Dr. Jutila grew up in Bozeman and received his B.S. from Montana State University in 1982 and a Ph.D. from the School of Veterinary Medicine, Washington State University in 1986. He then pursued a postdoctoral fellowship in pathology at the Stanford School of Medicine from 1986-1989. Dr. Jutila came home to Montana and joined the faculty at MSU in fall 1989. His research has focused on the study of inflammatory disease and immunology/host defense in humans and animals. He has more than 130 publications and book chapters, has served as principal investigator on more than $24 million in competitive grants from the USDA, NIH, and DoD, among other funding sources, since 1990. He was awarded the National Distinguished Veterinary Immunologist Award in 2006. In 2017, Dr. Jutila was named a Montana University System Regents Professor. He has served as department head at MSU on three different occasions during his career. Dr. Jutila, along with four other founders, including his father John Jutila, a noted immunologist, started a company (originally named Montana ImmunoTech and later LigoCyte Inc), which began with a focus on treatments for inflammatory disease but later transitioned to vaccine development. Dr. Jutila has served on the Montana BioScience Alliance Board since its inception.
Mr. Zook has over 35 years of experience in the development of emerging growth technology-based companies. Mr. Zook began his career as an aerospace RF engineer, which evolved into becoming a serial entrepreneur with the founding, from concept, of five successful technology-based companies that have become industry market leaders. Mr. Zook has an extensive IP portfolio comprised of more than 100 U.S. and international patents.
As the CEO of several technology companies, including a “turn-around” of a venture-capital funded company, Mr. Zook has developed significant experience in diverse markets including medical device, biomedical, health information systems, telecommunications, instrumentation, and information technology.
Mr. Zook’s background includes extensive experience in financing transactions including private placements, mergers and acquisitions, licensing, investment fund management, and investment banking, including the management of a large U.S. strategic bio-medical acquisitions fund for a multi-billion-dollar foreign corporation.
Mr. Zook is the managing partner and founder of Swan Capital, LLC, a family office, specializing in early-stage private placement financings, strategic partnerships, and M&A transactions in the biomedical industry. Mr. Zook is currently the President, CEO and Co-Founder of Swan Valley Medical, Incorporated, a Montana-based, surgical instrument company, with an informatics solution enabling hospitals to realize compelling improved clinical outcomes through a change in “Standard of Care” resulting in millions in annual cost savings based upon predictive analytics. The company to date has developed sales in U.S., E.U., Canada, and Mexico and has raised over $20 million in non-institutional private equity funding.
Swan Valley Medical, is also a participant in the Montana BioScience Cluster Initiative Grant, which was awarded by the SBA to promote bioscience and STEM education and entrepreneurship within the state of Montana, including mentoring of early-stage bioscience companies.
Mr. Zook holds a B.S.E.E. from Montana State University and took postgraduate studies in marketing and finance at the University of Minnesota.
Mr. Aageson is the Director of Marketing and Business Development at Cushing Terrell. He previously served in the Montana Governor’s Office of Economic Development as the Deputy Business Development Officer. During that time, he guided economic development efforts for the State of Montana and communities within. He coordinated state and federal agencies engaged in private and public sector projects, developed and led marketing and business recruitment efforts, and advised on policy related to economic development.
Today, Mr. Aageson’s business development leadership is defined by intuitive and empathetic client experience, underlined by the ability to strategically capitalize on growth and partnership opportunities. He bridges gaps across markets, geographies, and public and private sector clients to ensure Cushing Terrell’s talents and services are serving their highest purpose. His background in economic development provides technical knowledge that complements a high EQ. With nearly ten years of experience in the AEC industry, he understands the nuances of a high-stakes industry fueled by collaboration and trust.
Mr. Aageson holds a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Pacific Lutheran University.
Ms. Beam has been involved in healthcare in Billings for over 25 years and brought her expertise and knowledge to Rocky Mountain Health Network in August 2014. Prior to the move to Rocky, she played a key role in the marketing, planning, and the business development department at St. Vincent Healthcare. Her work in healthcare includes ten years at the Yellowstone Community Health Plan, one of the first managed care products in the region designed to improve access to care while improving quality and lowering costs.
Ms. Beam is a Montana native, born and raised in Bozeman. She received her BSBA in Accounting from Montana State University Billings and her MBA from the University of Montana in Missoula. She will tell you she’s a successful product of the Montana University System having graduated from two of the state’s higher education institutions and having attended MSU in Bozeman and Montana Tech in Butte. Ms. Beam is an avid volunteer in Billings. She has served in leadership positions on the boards at MSUB and the MSUB Foundation, Yellowstone Art Museum, and Good Earth Market. She was recognized as an MSUB Outstanding Alumna. She was an honoree from the YWCA’s Salute to Women and was most recently recognized as one of the 20 most influential women in Billings.
A personal goal for Ms. Beam is to help the community she lives in be healthier. Working at Rocky Mountain Health Network and its affiliated organization, Rocky Mountain Accountable Health Network, gives her the opportunity to realize this goal. She says the future of healthcare is really going to be about “health” and she is excited to be leading RMHN to that future state.
Dr. Bridges is a Regents Professor in the Neuroscience program at the University of Montana and holds a faculty appointment in the Division of Biological Sciences in the College of Humanities & Sciences. Before moving to Biology, Dr. Bridges held a faculty position in the Skaggs School of Pharmacy for more than 20 years. After completing an undergraduate degree in Biochemistry at the University of California at Davis, Bridges received a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Cornell Medical College in 1984. Following faculty positions in the Department of Neurology at the University of California at Irvine, he moved to the University of Montana as an Associate Professor in 1993.
Dr. Bridges served for eight years as the founding Director of the NIH-COBRE Center for Structural and Functional Neuroscience. He was also a founding member of the Montana BioScience Alliance and the Montana Neuroscience Institute where he served for several years as Chairman of the Board. Dr. Bridges also served as the Chair of the Department of Biomedical & Pharmaceutical Sciences within the Skaggs School of Pharmacy from 2008 until 2015. He recently returned to his role as Director of UM’s Center for Structural & Functional Neuroscience and in 2019 became the Director of UM’s Neuroscience Program.
Research in the Bridges lab group focuses on the molecular pharmacology of membrane transport proteins that regulate the movement of signaling molecules into and out of cells within the brain and spinal cord. Emerging evidence suggests that these systems, as well as the novel drugs that regulate their activities, are relevant to a wide range of CNS diseases and insults, including ALS, traumatic injury, drug addiction, epilepsy, and brain tumors.
Dr. Delaney joined Amgen in 1992 serving in various roles across the Protein Science and Biologics function and most recently leading Amgen’s Biologic Discovery function responsible for identifying large molecule therapeutic candidates in collaboration with all Amgen Therapeutic Areas. From 2010 through 2019, he was the Site Head for Amgen’s Burnaby, British Columbia research facility, managing the company’s significant protein science resources in Canada and overseeing site administration.
Dr. Delaney has a new unique role in Amgen Research, being responsible for technology and innovation prospecting while developing, growing, and encouraging collaborations across the spectrum of research disciplines.
Dr. Delaney holds a Bachelor of Science in Zoology from the University of Montana and earned his Ph.D. in the Department of Microbiology at the University of Arizona under the guidance of Dr. Harris Bernstein. He completed his postdoctoral training at the University of Utah’s Department of Cellular, Viral, and Molecular Biology working on the molecular biology of chaperones and bacterial thermotolerance.
Mr. DeLong is a native Montanan. He grew up in Helena and attended the University of Montana where he studied Business Administration and Marketing. He then embarked on a 25-year career in economic development in New Mexico, Kansas, and Colorado. His focus was on retooling organizations and creating regional partnerships. In his time in Colorado, he ran the Metro Denver Network, a regional organization encompassing seven counties, over 100 companies, and 50 economic development organizations in the Metro Denver area. He oversaw strategic planning and fundraising efforts that led to unprecedented growth in focus areas of biotechnology, medical devices, and the launching of the Colorado Biotechnology Association and the development of a biotechnology incubator.
Mr. DeLong then moved his family back to Montana where he was Vice President of the Missoula Economic Corporation and then moved into his passion project at Hamilton High School, working to educate kids on careers and developing partnerships with business, public sector, and secondary and higher education to expand workforce development opportunities. Over his career, Mr. DeLong has developed a belief that Montana has a huge potential to develop a strong biotechnology industry and feels privileged to serve on the Board of the Montana BioScience Alliance.
Dr. Evans, is Director of the Center for Translational Medicine at the University of Montana and CEO of Inimmune Corporation in Missoula, MT. Prior to joining the University of Montana and co-founding Inimmune, Dr. Evans spent 16 years at GSK Vaccines (formerly Corixa Corporation and Ribi Immunochem) working on the identification, characterization and development of novel vaccine adjuvants, immunomodulators, and delivery systems.
Because of their unique ability to enhance innate and adaptive immune responses, pattern recognition receptor (PRR) ligands are being developed as both vaccine adjuvants and as stand-alone immunomodulators. Interest in PRRs has increased steadily over the past 20 years because of promising clinical data, licensed products, and increased understanding of structure activity relationships among several families of PRR ligands. Dr. Evans’ team is focused on the discovery and advancement of novel synthetic PRR ligands across a broad range of prophylactic and therapeutic vaccine targets including SARS-CoV-2, influenza virus, pertussis, tuberculosis, pseudomonas, cancer immunotherapy, opioid addiction, and allergy.
Dr. Evans holds a B.S. in Biology from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA and a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Oregon State University in Corvallis, OR.
Mr. Fanguy started his career developing pharmaceutical and environmental sensors after completing a terminal degree in biophysical chemistry at Mississippi State University. He then took a leap to the Pacific Northwest where he led technology incubators, commercialization/start-up programs, entrepreneurial ecosystems and spent time supporting student entrepreneurs, all during his tenure at the University of Montana.
In his current role Joe serves as Vice President of Network and Systems at Blackfoot Communications, the owner and operator of a multi-gigabit communications network spanning eight states and reliably providing 20,000 enterprise and residential customers with their communication needs.
Dr. Gunn earned her Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of British Columbia, completed her post-doctoral training at Stanford University, and was the Robert Hovey Udall Assistant Professor of Genetics in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at Cornell University. She moved to Montana in 2009 to join the McLaughlin Research Institute as an Associate Professor.
Her research focuses on cellular mechanisms that contribute to neurodegeneration. As Director of McLaughlin’s Transgenic Core facility, Dr. Gunn also uses CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing to engineer novel mouse mutants for studies that promote the understanding of human disease and preclinical testing of therapeutic approaches.
Mr. Kauffman holds a degree in accounting from Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. Following graduation, he held various accounting and finance positions in several non-pharma companies until June 2007, when he began his career with GSK Vaccines in Hamilton, MT.
He found his niche with GSK and the life sciences industry and has been happily employed as the site controller in Hamilton ever since. He finds this industry and his work to be meaningful and impactful. Living and working in the Bitterroot Valley is a big added bonus.
The Hamilton site is nearing completion of a new manufacturing facility from which it will produce the QS-21 adjuvant for use in GSK’s proprietary AS01 adjuvant system. This adjuvant system is used in a new shingles vaccine and is also in a number of pipeline vaccines. Volume at the site is expected to increase substantially in the coming years. Mr. Kauffman reports that “it’s an exciting time for our site, and the knock-on effects to our surrounding community are significant.”
Mr. Layton is the State Government Affairs lead for Genentech, Inc. in Montana. Genentech is a biopharmaceutical company that for more than 40 years has been following the science and seeking solutions to unmet medical needs in order to make medicines for patients with serious medical conditions. Mr. Layton is responsible for advocating for legislative and regulatory policies that ensure patient access to innovative biopharmaceuticals and a business climate that supports new biopharmaceutical innovation.
Prior to joining Genentech, he spent seven years as a Senior Director for the Washington State Medical Association where he was in charge of the association’s legal, regulatory, and legislative activities. Mr. Layton is an attorney and spent the early part of his career practicing law in New York City and Washington, DC.
Mr. Layton holds a B.A. in Political Science and Government from the University of Washington, an M.P.A. from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, and a Juris Doctorate from Syracuse University.
Mr. Meiselbach is the founder and principal of The Shelburne Group, a strategic advisory firm in the biotechnology arena, where he advises companies on capital raising and government affairs. He also serves as a Senior Advisor to Tonix Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ : TNXP) which plans to build a large commercial-grade manufacturing facility in Hamilton, MT.
Prior to starting The Shelburne Group, Mr. Meiselbach was Director for International Affairs at the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) for five years. In his role, he managed BIO’s international government affairs portfolio for the Asia Pacific and worked with BIO’s members to craft engagement strategies to promote member companies’ business interests abroad. Before joining BIO, while based out of Singapore, he built and managed the Asia Pacific portfolio of Frontier Strategy Group’s Expert Advisory Network, a broad network of in-market experts, professionals, and former officials who supported the company’s clients’ expansion into emerging markets. He also worked for United Parcel Service (UPS) early in his career on its corporate public affairs team in Washington, DC, where he supported a portfolio of legislative and regulatory issues focused on international trade, customs, and transportation.
Mr. Meiselbach has worked and traveled abroad extensively and as a child grew up in Tokyo, Japan and Beijing, China. He holds a B.A. in Political Science from Tufts University in Medford, MA and speaks conversational Mandarin.
Dr. Toenjes is the Dean of the College of Health Professions and Science at MSU-Billings and currently also serves as the deputy commander for the MSU-Billings COVID Incident Command. He started at MSU-Billings in 2005 as a faculty member and then served as Chair of the Department of Biological and Physical Sciences and Professor of Cellular Biology before transitioning into his current role as Dean.
His research over the last 20 years has revolved around efforts to identify and characterize small organic compounds that inhibit the transition between budded and filamentous growth of dimorphic fungi and the conidia germination and filamentous growth of filamentous fungi. The dimorphic fungi include members of the Candida genera with particular emphasis on C. albicans. The work with filamentous fungi includes members of the Aspergillus genera and various Bark Beetle fungal symbiotes. He also seeks to increase our understanding of the role that post-translational modifications, particularly, ubiquitination, play in regulating cellular morphogenesis.
Dr. Toenjes earned a B.S. in Genetics from the University of California, Davis and a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Arizona. He was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Vermont Medical School and also held a research faculty position in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics.
Originally from Missoula, Mr. Schwanke studied cellular and molecular biology at the University of Montana and began working in molecular biology labs as an undergraduate. He spent 10 years in the Department of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences as a staff scientist assisting research labs and graduate students with complex molecular biology techniques.
Mr. Schwanke moved into clinical genetics and genomics with Shodair Children’s Hospital in 2010, where he now serves as the Chief Administrative Officer for Medical Genetics. His mission is to ensure that state-of-the-art genomic testing and clinical services are available to everyone who needs them, even in a rural region without a large urban center. When he’s not working, he loves taking advantage of the incredible outdoor recreation access Montana provides and spending quality time with his family and dogs.
Mr. Schwanke holds a B.A. in Molecular Biology from the University of Montana, Missoula.
Ms. Tsai has more than 30 years of experience in global biotechnology and medical technology. She spent 16 years on Wall Street as a Vice President with Merrill Lynch and Kidder Peabody (1982-1995). Since 2016, she has been the CEO of Tana Systems, a global software and IT company based in the U.S. and India. Ms. Tsai leads a team of 50 engineers in the U.S. and 500 engineers in India. She is also the Chief Executive Officer of Healthquest, a global biotechnology and medical technologies advisory firm, a position she has held since 1995.
From 1993 to 2002, Ms. Tsai was the Founder and CEO of HealthExpo, the largest consumer healthcare event in the U.S., where she grew the enterprise from concept to execution, attracting more than 50 million consumers to HealthExpo. Prior to that, she was a General Partner in MassTech Ventures, a multi-million-dollar equity fund focused on technology development at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Ms. Tsai currently serves on the Board of Selectors for the Jefferson Foundation Awards and is on the board of the Prix Galien Foundation. In 1999, the Harvard Business School Alumni Chapter in New York recognized Ms. Tsai with an Early Stage Honor Roll Award for Entrepreneurship. In 2004, she also received a “Leading Woman Entrepreneur of the World” Award from the Star Foundation in Overland Park, Kansas.
Ms Tsai earned a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Missouri. She is currently a director of Certus Critical Care Inc., a director of Vita Nav and TitinKM. Tsai has been nominated to serve as a director beginning in November 2021 of Ethan Allen, listed on the NY Stock Exchange.
Ms. Peterson assumed the role of executive director when the Montana BioScience Alliance was formed in 2004. In addition to her work of developing the Montana organization, she has also collaborated with and mentored other bioscience organizations in the mountain and plains states.
Ms. Peterson also served from 2004-2011 as the director of Leadership Montana, a statewide effort to develop a sustainable network of leaders who share a passion for Montana and a commitment to the future of the state. Her work with both the Alliance and Leadership Montana involved extensive relationships with the various tribal nations in Montana. She has coordinated with tribal colleges on issues relevant to bioscience as well as broader issues in education and workforce development.
Ms. Peterson served as state director during a 25-year career with U.S. Senator Max Baucus. During that time, she organized Montana Economic Development Summits in 2000, 2001, and 2003. She also organized and participated in trade missions to Taiwan, South Korea, China, and Mexico City.
Before her Senate service, Ms. Peterson was one of the owners and operators of the Peterson Ranch, feedlot, and trucking business at Winifred, Montana. She was a charter officer of Women Involved in Farm Economics (WIFE) and in 1979 was appointed by President Jimmy Carter to the National Alcohol Fuels Commission.
Ms. Peterson is past Chair of the Board of Directors of the Montana State University-Billings Foundation. She currently serves on the Board of Directors at the Yellowstone Art Museum.
Ms. Schwarz is currently the CEO of Corridor Management Group (CMG), an external affairs firm creating communication pathways and strategies for regional companies. Ms. Schwarz has over 25 years of experience in managing complex coalitions, establishing and implementing strategic communication plans and building external networks to maximize impact for CMG clients.
Prior to founding CMG, Ms. Schwarz was the Director of Business Development at Big Sky Economic Development from 2013-2021. During her time at BSED she increased awareness and engagement with the community in support of statewide economic development. Prior to her time at BSED, Ms. Schwarz was the managing partner of Hayden Marketing & Public Relations and the Marketing & Public Relations Director for the Center for Children and Families.
Ms. Schwarz earned a B.S of Science in Marketing and Management from Montana State University.
Jennifer Hansen is a Montanan who returned to the state after spending 30 years in the Midwest where she farmed with her husband and raised their son. Jennifer is new to bioscience but has strong agricultural ties. She grew up on her family’s ranch in the Bull Hills north of Billings and served as an ag loan officer before moving to the Midwest. She has a B.S. in Natural Resource Economics from Montana State University and a Master’s in City Planning, Regional Economic Development from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.