issue Summer 2021

The Keys to Success

Rosalind Franklin University is indebted to members of the Innovation and Research Park External Advisory Council (EAC), executives with deep experience in a broad range of backgrounds, including biomedical research, private equity, consulting and economic development, who offer advice and invaluable third-party perspectives.

“It’s a really dynamic group,” said EAC member and RFU Trustee Alan Weinstein, MBA. “Executives with a broad base of different backgrounds — planning, private equity, people deep in the science of their organizations. I’ve been struck at how quickly council members grasp what RFU is trying to do with its research enterprise. Having them on our side, and in the know, is huge for building brand awareness.”

We’re helping people understand that the IRP is more than a building. It’s programs. It’s people. It’s awareness in the biomedical marketplace.

Ronald Kaplan, PhD, executive vice president for research, said EAC members have helped enhance decision making, expand networks and bolster investor confidence. 

“These relationships and the guidance they provide have helped us thrive in the face of many challenges,” he said. 

“We’re helping people understand that the IRP is more than a building,” Mr. Weinstein said. “It’s programs. It’s people. It’s awareness in the biomedical marketplace. It offers a great opportunity for people to come together around business opportunities involving research programs and innovation and product development, which over the long-term encourages philanthropy and helps secure research funding.”

IRP External Advisory Council

James Audia, PhD 
President, Audia Consulting 
Former Executive Director, Chicago Biomedical Consortium

Scott Brun, MD
Interim VP of Scientific Affairs, Horizon

Kevin Byrne, MBA
President, The University Finance Foundation (TUFF) 
Past President, Association of University Research Parks 

Kevin Considine, MBA
President and CEO, Lake County Partners

Tom Denison
CEO, SmartHealth Activator

Henry Gosebruch, BSE
EVP, Chief Strategy Officer, AbbVie

Nimesh Jhaveri, MBA, RPh
President, Community Pharmacy and Health, McKesson

Sean Kendall, PhD
Principal, ARCH Venture Partners

Renee Michaels, MS
Executive Director, Kinship Foundation

Shobha Parthasarathi, PhD
VP, External Innovation and New Ventures, Xontogeny, LLC

Norbert Riedel, PhD
President and CEO, Aptinyx, Inc.

Catherine Sazdanoff, JD
CEO, Sazdanoff Consulting
Former VP, Global BD, Takeda

Nicole Walker, MBA
Managing Partner, Arboretum Ventures

Heather Walsh, PhD
Executive Director, MedTech Accelerator at mHub

Deb Waszak
Chief of Staff, City of North Chicago

Alan Weinstein, MBA
RFU Board of Trustees

Paul Weiss, PhD
Managing Director, Venture Investors

Joe Whalen
SVP, Business Development and Alliance Management, Horizon