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Global Entrepreneurship Week

Global Entrepreneurship Week

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Careers & Entrepreneurship in the Sciences: Challenges and Opportunities in the Age of Global Pandemics

Ohio University proudly participates in Global Entrepreneurship Week, the world's largest celebration of the innovators and job creators who launch startups that bring ideas to life, drive economic growth, and expand human welfare.

In 2020, there has been no more important, tragic, or transcendent issue than the COVID-19 global pandemic. It has impacted every person on earth and infiltrated most social, political, and business topics. This event will bring together students, educators, scientists, and industry executives and entrepreneurs from around the globe to discuss theses issues.

Join us virtually for our second annual Careers & Entrepreneurship in the Sciences event, hosted by the Center for Entrepreneurship, College of Arts and Sciences Department of Biology, the Corporate Engagement Office, and TechGROWTH Ohio. This week of events will feature scientists, industry executives and entrepreneurs to discuss challenges and opportunities created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Who should attend:

  • Students who enjoy science but do not intend to go to health care provider professions
  • Students who are engineers and/or are business-minded
  • Entrepreneurs and inventors in the industry


Schedule of Events

Pandemic Preparedness and Response Panel

Wednesday, November 18
4 p.m.
Virtual event via Zoom

Pandemics are inevitable. Have you ever wondered how the federal government prepares for the challenges of large public health crises related to viral pandemics? Curious how a company that develops tests for infectious diseases pivots to developing products for emerging threats in record time? This panel will shine a light on the inner workings of key government pandemic response functions and provide insights into how COVID-19 has driven potentially permanent business processes changes within companies that are rapidly bringing tools to market to fight the pandemic. 



Karen Gibson

Karen Gibson

A recognized industry leader with over 30 years of digital leadership in life sciences, Karen Gibson is passionate about improving healthcare. Karen is currently the SVP, Digital Health for Quidel, a $1B global point-of-care diagnostics company.  Formerly the CIO for McKesson’s Specialty Health division, Karen’s team provided all IT services for an integrated network of over 500 community-based oncology clinics, specialty pharmacies, and diagnostic laboratories.  Karen holds a B.S. in Computer Technology from Purdue University, as well as an M.B.A. from Ohio University.     

Robert Huebner, Ph.D.

Robert Huebner, Ph.D.

Dr. Robert Huebner, Principal Consultant of Latham BioPharm Group, is an experienced biotechnology program manager with over thirty years of research experience with viral and microbiological pathogens and expertise in the vaccine industry, group management, and program management. Throughout his career, he has worked for a variety of organizations, large pharma companies, government agencies, and a contract research organization, holding positions of increasing responsibility at each. At the Latham BioPharm Group (LBG), he supports both commercial and US Government funded programs as a subject matter expert on biopharmaceutical development, analytics and program management. Prior to joining LBG, Dr. Huebner worked at the Biomedical Research and Development Authority (BARDA) of the Department of Health and Human Services where he held several positions including Acting Director of the Influenza Division, Deputy Director and Chief of Universal Influenza Vaccine Development. Dr. Huebner received a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and Microbiology from Tufts University in Boston, MA and a B.S. in Biology from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA.

Calvin James

Calvin James, Ph.D.

Dr. James is an associate professor of biomedical sciences in the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine at Ohio University, as well as the interim director of the Diabetes Institute. His research interest is focused on understanding the role of various virus-specific genes in their replication and the consequences on infected cells/host. Dr. James has studied adenoviruses, and more recently coxsackieviruses as a trigger for type 1 diabetes, with a focus on how the host anti-virus response to this virus leads to insulitis (an inflammatory response that damages the insulin producing beta cells) in the pancreas.

John Lewis

John Lewis, Moderator 

John F. Lewis, Jr., BioOhio President and CEO, is a fourth generation Ohioan, his family tracing Ohio roots to the mid 1800s. He is a licensed attorney with experience in international business, venture capital investments and economic development. Now in his 20th year with BioOhio, he is an amazing resource for bioscience companies.  John was a founding partner of the First Fifty Fund and Ohio TechAngel Fund both based in Columbus, and has helped raise nearly $1 billion for Ohio bioscience entities. He is a proud graduate of Bexley HS, Miami (Ohio) University and Capital University Law School.

Entrepreneurship and Innovation Arising out of a Global Pandemic

Thursday, November 19
4 p.m.
Virtual event via Zoom

This panel will highlight recent examples of exciting new businesses that are creating solutions to some of the problems and risks inherent in the COVID-19 pandemic. Successful entrepreneurs (and their investors) address serious problems or needs of large markets. The need for innovation and unique solutions is omnipresent throughout the world and immediate, offering a unique market opportunity. Listen in as several entrepreneurs talk about technologies and companies taking on problems or needs borne of the pandemic. 



Rob Painter

Rob Painter

Rob Painter is Chief Operating Officer and Cofounder of I2Pure Corp., and also is founder and Managing Partner of Fermented Innovations, a boutique consultancy focused on advising, investing in, and founding dual-use and emerging technology businesses.  Mr. Painter was a founding partner at Razor’s Edge Ventures, an early to growth-stage venture capital fund focused on investing in businesses of value to the U.S. Defense and Intelligence Community.  Mr. Painter is a Senior Fellow and special advisor to the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) and serves as a Fellow and Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) of the Ohio University Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service. Mr. Painter is a cum laude graduate of Ohio University and was a recognized recipient of Ohio University’s Konneker Medal for Commercialization and Entrepreneurship in 2018.

Douglas Spitz 

Douglas Spitz 

Douglas Spitz is the President and CEO of I2Pure Corp. I2Pure is a Biotechnology company specializing in the use and formulation of molecular iodine. I2Pure has been able to stabilize molecular iodine without the presence of complexing agents and other iodine species. Prior to I2Pure, Mr. Spitz was the President of PerformanceNet Management Group. PerformanceNet delivered a broad diversity of emerging, innovative technologies to the U.S. federal government.  Mr. Spitz served in the U.S. Army for 8 years in both active reserve and reserve officer posts in the Chemical Corps.  He is a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute with a B.A. in economics.

Amanda Epp

Amanda Epp

Amanda Epp is CEO and Founding Team Member of ScriptDrop, a fast growing healthcare IT platform that provides medication access to patients through their technology. Before joining the ScriptDrop community, Amanda rose through the ranks at CoverMyMeds, a healthcare IT company that sold for more than 1 billion dollars to McKesson Corporation in 2017. As one of CoverMyMeds’ first employees, Amanda played an integral role in the company’s exponential growth during her eight-year tenure, and eventually became Director of New Product Implementation. Amanda kicked off her healthcare career soon after earning her undergraduate degree in Healthcare Administration from Ohio University. Later, Amanda went on to obtain her MBA from Franklin University

Laura Brege

Laura Brege, Moderator 

Laura A. Brege is a Senior Advisor to BridgeBio Pharma (BBIO), a public clinical stage biotechnology company developing novel, genetically targeted therapies.  Previously she was the CEO of Nodality, Inc., a private company focused on innovative personalized medicine. Prior to joining Nodality Ms. Brege was EVP and COO of Onyx Pharmaceuticals, an oncology biotechnology company (ONXX sold to Amgen Pharmaceuticals). Before joining Onyx, Ms. Brege was a General Partner at Red Rock Ventures. a venture capital firm specializing in early stage financing for technology companies.  Prior to Red Rock, she was the SVP and CFO of COR Therapeutics, a public biotechnology company (CORR sold to Millenium Pharmaceuticals) specializing in cardiovascular disease.  Earlier in her career, Ms. Brege served as CFO of Flextronics, (FLEX) a global technology manufacturer and Treasurer of The Cooper Companies (COO). Ms. Brege currently serves on the Board of Directors of several public life science companies including Acadia Pharmaceuticals (ACAD) Portola Pharmaceuticals (PTLA), Pacira Pharmaceuticals (PCRX) and Mirum Pharmaceuticals (MIRM).  She is also Chair of international non profit educational organization, CIEE.   Ms. Brege earned a B.A. from Ohio University (Honors Tutorial College) and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago.


Center for Entrepreneurship