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Nine diverse innovators from Yale and Princeton selected to present at INNOVATORS IGNITE

Inovattors Ignite 2022 Panelists headshots - nine people

AmplifyHERscience, a program within Yale dedicated to supporting and promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in science and entrepreneurial pursuits, in conjunction with Princeton Office of Technology Licensing and Princeton Entrepreneurship Council, announced the nine innovators who will present at their upcoming event, Innovators Ignite, being held on March 31 from 11 - 1pm virtually. 

  • Anne Eichmann, Monoclonal Antibody mediated Blood-Brain Barrier opening
  • Julie Goodwin, Endothelial cell Wnt signaling inhibition
  • Kimberly Hieftje, A Virtual Reality-based Intervention for Vaping Prevention and Mental Health Promotion
  • Smita Krishnaswamy, Ascent Bio: deep learning-based design and optimization of next generation therapeutic antibodies 
  • Megan Leinenbach, Prende Health
  • Laurel Lorenz, Project Leadership
  • Faye Rogers, Targeted therapeutics for cancers with gene amplification
  • Xiaoxiao Shen, ReChat
  • Prerit Terway, InvOpt

Meet them all here

Innovators Ignite is a virtual event that will feature diverse PIs who are behind the top emerging technologies within their institutions. Each innovator will pitch their idea to an expert industry panel and audience.

The event is generously sponsored by Hamilton Brook Smith Reynolds and Pabst Patent Group. Patrea L. Pabst, J.D., Partner at PPG, and her team are spearheading mentoring services for this event, as well as for women participating in Yale’s annual Innovation Summit in May.

"Achieving equity in entrepreneurship is a core mission for us at amplifyHERscience," explains Michelle McQueen, Founder of amplifyHERscience, "so when a peer institution like Princeton accepts our invitation to join forces in that pursuit, we couldn't be more excited! Sharing resources and leveraging the power of both Yale's and Princeton's networks will help us narrow the gender and racial gaps that exist."

The industry panel is comprised of four experts:

  • Eric Balicky, Hamilton, Brook, Smith, and Reynolds, P.C., Principal
  • Rachel Butler, Catalytic Impact Foundation, President
  • Marian T. Nakada, Vice President Venture Investments, Johnson & Johnson Innovation (JJDC)
  • Susan Sobolov, Founding Chairperson of the Connecticut chapter of Women in Bio (WIB-CT)

The review process of Yale applications was completed by the amplifyHERscience team in conjunction with Josh Geballe, Associate Provost for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Yale University and the amplifyHERscience Advisory Board which currently consists of Kathy Lynch, University Director, Corporate Strategy & Engagement, Yale University; Amy Millman, Founding member of Springboard Enterprises and Managing Partner of StageNext; Ranjit S. Bindra, M.D., Ph.D., Harvey and Kate Cushing Professor of Therapeutic Radiology, Scientific Director, Yale Brain Tumor Center.

"We are grateful to our newly formed amplifyHERscience Advisory Board for helping us prioritize  the impressive pool of Yale applicants. Although we were not able to feature all of the talented scientists who expressed interest in this Innovators Ignite, we will be working with them to identify future opportunities. A desire to translate research for optimal impact and the passion to push forward is what we are looking for in aspiring innovators," said Morag Grassie, Founder of amplifyHERscience. 

Princeton’s applications were reviewed and selected by Laurie J. Viglione-Tzodikov, Associate Director, Office of Technology Licensing, Princeton University; Anne-Marie Maman, Executive Director, Princeton Entrepreneurship Council; and Don Seitz, Assistant Director, Princeton Entrepreneurship Council.

“Princeton is pleased to partner with Yale on the Innovators Ignite showcase, reflecting our common goals to shine a light on academic entrepreneurship” said Anne-Marie Maman, Executive Director of Princeton Entrepreneurship Council (PEC). “Over the years, PEC has organized a broad range of programming that feature academic and alumni entrepreneurs. Calling out one of our many events, last year Princeton produced the first, in what will be an annual series, Empower Conference and Pitch Competition focusing on academic entrepreneurship. Last year, this national conference celebrated Black academic entrepreneurs. This year’s Empower Conference will have a particular emphasis on women academic entrepreneurs. We welcome you to engage with us!”

Laurie J. Viglione-Tzodlikov, Assistant Director of Princeton’s Office of Technology Licensing (OTL), added, “Collaborations with academic institutions are an important part of OTL’s mission in supporting  all academic entrepreneurs, across our campus, including individuals from underrepresented segments by providing equal access to resources and opportunities. The Innovators Ignite event supports this mission. We are thrilled to be working with our colleagues at Yale in this initiative.”

RSVP for Innovators Ignite here!