Our Board of Directors

Board of Directors

John C. Weiss, III, M.B.A. – Board Chair and President

Mr. Weiss is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Baltimore’s Merrick School of Business with deep roots in the bioscience and business communities of Greater Baltimore.  Mr. Weiss has significant entrepreneurial and leadership experience having served as the President of Chesapeake Biological Laboratories, Inc. (CBL) and leading its relocation, expansion and successful public stock offering; recruited as the founding Executive Director of Baltimore’s Parking Authority; and was the founding Managing Director of the Maryland Venture Capital Trust.  While President of CBL, Mr. Weiss and his staff partnered with Dr. Penno and others in developing the model for the BioTechnical Institute of Maryland, Inc. (BTI), all of the trainees from this inaugural program were hired as laboratory technicians at CBL.  He has organized, raised and managed five venture capital funds since the mid-1980’s focusing on emerging technologies and early stage companies with a special emphasis on the Mid-Atlantic region.  Mr. Weiss earned a B.S. degree from Towson University and an MBA from Loyola College.  He serves on several civic and corporate boards including the University System of Maryland Foundation, the Engineering Society of Baltimore, the Baltimore Workforce Investment Board, the University of Maryland Baltimore, and is Chairman Emeritus of the Greater Baltimore Technology Council.

Paul Silber, Ph.D. – Vice-President

Paul Silber was the President/CEO and founder of In Vitro Technologies, Inc. (IVT).  IVT was launched in 1991 as a means of supplying research customers (pharmaceutical, biotechnology and chemical companies) with innovative in vitro (test-tube) analytical services and products for studying human chemical-biological interactions. The company was successful sold to Celsis International in 2006. He holds several patents and has received many business awards, including the Maryland Entrepreneur of the Year award, University of Baltimore Distinguished Entrepreneur award, GBTC’s BETA award, GBC’s Leadership in Bioscience Award and the State of MD International Leadership award. Dr. Silber is an active angel investor in this region, serving as a Founding Principal of Blu Venture Investors and as a member of Baltimore Angels. His current Board/Advisory roles include: Evergreen Advisors LLC, Pathsensors, LKC Technologies, Insightin Health, Coolstat Inc. and the UMBC TechSouth Advisory Board.

Richard A. Grossi, MBA – Treasurer

Recently retired from his VP/Chief Financial Officer position at Johns Hopkins Medicine which he held since 1996, Mr Grossi was responsible for the $7.3 billion enterprise. He currently works as a consultant for Johns Hopkins Medicine. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of M&T Bank Corporation and M&T Bank.

Thomas E. Little, PhD. – Secretary

Before being named Pastoral Associate with the Archdiocese of Baltimore in 2011, Dr. Little was Executive Director of the Bon Secours Spiritual Center.  He has been a Director of BTI since its inception.  Dr. Little is an expert in learning theory and has provided learning services to businesses and organizations in Baltimore and throughout the country.  He has also served as Director of Training at Baltimore City Community College, Director of the Institute of Continuing Education at St. Mary’s Seminary and University, and Director of Towson University’s Office of Executive and Extended Education.  Dr. Little holds the Masters Degree in Theology from St. Mary’s Seminary and University and the Masters Degree in Education from Johns Hopkins University.  He completed his doctorate in Adult and Community College Education at North Carolina State University and most recently a second doctorate.  He writes and speaks often about learning and its connection to leadership, creativity, business development, customer care and organization effectiveness.

Emily English, Ph.D.- Director

Emily English, PhD, CEO, Gemstone Biotherapeutics, is a seasoned leader with more than ten years of technical and entrepreneurial management experience. She is a passionate scientist who leads cross-functional teams and drives technologies from concept to launch. Since being recruited to Gemstone Bio, she has aligned the company’s strategy to focus on a lead product in the dermatology space that can deliver significant clinical impact and value creation. She has built a multi-disciplinary team with experts in commercialization strategy, regulatory affairs, and clinical and preclinical research. With Dr. English as its Principal Investigator, Gemstone Bio has also established a robust product development pipeline through non-dilutive grant awards from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund. Prior to joining Gemstone Bio, Dr. English was a Program Manager at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, where she oversaw a portfolio of developmental and operational programs serving US government sponsors. She holds PhD and BS degrees in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and the University of Maryland – College Park.

David Greenwald, Ph.D. – Director

David Greenwald, Ph.D., currently serves as Director of Corporate Relations for Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures (JHTV). Dr. Greenwald is a founder of Relay Technology Management, Inc. and co-inventor of the Relay Innovation Engine software. Dr. Greenwald was previously Chief Executive Officer of Relay Technology Management and Director of Client Solutions for Decision Resources Group (DRG) after its acquisition of Relay. Dr. Greenwald was an Associate Investigator at the Naval Medical Research Center in Silver Spring, MD, where he worked with the Food and Drug Administration on 510(k) applications for diagnostic devices for dengue fever. Dr. Greenwald was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) research fellow while earning a B.S. in Cellular Biology and Molecular Genetics from the University of Maryland, College Park and was awarded an NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) towards his Ph.D. research dissertation on gene therapy for Retinitis Pigmentosa, which he completed at Tufts University School of Medicine. Dr. Greenwald lectures on Entrepreneurial Finance and Corporate Finance at The Johns Hopkins Carey Business. He joined BTI’s Board in December 2017.

Pablo Pineyro, MBA – Director

Mr. Pablo Pineyro is the worldwide Vice President of Human Resources at Becton Dickinson & Co, a leading Medical Technology and Fortune 500 company with approximately two thousand employees in the Baltimore area. Pablo offers BTI a unique perspective around governance, performance management and specially the capabilities sought in the life science industry, shaping BTI’s evergreen learning curriculum as a pathway towards a productive career in science. Pablo serves BTI as a liaison with academic and community non-profit organizations in the Baltimore area.

Abba David Poliakoff – Director

Abba David Poliakoff is a business lawyer with Gordon Feinblatt LLC, practicing corporate and securities, M&A, intellectual property and venture capital.  Governor Hogan appointed Abba as Chair of the Maryland Regulatory Reform Commission, and Abba previously served on Governor O’Malley’s International Business Advisory Council.  Listed in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Abba was named in Best Lawyers In America for Corporate and Securities Law, and named by Best Lawyers in America as the 2013 Baltimore “Lawyer of the Year” in Securities/Capital Markets Law.  He is Chairman of Levindale Geriatric Center and Hospital, Chairman Emeritus of the Maryland Israel Development Center and a founder of its venture capital fund, and serves on a number of Boards including the University of Maryland School of Medicine, the BioTechnical Institute of Maryland, LifeBridge Health, and Champions Oncology, Inc.  Abba is a TEDCO Entrepreneur in Residence for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Alan F. Scott, Ph.D. – Director

As Associate Professor in the Institute of Genetic Medicine and Director of Genetic Resources Core Facility at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Dr. Scott possesses a global reputation as a genetics researcher.  The depth of his bioscience background and understanding provides a critical science-based perspective to BTI’s laboratory training programs.  Dr. Scott, having employed many of BTI’s Laboratory graduates in his labs at Johns Hopkins, offers continued employment opportunities as well as an influential endorsement of the program to his fellow principal investigators.  Dr. Scott’s marketing efforts on behalf of BTI within the Hopkins community results in increased revenues from BTI workshops and additional employment opportunities for BTI program graduates.

Roger Ward, Ph.D. – Director

Roger Ward is the chief accountability officer (CAO), vice president of operations and planning, and Vice Dean of the Graduate School at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB), since January 2018. In this role, Ward directs a portfolio of departments and initiatives that promote institutional effectiveness and assure accountability, including human resources, strategic planning, enterprise risk management, and institutional accreditation. In addition, he oversees areas that promote University compliance and transparency, including the offices of research integrity, conflict of interest, human research protections, and education and equal access, and he serves as the vice dean of the Graduate School.

Dr. Ward joined UMB in March 2009 as the associate vice president for academic and student affairs. Prior to joining UMB, Ward served as assistant vice president for student affairs at the New School in New York City and also held senior administrative positions in the City University of New York system. Ward holds an Associates degree in data processing/computer programming from Kingsborough Community College, a Bachelor’s degree in government and a Master’s in public administration, both from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. He also holds a Doctor of Law degree from New York Law School, and a Doctor of Education degree in Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania.  Dr. Ward joined BTI’s Board in 2015.

Tonya J. Roberts Webb, PhD – Director 

Dr. Tonya J. Webb, PhD is an Associate Professor (tenure track) at the Department of Microbiology and Immunology for the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM). She earned her B.S. in Biology/Chemistry at Prairie View A&M University (Cum Laude) in 1998. She completed a doctoral degree in Microbiology and Immunology, at Indiana University in 2003 investigating the role of CD1d1 molecules and NKT cells in antiviral immunity. Her post graduate work includes a 2003 – 2005 Postdoctoral Fellowship at Indiana University School of Medicine and a 2005 – 2009 Postdoctoral Fellowship at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Dr. Webb’s academic career at UMSOM included positions of increasing responsibility in Microbiology and Immunology; studies on oncology at the Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center; and currently as a member of the Center for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, UMSOM. She has received numerous honors and awards throughout her career, including the NIH, AACR, and a host of professional and academic societies. She founded a biotech company, WebbCures, LLC in 2016.  Dr. Webb also contributes significant time to local and national service to increase diversity and equity in academic medicine and healthcare, and finds time to mentor and share her experiences with young people from the noted UMB CURE Scholars program middle scholars to graduate and post-graduate students.

Kathleen Weiss, Executive – Director Emerita

Ms. Weiss received her undergraduate degree in Economics from the University of Maryland, College Park, and pursued post-graduate work in Management at Johns Hopkins University. Prior to joining BTI in June 2001, Ms. Weiss was the Assistant Director of the Greater Baltimore Technology Council. The Council’s mission is to strengthen the technology community in Greater Baltimore through programs, events and activities designed to bring entrepreneurs and resources together, with the goal of building a more robust business climate. Before working with the Technology Council, Ms. Weiss was the Director of Technology Initiatives at the Baltimore Development Corporation. There, she was responsible for managing and expanding Baltimore City’s technology business incubator program. Ms. Weiss has also served as Board President and member of an independent non-profit health services organization, PACT, which merged with the Kennedy Krieger Institute. Now, with 25 years of experience in leadership and management of both for-profit and non-profit organizations, Ms. Weiss serves as the Executive Director Emerita of BTI.

CNN Visit....

CNN visits BTI's classroom laboratories in Baltimore, Maryland in their report highlighting job training programs which provide new career opportunities and better earning potential for minorities.

The BTI Story....

The BTI Laboratory Associates Program provides tuition-free training in basic laboratory skills to bright, ambitious, unemployed and under-employed Maryland residents.

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BioTechnical Institute of Maryland graduates share their respective paths leading to fulfilling careers at Emergent BioSolutions on "Manufacturing Day"