Advisory Board Members

David J. Aldous, Ph.D.

Head of LGCR Small Molecular Research and Pre-development

Sanofi Pharmaceutical

Dr. Aldous is an experienced R&D Leader with expertise in directing multidisciplinary drug discovery programs that have progressed multiple candidates into preclinical and human studies.  He has developed, managed and mentored project leaders across diverse cultures, countries and scientific disciplines in the advancement of over 30 drug candidates into clinical development.  He is a recognized expert in medicinal chemistry with therapeutic area expertise in antivirals, inflammation (asthma, COPD, RA), pain and CNS.  

Dr. Aldous is currently the Head of LGCR small molecular research and pre-development at Sanofi Pharmaceutical in Boston, MA.  Previously, he has served as the Global Head of Molecular Innovative Therapeutics, Exploratory Internal Medicine Site Head and Senior Director of Medicinal Chemistry at Sanofi-Aventis.  Dr. Aldous received his Doctor of Philosophy in Oxford University, England.

Lauren Celano, MBA

CO-founder and CEO

Propel Careers

Lauren Celano is the Co-founder and CEO of Propel Careers, a life science search and career development firm focused on connecting talented individuals with entrepreneurial innovative life sciences companies.  Lauren is very passionate about working with individuals with strong scientific backgrounds to find exciting growth opportunities in the life sciences and related industries. Lauren co-founded Propel Careers in 2009 and since then, has worked with thousands of students, postdocs, medical residents and professionals to help advance their careers. Before Propel, she spent about 10 years in the life sciences industry working with companies to advance drug molecules through SNBL USA, Aptuit, Quintiles, and Absorption Systems. She has a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Gettysburg College and an MBA with a focus in the health sector and entrepreneurship from Boston University.  Lauren is on the Board of MassBioEd, the Advisory Board of the Boston University School of Public Health Pharmaceuticals Program, the advisory board of the Framingham State University professional science masters program, and the Advisory board for Endicott College Boston. She also serves on the Gettysburg College Entrepreneurial Fellowship Advisory Council and the programming committee of the Capital Network.

Thomas Colarusso

General Manager, Definiens North America

Global VP Business Development & Strategy

Thomas Colarusso joined Definiens in 2006 and brings more than 19 years of bio-analytical software sales and business development experience in the life sciences industry. His prior role at Definiens was managing the North American Life Sciences sales and professional services organization where he established a large strategic account base within the pharmaceutical and medical research industry. Thomas currently leads a global commercial and technical team of >25 people focusing on Clinical Development & Diagnostics, developing partnerships with leading Pharmaceutical companies. He is responsible for the global development of Definiens Commercial business, working with Top Pharma, CRO, and CLIA Reference Labs. He has built a team of senior business development professionals to manage high value strategic transactions and  focused on selling services as an outsourcing strategy for Clinical Development in Immuno-Oncology Clinical Trials & Companion Diagnostics. He is currently working with Top 30 Biopharma in developing strategic alliances & negotiating contracts and served as key member of due diligence team to support M&A of Definiens by Medimmune-Astrazeneca.

Prior to joining Definiens, Mr. Colarusso was Director of Strategic Pharmaceutical Accounts for Tripos in St. Louis, MO, a leading provider of Cheminformatics & Molecular Modeling software solutions used in BioPharma Drug Discovery Research and Development. He was also Regional Sales Account Manager for Nonlinear Dynamics Inc. in Durham, NC, a provider of analytical proteomics and genomics imaging-based software solutions for life sciences research, where he developed the company’s Eastern U.S. business. Mr. Colarusso spent 4 years managing a Molecular Oncology & Immunology lab at Boston University School of Medicine, Boston Medical Center where he conducted basic and applied research on B-Cell Signaling and Molecular Pathways involved in Autoimmunity and Cancer Research. Mr. Colarusso has also co-authored several medical journal articles. Mr. Colarusso holds a BS degree in Microbiology from the University of New Hampshire at Durham.

Norman Garceau, Ph.D.

Chief Scientific Officer

Blue Sky BioSciences

Dr. Norman Garceau is the Chief Scientific Officer at Blue Sky BioServices and is responsible for overseeing all science-related activities and for ensuring that scientific excellence is at the forefront of the company. Prior to joining Blue Sky, Dr. Garceau was employed at Pfizer Global Research and Development where he served in a variety of roles in spanning molecular and cellular biology, protein production, and small molecule discovery. Dr. Garceau earned a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Dartmouth Medical School where he studied the molecular basis of circadian rhythmicity in Neurospora crassa. Subsequently, he pursued postdoctoral research at Pfizer & Dartmouth Medical School studying the molecular basis of signal transduction for members of the TNF receptor family.

Johnny Ip

President of Hong Kong Association of Massachusetts

Chairman of National US Hong Kong Business Association

Mr. Ip has over 35 years of extensive experience in commercial and international banking, cross-border risk and project management, as well as global business consulting.

Mr. Ip is very active in participating and supporting local business and communities.  In particular, he helps connecting high technology startups with foreign country accelerators and incubators, including Hong Kong Science and Technology Park, Hong Kong Cyberport and Hong Kong Biotechnology Organization.  

Currently, Mr. Ip is President of Hong Kong Association of Massachusetts, and Chairman of National US Hong Kong Business Association.  Working closely with Hong Kong Trade Development Council, his organizations bring in high tech and trade delegations from Hong Kong and China and arrange one-on-one matching meetings with the local US companies.  He is also a member of the Board of Governors at Tufts Medical Center, and a member of advisory committee of Asian American Diabetes Initiative at Joslin Diabetes Center.

Before his retirement, Mr. Ip was Senior Vice President and Director of New England Region of East West Bank, specializing in helping investors from China and Hong Kong to launch their business in the United States through mergers and acquisitions, joint venture, and investment immigration.  Prior to the above assignment, he was Regional Senior Vice President and General Manager of New England Region of Cathay Bank, Vice President of International Banking Division of Citizens Bank, Vice President and National Sales Manager of Global Trade Banking Division of State Street Bank.  During his tenure in these banks, he was instrumental in the designing and installing special web-based global trade finance programs that enable US companies to conduct cross border business online with their Asian trading partners.  Before relocating to the United States, he also held executive positions with major multinational banks in Hong Kong, including Norwest Bank and ABN-AMRO Bank.

Mr. Ip earned a Bachelor of Commerce degree from St. Mary’s University, Nova Scotia, Canada

Sy Pretorius, M.D., M.S., M.B.A.

Corporate Vice President, Chief Scientific Officer


Sy Pretorius is the Chief Scientific Officer at PAREXEL and has been with PAREXEL for the past twenty years in a variety of roles and countries. On a day-to-day basis, Sy collaborates closely with biopharmaceutical and medical device clients in designing and optimizing drug / device development strategies and plans, as well as finding, evaluating and purchasing assets. As a member of the PAREXEL Executive Committee, Sy is responsible for the overall leadership of a number of PAREXEL business units – these include our Global Early Phase business (responsible for Phase I and II clinical development), Global Medical Services (therapeutic area expertize, global medical writing and pharmacovigilance operations), Quantitative Clinical Development (modeling and simulation), as well as the Genomic medicine unit. Sy is absolutely passionate about drug development and leads several company-wide forums and initiatives focused on clinical trial innovation and further expanding PAREXEL’s capabilities and service offering. Sy is a Medical Doctor (M.B.,Ch.B) with Masters degrees in Clinical Pharmacology (M.Med.Sc), Business Administration (MBA) and, most recently in the Management of Drug Development (MS) from the University of Southern California (USC). Sy has and continues to publish and present extensively.

Dan Rao

Managing Partner at DRP Associates

Board Member EDIC

Summary: a seasoned operations professional with over 20 years of experience, Dan Rao brings a wealth of expertise in retail, catalog and e-commerce. He has met the unique challenges of start-up, turnaround and high-growth companies. Never working in what would be considered a status quo organization, Dan has delivered measurable financial improvements by providing creative, tactical and strategic leadership and direction.


Dan’s experience includes a distinguished 15 plus years with the TJX Companies, where he was part of the leadership team that grew TJ Maxx from start-up to the leading off-price retailer in the USA, with over $3 billion in revenues. Having started as Manager responsible for distribution operations, Dan rose to Senior VP responsible for Merchandise Planning, Financial Planning & Analysis and Distribution Logistics including Transportation and Engineering. Dan was also part of the leadership team that established international expansions into Canada and the United Kingdom.


After TJX, Dan became President and CEO of Chadwick’s of Boston, the nation’s largest off-price catalog retailer, where he turned around the business to profits and growth within six months. Under his leadership the business grew profitably, from $400M in revenues to $600M.  He developed new business divisions, reduced expenses, introduced new technology and ushered-in the Internet era both for revenues and to improve back-room efficiencies and customer service. The Yankee Group rated the Chadwick’s of Boston website among the top.


After Chadwick’s, Dan started and continues to help ‘businesses of various sizes get to the next level’ by successfully employing growth and turnaround strategies, as needed. Included in this was a turnaround stint as President at EGI Industries, of New Hartford, CT and President and CEO of OptHome, a start-up, where Dan led the company’s intial capital raise of $10M.


Currently, Dan is Managing Partner at DRP Associates. He is also a Board Member of Framingham’s EDIC (Economic Development Industrial Corp.). For the past 5 plus years Dan was also an elected Town Meeting Member in Framingham.


Dan has a M.S. in Management and Industrial Engineering and a BS in Mechanical Engineering.


Patrick Shum, Ph.D.

Principle Scientist

Sanofi-Aventis SA

Patrick Shum received his B.Sc. from the University of Toronto, Canada.  He moved to the United States and received his Ph.D. under the direction of Professor Donald E. Bergstrom at the University of North Dakota. After a short stay at a biotechnology company, he joined Professor Alan P. Kozikowski at the University of Pittsburgh and Mayo Clinics as a postdoctoral fellow. He started his independent career at Marion Merrell Dow in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1991. Through a series of mergers and transfers, he is now at Sanofi, US in Boston. He took sabbatical leaves to be a visiting scientist at Lepetit Research Center in Gerenzano, Italy in 1995 and Selectide (Marion Merrell Dow Combinatorial Research Center) in Tucson, Arizona in 1997.  He has been a visiting scholar at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester since 2014.

Steven Theroux, Ph.D.

Professor of Biology

Assumption College

Professor Theroux joined Assumption College in 1992 to teach in the College’s biotechnology program, and while at Assumption he has taught numerous courses including Genetics, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Biotechnology and the Biology of Cancer.  In addition, he has co-taught a philosophy course that explores the relationship between science and philosophy.  Since 1998, Professor Theroux has also taught at the Harvard Summer School, where he offers courses in Genetics and the Biology of Cancer.  

After arriving at Assumption College, Professor Theroux developed an NIH-funded research program to investigate signal transduction in cancer cells.  He is also interested in the philosophical implications of advances in science.  

During his tenure as Health Professions Advisor and chair of the Natural Science Department, Professor Theroux helped to develop a major in Biotechnology and Molecular Biology, a major in Biology with a Concentration in Neuroscience and Behavior, a major in Environmental Science with a Concentration in Environmental Policy, an ACS accredited program in Chemistry, a Concentration in Physical and Occupational Therapy, and a minor in Physics.  He also helped to develop the College’s health professions program and more than a dozen collaborative programs with other institutions in biotechnology, engineering, law, health science and environmental science.  

Professor Theroux received his Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and he completed post-doctoral studies with Samuel Wadsworth at the Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology.  Professor Theroux was also a Howard Hughes Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the laboratory of Roger Davis in the Department of Molecular Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.  

Katherine A. Tsokas, J.D.

Senior Director, Global Regulatory Affairs

Advanced Therapies Janssen Research & Development, LLC

Kathy Tsokas, J.D., is responsible for leading the Advanced Therapy Global Regulatory Affairs influencing activities across Janssen Research & Development, and is the Global Regulatory Leader for Janssen’s lead cell therapy project.

Kathy has 25 years of global regulatory experience in both small and large sized Pharma companies.  She has worked on products in various therapeutic areas and at all stages of development, from early through to filing, approval and commercialization.  

Kathy has been with J&J for 8 years.  She has held several roles during this time including Global Regulatory Lead for the Research and Early Development (RED) units.  Currently, her responsibilities include providing strategic regulatory oversight to advanced therapy projects in several therapeutic areas by ensuring regulatory strategies contribute to and support the development plans for the products and that all opportunities for collaboration internally and externally are utilized.  Importantly, Kathy leads efforts internally and externally to enhance awareness and connectivity to influence the development of processes and regulatory pathways that enable the global development and commercialization of safe and effective advanced therapeutics. Kathy participates in discussions with global Health Authorities through internal project work and external collaborations. In addition, she represents Global Regulatory Affairs on the J&J First in Human Committee.

Kathy is the Chair for the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine (ARM) Regulatory Committee, and a member of the ARM Government Affairs, and the Science and Technology Committees.  She is a frequent speaker at advanced therapy conferences and is a collaborator on planning programs in advanced therapy.

Kathy received her Bachelor of Science Biology from Temple University, Juris Doctorate from Widener University Law School, and is admitted to the practice of law in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Keith Watling, Ph.D.

Site Director, Applied Markets Business Unit


Keith received his undergraduate degree in Physiology and Biochemistry from the University of Southampton in England, followed by a PhD in Neuropharmacology. Following periods of postdoctoral research at the University of Cambridge, England and Harvard University in Boston, Keith embarked upon a career in neuroscience drug discovery, working initially for Merck, Sharp and Dohme, and then Parke-Davis, at research centers established by both companies in England in the early 1980s. In 1994, he moved to the United States to take up a position as Director of New Product Development with Research Biochemicals International, a small Massachusetts company that specialized in providing innovative neurochemicals for use as research tools by the neuroscience research community. In 1997, RBI was purchased by Sigma-Aldrich Corporation, a major life science and high technology company. Since 2000, Keith has held leadership positions in a variety of areas within Sigma-Aldrich, including strategic marketing, operations and business development. He is currently Site Director at Sigma-Aldrich, Natick where he oversees the production of a range of bioactive small molecules used in both life science research, and diagnostics and testing.