Upstate Medical University

Advisory Board Members

Central New York—rich in intellectual capital, ripe for economic revitalization and proven ground for biotechnology ventures—Central New York is currently home to nearly 3,000 jobs in the biotechnology sector and is poised to expand its reach in this promising arena.  CNYBAC is operated by the region's only academic medical center, Upstate Medical University.

David Amberg, PhD.

David Amberg, PhD.

Upstate Medical University


Dr. David Amberg is the Vice President for Research at Upstate Medical University.  Dr. Amberg was awarded the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2004, was named a SUNY UMU Jacobsen Scholar in 2009, received the President’s Award for Excellence and Leadership in Research in 2011, and was awarded the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities in 2012. His administrative service at SUNY UMU has included serving as the Associate Vice President of Research Integrity, the Research Integrity Officer, Research Conflict of interest Officer, Vice President of Research (VPR) from 2014 to 2018, and as the Interim College President at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry form July 2018 to June of 2020 after which he returned to Upstate Medical University as the VPR. In his role as Upstate’s VPR, Dr. Amberg oversees the clinical, translational and basic research portfolios of the University with current annual expenditures of $38M. During his tenure as  VPR Upstate has seen 5 years of continuous growth amounting to a 35% increase in research expenditures.

Rajan Beera, PhD

Rajan Beera, PhD


 

Dr. Rajan Beera is a technology executive who recently served as the Chief Technology Officer at Pall Corporation, a Danaher company with $1.6 billion in annual revenues until April 2023. Over his decade-long tenure at Pall, Dr. Beera played a pivotal role in spearheading R&D and new product development across all four business units: Aerospace, Food & Beverage, Industrial, and Microelectronics. His efforts significantly enhanced the new product vitality of these businesses, solidifying his reputation as a catalyst for innovation within Pall/Danaher. Currently on sabbatical, Dr. Beera looks forward to his next challenge in technology leadership, showcasing a career marked by innovation and impactful contributions to the field.

Dr. Beera's remarkable contributions to the field were acknowledged when he was featured as one of the technophile CTOs of 2023 by Insights Success magazine, showcasing his influence and impact on the technology landscape.

Prior to Pall, Dr. Beera held leadership roles in R&D and Operations at Texas Instruments and National Semiconductor for over 17 years. During this time, he played a crucial role in developing advanced semiconductor process technologies, showcasing his expertise in the dynamic and evolving semiconductor industry. He holds a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, where he made a groundbreaking contribution by inventing enhanced growth techniques for synthetic diamond in microelectronics applications, resulting in the issuance of a US patent. His academic and professional journey reflects a deep commitment to pushing the boundaries of technology and driving advancements that have a lasting impact.

Pam Caraccioli

Pam Caraccioli

Fulton Savings Bank


In January of 2022, Pamela Caraccioli was appointed President and CEO of Fulton Savings Bank, a 150-year-old mutual savings bank with six branches throughout Oswego and Northern Onondaga Counties.  Prior to this appointment she served as Deputy to the President at SUNY Oswego, overseeing external partnerships and economic development on behalf of the University. 

Pamela serves as a board member for the NYS Economic Development Council, the Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board, the Richard S. Shineman Foundation, and the Garrett Dunsmoor Memorial Foundation.  She also serves as Chair of SUNY Upstate Medical University’s Biotech Accelerator.

Pam holds a Master of Public Administration from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School and a Bachelor of Arts in Law and Society from the University of California at Santa Barbara.  In 2017, she was named a Woman of Distinction by the New York State Senate.

Jotpreet Chahal

Jotpreet Chahal

Janssen


Jot Chahal is the VP of Global Digital Health at Janssen. Prior to that Jot was Director of Digital Health at Hillrom, and prior to that led strategy for Vital Signs and managed the Cardiology portoflio (Welch Allyn).  Prior to joining Hillrom, Jot led the Global Marketing and Corporate Branding Program Office for Mylan, a pharmaceutical company, also overseeing the functional integration of acquisitions.  Most of Jot’s career has been about bringing innovations and new products to market, having worked in downstream, upstream, and business building functions in various industries.  Along the way, he has gained experience in customer operations, program management, and manufacturing operations.  Jot earned his Executive MBA from MIT's Sloan School of Business, his interdisciplinary graduate degree (Manf. engineering + business) from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and Bachelor's (Mech. Engineering) from Thapar University, India. 

 

Robert J. Corona, DO

Robert J. Corona, DO

Upstate Medical University


Dr. Robert J. Corona is the CEO of Upstate Medical University Hospital.  He is Clinical Chief of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at University Hospital of Upstate Medical University, Residency Program Director and Director of Neuropathology.  He is President of Upstate Pathologists Laboratories, LLC. While at Upstate, he founded CareNet, a medical informatics and telemedicine program that won the Smithsonian Award for Innovation in Medicine. Dr. Corona is board certified by the American Board of Pathology in Anatomic Pathology, Neuropathology and Clinical Informatics. He remains an Emeritus Member of the New York State Board for Medicine.

Michael D'Eredita

Michael D'Eredita

Le Moyne College


Michael D'Eredita, PhD, is a Director for The Keenan Center for Entrepreneurship, Innovation & Creativity at Le Moyne College.   D'Eredita is part of a growing core of Upstate entrepreneurs and faculty focused on promoting entrepreneurship among Upstate campuses. He is currently the faculty lead of the campus-wide, Information Technology, Design and Startups (IDS) minor. His academic work lies at the intersection of human cognition, collaboration and information technology. D'Eredita is a co-founder of Mozzo Analytics, LLC, a company focused on creating value from various forms of unstructured (and often "big") data. D'Eredita is a co-founder and principal of True North Group, LLC, an executive coaching firm that has helped hundreds of individuals and organizations establish the practice of high performance. He is also a co-founder of both D'Eredita D'Sign & D'velopment, Ltd., a company focused on the development of patentable widgets and web-based technologies and Veda Sport, LLC, an assembly and distribution company. D'Eredita coached the Finnish and Portuguese National Rowing Teams and is currently the High Performance Director of Portuguese Rowing. D'Eredita received his BS in Physics from LeMoyne College and a MS and PhD in Cognitive Psychology from Syracuse University.

Kathi Durdon, MA, CCRP

Kathi Durdon, MA, CCRP

CNY Biotech Accelerator, a NYS Certified Business Incubator


Kathi is Executive Director of the Central New York Biotech Accelerator (CNYBAC), a 52,000+ square foot state-of-the-art multi-use facility located in Syracuse, NY.  CNYBAC, a NYS Certified Business Incubator, is operated by SUNY Upstate Medical University, renting wet labs and providing ecosystem support services to accepted startup companies commercializing a biotech-related product or service.  Kathi manages facility operations and budget, client resource matching, business development to include expansion of the biotechnology innovation ecosystem network and service provider partnerships as well as connecting clients to grant and educational program development.  Kathi also manages the successful ecosystem support program, the annually-held CNYBAC Medical Device Innovation Challenge (MDIC).

Kathi is an active member and served as a Board Member for both LifeSciencesNY, a non-profit biomed trade organization, and the Business Incubator Association of New York State (BIANYS).  She is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Upstate Medical University.  Kathi presents for many organizations and volunteers for the Society of Clinical Research Associates (SOCRA) as a Good Clinical Practice (GCP) Certification Instructor and Device Conference Chair.  Ms. Durdon has over 15 years of clinical research management and medical device regulatory experience.

Kristen Eichhorn

Kristen Eichhorn

SUNY Oswego, CNYBAC Advisory Board Co-Chair


Kristen Campbell Eichhorn is a visionary and servant leader in higher education focused on student access and success. She is currently the Dean of Graduate Studies at SUNY Oswego and oversees 1000 graduate students across all four colleges and schools, including the Biomedical and Health Informatics, MS delivered at SUNY Oswego's Syracuse Campus. She continues to improve the student experience by removing barriers and expanding our thinking around graduate education through innovative programs and strategic partnerships.  Kristen completed a Faculty Fellowship in the President’s office at SUNY Oswego and a yearlong American Council on Education fellowship at Cornell University in the Office of the Provost.  She has successful and extensive experience in program reviews, curriculum development, assessment, strategic planning, fiscal management, leadership and training. Her administrative philosophy is grounded in the principles of open communication, mutual respect and intentional and deliberate practices for improving diverse and inclusive environments.  She has served as the Interim Dean of the Division of Extended Learning at the State University of New York at Oswego and two consecutive terms as the department chair of the Communication Studies Department. She publishes in interdisciplinary contexts including, health, organizational communication, public relations and relational communication. Her research has been published in the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, Human Communication, College Student Journal, Communication Research Reports, International Journal of Leadership Studies and Public Relations Review. She is the coauthor of two editions of the well regarded book, Interpersonal Communication: Building Rewarding Relationships (with Candice Thomas-Maddox and Melissa Bekelja Wanzer).  Most recently she edited the newest edition of the well-established book, An Integrated Approach to Communication Theory and Research (with Don W. Stacks). She currently is on the executive boards for ACE's Council of Fellows, New York Sea Grant, and Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools.

Brian Gerling

Brian Gerling

Syracuse University


College of Law alumnus Brian J. Gerling is the new executive director of the Innovation Law Center (ILC).

Gerling, who brings nearly two decades of intellectual property and commercial litigation experience to the role, takes the helm from M. Jack Rudnick L’73, who will remain engaged with the ILC as senior advisor. Gerling most recently served the College of Law as an adjunct professor, teaching innovation law and technology law courses. In his new role, he will continue to teach as a member of the College of Law faculty. He also will retain his Of Counsel affiliation with Syracuse-based law firm Bond, Schoeneck & King PLLC, where his practice focuses on IP, data privacy, emerging technology and economic development. Gerling serves on the Board of the Central New York International Business Alliance and on the Technology Council of the Manufacturers Association of Central New York, and he holds other ex officio board positions. In addition to his J.D., cum laude, from the College of Law, Gerling holds a B.S. in biology from the State University of New York at Binghamton. As ILC executive director, Gerling oversees the center’s applied learning course—the Innovation Law Practicum—in which students from the College of Law and across Syracuse University gain practical skill and experience assisting companies with IP, regulatory and market landscape research, as well as capital sourcing.

Gerling will work with Professor Shubha Ghosh and the Syracuse Intellectual Property Law Institute to administer the College’s Curricular Program in Technology Commercialization Law Studies. He also will direct the New York State Science and Technology Law Center (NYSSTLC), which is a grantee of the Empire State Development´s Division of Science, Technology, and Innovation. “As one of ILC’s brightest alums and biggest advocates—and a former student of its founder Ted Hagelin—Brian brings expertise and enthusiasm to the center. His deep and wide-ranging practice experience in IP law, and especially emerging technology, will enrich our students’ educational experiences,” says Collegeof Law Dean Craig M. Boise. “I look forward to working with Brian to build on Jack Rudnick’s remarkable work expanding ILC and NYSSTLC so that our students continue to get real-world experience working
with a wide variety of technology clients.”

“It is an honor to direct the ILC; it has had such a profound effect on my career. It was my interest in marrying my passion for biotechnology and law that brought me to Syracuse, and Professor Hagelin left an indelible impression on me. I have used the principles and values that I learned at Syracuse Law
throughout my career,” says Gerling. “To return to my alma mater in this capacity and to continue Ted’and Jack’s legacies are both a privilege and deeply satisfying honor. I look forward to working with students interested in technology commercialization and the innovation economy and giving them the
skills and practical tools they need for successful careers.”





Jud Gostin

Jud Gostin


Mr. Gostin founded Sensis Corporation in 1985 and served as its Board Chairman and Chief Executive Officer until 2011 when the company was sold to SAAB Aerospace.  During his tenure, the company grew into a market leader of sensors and information technology for the world’s militaries, civil aviation authorities, airports, airlines, and medical equipment companies, with technology deployed in more than 30 countries across 5 continents.

Before founding Sensis, Mr. Gostin was a Program General Manager within General Electric's Radar Systems Department, responsible for a major segment of that department's business.  While at GE he received two patent awards and, in 1978, was selected from a population of about 5000 engineers to receive the GE Centennial Award as the Electronic System Division's outstanding contributor.

 

Linda Dickerson Hartsock

Linda Dickerson Hartsock

Syracuse University


Linda Dickerson Hartsock is the Strategic Initiatives, Advisor at Syracuse University, representing a broad one-university network of collaborators that include the Couri Hatchery at the Whitman School of Management (re-opening in spring 2024), Blackstone LaunchPad at SU Libraries, Invent@SU, IVMF and others. 

Prior to joining Syracuse University, Linda was Vice President, Innovation and Technology, for CenterState CEO, a 12-county regional policy and development organization. Additionally, she launched The Clean Tech Center, an award-winning NYSERDA-funded incubator. In that role, she also served a dual role as Director, Industry Collaboration, SyracuseCoE -- a New York State Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems. In her role with CenterState CEO, she also served as executive director of The Syracuse Technology Garden (The Tech Garden) in downtown Syracuse. She helped establish and fund the award-winning Student Sandbox entrepreneurship program as an U.S. EDA University Center, funded through a $500,000 grant.

Mike Hausladen

Mike Hausladen

Lotte Biologics


Michael Hausladen is the General Manager for LOTTE Biologics USA, LLC, headquartered in Syracuse, NY.  LOTTE Biologics is a new Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization that is serving the Biologic Pharmaceutical market.  Previous roles at Bristol Myers Squibb included starting up the Devens, MA $350M Cell Therapy facility, managing clinical External Biologics Manufacturing and Various leadership roles in the Syracuse, NY facility, including Director of Manufacturing and Director of Manufacturing Technology.  Prior to working in Biologics, Michael worked at BMS scaling up and commercialization of enzyme catalyzed and traditional organic synthesis of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients.  Prior to working for BMS, Michael worked in Pharmaceutical Intermediates, adhesives and electronic materials.  Michael has a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University at Buffalo.

Rami Katz

Rami Katz

Excell Partners, Inc.


Rami Katz is the Chief Operating Officer for Excell Partners, Inc., managing Excell's due-diligence and investment processes. Prior to joining Excell, Rami served as the Director of Technology Commercialization at High Tech Rochester where he worked closely with entrepreneurs, researchers and startups to evaluate the commercial potential of new technologies. Rami managed the creation of over 50 business plans that led to raising over $40M in funding from VCs, angels as well as grants.

David Mankiewicz

David Mankiewicz

Advisory Board Emeritus Member

CenterState CEO


Dave Mankiewicz is an Emeritus board member having retired from his full-time role as the Senior Vice President for Research, Policy and Planning for CenterState CEO.  In that role he addresses issues involving economic development, center city revitalization, community improvement and comprehensive planning.  He has worked extensively with small business district revitalization, anchor districts, and special assessment districts. He is a member of the board of directors of the Syracuse Economic Development Corporation, the City of Syracuse’s vehicle for small business financing. Dave is an alumnus of the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University where he received a Master of City and Regional Planning degree and of St. Lawrence University, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in government. He has worked for CenterState CEO and its affiliate organizations in economic development for 40 years.

 

Matthew Mroz

Matthew Mroz

Research Foundation for SUNY


Matthew Mroz is the Director of Enterprise Technology Transfer at The Research Foundation for SUNY (RF). In this capacity, Matthew leads the development, implementation, and management of enterprise-wide technology, business solutions, and programs that advance and facilitate the marketability of SUNY innovation and the protection of SUNY intellectual property. As part of this comprehensive commercialization and economic development portfolio, Matthew manages system-wide initiatives that support faculty to fund and develop innovation and assists SUNY affiliated companies to effectively operationalize their business. Examples include SUNY’s Technology Accelerator Fund, a proof-of-concept technology development investment fund, and SUNY Insure, a program that offers low-cost insurance to SUNY affiliated companies. Matthew oversees and provides direct commercialization transaction support to SUNY’s 24 centralized campuses which includes drafting, negotiating and managing agreements that span matters related to confidentiality, material transfer, options, licensing, industry-sponsored research, post-agreement management, royalty receivables and disbursements to inventors. Prior to his current role at the RF, Matthew worked in the RF’s Office of General Counsel, Technology Transfer Office, and the University at Albany Office of Innovation Development and Commercialization. Matthew has been a part of the RF and SUNY community for over a decade and is a graduate of Stony Brook University, Albany Law School, and the University at Albany.

Seth Mulligan

Seth Mulligan

Griffiss Institute at the Innovare Advancement Center


Seth Mulligan is the Director of Innovation and Partnerships for the Griffiss Institute at the Innovare Advancement Center. He specializes in developing innovation, growth and management disciplines and developing business systems, to grow organizations. In his career, Seth has been a partner to innovators as a startup incubator director, an agribusiness business development consultant, and technology transfer seed-fund operator. Additionally, Mulligan has been an adjunct professor of Entrepreneurship and a professional trainer of entrepreneurship for transitioning US Military service women and men. When not being supporting partner for innovators and entrepreneurs, Seth has been an executive in two venture-capital backed startups: TCGplayer.com and StorySlab, Inc. contributing to overall corporate strategy and launching customer success, business development, and e-commerce services.  
 
Seth’s education background is focused on public systems where he has two Masters degrees in Administration and a Bachelor degree in Political Science and Philosophy. Seth enjoys live music, travel, and following professional sports. When not at work, Seth spends time with his family and hails from Syracuse, NY. 

Christopher Perry

Christopher Perry

Cuna del Mar, L.P. (CdM)


Christopher Perry is a Vice President with Cuna del Mar, L.P. (CdM).  CdM is an impact venture capital fund that is committed to exploring, supporting, and developing open ocean aquaculture methods that are economically viable, as well as environmentally and socially responsible. Chris also serves in an active executive role with The Center for Aquaculture, Inc. (CAT), a CdM portfolio company. CAT is a biotech contract research organization focused on the application of technologies to improve productivity, efficiency, and sustainability in the aquaculture industry.

Prior to CdM and CAT, Chris was the Chief Executive Officer of Open Blue Sea Farms, Inc. (another CdM portfolio company). Open Blue is a pioneer in open ocean farming that operates in harmony with its natural surroundings far away from crowded coastal waters and sensitive ecosystems. Prior to Open Blue, Chris was the Global Corporate Controller for EnerNoc (now an Enel company), a global demand response company.  Chris began his career at Ernst & Young in both the Assurance and Transaction Advisory Services practices.

Chris holds a BSBA in accounting and finance from the Sawyer Business School at Suffolk University.

Nicholas Querques

Nicholas Querques

Research Foundation for SUNY


Nicholas Querques is Director of New Ventures at SUNY Research Foundation (RF). RF is the largest comprehensive university-connected research foundation in the country, administering $1.6 billion in research expenditures annually throughout 64 campuses. Nick leads a growing portfolio of initiatives focused on promoting entrepreneurship and commercialization across the $1.6 billion research enterprise, helping SUNY companies start strong and scale, and building partnerships with investors and development partners to get more SUNY technology into the market.

 Prior to RF, Nick was Program Manager for Technology to Market at NYSERDA, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. In this role, Nick was directly responsible for a $130 million portfolio of innovation, technology development, and investment initiatives targeted to entrepreneurs, innovators, and early-stage companies in the energy space. Prior to NYSERDA, Nick was Assistant Vice President for Clean Energy Programs at SUNY Polytechnic Institute's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering. In 2010, he co-founded MICROrganic Technologies, a biotechnology startup that is commercializing microbial fuel cell technologies for wastewater treatment applications.

 Nick holds a BS in finance and management magna cum laude and an MBA in information technology and nanotechnology from the University at Albany.

Jack Rudnick, Esq.

Jack Rudnick, Esq.

Advisory Board Emeritus Member


Jack is an experienced corporate and intellectual property attorney who has been providing legal councel for almost 40 years. He has extensive experience in commercializing new technologies and advising emerging technology companies. Jack co-founded Blue Highway Inc., while at Welch Allyn, to locate and accelerate the development of technologies with medical applications. He continued with Blue Highway after it was transferred to Syracuse University in the role of Senior VP for Legal and Government Affairs. He is an active member of several professional organizations, including the American Bar Association, New York State Bar Association, and the Association of Corporate Councel (past president of Central and Western New York chapter). Jack has also served as the company representative to the Business Council of New York and is on the boards of a number of charitable and arts organizations. Jack received his B.A. from Middlebury College and his J. D. from Syracuse University's College of Law.

Megan Schneider

Megan Schneider

Hillrom, CNYBAC Advisory Board Co-Chair


Megan joined Hillrom in January of 2015 as a Senior Category Manager for Welch Allyn Thermometry & Blood Pressure focused on new product development.  In 2016, she was asked to lead global product marketing for Vision Care focused on Spot Vision Screener and in 2019 Megan started leading the Global Upstream Marketing Team as Director for Physical Exam and Diagnostics.  In her current role, Megan manages 6 marketing managers, across 5 major product categories -Blood Pressure, Physical Assessment, Thermometry, Women’s Health, & Hearing Screening.   Megan and her team work closely with the regional teams and customers globally to understand business needs, R&D to make ideas come to life and is responsible for product strategy for growth across the 5 major categories.

Prior to joining Welch Allyn, Megan spent three years as a Senior Brand Manager for Contact Lenses at Bausch + Lomb / Valeant Pharmaceuticals in Rochester, New York.  In this position, she led both upstream and downstream marketing activities for nine brands. The earlier part of Megan’s career was spent with Eastman Kodak Company in both marketing and sales. 

Megan graduated from St. Bonaventure University with a degree in Marketing and International Business, she completed the Executive Marketing Leadership program from Cornell University, is on the Foundation Board at Loretto and is on the CNY Biotech Accelerator Advisory Board.  In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband Jamie, son James (18yrs), daughter Brynn (15yrs) and two crazy black labs Cole (6yrs) & Lila (6yrs). 

 

Gary Scott

Gary Scott

SUNY ESF


Gary Scott is the Director, Division of Engineering at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, NY.  Gary coordinates the educational activities among the three engineering departments at the College: Paper and Bioprocess Engineering, Environmental Resources Engineering, and Sustainable Construction Management and Engineering.

Eric Smith

Eric Smith

Upstate Medical University
Eric Smith


Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration

Mr. Smith oversees the University's finance, accounting and budget functions, shared business services (payroll, contracts/campus purchasing, accounts payable, property management), and post-award sponsored programs. Mr. Smith also serves as the Deputy Operations Manager for the Research Foundation for SUNY at Upstate and in leadership roles for various affiliates, including the Faculty-Student Association, Upstate Properties Development, and the Upstate Foundation.

John Stella

John Stella

SUNY-ESF


Dr. John C. Stella serves as Vice President for Research and is a professor in the Department of Sustainable Resources Management at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF). He is also an adjunct professor in Geography at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Public Policy. As VPR, Dr. Stella oversees ESF’s sponsored research that tallies more than $18 million in expenditures annually. Since his appointment in 2021, he has worked on new strategic initiatives including faculty research clusters in ESF’s core research areas and significantly expanded the recruitment of new research development and sponsored programs staff. He is also strengthening research partnerships with Syracuse University and Upstate Medical University, with whom ESF is creating new research centers and facility sharing agreements. Previously, he served as chair of ESF's Academic Governance Committee on Research from 2019–2021 where he expanded the scope and advisory role of the committee with the VPR’s office.

Dr. Stella joined ESF’s faculty in 2006. An ecologist by training, his interdisciplinary research encompasses global change in river ecosystems, forest ecohydrology, river and riparian restoration, and tree-ring isotope studies, with more than 55 peer-reviewed publications. He has secured >$7.5 million in collaborative research funding from the National Science Foundation, Department of Defense, USDA Forest Service, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and the French National Research Agency, among other sponsors. He serves on the boards of The Nature Conservancy - Central and Western New York Chapter and Onondaga Earth Corps, a Syracuse youth development and environmental program.

Prior to his academic career, Dr. Stella worked for nearly a decade in environmental consulting, developing restoration plans for rivers in California. He received his BA from Yale University, and his master’s and Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, in environmental science, policy and management.

 

Virgie Townsend

Virgie Townsend

Strategic Communications


Virgie Townsend is the Director of Public Relations at Strategic Communications, a Central New York public relations agency founded on the principles of strategy, integrity, and communication. In this role, she provides public relations services and oversight to clients, as well as direction and oversight to other members of the team. With deep expertise in healthcare communications, Virgie has previously held roles at a life sciences public relations agency, national public health nonprofit, bio/med trade association, and global medical device manufacturer. As a writer, her work has been featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Harper’s Bazaar, The Sun Magazine, and other publications.

Virgie received a bachelor’s degree in newspaper journalism, magna cum laude, from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and a juris doctor degree from the Syracuse University College of Law. She is a bar-admitted attorney in Colorado. In 2021, the Central New York Business Journal recognized Virgie as one of its 40 Under Forty awards honorees.

Central New York—rich in intellectual capital, ripe for economic revitalization and proven ground for biotechnology ventures—Central New York is currently home to nearly 3,000 jobs in the biotechnology sector and is poised to expand its reach in this promising arena.  CNYBAC is operated by the region's only academic medical center, Upstate Medical University.