302-831-7266 info@de-ideas.org

Breakout Sessions

Breakout sessions at the symposium are meant to foster engagement and continue discussion based on your area of interest. Please see the session titles below.

(Times and locations of these may change, dependent on space and registration counts.)

1. Data Science and Precision Medicine

1:00-1:05pm Opening Remarks: Dr. Cathy Wu

1:05-1:45pm Precision Medicine & Data Science Panel (Drs. Gripp, Duong, Conaty-Buck, Brockmeier, Papas)

1:45-1:50pm Keynote Introduction: Dr. Shawn Polson

1:50-2:30pm Precision Medicine Keynote: Dr. Greg Gibson

To facilitate IDeA capacity building for team science in precision medicine, this breakout session aims to foster interactions and collaborations between data scientists and biomedical researchers across Delaware partner organizations to inspire the development and application of cutting-edge data science approaches for knowledge discovery in genomic medicine, development of molecular diagnostic, and holistic analysis of biological, lifestyle and environmental data in precision medicine.

Intended audience
Our intended audience will be faculty, students, working professionals and government officials who are interested in fields where biomedicine, precision medicine, health informatics, and data science intersect.


  • Cathy Wu, PhD
    • Unidel Edward G. Jefferson Chair in Engineering and Computer Science Professor, Computer & Information Sciences, University of Delaware
    • Professor, Biological Sciences, University of Delaware
    • Director, Center for Bioinformatics & Computational Biology (CBCB)
    • Director, Data Science Institute (DSI)
    • Email:  wuc@udel.edu 

Cathy Wu serves as the founding director of the University of Delaware Data Science Institute, a hub for interdisciplinary research, collaboration and excellence that fosters data-driven discoveries and innovations to address challenges in the fields of business, communications, personalized medicine and others.  Dr. Wu is an internationally acclaimed pioneer in bioinformatics, which uses computing to extract meaning from large amounts of biological data. She has been recognized as a pioneer in data science applications that serve the public good, an extraordinary force for collaboration and an exemplary leader. She leads global genomic databases and serves on advisory councils at the National Institutes of Health.  Through her discoveries and data mining techniques, Dr. Wu is helping the scientific community hone in on gene therapies to treat human disease, among other advances. She has been recognized as one of the world’s most influential scholars, with her work cited more than 28,000 times by other researchers.


Precision Medicine Keynote Speaker

Precision Medicine Session Chair

  • Shawn Polson, PhD
    • Associate Professor & Director, Bioinformatics Core Facility
    • University of Delaware
    • Email: polson@dbi.udel.edu

Precision Medicine Panelist

  • Karen Gripp, MD
    • Division Chief of Clinical Genetics
    • Medical Director of the Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory
    • Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children
    • Email: Karen.Gripp@nemours.org

Precision Medicine Panelist

  • Benjamin Duong, PharmD

Data Science Panelist

  • Susan Conaty-Buck, PhD
    • Assistant Professor, School of Nursing
    • Faculty Council, Data Science Institute, University of Delaware
    • Email: sconaty@udel.edu

Data Science Panelist

  • Austin Brockmeier, PhD
    • Assistant Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
    • Assistant Professor, Computer and Information Sciences
    • Resident Faculty, Data Science Institute, University of Delaware
    • Email: ajbrock@udel.edu

Data Science Panelist

2. NIH Research Enhancement Award (R15)

The NIH Research Enhancement Award (R15) Program will be reviewed. This program is designed to stimulate research at educational institutions that provide baccalaureate training for a significant number of the nation’s research scientists but that have not been major recipients of NIH support. Awards provide funding for small-scale, new, or ongoing health-related meritorious research projects, enhancing the research environment at eligible institutions and exposing students to research opportunities.


  1. Review the fundamental components of the R15 program
  2. Enhance attendee capacity to operationalize key program attributes.   
  3. Discuss with attendees various opportunities to engage the R15 program.


Intended Audience
Faculty, students and administrators of R15 eligible institutions.


  • Alexandra Ainsztein, Ph.D.
    • Program Director, Division of Genetics and Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology (GMCDB)
    • National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
    • National Institutes of Health
    • Email: ainsztea@nigms.nih.gov
    • Phone: 301-594-3832

Alexandra Ainsztein, Ph.D., is a program director in the Division of Genetics and Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, She administers research grants in the areas of chromosome and nuclear structures, motor proteins, cytoskeletal filaments, and intracellular transport. She is the NIGMS point of contact for the Academic Research Enhancement Awards (AREA) (R15) program. Ainsztein is a biochemist and cell biologist whose research focused on the microtubule cytoskeleton, centromeres, and cytokinesis. Prior to joining NIGMS, she served as a scientific review officer in the NIH Center for Scientific Review from 2001-2010. At NIGMS she has managed a portfolio on membrane trafficking and organelle biogenesis; she was both the program director and scientific liaison for several grants in the NIGMS Protein Structure Initiative; and has managed the Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE program). Ainsztein earned a B.A. in biochemistry from Brandeis University and a Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology from the University of Florida. She conducted postdoctoral research at Johns Hopkins University, the University of Edinburgh, and NIH’s National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.


  • Malcolm D’Souza 
    • Professor of Chemistry and Dean of Interdisciplinary/Collaborative Sponsored Research
    • Wesley College
    • Email: malcolm.dsouza@wesley.edu    
    • Phone: (302) 736-2528

Dr. D’Souza’s research focus is physical organic chemistry, and he contributes to projects, presentations, and publications in the areas of chemometrics, STEM education, obesity studies, and in the design of commercial databases that assist in the development of new pharmaceutical and agricultural products. He has been recognized for his accomplishments in teaching, mentoring and helped to establish Wesley College’s STEM Undergraduate Research – Center for Analytics, Talent and Success (UR-CATS), which helps build a STEM capable workforce with increased participation from women and underrepresented minorities.

3. DE-IDeAs PI/PC Meeting

NIH established the Institutional Development Award (IDeA) Program in 1993 to enhance biomedical research activities in states that have had historically low NIH grant funding success rates. The program currently supports competitive research in 23 states and Puerto Rico. Award components include: Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE), IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE), IDeA-Clinical and Translational Research (CTR) and Co-funding awards.

Goals: The goal of the Delaware IDeAs PI/PC meeting is to engage current and emerging Principal Investigators (PIs) and Program Coordinators (PCs) in dialogue regarding strategic approaches to address the many opportunities offered by the IDeA program and related challenges.

Intended Audience: This meeting is open to current IDeA mechanism PIs and PCs and any person considering a future leadership role of an IDeA award mechanism.


Rafael Gorospé M.D., Ph.D.
Medical Officer, Division for Research Capacity Building
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
National Institutes of Health
Email: gorospejr@mail.nih.gov
Phone: 301-435-0832

Rafael Gorospé M.D., Ph.D., is a medical officer in the Division for Research Capacity Building (DRCB), where he administers Institutional Development Award (IDeA) program grants.  The Institutional Development Award (IDeA) program builds research capacities in states that historically have had low levels of NIH funding by supporting basic, clinical, and translational research; faculty development; and infrastructure improvements. The program also enhances the ability of investigators to compete successfully for additional research funding and serves the research needs of medically underserved communities.

Irina Krasnova, Ph.D.

Irina Krasnova, Ph.D., is a program director in the Division for Research Capacity Building, where she manages Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) and Support of Competitive Research (SCORE) grants. Before joining NIGMS, Krasnova was a staff scientist in the Molecular Neuropsychiatry Research Branch at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, where she conducted and supervised research projects on drug addiction and neurotoxicity. Formerly, she was a research scientist in the Department of Molecular Neurobiology at the Institute of the Human Brain in Russia. Krasnova earned a B.S. in analytical chemistry and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from St. Petersburg State University in Russia.


Kathleen S. Matt, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Health Sciences
University of Delaware
Email: ksmatt@udel.edu
Phone: 302-831-8370

Kathleen (Kathy) S. Matt, PhD has served as the dean of UD’s College of Health Sciences since 2009. As dean she has been instrumental in developing the Health Sciences Complex on the Science, Technology, and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus.  Dr. Matt served as the executive director of the Delaware Health Sciences Alliance (DHSA) for 8 years– a 501(c)3 involving Christiana Care Health System, Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Thomas Jefferson University (TJU) and the University of Delaware – and co-director of UD’s health education partnership with TJU. In these capacities she facilitated a broad range of collaborative activities including joint educational programs and faculty appointments, research and educational grant programs, and regional conferences focused on healthcare research, education and delivery. As a Delaware native Dr. Matt earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology from UD and received her PhD in endocrine physiology from the University of Washington, Seattle.  Prior to coming to UD, Dr. Matt served as the Associate Vice President for Clinical Partnerships and Research Infrastructure at Arizona State University and co-led the Mayo-ASU partnership. She was a Congressional Fellow in the Senate in Washington, DC and worked on Patient’s Bill of Rights, and Home Health Legislation.

4. The Science of Team Science (SciTS)

The SciTS breakout session will bring together science practitioners, scholars, and providers from a broad range of disciplines to review the latest evidence-based methods in team collaboration and transdisciplinary science. The science of team science involves the combining of conceptual and methodologic strategies aimed at understanding and enhancing the outcomes of large-scale collaborations. The field has grown substantially in recent years, largely in response to growing concerns about the cost effectiveness of public- and private-sector investments in team-based science and training initiatives. (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2008.05.002)


  1. Introduce session participants to the SciTS field.
  2. Review key attributes of successful partnerships and collaborations.
  3. Explore opportunities to leverage SciTS concepts to advance Delaware’s biomedical research network.  

Intended Audience:  Senior administrators, investigators, students, and policymakers. Anyone interested in improving collaborative research and discovery is welcome!


Kara L. Hall, Ph.D.
Director, Science of Team Science Team
Director, Theories Initiative, Health Behaviors Research Branch
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
National Institutes of Health
Email: hallka@mail.nih.gov
Phone: 240-276-6831

Dr. Hall helped launch the SciTS field in 2006 and has since provided continued leadership for the SciTS field through various roles at the national and international level. She has focused on advancing the SciTS field by developing new metrics, measures, and models for understanding and evaluating transdisciplinary research, collaboration, and training.  She aims to facilitate team science programs and projects by advancing organizational supports (e.g., tenure and promotion policies), using innovative grant mechanisms, and developing tools to support scientists engaging in and studying team science. 


Mary M. Lee, MD, FAAP
Enterprise Vice President and Physician-in-Chief for Delaware Valley Operations
Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children
Email:  mary.lee@nemours.org
Phone: 302-651-5901

Dr. Mary M. Lee was appointed Enterprise Vice President and Physician-in-Chief for Nemours Delaware Valley Operations in April 2018. Her medical leadership role includes responsibilities for Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Nemours hospitalists serving affiliated hospitals, as well as physician practices throughout Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland. In December 2018, Dr. Lee assumed additional responsibilities when appointed Chief Scientific Officer and Head of Research for the enterprise. She is one of the most accomplished academic physicians ever recruited to Nemours and a recognized national leader in pediatric research. Prior to joining Nemours, Dr. Lee served as Physician-in-Chief, and Professor and Stoddard Chair of Pediatrics at UMass Memorial Children’s Medical Center and University of Massachusetts Medical School. Dr. Lee also previously served as Vice Chair of Faculty Affairs in the Department of Pediatrics and Chief of Pediatric Endocrinology at the University of Massachusetts; and she has held faculty positions at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School and Duke University Medical School. Dr. Lee received her MD from SUNY-Buffalo School of Medicine, was an Intern and Resident in Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, a Fellow in Pediatric Endocrine and Metabolism at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and a Research Fellow with the Pediatric Surgery Developmental Biology Laboratories at Massachusetts General Hospital.

5. Bioimaging Resources for Scientists and Students

Session attendees will receive an overview of the remarkable capabilities of an array of state-of-the-art imaging tools available to Delaware investigators and students.

Goals: To provide an overview of the imaging capabilities and the research activities in imaging within the DE-INBRE network

Intended audience: Scientists and researchers – students, faculty members, postdoctoral fellows, professionals- who use imaging in their work and projects.


Jeffrey L. Caplan
Associate Professor at University of Delaware
Director of Bioimaging Center at Delaware Biotechnology Institute
Email: jcaplan@udel.edu
Phone: 302-831-3403

Dr. Caplan’s primary expertise is in confocal microscopy techniques, which includes point scanning confocal microscopy, multi-photon microscopy, spectral confocal microscopy, and high-speed line scanning confocal microscopy. He provides guidance with all aspects of experiments, including initial experimental design, sample preparation and technical assistance during imaging. Furthermore, he assists with advanced techniques, such as environmentally controlled live-cell imaging, FRAP, FRET, BiFC, photoactivation, 4D imaging and image processing. In addition to confocal microscopy, Dr. Caplan has expertise in conventional light microscopy, laser capture microdissection and cryo scanning electron microscopy.

John SlaterSlater John
Assistant Professor at University of Delaware
Email: jhslater@udel.edu
Phone: 302-831-6541

The Slater Lab focuses on the development and implementation of new fabrication methodologies to create biomimetic patterned surfaces and 3D multicellular constructs that allow for precise control over the presentation of both biophysical and biochemical cues that can be tuned to elicit desired cellular traits. The lab is applying these highly structured biomaterials to a number of topics including the recapitulation of desired cellular phenotypes, reduction of cellular heterogeneity in culture, lineage-specific stem cell differentiation, and development of high-throughput drug screening models. 

Thomas A. PlanchonThomas Planchon
Associate Professor, Department of Physics and Engineering
Optical Science Center for Applied Research (OSCAR)
Delaware State University
Email: tplanchon@desu.edu
Phone: 302-857-6526

The focus of Dr. Planchon’s research group is the development of novel instrumentation using the numerous properties of light. More particularly, their goal is to create the next generation of optical imaging tools for biological research, working closely with biological researchers to go beyond the “proof-of-principle” demonstration, and have a real impact on biological and biomedical research for the benefit of society.

6. NIH Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA)

The Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) R25 program will be explored in detail. SEPA funds innovative pre-kindergarten to grade 12 (P–12) science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and Informal Science Education (ISE), out of the classroom, educational projects that (1) enhance the training of a workforce to meet the nation’s biomedical, behavioral and clinical research needs, and (2) foster a better understanding of NIH-funded biomedical, behavioral and clinical research and its public health implications.  SEPA projects create partnerships among biomedical and clinical researchers and teachers and schools, museums and science centers, media experts, and other educational organizations. SEPA P–12 resources target state and national P–12 standards for STEM teaching and learning and are rigorously evaluated for effectiveness.  

This workshop will also discuss the SEPA-related SBIR/STTR program that supports the development of interactive digital media STEM resources.


  1. Review the fundamental components of the SEPA and SEPA SBIR/STTR programs
  2. Enhance attendee capacity to operationalize key program resources.   
  3. Discuss with attendees various funding and collaborative opportunities to engage the SEPA program.

Intended Audience:  Biomedical and clinical researchers and pre-kindergarten to grade 12 (P-12) pre-service and in-service teachers, schools, and employees at other interested organizations as well as small business concerns (SBCs) interested in SBIR/STTR funding. 


Tony Beck, Ph.D.
Program Director, Division for Research Capacity Building
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
National Institutes of Health
Email: beckl@mail.nih.gov Phone: 301-480-4623

Tony Beck, Ph.D., is a program director in the Division for Research Capacity Building, where he manages the Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) program that supports pre-K to grade 12 diversity pipeline projects and health-related exhibits at science centers and museums. Beck also manages the SBIR/STTR Serious STEM Interactive Digital Media program and the NIH Curriculum Supplement Series. Prior to joining NIGMS, Beck managed science education projects in the Office of Research Infrastructure Programs and in the former National Center for Research Resources, where he also managed Clinical and Translational Science Awards and human embryonic stem cell infrastructure programs. He started his NIH career in 2000 as a scientific review officer at NIAAA, and he worked for three Maryland area biotechnology companies before coming to NIH. Beck earned a B.A. and M.S. in biological sciences at the University of California, Riverside, and a Ph.D. in cell and molecular biology from the University of California, Irvine. He conducted postdoctoral research in Denver at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and the Eleanor Roosevelt Institute for Cancer Research in Denver.


Hacene Boukari, PhD
Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Program
Department of Physics and Engineering
Delaware State University
Email: hboukari@desu.edu Phone: 302-857-6511

Dr. Boukari’s current work focuses on 1) developing and applying spectroscopic and imaging techniques to investigate the behavior of biological nanoparticles in complex systems and their role in diseases, and on 2) applying statistical-based tools and machine learning methods in data analytics, including medical data. Before joining DSU in 2010, he held several positions, including Director of Imaging at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Senior Scientist at NICHD/NIH, Guest Researcher at NIST, and Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Maryland where he received his PhD degree in Chemical Physics.  He has worked on diverse projects, including understanding the thermal properties of supercritical fluids in microgravity, designing and building a fluorescence-based microscope to investigate in-situ interactions of biopolymers and live-cells, probing movements and interactions of nanoparticles in complex biopolymeric systems, and analyzing and assessing data of children affected by Leukemia, recently.  At DSU, he has been striving to integrate research and education by motivating undergraduates to join research teams at DSU (> 50 students) or research-intensive academic institutions and federal laboratories (> 30 students at NIH, NASA, and DoE), strengthening the imaging facility at DSU for use by students and researchers, developing interdisciplinary courses in bioengineering and data science and organizing workshops, and engaging K-12 students in STEM disciplines with the use of imaging techniques. 

7. Training and Workforce Development and Diversity

This breakout session will introduce attendees to the array of NIGMS resources that support the training of the biomedical research workforce. NIGMS supports programs that foster research training and the development of a strong and diverse biomedical research workforce through a variety of programs at the undergraduate, graduate, postdoctoral, and faculty levels. Interactive portions of the session will look to match attendees with mechanisms that fit their academic and training needs.


  1. Introduce session participants to the array of resources that support training, workforce development and foster diversity. 
  2. Review key characteristics of select programs.
  3. Actively engage session participants to connect them with appropriate resources.  

Intended Audience:  Students, faculty and academic administrators across the broad spectrum of academic programs (undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral) are encouraged to attend.  


Alison Gammie, Ph.D.
Director, Division of Training, Workforce Development and Diversity
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
National Institutes of Health
Email: alison.gammie@nih.gov
Phone: 301-827-7616

Alison Gammie, Ph.D., is the Director of the NIGMS Division of Training, Workforce Development, and Diversity (TWD). TWD is the focal point for NIGMS programs aimed at developing a strong and diverse biomedical research workforce. Dr. Gammie received a B.A. from Reed College in Biology and a Ph.D. from the Oregon Health & Sciences University. She was initially a Jane Coffin Childs Postdoctoral Fellow and eventually a Senior Lecturer at Princeton University. While at Princeton, in addition to teaching, mentoring and running a research laboratory, she served as an academic advisor, an Associate Member at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, and the Director of Diversity Programs & Graduate Recruiting. Honors include Princeton’s President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching, the Graduate Mentoring Award and the American Society for Microbiology Hinton Award for advancing the research careers of under-represented minorities.


Kathy Janvier, Ph.D.
Vice President & Campus Director, Stanton Campus
Delaware Technical Community College
Email: kathy.janvier@dtcc.edu
Phone: 302-454-3963

Dr. Kathy A. Janvier is the Vice President and Campus Director at the Stanton Campus of Delaware Technical Community College. Dr. Janvier began her career at Delaware Tech as an instructor in the associate degree nursing program at the Stanton Campus receiving the Delaware Tech Excellence in Teaching Award. She held several progressive leadership positions including department chair, instructional director and dean. In 2013, Dr. Janvier was appointed to her current position and has supported College initiatives to address workforce needs in Delaware, including the development of an RN to BSN program. Dr. Janvier currently serves on the board of directors of the Christiana Care Visiting Nurse Association and on the Delaware Center for Health Innovation (DCHI) board of directors. She represents the College on the Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) Steering Committee and serves as the fiduciary board chair for the Delaware Manufacturing Extension Partnership (DEMEP). Dr. Janvier received the University of Delaware, School of Nursing Alumni Award in recognition of professional excellence.  She earned a BSN and master’s degree in Nursing, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Family Studies from the University of Delaware.

8. Entrepreneur and Small Business Resources

This breakout session will introduce attendees to an array of resources available to Delaware’s entrepreneurs and small business. While how to start a business in Delaware and the NIH/NIGMS Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs will be highlighted, representatives from a number of programs (DRIVEN, I-Trep, SBDC/OEIP, DISI, and Horn) will present and questions will be addressed during a panel session.


  1. Introduce session participants to the array of resources available to Delaware entrepreneurs.
  2. Review the NIH/NIGMS SBIR/STTR small business grants program.
  3. Actively engage session participants to connect them with appropriate resources.  

6:00-6:30pm How to Start a Business in Delaware (PPT then Q&A – Mike Rinkunas)
6:30-6:40pm NIH Small Business Grants Program (Dmitriy Krepkiy, Ph.D.)
6:40-6:50pm OEIP/SBDC/DTP (Joy Goswami, Louis Dinetta, Barbara DeHaven)
6:50-7:00pm DRIVEN Accelerator Hub (Julie Coleman, Ph.D.)
7:00-7:10pm Horn Entrepreneurship (Christina Pellicane)
7:10-7:20pm I-Trep Program (Tina Thornton, Ph.D.)
7:20-7:30pm Delaware Innovation Space (Mike Rinkunas)
7:30-8:00pm Panel Discussion (Dr. Korley and resource representatives)

Intended Audience:  Entrepreneurs, future and current leaders of small business are encouraged to attend. The session is geared to address the needs across a broad array of participant categories – from thinking about commercialization paths to fully being engaged in commercialization activities.  Faculty, clinicians, students, and all business focused professionals are welcome.


Topic: NIGMS Small Business Grants (SBIR/STTR Program)

NIGMS has set aside funds for a Small Business Innovation Research Program. Grant applications are accepted in the scientific areas for which the Institute provides support. Under this program, awards are intended to:

  • Stimulate technological innovation.
  • Use small business to meet federal research and development needs.
  • Increase private sector commercialization of innovations derived from federal research and development.
  • Foster and encourage participation by socially and economically disadvantaged small business and women-owned business concerns in technological innovation.

Speaker: Dmitriy Krepkiy, Ph.D.
Program Director, Division of Biophysics, Biomedical Technology, and Computational Biosciences (BBCB)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
National Institutes of Health
Email: krepkiyd@mail.nih.gov
Phone: 301-435-0752

In his role at NIGMS, Dr. Krepkiy oversees grants in biomedical technology including research resources. He is also the NIGMS coordinator and point of contact for the Small Business Grants program, which seeks to increase small business participation in federally supported research and development as well as the private-sector commercialization of technology developed with federal support. It does this through the Federal Government’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. 



Topic 1: How to Start a Business in Delaware 

Mr. Rinkunas will introduce the step-by-step mechanics of starting a business in Delaware with a focus on how to de-risk the company concept/business model.

Topic 2: Delaware Innovation Space

Located in Wilmington, Delaware on the world-renowned Experimental Station campus, Delaware Innovation Space is a non-profit that credits the State of Delaware, DuPont, and the University of Delaware as its founding partners.  It is 100,000 square feet of multi-use lab space for the industrial biotech, advanced materials, chemical ingredients, renewable energy, nutrition, and healthcare science-based businesses and ventures. It houses all-inclusive, private lab suites, shared open space, premium lab equipment, hands-on support services, shared use conference rooms, networking events, education, training, mentoring, and more.

Mr. Rinkunas will introduce the step-by-step mechanics of starting a business in Delaware with a focus on how to de-risk the company concept/business model.

Speaker: Mike Rinkunas
Director of Business Acceleration & Client Development
Delaware Innovation Space
Email: mrinkunas@deinnovates.org
Phone: 610-442-3442

In his role as Director of Business Acceleration and Client Development for Delaware Innovation Space, Mike is responsible for the suite of services and resources enabling science driven entrepreneurs to advance their businesses faster.  Prior to joining the Delaware Innovation Space, Mike coached early stage startups on growth, commercialization, and fundraising strategies both in his role at Dreamit Ventures and as an independent advisor. Mike is a lifelong entrepreneur and has founded and led several boutique digital media & marketing companies.


Topic: Office of Economic Innovation & Partnerships (OEIP)

Speaker: Joy Goswami, MBA, RTTP
Assistant Director, Technology Transfer & Corporate Partnerships
Office of Economic Innovation & Partnerships
Email: jgoswami@udel.edu
Phone: 301-831-3547

Dr. Jaideep (Joy) Goswami’s research team at the University of Delaware’s Office of Economic Innovation and Partnerships is focused on empowering innovators and commercializing university research. Goswami is the Assistant Director of Technology Transfer and is active in technology licensing, facilitating startup creation, and university-industry collaborations. He is passionate about the innovation potential between universities and industry R&D.

The Office of Economic Innovation & Partnerships at the University of Delaware uses a unique model centered on long term, productive partnerships, where they facilitate access to space, capital, counsel and connections that empower entrepreneurs and innovators to accelerate their ideas to market, grow their businesses and form partnerships of their own. OEIP is a team with a singular purpose, to support the University of Delaware and the State’s entrepreneurial, technical & business communities to reach new levels of economic development. To create an environment where ideas and innovation thrive, it takes not only time but also an initiative that spans across the University and state. OEIP has contributed to the establishment of the “Entrepreneurial Ecosystem”, which serves as a support system for students, faculty and researchers. The ultimate goal of these efforts with the interdisciplinary collaboration is creating a growing stream of high-quality new business ideas, which will be aided by the establishment of a portfolio of cross-listed academic programs and an increase in the awareness and involvement of faculty and students alike to entrepreneurial activities.



Topic: Delaware Small Business Development Center 

Speaker:  Louis Dinetta


Manager, Technology Business Development
Delaware Small Business Development Center
Email:  ldinetta@udel.edu
Phone: 302-831-0778

Lou has over 40 years of experience in small business technology companies, published more than 20 technical papers, managed the P&L for research and development organizations, commercialized products and has been a researcher at the University of Delaware’s Institute of Energy Conversion and Vice President, Advanced Products, at AstroPower, Inc. as well as two other startup companies.  He has been a principal investigator or a senior key person on grants and contracts with NIH, DOD, DOE, NASA, NSF, EPA, and USDA including a highly successful Phase III XLERATOR grant with DOE. In addition, Lou is well versed in various forms of government contracting and reporting requirements including DCAA compliant accounting and indirect cost negotiation and is considered a subject matter expert in all areas related to the Small Business Innovation Research program. Lou is an active board member of the Delaware Founders Initiative, and a mentor for the Delaware Sustainable Chemistry Alliance Tech Connect program. His efforts are aimed at growing technology based small businesses and startups by providing guidance for entrepreneurs to develop their products through non-dilutive government funding.

The focus of the Delaware Small Business Development Center (DSBDC), a unit of the University of Delaware’s Office of Economic Innovation and Partnerships (OEIP), is to develop and support entrepreneurship throughout the State of Delaware by working one-on-one with our clients to understand their needs and assist them in a path forward.



Topic: Delaware Technology Park

Speaker:  Barbara DeHaven
Business Development Consultant
Delaware Technology Park Inc.
Email: barbaradehaven@deltechpark.org
Phone:  302-273-3361

Barbara DeHaven is a Business Development Consultant and is currently assisting the Delaware Technology Park as the Incubator Administrator at its STAR campus wet lab space.  She was previously involved with the Delaware Economic Development Office where she held positions as a Business Development Manager, Chemical Market Leader and a Workforce Development Representative. In addition, Ms DeHaven has 20 years of industrial experience, beginning her career in the lab, then moving into manufacturing, quality control and quality assurance. Along the way, she also became a certified secondary science teacher and was involved in training. Ms DeHaven has a varied background in project management, research and testing, quality systems, as well as supply chain auditing. She received her BS in Biology with a minor in  Chemistry from James Madison University in Virginia.

The Delaware Technology Park (DTP) is a recognized leading East Coast non-profit research park, providing development-stage life science, information technology, advanced materials, and renewable energy companies with access to the resources and connections needed to drive and accelerate their economic success. DTP welcomed its first company in 1992. Since its inception, DTP has housed more than 75 companies, including 25 companies that have matured and graduated from the Park. There has been $300 million invested in the Park and an additional $300 million given to DTP organizations through research grants. DTP has helped create more than 16,000 new jobs in the community. The tremendous success of DTP is possible because of its strategic alignment with the State, the University of Delaware, and the private sector, and it is successfully using this partnership model that has won DTP national recognition. In 2005, the Association of University Research Parks (AURP) recognized DTP as the Outstanding Research/Science Park of the Year. Additionally, the U.S. Council on Competitiveness recognized DTP as a model research park for its regional economic development initiatives across the U.S. and Mexico.



Topic: DRIVEN Accelerator Hub 

Speaker:  Julie Coleman, Ph.D
Special Projects Manager
DRIVEN Accelerator Hub
Celdara Medical, LLC
Email: jc@celdaramedical.com
Phone: 617-320-8521

Julie Coleman, Ph.D. is the Program Manager for the recently awarded DRIVEN Grant to Celdara Medical. This grant is designed to create an Accelerator Hub in the Northeast with the goal of bridging the gap between NIH funded research and improved patients outcomes by increasing the number of medical entrepreneurs. With a background in both biomedical science and healthcare consulting, Julie is excited to join the entrepreneurial community in New England. She received a BA in Biology and English from Bowdoin College, followed by a Ph.D. in Neuroscience at Tufts University. For the past two years, Julie was a healthcare consultant at Putnam Associates where she worked on projects across diseases areas and varying stages of development.

The DRIVEN Accelerator Hub is a NIH-funded collaboration between top research institutions in the Northeast and Delaware led by Celdara Medical (the acronym borrows letters from the abbreviations for each of the five states that the hub will serve: Delaware, Rhode Island, Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire). The goal of the DRIVEN Accelerator Hub is to bridge the gap between NIH funded research and improved patient outcomes by increasing the number of medical entrepreneurs and their level of competency. In this vein, the Hub aims to provide the knowledge, skills and training necessary for innovators to become successful entrepreneurs. With the end result of reducing morbidity and mortality nationwide, the program and its initiatives are unique, and have the potential for significant economic and clinical impact.



Topic: Horn Entrepreneurship 

Horn Entrepreneurship serves as the creative engine for entrepreneurship education and advancement at UD. Built and actively supported by successful entrepreneurs, Horn Entrepreneurship empowers aspiring innovators as they pursue new ideas for a better world. Horn Entrepreneurship is committed to supporting student success and cultivating a lifelong community of collaboration, connections and impact. Horn Entrepreneurship combines a personalized approach with lessons learned from successful entrepreneurs and evidence-based best practices. Programs and opportunities are relevant, accessible and available to all students. The Horn educational experience combines hands-on, project-based learning with real world challenges and extensive external engagement. The result is a special program that prepares students to adapt, thrive and lead in entrepreneurial roles with established companies, social ventures and startups. Horn Entrepreneurship is committed to supporting student success and cultivating an inclusive lifelong community of collaboration, connections and impact.

Speaker: Christina Pellicane
Director, Commercialization Programs
Venture Development Center
University of Delaware
Email:  cpell@udel.edu
Phone: 302-831-1607

Christina Pellicane is the Director of Commercialization Programs for the Horn Entrepreneurship Center at the University of Delaware. In this role, she manages several initiatives including a $2M Proof of Concept program, the Horn Venture Mentoring Service and the UD I-Corps Site. Christina is also an independent consultant through her company Antevasin with projects including the U.S. Department of State’s Global Innovation through Science and Technology with VentureWell and The New York Academy of Sciences’ NYSERDA Proof of Concept Center Metrics and Evaluation Project. She is a nationally certified NSF I-CorpsTM Instructor and Lean Launchpad educator at schools and incubators around the world. Previously, Ms. Pellicane served as the Executive Manager of the NYC Regional Innovation Node, funded by the NSF for $3.74M, as the northeast NSF I-CorpsTM Node led by CUNY in partnership with NYU and Columbia. She also served as CUNY’s manager of the PowerBridgeNY program, funded by NYSERDA for $10M. Prior to this, she held positions as a Clinical Business Administrator and Study Monitor at a veterinary clinical research organization, AlcheraBio, and a Research Associate at a biotech startup, Venenum Biodesign. Ms. Pellicane holds a B.S. in Biology and Animal Science from the University of Georgia and a Master of Business and Science with a concentration in Biotechnology and Genomics from Rutgers University.



Topic: I-TREP Program

Dr. Tina Thornton is the coordinator of I-Trep, a UVM initiative that fosters biomedical entrepreneurship in Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, Puerto Rico and Alaska by providing resources and training to biomedical researchers who seek to commercialize their discoveries and by promoting collaboration between those researchers and the biomedical small business community at large. Dr. Thornton earned her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota and her B.S. from the University of South Carolina. She was the Joyce Fox Jordan Postdoctoral Fellow at the Purdue University Cancer Center before moving to Vermont in 2005. 

The I-Trep program provides education and skill development in entrepreneurship in order to facilitate the generation and competitiveness of biomedical businesses and to foster economic growth in IDeA states. Full participation in the I-Trep program is open to faculty and postdoctoral fellows from Alaska, Delaware, Maine, New Hampshire, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Everyone has access to webinars and online resources through free registration at the I-Trep website.

Speaker: Tina Thornton, PhD
I-Trep Coordinator
Assistant Professor, College of Medicine
University of Vermont
Email: tina.thornton@uvm.edu
Phone: 802-656-8180



Topic: DRIVEN Accelerator Hub

The DRIVEN Accelerator Hub is a NIH-funded collaboration between top research institutions in the Northeast  and Delaware led by Celdara Medical. The goal of the DRIVEN Accelerator Hub is to bridge the gap between NIH funded research and improved patient outcomes by increasing the number of medical entrepreneurs and their level of competency. In this vein, the Hub aims to provide the knowledge, skills and training necessary for innovators to become successful entrepreneurs. With the end result of reducing morbidity and mortality nationwide, the program and its initiatives are unique, and have the potential for significant economic and clinical impact. 

Speaker: Julie Coleman, PhD
Celdara Medical
Special Projects Manager
Email: jc@celdaramedical.com




Facilitator: Julius Korley, PhD, MBA
Director of Entrepreneurship and Strategic Partnerships
College of Engineering, University of Delaware
CEO of Affinity Therapeutics
Principal investigator of UD’s DRIVEN Accelerator Hub
Email: korley@udel.edu Phone: 302-831-0840

Dr. Julius N. Korley is a businessperson, entrepreneur and scientist with expertise in several areas of biotechnology, including biomaterial, drug, drug-delivery system and medical-device development. Dr. Korley co-founded biomedical engineering company Affinity Therapeutics and has successfully helped the company raise more than $1 million in non-dilutive funding. Additionally, Dr. Korley leads all fundraising, business development, strategic partnering and licensing activities for Affinity. 

Dr. Korley first developed his business acumen at a startup in Boston and in graduate school at Cornell University, where he and his advisor entered the Big Red Ventures competition to commercialize technology Dr. Korley developed during his Ph.D. studies. Dr. Korley earned his MBA at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University in May 2015. Dr. Korley expects to continue at Affinity and use his new training to drive the company’s projects at varying stages of commercialization.

Dr. Korley currently serves as Director of Entrepreneurship and Strategic Partnerships for College of Engineering (COE) at the University of Delaware. This position focuses on translational research and the commercialization of laboratory technologies developed by COE faculty.

9. IDeA States Pediatric Clinical Trials Network

The breakout session will describe the IDeA States Pediatric Clinical Trials Network established in September 2016, as part of the Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) program. The purpose of ISPCTN, as stated in the original Request for Applications, is: “to provide clinical investigators and their support teams in an Institutional Development Awards Program (IDeA) academic research setting the necessary professional development, infrastructure and capacity building to conduct pediatric clinical trials research for children with a variety of conditions. The IDeA States Pediatric Clinical Trials Network (ISPCTN) is developed to foster study of any diseases and conditions relevant to the pediatric population, but priority is given to the four focus areas of the Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) Program which include: 1) upper and lower airway disease; 2) obesity; 3) pre-, peri-, and postnatal outcomes; and 4) neurodevelopment. 


  1. Describe current ISPCTN clinical trials 
  2. Review capacity building and mentoring, professional development activities, career development for junior/senior investigators in DE 
  3. Review ISPCTN network function, including trial design, evaluation, and implementation 
  4. Review community and patient engagement, with particular interest in involving rural and urban underserved populations 
  5. Engage the IDeA programs in DE (INBRE, COBRE, CTR) in clinical trials 

Intended Audience: Investigators, faculty, students, anyone interested in building pediatric clinical trial collaborations in DE is welcome!


Judith Ross, M.D.
Associate Chair, and Director of Clinical Research
Nemours/duPont Hospital for Children
PI, DE Nemours/AIDHC IDeA States Pediatric Clinical Trials Network Site
Professor of Pediatrics at Thomas Jefferson University
Email: jlross@nemours.org
Phone: (215) 955-1648

Dr. Ross is an experienced, productive, NIH-funded clinical researcher with extensive experience managing pediatric clinical trials and translational research. Her primary responsibilities include overseeing the pediatric clinical research programs at Nemours, mentorship of clinicians, fellows, residents, and students, and integration of pediatric clinical and translational research and training programs into the new paradigms. She has long-standing experience assembling and coordinating experienced research teams and is well equipped to successfully initiate, participate in, and complete projects fostering collaborations between clinical and basic scientists. Dr. Ross has authored over 200 manuscripts and book chapters in the fields of pediatric endocrinology, genetics, and cognition and behavior. 

10. Research Resources for Clinician Scientists

Come learn about resources available to support the development of your research

  • Funding Mechanisms Available through the Delaware INBRE and CTR Networks
  • Accessing Clinical Research Coordinator Assistance
  • Mentoring and Advisory Sessions with Senior Investigators
  • Core Access Awards
  • Professional Development Workshops
  • MRDAs and Beginning and Advanced Level Grant Writing Sessions
  • Networking Opportunities with the Delaware Junior Investigators’ Network


  1. Understand the significant resources available and how to access them.
  2. Decode the alphabet soup of interacting funding and support mechanisms.
  3. Join the Delaware JIN and begin networking with colleagues and potential collaborators.
  4. Register for an opportunity to work with a clinical research coordinator to assist getting your research started.

Intended Audience: Clinician Scientists and Investigators Interested in Collaborating with Clinicians.


Robert E. Akins, Jr, PhD, FAACPDM, FAHA
Head of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Research,
Nemours – Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children
Director of Research, Delaware IDeA Network for Biomedical Research Excellence
Director, Professional Development Core, Delaware Clinical & Translational Research ACCEL Program
Affiliated Professor, University of Delaware Departments of Materials Science & Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, and Biological Sciences
Email: Robert.Akins@nemours.org

Dr. Akins is an accomplished researcher who has worked extensively to integrate translational research into the clinical environment at Nemours. He has established successful, cross-campus, multi-disciplinary research and mentoring programs to support clinical and translational scientists. He serves on multiple editorial boards, scientific advisory committees, and NIH, DoD, VA, and foundation scientific review panels. Research in the highly-collaborative and innovative Akins group includes joint projects with universities and small companies that focus on regenerative medicine and the development of precision therapeutics for children undergoing complex or multiple surgical procedures to correct structural tissue deficits. His research and mentoring efforts have been generously supported by the Nemours Foundation, the National Institutes of Health (NHLBI, NICHD, NCRR, and NIGMS), the American Heart Association, the American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine, the Swank Foundation, the Delaware Bioscience Center for Advanced Technology, and NASA’s Biotechnology and Cell Science Program.

11. Foster Community Engaged Research in DE

Session attendees will receive an overview of Community Engaged Research, what it entails and what opportunities exist for Delaware investigators to become involved.

Goals:   During this presentation we will discuss:

  1.     What is Community Engaged Research (CEnR)?
  2.     How do researchers become involved in CEnR?
  3.     Opportunities for CEnR in the state of Delaware
  4.     Educational (ACE) curriculum, available through DE-CTR ACCEL Program
  5.     Other Resources available for CEnR


Allison Karpyn, PhD
Associate Professor at University of Delaware
Senior Associate Director at Center for Research in Education and Social Policy
Email: karpyn@udel.edu
Phone: 302-831-6428 

Dr. Allison Karpyn is dedicated to supporting underserved communities with research designed to understand the impacts of promising interventions or practices. Her work spans the sectors of education and public health and her expertise centers on best-practices for program research, evaluation and measurement. Dr. Karpyn, in her 18 years of practice, has published widely on program evaluation methods, topics related to school food, supermarket access, healthy corner stores and strategies to develop and maintain farmers’ markets in low income areas and the translation of research to practice. She has over 50 articles published in top peer reviewed journals including the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, The Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition, Health Affairs, Pediatrics, Journal of Agriculture.

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