Advisory Board

Connie Bourassa-Shaw

Connie Bourassa-Shaw is the director of the University of Washington Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which is housed in the Foster School of Business. As the center’s director, she is responsible for establishing the strategic direction of CIE, ensuring the quality of its academic programs and practical experience activities, working with student entrepreneurs, developing new initiatives, and creating partnerships with other entrepreneurial organizations in the Northwest. In September 2009, the Center was ranked #7 in the Top 25 Graduate Entrepreneurship Programs in the country by Princeton Review/Entrepreneur Magazine.

Bourassa-Shaw came to CIE from the Northwest Entrepreneur Network, where she served as executive director from July 2002 through December 2005. In that role, she created new programs focused on the educational and funding needs of early-stage entrepreneurs, and extend the reach of NWEN into the region’s entrepreneurial and venture capital community. Under her leadership, membership in NWEN grew from 450 to nearly 800.

Before joining NWEN, Bourassa-Shaw was at the UW’s Program in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, where she’d held the position of managing director since 1997. She led the effort to launch the UW’s first Business Plan Competition in 1998.

Bourassa-Shaw is a member of the board of directors for the Northwest Entrepreneur Network and serves on the advisory boards of the national Association of Small Business Development Centers and UW TechTransfer. In 2008 she won the Foster School of Business’s inaugural Dean’s Leadership Award, in recognition of her work across the UW campus. She was listed on the 100 Top Women in Seattle Tech by TechFlash in July 2009. She graduated from the University of Montana with a BA in history (with honors), served in Peace Corps Chile, and spent more than a decade of her life as a magazine editor/writer before discovering her true love—early-stage entrepreneurship.

Pierre Mourad, PhD

Pierre D. Mourad, Ph.D. – Dr. Mourad holds joint appointments within the Applied Physics Laboratory and the Departments of Neurological Surgery and Pediatric Dentistry (Adjunct) at the University of Washington.

He received a BA in Mathematics from Rutgers University and MSc and Ph.D. degrees in Applied Mathematics from the University of Washington.  He has performed and published basic and applied research in oceanography, atmospheric sciences, sonoluminescence, arctic and ocean acoustics, acoustic holography and medical acoustics.  Supporting this work have been organizations such as DARPA, NASA, NIH, NSF, ONR as well as from private industry.  The medical application of ultrasound has been his professional emphasis for about the last ten years. In addition to peer-reviewed publications, he has generated new ideas of a more translational-research nature.  For example, he is listed as an inventor on four issued patents and another thirteen patent applications, all having to do with means of diagnosing or treating a variety of diseases and disorders.  Much of his research is collaborative in nature, residing as it does at the interface of physics and medicine; some of that research has motivated industrial interactions. For example, his research on novel means of facilitating drug delivery has been incorporated into two recent startup companies in the NorthWest, specifically Inson Medical and PhaseRx Pharmaceuticals.  His research on a novel power toothbrush that also uses ultrasound resides in Ultreo Inc, a company he co-founded.  Finally, he co-founded Allez PhysiOnix Ltd, based on his research on monitoring intracranial pressure non-invasively, automating ultrasound Doppler systems, and improving physician’s ability to localize painful tissues and organs.

Buddy Ratner, PhD

Dr. Buddy D. Ratner is the Director of the  University of Washington Engineered Biomaterials (UWEB) Engineering Research Center and the Michael L. and Myrna Darland Endowed Chair in Technology Commercialization. He is Professor of Bioengineering and Chemical Engineering at the University of Washington. Dr. Ratner received his Ph.D. (1972) in polymer chemistry from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn. From 1985-1996 he directed the NIH-funded National ESCA and Surface Analysis Center for Biomedical Problems (NESAC/BIO). In 1996, he assumed the directorship of University of Washington Engineered Biomaterials (UWEB). He is the editor of the Journal of Undergraduate Research in BioEngineering, an Associate Editor of Journal of Biomedical Materials Research, on the advisory board of Biointerphases and serves on the editorial boards of ten other journals. He is a past president of the Society For Biomaterials. He has authored over 400 scholarly works and has 17 issued patents. Ratner is a fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), the American Vacuum Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the International College of Fellows Biomaterials Science and Engineering (IUS-BSE). Ratner has served as president of AIMBE, 2002-2003. In 2002 Ratner was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering, USA. In 2003 he was elected President of Tissue Engineering Society of North America (TESNA). He is now on the council of the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS). He has launched three companies. His research interests include biomaterials, tissue engineering, polymers, biocompatibility, surface analysis of organic materials, self assembly, nanobiotechnology and RF-plasma thin film deposition.

Joseph P. Whitford

With over 25 years experience in corporate finance and securities transactions, Joe is a partner in the Seattle office of Davis Wright Tremaine, LLP law firm and Co-Chair of the firm’s Life Science Practice Group.

Joe represents high growth companies in virtually all phases of their development, ranging from seed and venture investments through strategic partner arrangements and liquidity transactions in both mergers and acquisitions and public offerings. He also represents angel and venture capital investors which fund such businesses, as well as underwriters in registered offerings.

Joe works closely in counseling Boards of Directors and executive officers in their ongoing corporate functions. He also assists clients with both domestic and international joint ventures and technology transfers and licensing.

Joe is active in the local entrepreneurial community, serving as a Board member and General Counsel to the Northwest Entrepreneur Network, as well as General Counsel to the Tacoma Angel Network. He has previously held Board and leadership positions in the MIT Enterprise Forum of the Northwest and the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs. Joe also serves as a Trustee for Holy Names Academy, a private Seattle secondary school for young women.

Prior to moving to Seattle in 1978, Joe was an attorney with the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, D.C. He received a B.A. in Economics from Union College and a J.D. from Syracuse University.

Christina Lomasney

Christina Lomasney is the CEO, President and co-founder of Modumetal.  Together with her team, she is realizing the Company’s vision of revolutionizing the way major industries approach the design and production of advanced metal coatings and parts.   Today, Modumetal is pioneering nanolaminated metals manufacturing to enable the deployment of these ultra-high performance metals in a growing number of large-scale industrial and consumer applications.

Christina has worked in the research, development and commercialization of advanced materials technologies for over a decade, starting at The Boeing Company, where she served in engineering roles including in Phantomworks’ advanced metals manufacturing department.   Christina later founded Isotron Corporation, an advanced materials company, which today holds a portfolio of advanced materials technologies and commercial products for environmental cleanup and national defense.

Christina holds a BS in Physics from the University of Washington, where she completed undergraduate research in electrochemistry and graduate studies towards a MS in Applied Physics.  She has published and is named inventor on several pending patents in large-scale environmental remediation and nanostructured materials applications.

Chris Rivera

Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 1.28.31 AMWBBA President since January, 2009, Chris Rivera has developed the organization’s strategic direction to support the growth of life sciences in Washington state, one of Washington state’s largest and fastest growing economic industries. Since Mr. Rivera took over leadership at the WBBA, the organization has mentored more than 260 new life science start-up companies, facilitated hundreds of one-on-one meetings between WBBA members and potential investors and partners, and also co-founded WINGS – Washington’s Medical Technology angel network. Combined, these efforts have directly led to the import of significant investment and collaboration from outside of Washington.

Since 2009, Mr. Rivera has also been appointed to several leadership positions, including; the Governor’s Higher Education Task Force, the Washington Global Health Funding Commission, and was Chairman for the national Council of State Bioscience Associations. He was appointed to Governor elect, Jay Inslee’s Transition Committee, and was appointed by the Mayor and City Council to Seattle’s first Economic Development Commission.

Prior to the WBBA, Mr. Rivera spent more than 25 years in numerous leadership roles in the biotechnology industry, including Founder and CEO of Hyperion Therapeutics, as well as SVP at Tercica and Genzyme, amongst other leadership positions in the life science industry. He holds a master’s degree from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center; a bachelor degree from Northwestern Oklahoma State University; and studied marketing and management at the Albers Graduate School of Business and Economics at Seattle University.

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