Setting new standards in information exchange for the pharmaceutical and biotech industry

Conference Leadership

Conference Co-Chairs

We are grateful for the leadership and guidance of our distinguished Co-Chairs and keynote speakers:

Sandra S. Garrett, PhD

Executive Chair
Global Research Services, LLC

Dr. Sandra Garrett is the Executive Chairman of Global Research Services LLC. Dr. Garrett was the founder of Medifacts International and served as its President and CEO from 1985 to 2006. Dr. Garrett also served as the co principal investigator with Raymond Lipicky, MD (retired), a past director of the Division of Cardio-Renal Drug Products of the US FDA, under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA). Dr. Garrett served on the Board of the Association of Clinical Research Organizations (ACRO). ACRO advances clinical outsourcing to improve the quality, efficiency and safety of biomedical research. In addition, she was a 2005 finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in the area of Life Sciences, 2008, 2009 and 2010 Women In Bio (WIB) honoree for notable women entrepreneurs in life sciences, and selected by SmartCEO as one of the 2009 top business women in Washington, DC.

Dr. Garrett holds a PhD in Psychology and a Masters in Counseling from the University of Massachusetts and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Dallas. She is the author of multiple publications related to the use of blood pressure monitoring in clinical trials.


Peter G. Milner, MD

Heart Metabolics and
CVT, ARYx, Armetheon and Optivia

In October 2011, Peter assumed the role as CEO of Heart Metabolics. In 2007, he co-founded Optivia Biotechnology, a private company now recognized as a leader in the emerging field of transporter biology. In 1997, Peter co-founded ARYx Therapeutics (NASDAQ:ARYX) where he served as CEO until 2005, and President from 2005 to 2010 with overall responsibility for R&D. In 1990, he co-founded CV Therapeutics (NASDAQ:CVTX), where as a member of senior management from 1992-1996 he in-licensed and co-invented several successful pharmaceuticals. CV Therapeutics was acquired by Gilead for $1.5B in cash in 2009. In 2005, Peter was instrumental in restructuring his family pharmaceutical company ML Laboratories (MLB.LSE) and its subsequent merger to form Vectura (VEC.LSE), a profitable company and one of the worlds leading makers of inhaled products.

Prior to 1992, Peter was as an assistant professor of medicine at Washington University in St. Louis. His research led to the discovery of pleiotrophin (PTN), a novel growth factor that regulates stem cell differentiation, organ development, and the epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT). He was educated at the University of Liverpool receiving his medical degree in 1980, before completing his postgraduate training at Johns Hopkins Hospital, The University of Virginia, and Washington University in St. Louis. Peter is co-inventor on 50 issued patents, and an author of 28 original scientific articles in Science, Biochemistry, Circulation, Cancer, JCI, and JBC. He is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology (FACC), and a board certified physician and cardiologist. He serves as adjunct clinical faculty at Stanford University School of Medicine, and as a board member of the California Healthcare Institute (CHI).

Conference Leadership


Dennis Purcell

Senior Managing Partner
Aisling Capital

Mr. Purcell has served as the Senior Managing Director of Aisling Capital since February 2000 and is responsible for the management of the Partnership. The fund has approximately $1.7 Billion of assets under management.

Prior to joining Aisling Capital, Mr. Purcell served as Managing Director of the Life Sciences Investment Banking Group at Chase H&Q (formerly Hambrecht & Quist, “H&Q”) for over five years. While at Hambrecht & Quist, he was directly involved with over two hundred completed transactions and supervised over $10 billion of financing and advisory assignments in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical products industries.

During his tenure, BioWorld and other industry publications cited H&Q as the leading underwriter of life sciences securities.  Mr. Purcell is a frequent commentator on the industry and has been honored in the “Biotech Hall of Fame” by Genetic Engineering News, named to the Biotechnology All-Stars list by Forbes ASAP and honored as one of the top 50 Irish- American businessmen and cited as the top 100 contributors to the biotechnology industry. Prior to joining H&Q, Mr. Purcell was a Managing Director in the Healthcare Group at PaineWebber, Inc.

Mr. Purcell currently serves as a director of Paratek Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Previously he served as a director of Aton Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Bridge Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Cengent Therapeutics, Inc., Dynova Laboratories, Inc., and Valentis, Inc.

He has served as a member of the Advisory Council at Harvard Medical School, the Board of Directors of the Biotechnology Industry Association, as well as the New York Biotechnology Association and the Irvington Institute. He also serves on the Board of L.E.K. consulting.

Mr. Purcell received his MBA from Harvard University, and his BS in Accounting from the University of Delaware.


Raymond F. Schinazi, PhD, DSc

Frances Winship Walter Professor, Inventor, Business Leader
Emory University and Veterans Affair Medical Center

Dr. Raymond F. Schinazi’s inventions sell more than $2 billion per year, and more than 94% of HIV-infected individuals take at least one of the drugs he invented. It is estimated that his work has saved more than 3 million lives worldwide. He is a world leader in the area of nucleoside chemistry and the founder of several biotechnology companies focusing on antiviral drug discovery and development. He founded Pharmasset Inc. (which Gilead acquired in 2012 for $11.4 billion), Triangle Pharmaceuticals (which Gilead acquired in 2003 for $482 million), Idenix Pharmaceuticals (51% of which Novartis acquired in 2003), ActivBiotics Pharma, LLC, and RFS Pharma LLC. Research at his lab in Emory University, where he is a professor, focuses on developing treatments for infections caused by HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, XMRV, herpes and dengue fever viruses. These treatment options include antiviral agents as well as synthetic, biochemical, pharmacological and molecular genetic approaches, including molecular modeling and gene therapy. Dr. Schinazi served on the President’s Commission on the HIV Epidemic and is currently working on a cure for HIV/AIDS.


Karen Bernstein, PhD

Chairman and Editor-in-Chief

Karen has been writing and publishing on biotechnology since 1987. She holds a PhD in political science from Stanford University, and a BA in politics and history from Brandeis University, where she now is a member of the Brandeis University Science Advisory Council. She also is on the board of trustees of the Keck Graduate Institute. In 1996, Karen and Co-Founder, President & CEO David Flores were honored with the Special Recognition Award given by the annual gathering of biotechnology chief executive officers at The Biotech Meeting in Laguna Niguel, California, citing BioCentury’s ongoing contributions to the industry. In 2005, The Biotech Meeting CEOs inducted Karen into their Hall of Fame, citing her lifetime contribution to the biotech community. In 2007, Karen received a Special Recognition award at the American Liver Foundation’s Salute to Excellence, honoring individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to biotechnology and medical innovation.


David Flores

Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Flores has devoted more than 20 years developing information products for biotechnology executives and investors. He is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and holds an MBA from Stanford University. David is a member of the Advisory Board of the Innovation and New Ventures Office (INVO) at Northwestern University and a member of the Advisory Council of the Keck Graduate Institute of the Applied Life Sciences. Mr. Flores also has served as a member of the Stanford Graduate School of Business Management Board. In 1996, Mr. Flores and BioCentury Co-Founder, Chairman & Editor-in-Chief Karen Bernstein were honored with the Special Recognition Award given by the annual gathering of biotechnology chief executive officers in Laguna Niguel, California, citing BioCentury’s ongoing contributions to the industry.