Ashley Cornelison is Portal’s Executive Director in Atlanta where she will lead efforts to grow and manage our Atlanta ecosystem at Science Square.

Prior to joining Portal, Ashely was the Vice President of Venture Development at the Georgia Research Alliance, Inc. (GRA), a non-profit (501c3), public-private partnership that helps universities in the state to conduct more research and create more companies.

As the VP of the Venture Development program, Ashley set strategic objectives, managed a multi-million dollar portfolio of commercialization grants and loans and counseled Georgia’s university scientists in their journey of launching companies around their inventions. She also oversaw program compliance, reporting and metric-driven accountability and chaired the program’s loan committee.

Ashley received her B.S. in Business Administration in 2008 from the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia and began her career working in contract law at an Atlanta-based law firm.

Karol Sokolowski is the Director of Strategic Growth for the Ex3 program where he will be growing the business across Chicago and our expansion sites.

Karol brings a diverse knowledge base with 10+ years of translational biomedical R&D, strategic consulting, and clinical experience. He joins Portal from the Chicago Biomedical Consortium, where he wore many hats, but focused on leading biotech opportunity diligence and project management.

As part of Ex3, Karol will work alongside Portal member companies to understand and fill their organizational, staffing, & strategic needs as they strive to Series A and beyond. To do so, he will also continue building our bench of consultants & fractional executives, while also working with the Venture team to identify company needs.

Joe Collura is the Head of Business Development in Portal’s Boston ecosystem where he focuses on connecting with the local biotech community and create business relationships with:

– New start-up companies
– Non-profit organizations
– Venture and large fund organizations
– Academic institutions
– Healthcare institutions
– Biopharmaceutical organizations
– MedTech organizations

Joe began his career as a Commissioned Officer in the U.S. Air Force after graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy. After his 5-year tenure in the Air Force, he began his biopharmaceutical journey at AbbVie where he worked with discovery collaborations in immunology, oncology, neuroscience, and big data. Joe also served as a Portfolio Director for Biogen’s neuromuscular disorder portfolio, and a Global Program Manager at SpringWorks Therapeutics.

When away from work, he enjoys New England summers at the beach with his wife and 2 young children. Joe completed a Master of Science in Bioengineering at Northeastern University and is an MBA Candidate at Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management through the Executive MBA program.

Linda Kim is as a Business Development Manager in Chicago, where she will support the growth of our life sciences ecosystem by cultivating strategic membership and partnership alliances.

Linda has a passion for therapeutic innovation and its impact on patient care, which began as an engineer driving process improvements for an AAV-based gene therapy. More recently, she has been at the forefront of advancing scientific platforms and pipelines through the commercialization process. She has worked closely with researchers across a diverse portfolio of biologics and cell and gene therapies for IND filing, from early drug discovery and development work to CMC workflows and GMP manufacturing.

Outside of work, Linda is a strong believer in empowering the next-generation of STEM innovators and leaders. She is actively involved with Young Women in Bio and various mentorship programs aimed at increasing diversity and inclusion in the greater Chicago area. Her drive is nestled in actualizing the growth potential of Chicago’s life sciences landscape and is excited to do so alongside the Portal team!

Monique has more than 15 years of experience in supporting the growth of research scientists and clinicians committed to developing translational life-saving therapeutics into the clinic.

She served as a technical sales consultant throughout Texas and surrounding areas for Miltenyi Biotec for ten years where she strategically developed and progressed pipelines pertinent to organizational and revenue growth targets primarily in the immuno-oncology therapeutic market in the Texas Medical Center. During this time, Monique provided hands-on and advisory assistance to researchers, prepared and presented highly technical concepts while organizing outreach programs for key stake holders.

Prior to joining Portal, Monique was the regional sales manager for Sartorius Stedim North America in the Bioprocessing Solutions division where she established and led a team of dynamic account managers across the Central US. Under her leadership, this team was responsible for increasing revenue, establishing and cultivating customer relationships, developing sales pipelines, and introducing and supporting the use of innovative bioprocessing solutions and services. She has intimate experience supporting academic institutions, biotechs and biopharma generating therapeutic products ranging from mABs to cell and gene therapy-based treatments.

Anna spearheads the growth of Portal’s membership and partnership portfolio. Previously, Anna specialized in scaling growth-stage biotechnology companies with scientific talent. Her focus began in the Chicago ecosystem and quickly expanded into many other emerging biotechnology hubs. Anna is inspired by entrepreneurial motivation, disruption, and – most importantly – the patient who benefits from the scientific breakthroughs.

Shahila Christie is the Managing Director of Strategic Growth at Portal Innovations. Over her 20 yr career Shahila spent the first decade as an academic researcher and then moved into the startup space where she enjoyed driving scientific strategy from a business perspective. She has held various roles including founding two startups as spinouts from universities, consulting for startup companies, followed by leading the clinical efforts for a medical device company in the oncology diagnostic space. In her current role Shahila ties these varied experiences together to help Portal Innovations grow and expand. Her role focuses on understanding life science ecosystems in cities beyond Chicago and building and implementing the Portal playbook to launch the platform in cities of interest nationwide.

In addition to her professional role, Shahila is an active Women In Bio member functioning in leadership roles over the years and also served as the Chicago Chapter President in 2020. Shahila has a PhD in Biochemistry from Loyola University in Chicago and did her postdoctoral work in drug discovery and development at University of Illinois.