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CBS Industry Advisory Group

CBS is one of only two colleges dedicated to the biological sciences and we are doing great things in education and research. The BioTechnology Institute (BTI) is home to dozens of high-impact researchers working to translate basic research into a wide range of applications from bioremediation to pharmaceuticals. The Institute is the central University of Minnesota vehicle for coordinated research  and education in the biological, chemical and engineering aspects of biotechnology. Situated in close proximity to a thriving biotech industry, both locally and regionally, CBS and BTI are uniquely positioned to partner with companies with an interest in maintaining a robust STEM workforce for the state and region, and supporting cutting-edge research on the path to discovery.

To guide CBS as we navigate the changing landscape of higher education and intensify partnerships in biotechnology by:

  • Engaging with industry leaders to promote research and provide research support to industry in an effective and meaningful way.
  • Creating mutually beneficial programs with bio-industries to support industry needs.
  • Leveraging opportunities for industry opportunities for students prior to, and after, graduation.
  • Identifying opportunities to build meaningful connections with alumni and friends of the College in industry and to help inform CBS of  corporate relations strategies.

Advisory Group Members

  • Leza Besemann | Senior Marketing Manager | University of Minnesota Office of Technology Commercialization 
  • Pamela Contag | CEO and President | BioEclipse Therapeutics 
  • Mervyn de Souza | Vice President, Global R&D Health & Wellness and Open Innovation | Tate & Lyle 
  • Mikael Elias | Assistant Professor, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics and BioTechnology Institute | College of Biological Sciences 
  • Julia Hatler | Senior Director Antibody Business Unit | Bio-Techne 
  • Aunica Kane | Senior Development Associate | Takeda Pharmaceuticals 
  • Tammy Lee | CEO | Xena Ventures 
  • David Nelson | CEO |Splash Pharmaceuticals, Inc. | Founder and CEO | The Life Science Group 
  • Len Saari | Technology Transfer Manager (Retired) | Dupont 
  • Kip Thacker | Chief Scientific Officer and Vice President | Lifecore Biomedical 
  • Tim Tripp | Director, Cell and Gene Therapies Operation | Be the Match 
  • Ken Valentas | Former Director | BioTechnology Institute 
  • Jill Zullo | Managing Director, Biobased Intermediates | Cargill