2014 Opening Plenary Speakers

The 2014 I2SL Annual Conference began on Monday, September 22, with an Opening Plenary Session to welcome all participants to the conference.

I2SL Welcoming Remarks

DOE Remarks

  • Timothy Unruh, Federal Energy Management Program, U.S. Department of Energy

Panel Discussion

Led by Dr. Thad Seymour, the opening plenary panel addressed the strategies behind expanding the life sciences industry in Florida, plans for central Florida's High Tech Corridor, and Lake Nona's growing life sciences innovation ecosystem. The panelists offered perspectives on the challenges and opportunities in establishing new biomedical research organizations and life sciences companies in an emerging innovation cluster. Panelists described how state and local incentives and private investment can fuel such initiatives, and outlined the opportunities that are being created for planners, engineers, and product manufacturers as such clusters expand.


Timothy Unruh

Timothy Unruh
Federal Energy Management Program, DOE

Dr. Timothy D. Unruh is the Program Manager for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP), which falls within the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). As FEMP Program Manager, Dr. Unruh oversees the implementation of policy and actions that result in energy efficiency implementation, renewable energy adoption, reductions in energy and water use in Federal government operations.

Dr. Unruh was formerly Director of Operations for ConEdison Solutions where he led a team of engineers and managers. Dr. Unruh has a doctorate degree in electrical engineering from Wichita State University in Wichita, Kansas.

Thaddeus Seymour, Jr.

Thaddeus Seymour, Jr., Ph.D.
Senior Vice President, Tavistock Development Company, President, Lake Nona Institute

Thad Seymour leads planning, marketing, sales, and business development for Lake Nona, including its Medical City in Orlando, Florida. His role encompasses institutional recruitment and new business ventures, driving innovation, and cultivating collaboration among the Lake Nona partners. Dr. Seymour also serves as president of the Lake Nona Institute, which focuses on using the community to innovate and model best practices in health and wellness, sustainability, and education.

Prior to joining Lake Nona, Dr. Seymour was a senior executive with specialty pharmacy CuraScript, a $3 billion subsidiary of Express Scripts. He also has extensive experience in healthcare informatics, including co-founding a venture-backed electronic medical records company. Dr. Seymour has served previously on the boards of multiple healthcare technology businesses and as a director of the Florida Venture Forum.

A board member of BioFlorida, co-chair of bioOrlando, and immediate past chair of the Florida Research Consortium, Dr. Seymour is active in promoting the importance of research in the acceleration of economic development in the state. Dr. Seymour is also a regional board member of OneBlood and chair of Shepherd's Hope, which provides medical care to uninsured and underinsured patients throughout Central Florida. 

Dr. Seymour holds a B.A. from Dartmouth College, an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, and an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.


Philip Arlen

Philip Arlen, Ph.D.
President & Chief Scientific Officer, Revolution Medicine
Assistant Professor, Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology, University of Central Florida

Philip Arlen is co-founder of Revolution Medicine (formerly Pandora Genomics, LLC), an early-stage bioinformatics company that provides personalized medicine solutions. In partnership with healthcare organizations and insurance companies, Revolution Medicine applies its proprietary technology to analyze DNA information for clinical relevance and to determine optimal treatment plans for each individual patient. Dr. Arlen also conducts research into molecular diagnostic tests that can be used for the early detection of various forms of solid tumors, including lung, breast, and colon cancers.

Dr. Arlen's career began at the Prostate Cancer Foundation, where he helped Michael Milken create the first nationwide organization of translational research scientists and clinicians dedicated to eradicating prostate cancer. He has worked to apply this collaborative model in Central Florida, helping to establish a local interdisciplinary network of scientists and clinicians with an interest in cancer. Immediately prior to founding Revolution Medicine, Dr. Arlen was Assistant Professor and the Patricia and David Schwartz Senior Research Scientist at the Cancer Research Institute of MD Anderson Cancer Center Orlando. For five years, Dr. Arlen directed the Early Stage Interventions Laboratory, which studied the relationship between cancer and the immune system, with specific areas of focus in cancer vaccines, tumor biomarkers, and immunodiagnostics.

Dr. Arlen earned a B.S. in Biology from Cornell University and Ph.D. in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics from the University of California, Los Angeles. He holds a faculty appointment as Assistant Professor in the Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Central Florida and is a member of the Board of Directors of BioFlorida, the state's trade association for the bioscience industry.


Stephen Gardell

Stephen Gardell, Ph.D.
Senior Director, Scientific Resources & Associate Professor, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute

Stephen Gardell oversees Scientific Operations at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute at Lake Nona. The research focus of his laboratory uses metabolomics to generate metabolite bio signatures for human health and disease (enabling personalized medicine). Dr. Gardell has deep expertise in cardiovascular and metabolic research gained from 20 years of experience in the drug discovery and translational research pursuits at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute.

Dr. Gardell received a B.S. degree in Biology from Boston College and a Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry from the Cornell University Graduate School of Medical Sciences. He performed post-doctoral studies at the University of California, San Francisco in the laboratory of Dr. William J. Rutter. Dr. Gardell joined Merck Research Laboratories (West Point, PA) in 1987, where he studied thrombosis and Alzheimer's disease. His investigations of the secretases provided key insight into the pathophysiology of Alzheimer's disease. In 2001, Dr. Gardell became the Director of Obesity Research at Bayer Research (West Haven, CT), where he pursued weight loss strategies involving appetite control and energy expenditure. In 2004, Dr. Gardell became Assistant Vice President, Cardiovascular Discovery Research at Wyeth (Collegeville, PA) where he led programs in atherosclerosis, heart failure, thrombosis and arrhythmias. Dr. Gardell joined Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute in 2009.

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