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McGovern Center Mentor

The McGovern Center Mentor is a volunteer service opportunity for individuals who have had careers as leaders/executives in Life Science ventures and venture capital, and who have the training, experience, ability, time and willingness to contribute to the value of Cornell’s intellectual property assets through their Center service and mentorship.

McGovern Center Mentors will help create and grow Cornell life sciences spin-off start-up companies (engaged in medical therapeutics, diagnostics, instruments and devices, healthcare services and technologies, plant and agricultural sciences and bioenergy, etc.).

As currently envisioned, Mentors will help Cornell Life Science technology/technologies, assist in venture creation, facilitate the Center Application process, mentor Center Clients, and report results.

To learn more about the McGovern Center Mentor program and to see the application, click the following link: McGovern Center Mentor Overview and Application



A. Barr Dolan, Managing Partner, Charter Life Sciences

A. Barr Dolan has extensive venture capital investment experience and extensive experience as a founder of life sciences companies. Prior to the founding of CLS, Barr was a founding partner of the Charter Ventures family of venture capital funds. Barr has been an active founder of multiple life sciences companies, including the women’s health company Adeza Biomedical (ADZA), cardiac catheter company EP Technologies (IPO, then acquired by Boston Scientific), biotech company Heska Corporation (HSKA), biotech company Univax Biologics (IPO, then acquired by NABI) and women’s health medical device company Vesta (acquired by Pfizer). Among his many roles with these companies, Barr has also served as interim chief executive officer of Adeza and EP Technologies.

Barr holds a BA in chemistry and an MS in engineering from Cornell University, an MA in applied science from Harvard University and an MBA from Stanford University. Barr has made venture capital investments in more than 50 life sciences companies, including specialty pharma company Intermune (ITMN), drug delivery company Advanced Polymer Systems (APPA), biotech company Calgene (IPO, then acquired by Monsanto), biotech company EOS Biotechnology (acquired by Protein Design Labs), biotech company Genelabs Technologies (GNLB), biotech company Geron (GERN), biotech company Valentis (VLTS), medical device company Orquest (acquired by Johnson & Johnson), drug delivery company Penederm (acquired by Mylan Laboratories) and biotech company Tularik (TLRK).

Anthony Sun, MD, Aisling Capital

Dr. Anthony Sun joined Fund I in 2002 and currently serves as a Partner. Previously, Dr. Sun was an Adjunct Instructor of Medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Sun currently serves as a director of Paratek Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Versartis, Inc. Previously he served as a director of CeNeRx BioPharma, Inc., Dynova Laboratories, Inc., HerbalScience, Inc. and MAP Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Dr. Sun received his M.D. from Temple University School of Medicine with A.O.A. honors.

He received his M.B.A. from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University. In addition, he is Board Certified in Internal Medicine.

Brad Gouldthorpe, Chief Operations Officer, ADispell Inc

Brad Gouldthorpe is Chief Operations Officer of ADispell, Inc., a new startup based on licensed Cornell technologies, is pursuing new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease. ADispell, Inc. aims to develop drugs that prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease. Brad has filled finance, marketing, business development, and lead roles with start-up companies. He has worked at Kodak and Xerox where he led strategy and new product launch efforts. He has since been president of a start-up company and has worked for the last nine years as a hands-on resource for start-ups in markets such as medical technology and nanotechnology regarding commercialization, launch, marketing, and profitability.

Brad Treat, Founder & CEO, Mezmeriz, Inc.

Brad Treat is an instructor in Practical Entrepreneurship at Ithaca College and Cornell University. He has also served as the Entrepreneur-In-Residence at Cornell University. Brad was most recently the Founding CEO of Mezmeriz, a high-tech company making interactive projectors and reality capture cameras to embed into mobile phones. Mezmeriz’s cutting edge technology was spun out of Materials Science and MEMS research at Cornell University. Brad was also the co-founder and CEO of SightSpeed, an innovative video and voice communications company. SightSpeed grew from a university research project at Cornell into the world’s premier video calling software. SightSpeed was profitably acquired by Logitech for $30MM. Earlier in his career, Brad worked for eight years in the automotive industry in both the US and Spain at Bowles Fluidics and GKN Automotive. Brad holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from North Carolina State, and an MBA from the Johnson School at Cornell.

Brian Bauer, Rev Ithaca Startup Works

Brian Bauer was a seasoned international energy industry executive with extensive experience in Oil, Natural Gas, Chemicals, and renewables in the United States, Asia, and Europe. Brian has a B.S. In Chemical Engineering from Cornell and an MBA in Operations and Finance from the University of Chicago. He ran several businesses during a 30 year career in the energy industry and has expertise is in operations, strategy, business development, mergers and acquisitions, major project management, corporate governance and organizational change.

Mr. Brian recently retired and relocated to Ithaca to build the next phase of his career where he is interested in start-ups and tech innovation, with a particular interest in the area of energy innovation. Since returning to Ithaca, he has served as an advisor to several startup companies in the energy and consumer services spaces.

Cornelis J Drost, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Transonic Systems, Inc.

Mr. Cornilius J. Drost founded Transonic Systems, Inc. in 1983 and serves as its Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Drost served as President of Transonic Systems, Inc. He is a senior research scientist at the N.Y.S. College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University, invented the now "gold standard" transit-time ultrasound flowmeter. He is an Engineer.

David W. Anderson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Gentis Inc

Mr. David W. Anderson serves as the Chief Executive Officer and President of Gentis, Inc. Mr. Anderson serves as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Orteq Limited. He serves as a Business Advisor of ZSX Medical, LLC. He is an Advisor of NeuroDiagnostic Devices. He served as a Fund Advisor at MentorTech Ventures. Mr. Anderson served as the President and Chief Executive Officer at Sterilox Technologies, Inc. from March 2000 to November 2004. Prior to joining Sterilox, Mr. Anderson served as the President and Chief Executive Officer at Bionx Implants, Inc. During his tenure at Bionx, he lad the efforts that resulted in FDA clearances for over 60 products and sales growth from zero to over $20 million. Mr. Anderson also successfully raised $15 million in venture funding for Bionx and led its initial public offering in 1997. From 1992 to 1994, he served as the President and Chief Executive Officer at Kensey Nash Corporation.

From 1989 to 1992, Mr. Anderson served as a Vice President at LFC Financial Corp., where he was responsible for its entry into the healthcare market. He founded Osteotech, Inc. in 1986 and served as its Executive Vice President from 1986 to 1989. He began his healthcare career with Schering Plough. He serves as a Director of Molecular Detection, Inc. He has been a Non Executive Director of Inion Oy since May 5, 2007. He has been an Independent Director of Vision-sciences Inc. since 2005. He serves as a Director of Gentis, Inc. Mr. Anderson has been a Director of Photomedex Inc. since July 2004. He serves as a Director of several early stage companies in the orthopedic and cardiology fields. He served on the Scientific Advisory Board of Soft Tissue Regeneration Inc. Mr. Anderson received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University.

David Ellers, Principal, Ellers Associates

Frederick M. Barken, MD

Dr. Frederick M. Barken is a primary care physician.  He practiced solo Internal Medicine in rural upstate New York for nearly 25 years, until unfavorable trends in US health care policy made that practice no longer a possibility.  Upon leaving practice he set out to write about his professional experiences and to record his reflections on the practice of primary care medicine.  Using personal anecdotes accumulated over a quarter-century of care, he reminds us of the central role of the physician-patient relationship as the cornerstone of American health.  The result is his new book, Out Of Practice: Fighting For Primary Care Medicine In America, to be released by Cornell University Press in March, 2011. Dr. Barken received his undergraduate degree and a Master’s degree in Physiology from Cornell University.  He attended the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and then completed his internship and residency training in Internal Medicine at the University of Virginia.  He is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and licensed to practice medicine in the state of New York.

Dr. Frederick is now focusing on the current problems confronting primary care physicians and their patients, problems that leave the special relational quality of good primary care in a precarious position and in grave jeopardy. Now serving as the Medical Director for Cayuga Medical Associates in an administrative role, Dr. Barken is keenly aware of the emerging shortage of primary care doctors and the difficulty recruiting new, young, and enthusiastic physicians to that field.  At the same time, as Vice President of the Board at Longview, an Ithaca-based assisted care living facility for the elderly, he appreciates all too well the demographic of an aging US and the extraordinary strain it places on American health care providers. Dr. Barken’s book illustrates and explains the current crisis confronting primary care physicians and their patients. He seeks to promote the preservation of the special relationship between the two.

Gary D. Markin, President and CEO, GDM Consulting

Hanson S. Gifford, Partner, The Foundry, LLC

Mr. Hanson Gifford has led The Foundry in all of its activities since 1998. These include the invention, identification and development of new technologies, the formation, financing, and staffing of over a dozen new companies, and ongoing support of these new ventures as a board member. Prior to The Foundry, Mr. Gifford was Vice President of Research and Development at Heartport, Inc. From 1993-1998, he built and led a 62-person team developing a wide variety of novel devices and procedures for Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery that were instrumental in the company's successful public offering in 1996.
In 1992, Mr. Gifford co-founded and served as managing director of Bavaria Medizin Technologie, GmbH, establishing a German source for innovation and production of catheters for Interventional Cardiology. In 1990, Mr. Gifford served as President of Cardiovascular Therapeutic Technologies, Inc. which was acquired by Eli Lilly in 1991. From 1985-1990, Mr. Gifford worked at Devices for Vascular Intervention (DVI), where he served in various Engineering, Clinical Research and Marketing capacities. Before joining DVI, Hanson worked in engineering roles at Oximetrix, Inc. and General Dynamics. Mr. Gifford is a co-inventor on over 120 issued and 220 pending US patents. He earned his B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from Cornell University.
Mr. Gifford serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors for ForSight Labs. He is a Director of Cabochon Aesthetics, Concentric Medical, Miramar Labs, Nexis Vision, and the latest Foundry and ForSight companies.

Ivan L. Wolff, CFA, Managing Director, Syzygy Therapeutics Management, L.L.C.

Mr. Ivan L. Wolff, CFA, serves as the Managing Director of Syzygy Therapeutics Management L.L.C and Smooth Engine, Inc. Mr. Wolff served as a Managing Director of Venture Three recently. Prior to forming Venture Three, Mr. Wolff founded and with his partners sold BizTel to Teleport Communications (later acquired by AT&T). He began his venture-capital career at Rothschild Ventures, where he served as managing director and partner and made investments in start-up telecommunications and other high-technology firms, served on their boards of directors, and helped direct the achievement of liquidity through sale, strategic alliances or public offerings.

Mr. Wolff served in various marketing and business development positions at several communications companies, such as AT&T, M/A Com and Hughes Electronics before entering the investment industry, worked as a vice president and securities analyst at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette. Mr. Wolff serves on the board of Promethean Surgical Devices and GliaMed. He served as a Director of Remote Reality Corporation. He received a B.A. in physics from Cornell University and an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School.

Ken Rother, Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Launch NY

In addition to his current role as Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Launch NY, Ken joined Cayuga Venture Fund in 2013 as an advisor and starting in 2014 as a Venture Partner. Ken is also a lecturer for Cornell’s student accelerator program eLab and Entrepreneur in Residence at Ithaca’s business incubator Rev. He currently serves as a Director for FreeATM. Ken is a proven entrepreneur who has built and exited two successful tech/media start-up companies. He offers a unique blend of experience leading Web and Mobile technology teams, as well as in-depth operations expertise in organizations ranging from a few people to a few hundred.  He also leads Discovery Communications’ Digital Media Technology group, where he is responsible for the strategy, development and ongoing operations of the systems required to support Discovery’s 16 US websites, over a dozen mobile and tablet applications, and the delivery of Discovery’s hit shows to digital distribution platforms, such as Netflix, iTunes, and others. Previously at Discovery, Ken was responsible for the business and content strategy, programming and operations for a number of Discovery’s key web properties including; Animal Planet, TreeHugger, Investigation Discovery, Planet Green, and Military Channel. 

Ken was CIO/CTO for Bowne Global Solutions (now part of LionBridge)., after Mountain Lake Software, a Toronto-based company he co-founded with two partners, was acquired by New York based Bowne. Mountain Lake helped some of Canada’s largest banks get started on the Internet. Ken has a deep passion for disruptive technology.  His current interests include the renaissance in hardware products enabled by advances in desktop manufacturing, electronics, and small-scale manufacturing.

Early in his career, Ken held various roles as both a developer and organizational leader at Reuters, Toronto Stock Exchange, Alias, and Matrox Electronics. Ken studied Computer Science at Concordia University in Montreal, but like a few others of that time never completed his degree and just started coding for a living.

Pamela Silverstein, MBA, Entrepreneur in Residence, New Technology Enterprises

Pam Silverstein is a local entrepreneur residing in Ithaca, NY.  After receiving her MBA from Cornell University's Johnson Graduate School of Management, she and her husband, Spencer started their first of many high tech companies, one of which was sold to ADIC, Advanced Digital Information Corporation, for $265M. They continued working together until his untimely death in 2001.

Pam has been mentoring entrepreneurs, both local and not, in varied fields including: hardware/software design,  internet and other virtual companies;  food establishments including a bagel store, a pizza parlor and a biscotti company whose recipe was eventually sold to Harry and David's. Silverstein has worked with an international eco-tourism group, a swim-with-the-dolphins company in Costa Rica;  a local internet provider who wanted to get customers residing in small town (without internet access) online and initiated early-on clinical trials in Ithaca.

Pam is the Entrepreneur in Residence at LCL (Life Changing Labs), a Cornell-related entrepreneurial incubator.

Robert Balk, Chairperson, International Paralympic Committee’s (IPC) Athletes’ Council

Robert Balk is the Chairperson of the International Paralympic Committee’s (IPC) Athletes’ Council. He also currently serves as a member of the IPC Governing Board, the International Olympic Committee’s Athletes Commission, and the US Olympic Committee’s (USOC) Athletes Advisory Council. In 2003 he was one of the ten member USOC Governance and Ethics Task Force which substantially revised the USOC bylaws and where he testified to the US Senate on Paralympic matters. Professionally Mr. Balk worked for Phantom Works, the advanced technology division of the Boeing Company, where he managed a global venture capital fund of funds portfolio. Mr. Balk received his Bachelor of Science degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo and his Masters in Business Administration from the University of Rochester Simon School.

Bob Balk is a six-time Paralympian who won six medals between 1994 and 2006 at summer and winter Games. In 2004, he was elected to the IPC Athletes' Council and five years later became the group's Chairperson.  During his four years as Chair, he oversaw the first Paralympic Reunion event in London, the first Athlete Leadership Summit, the launch of the International Paralympians Association, and ensured that there was an athlete representative on all IPC standing committee.

Roberto Canizares, MS, MBA, Ex-President, MSA International

Roberto Cañizares (Rob) retired at the end of 2011 from the position of President, MSA International.  He joined Mine Safety Appliances (MSA, a NYSE traded company) in January 2003 and moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. During his tenure, MSA rapidly expanded its global presence and now has over 40 operating companies outside the United States, accounting for more than 55% of  the company’s business. Before joining MSA, Rob’s career included 27 years at Trane, the air conditioning company of American Standard, where his early career developed in product and marketing management, distribution logistics, sales management, and strategic planning.  Under his leadership, Trane built a half billion dollar business with integrated operations with seven manufacturing plants in several countries in the Asia-Pacific region, including two in China.  He became Trane’s Senior VP of International Applied Systems in 1997 and moved to the Netherlands as Senior Vice President of Global Sales & Service Group in 1999.

Rob was educated at Cornell University where he earned an undergraduate degree in engineering and applied physics (BS’71) and a master's degree in business administration (MBA’74).  Selected for a scholarship in the Louvain–Cornell exchange program, he also earned a master's degree in applied economics from Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium (1973).

Robert W. Honneffer, Executive Vice President, Global Operations of Osteotech Inc.

Mr. Robert W. Honneffer has been Executive Vice President, Global Operations of Osteotech Inc. since January 2009. Mr. Honneffer served as Senior Vice President of Global Operations at Osteotech Inc. from 2007 to January 2009. He served as Vice President of Operations at Osteotech Inc. since December 2004. Mr. Honneffer joined Osteotech Inc. in September 2004 and served as Vice President of Supply Chain & Distribution. Mr. Honneffer served as Senior Vice President of Operations at Osteotech Inc. Mr. Honneffer has over 30 years of diversified medical device experience. Immediately prior to joining Osteotech, Mr. Honneffer served as Director of Customer Services and Technical Support at Medtronic Powered Surgical Solutions. Prior to Medtronic, Mr. Honneffer served positions in business development and general management with CASurgica Inc., OrtoMaquet AG, and Unique Instruments Inc. From 1973 to 1997 Mr. Honneffer served various positions of increasing responsibility with Zimmer, Inc., then a division of Bristol-Myers Squibb Inc. Mr. Honneffer has an M.S. in Business Administration from St. Francis College and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Youngstown State University.

Wayne P. Merkelson, Former Vice President, General Counsel and Head of the Tax Department at Novartis