Our Team

President & CEO

Travis McCready

Travis McCready is the President and CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, a $1 billion public–private partnership with the mission of advancing the life sciences ecosystem in Massachusetts.  He directs and oversees the center’s investment strategy, including the agency’s operations, programs, and partnerships.  Previously, Mr. McCready served as the Vice President for Programs at The Boston Foundation, directing the Foundation’s grants and community investment strategy to benefit the people of Greater Boston.  He was the first Executive Director of the Kendall Square Association, responsible for growing the innovation economy of Kendall Square, one of the Commonwealth’s most economically robust districts.  He has held the COO and CFO positions at the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, overseeing the operations and finances for three convention centers in Massachusetts.  A native of Brooklyn, Mr. McCready began his career as a public school teacher in the Bronx, NY. 

Mr. McCready serves on the trustee Boards of the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, the Conservation Law Foundation, and WBUR; and the New England Advisory Council for the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.  He served on the Economic Development Planning Council under two governors, including co-chairing the subcommittee on innovation and entrepreneurship.  He currently serves on the Massachusetts Digital Healthcare Council and the Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative.  In 2017, he was named one of Boston’s 50 most powerful people by the Boston Business Journal.  Mr. McCready is a frequent speaker on economic development strategy as it relates to the convergence of private, public, and not-for-profit interests, and his blog, Life Sciences Discourses, has been recognized by The Boston Globe.

Mr. McCready received his B.A. from Yale University and J.D. from the University of Iowa.

Executive Management Team:


Jennifer Griffin – VP, Industry Programs & Relations


Jennifer joined the MLSC in September of 2017 as the VP, Industry Programs & Relations. In her role, she develops and manages the investment strategy for initiatives and partnerships with the life sciences industry, including private, public, and nonprofit stakeholders, in order to support the needs of the Commonwealth’s life sciences ecosystem. Prior to joining the MLSC Jennifer spent time in both the academic and private sectors of the industry. She began her career in technology licensing as an Associate Licensing Officer at MIT’s Technology Licensing Office where she worked alongside faculty, researchers, investors, and entrepreneurs to commercialize early-stage life science technologies.

Most recently, as a Sr. Consultant with Back Bay Life Science Advisors, Jennifer provided a variety of strategic advisory services to private and publicly-traded biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and medical device clients. Jennifer is a proud Massachusetts native having received degrees from both UMass Amherst (BS, Microbiology) and UMass Medical School (Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences).


Beth Nicklas, Esq. – General Counsel and Vice President for Academic and Workforce Programs


Beth Nicklas joined the MLSC in June of 2009. In her role as General Counsel and Vice President of Academic & Workforce Programs, Beth serves as the principal legal adviser to the MLSC and manages the program development and implementation of all initiatives targeted at academic and workforce development organizations, including STEM education. Beth brings a diverse background of private and public sector experience to her position at the MLSC including six years working as a consultant for the federal government with the Cambridge-based firm of Industrial Economics. She graduated from Columbia University School of Law and holds a Master’s in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.


Cheryl Sadeli, CPA, CGMA – Vice President of Finance


Cheryl joined the Center in January 2015. In her role as the Vice President of Finance, Cheryl oversees the Center’s entire accounting and finance function.  In addition to finance, accounting, and budgeting, Cheryl also manages the Center’s tax incentive program and serve as a Board Observer to the Accelerator Loan portfolio companies. Prior to joining the Center, Cheryl worked at Jobs for the Future, a Boston based national non-profit, and KPMG LLP. Cheryl received her Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and Computer Information Systems from Rhode Island College and her MBA from Bryant University. She is a licensed Certified Public Accountant in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and a Chartered Global Management Accountant. In her free time, Cheryl enjoys yoga, traveling and reading mysteries and historical fiction.


Sharon Tapper – Executive Assistant and Operations Manager


Sharon Tapper joined the MLSC in April 2017 in the role of Executive Assistant and Office Coordinator. Sharon’s responsibilities involve high-level, direct support to the CEO including scheduling, project work and internal/external coordination of group meetings.  Sharon also supports the Center’s Board of Directors, Board Committees and Scientific Advisory Board. Prior to her work at the MLSC, Sharon was a Business Manager at a private law firm in Newton. Through her career she has worked in various Administrative, Accounting, and Office Management positions. Sharon holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from Simmons College.


Martha Waldron – Vice President of Marketing and Communications


Martha Waldron joined MLSC in September of 2017 as Vice President of Marketing & Communications overseeing marketing, program communications, media relations, social media and government relations. She will work with Center leadership to set the strategic marketing direction, develop communications plans, and leverage partnerships to raise the Center’s profile and to advance its mission. Prior to this, Martha was at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs where she was awarded the Commonwealth Citation for Outstanding Performance in 2016. Previously she served in senior leadership roles at WGBH, Girl Scouts, American Lung Association, Beth Israel Hospital, and Benson Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at MGH. She was recognized by the Boston Business Journal as Chief Marketing Officer of the Year in 2011. Martha earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Regis College.



Monica Anc – Senior Program Associate


Monica Anc joined the MLSC in the spring of 2016 as a Senior Program Associate. In this role, Monica assists in the execution of the MLSC’s industry programs, which include initiating program launch, implementing application processes, and coordinating applications evaluation through peer and Scientific Advisory Board review processes.  Prior to joining the MLSC, Monica worked as an Immigration Paralegal and held earlier roles in state and federal government. Monica graduated from Northeastern University with a Master of Arts degree in Political Science, where she was awarded a grant in connection with a Department of State internship in the Political and Economic Section of the U.S. Embassy in Budapest, Hungary. She enjoys learning photography, traveling, and playing soccer in her spare time.


Nancy Goryl – Staff Accountant & Programmatic Compliance Associate


Nancy Goryl joined the MLSC in January 2014 as Staff Accountant & Programmatic Compliance Associate. In this role, Nancy’s primary responsibility is the collection, tracking and maintenance of documentation and financial information in compliance with grant agreements. She supports the Vice President of Finance and the Senior Financial Analyst with daily internal finance operations. Her previous position was at IMN, a digital marketing company in Waltham, MA. She has a B.A. from Connecticut College and a Certificate in Accountancy from Bentley University. Nancy’s hobbies include creating and viewing art, hiking and volunteering for animal causes.


Sandhya Iyer – Associate Director of Business Development


Sandhya Iyer joined the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) in 2016, and she currently serves as Associate Director of Business Development. In this capacity she oversees lead-generation and follow-up, electronic communications, event coordination, and other Communication activities related to business development efforts. Prior to her work at the MLSC, Sandhya worked as an Assistant to Executive Producer for Films in Percept Picture Company in Mumbai, and worked as a Radio show producer in Radio Mirchi. She volunteers with the Relay for Life for Ayer to help promote their event. Sandhya holds a BA in English Literature from Gujarat University, Post Graduate Diploma in Mass Communication from Indira School of Communications in Pune, and MS in Corporate and Organizational Communication from Northeastern University. She enjoys cooking for her family, gardening, photography and watching old classic films in her spare time.


Ryan H. Mudawar – Director, Academic & Workforce Programs


Ryan Mudawar joined the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) in 2009. As Director of Academic and Workforce Programs, he most notably oversees the MLSC’s Internship Challenge, a program which has created nearly 3,000 internship opportunities for college students at over 600 companies across the Commonwealth. He also oversees the STEM Equipment and Supplies Grant Program for high schools and middle schools, which has awarded over $16 million to nearly 150 public schools. In addition, he manages equipment grants for colleges and industry-matched research grants for research institutions. Prior to joining the MLSC, Ryan worked in various capacities at non-profit organizations throughout Greater Boston. He received his Master’s in International Relations in 2007 from Suffolk University and a Bachelor’s in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2005. Ryan is a Massachusetts native, hailing from Springfield.


Ciara Murphy – Senior Staff Accountant


Ciara Murphy joined the MLSC in February 2017 as a Senior Staff Accountant. In this role, Ciara assists the Vice President of Finance in the day to day activities of the Center’s internal finance operations. She also supports the administration of the Capital and Accelerator Loan programs. Prior to her work at the MLSC, Ciara held the position of Audit Manager in a public accountancy practice in Limerick, Ireland. Ciara holds a BBS in Accounting and Finance from the University of Limerick and received her professional accountancy qualifications from Chartered Accountants Ireland. She enjoys CrossFit and traveling in her spare time.


Cheryl Purnell – Program Associate, Academic & Workforce Programs


Cheryl Purnell joined the MLSC in 2015 in the role of Program Associate. She supports all aspects of the Academic and Workforce Development Program, Internship Challenge and STEM programs and represents MLSC at job fairs and meetings. Prior to joining MLSC, Cheryl worked in the Wellesley, MA school system, most recently in the Middle School special education department. Cheryl holds a Bachelor’s degree in Corporate Systems from Boston College. She enjoys cooking/nutrition, needle crafts, and spending time with family and friends.



Rob Ramos – Senior Marketing Associate


Rob Ramos joined the MLSC in January 2014 as Senior Marketing Coordinator. Rob’s primary responsibilities at the MLSC are handling sponsorship opportunities, promoting the MLSC’s objectives and programs both inside and outside the Commonwealth, and maintaining the MLSC’s website and social media presence. Prior to his work at the MLSC, Rob was an E-Commerce & Marketing Manager in New Orleans with the New Orleans Saints and Hornets/Pelicans. Rob graduated from Emmanuel College with a Bachelor’s in English Communications. He enjoys playing basketball, baseball, staying up-to-date on consumer technology and spending time with his wife and two kids.

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