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.
Sh’nai is a senior honors student at Sophie B Wright High School in New Orleans. This Summer, Sh’nai will be supporting the BioInnovation Center by creating original content aimed at local youth with the goal of reinforcing COVID-19 countermeasures. Keep an eye out for Sh’nai’s content on our website and social media! At NOBIC, Sh’nai will also interview inspiring biotech entrepreneurs and is excited to learn about how they are working to shape a better future. She is interested in research, medicine, and experimentation within the health industry. We are so excited to have Sh’nai on the team!
NOBIC is partnered with @YouthForceNOLA – an organization with one goal in mind: to better prepare our youth for the next stage of economic growth. @YouthForceNOLA has partnered with over 200 of our region’s employers, connecting students like Sh’nai with high-wage industries. Learn more about their impact here.
Liza Curcio-Rudy is an Investment Analyst at the New Orleans BioFund, an early-stage life science investment firm housed within the BioInnovation Center. Prior to joining the BioFund, Liza spent two years interning with Illumen Capital, where she helped raise and deploy the firm’s first fund. She also spent time with the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, both of which support entrepreneurship and economic development in emerging markets. Liza cares deeply about the ability for capital markets to drive social change.
In 2019, Liza was awarded a fellowship from Venture for America, a nonprofit organization with the mission of creating economic opportunity in American cities by mobilizing the next generation of entrepreneurs. Liza holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Maryland, where she was a Presidential Scholar and Social Innovation Fellow.
Andrew comes from a mixed background of translational research & biomedical policy. In his current role as BARDA DRIVe Fellow, he maintains knowledge of the various forms of funding available to innovators in our community, aiding researchers and biotech entrepreneurs with applications and plans to scale their technology. He also creates programming that promotes medical countermeasures being developed by various individuals in our biotech ecosystem.
He received a BS in Biology from Spring Hill College with additional concentrations in Biochemistry and Business Administration. He went on to receive a Masters in Biomedical Science Policy and Advocacy from Georgetown University. His prior work experiences include assisting in the build-out of a collaborative research effort at the US Department of Health and Human Services in Washington DC, implementing innovative diagnostics software in a hospital system in Colorado, and coordinating emergency operations at a Level I Trauma center Massachusetts. Andrew enjoys running and many other outdoor activities.
Cameron has been a part of the NOBIC team for three years — having started as a marketing intern for the BioFund, and later advancing into his present role as NOBIC’s business development associate. Cameron primarily assists NOBIC in establishing new strategic partnerships, as well as seeking out new avenues for expanding the organization’s programming and impact. Additionally, Cameron assists the NOBIC team and tenants in navigating state-level and federal grant opportunities such as those offered by SBIR/STTR programs.
“Cam” graduated from Tulane University in May of 2020 with a dual-BA degree in Political Economy & International Development, and a minor in Social Innovation/Social Entrepreneurship (SISE). Outside of work, Cam volunteers for Strong City – a non-profit dedicated to supporting youth-empowerment initiatives in New Orleans. In his free time, Cam enjoys camping, reading his favorite author, Kurt Vonnegut, and snowboarding whenever he gets a chance to escape the heat.
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).
Thomas J. Krouse is a Summer Consultant at the New Orleans BioInnovation Center. He assists NOBIC in its Commercialization and BARDA DRIVe programming. Thomas is studying for a Masters in Health Informatics at the University of Michigan- Ann Arbor, focusing on data science applied to healthcare. He’s interested in using data science to improve health outcomes while lowering costs, particularly for those underserved.
Thomas hails from New Orleans where he attended Tulane University. When not working, you can find him exercising at City Park, playing rugby with the Crescent City Rougaroux, or eating at one of New Orleans’ famous restaurants.
Margie Gilbert, NOBIC Community Manager, has been with the Center for six years. She fosters community relationships, manages the Center’s various programming, regional and networking events, oversees leasing of the Center’s venue space, offices and labs.
Margie is a graduate of the University of New Orleans, having received a BA in English, with a concentration in Creative Writing, and Spanish, and is bilingual. She has 26 years of wide-ranging experience including Wholesale International Textile Sales, Trade Show Conception, Home Goods Design Development and Interior Design, and as a Regional Sales Manager.
Sophia is a social media and public relations intern at NOBIC. As a junior at Tulane University, she is pursuing a BA degree in Communications with dual minors in Design and English. Sophia gained experience back home in New York City as a graphic design and social media marketing intern at Holler, a messaging technology company recently partnered with Venmo, and named on Fast Company’s 2020 Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Social Media. Presently, Sophia assists NOBIC with the curation, design, and dispersion of social media content. Outside of the office and classroom, Sophia loves to travel, use her French, and read.
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.