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President and CEO
Steve Tang became President and CEO of the University City Science Center, the nation’s oldest and largest urban research park, in 2008. Dr. Tang is the first president in the Science Center’s history to have not only led a company through venture funding and an initial public offering, but to also serve as a senior executive with a large life sciences company as it acquired and integrated smaller start-ups.
In September 2016, Dr. Tang was re-appointed to the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (NACIE) and now serves as NACIE co-chair through 2018. NACIE members offer recommendations to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce for policies and programs designed to make U.S. communities, businesses, and the workforce more globally competitive. Previously, Tang served on the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Innovation Advisory Board.
Dr. Tang also serves on several statewide, regional and local Boards of Directors. Along with Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, he co-chairs the Team Pennsylvania Foundation, which bridges the gap between government and the private sector. Dr. Tang also serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of OraSure Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: OSUR), a leader in the development, manufacture and distribution of diagnostics and collection devices designed to detect or diagnose critical medical conditions.
Dr. Tang earned a doctorate in Chemical Engineering from Lehigh University, an M.B.A. from Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, and a B.S. in Chemistry from the College of William and Mary.
Senior Vice President of Real Estate Operations
Curt Hess is responsible for the management, leasing and development of more than 1.5 million square feet of office and lab space on our Philadelphia campus. He has more than 25 years of diversified real estate experience.
Before joining the Science Center, Curt served as the Director of Operations for Brandywine Realty Trust, where he was responsible for the management and leasing of 40 properties totaling more than 3.0 million square feet in the Southern Suburban Region. Prior to that, he was Vice President of Asset Management at Lubert-Adler Management, overseeing a portfolio of 24 investments including office, residential, hotel, and retail properties. Before joining Lubert-Adler, Curt spent 14 years at Equitable Real Estate in several different capacities including Vice President of Portfolio Management, responsible for a $1.2 billion equity portfolio of major joint ventures with Japanese partners.
Curt received his B.A. from West Chester University in Business Administration, is a Certified Public Accountant, and has his Real Property Administrator designation with BOMA.
Vice President and General Counsel
Saul Behar joined the University City Science Center in 2010. He supervises all legal matters, and also has responsibility for government relations at the federal, state and city levels; this work includes advocacy and representation, policy development, and the solicitation and administration of public sector grants. In addition, Saul oversees the team that conceived and operates FirstHand, the Science Center’s STEAM education initiative.
Saul brings to his position a wealth of experience as an attorney, senior executive and strategic advisor, managing sophisticated corporate, real estate and securities transactions for both early-stage and established companies in diverse fields. Prior to joining the Science Center, Saul was a Partner at Wolf Block LLP in Philadelphia. Before that, he held senior officer positions at two highly successful real estate investment trusts in the Greater Philadelphia Region that were acquired by the leading companies in their industry sectors. Earlier, Saul served as a senior counsel at Pep Boys in Philadelphia. He began his career at Dechert Price & Rhoads (now Dechert LLP) in Philadelphia.
Saul received his bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and his law degree from The University of Chicago Law School. He serves on the boards and advisory committees of several nonprofit organizations, including Reinvestment Fund, the Greater Philadelphia Alliance for Capital and Technology, and the Village of Arts and Humanities.
Vice President, Science and Technology
Chris Laing oversees the Science Center’s programs for commercialization, startup investment and business incubation. Since 2009, participants of these programs, which include QED, Phase 1 Ventures, the Digital Health Accelerator, and the Port business incubators, have collectively raised hundreds of millions in venture financing. Chris also facilitates access by program participants to Greater Philadelphia’s academic and clinical communities through the Science Center’s Scientific Advisory Committee for the Board of Directors.
Prior to joining the Science Center in 2006, Chris worked for a number of biomedical start-up companies, and was a practicing companion animal veterinarian in the United Kingdom, where he is a Member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. He completed his veterinary training and his PhD (in endocrinology) at the University of Sydney, and his post-doctoral training (in molecular biology) at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
Chris serves on the Board of Visitors of the University of the Sciences Mayes College, and on the Board of the South Jersey Technology Park. He chairs the Oversight Committee of the Philadelphia Pediatric Device Consortium. In 2015 he was invited to spend a month exploring China’s innovation economy as an Eisenhower Fellow.
Vice President, Finance & Administration
Lorraine G. LoPresti, MBA, CPA joined the University City Science Center as Vice President, Finance & Administration in 2016.
In this role, Lorraine is responsible for the overall fiscal and risk management of the organization, providing financial oversight of the corporate, real estate, treasury, programs and budget activities. She also has oversight of the Science Center’s HR and IT functions.
Most recently, Lorraine was Chief Administrative Officer and Chief Financial Officer for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. Prior to that, she was a CFO consultant to early-stage life science and technology companies with her own firm, LoPresti Financial Advisory Services. Lorraine was the Science Center’s Director of Financial Services from 2005-2007, before serving as Vice President - Finance & Administration & CFO for BioNano Genomics, Inc. (which originated in the Science Center’s Port business incubator).
Lorraine has earned a BS, Accounting from Villanova University, and an MBA from Rutgers University, and holds a CPA in New Jersey.
Vice President, Marketing Communications & Community Engagement
Jeanne Mell joined the University City Science Center in 2009 as vice president marketing communications. She is responsible for corporate marketing, program development, communications, public and media relations and community engagement. Mell also oversees Quorum, the entrepreneurs’ clubhouse, and the Microsoft Reactor.
Immediately before joining the Science Center, Mell was senior vice president, communications for the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce, where she had overall responsibility for print and electronic communications, public relations and media relations.
Prior to joining the Chamber, Mell had a career in journalism. Most recently she served as Director of Photography and Design at The News Journal in Wilmington, Del. She also worked at the Associated Press in New York and Philadelphia, ABC News, Good Morning America and Popular Photography Magazine. She started her career at Inc. Magazine – back when it was a startup.
Mell chairs the board of Campus Philly and is Vice President of the Association of University Research Parks. She also serves on the board of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PHL CVB) and represents the Science Center on its PHL Life Sciences division.
Vice President, Corporate Development
Rachel Cervantes has joined the Science Center as VP Corporate Development. In this role, she is responsible for forging strategic partnerships with industry, non-profit and academic institutions with the goal of building a sustainable corporate and institutional presence in University City and yielding additional revenue for the Science Center.
Rachel has over 20 years’ experience in the commercial and scientific aspects of pharmaceutical innovation within large pharmaceutical, biotech, and academic research environments. She was most recently Senior Director of Business Development at Egalet Corporation where she was responsible for the company's external partnering efforts with a primary focus on M&A and licensing. Rachel previously had similar roles at Inovio Pharmaceuticals and Merck & Co., where, in addition to evaluating, structuring and negotiating global healthcare partnerships, she also held a number of leadership roles within R&D and marketing. In addition to her private sector experience, Cervantes was a research associate at the Salk Institute at Biological Sciences where she conducted NIH-funded cancer research.
Rachel earned an MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, a Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Cincinnati, and a BA from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She serves on the Wharton Alumni Executive Board and is a member of the Trustee's Council of Penn Women.