Past SHOW Events

Science Shaping Our World-SHOW was piloted in 2009 as a Munevar & Associates, Inc., initiative to share their passion for all thing science and technology with the community at large. The goal was to introduce a multidisciplinary community to the amazing cutting edge research, translation, and development that is taking place around Boston. Dr. Steven Munevar, President and CEO of Munevar & Associates, Inc., sought to increase awareness for the life sciences across disciplines and present it in a setting and format that was inviting, accessible, and enjoyable. Further, Dr. Munevar aspired to create an environment where discussion, ideas, and insights could flow freely towards the creation of new opportunities in the life science space my maximizing cross-disciplinary AND sector networking between academia and industry as well as state and local government, the investment community, service providers, among others.

From our first SHOW in October of 2009 highlighting the advent of RNAi and its potential therapeutic applications through to our 2012 season which touched upon nanotechnology, drug resistance, bio-computing, neural imaging, as well as discussions encompassing the translation of innovation from academia to industry SHOW has provided a dynamic stage for promoting cutting edge science and technology. Further, SHOW has grown into a venue that drawn in a myriad of attendees that have come to learn, share, and make valuable networking connections. Below is a brief highlight of last year's events demonstrating the excellent depth and breadth of speakers and topics we have continuously worked to bring to the SHOW community.

In our third full season of SHOW along with our partners the Harvard Catalyst Laboratory for Innovative Translational Technologies (HC-LITT), SHOW has grown to further include an ongoing professional development workshop series led by Sarah-Cardozo Duncan, Boston's preeminent career strategist and recently listed o of Boston’s most powerful 100 women. If you have a topic you would like to see at a future SHOW event, or if you would like to submit an application for consideration to speak at a future SHOW please contact us as we are actively recruiting for the next year’s season of SHOW.

Thank you so much to our SHOW family of speakers, partners, volunteers, and community members that have helped to grow SHOW and bring science to the people by the people for the people.  As we look ahead to a great 2012 season of programming, we look to your continued support to help us provide the best in science, technology, and networking. Thank you again and we look forward to seeing you at the next SHOW.  

SHOW December 2013

posted Mar 1, 2014, 1:12 PM by Steven Munevar

Personalized Treatment for Multiple Sclerosis - The Journey
Keynote Speaker: Meena Subramanyam, Ph.D.
  • Vice President Development Translational Medicine, Biogen Idec
December’s SHOW will focus on the advancements of personalized medicine in neurodegenerative disorders. Specifically, our guest speaker, Dr. Meena Subramanyam, will highlight the translational efforts being undertaken at Biogen Idec towards the development of personalized treatments for Multiple Sclerosis, a debilitating disease in which the insulating layers of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord are damaged impairing nervous system function.

Dr. Subramanyam joined Biogen in 1998 and has over nineteen years of experience in biotechnology supporting the development of therapeutics for autoimmune and neurological disorders. Most recently, she led the development and launch of the STRATIFY JCV™ risk stratification assay for Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy (PML), a rare disorder that damages the material (myelin) that covers and protects nerves in the white matter of the brain.

Dr. Subramanyam received her Ph.D. degree in Microbiology from Miami University at Oxford, Ohio and did her post-doctoral training at the Tufts University School of Medicine in the Department of Pathology and is a regularly featured speaker in International Scientific Conferences.

SHOW Ocotber 2013

posted Mar 1, 2014, 1:09 PM by Steven Munevar

Regenerative Medicine Improving Stem Cell Delivery
Keynote Speaker: Glenn R. Gaudette, Ph.D.
  • Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI)
October’s SHOW will focus on the exciting area of regenerative medicine and stem cell research. Specifically, our speaker, Dr. Glenn Gaudette, will highlight his research into advancements in stem cell delivery and its application toward addressing cardiovascular diseases.

Dr. Gaudette is an Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) where his research aims to develop treatments for the millions of Americans suffering from myocardial infarction and other cardiovascular diseases. Dr. Gaudette’s work focuses on regenerating the mechanical and electrophysiological function of the heart through the advent of stem cell technology and bioengineering advancements. Dr. Gaudette has over 20 years of experience in the cardiac research field, including over 10 years in cardiac surgery research.

He has over 50 peer reviewed publications, several book chapters, and recently edited a book on cardiac regeneration. Dr. Gaudette has also won numerous awards including the WPI Sigma Xi Senior Researcher Award, the 2012 Massachusetts Life Science Innovation Day competition and the James D. Watson Young Investigator Award and his work has been featured in many different media outlets. In May of 2012, he co-founded a company based on some of the pioneering technology developed in his laboratory and in 2013 Dr. Gaudette was appointed to the Scientific Advisory Board for the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center.

SHOW September 2013

posted Mar 1, 2014, 1:05 PM by Steven Munevar

Synthetic Biology-Accelerating the Engineering of Life
Keynote Speaker: Timothy K. Lu, M.D., Ph.D.
  • Assistant Professor Synthetic Biology Group/Research Laboratory of Electronics Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
  • Department of Biological Engineering MIT Synthetic Biology Center/Massachusetts Institute of Technology
September’s SHOW will focus on the emerging area of synthetic biology. Our speaker, Dr. Timothy Lu, will highlight the engineering of integrated memory and computational circuits in living cells, and the application of synthetic biology to tackle important medical and industrial problems.

Dr. Lu leads the Synthetic Biology Group in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and the Department of Biological Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Dr. Lu’s research focuses on engineering integrated memory and computational circuits in living cells using analog and digital principles, applying synthetic biology to tackle important medical and industrial problems, and building living biomaterials that heterogeneously integrate biotic and abiotic functionalities.

Dr. Lu is also a core member of the MIT Synthetic Biology Center and a co-founder of Sample6 Technologies, a Boston-based company that is delivering a revolutionary microbial diagnostic based on synthetic-biology-derived technologies. Sample6 Technologies is the world’s first synthetic-biology based bacteria diagnostic system capable of enrichment-free detection.

SHOW March 2013

posted Mar 1, 2014, 12:55 PM by Steven Munevar   [ updated Mar 1, 2014, 12:57 PM ]

Life Science Pathways to Innovation
March’s SHOW will focus on novel pathways within the life science space. Specifically, our panel speakers will highlight where and how they have applied their life science expertise and experience toward driving the life science innovation frontier.

Life Science Innovation Panelists:

Kevin Bitterman, Ph.D., Principal/Polaris Venture Partners
Dr. Bitterman joined Polaris Ventures in 2004 and focuses on investments in healthcare. Prior to joining Polaris Ventures, he completed his Ph.D. in genetics at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Bitterman is a cofounder of Genocea Biosciences and Sirtris Pharmaceuticals (GSK) and was the founding CEO at Visterra Inc. (formerly Parasol Therapeutics).

Gregory Fischer, Ph.D., Assistant professor, Director of Automation and Interventional Medicine Laboratory (AIM Lab) /Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Co-Founder, CTO/Surgisense Corporation
As the Director of the AIM lab, Dr. Fischer focuses on medical robotics and using real time feedback to guide surgical procedures. As co-founder of Surgisense, he specializes in the design, development, testing, manufacturing, and marketing of next generation “smart” sensing surgical instruments and medical devices to further enhance surgery, patient care, and patient safety.

Corrie Ann Painter, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Research Fellow/ University of Massachusetts Medical School, CSO/Angiosarcoma Awareness Inc.
Dr. Painter is currently studying the role of the adaptive immune response to melanoma in a zebra fish model. In her final year of graduate school, Dr. Painter was diagnosed with angiosarcoma (a rare and aggressive cancer), soon after she co-founded Angiosarcoma Awareness Inc., to generate interest and awareness within the biomedical research community for this orphan disease. Dr. Painter serves as the chief scientific officer of Angiosarcoma Awareness Inc., where she distributes funds to multiple labs engaged in collaborative efforts aimed at understanding angiosarcoma.

Kathleen Seyb, Ph.D., Associate Director, Target Biology/Ra Pharmaceuticals
Dr. Seyb has carried out research at the Harvard NeuroDiscovery Center, where she focused novel targets for diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Currently, Dr. Seyb serves as the Associate Director of Target Biology at Ra Pharmaceuticals where the focus is the development of novel, peptide-like molecules as therapeutics for difficult to target protein-protein interactions.

Gordon Webster, Ph.D., Researcher in Synthetic Biology/Harvard Medical School

Dr. Webster has worked in life science R&D in both Europe and the U.S., and initiated and managed the first translational oncology clinical trial at a multinational pharmaceutical company and has coached and led research project teams in large matrix organizations, as well as large, distributed teams of scientists and technical specialists, working together
across multiple time zones.

SHOW January 2013

posted Jan 30, 2013, 9:52 AM by Steven Munevar   [ updated Jan 30, 2013, 11:31 AM ]

The Changing Landscape of Life Science Innovation
January’s SHOW will focused on innovation and
entrepreneurship in the life sciences. Specifically, our panel will highlighted how novel technologies applied in both for-profit and not-for profit platforms are transforming the life science landscape and driving the innovation frontier.

Keynote Introduction:
Dr. Susan Windham-Bannister: President/CEO, Massachusetts Life Sciences
The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center is a quasi-public agency of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, created by the Massachusetts legislature in June 2006 to promote the l
ife sciences within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Life Science Innovation Panelists:
Barbara S. Fox, Ph.D., Founder/CEO, Avaxia Biologics
Avaxia Biologics, a leader in the growing field of gut-targeted therapeutics. Their lead clinical candidate, AVX-470, is an oral anti-TNF antibody for inflammatory bowel disease. This transformative product offers potentially improved safety and efficacy by focusing immune suppression only where needed in the inflamed gut.
Joanne Kamens, Ph.D., Executive Director, Addgene
Dr. Kamens is the Executive Director of Addgene, a mission driven, non-profit plasmid
repository dedicated to helping academic scientists around the world share high-quality plasmids.  Prior to 2011, Dr. Kamens served as the Director of Discovery Research and Senior Director of Research Collaborations at RXi Pharmaceuticals.
Justin Mih, Sc.D., Founder/CEO, Matrigen Life Technologies
In 2003-2004, while a Fulbright Scholar at Russia’s Institute for Biomedical Problems, Dr.  Mih became fascinated with how physical forces influence cell behaviors.  In 2011, Dr. Mih founded Matrigen Life Technologies after completing his doctorate at the Harvard School of Public Health.  Matrigen's objective is to bring cell culture closer to in vivo conditions. In October 2011, Matrigen launched its flagship product, SoftwellTM, for cell culture that better mimics body tissues.
Steven Munevar, Ph.D., MBA, Founder/ Executive Director, Helix Bioscience Institute
With a background spanning Bioengineering, Life Sciences, and Business Management, Dr. Munevar has worked to accelerate life science innovation both as a research scientist and entrepreneur.  The Helix Bioscience Institute, is a mission d
riven, non-profit, bio-computation supported, transitional research platform.  This new platform will assist scientists’ in the leveraging of real-time wet-bench outsourcing resources to accelerate translational science. 

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SHOW November 2012

posted Dec 27, 2012, 11:00 AM by Steven Munevar   [ updated Jan 7, 2013, 2:10 PM by Steven Munevar ]

Advances in Phenotypic Modeling and Therapeutics for Neurodegenerative Diseases Using iPS Cells
Keynote Speaker: Ole Isacson, M.D.
  • Professor of Neurology (Neuroscience) Harvard Medical School
  • Director of Neuroregeneration Laboratories and Center for Neuroregeneration Research at McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School

November’s SHOW will focus on the use of stem cells in the development of therapeutics forParkinsons disease. Specifically, Dr. Isacson will discuss the basis for structural responses to brain degeneration in neurodegenerative disease and examine how human stem cells and induced pluripotent cells can be used as models for both plastic and degenerative events.

Dr. Isacson is Professor of Neurology (Neuroscience) at Harvard Medical School and the Director of the Center for Neuroregeneration Research/ Neuroregeneration Laboratories at McLean Hospital. He is also a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Harvard NeuroDiscovery Center and Principal Faculty of Harvard Stem Cell Institute and an NIH Udall Parkinson's Disease Research Center of Excellence grant awardee.

His research efforts have yielded induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) from fibroblasts of patients with several key genetic forms of Parkinson’s disease (gPDiPS) as well as from normal controls. Dr. Isacson has discovered cell type specific vulnerabilities in the CNS using diverse populations of neural cells, or purified populations of neurons. The hope is that these assays can be translated into prototype discovery diagnostic and therapeutic tools.

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SHOW July 2012

posted Oct 23, 2012, 12:48 PM by Steven Munevar   [ updated Dec 27, 2012, 11:28 AM ]

Beyond Treading Water: Functional Analysis of Tumor Initiation and Maintenance
Keynote Speaker: Craig J. Ceol, Ph.D.
  • Assistant Professor of Molecular Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School
July’s SHOW focused on elucidating the genetic pathways that drive the development of cancer. Specifically, we will look at melanoma an aggressive form of skin cancer which has been on the rise of late. Though making up only five percent of skin cancers cases, melanoma is responsible for a large number of the deaths associates with skin cancers, having a particularly poor prognosis when diagnosed in its later stages.

Our special guest speaker, Dr. Craig Ceol has been working to identify the genetic defects responsible for the growth of tumors, specifically malignant melanoma. Melanocytes, the cells responsible for human skin color and from which melanomas arise, are also present in zebrafish and Dr. Ceol collaborated with scientists at several institutions in using the zebrafish to identify genes responsible for promoting human melanoma. Their findings, recently published in the journal Nature, describe a melanoma-producing gene SETDB1, which is currently being used to develop drugs to fight skin cancers.

Dr. Ceol’s research goal is to identify genes and cells that will be useful as diagnostic and prognostic markers of disease as well as therapeutic targets. Prior to joining UMass Medical School in 2010, Dr. Ceol was an instructor in pediatrics at Harvard Medical School with support from an NIH Pathway to Independence Award. From 2004 to 2008 he was a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Leonard I. Zon, MD, Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Investigator, at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and at Children’s Hospital Boston. He earned his Ph.D. in the lab of Nobel Laureate H. Robert Horvitz, PhD, HHMI Investigator, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and has also worked as an associate scientist at Eli Lilly and Company.

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SHOW June 2012

posted Jun 11, 2012, 3:30 PM by Steven Munevar   [ updated Dec 27, 2012, 11:04 AM ]

Deconstructing the Drug Development Process: New Paradigms for Pharmaceutical Innovation

Keynote Speaker: Kenneth I Kaitin, Ph.D.
  • Professor and Director at the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development (CSDD), Tufts University School of Medicine
June’s SHOW focused on the drug development process and highlighted new paradigms for pharmaceutical innovation. In the current pharmaceutical research-based drug industry, the source of many of the medications in use today, economic, regulatory, and competitive pressures are forcing companies to re-evaluate and restructure their research and development (R&D) processes. The industry has been undergoing a transformation from fully-integrated pharmaceutical companies (FIPCos) to a network model (FIPNet) that encompasses all the major stakeholders in drug development including: large and small pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, academic research institutions, patient groups, public-private-partnerships, and contract research organizations. Our special guest speaker Dr. Kenneth Kaitin discussed these and other major shifts within the pharmaceutical industry.

Dr. Kaitin is the Director of the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development (CSDD) which has been documenting the increasing challenge of bringing new medicines to market for over 35 years. Further, Dr. Kaitin is an internationally recognized expert on the science of drug development. He writes and speaks prolifically on factors that contribute to the slow pace and high cost of pharmaceutical R&D and the impact of efforts to speed the drug development process. Dr. Kaitin has also provided public testimony before the U.S. Congress on pharmaceutical development, regulation, and policy issues. He is a former President of the Drug Information Association, and is currently Editor-in-Chief of Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology as well as serving on the boards of directors and scientific advisory boards of several public, private, and not-for-profit life sciences companies and organizations.

Science Shaping Our World-SHOW – Ongoing Seminar/Networking Series:
Deconstructing the Drug Development Process: New Paradigms for Pharmaceutical Innovation
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SHOW March 2012

posted May 9, 2012, 4:32 PM by Steven Munevar   [ updated Jun 27, 2012, 8:39 AM by Steven Munevar ]

Resistance is Futile: Applying Ecological and Evolutionary Theory to the Challenge of Antibiotic Resistance
Keynote Speaker:
Margaret (Peg) Riley, Ph.D.
  • Professor-University of Massachusetts (Amherst)
  • Founder and President-Massachusetts Academy of Sciences
  • Founder and Co-Director-Institute for Drug Resistance
  • Founder and CSO-Origin Antimicrobials, LLC
March’s SHOW will focused on the growing trend in microbial drug resistance. Pathogenic bacteria resistant to many or all antibiotics already exist. Coupled with the rapid decline in microbiological research at pharmaceutical companies, the rapid rate at which resistance has evolved and spread has demanded a novel approach to addressing this critical human health issue. Dr. Riley, highlighted a new paradigm in antibiotic discovery and development, one that applies ecological and evolutionary theory to design antimicrobial drugs that are more difficult and/or more costly to resist. Specifically, Dr. Riley presented strategies invented and applied by bacteria against other bacteria for the past several billion years and the adoption of these strategies in our fight against microbial drug resistance.

Dr. Riley has received the Presidential Young Investigator’s Award for her pioneering research on antimicrobial compounds and has published over 100 articles and edited three books in her research area. In 2005 she co-founded a Massachusetts-based biopharmaceutical company, Origin Antimicrobials, LLC, involved in the design of novel antimicrobials. In 2008 she created the Massachusetts Academy of Sciences, a non-profit organization whose mission is to increase levels of civic science literacy. In 2009, she co-founded the Institute for Drug Resistance, whose mission is to facilitate novel, multidisciplinary approaches to addressing the challenges of drug resistance. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and was recently elected to the Board of Life Sciences of the National Academy of Sciences.

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SHOW February 2011

posted Mar 6, 2012, 2:12 PM by Steven Munevar   [ updated Dec 27, 2012, 11:05 AM ]

The Development of Humanized Mouse Models for Biomedical Research

Keynote Speaker: Michael A. Brehm, Ph.D.
  • Assistant Professor in the Program of Molecular Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School  

January’s SHOW will focus on the development and application of humanized mouse models toward the better understanding of human diseases and therapeutics development.  The presentation will focus on a general overview of humanized mouse models, a brief description of how these invaluable research models are created, and how they are used to study human immunology.


Animal models are important to increasing our understanding of human physiology, specifically in the area of immunology. The production of “humanized mice” that possess partial or complete human physiological systems have been touted as the next generation in model systems that may help overcome current obstacles in biomedical research. Dr. Brehm’s research focuses on the development and application of humanized mouse models to study auto-immunity, allo-immunity, and infectious disease. Currently, Dr. Brehm’s lab applies this technology toward the implantation and engraftment of human cells and tissues into mice.

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