The New Mexico Biotechnology & Biomedical Association Board of Directors is a volunteer assemblage of innovative life science entrepreneurs and CEOs, academicians, investors, business leaders, economic development and governmental affairs professionals dedicated to the advancement of the biosciences in New Mexico. The Executive Director provides leadership and guidance to develop a thriving bioscience sector where risk takers and pioneers can thrive as well as representing the organization to elected officials, the media and the business community.
Board of Directors
Director, Product Management
TriCore Reference Labs
Mr. VanNess works integrally with TriCore’s team responsible for building and releasing its new business, Diagnostic Optimization. TriCore is attempting to redefine its position in the healthcare market and Mr. VanNess is an essential member in assuring the right products are brought to market to assure customers find it valuable, useful, and assists the volume to value shift within healthcare. He evaluates new opportunities, directs the strategy, and ensures overall product success by working closely with customers and team members. Previously he was the Clinical Coordinator at VisionQuest Biomedical and released is commercial teleretinal screening application. Additionally, Mr. VanNess is the innovator and project manager of an SBIR award to develop a new device for assessing mild traumatic brain injury. He holds a MS in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University New Mexico, and a BS in Environmental Health at New Mexico State University.
NMBio Vice President
Lovelace Scientific Resources, Inc.
Darlene Harbour, BSN, RN, CCRC, is President of Lovelace Scientific Resources, Inc. LSR is,the Clinical Research Division of the Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute. She is a Registered Nurse who has been working in clinical research and in multiple health disciplines for over 25 years. She also serves as program manager on clinical research projects for the military, sponsored by the Federal Government and research projects sponsored by the State of New Mexico. Prior to her clinical research work, she worked in various health care inpatient and outpatient settings throughout the State of NM. She currently manages clinical research sites within LSR and also works in protocol development and study design, implementing and executing clinical research projects, while ensuring regulatory compliance. She serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Veterans Administration affiliated non-profit, the Biomedical Research Institute of New Mexico (BRINM) in Albuquerque.
NMBio Vice President
CEO and Chief Economic Development Officer
UNM Rainforest Innovations
Elizabeth “Lisa” Kuuttila joined UNM Rainforest Innovations, the University of New Mexico’s technology-transfer and economic development arm, as President & CEO in 2003. She is currently CEO & Chief Economic Development Officer of the organization. She works with the UNM Rainforest Innovations Board of Directors in developing strategies for implementing STC’s vision to play a vital role in New Mexico’s economic development and to be a leader in technology commercialization. Under her leadership, UNM Rainforest Innovations is substantially growing its program using the Rainforest model to develop an innovation ecosystem in New Mexico.
Kuuttila has more than 30 years of prior leadership experience in technology commercialization and entrepreneurial ecosystem development. This includes positions as Assistant Vice President for Technology Commercialization at Purdue Research Foundation; Director, Technology Commercialization, University of Georgia; and Director, Office of Technology Commercialization, Center for Advanced Technology Development, Iowa State University. Her prior experience also includes a consulting practice that provided strategic marketing and technology-transfer consulting services for a wide variety of well-known technology corporations, universities and foundations, including Stanford University. She began her career in industry in several engineering and technology-marketing positions. Kuuttila received a B.S. Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan and an M.S. in Public Administration from Iowa State University. She is also a graduate of the Venture Capital Institute.
NMBio Vice President
Arrowhead Park, Arrowhead Center at New Mexico State University
Wayne is the Executive Director of the Arrowhead Research Park at New Mexico State University, a 175-acre facility currently in development of a healthcare and medical technology industry campus centered around NMSU’s medical research capacities, the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine, the Arrowhead Park High School Medical Academy, and a number of tenant partners. The Park provides is a major component of NMSU’s economic development mission.
Wayne is a 1980 graduate of New Mexico State University’s Industrial Engineering program, and a 1994 NMSU Ingeniero Imminente awardee. He has over 30 years of experience in semiconductor manufacturing, high purity gas and chemical production, construction management, and economic development consulting. He has served in a variety of capacities contributing to the successful startup of Spaceport America and the growing commercial space industry, having represented both the New Mexico Spaceport Authority and client/tenant interests. He’s currently serving on the Borderplex Alliance Life Sciences committee
Peacock Law P.C.
Janeen is Secretary & Elections Committee Chair for NMBio
Janeen Vilven-Doggett practices in the areas of litigation and transactional matters. She is a member of the New Mexico bar and a registered patent attorney. Vilven-Doggett received her B.A. in Biology from Baylor University in 1986 and her Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from the University of New Mexico in 1997. She received her J.D. (cum laude) from the University of New Mexico School of Law in 2001. Vilven-Doggett has experience both as an attorney and as a research scientist. She is a well-known and experienced intellectual property practioner and has been so recognized in Best Lawyers in America. Prior to becoming an attorney, she spent about 13 years as a research scientist at both Baylor College of Medicine (Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics), and the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center (Department of Pediatrics and Department of Pathology). For a comprehensive listing of Vilven-Doggett’s publications, please visit here.
Director of Operations
Michael is a graduate of the University of New Mexico’s Anderson Schools of Management with a BBA in Financial Management. Vickers manages the day to day operations for Maas Biolab, LLC and oversees the company’s several ongoing drug development projects including good manufacturing practices production of Maas Biolab’s cyclosporine formuation Mitogard(R), good laboratory practices dose range finding toxicology studies and compilation of an Investigational New Drug (IND) application under the company’s current SBIR project. Mr. Vickers co-authored Maas Biolab’s successful grant proposals including a National Insitutes of Health (NIH) fast track SBIR grant as well as a Fort Detrick Tech Transfer Initiative grant. Michael also managed the company’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) contract studying the brain penetration and effectiveness of cyclosporine in models of nerve agent exposure.
Thomas H. Boyer
Director of Government Affairs & Advocacy, Novo Nordisk
Thomas Boyer is Director of Government Affairs and Advocacy for Novo Nordisk, Inc. He directs government and public affairs activities globally, nationwide and in a region of 17-plus states. He serves as the contact for elected and government officials, industry, physician and patient organizations. Boyer’s a leader in trade and political groups, including CSG, NCSL, RSLC, DGA, PhRMA and BIO. He previously served as the Executive Director of the Diabetes Care Coalition in San Francisco, where he managed a $6 million budget, funding raising, national and state strategies. He established and served as President of the San Francisco based Boyer Group, a government affairs and public relations firm. He provided association management, crisis communications, media affairs and advocacy support. He represented Fortune 500 corporations and non-profits. He established a specialty biotech practice in San Francisco anchored by Roche, Novartis and LifeScan. His expertise includes health reform, Medicaid, Medicare, FDA and reimbursement matters. He is credited with creating the health benefit mandate movement leading to diabetes insurance laws in 46 states.
ABQid, powered by CNM Ingenuity
T.J. Cook is a creative, strategic innovator specializing in strategy and team management for early-stage tech startups. As Fund Manager of ABQid at CNM Ingenuity, Cook helps early-stage companies with high growth potential accelerate traction through seed capital and connectivity to leading programs like Activate New Mexico, Hyperspace Challenge, and pitch events like Ski Lift Pitch and Balloon Pitch.
Previously as CEO of CauseLabs, a certified Benefit Corporation, Cook helped design a rapid approach to problem solving that launched more than 100 digital solutions for companies like LEGO and IDEO, while assembling an award-winning team of 15 strategists, designers, and engineers around the world to prototype and build breakthroughs.
Cook has more than 18 years’ experience on the forefront of emerging technologies and entrepreneurial strategies and uses his systems perspective to provide guidance and support
to numerous early stage efforts. He sits on the board of ABQid, Conveners.org, and The Grants Collective, and advises aspiring entrepreneurs of all ages in order to help them accelerate their impact. He lives in Albuquerque with his wife, three children, and trail-running partner, a terrier mix named Lady.
Senior Vice President & Principal at Colliers International Albuquerque-Santa Fe-El Paso
Bob Feinberg is a Senior Vice President & Principal at Colliers International Albuquerque-Santa Fe-El Paso. Building on his 30 years of commercial real estate experience, Feinberg has compiled an impressive portfolio of successful national and multi-market real estate transactions. His expertise in national retail representation is a key force behind many of Albuquerque and New Mexico’s significant retail placements.
Recently, he has been connecting the retail dots with the expansion taking place in the state’s industrial and life science sectors. Feinberg, an active member of NAIOP, the Albuquerque Economic Forum and other professional associations, is now spearheading the development of Colliers’ forthcoming New Mexico life science biannual report. His early successes include the representations for the first three Albuquerque Walmart Supercenters in addition to recruiting Home Depot and Lowe’s Home Improvement Centers to New Mexico. Outside of retail, Feinberg maintains relationships with national companies including Majestic Realty, Sansone, Updike and Prime Stone. He is now bringing his extensive industry experience, marketing expertise and passion to the bioscience sector.
Dr. Tom Kieft
Professor of Biology
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
Tom Kieft is a microbiologist in the Biology Department at New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (New Mexico Tech). He has over 40 years-experience in biological sciences that includes employment early in his career as a clinical microbiologist, 30 years of undergraduate and graduate teaching (courses in general microbiology, medical microbiology, and immunology), and extensive research in environmental microbiology, animal microbiomes, and detection of pathogens in the environment. Kieft has served as Chair of Biology Department and as Associate Vice-President for Research and Economic Development at New Mexico Tech, and he’s currently the Chair New Mexico Tech’s new interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program in Biotechnology.
Board Member of Zocere and T-NeuroPharma
Wayne Laslie brings more than 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, serving in positions of clinical development, business development, U.S. and international commercial development, marketing, sales and chief operating officer. He has had responsibility for the commercialization and product introductions of numerous products in the U.S. and abroad. Wayne has held positions of increasing responsibility at Pifizer, predecessor companies of Sanofi-Aventis, Otsuka, Myriad Genetics, and Myrexis. He is the former President and CEO of Zocere, Inc., a biotechnology company engaged in research and development of stroke therapies. He is now on the board of Zocere and T-NeuroPharma. He is President of the National Atomic Museum Foundation and President of the Board of Trustees of the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History. He also has served on the board of the National Pharmaceutical Council and as a member of the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee at the University of Maryland.
CEO and Founder of Spartina Biotechnologies
Paul Laur is CEO and Founder of Spartina Biotechnologies, a company developing a novel platform delivery system for targeting RNA to neutralize viruses such as SARs-CoV-2, which causes Covid-19. The emerging RNA therapeutics industry is on the verge of revolutionizing medicine. By precisely controlling the expression of a single gene, RNA therapeutics focus laser-like on drug targets while minimizing or eliminating unwanted side effects: Precise. Efficient. Safe.
This is Laur’s third start-up. His other companies include Eldorado Biofuels, which built a prototype algal biofuels facility in the Permian basin utilizing oil & gas production wastewater and Santa Fe Cider Company, a purveyor of premium organic sparkling cider. Laur was Director of Operations at Anguilla Rums, and Director of Corporate Development at Pebble Labs, a biotech company working on crop and seafood security where he raised capital, acquired and managed facilities, and regulatory permitting and compliance. He holds a USCG Master Mariner’s license and sailed worldwide on cargo ships and ocean racing sailboats. Laur earned a MA from St. John’s College, and a BS from California Maritime Academy. He serves on the Boards of Ponderous Panda Capital Corporation, which is traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange – Venture, and the Pecos River Resolution Corporation, a non-profit concerned with water issues between Texas and New Mexico.
President and CEO
Santa Fe Business Incubator
A recognized leader in Business Incubation and entrepreneurial development, Marie Longserre has been the President and CEO of the Santa Fe Business Incubator (SFBI) in Santa Fe, New Mexico since its inception in 1997. Under her guidance SFBI added a state of the art shared Bio-Science Lab to the facility in 2014. Marie was twice elected to the Board of the National Business Incubation Association (NBIA) and was Board Chair in 2011-2012. She served on New Mexico Small Business Investment Council for two terms and as NMSBIC Treasurer. She currently represents New Mexico on the Community Development Advisory Council at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
Sr. Manager, Technology Partnerships for Mission and Economic Success
Sandia National Laboratories
Mary has over 20 years of management experience at Sandia in business development, intellectual property management, licensing and technology transfer. She is the Senior Manager responsible for technology transfer and business development at Sandia. Her team fosters partnerships with industry, academia, government and other laboratories. Previously, she was responsible for managing and licensing Sandia’s intellectual property portfolio which led Sandia to an increase in commercial licensing of 130%. In addition, she established the business development capability at Sandia, which is now over 40 staff strong. Prior to joining Sandia, Mary worked for a decade in high tech companies including Unisys Corporation, Texas Instruments and Digital Equipment Corporation.
Distinguished Professor, Chief of Molecular Medicine, Internal Medicine, University of New Mexico Health Sciences
University of New Mexico
Eric Prossnitz received his PhD in Biochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley. He is Distinguished Professor of Internal Medicine and Chief of the Division of Molecular Medicine at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center. He is also the co-Director of the Cancer Therapeutics Program at the UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center and currently holds or has held leadership positions in the UNM Clinical and Translational Science Center (UNM CTSC), the New Mexico IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (NM-INBRE), and the Mountain West IDeA Clinical and Translational Research – Infrastructure Network (MW CTR-IN). He serves as the Associate Director of the UNM Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (CoBRE) in Autophagy, Inflammation and Metabolism (AIM), as the Academic Lead of the STTR Regional Technology Transfer Accelerator Hub (ASCEND: Accelerating Solutions for Commercialization and Entrepreneurial Development) and on the Board of Directors of UNM Rainforest Innovations.
Dr. Prossnitz has 30 years of experience in studying receptor-mediated signaling and ligand-receptor interactions, having been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health since 1994. He has published over 210 articles, mostly in the area of GPCR function and has made several important contributions to the GPCR ﬁeld and cancer biology, including characterization of the 7‑transmembrane G protein-coupled estrogen-binding receptor (GPER/GPR30), along with the discovery of selective activators and inhibitors of this receptor. This work has led to the creation of two startup companies and the first Phase I clinical trial of a compound discovered at UNM.
Ebony Romero is an Account Manager at Aerotek leading a recruiting team to find top talent for companies in the Medical, Healthcare and Consumer Product Manufacturing industries in NM. After spending the past three years learning about New Mexico market trends, recruiting, and building relationships with talented individuals, Ebony has been able to impact several startups and well-established organizations in the Albuquerque-Santa Fe area.
As a native New Mexican herself, Ebony has made a commitment early in her career to use her platform at Aerotek to help the NM economy thrive. Prior to working with Aerotek, Ebony worked in the Banking industry, and as a Marketing Assistant with the FDA where she helped plan and market an Anti-Tobacco Campaign at local events.
In her free time, Ebony is an active member in helping the homeless community by serving and providing resources to help people get back on their feet. She is passionate about finding creatives ways to get the community involved and learn that serving your city is a way to positively impact our state.
Ebony holds a BA in Communications and Business Management from the University of New Mexico
Stuart Rose, PhD
The BioScience Center
Stuart Rose is an active entrepreneur and investor emphasizing pharma/biotech and medical devices but with interests in any for-profit startup that solves problems, especially big problems. Fundamentally, Rose starts companies and invests in very early-stage companies with the potential to address the way the world will be in the future. He favors companies that have disruptive technologies or business models. Most of Rose’s career was spent as a senior manufacturing and business executive in the global pharmaceutical industry. He has lived and worked in places as disparate as Puerto Rico and Russia. He has had four JVs in China and worked extensively throughout Asia, including India and Australia. He is a Venture Partner in Tramway Ventures, a small seed stage investment firm based in New Mexico and he owns and operates a biotechnology focused business incubator, The Bioscience Center and FatPipe New Mexico, a network of collaboration/coworking spaces.
Examples of startups with which Rose is currently involved include: Agilvax, a company developing a novel therapeutic for Triple Negative Breast Cancer and Colon Cancer, Biophagy, a company developing new molecules that stimulate or inhibit autophagy to treat diseases of aging, Go-Station, a company with a novel, technology driven business model that is installing a network of electric vehicle charging stations around the United States, AdWallet, a company with a novel platform that is expected to disrupt the advertising industry by paying people instead of intermediaries to watch ads, mPower Technology, a company developing very efficient and very light weight solar cells for applications from space to IoT and roofing.
Vice President and General Manager of AMRI, Albuquerque
Jon Shoemaker serves as Vice President and General Manager of AMRI Albuquerque, a global contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO), which provides services and products to biopharmaceutical customers from R&D through commercial manufacturing. Shoemaker has almost three decades of industry experience. He joined AMRI in 2019. Under Jon’s leadership, AMRI Albuquerque has grown significantly, hiring more than 200 people in 2020, and was selected by AstraZeneca to support the manufacture of its COVID-19 vaccine. In addition, AMRI Albuquerque recently was approved for inclusion in the BARDA CDMO network, providing the opportunity to support other critical vaccine and therapeutic requirements. He earned a BSBA from Ashland University and his MBA from Loyola University, Chicago.
Myrriah Tomar, PhD
Director, Office of Science and Technology
New Mexico Economic Development Dept
Myrriah Tomar is the Director of the Office of Science and Technology for the New Mexico Economic Development Department. She completed her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical School and her B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of New Mexico. Shortly after graduating with her Ph.D., Myrriah worked with the start-up company Safewhite Inc. as an Associate Scientist serving to transition their core technology into a product. She was awarded a post-doctoral fellowship by The Ohio State University for her research on obesity-induced pancreatic cancer.
Prior to her role at the State of New Mexico, Myrriah worked in the office of technology transfer at Rice University evaluating faculty invention disclosures for novelty and commercial potential.
Julia Wise, PhD
Los Alamos National Laboratory
Julia Wise is a Project Manager for Los Alamos National Laboratory. With experience in education, health care, and technology transfer, Dr. Wise holds a BA in Biology and Chemistry from Macalester college as well as a Master’s and Ph.D. in Geology from the University of Cincinnati. She has worked at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical Center, Science Museum of Minnesota, University of New Mexico, and as Director of the Office of Science of Technology at the New Mexico Economic Development Department. Julia currently serves on the Board of the New Mexico Partnership, The BioScience Advisory Council at the Santa Fe Business Incubator, and is active in mentorship programs for NM Students.
As Executive Director, Gregory R. Byrnes works on behalf of the New Mexico’s life science sector to advocate for its support, accelerate its growth, promote its economic value to elected officials, and raise its visibility across the state as well as nationally. In addition to providing NMBio members with strategic connections to investors and service providers as well as talent for their firms; he works with economic development organizations to assist with corporate expansions as well as recruitment.
Byrnes career spans 35 years as a journalist, economic development professional, association executive, entrepreneur and consultant. A nationally recognized leader in the field of economic development, Byrnes spent two decades marketing the greater Philadelphia region as a hub for the life sciences and health care industries in his prior roles as director of Economic & Business Development for PECO Energy and President of the Philadelphia Developers Alliance, a consortium of 21 businesses and the City of Philadelphia.
Byrnes has served as Vice Chairman of the public/private New Mexico Bioscience Authority since its inception in 2017. He also serves on the advisory board of the Santa Fe Business Incubator. He is an active member of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization and the Council of State Bioscience Associations. Prior to relocating to NM, he served as Vice President of Membership and Business Development to Life Sciences Pennsylvania and as a consultant to the Maryland Technology Council and several other non-profit organizations. He has served on more than a dozen state, regional and national boards of directors, including the Urban Land Institute, Eastern Technology Council, International Corporate Real Estate Executives (NACORE), CoreNet Global, and the Team Pennsylvania Foundation.