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Panelist Info


Leslie Taito

Chief Executive Officer, RI Manufacturing Extension Services (RIMES)

Leslie Taito

Leslie has over twenty two years of experience in the service and manufacturing industries. Early on in her career, she served as the sales and marketing manager for firms in the industrial and medical products industries. Over the past sixteen years, Leslie has held leadership positions with three non-profit organizations. She was the Director of Operations for the Greater Rhode Island Regional Employment and Training Board (GRIRETB), the Executive Director of the Rhode Island Manufacturers Association (RIMA) and is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the Rhode Island Manufacturing Extension Services, Inc. (RIMES). RIMES supports the sustainability and growth of the Rhode Island Manufacturing community with technical engineering and continuous improvement services to improve the competitive position of the industry. Leslie currently serves as a member of the board of directors for the Northern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce and the Small Business Loan Fund Corporation. Previously she has served as a Commissioner for the Community College of Rhode Island's 21st Century Workforce Commission, Board Chair for the North Kingstown Chamber of Commerce and was a member of the Rhode Island School to Career - Region II Board of Directors. Leslie is also a volunteer for the Air National Guard's Family Readiness Program - 143rd Airlift Wing.



Umberto Crenca

Founding Artistic Director, AS220

Umberto Crenca

Umberto Crenca is the founder and artistic director of AS220, a nonprofit center for the arts in Providence, Rhode Island. AS220 was established in 1985 to provide a local forum for the arts. Crenca has been committed to the revitalization of downtown, and plays an important role in community efforts across the region. He served on Providence Mayor Cicilline's Arts, Culture, and Tourism Advisory Board and currently sits on the board of Providence's Downtown Improvement District (DID). Broad Street Studio, AS220's youth arts program, also established by Crenca, continues to serve and support youth transitioning out of state care. A visual and performing artist with a long exhibition history, Crenca has been an artist in residence at the New England Center for Contemporary Arts in Brooklyn, Connecticut, and had four solo shows at AS220, and solo exhibits at the Galleria Del Corso, Latina, Italy, and the Newport Art Museum, Newport, RI. His work is in the permanent collections of both The Museum of Art at Rhode Island School of Design and the Newport Art Museum. In 2010, RIC awarded him the Charles B. Willard Professional Achievement Award for his commitment to the arts, education, and the community.



Paul J. Hastings

President and Chief Executive Officer

Paul J. Hastings

Mr. Hastings brings more than 20 years of experience as a biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry executive. He has served as President and CEO of OncoMed Pharmaceuticals since January 2006. Prior to joining OncoMed, Mr. Hastings was President and Chief Executive Officer of QLT, Inc. Previous to that, Mr. Hastings served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Axys Pharmaceuticals, which was acquired by Celera Corporation in 2001. From 1999 to 2001, Mr. Hastings served as the President of Chiron BioPharmaceuticals, a division of Chiron Corporation. Prior to that, he was President and Chief Executive Officer of LXR Biotechnology. Mr. Hastings also held a series of management positions of increasing responsibility at Genzyme Corporation, including serving as President of Genzyme Therapeutics Europe as well as President of Worldwide Therapeutics. Mr. Hastings also served as Vice President, Marketing and Sales and General Manager, Europe for Synergen, Inc., and previously held a series of marketing and sales management positions with Hoffmann-La Roche. Mr Hastings was recently Chairman of the Board of Proteolix (sold to Onyx Pharmaceuticals in 2009), and served on the boards of ViaCell (sold to Perkin-Elmer in 2008), and Cerimon Pharmaceuticals. He is currently Chairman of the Board of the Bay Area Biosciences Association (Bay Bio) and serves on the executive committee of the board of directors of the Biotechnology Industry Association. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in pharmacy from the University of Rhode Island.



Moderator

Nasser H. Zawia, Ph.D

Interim Dean of the URI Graduate School

Nasser H. Zawia, Ph.D

Dr Zawia is a tenured Full Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology. He had served as the Assistant Director of the Rhode Island Biomedical Research Infrastructure Network (2001-2004) and Chair of the University of Rhode Island Research Council (2003-2004). He was an Assistant Professor at the University of Sana'a, Yemen and at Meharry Medical College in Nashville Tennessee. Dr. Zawia obtained his Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Toxicology from the University of California, his MS in Pharmacology and Physiology from Loma Linda University, and his BS in Biochemistry from the University of Massachusetts. He received postdoctoral training at the National Institute of Health (NIH). His current research is focused on environmental risk factors for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease. He was responsible for demonstrating a developmental-basis for AD and is a leader in the epigenetics of AD. His work has been featured by the national and international media such ABC News, CBS, and CNN. He has also patented a novel drug for the treatment of AD. He has published more than 60 papers and book chapters and has edited a book on Molecular Toxicology. His research has been supported by millions of dollars from the NIH, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Environmental protection Agency (EPA). He serves as a reviewer on many international journals and funding agencies as well as on the editorial board of the Journal of NeuroToxicology and the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease (JAD).

Poster Presentation

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