BioBuzz’s 2022 Top 5 “5 Questions With…”

Happy new year and cheers to a fresh start, BioBuzz readers! While you’re still recovering from the holidays and beginning to plan for the coming year, let’s take a moment to appreciate the successes and hard work from 2022.

We at BioBuzz have always strived to center ourselves around the individuals who have worked to push the biohealth sphere to new heights. Our “5 Questions With…” series embodies this effort as we have highlighted professionals at all levels, from early career to the C-suite, from scientists to business developers to managers and directors. Regardless of position or title, the many individuals highlighted in 2022 are all changemakers in their own right and we greatly appreciate their work and contribution to this series. 

To celebrate the past year’s successes, we would like to highlight the Top 5 most-viewed interviews from 2022. And of course, we are always looking towards the future, so, if you’re interested or have a suggestion for someone who is a rockstar, reach out to us at [email protected]

Now, let the countdown begin! 

#5: Vimala Raghavendra, Senior Director and Head of USP Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Center

Vimala Raghavendran leads the U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Center, which houses the USP Medicine Supply Map, an information system that identifies, characterizes, and quantifies risk in the upstream pharmaceutical supply chain so that stakeholders can prioritize supply chain investments and prevent drug shortages.

Vimala has been with USP for over six years, where, prior to her current role, she led a multinational enterprise strategy and analytics team. Before USP, Vimala led strategy consulting teams at McKinsey that solved strategic problems for payors, providers, PBMs and pharmaceutical companies within the government and private sector. She has also worked in market research and business development at the non-profit drug development company, the International Partnership for Microbicides.

She has an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a BA in Economics from Knox College.

#4: Luke Williams, Generalist at American Gene Technologies

Headshot of Luke Williams, Generalist at AGT

Luke lived a rather nomadic lifestyle before coming to AGT™. As a military kid, he moved every couple of years, and he kept up that trend even after leaving home. His travels have taken all over the world in search of novel things to pique his curiosity. He firmly believes that chasing his curiosity, no matter where it led him, is what brought him to AGT™. He has always been interested in the molecular mechanisms of life, with a particular focus on genetic engineering. 

When Luke began working at AGT™, he was writing articles on the trajectory of biotechnologies, and then transitioned into sales for the company’s COVID-19 PCR testing lab. He always appreciates a good challenge, chasing things will force him outside his comfort zone. AGT™ has allowed him to explore many skillsets and aspects of the biotech space as he continues to find his path. In a snapshot, he likes to take creative angles on the design process, and he hopes to apply that approach to engineered algae, energy projects, and hopefully one day genetic medicine. 

#3: Tim Harvey, Co-Founder and CEO of Owl Peak Labs

Headshot of Tim Harvey, CEO of Owl Peak Labs

Owl Peak Labs develops novel cancer screening technology. Their mission is to revolutionize diagnostic imaging and save lives by leveraging novel technologies that detect cancer early. Everyone in the organization, including Owl Peak’s partners, are bought into the mission, which helps achieve tremendous results with a small team. Under Tim’s leadership, Owl Peak Labs has successfully closed a $1.5 million seed round investment and added key talent, moving the company closer to achieving its goal of revolutionizing diagnostic imaging and making screening solutions available to traditionally underserved patients.

Tim is an Operational Partner with QDS Capital and has advised several startups, including Kentegra Biotechnology, RocketFrac, Digital Direct Infrared, ParaForge, and Digital Direct Infrared. He previously served as executive director at MKM Partners and held senior positions at Weeden & Co and Talton Capital Management.

Tim holds a B.A. from the University of South Alabama (where he captained the varsity football team) and an M.B.A. from the University of Virginia.

#2: Jose Jimenez, Vice President and Director of Life Sciences at Gilbane Building Company 

Jose supports Gilbane’s life sciences clients across the Greater Philadelphia, New Jersey, Baltimore, and Washington, DC metro areas with speed to patient goals, and a focus on safely delivering quality facilities. His 22 years in the construction industry include directing major capital programs involving new building construction, building additions, and renovations of active cGMP manufacturing and research facilities ranging between $5 million and over $250 million per project. Jose’s experience also includes medical device manufacturing and healthcare facilities. A trusted leader in the life sciences market, Jose has spoken on topics such as “Building Cleanrooms at Warp Speed” for the American Pharmaceutical Review and “Rapid Cleanroom Builds for COVID-19 Facilities: Lessons Learned” for Pharma’s Almanac.

Jose is a member of both the International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE) Delaware Valley chapter and the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) Mid-Atlantic chapter. Jose earned a Master of Science in civil engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, as well as a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from the University of Puerto Rico. He is fluent in both Spanish and English.

#1: Geeta Peverada, Ph.D., P.M.P., Program Manager, Quality Control at Catalent Pharma Solutions

Headshot of Geeta Peverada

Geeta Peverada is a highly motivated, data-driven, and goal-oriented program management professional with over 12 years of experience in cancer research and gene therapy. She is bridging the gap between science and business through her expertise in client management and scientific knowledge. Her analytical, leadership, and management expertise has led to strengthened client partnerships at her current organization, Catalent Pharma Solutions.

Geeta describes the most exciting part of her job to be succinctly communicating a wide array of critical information to her clients. Risk mitigation and problem-solving keep her engaged, and her main challenge is to hold back from taking on new projects. Her constant strive for personal and professional growth is what has propelled her career, as she recently obtained her P.M.P., is currently working on an M.B.A. at the University of Maryland and is always on the lookout for new opportunities. 

Before joining Catalent, Geeta was an R&D Scientist at Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School in Boston where she worked on improving treatment strategies for breast cancer patients. Geeta is passionate about being active and has finished three marathons. She loves spending time with her husband and dog.

Want to learn more about the folks who make up our BioHealth Capital Region and Greater Philly life science ecosystems? Check out our other “5 Questions With…”

Want to be featured in a “5 Questions With…” article? Reach out to us at [email protected]

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