Mel Billingsley, Ph.D.
President/CEO, Life Science Greenhouse of Central Pennsylvania
Mel Billingsley, Ph.D., is president and CEO of the Life Sciences Greenhouse, professor of pharmacology at Pennsylvania State University Milton S. Hershey College of Medicine (MSHCM), and professor of biotechnology and entrepreneurship, Penn State University – Harrisburg, PA campus. His background includes rich and varied experience as a researcher, educator and investor, as well as a long history of actively fostering the advancement of technology within the larger community. He has an undergraduate degree in biophysics and microbiology from the University of Pittsburgh, a doctoral degree in pharmacology from George Washington University, and a postdoctoral degree in neuropharmacology from Yale School of Medicine.
Kevin Harter, M.B.A.
Professor of Practice in Entrepreneurship and Director, Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Penn State Harrisburg
Kevin Harter is an experienced healthcare and technology executive and board member, award-winning serial entrepreneur, and long-time volunteer for education-related initiatives.
In his latest role, Kevin is back in Central Pennsylvania helping Penn State to expand its Invent Penn State initiatives into the Capital Region. He is serving as a Professor of Practice in Entrepreneurship and Director of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Penn State Harrisburg. In this role, he is looking to leverage the assets of the region, and the faculty and students at Penn State to create a sustainable ecosystem built around innovation. Additionally, he is serving as Interim Executive Director of the Penn State Hershey College of Medicine’s Center for Medical Innovation.
Previously, he served as Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Saladax Biomedical, Inc., an oncology diagnostic company with novel technologies to enable precision medicine. While at Saladax, Kevin raised more than $55 million in multiple equity and debt rounds, including a highly complex Chinese pharmaceutical and diagnostic investment and strategic partnership deal. Additionally, he led the company’s efforts to develop companion diagnostic alliances with pharmaceutical companies that included a valuable three-way initiative in Alzheimer’s disease with Bristol-Myers Squibb and Johnson & Johnson.
Kevin has served in many roles in central PA: co-founder and Senior Vice President of the Life Science Greenhouse of Central PA (LSGPA), co-founder of Keystone Medical Systems, past President and Chairman of the Technology Council, and founder of the Software Colony among others.
He considers himself an “accidental entrepreneur” having started his first business in college at the age of 19 to serve the clients of a defunct business. Kevin made significant contributions to the development of the field of electronic medical claims, electronic medical records, and physician practice management. He has held more than two-dozen board seats in healthcare, technology and financial companies, and regularly mentors new and existing entrepreneurs in building new businesses.
Recognition for his professional and volunteer achievements includes the Entrepreneur of the Year Award from Ernst & Young/Inc. Magazine, the Entrepreneurial Achievement Award from Ben Franklin Technology Partners, Outstanding Leadership in Technology Award from the Technology Council of Central PA, and the Alumni Fellow and Philip Mitchell Service Award from the Pennsylvania State University. He earned a BS in information systems and an MBA from Penn State University.
Charles Smith serves as the founder and CEO of Apogee Biotechnology Corporation and Entrepreneur-in-Residence in the Office of Technology Development at the College of Medicine. In addition to both of these roles, he also serves as a professor in the Department of Pharmacology.
Charles’ research relates to signaling systems involved in tumor growth and have been supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and other sources for over 20 years. He has more than 120 research publications and multiple U.S. and international patents. The majority of these relate to the identification of new targets for chemotherapy, and the design, synthesis and evaluation of new drug candidates.
Charles has led Apogee Biotechnology Corporation; a drug discovery company focused on developing proprietary compounds for the treatment of cancer, through a series of National Institutes of Health funded projects and is currently conducting trials of ABC294640, a first-in-class inhibitor of sphingosine kinase-2, in patients with cancer.
Prior to returning to Penn State Hershey, Charles held positions at the Burroughs Wellcome Company, University of Hawaii, Fox Chase Cancer Center and the Medical University of South Carolina.
Aileen Huang-Saad is Associate Professor of Practice in Entrepreneurship and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Michigan’s College of Engineering. Previously, Aileen served as the Associate Director for Academics in the Center for Entrepreneurship and co-founder of the College of Engineering Center for Entrepreneurship. She is responsible for building the initial Program in Entrepreneurship for University of Michigan undergraduates, co-developing the masters’ level entrepreneurship program, launching the National Science Foundation University of Michigan I-Corps Node and creating the biomedical engineering graduate design program.
Aileen has received a number of awards for her teaching and student advising, including the Thomas M. Sawyer, Jr. Teaching Award, the UM ASEE Outstanding Professor Award, the Teaching with Sakai Innovation Award and the College of Engineering Outstanding Student Advisor Award. Her current research area is entrepreneurship and innovation in higher education. She is funded through the National Science Foundation to explore explicit and implicit learning outcomes and of undergraduate entrepreneurship courses based on the Lean Launchpad curriculum and the influence of the microenvironment of entrepreneurship education on the engagement of women. Aileen has a Bachelor’s of Science in Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, a Doctorate of Philosophy from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Michigan, Ross School of Business.
Sara Love, M.B.A.
Marketing and Communications Manager, Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Sara serves as the marketing and communications manager for the Clinical + Translational Science Institute at Penn State University. In this role, she promotes the capabilities, resources and services of the Institute to the internal and external community. Sara’s background consists of higher education and start-up experience that focuses on developing community and corporate partnerships serving the public good. She has held various newly created positions at organizations, helping to build sustainable programs and initiatives that foster entrepreneurship, workforce development and innovation in the biomedical sciences and high tech communities.
Prior to serving at the Institute, Sara held the position of associate director for business development in the Office of Technology Development at the College of Medicine. She managed the marketing, communications and industry relations efforts for the office. Working closely with faculty, industry partners and collaborators to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship on campus. Prior to joining Penn State College of Medicine, Sara managed the experiential programs at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology. In this role, she build industry partnerships with life science and high technology companies to provide research and work experiences to both graduate and undergraduate students.
Sara received her Bachelor’s Degree in Corporate Communications for Susquehanna University and an M.B.A. From Lebanon Valley College.
Ms. Swift serves as the associate director for research innovation. She manages the external and internal innovation ecosystem for the office. Ms. Swift works with Penn State College Hershey faculty, industry partners and collaborators to promote the mission of the Office of Technology Development.
Prior to joining Penn State College of Medicine, Ms. Swift has extensive experience as an entrepreneur in building her company Sharper by Design. Prior to this role, she has broad marketing experience in various industries including the dental and medical device industry.
Ms. Swift received her Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing with a Concentration in International Business from Bloomsburg University, and an M.B.A. with a Concentration in Marketing from York College of Pennsylvania.