Oregon Bio Holds 8th Annual Bio in the High Desert

Oregon Bio is proud to announce our 8th annual Bio in the High Desert networking event in Central Oregon. This year, we will be highlighting rockstar CEOs and their companies. Join us and learn about the challenges they face and the opportunities they see in the bioscience sector. After the programming, grab a drink, and join your bioscience colleagues for fun and informal networking.


Ryan Dunlap, Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operation Officer of MolecularMD, Moderator

Ryan has over 20 years’ experience as a financial and operational leader, currently serving as the Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer at MolecularMD, a bioscience company providing innovative diagnostic solutions for research and development of personalized cancer treatments. Prior to joining MolecularMD, Ryan was the Vice President and CFO at Galena Biopharma, a company developing targeted cancer immunotherapies. Ryan has previously held other financial leadership positions, including over 11 years in public accounting, where he provided auditing, accounting and consulting services focused on serving growth stage technology and life science companies. Ryan graduated from the University of Oregon with a BA degree in Accounting and is an active CPA licensed in Oregon.

Emmanuel Akporiaye, Ph.D., Founder and CEO of Veana Therapeutics Inc.

Dr. Emmanuel Akporiaye is Founder and CEO of Veana Therapeutics Inc., a biotechnology company founded in 2012 as a spin-off from the Earle A. Chiles Research Institute of the Providence Cancer Center in Portland, Oregon. Until recently, he was Division Chief of Experimental Biology and Scientific Career Development at Sidra Medical and Research Center, Doha, Qatar. Prior to joining Sidra, Dr. Akporiaye was Chief of the Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Therapeutics at the Earle A. Chiles Research Institute where he led the discovery, development and production of a novel anti-cancer agent that is in a first-in-human clinical trial at Providence Portland Medical Center. Dr. Akporiaye is a Fulbright Senior Scholar and Professor Emeritus from the University of Arizona. He currently holds the position of Adjunct Full Member at the Earle A. Chiles Research Institute where he continues to oversee the management of the ongoing Phase I clinical trial.


Lisa Hale, CEO of Grace Bio-Labs

Lisa Hale is the CEO at Grace Bio-Labs in Bend, Oregon. Prior to joining Grace Bio-Labs, she led Commercial Operations for the Life Sciences Division of Thermo Fisher Scientific. Ms. Hale has 20+ years of commercial experience in the biotechnology sector. As an original commercial employee of Invitrogen, she developed and executed commercial strategies from IPO offering through 31 mergers and acquisitions successfully driving revenue growth for Life Technologies with Thermo Fisher Scientific. She received her undergraduate degree in biology from San Diego State University. She and her family reside in Bend, Oregon.

Chris Schelling, CEO and Founder of Acer Therapeutics

Chris Schelling has 18 years of biotech and pharma strategic and orphan drug expertise. Prior to founding Acer, he was Executive Director of Strategic Marketing at BioMarin Pharmaceutical (BMRN), where he was instrumental in the development and commercialization of the company’s phenylketonuria (PKU) franchise. Previously, he held roles at Abgenix, Cell Therapeutics, Stanford Research Institute Consulting, and Organon.

Sandra Shotwell, Ph.D., Co-founder, CEO of DesignMedix and Co-founder of Elex Biotech

Dr. Shotwell is an experienced biotech entrepreneur, with a passion for global health. She is co-founder and CEO of DesignMedix Inc., and co-founder of Elex Biotech LLC, firms that develop small molecule therapeutics for infectious disease and heart disease, respectively. She previously cofounded Alta Biomedical Group LLC, a consulting firm focused on commercialization of life science technologies. A Certified Licensing Professional, she has done biotech and pharmaceutical licensing deals as a Licensing Associate for Stanford University, as founder and Chief of the Technology Licensing Branch for the National Institutes of Health/FDA/CDC, and as Director of Technology Transfer at Oregon Health & Science University. Dr. Shotwell has served on several for-profit and non-profit boards of directors and is an active angel investor.




The fine print. Online registration ends May 13. Please check the website prior to the event to see if tickets are available at the door. Students must show Student ID at the door. For more information and registration, please visit

Ticket Pricing
Early-Bird (Through May 4)
$15 Members/Students; $20 Non-Members

Regular (May 5 – May 13)
$20 Members/Students; $25 Non-Members

At-Door (May 14)
$25 Members/Students; $30 Non-Members

Monday, May 14, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.
10 Barrel Eastside Pub
62950 NE 18th St.
Bend, OR 97701

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