Jayson Kurfis holds a masters' and bachelors' degree in biology. Jayson's publication history includes a number of peer reviewed scientific articles. His initial research articles focused on G protein coupled receptors, GPCRs, and their implication in cancer, subsequently worked on isolating proteins that lead to acute renal failure.
Through the use of a 3-dimensional skin model derived from human tissue, Jayson was able to test a number of products for their potential to cause irritation through an evaluation of inflammatory cytokines. In addition, this afforded the ability to test a number of raw materials to see if these chemicals would lead to a reduction in irritation. As curiosity grew, he started scouting for potential materials that could abrogate skin irritation and be coded in to the L'Oreal system for usable chemicals.
Jayson's goal then became understanding how information observed on the 3-dimensional skin model translated to human experiences. Jayson was able to demonstrate that there were some common inflammatory mediators that were released in both the 3D model and with skin samples taken before and after product use from volunteers. By working with L'Oreal's formulation chemistry and safety teams, Jayson was able to test a number of raw materials on these volunteers using a simplex formulation that could be used to abrogate the inflammatory skin response.
While at MilliporeSigma, Jayson shifted in to marketing. The work focused on a number of product lines that are used in almost every biochem and molecular biology lab. Jayson developed the business plan for a product line targeted to the diagnostic and pharmaceutical markets and helped customers find the best product to suit their specific needs.
Jayson advocated for SE Wisconsin biotech by writing articles for a Chicago-based VC firm. These articles included a write-up about the health innovation pitch (HIP) event, investable technology that was being developed at Blood Center and a description of a company that is focused on developing new treatments for ovarian and lung cancer.
Dan Sem has over 20 years of experience with biotech startups and in pharmaceutical development, in both industrial and academic settings. In particular, he has extensive experience in business and intellectual property strategy as it relates to scientific innovation, biotech financing and operations. In this regard, he has worked to assist both students and accomplished researchers in SE Wisconsin in their start-up ventures, via inter-institutional and public-private collaborations. He is passionate about educating students and entrepreneurs about how they can combine business and technical skills to address unmet needs in the world, in a sustainable way.
Dan has co-founded two biotechnology companies and one nonprofit focused on mentoring and assisting healthcare entrepreneurs. Dan has a passion in teaching, mentoring and helping others turn their dreams and innovative ideas into sustainable business models and companies that are profitable and have positive social impact (social entrepreneurship).
Dan has over 50 peer-reviewed papers and 10 issued patents. He has 25 years of experience studying protein-ligand interactions using various techniques, including NMR, fluorescence spectroscopy, mechanistic enzymology, chemical biology and computational methods (e.g. docking; cheminformatics).
Dan's goals are to combine his business, scientific and legal expertise to develop and help others develop new ways to treat human disease, with emphasis on unmet medical needs (e.g. rare diseases).