University of Chicago Alumni Club of San Diego: Biotech Speaker Series

Learn what’s new in healthcare M&A, biotech finance, and manufacturing & patent law from fellow UChicago alumni.

Cost: $35 per person - includes food and beverages; $40 per person for walk-ins

Walk-in registration available after 4/20 for $40 per person at the door.

Join us and hear distinguished alumni from the University of Chicago discuss what’s new in the biotech and healthcare fields. Our panelists are experts in healthcare M&A, finance, angel investing, and manufacturing and patent law, and we are proud to have them present at the second event in our San Diego Biotech Speaker Series. Open to the public. Online registration preferred, but walk-ins are welcome.


Adam Bazih, MBA, XP-85 - CEO, New Health Partners

As an entrepreneur dedicated to the development and commercialization of medical innovations, Adam is armed with over a decade of clinical work, research and business ventures in health care and imaging while holding on to multiple medical device patents. He is acting CEO of SMRT Image, and maintains active roles as a member of the Tech Coast Angels and as an advisor on the boards of multiple healthcare startups. Adam has started and successfully sold two companies, raised millions of dollars in venture and private equity financing. Adam completed his undergraduate degrees in microbiology and chemistry at Oklahoma University, medicine graduate studies at both Oklahoma University Health Sciences Center and UCLA, and is earning his MBA at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Martha Demski, MBA'77 - CFO, Ajinomoto Althea, Inc.

Martha Demski has over 35 years of experience in the fields of finance and biotechnology. She currently serves as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Ajinomoto Althea, Inc.  In April 2013, Ms. Demski led the acquisition of Althea by Ajinomoto Co. Inc., from the original sourcing of the investment advisors through the due diligence and negotiation process resulting in a $175M acquisition price. 

Additionally, Ms. Demski serves on the board and as chair of the Audit Committee for the following companies: Chimerix, Inc. (CMRX), Adamas Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ADMS) and Neothetics, Inc. (NEOT). She also serves as a member of the Compensation Committee (NEOT) and Nominating and Governance Committee (CMRX).  Ms. Demski has held previous positions including Interim COO/CFO of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center (SKCC), CFO of Vical Inc. (VICL) and over 12 years in the banking industry with Bank of America and US Trust.  It was at Bank of America that she began her involvement in the Biotech industry in 1978. She holds an M.B.A from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and a B.A. from Michigan State University.

Brooks Dexter, AB'79, MBA'84 - Managing Director, Duff & Phelps

Brooks Dexter is a Managing Director in the Los Angeles office and a member of the Healthcare Practice within
the Investment Banking segment. He has 30 years of experience in advising clients in merger and acquisitions
and in raising capital.

Brooks has closed more than 100 mergers and acquisitions, debt and equity transactions for clients in
sectors, including Healthcare IT, Revenue Cycle Management and Managed Care. Recent transactions
include the sale of Employee Benefit Solutions to Pharos Capital, United Therapies to Bison Capital, the
sale of Olympia Medical Center to Alecto Healthcare, the sale of Pacific Ambulance and Bowers
Companies to Rural/Metro, the acquisition of PHNS by Anthelio Healthcare Solutions, the recapitalization
of Merlin International and the sale of Clear One Health Plans to PacificSource Health Plans.

Prior to joining D&P, Brooks was a Senior Managing Director and head of investment banking at USBX
Advisory Services, Inc. He was responsible for building this 15-person boutique investment bank sold to
Imperial Capital. Before joining USBX, Brooks was a senior investment banker in the Los Angeles office of
J.P. Morgan. Before J.P. Morgan, Brooks was a Managing Director with Lehman Brothers in Los Angeles.
Brooks began his career as a Financial Analyst with The First Boston Corporation in New York.

Brooks received his A.B. in business from the University of Chicago and his M.B.A. (concentration in
finance) from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He holds series 7, series 24 and series
63 securities industry registrations. Brooks is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Association
for Corporate Growth (Los Angeles chapter) and the Alumni Board of Governors of the University of

Kerry Taylor
, PhD'96, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology - Partner, Knobbe Martens

Kerry S. Taylor is a partner in Knobbe Martens San Diego office.  Dr. Taylor has been practicing since 1998 in areas including Inter Partes Reviews, patent prosecution, strategic planning and counseling relating to infringement and licensing issues, and intellectual property due diligence studies.

Dr. Taylor is very active in Knobbe Marten’s Inter Partes Review practice.  He has lead the firm’s efforts in Inter Partes Review in the life sciences, biotechnology and chemistry, representing both Patent Owner and Petitioner in these proceedings.  Dr. Taylor also is active in patent prosecution and portfolio strategy development for various clients in the life sciences, pharmaceuticals and polymer chemistry industries.

Dr. Taylor received his doctorate degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from the University of Chicago where he worked in the field of structural biology, using primarily x-ray crystallographic techniques to study protein engineering and design.  He was awarded the Lucille P. Markey award for his work.  After receiving his doctorate degree, Dr. Taylor performed post-doctoral studies at the University of California at Berkeley directed to structural analysis of protein-ligand interactions.

Dr. Taylor joined the firm in 2005 and became a partner in 2010.  Prior to joining the firm, Dr. Taylor worked as an associate at Fish & Richardson PC.  Before law school, Dr. Taylor worked as a patent agent at Campbell & Flores LLP.

•    University of California - Berkeley School of Law (J.D. 2003), Berkeley Center for Law and Technology Certificate, Prosser Award in International Intellectual Property, American Jurisprudence Award in Biotechnology & Chemical Patent Law
•    University of Chicago (Ph.D. Biochemistry & Molecular Biology 1996), Lucille P. Markey Award, Thesis title "Crystallographic analysis of de novo designed peptides and a thermophilic beta-glucosidase used in protein engineering"
•    Wheaton College (B.S. Chemistry 1994), magna cum laude


Kristina Peterson, MBA'90 - CEO, Mayflower Partners
Rong Xu, MBA'10 - Senior Marketing Manager, Boston Scientific Neuromodulation


Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine, 2880 Torrey Pines Scenic Drive, La Jolla, CA 92037
Lobby Reception and Duane Roth Auditorium for Panel Discussion


5:30-6:30PM Registration and reception, ground floor Lobby, featuring hors d’oeurves, sandwiches, salad, dessert, soft drinks, beer and wine.

6:30-6:45PM Duane Roth Auditorium, second floor, introductions of panelists and moderators

6:45-8PM Speaker presentations on what’s new in healthcare M&A, biotech contract manufacturing, patent law changes affecting biotech, and biotech angel investing

8-8:30PM Q&A

Event Contact
Kristina Peterson, MBA '90

Staff Liaison