How Technology & Creativity Are Advancing the Industry

BioForward’s annual Biohealth Summit serves as Wisconsin’s platform to highlight our diverse biohealth community, collaborate on new challenges and opportunities, and forge our path to continued leadership and growth. Last year we had over 500 attendees, representing 250+ industry-leading organizations, organized a once-in-a-lifetime interactive genome experiment, strengthened our Women in BioHealth and talent initiatives, and welcomed two keynotes from the technology industry that highlighted the shift in healthcare innovation. We’re in the works of planning another exciting event to connect biohealth companies statewide. Watch this page for keynote speakers, panel discussions, and fireside chats still to be announced. We can’t wait to see you at this year’s event.


  • A full-day event built with our attendees in mind, including dedicated networking time, business development opportunities, industry career fair, and insight into biohealth innovations
  • Keynote Sessions from the health and technology industry speaking on the technology and creativity in healthcare followed by question and answer sessions
  • Chances to meet and network with industry peers, executives, investors, and researchers from organizations such as GE Healthcare, FUJIFILM, UW-Madison, Illumina, Versiti, Covance, Medical College of Wisconsin, Promega, Advocate Aurora Health, Exact Sciences, UW Health and more!
  • Panel and Fireside Sessions covering topics from emerging trends in health technology, attracting and retaining talent, Wisconsin success stories, to professional development
  • Afternoon Networking Reception with networking, signature cocktails, and hors-d’oeuvres

Hear from Industry & Research Leaders

Keynote & panel presentations from experts in the biohealth field throughout the day.

Dedicated Networking

Connect with summit attendees over dedicated coffee & networking breaks, as well as our exclusive afternoon reception.

Interactive Attendee Experience


Afternoon Career Fair

Learn about the career opportunities in Wisconsin’s biohealth industry.

Global Biohealth Trends

Gain insight into where the biohealth industry is going next through the lens of technology and creativity.

Connect at Wisconsin's Largest Biohealth Event Exploring the Transformation of Biohealth


Full 2019 Program Coming Soon
10:15-10:45 AM Networking & Coffee Break
10:45-11:45 AM Morning Panel Discussions

Technology/Science Track Panel Discussion

10:45-11:45 AM – Overture Hall Theatre

Understanding the Brain: How New Technology Enhances our Understanding of Neurological Diseases and Brain Health

In this dicussion, we aim to describe new technologies and research initiatives from Wisconsin universities and companies tackling brain diseases, with emphasis on Alzheimer’s Disease. We also hope to explore how this work will bring a better understading of Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases and how that will lead to new therapies and preventative measures.


Sterling Johnson, Associate Director of the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center and the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Institute, and Principal Investigator of the WRAP Study

Cynthia M. Carlsson, Professor of Medicine, Division of Geriatrics at University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Heath-Madison, and Director, Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Institute

Su-Chun Zhang, Founder of BrainXell and Professor, Neuroscience and Neurology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Waisman Center


Daniel Sem, Dean, Business & Legal Studies, Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Director of Technology Tranfer at Concordia University Wisconsin and VP for Business Development at Estrigenix Therapeutics

Business Track Panel Discussion

10:45-11:45 AM – Promenade Hall

Showcasing of Young Wisconsin Biohealth Companies Followed by a Moderated Discussion with an Experienced Entrepreneur


Tobias Zutz, CEO/Founder at Gregor Diagnostics
William Kohl, COO at JangoBio
Sanjay Mohan, President & CEO, Healthio
Tiffany Mullen, CEO/Cofounder at WellnessScript


Andrew DeMarco, Principal, SVA Consulting, LLC

11:45 AM-12:00 PM Break
1:15-1:30 PM Break
1:30-2:05 PM Afternoon Fireside Chats Session 1

Technology/Science Track Fireside Chat

1:30-2:05 PM – Overture Hall Theatre

RNAi and CRISPR: What Can the Platforms Learn from Each Other and What Opportunities Are There?

In the wake of the Human Genome Project, two methods to experimentally change gene expression and interrogate gene function, RNA interference (RNAi) and CRISPR-Cas, have emerged at the fore-front of scientific discovery. The two strategies present very specific advantages and limitations, and they complement each other for many applications. 2018 was a major milestone in getting these technologies a step closer for patients. Hear from experts in the two fields on what the two technologies cna learn from each other, how they can collaborate and what kinds of opportunities await their respective platforms.


Bruce Given, Chief Operating Officer, Arrowhead Research

Peter Newman, Vice President for Research, Versiti

Business Track Fireside Chat

1:30-2:05 PM – Promenade Hall

Center for Technology Commercialization SBIRAdvance & SBIR Awardee Recognition

WEDC created the SBIR Advance program to provide state match funding, training, and other resources to Wisconsin businesses to advance the commericalization of SBIR/STTR-funded technology and expedite economic and job creation impact in Wisconsin. The program aims to fill critical funding gaps for activities such as market research, customer validation, patent development, business model development, and regulatory assessment restricted under federal awards. You will hear form the administrator of this program, Center for Technology Commercialization, on its novel approach in delivering matching grant funds and from two companies who have benefited from the SBIR Advance program.


Idella Yamben, Business Development Consultant, Center of Technology Commercialization

Jean Brittain, CEO, Calimetrix

Lisa Dotzler, Director of Operations, Semba Biosciences

Professional Development Fireside Chat- Women in Biohealth

1:30-2:05 PM – Wisconsin Room

Women in Biohealth Presents: Allies in the Workplace

Building allies in the workplace can be critical to career advancement. An ally can act as your workplace advocate and contribute to your overall career satisfaction. By engaging men as allies for women’s career development, we are creating better leaders, stronger businesses and more fulfilling careers. The chat will not only focus on the benefits of allies for underrepresented groups, but also explore how to select and engage allies.


Virginia Amann– CEO & Founder of Entente, Inc.
Binnu Palta Hill– Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion of UW-Madison School of Business
Ana Hooker– Senior Vice President, Operations of Exact Sciences

2:05-2:30 PM Networking
2:30-3:05 PM Afternoon Fireside Chats Session 2

Technology/Science Track Fireside Chat

2:30-3:05 PM – Overture Hall Theatre

How Will Science Change the Way We Eat & the Benefits We Get From Our Food

Genopalate is guiding people to eat differently based on the study of their unique genetic code while other companies are making food healthier and more nutritious through bioactives and probiotics and keeping food fresh and easily accessible.  Two companies with different perspectives will speculate on how the market will change with alternative meats and other innovations that are on the way.


Sherry Zhang, Genopalate Founder & CEO

Wesley Morovic, Scientist at Dupont


Mike Harrison, Business Development Manager for SE Wisconsin at Bioforward

Business Track Fireside Chat

2:30-3:05 PM – Promenade Hall

Healthcare Policy and Legislative Analysis: Perspectives on Healthcare Costs and Drug Pricing

The political debate is in high gear, especially related to our healthcare. From the Affordable Care Act to drug pricing to healthcare transparency to Medicare for All. What does it all mean to us as patients, consumers, and taxpayers?

Hear two different perspectives from a Wisconsin healthcare provider vs. a major pharmaceutical company.


Robert Popovian– Vice President of US Goverment Relations at Pfizer
Michelle Mettner– Corporate Vice President of Government and Legal Affairs at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

Professional Development Fireside Chat

2:30-3:05 PM – Wisconsin Room

How Millenials and Generation Z Will Change the Workplace

This fireside chat with keynote speaker, Ryan Jenkins, will focus on the future of the workplace geared towards students and those who will be hiring young professionals.


Ryan Jenkins, internationally-known keynote speaker and author

Mary Jo Spiekerman, Vice President of Human Resources at Hausmann-Johnson

3:05-3:15 PM Break



201 State Street, Madison, WI 53703
Directions & Parking


One, N Webster St, Madison, WI 53703
Book at a discounted rate at the AC Hotel


601 Langdon St, Madison, WI 53703
Call to reserve a room at Graduate Hotel, (608) 257-4391

153059380 (1)


Exclusive Insights

Hear from industry leaders on what’s next for integrated health solutions throughout our keynote and panel sessions

Dedicated Networking

Connect with summit attendees over dedicated coffee & networking breaks, as well as our exclusive afternoon reception.

Global Biohealth Trends

Gain insight into the big picture of biohealth and what’s next for the industry at a global level.

Speakers from Industry & Research

Connect with and learn from keynote & panel speakers ranging from world-class researchers to biohealth executives.

Interactive Attendee Experience

Not your average keynote session. Join in, ask questions, and gain industry exposure and insight.

Career Fair

Learn about the career opportunities in Wisconsin’s biohealth industry.


Questions on the Event or Sponsorship for 2019? Contact Rissa Guffey at

Contact BioForward: