SCBIO Board of Directors
Erin Ford is director of sales at Poly-Med, Inc., a global innovation company developing leading edge absorbable polymers and constructs for the medical device industry. Prior to her role at Poly-Med, Inc. Erin was a business recruitment officer at the Upstate SC Alliance. She served as the main point of contact for life sciences companies interested in expanding or locating in South Carolina.
She formerly served as an ex-officio SCBIO board member from 2013 to 2015 and led a regional biosciences task force comprised of industry executives from the Upstate region of South Carolina. Erin also has extensive television experience, as a documentary producer and sportscaster. She received her B.A. in Communication from La Salle University in Philadelphia.
Craig A. Walker, MHA
Craig A. Walker, MHA
As a CEO/Founding Partner with VidiStar, Craig Walker helps lead the company’s operations, business development, software development, regulatory affairs, and strategic growth initiatives. Walker started VidiStar in 2004.
Walker has experience in hospital administration where he has served as Chief Executive Officer of Chester Regional Medical Center, Interim CEO for Livingston Medical Center and VP of Business Development for Memorial Health System of East Texas. Walker served as Assistant Vice President and Associate Administrator of Tenet HealthCare Corporation’s Park Plaza Hospital and Medical Center in Houston. During his tenure he was the administrator over radiology, pharmacy, rehabilitation, and facility operations.
Walker also has served as Vice President of Public Policy and Development for Healthcare Computer Corporation, worked as a lobbyist for the Texas Organization of Rural and Community Hospitals, and was Chairman of the American Telemedicine Association’s Industry Advisory Board. Walker has served as the Chief of Staff to State Representative Patricia Gray in the Texas Legislature where he helped draft and pass legislation and implement law on telemedicine and telehealth. Walker has also worked for US Senator Lloyd Bentsen.
Walker obtained his Masters in Health Administration from Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas.
Kathryn Cole Becker
Kathryn Cole Becker
Kathryn Cole, Becker has over five years of project management and hands-on consulting experience working with clients navigating the evolving FDA regulatory and translational science environments.
Becker oversees the analysis of complex regulatory challenges related to FDA marketing authorization for pioneering medical devices and other healthcare products, including the development of regulatory strategies for first-in-class products, preparation of FDA submissions, due diligence for investments and acquisitions, critical review of scientific data and regulatory literature, and authoring of reports on health-related topics.
Becker previously worked as Senior Consultant in the Translational and Regulatory Sciences at Bethesda, MD-based Precision for Medicine and as a Research Associate, then Practice Manager, for Washington, DC-based Becker & Associates Consulting (now NSF Health Sciences). Kathryn received her BS in Neuroscience from Davidson College and her Masters in Biotechnology Enterprise and Entrepreneurship from The Johns Hopkins University.
Michael G. Rusnak
Rusnak has more than 25 years of life science experience, most recently holding the position of Director of New Ventures and Technology Development within the technology transfer office at the University of Rochester Medical Center. In his six- year tenure at Rochester, he led the office in life science licensing and directed the University’s Technology Development Fund and the award process. Rusnak also played a lead role in additional fund raising, including SBIRs and STTRs, for the Fund’s applicants, pre and post award. Rusnak additionally established numerous collaborations to foster commercialization, further investments, and advance drug discovery including agreements with the Moulder Center for Drug Discovery Research at Temple University, the Medical Research Council in the United Kingdom, Califia Bio, Inc., and Johnson & Johnson.
Previous to Rochester, he was an entrepreneur-in-residence with BCM Technologies, Inc. the venture subsidiary of Baylor College of Medicine. He was involved in starting and incubating more than five spinout companies from the medical school. Rusnak has held senior positions in biotechnology business development with Ceros Pharmaceuticals, CombiChem and Lexicon Genetics, among others.
Rusnak received his Master’s Degree in Clinical Science/Lab Management from San Francisco State University and has a B.S. in Microbiology from St. Bonaventure University.
Terrell Mills has a dynamic practice with a mix of entrepreneurs and established, private companies. Mills brings prior experience in the technology sector to serve his clients in medical device and technology-related industries. His practice includes all aspects of corporate formation, mergers and acquisition, debt and equity financing as well as e-commerce, licensing, and software development.
Prior to attending law school and embarking on the practice of law, Mills spent eight years as a management consultant, specializing in software design, development, implementation and integration. The first four years were spent with an international consulting firm. He then left that organization and assisted in the start-up and growth of a software and consulting firm specializing in forecasting software using neural network.
SCBIO Board Members
Darralyn Alexander has more than 20 years of experience working in the healthcare delivery field, initially as a registered nurse in a clinical and surgical setting. Her work also includes 15 years of product and service management experience working on the business development side of health care.
She has a demonstrated history of providing strategic and tactical advocacy, lobbying and consulting services that achieve the goals and advance the priorities of health care organizations in medical devices, diagnostics, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, payer, business, and health service organizations/associations.
Alexander has worked as a Consultant, Director and Regional Reimbursement Manager for diverse, innovative consulting and medical device companies such as Cryomedical Sciences, Advanced Neuromodulation Systems and Cyberonics. She also worked on the hospital side of business, at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, managing policy decisions and reimbursement strategies for oncology drugs, devices, and diagnostic/labs etc. issues at the national and regional level of Centers for Medicare & Medicaid.
Alexander maintains a current South Carolina and District of Columbia RN license. Darralyn received her Bachelor of Arts from George Washington University in Education & Human Resource Development and her Master of Science from Towson University in Maryland in Business Administration and Marketing.
Shareholder / Intellectual Property Attorney
Rick Brisbin is a Shareholder in Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd’s Charleston office. He has a professional background in engineering, executive management, and law. He understands the importance and complexity involved in protecting the client’s intellectual property at minimal cost. Brisbin is an experienced patent and intellectual property attorney and is registered to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). He also advises clients including startups, colleges and universities, and large multi-national companies in the areas of complex technology and software licensing, technology transfer, trademarks, copyright, and cybersecurity.
Brisbin assists clients to secure, transfer and enforce their intellectual property rights. He prepares and prosecutes patent applications for clients that operate in a wide range of technologies and industries, such as aerospace, healthcare, medical devices, telecommunications,software, optics, automotive, energy, semi-conductors, etc.
He also provides patentability, freedom to operate, and infringement opinions, negotiates and drafts business and licensing agreements, and counsels clients regarding government procurement and intellectual property portfolio strategy.
Brisbin advises clients regarding cybersecurity laws and regulations, data breach policies and procedures, export control compliance and licensing under the Export AdministrationRegulations (EAR) and International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), and governmentcontracts under the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR and DFAR).
Jerry Chang has more than 18 years of experience in technology commercialization with key roles in operations, product development, quality assurance and regulatory affairs. His career has included the development and launch of numerous novel surgical implants and sterilization platforms, aseptic formulation and production of biological materials, and quality oversight of manufacturing, validation and testing operations.
Chang joined BioD, LLC in 2014 and currently serves as the company’s Vice President of Business Development. He is also is a co-founder and managing partner of Vigilant Bioservices, a biorepository and cold chain logistics services company.
Previously, Chang served as Chief Operating Officer for Transplant Technologies of Texas which was recently acquired by Globus Medical (GMED), and he was a founding member and Director of Operations and Product Development at AxoGen Inc. (AXGN), a biotechnology company providing novel solutions to repair and regenerate peripheral nerves.
Earlier, he worked for Regeneration Technologies (now RTI Surgical: RTIX) with increasing management responsibility in various important roles within this 400 person biotechnology company and its wholly owned subsidiaries. He began his technical career with Fuji Hunt Chemical Corporation and Abbott Laboratories. Chang is currently a member of the Upstate Carolina Angel Network and is an Affiliate Faculty Member and an External Advisory Board Member at the J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Florida.
In his current role, Bryan Davis serves as a key management executive for the innovation pillars of Business Development and Technology Transfer on behalf of South Carolina’s largest healthcare system – overseeing and executing numerous strategic initiatives and related business functions. He was a founding member of the small team who launched the initial innovation engine at GHS in early 2014, working side-by-side with renowned economic development and business innovation leaders Sam Konduros and Dr. Chris Przirembel, to establish operational and innovation pillar goals, along with associated implementation strategies.
Since 2014, Davis has had direct involvement in the triage and commercialization strategies of 200+ unique life science innovation opportunities spanning Tech Transfer, Business Development, and Economic Development. Davis is a Greenville, South Carolina native licensed real estate professional, and graduate of Clemson University with a degree in Business Management (2009, magna cum laude).
Graves co-founded the Carolina Biotech Group, a non-profit engineered to unite SC’s young entrepreneurial leaders. He is active in clinical trial and translational research at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine (USCSOM) and the Dorn VA medical center where he is currently completing his PhD in Biomedical Sciences with a focus in neuroimmunology.
He was a fellow of the SC Idea Networks of Biomedical Research (INBRE) as an undergrad at Winthrop University, a fellow at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland and helped form and manage a robust clinical trial group at USCSOM and the Dorn VA in head and neck cancer and central nervous system diseases. He is a published scientific author, consultant, a founder of an immunotherapeutics startup, and an advocate for entrepreneurial science and the economic development. Graves grew up in Greenville.
Tressa Gardner connects business, industry, inventors and entrepreneurs with the advanced technological resources of the SiMT to increase innovation, expand capabilities, and improve efficiency and time to market.
The SiMT’s extensive resources and capabilities support medical device development, aerospace, automotive, advanced manufacturing, and R&D. She also represents FDTC as Co-Principal Investigator on the CA2VES project, an initiative of Clemson University’s Center for Workforce Development.
Ms. Gardner received a BS in Economics from Francis Marion University and a Master of Arts in Economics from Clemson University. She served as Co-PI and Project Manager on numerous National Science Foundation grants to Florence-Darlington Technical College from 2003-2013 before joining the SiMT as Director of Business Development in 2013, and was named Associate VP in 2016.
Prior to joining the college, she was Quality Assurance and Safety Coordinator Director for S & W Manufacturing. She was recently chosen as a 2017 Woman of Distinction by Girl Scouts of Eastern South Carolina, was FDTC’s Administrator of the Year in 2008 and was honored as a YWCA Tribute to Women and Industry (TWIN) recipient in 2009. She also serves on the boards of the Florence Regional Arts Alliance and Pee Dee Speech and Hearing Center.
Martine LaBerge, PhD
Chair, Department of BioEngineering
Dr. LaBerge is a professor and chairwoman of the bioengineering department at Clemson University. She is a recipient of the 2009 Governor Award for Scientific Awareness. She received the first Award For Service from the Society For Biomaterials (SFB) for significant service to the Society for Biomaterials in "establishing, developing, maintaining and promoting its objectives."
LaBerge is a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and a Fellow of Biomaterials Science and Engineering. LaBerge’s research interests include the study of natural and artificial surfaces used in the design of implants for orthopedic and vascular treatment. She has published more than 200 technical articles, many on her research on the friction, lubrication and wear of artificial knee joints.
She has received the Outstanding Woman Faculty Award from Clemson’s President’s Commission on the Status of Women, the Murray Stokely Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Faculty Mentoring Award in the College of Engineering and Science. LaBerge has served the Society For Biomaterials as its president (2007-2008) and as a board member and council member for more than 15 years. She also was the executive editor of the society's Biomaterials Forum from 2000 to 2005.
As associate director of the University of South Carolina Office of Economic Engagement, Chad Hardaway works to align USC assets with outside corporate and government partners. As Director of the USC Office of Technology Commercialization, Chad oversees a portfolio of over 500 university technologies and is responsible for moving those technologies out of the laboratory and into the marketplace. Chad also works with University Technology Startups and South Carolina Technology Companies to form partnerships, find capital, explore research opportunities, develop new markets, and ultimately move products into the hands of consumers. Prior to joining the University of South Carolina in 2005, Chad was a Process Engineer with Eastman Chemical Company. These past positions and experiences provide a broad understanding of the early stage technology development cycle and how it can connect with existing corporate market and technology development. Chad has a BS in Chemical Engineering, MBA, and a Juris Doctor all from the University of South Carolina.
Vickery directs all North America site operations for Capsugel, a leading provider of innovative dosage solutions for the healthcare industry. He is responsible for the world’s largest two-piece hard capsule plant in Greenwood, SC and Capsugel’s two-piece hard capsule plant in Puebla, Mexico. Vickery is also responsible for the Licaps Plant located in Greenwood, SC that provides unique, customized liquid dosage forms based on Capsugel’s proprietary technologies. He has served as a Board Member of the South Carolina Manufacturer’s Alliance, the Greenwood Partnership Alliance and the Piedmont Technical College Foundation. Vickery received his BS in Electrical Engineering and his MBA from Clemson University.