Keynote Speakers

Industry Keynote Speaker

Erandi De Silva, Ph.D.

Co-Founder and Senior Vice President of Product Development at Forge Biologics


Erandi De Silva is Co-Founder and Senior Vice President of Product Development at Forge Biologics. She is an experienced scientist and entrepreneur, with 10+ years of experience in discovery research, therapeutic development, and partnering across oncology, infectious disease, and gene therapy. Prior to founding Forge, Dr. De Silva held leadership roles in both academic and industry settings, including at Myonexus Therapeutics. She earned a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from Princeton University, where she was awarded the Procter Fellowship in recognition of exceptional research, and her B.S., with honors, from Stanford University. She was also a Postdoctoral Research Scientist at Genentech. Dr. De Silva was named to the 2022 40 Under 40 by Columbus Business First, 2022's Fiercest Women in Life Sciences by Fierce Pharma, and is the recipient of a 2023 OhioX Trailblazer award.

Dr. Brinker pioneered sol-gel-science and materials synthesis from soluble molecular precursors. He combined sol-gel processing with molecular self-assembly to create new classes of nanoscale materials for applications in energy and human health. Dr. Brinker is currently one of two Sandia National Laboratory Fellows (the highest technical position at Sandia) and Distinguished and Regent’s Professor at the University of New Mexico (the highest honors bestowed upon UNM faculty) with joint appointments in the departments of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, and the UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Brinker earned his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in Ceramic Science and Engineering from Rutger's University. To read more about Dr. Brinker's life, work, and achievements click here.

Jeffrey Brinker, Ph.D.

Distinguished and Regent’s Professor, Emeritus

Departments of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Chemistry, Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Co-Director Center for Micro-Engineered Materials

The University of New Mexico 

ResearcH Keynote Speaker