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Meet the team at NYCEDC responsible for managing LifeSci NYC, the City’s $1B+ initiative to create 40,000 new jobs and establish New York City as the global leader in life sciences.

Zehra Ansari

Zehra Ansari is a Senior Project Manager on NYCEDC's LifeSci NYC team, where she focuses on the commercial life sciences investment and incentives portfolio to grow the innovation ecosystem and create good jobs for New Yorkers. Prior to joining NYCEDC, Zehra worked on business strategy and operations at an early-stage biotechnology company, on foreign and domestic policy for senior decision-makers at the United Nations and the White House, and operated a jazz club in downtown New York. She earned her bachelor's in government and art history from Smith College.

Mikko Baylosis

Mikko Baylosis is a Senior Project Manager of the Life Sciences and Healthcare Initiatives portfolio at NYCEDC. In this role, Mikko has managed NYCEDC’s digital health portfolio, developed the Life Sciences Internship Program, coordinated interdisciplinary projects such as the Pandemic Response Institute and the SPARC Kips Bay campus, and sourced PPE during New York City’s COVID-19 response. Prior to his role in NYCEDC, Mikko supported the business and product development for a biotech startup. He has conducted research in City College’s Musculoskeletal Biomechanics lab and published on the topic of osteoporosis. He has also engaged in community work to encourage neighborhood populations to engage in the participatory budget process. Mikko holds a bachelor of engineering in biomedical engineering from the City College of New York.

Valicia Browne

Valicia Browne is a project manager for the Life Sciences and Healthcare team at NYCEDC. In this role, Valicia manages internal and external communication regarding the Life Sciences team and manages the Life Sciences asset map and events calendar. She also provides research and support on various workforce development and entrepreneurship initiatives. Valicia earned her degrees in medicine, health and society and theatre from Vanderbilt University.

James Gibaldi

James Gibaldi is an Assistant Vice President of Life Sciences and Healthcare for NYCEDC. In his role, James supports a portfolio of strategies creating innovation infrastructure for the growing ecosystem of life sciences in New York. James came from The Michael J. Fox Foundation, where he managed clinical operations, grant agreements, and industry partnerships for the Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI), a $450M global clinical biomarker study. Previously, he was at the NYC Mayor’s Office, successfully partnering with companies and nonprofits to deliver mental health workshops and trainings. He has conducted research within Weill Cornell’s Department of Neurological Surgery and his work on somatization in concussion was published. Through Cornell, he also supported neuropsychological concussion assessments for the New York Jets and New York Islanders. James earned a master’s in neuroscience from Columbia University and a bachelor’s in psychology from The George Washington University.

Kyle Kaniecki

Kyle Kaniecki, PhD, is a Vice President of Life Sciences and Healthcare at NYCEDC where he leads efforts in supporting translational R&D to accelerate startup formation, IP creation, and job growth. Before joining NYCEDC, Kyle was Director of Operations for Perception Neuroscience, a VC-backed neuropharmacology company where he led preclinical development. He spent years at Columbia Technology Ventures supporting licensing activities and startups coming from Columbia University and led the development of the companion diagnostic for the blockbuster drug, Kalydeco. Kyle earned his PhD in Genetics & Development from Columbia University, his MS in Biotechnology from the Johns Hopkins University, and his BS in Zoology from UW-Madison.

Monica Malowney

Monica Malowney, MPH, is a Vice President for NYCEDC’s Life Sciences and Healthcare Initiative where she provides oversight for the Pandemic Response Institute and leads the team’s workforce development strategy to create a robust and diverse talent pipeline for NYC’s growing life sciences industry. Monica joined NYCEDC from CUNY where she worked to connect employers and industry partners in the health and life sciences to the University and its 500,000+ students. Prior to this, Monica spent over a decade working in healthcare delivery research, redesign and reform, publishing research on behavioral health access and training of healthcare professionals. She earned her Master of Public Health from Boston University School of Public Health and bachelor's in clinical psychology from Tufts University.

Susan Rosenthal

Susan Rosenthal is the Senior Vice President, Life Sciences & Healthcare at NYCEDC. Susan has over fifteen years of industry experience with a rich background in business development, corporate strategy, and portfolio management from her time at Pfizer and Deloitte Consulting. Her experience spans many therapeutic areas as well as across early- and late-stage R&D. Sue earned her MBA from NYU and her bachelor's in economics from MIT.

Kidd Solomon

Kidd Duhe Solomon is a Senior Project Manager for Life Sciences and Healthcare at NYCEDC. At NYCEDC, Kidd manages the planetary health portfolio focused on using biotechnology to address climate change, the NYCIDA portfolio, the LifeSci NYC Expansion Fund. Prior to joining NYCEDC, Kidd worked in Washington, DC for the Aspen Institute, where he focused on increasing the impact of global social ventures with Fellows of the Aspen Global Leadership Network, and the US State Department, where he worked on a micro-entrepreneurship campaign to increase protections for entrepreneurs in the global south. Kidd holds a Master of Public Health from Columbia University and a BA in International Relations from Tulane University.

Justina Torres

Justina Torres is an Assistant Vice President on the Life Sciences and Healthcare team at NYCEDC. In her role, Justina leads business development and external engagements efforts, positioning New York City as a global leader in life sciences. Prior to joining the team, Justina worked as an analyst in the public and private sectors, in areas spanning financial technology, capital markets, City budget, and policy. Justina also served as an AmeriCorps member, supporting undocumented and first-generation students of color. Justina holds a Master of Public Policy from The Johns Hopkins University, with a focus in policies affecting the health and wellbeing of AI/AN women and girls, and a BA in History and Political Science from Rutgers University.

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