needs should be submitted to the event contact listed at the top of the page.


Photography Consent
By registering for this event, you permit LES and its chapters to use photographs of you with or without your name and for any lawful purpose, including for example such purposes as publicity, illustration, advertising, and web content.




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