Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University

Jefferson Business & Biotech Group

Who We Are

Founded in 2012, BizBio is a diverse group of Jeffersonians thinking and working outside the academic box. We are faculty looking to translate our research to patients. We are graduate students looking to use our degrees in unique and impactful ways. We are medical and nursing students looking to approach the healthcare system from a different angle. Regardless of background or position, we are united by a shared interest in the business of science. Sound interesting? Read on and join our email list to see what we’re about.

Mission Statement

The Jefferson Business and Biotechnology Group (BizBio) is a student-run organization dedicated to:

  • Exposing all members of the Jefferson community to careers at the interface of science, healthcare, and business
  • Helping members understand and develop the skill set required to succeed in such careers
  • Cultivating a network of innovative, dynamic individuals within the Jefferson community and the greater Philadelphia area
Student Organization of the Year

Congratulations to BizBio on being awarded Student Organization of the Year by the Office of Student Life and Engagement!  Click here for more.





2018-2019 Officers

Christine Rettew

Mai Nguyen

Mai is a fourth year PhD student in the Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology program. She is working in Dr. Andrew Aplin's lab studying the mechanisms of resistance to targeted therapies in melanoma. Born in Vietnam, she went to high school in Singapore under a full scholarship by the Singaporean government. She obtained her B.S. in Biochemistry with Honors in Chemistry from Lafayette College in Easton, PA, where her research work focused on analytical techniques to detect fake and substandard pharmaceutical products. Mai has been a member of BizBio since her first year at Jefferson and has served on the board for the last 2 years, first as the Treasurer and later as the VP of Programming. As someone with a professional interest in alternative career tracks and a personal penchant for entrepreneurial endeavors, she believes she understands Bizbio's mission and has the enthusiasm and experience to make sure tasks get done for us to realize our goals.

Pauline Fontaine

Pauline Fontaine
Vice President

Pauline earned her Doctorate in Pharmacy in France and Master of Research in Pharmacology in England. After graduation, she worked as a Licensed Community Pharmacist in France and French Polynesia for two years. Interested in understanding human pathophysiology and drug development from a fundamental standpoint, she went back to graduate school and received her Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics from the University of Florida. During her graduate studies, she dissected the mechanisms of anti-parasitic drug resistance, and worked with the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in Florida to develop a novel adjuvant therapy. She is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow working on Uveal/Ocular Melanoma in Dr. Wedegaertner’s laboratory.

Lebaron Agostini

Lebaron Agostini
Chair of Consulting

Lebaron completed his undergraduate training at Florida Atlantic University in Molecular and Cellular Biology, followed by 2 years of research at the University of Miami Diabetes Research Institute, before coming to Thomas Jefferson University.  Currently, Lebaron is a 3rd year Ph.D. Student in the Genetics, Genomics,  & Cancer Biology Program, working on novel small molecule inhibitors for the treatment of Pancreatic Cancer in the Dr. Brody lab.  Lebaron's professional interests are in management consulting in the "BioPharma" space, as well as preclinical drug development.

Drishya Kurup

Drishya Kurup

Drishya earned her B.Tech(Engineering degree) in Biotechnology from Pune University(India).During her undergraduate studies, she gained exposure to pharmaceutical research by doing a summer internship at Pfizer,Mumbai. She earned her MS in Microbiology from Thomas Jefferson University in 2014. Her Master Thesis work in Dr. Matthias Schnell's laboratory, titled " Rhabdovirus-based vaccine platforms against Henipaviruses" earned her the "Jefferson Alumni Thesis prize ". She thereafter worked as a Research Assistant on several infectious disease vaccines namely Ebola virus Sudan virus and MERS virus in the Schnell laboratory. She is currently in her fourth year of the Immunology and Microbial Pathogenesis PhD program, focusing on using using the Measles vaccine vector for developing a vaccine for Zika virus and other infectious diseases.

David Deming

David Deming
Treasurer/Chair of Fundraising

David Deming received his BS degree in Biological Anthropology and minor in Biology from Temple University. Between undergraduate and graduate school he worked as a fitness trainer, and began to explore careers threw shadowing opportunities in the biomedical sciences fields. He made the jump into the biomedical field by achieving his MS degree in Cell and Developmental Biology at Thomas Jefferson University. Currently, he is a second year PhD student in the Genetics, Genomics and Cancer Biology program at Thomas Jefferson University. His thesis project includes the examination of the chromatin landscape in tumor initiating cells in glioblastoma.

Nicholas Swanson

Nicholas Swanson
Chair of Programming

Nicholas obtained his B.S. in Chemical Biology with a minor in Behavioral Neuroscience from Saint Joseph's University in 2017, where his research focused on developing low-cost biosand filtration systems for developing nations that removed harmful levels of Arsenic from drinking water. He is now a second year doctoral student in the Biochemistry & Molecular Pharmacology program focusing on viral genome delivery using a combination of structural, biochemical, and functional techniques. Outside of lab and BizBio, he enjoys volunteering at the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital by providing companionship to those who would otherwise be alone in their final moments of life.

BizBio Initiatives


Networking is critical to every career path. We help members make meaningful connections by hosting regular networking events with distinguished alumni and visiting professionals.

Career Spotlights

You have more options than you think. Attend our Career Spotlight Seminars to get informed by professionals about their careers in:

  • Biotechnology/pharmaceutical industry
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Management consulting
  • Healthcare/life sciences finance and investing
  • Business development
  • Intellectual property and patent law
  • Medical/scientific communications
  • … and more!

Business Plan Competitions & Hackathons

There is no better way to learn about entrepreneurship and the business of science than to dive in and practice running a startup. Our members have participated in the Neuro Startup Challenge, the Nano Startup Challenge, the JAZ Tank, and the Independence/Jefferson Health Hack.


We think differently and we’re not alone. BizBio collaborates with the Career Development Center, the Innovation Pillar, the JCBS Alumni Association, and others to achieve our shared goals.

Consulting Opportunities

This year, Jefferson Business and Biotechnology group (BizBio) created a position within its board specifically dedicated to providing opportunities/internships, information sessions, and programs for students interested in consulting. This year, Lebaron Agostini, a 3rd year PhD student in the GGCB program, is the Chair of Consulting for BizBio. Below are consulting info sessions and internships for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Please review them and follow up with Lebaron ( for further information. There are numerous consulting competitions throughout the year, and BizBio is interested in training a team to compete in these competitions. If you are interested, please contact us via email with the subject “Consulting Team”. Opportunities are open to Jefferson students and from both Center City and East Falls Campuses, and postdoctoral fellows when applicable. (add this: For more information click here.

Calendar of Events


Jeff Joseph

Jeffrey I. Joseph, DO

Dr. Joseph is a Jefferson University Physician, Professor of Anesthesiology, and serial entrepreneur. His esteemed research career has focused on the development and commercialization of implantable medical devices for the management of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. 

Dr. Joseph earned his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed residencies in general surgery, anesthesiology, and cardiac anesthesiology. His entrepreneurship began in 1994 when he co-invented an implantable device for glucose measurement using near-infrared light and optical sensors. With this technology, Dr. Joseph co-founded Animas Corporation to further develop and commercialize the device, as well as a complementary insulin infusion pump and catheter system. The company successfully completed an initial public offering on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange in 2004, and was subsequently acquired by Johnson & Johnson in 2006.

Recently, Dr. Joseph co-founded two more companies, Capillary Biomedical, Inc. and RTM Vital Signs, LLC. He currently serves as Chairman of the Scientific and Clinical Advisory Boards for both companies. Dr. Joseph has also served on advisory boards for seven other companies, as well as on numerous advisory committees for the federal government and private foundations.

Other current positions that Dr. Joseph holds include Vice-Chairman & Director of Research of the Department of Anesthesiology at Thomas Jefferson University & Hospital and Adjunct Professor in the School of Biomedical Engineering at Drexel University. He also founded the Jefferson Artificial Pancreas Center in 1998 and has served as its Director since. Dr. Joseph continues to lead a laboratory at TJU, improving upon novel insulin delivery systems.

Chad E. Beyer

Chad E. Beyer, PhD, MBA

Dr. Beyer has been the President & CEO of Promentis since early 2013. He is a pharmaceutical professional with nearly 20 years of experience in the research, discovery and business development of medications aimed to treat CNS and neurological disorders. For more than a decade, Dr. Beyer worked in the Discovery Neuroscience group at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals in Princeton, NJ, holding positions of increasing responsibility including serving as the Head of Neurochemistry and leading the Psychiatry Task Force. During his career at Wyeth, Dr. Beyer led several early-stage drug discovery teams, managed a group responsible for contributing to the submission of more than 30 INDs and provided supporting data for the commercialization and life-cycle management of two blockbuster medications: Effexor® and Pristiq®. Dr. Beyer holds a PhD in Neuropharmacology from LSU Medical Center and an MBA from the Rutgers Business School. Notably, Dr. Beyer has authored more than 70 manuscripts, obtained 3 patents, co-edited "Next Generation Antidepressants" and is co-founder of the journal Technology Transfer & Entrepreneurship. Dr. Beyer is also an adjunct faculty member at Thomas Jefferson University, where he teaches "Bioventure Management" and the business of doing science.

Dennis M. Gross

Dennis M. Gross, MS, PhD

Dr. Gross is currently the CEO and Treasurer of the Pennsylvania Drug Discovery Institute at the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center.  He is also Adjunct Faculty in the Jefferson College of Life Sciences and Professor of Experimental Therapeutics and Medicinal Chemistry at the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute of the Hepatitis B Foundation.  He recently retired in 2014 from Jefferson, where he was the Associate Dean of the Jefferson College of Life Sciences and Associate Professor of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics in the Sidney Kimmel Medical College. Prior to this, he was at the Merck Research Labs (MRL) for 29 years, retiring in 2006 as Senior Director and Head of West Point Business Operations with overall responsibilities for facilities in Pennsylvania, California and Massachusetts.  He was also responsible for capital laboratory projects and operations oversight at MRL sites in the U.S., Canada, Japan, Italy and the UK.  In his career at MRL he held a number of positions ranging from bench scientist to head of computer resources, manager of international strategic planning, M&A activities and liaison for basic research and clinical drug development in Japan.

During his tenure at MRL, he also served as Adjunct Professor of Global Logistics in the School of Business and Industry of Florida A&M University. He has worked with the Center for Strategic & International Studies in Washington, DC on policy issues relating to biological weapons of mass destruction.  He received his BA (1969) and MS (1970) from California State University Northridge and his PhD (1974) from UCLA pursuing a postdoctoral fellowship at Tulane University School of Medicine.

Lisa Kozlowski

Lisa Kozlowski, PhD

Dr. Kozlowski is the Associate Dean for Student and Postdoctoral Affairs at Thomas Jefferson University.  She received her PhD in Immunology from the University of Pennsylvania and did a postdoctorate at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, where she was an officer in their postdoctoral association.  She then worked as Program Director at Science's Next Wave, which is now part of  She moved on to become a consultant, helping disciplinary societies and universities provide career workshops to their trainees.

Since October 2003, she has directed the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs at Thomas Jefferson University.  Her administrative accomplishments include implementing a required minimum salary and revising the annual performance evaluation.  Her enhancements for postdoctoral fellows include providing professional development workshops, establishing English as a Second Language (ESL) classes and co-organizing the annual Postdoctoral Research Symposium.

On the regional level, Lisa is a past president of the Philadelphia chapter of the Association for Women in Science.  On the national level, she has been on the planning committee of the NPA annual meeting.  She is also a past chair of the Postdoctorate Leaders Section Committee of the AAMC GREAT Group.

Contact Us

To keep up to date with current events and the job market, connect with us on LinkedIn: Jefferson BizBio.

E-mail to receive our monthly newsletters about events in the Philadelphia area and to get alerted about our upcoming events.