Our Team

Timothy J. McGourthy – Interim President & CEO

Timothy J. McGourthy is serving as interim President & CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, an economic development and investment agency dedicated to supporting the growth and development of the life sciences in Massachusetts. He directs and oversees the center’s operations, investment strategy, programs, and partnerships.

Mr. McGourthy is also the Deputy Secretary for the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development.  He has been engaged on policy development for local, state, and federal initiatives over his 25-year career. Over the last two decades, McGourthy held public sector and nonprofit executive roles focused on the economic growth of Massachusetts’ two largest cities. McGourthy previously served as Executive Director of the Worcester Regional Research Bureau, Inc., a position he held since February 2014.  McGourthy focused on economic development for the City of Worcester from 2006 to 2014, serving as Chief Development Officer for the City, as well as Chief Executive Officer of the Worcester Redevelopment Authority, where he oversaw nine City divisions related to business development, culture, housing, neighborhoods, planning, workforce development, and youth. He worked closely with public and private partners to facilitate transformative redevelopment projects for Worcester. From 1999-2006, McGourthy served as Director of Policy at the Boston Redevelopment Authority, Boston’s planning and economic development agency, where he crafted policies and programmatic solutions to a broad range of issues impacting the growth and development of the city.

McGourthy holds a bachelor’s degree in history from The College of William & Mary, a master’s degree in government from The Johns Hopkins University, and a master’s degree in public policy and urban planning from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He is adjunct faculty at Clark University.

Executive Management Team:


Jennifer Griffin – VP, Industry Strategy and Investments


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 – Operations Director and Executive Assistant to the CEO


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.

Staff Team:


Shannon Ambrose – Financial & Business Systems Analyst

Shannon Ambrose joined the MLSC in May of 2019 as the Finance & Business Systems Analyst. Shannon will be responsible for the maintenance and general software configuration of our current systems i.e. CRM and Smart Simple, documenting system issue logs, resolving system problems, and developing reports. She will also be assisting us and playing a key role in the implementation of NetSuite ERP system and ongoing training. Prior to joining the MLSC, Shannon worked on implementing software solutions, most recently working on projects at Shire and Anika Therapeutics as Senior Financial Analyst.


Monica Anc – Manager of Industry Strategy and Investments


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.


Meghan Gerardo – Senior Marketing Associate

Meghan Gerardo joined the MLSC in September 2018 as Senior Marketing Associate. In this role, Meghan manages the center’s web content and event partnerships. Prior to joining MLSC, Meghan worked as the Communications & Donor Relations Manager for the American Pharmacists Association. She also served as Foundation Manager for the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists previously. Meghan received her Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Keene State College.


Christopher Gilrein – Director of Business Development

Chris Gilrein joined MLSC in May of 2018. Chris is focused on exploring new economic development strategies for the Commonwealth’s diverse regions to take advantage of the Center’s programs and opportunities to fully participate in and contribute to the economic competitiveness of the life sciences ecosystem. Prior to joining the Center, Chris spent several years working in the state legislature, first as a Legislative Director and ultimately as Chief of Staff to former Senator Benjamin Downing. Most recently he served as Policy and Regulatory Manager for a community solar company, developing legislation and representing the company’s interests in state capitals throughout New England. A lifelong Massachusetts resident and proud “Double Beacon”, Chris earned both a Bachelor’s in Political Science and a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Massachusetts, Boston.


Nancy Goryl – Senior Grants Analyst


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 – Senior 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 more than 3,300 internship opportunities for college students at over 650 companies across the Commonwealth, as well as the High School Apprenticeship Challenge, which sponsors lab training programs and internships for high school students. He also oversees the STEM Equipment and Supplies Grant Program, which has awarded over $16.5 million to 170 high schools and middle schools. In addition, he manages equipment and capital grants for colleges and industry-matched research grants for research institutions.

In his role, Ryan currently serves on the MassBay Community College Biotech Advisory Board, MassBioEd Skills Advisory Group, MetroWest STEM Education Network (MSEN) Executive Committee, and the Boston & Metro North STEM Network Leadership Committee.

Prior to joining the MLSC, Ryan worked at several 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 – Senior Education & Workforce Associate


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.



Carla Reimold, Director of Industry Strategy and Investments

Carla joined the MLSC in April of 2018 as the Director of Industry Programs. In her role, she develops and manages the investment strategy for several initiatives 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, Carla was the recipient of a NIH F32 NRSA fellowship to support her postdoctoral research at Boston Children’s Hospital, as well as a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program recipient which supported her graduate research.

Most recently, as Principal, Technology Development Fund (TDF) at Boston Children’s Hospital, Carla coordinated the TDF funding cycles and proposal evaluations, served as a project manager for funded technologies, and negotiated agreements with contract research organizations and external collaborators. Carla received her Bachelor of Science in biological and agricultural engineering from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA. She earned a PhD in biomedical engineering from the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Carla has authored and co-authored 16 peer-reviewed publications in the fields of tissue engineering and wound repair.


Joe Sullivan – Director of Public Affairs and Communications

Joe Sullivan joined the MLSC in January 2018 as Public Affairs Manager. Joe helps oversee the development and implementation of the MLSC’s government relations and communications strategies, which aim to raise the profile of the Center and support the life science industry across the Massachusetts ecosystem. He also serves as a primary contact for elected officials on the local, state, federal, and international levels. Prior to his current role, Joe served as Communications Strategist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. Previously he worked in the public affairs department for the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth and as a legislative aide for former state Sen. Stephen M. Brewer. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Northeastern University. Joe enjoys keeping up with current events, finishing dead last in marathon distance and trail/adventure races, and spending time with his family and friends.


Annie Walsh – Senior Program Associate


Annie Walsh joined the MLSC in 2017 and currently serves as a Senior Program Associate on the Industry and Academic & Workforce Development teams. In this role, she aids in the management and execution of grant programs. In addition, she performs research and analysis for program implementation and metrics. Prior to joining the MLSC, Annie was a Laboratory Technician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a Medical Records Clerk at Capital Care Medical Group. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Northeastern University. Annie’s hobbies include knitting, doing puzzles, and playing board games with friends.

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