Skip to main content
Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Triangle Entrepreneurial Trainee Event

May 3 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Triangle Entrepreneurial Trainee Event May 3 2023

UNC’s KickStart Venture Services and Duke’s Translational & Commercialization Office are hosting a joint trainee panel and networking event, featuring panelists who are early in their careers outside of academia, as well those with more senior experience from UNC and Duke. Following our panel Q&A, trainees will have a chance to join round table discussions with the different panelists followed by open networking.

Register here

Speaker Bios

  • Dr. Michaela Copp: Throughout her graduate career, Michaela Copp was always interested in the intersection of business and science. She explored this intersection by participating in the Venture Catalyst Fellowship through Innovate Carolina, co-founding the RTP chapter of Nucleate, and acting as Partner for the Carolina Graduate Consulting Group. Michaela has (very) recently graduated with her doctorate in Biomedical Engineering at UNC Chapel Hill and is excited to begin working at McKinsey in the fall as an Associate Consultant.
  • Dr. Michael Dzuricky: Mike is the Director of R&D at Isolere Bio, a wholly owned subsidiary of Donaldson Inc and the former CSO of the company. Isolere Bio is developing new purification paradigms in the cell and gene therapy space with its innovative product portfolio. From 2019-2023, Mike has been responsible for the technological development of Isolere Bio core products, responsible for growing the business from 3 to over 20 employees and securing over $7M dollars in non-dilutive capital. Mike attended Duke University from 2013-2019 to earn his PhD in Biomedical Engineering, publishing over 20 co-authored research papers and filing 2 patents during his tenure. He also worked for over a year in the Office for Translation and Commercialization as a technology transfer fellow. Upon graduation, Mike was awarded the “Outstanding Dissertation Award” for the year 2019. Previously, he earned a Bachelors from Case Western Reserve University in Biomedical Engineering. Mike collects extracurricular activities like they are trading cards but oft can be found outside the lab hiking with his young family and dog, playing orchestral music as an amateur cellist and absorbing copious amounts of soccer from abroad.
  • Dr. Christy Marshuetz Ferguson: Christy Marshuetz Ferguson has led and supported numerous deals including academic research collaborations, licenses, M&A transactions, and equity investments. Prior to joining OTC, she was Vice President of Business Development at GeneCentric Therapeutics, a venture-backed precision oncology start-up, and held a number of roles at Laboratory Corporation of America, including Head of Licensing and Associate Vice President of Corporate Development, Director of the Office of the CEO. While at LabCorp, she served on the Intellectual Property Committee and was a member of LabCorp’s venture fund. A cognitive neuroscientist by training, Christy was a faculty member at Yale University after earning her PhD from the University of Michigan where she and her colleagues performed some of the earliest positron emission tomography and functional magnetic resonance imaging studies of working memory, frontal lobe function, and aging. In addition, Christy holds an MBA (corporate finance) from the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School.
  • Dr. Ricky Spero: Ricky Spero is a founder and the CEO of Redbud Labs. Since stepping into the CEO role in 2015, Redbud Labs launched its category-defining microfluidic components, MXR and STR, then developed its first-in-class sample prep automation platform, NAxtract, now nearing commercial launch. Under Dr. Spero’s leadership, Redbud has established its RTP manufacturing operations and attracted more than $20 million in funding. Previously, Dr. Spero served as Redbud’s Vice President of Product Development. He received his PhD and MS in Physics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and his BS in Physics at Middlebury College.
  • Dr. Katie Warner: Katie founded Ribometrix in 2015 with Kevin Weeks, and is currently the Vice President of RNA Biology. Ribometrix is a platform therapeutics company pioneering a novel modality: discovering small molecule drugs that target and modulate RNA biology to treat human diseases. Since its founding, Ribometrix has raised ~ $90 M in investment, including from venture capital and partnerships with Vertex Pharmaceuticals and Genentech, has grown to more than 25 employees, and won the Triangle Business Journal’s 2021 Life Sciences Award for “Best Early-Stage Product Development Company.” Katie received a BA in Chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and an MPhil in Pathology and PhD in Chemistry from the University of Cambridge. Katie was a Beckman Scholar, a Churchill Scholar, an RNA Society/Scaringe awardee and an NIH-Oxford-Cambridge Scholar.

Register here


Duke Office for Translation & Commercialization
View Organizer Website


Alexandria LaunchLabs
9 Laboratory Drive, 1st Floor Lounge
Durham, NC 27709 United States
+ Google Map

Have Questions?

Please contact us or subscribe for more opportunities

Stay in Touch with Us