Person with prosthetic arm working on car


2022 Biotechnology Conference
Transforming & Improving the Human Condition

April 7, 2022
9:30 AM – 4:30 PM

NYIT de Seversky Mansion
Long Island, NY

The 2022 New York Tech Biotechnology Conference will feature a gathering of recognized leaders, top global researchers and medical professionals, plus innovators across healthcare and biotechnology sectors. Companies and New York Tech faculty will describe their latest state-of-the art innovations and cutting-edge research transforming and improving the human condition. Government officials and investors will discuss how to tap into financial resources to fund your startup and accelerate your company’s growth. This is a must attend event to meet experts, industry peers, and like-minded people, form new relationships, and strengthen existing ones.

This event will be held in-person at NYIT de Seversky Mansion and streamed online. If you have any questions, please contact Carmen Marmo-Savinetti at or 516.805.5074.


Keynote Speaker

Chad Bouton

Chad Bouton, Vice President of Advanced Engineering and Director of the Neural Bypass and Brain Computer Interface Laboratory, The Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research at Northwell Health

Prior to joining the health system, Mr. Bouton was a research leader at Battelle, the world’s largest nonprofit research and development (R&D) organization, and was involved in medical device R&D programs for 18 years. He developed cancer detection algorithms in the late 90’s to help surgeons pinpoint and remove tumors more effectively. Later, he developed neural decoding methods that allowed the first paralyzed person with a brain implant to move again with their own thoughts.

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Mr. Bouton’s work has been featured on 60 Minutes and TEDx, and he holds over 70 patents worldwide. He has been awarded two R&D 100 Awards and was recognized by the US Congress for his work in the medical device field. He has been named Inventor of the Year and Distinguished Inventor by Battelle, and was selected by the National Academy of Engineering in 2011 to attend the Frontiers in Engineering Symposium. Mr. Bouton received his BS in Electrical Engineering at Iowa State University and his MS in Engineering Mechanics at Iowa State University with Honors.


Aydin Farajidavar

Aydin Farajidavar, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at New York Institute of Technology

Aydin Farajidavar, is the director of Integrated Medical Systems (IMS) Laboratory and an Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at New York Institute of Technology. Before joining New York Tech, he was a Post-doctoral fellow in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He received the Ph.D. degree in Biomedical Engineering from the joint program of the University of Texas at Arlington and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas in 2011. His research experience and interest include a broad range from modeling of biological systems, to development of wireless platforms to acquire and process biological signals.

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At New York Tech, Farajidavar established the IMS-Lab, where he and his students conduct cutting-edge research to develop the next generation of implantable and wearable medical devices. His research program has been supported by the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Auckland Bioengineering Institute, and New York Tech. He is teaching fundamental electrical engineering courses such as electronics, digital circuits, etc. He has developed a novel course entitled "Implantable Medical Devices: An Embedded Systems Approach" to infuse research into teaching, and educate the new generation of students on trending issues such as health and medicine. Farajidavar's research has been highlighted by various awards, news articles, magazine articles, etc. His students have been consistently awarded locally, nationally, and internationally, and been hired in leading engineering firms and companies.

Farajidavar has authored more than 50 peer-reviewed journal and conference papers/abstracts, and is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). He has served as the reviewer for government funding agencies, Journals and conferences. He serves on the Technical Program Committee (TPC) for MTT-10 of IEEE MTT-S, and Microwave Theory and Techniques Society. He has served as organizer and TPC member for several IEEE conferences, including IEEE EMBC, BioCAS, IMBioC, RWW, IMWS, WAMICON, to name a few.

Bryan Gibb

Bryan Gibb, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biological and Chemical Sciences at New York Institute of Technology

Bryan Gibb completed his Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania in the laboratory of Gregory D. Van Duyne and studied the molecular mechanisms of DNA recombination enzymes using biophysical, structural, and biochemical methods. His dissertation project focused on the site-specific DNA recombinase Cre, which is widely used as a tool in genome engineering.

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Following graduate school, Gibb joined the laboratory of Eric Greene at Columbia University as a postdoctoral researcher. In Greene's lab, Gibb developed a novel single molecule method of studying proteins that bind and function on single-stranded DNA (ssDNA). Using this technique, he was able to reveal novel mechanisms in the ssDNA binding protein RPA and Rad52. These two proteins play essential functional roles in DNA damage repair pathways. Disruption of these proteins or the associated pathways has been linked to cancer. Additional studies using this technique revealed detailed mechanistic details in the DNA recombinase Rad51.

Gibb's research at New York Tech will focus on understanding molecular mechanisms of DNA binding proteins, specifically those involved in CRISPR pathways that are widely being employed in genome engineering technologies. The long term aim of this work is to find new tools or improve existing methodologies that can then be harnessed for biotech applications such as gene therapy.

A second line of research will seek to understand and develop bacteriophages as therapeutics. Every year more than 2 million people acquire an infection resistant to at least one antibiotic, and more than 23,000 people die as a direct result of antibiotic-resistant infections (CDC 2014). Given the growing inability to treat bacterial infections, novel approaches must be pursued. Bacteriophages are viruses that attack bacteria naturally, so they are an attractive tool that may be discovered from natural sources and improved by directed evolution or directed engineering approaches to be an effective therapy for bacterial infections.

John P. Handrakis

John P. Handrakis, P.T., D.P.T., Ed.D., Professor of Physical Therapy at New York Institute of Technology

John Handrakis, P.T., D.P.T., Ed.D., a board-certified clinical specialist in neurologic physical therapy (NCS), is a Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy, School of Health Professions, New York Institute of Technology. He specializes in teaching neurological rehabilitation, modalities, and differential diagnosis for physical therapy to DPT students. In addition to teaching, Handrakis heads the Thermoregulation Research Program at the Veterans Affairs Rehabilitation Research and Development National Center for the Medical Consequences of Spinal Cord Injury at the James J. Peters VA Medical Center, where he mentors his D.P.T. students in their research projects.

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Dr. Handrakis' research focuses on the regulation of core body temperature after spinal cord injury (SCI). The goals of his team's research are to identify the physiological and clinical consequences of dysfunctional thermoregulation after SCI, their impact on quality of life (QOL), and to develop interventions to improve clinical care, health, and QOL in persons with SCI.

Dr. Handrakis received his BS from Fordham University in 1978 and a post-baccalaureate Certificate degree in Physical Therapy from Columbia University in 1981. He then provided physical therapy at Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation, NYU Langone Medical Center in the rehabilitation, outpatient, acute care, and cardiopulmonary units. During his time at NYU, he worked towards his MS degree in Exercise Physiology at Long Island University, which was awarded in 1985. After NYU, Dr. Handrakis continued to provide orthopedic and neurological physical therapy care in outpatient and homecare settings. In 2005 he joined the faculty in the Department of Physical Therapy at New York Tech. During this time, Dr. Handrakis worked towards his EdD in Applied Physiology at Teachers College, Columbia University, which was awarded in 2008 and a DPT in Physical Therapy from New York Tech in 2010. He was certified as a Neurologic Clinical Specialist (NCS) in 2016 by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties. He has extensive experience providing physical therapy to persons with neurological, orthopedic, and sports medicine injuries.

George Llado

George Llado, Senior Vice President, Integration and Innovation, AstraZeneca Pharma

George Llado is Senior Vice President, Integration and Innovation at AstraZeneca, responsible for the Alexion Pharmaceuticals integration and rapid technology innovation acceleration cycles across AstraZeneca. Previously, George was the Chief Information Officer of Alexion Pharmaceuticals, responsible for building the company’s Global Information Technology function that enabled Alexion to serve patients and their families with rare diseases through the innovation, development, and commercialization of life-changing therapies.

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A bio-pharma industry veteran with over 34 years of business, information technology and cyber-security experience, George and his team develop and implement innovative technology and enable data-driven insights across Alexion’s R&D, Commercial, Manufacturing Operations and Supply Chain functions.

Prior to joining Alexion, George served as Vice President and business line CIO for Merck and Co., where he led the large-scale merger integration of Merck/Schering-Plough across the IT and Shared Business Services organizations. George previously worked at Citibank, N.A.

George serves on the Board of Directors of Charles River Laboratories and the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT). He also serves on the Advisory Board of Sierra Ventures and Temple University’s Fox Business School. George holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from New York Institute of Technology and completed the Executive Development Program at both Harvard and the Wharton School of Business.

George was named to Forbes CIO Next 2021 list that highlights top tech executives who are redefining the CIO role and driving game-changing innovation. In 2020, he was named a Global CIO of the Year finalist by the Boston CIO Leadership Association for demonstrating excellence in technology leadership.

Sonsy Rajan

Sonsy Rajan, Director and Head of Intellectual Property Affairs at FujuFilm Cellular Dynamics

In her role, Sonsy Rajan leads and protects IP and innovations for cellular therapies, research use, and facilities CDMO activities.

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Sonsy has been part of the biotech industry since 2003 as a scientist and then as a lawyer practicing IP law. In her career, Sonsy has developed and protected robust IP portfolios for multiple therapeutic products in central nervous disorders, infectious diseases, cardiovascular diseases, Immuno-oncology, and dermatology. In addition, Sonsy has contributed to the acquisition of IP assets, development, licensures, as well as IP divestitures, realizing a profit of about $2B. Her patent practice through the years spanned more than 40 jurisdictions, more than 15 commercially available drugs in various therapeutic areas, very many pipeline projects covering multiple regulatory bodies, and multiple due diligence activities, accretive to more than $5B.

Carmella L. Stephens

Dr. Carmella L. Stephens, Partner, Carter, DeLuca & Farrell LLP

Dr. Carmella L. Stephens, a patent attorney with over 25 years experience, counsels a wide range of clients including biotechnology and pharmaceutical corporations as well as academic institutions on issues relating to biotech and pharmaceutical patents. Her experience includes development and management of complex U.S. and foreign patent portfolios based on assessment of the client’s business interests. The majority of her patent practice focuses on patent prosecution, IP due diligence and preparation of opinions relating to patent eligibility, validity, infringement and freedom-to-operate.

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Dr. Stephens’ patent practice covers an array of different life science technologies including those relating to endonuclease based genome editing systems; immunobiology; diagnostic and prognostic tests based on gene expression profiles; viral based expression systems for use in gene therapy and stem cell based therapies, to name a few.

Prior to pursuing a legal career, Dr. Stephens received her Ph.D. from SUNY Stony Brook after completion of her thesis research at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory followed by a post-doctoral fellowship conducted at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Her technical background in the life sciences provides her with the ability to successfully interface with scientists to maximize protection of their intellectual property.

Kevin Tracey

Dr. Kevin Tracey, President, Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research at Northwell Health

Dr. Tracey is a leader in the study of the molecular basis of inflammation and bioelectronic medicine. He and his colleagues identified the neural mechanism for controlling the immunological responses to infection and injury, and developed devices to replace anti-inflammatory drugs in clinical trials of rheumatoid arthritis, a new field termed bioelectronic medicine. The recipient of numerous awards and honors, including an honorary degree from the Karolinska Institute, Dr. Tracey is a fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, and the Association of American Physicians. He is co-founder and councilor of the Global Sepsis Alliance, a non-profit organization supporting the efforts of over 1 million caregivers in more than 70 countries.

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Professor Tracey graduated summa cum laude from Boston College, majoring in chemistry, and received his MD from Boston University. He trained in neurosurgery at the New York Hospital/Cornell University Medical Center, and was guest investigator at The Rockefeller University. Since 1992 he has directed the Laboratory of Biomedical Science in Manhasset, NY, where in 2005 he was appointed president of the Feinstein Institutes. Dr. Tracey delivers lectures nationally and internationally on inflammation, sepsis, the neuroscience of immunity, and bioelectronic medicine. He is the author of Fatal Sequence (Dana Press) and more than 360 scientific papers.

Shenglong Zhang

Shenglong Zhang, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biological and Chemical Sciences at New York Institute of Technology

Shenglong Zhang received his doctorate in organic chemistry from Columbia University and his post-doctoral training in Harvard University. He was among the first pioneers in developing the next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies and spearheaded the development of an LC-MS-based direct RNA sequencing.

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The new RNA sequencing technology is completely independent of base complementarity and provides a general solution towards de novo RNA sequencing and modification analysis. Its application in RNA biology helps to answer the longstanding questions of: 1) how aberrant modifications in cellular RNA correlate with human diseases such as cancers, diabetes, and neurodegenerative disorders; 2) how RNA modification patterns and levels change in response to cellular environments and environmental stress. His studies also provide new perspectives into RNA epigenetic regulations and facilitate the identification of new RNA biomarkers and targets for drug discovery and personalized medicine.

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9:30 a.m.


10 a.m.

Continental Breakfast and Networking

11 a.m.

Welcome Remarks
President Hank Foley, Interim Provost Jerry Balentine, and Dean Babak Dastgheib-Beheshti

11:15 a.m.

Keynote Speaker: Chad Bouton, VP, Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research at Northwell Health and CEO, Neuvotion

11:55 a.m.

Panel I: The Startup Ecosystem: Government and Industry Resources for Helping Biotech Companies Succeed
(Still in formation)

  • Moderator: Dean Babak Dastgheib-Beheshti
  • T3 Advisors
  • NYC Economic Development Office, Life Sciences
  • Dr. Carmella Stephens, Esq., Partner and Head of Life Sciences at Carter, DeLuca & Farrell LLP
  • Intelligent Product Solutions

12:50 – 1:20 p.m.

Lunch and Networking

1:25 p.m.

New York Tech Speaker Series I

  • Prof. John Handrakis addressing thermoregulatory dysfunction in persons with spinal cord injury
  • Prof. Dr. Shenlong Zhang addressing development and commercialization of direct RNA sequencing technology

2:05 p.m.

Panel II: Executives and Founders Discuss Their Companies Innovations
(Still in formation)

  • Sonsy Rajan, Esq., Head of Intellectual Property Affairs at FUJIFILM Cellular Dynamics, Inc.
  • George Llado, Senior Vice President, Integration and Innovation, AstraZeneca Pharma

3 p.m.

Networking Break (coffee/snacks)

3:15 p.m.

New York Tech Speaker Series II

  • Prof. Aydin Farajidavar discussing electroceuticals for mapping and modulating gut activity
  • Prof. Bryan Gibb, Ph.D. discussing the need, promise, and status of bacteriophage therapy in the United States

4 p.m.

Entrepreneurship and Technology Innovation Center (ETIC)
Demonstrations of innovative technologies

4:30 – 6 p.m.

Networking Reception
Closing Remarks: Dr. Kevin Tracey, President, Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research at Northwell Health