Dr. Susan Windham-Bannister is a nationally and internationally recognized expert in innovation, market access and market optimization strategies. She has been recognized by the Boston Globe as one of the “10 Most Influential Women in Biotech,” by Boston Magazine as one of the “50 Most Powerful Women in Boston” and is the incoming President of the National Board of Directors of the Association for Women in Science (AWIS). Dr. Windham-Bannister currently serves as Managing Partner of Biomedical Innovation Advisors LLC, which she founded with Dr. Harvey Lodish, co-founder of Genzyme, and member of the Whitehead Institute, MIT. She also serves as the President and CEO of Biomedical Growth Strategies, LLC. These advisory firms leverage Dr. Windham-Bannister’s experience as a business strategist and the immediate past President and CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC), a state-funded investment organization charged with administering a $1-billion Life Sciences investment fund created by Governor Deval Patrick in June 2008. She is the first African American in the U.S. to lead a life sciences-focused innovation fund of this scale. The MLSC invests in all sectors of the Commonwealth’s life sciences community – biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, medical diagnostics and bioinformatics/analytics.
As CEO, Dr. Windham-Bannister was responsible for the Center’s investment strategy, brand management, organizational development and return on public investment. She also was a member of the Center’s Board of Directors with Joshua Boger Ph.D., founder of Vertex; Adelene Perkins, CEO of Infinity Pharmaceuticals; Lydia Villa-Komaroff, Ph.D., founder and CSO of Cytonome-ST; Abbie Celniker, CEO of Eleven Biotherapeutics; Edward Benz, M.D., President of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and Peter Slavin, M.D., President of Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Windham-Bannister worked closely with the Massachusetts Governor and Legislature.
During Dr. Windham-Bannister’s tenure, the MLSC invested over $700 million of the fund, leveraged another $2.7 billion in matching investment capital, established Massachusetts as the global leader in life sciences, and made the life sciences the fastest job-producing sectors of the Massachusetts economy. Her initiatives included promoting entrepreneurship and start-up activity in Massachusetts, and building an innovation ecosystem that was a major draw for industry leaders. In September 2013, the MLSC won a national award for “Excellence in Technology-Driven Economic Development.”
Since completing her tenure as President and CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Initiative, Dr. Windham-Bannister has been an advisor to other city, state and regional life sciences initiatives in the U.S. and abroad. Her work with the New York City Partnership Fund resulted in a $1.1B New York life sciences initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo and Mayor De Blasio in December 2016. She recently completed a three-month advisory assignment with Excel Maryland, an initiative to accelerate innovation in life sciences and cybersecurity in Maryland launched by Governor Hogan, Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland System. She has advised the Mayo Clinic on the implementation plan for its Destination Medical Center/Discovery Square Initiative and currently is helping to stand up a life sciences initiative in Southern California. Dr. Windham-Bannister has been invited to speak on public-private partnerships and strategies that accelerate innovation at numerous national conferences and at international conferences in Barcelona, Beijing, London and Stockholm.