David oversees the commercialization program and its consulting team of life science experts, which provides technical assistance and programming aimed at growing the life sciences industry and knowledge-based economy in the region. David earned his MBA from Tulane University’s Freeman School of Business and has been working in technology commercialization since 2013. In addition to his entrepreneurial interests, David is an accomplished musician, with a Master’s Degree in Jazz Studies from the University of New Orleans and a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Loyola University New Orleans. David has recorded eight albums with different bands including One Love Brass Band, Doombalaya, and Outer Core, and can be seen performing in clubs and festival around New Orleans.
Kris Khalil is the Managing Director of the BioFund, an early-stage life science investment firm housed within the New Orleans Bioinnovation Center. Kris has over a decade of working knowledge in the early stage investment & credit industries. Prior to joining the Center, Kris gained valuable experience as an underwriter and analyst for multi-national and community-based financial institutions such as Capital One Bank and Omni Bank. Kris holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from Louisiana State University with concentrations in entrepreneurship and accounting, and an MBA from Tulane’s A.B. Freeman School of Business. Kris is a New Orleans native, is an active volunteer in the community, and is passionate about investments that ultimately generate a positive impact. Since 2013, the BioFund has invested in over 20 New Orleans seed-stage companies, with a primary focus on the life sciences, advanced manufacturing, and commercialization of university-affiliated technologies.
Michael provides business consulting services to startups on a wide range of topics, including business strategy, business models, financial modeling, fundraising, competitive analysis, and marketing. He graduated Beta Gamma Sigma from Tulane University’s Freeman School of Business with an M.B.A. in Entrepreneurship and Strategic Management & Leadership (2017). He began at the BioInnovation Center as a Commercialization Intern during his M.B.A. Prior to pursuing a business career, Michael obtained a J.D. from Tulane Law School and gained six years of experience in disability and federal administrative law. He is licensed to practice law in NY and DC. Michael also holds a B.A. from Syracuse University in philosophy and economics, with minors in political science and psychology.
Ryan Meck serves as Director of Advancement for the New Orleans BioInnovation Center. He joined NOBIC in 2016 to establish the Office of Advancement. Ryan has 16 years of higher education fundraising experience, including nine years at Tulane University where he worked closely with the School of Medicine and the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in corporate and foundation relations. He also worked in Tulane’s Office of Gift Planning focusing on deferred gifts and other complex giving procedures. Prior to Tulane, he worked in New York City for the University of Oxford’s North American development office, and served as a consultant to the New York office of the Lebanese American University located in Beirut, Lebanon. He served for two years in the Peace Corps in the far western region of Nepal and worked in Washington, DC for the U.S. Information Agency.
Aaron Miscenich has served as President of the New Orleans BioInnovation Center since 2004. This life science business incubator is focused on the local commercialization of university technologies. Companies handle a variety of technologies ranging from medical devices and therapeutic drugs to green technologies.
Miscenich joined the BioInnovation Center after 10 years in the capital industry and worked with a variety of products ranging from equity investments and mezzanine debt to senior debt financing. Miscenich also previously served as an adjunct professor of entrepreneurship at Tulane University.
From 2011 to 2015 Miscenich served as interim Executive Director of the Louisiana Cancer Research Center, a research collaborative pursing NCI-designated institution.
Miscenich is currently the Chairperson of LouisianaBIO and serves on the board of the Association of University Research Parks. He holds a B.S. in Physics from the University of New Mexico and an M.B.A. from Tulane University.
As a Commercialization intern, McKenzie provides market research and competitive landscape analysis to BioInnovation startups. McKenzie is a second-year M.B.A candidate concentrating in Strategic Management and Leadership at Tulane University’s Freeman School of Business. She is a graduate of Hampton University with a B.S in Economics (2011). McKenzie worked as a Financial Institution Specialist at the FDIC and Bank Examiner with the Maryland State Government and DC Government for over six years.
Jesse is a Stationary Engineer, licensed by the City Of New Orleans since 2000. He completed a 2 year course for Stationary Engineering at New Orleans Regional Technical School and worked 1 year as an apprentice at Le Méridien Hotel. He has been an engineer at Ochsner Westbank, Oschner Main Campus, East Jefferson General Hospital and Place St. Charles. He has worked as a fitter at Avondale and Textron Marine Systems. Jesse has his OSHA 511 certification and is the first person in New Orleans to be certified to check backflow prevention systems without being a master plumber. Jesse teaches voice and saxophone at Guitar Center, and he enjoys playing occasional gigs and doing studio work as well as writing music.
Dr. Sarkar completed his undergraduate education at the Johns Hopkins University where he obtained degrees in applied mathematics, biomedical engineering, and neurosciences. He earned his Doctorate of Medicine from the University of California at San Diego School of Medicine. He completed a Neurology Residency at the University of California at Davis, in Sacramento. This was followed by the completion of a Brain Injury and Medicine Fellowship at Northwestern and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. He is double boarded in Neurology and Brain Injury Medicine and Rehabilitation. He joined the Ochsner Neurosciences Institute in 2015 and is also a Clinical Instructor at the Tulane School of Medicine and adjunct professor in the Tulane Department of Biomedical Engineering. He recently joined the Section of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the New Orleans VA Medical Center. His research on traumatic brain injury has been published in peer-reviewed journals and has been awarded the American Academy of Neurology’s (AAN) Founder’s Award in Translational Research. He currently serves as a board member for the non-profit Brain Injury Association of Louisiana (BIALA).
As part of the commercialization team, Erik advises clients on a variety of business and legal matters with an emphasis on intellectual property. Erik started at the BioInnovation Center as an Extern while simultaneously pursing a J.D. from Loyola University of New Orleans and a Computer Science degree from the University of New Orleans. Prior to joining the BioInnovation Center, Erik worked with non-profits and startups in a number of roles including project management, sales and marketing, graphic design and IT. Erik also holds a B.A. in Film Production from the University of New Orleans.