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Advisory Board

IAMI's Industry Advisory Board is made up of biotechnology executives representing drug, medical device, diagnostics and investment (venture capital) firms who guide investments, patenting, marketing and licensing strategies.

Steven Averbuch, M.D.
John Fisher, M.D.
Lili M. Portilla, M.P.A.
Michael D. Webb, M.A., M.B.A.
Thomas Wiggans, M.B.A.

Steven D. Averbuch, M.D.

Steven D. Averbuch, M.D.

Vice President | Development Oncology and Pharmacodiagnostics for Bristol-Myers Squibb Company

Dr. Averbuch is responsible for the execution of external clinical collaborations for the company's immuno-oncology pipeline. He also leads the Pharmacodiagnostics Center of Excellence, whose mission is to drive biomarker strategy, optimize biomarker knowledge and tools across all of research and development and execute on the integrated co-development and co-commercialization of diagnostic tests as companions to Bristol-Myers Squibb medicines.

Dr. Averbuch joined Bristol-Myers Squibb in 2006. Prior to his current role, he co-led the oncology early strategy team and was the executive sponsor for oncology transition teams for the execution of phase 2 oncology programs. He has made significant global clinical research contributions to business development and has participated in multiple successful licensing and acquisition deals. Dr. Averbuch previously held positions at Merck Research Laboratories, AstraZeneca and Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He received his medical degree and internal medicine training from the University of Illinois, Chicago and his medical oncology training at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland.

Dr. Averbuch has authored more than 60 peer reviewed publications and book chapters and is a co-author on one patent. He is currently on the Personalized Medicine Coalition board of directors, the steering committee of the National Biomarker Development Alliance and has served on multiple committees as a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the American Association for Cancer Research. Dr. Averbuch is the 2014 recipient of the University of Illinois College of Medicine Distinguished Alumnus Award.

John Fisher, M.D.

John Fisher, M.D.

Chief Executive Officer | Biopsy Sciences

After founding Biopsy Sciences in 2001, Dr. Fisher has navigated the company to become a stand-alone, successful medical device company. With angel seed money of $500,000 and several National Institutes of Health Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) phase 1 and phase 2 grants, Dr. Fisher and his team were able to develop, patent, file for regulatory clearance and ultimately sell the VMark breast biopsy site marker, Maxi-Cell biopsy needle and the Bio-SEAL lung biopsy site sealant to Angiotech for $19 million in 2007, while completing the SBIR Commercialization Accelerator Program (CAP) Larta program in California. Following that acquisition, the company turned it's focus to commercialize the HydroMARK breast biopsy site marker which is now sold in the United States and worldwide in more than 30 countries through a network of distributors. The HydroMARK is unique in that it becomes 90 percent water after deployment in the breast, making it exceptionally well seen under ultrasound for an extended period of time. This allows for wire localization procedures and/or surgical lumpectomy to be performed under direct ultrasound guidance, which offers increased comfort to patients and reduces procedure times during breast cancer surgery. The Hydromark was acquired by Devicor Medical in April 2014.

Lili M. Portilla, MPA

Lili M. Portilla, M.P.A

Director of Strategic Alliances | National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS)

Lili Portilla has worked in the area of strategic alliances at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) since 1989. She has extensive expertise in negotiating and developing commercialization strategies for complex, multi-party collaborations and public private partnerships. Since December of 2011, Ms. Portilla has been serving as the director of the Office of Strategic Alliances at the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) at the NIH. NCATS is the newest center at the NIH focusing on the transformation of the translational science process so that new treatments and cures for disease can be delivered to patients faster. She oversees the center’s partnership, strategic alliance and technology transfer functions as well as the program director for the NCATS Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Technology Transfer Research grant and contract program.

Prior to NCATS, Ms. Portilla was senior advisor to the director of the National Center for Research Resources and as the director of the National, Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, Office of Technology Transfer and Development. She has also published several papers on public private partnerships. She received a master’s in public administration in 1992 from American University and a bachelor in business administration, double major in both finance and Spanish literature in 1986 from Stephen F. Austin State University.

Michael D. Webb

Michael D. Webb, M.A., M.B.A.

President and Chief Executive Officer | Tyrogenex
President and Chief Executive Officer | Xcovery

Michael D. Webb has more than 25 years experience in growing biotechnology companies and a track record that includes raising more than $350 million in private and public equity markets. Previously, he was president and CEO of Allegro Diagnostic Corp., a venture-backed, molecular diagnostics company focused on lung cancer that was acquired by Veracyte in 2014. Prior to that, he founded and served as president and CEO for Anchor Therapeutics, Inc. During his time as president and CEO of EPIX Pharmaceuticals, he led the company from "A"-round financing to an industry leadership position in pharmaceuticals for diagnostic imaging and listing on NASDAQ.

Mr. Webb has served as chairman of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, founding chairman of the United Way of Massachusetts Bay's Math, Science and Technology Initiative and served on several other boards. Mr. Webb holds an M.B.A. from Northwestern University, a masters in international relations from Sussex University and a B.A./B.S. in biochemistry and economics from the University of Kansas.

Thomas Wiggans

Thomas Wiggans, M.B.A.

Chief Executive Officer | Dermira, Inc.

Tom Wiggans is the founder, chairman and CEO of Dermira, a biotechnology company based in Menlo Park, California, that is developing innovative products for skin diseases and dermatology. Prior to founding Dermira in 2010, he was chairman and CEO of Peplin, Inc., a United States and Australian biotechnology company developing a product for actinic keratosis and other serious skin diseases, which was acquired by LEO Pharma of Copenhagen, Denmark, in November 2009. In 1994, Tom joined Connetics Corporation as the company's ninth employee and first CEO. During his tenure as CEO, Connetics grew from a startup bio-pharmaceutical company to one of the leading dermatology companies in the United States, employing more than 400 people, with five marketed products and annual revenues of $200 million. In October of 2006, Connetics was acquired by privately held Stiefel Laboratories of Coral Gables, Florida. The combined company became the largest independent dermatology company in the world with global revenues approaching $1 billion. From 1980 to 1992, Tom served in various marketing and management positions with Ares-Serono Group, a pharmaceutical company based in Geneva, Switzerland, including president of its United States pharmaceutical operations and managing director of its United Kingdom pharmaceutical operations. Tom's career began with Eli Lilly and Co.

He serves as a member of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) board of directors and is a member of the board of trustees of the University of Kansas Endowment Association. He is a native of Fredonia, Kansas. He received a B.S. in pharmacy from the University of Kansas, and an M.B.A. from Southern Methodist University. 

Institute for Advancing Medical Innovation