FABS – Our Team




Laure Berliner, Pharm.D, MBA

Marketing Strategic, Market Research

Contact : laure@faccne.org


Gigi Shafai

Gigi Shafai, Pharm.D

Medical Affairs, Health Economics, Business Strategy, and Digital Therapeutics

Contact : gigi@faccne.org


About Laure Berliner

Market researcher and strategic thinker with more than 15 years of combined experience in the pharma/biotech, life sciences, medical device and diagnostics industries in France and in the US with an extensive background in multiple therapeutic areas, new technologies, and all stages of product development working in both consulting and corporate roles. Currently Senior Consultant at EAC corp, a strategy consulting firm bridging clinical medicine and diagnostic technology, and consultant for start-ups biotech and pharma, medical device and clinical diagnostics companies. Previously Associate Director, Market and Customers Insights at Charles River Labs, MA  and Senior Product Manager at Wyeth-Lederle, France. Laure has been involved with the FABS since its inception. She is also an active board member of the French American Chamber of Commerce, New England chapter.

About Gigi Shafai

Gigi Shafai holds a Pharm.D. with more than 15 years of experience in the life science industry.  After spending more than a decade in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries, Gigi joined Pear Therapeutics as Head of Medical Communications and Operations to advance the emerging field of digital therapeutics. She has worked in Paris, NYC, Washington DC and Boston, and has traveled the globe for scientific conferences and initiatives across kidney, GI, liver, and rare neuromuscular diseases, and is currently addressing mental health with her efforts on prescription digital therapeutics. Gigi has extensive experience, having worked through multiple co-marketing alliances, a company merger, a company going public, Phase 3 positive and negative readouts, multiple product launches and products in all stages of development and commercialization. She has worked across a variety of domains of medical and commercial affairs through her experiences at organizations such as Roche, American Regent, Genzyme (now Sanofi), Salix (now Valeant), Ironwood, Akebia, and Catabasis (now Astria). Gigi is also Co-Chair of the FABS Life Science Forum at the French-American Chamber of Commerce in New England (FACCNE), a group of industry professionals that mentor companies expanding between France and New England.  Gigi grew up in Wellesley, is a graduate of Wellesley High School, and led the French society at Wellesley HS during her earlier days. She holds a Pharm.D. from Northeastern University in Boston and completed a Fellowship in Clinical Study Management, which advanced her knowledge of the clinical development and regulatory process. For years, Gigi has supported and volunteered at Boston’s French Cultural Center and with the French-American Chamber of Commerce of New England. She is passionate about and committed to bridging the gap between French and US healthcare initiatives and companies, with a goal of furthering science and innovation to support unmet medical needs in the best interest of patients.




Michael Hanson

Entrepreneurial ecosystem and technology business incubators


Sandrine Hulot, Ph.D

Scientist, Strategic Alliances and International Partnerships



Cecile Pastel Levy, MD.

Medical Affairs & Communication


About Michael Hanson

Michael has over 24 years of experience in the financial services, entrepreneurial ecosystem, and business advisory sectors, holding positions in B2B sales and relationship management, business development, management consulting, and program management, helping business leaders achieve growth results.

Michael is a business growth strategy consultant at Optimum Dynamics LLC, a management consultancy that advises leaders on how to evolve their growth strategy and solve growth challenges, helping companies deliver greater value, improved results for the organization and stakeholders, and increased impact.

As the Program Manager with the ACTION Innovation Network, he focuses on program development and management, and developing new relationships. The ACTION Innovation Network is a collaborative network of technology business incubators and other entrepreneur support organizations that promotes the success of the entrepreneurial ecosystem, shares resources and best practices, strengthens technology clusters, and contributes to economic improvement.

He also contributes his expertise as an Advisor to startups, and to several innovation and entrepreneurship organizations. Michael is a Judge for Northeastern University’s annual Research, Innovation Scholarship & Entrepreneurship (RISE) Expo. He is a member of the French-American Biotech Springboard, which guides French biotech startup companies in their expansion to the U.S. market. He is a mentor with the Founder Institute, and has also served as a mentor with the MIT Hacking Medicine – Building for Digital Health hackathon, and the New Technology Ventures Accelerator (NETVA).

He previously held several institutional sales and relationship management positions in the financial services industry, developing relationships with investment advisory firms.   He holds a B.A., Economics degree from Bucknell University.

About Sandrine Hulot


Master’s degree in Bioengineering and PhD in Biology focused on translating innovative ideas into effective strategies that improve and save lives.  Over ten years of experience in conducting biomedical research at the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) and the National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM), University of Paris in France, and at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) affiliated with Harvard Medical School in US. Expertise in testing bioactive molecules, vaccines and cellular therapy for neuromuscular disorders, infectious diseases and cancer. Committed to developing successful international private/public partnerships, helping young start-ups toexpand (go to market/growth strategy) and bring solutions to patients facing daunting diseases worldwide.


About Cecile Pastel Levy


Cecile holds an MD from France and has more than 10 years of experience in the scientific and medical fields, specifically at the Mass General Hospital and more recently in biotech and pharmaceutical research. She also brings her excellent communication and networking skills she honed while doing medical strategy and academic partnerships at 3M Healthcare and Energy &Co .She is energetic, dedicated and is currently working as a medical consultant helping children on the Autism spectrum.



Valerie Philippon, Ph.D

Medical Affairs and Communications



Jim Shanahan

Start-ups fund raising, Organization, Resourcing, Value proposition development and Messaging, Sales



Jean-Noël Pellegrin

Valuation and Finance Support to M&A and Business Development


About Valerie Philippon


Valérie has over 20 years of experience in Research, Development, Program Management and Medical Affairs. She received her PhD in Microbiology from the University Denis Diderot Paris, France and moved to the Boston area in 1994 to complete a post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard School of Public Health. She has held a variety of Medical Affairs and Scientific Communication roles with increasing responsibilities successively at Idenix, Vertex, AVEO Oncology, Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Shire, and Takeda. Valerie is a founding member and coordinator of the Boston Café des Sciences, a monthly scientific gathering of the francophone scientific community in Massachusetts, and a board member of the New England chapter of French Trade Advisors Association (Conseillers du Commerce Exterieur de la France, section Nouvelle Angleterre).


About Jim Shanahan


Serial entrepreneur with expertise in establishing and managing start-ups, including obtaining financing and developing core messaging and establishing key clients. Ability to seize on great ideas and develop business strategies to turn them into products, to attract and retain top industry talent, to understand and to effectively communicate complex technical ideas, to create and execute business plans, and to effectively execute on sales and marketing plans. Experience in multiple industries, including biotech drug development, consumer electronics, and audio electronics.  Jim is currently Chief Business Officer at SynDevRx, Inc., aCambridge company focusing on the link between cancer and metabolic hormone dysfunction.


About Jean-Noël Pellegrin

Finance specialist with 12+ years of experience in the pharmaceutical and Biotech industries. Sciences-Po Paris, MBA at Babson College.

Senior Director of Valuation and Finance Support to M&A and Business Development, part of SANOFI’s Corporate Finance.

Main expertise areas: Business valuation, due diligence, deal structuring for various types of transactions (collaboration and licensing agreements, partnerships, M&A).

30+ years of experience in various Finance positions (E&Y consultant, CFO of automotive and semiconductors manufacturing sites, global R&D controller and corporate finance in SANOFI).

Passion for teaching and coaching in the field of Finance & Assessment of strategic external opportunities. Founder of ValueSprings, LLC.


Charlotte Viard, Inward Investment Advisor,

Healthcare & Life Sciences at Business France (INVEST)


Alexandre Blanchot, Pharm.D

 Innovation – France


Alain Eudaric,

Market insights – Strategic Planning

Operational Execution – Process Improvement.


About Charlotte Viard


Charlotte assists US-based companies in life sciences with their strategy and expansion initiatives in Europe. Discussing about potential opportunities in the French healthcare ecosystem and helping them through establishment, partnerships, R&D collaborations or expansions. Based in Boston, she is scouting American investment projects with a strong potential, spotlighting French attractiveness and competitiveness. Before, she was working at IQVIA in the consulting division of the commercial department as business analyst. She worked with health data (patients, sales and prescribers) to formulate strategic and economic recommendations for the main actors of the life sciences industries.


About Alexandre Blanchot

Alexandre is currently working for the Innovation Center of Denmark based in Boston, an initiative from the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs that aims to bridge Denmark with the different hub of innovation globally. His role is to bridge Danish innovative startups to the Boston area and initiate fruitful collaboration for the ecosystems – Denmark and Boston – focusing on life sciences, clean energies and robotics / AI. Before that Alexandre was in charge of the North American Health department at Business France, the French public agency for international development of the economy. Over the years, Alexandre has helped French innovative life sciences start-up companies to expand successfully their business activities in the United States and Canada. Alexandre also organized and coordinated the French presence at “Bio in Boston” in 2018, and participated in entrepreneur programs like New Technology Venture Accelerator (NETVA) and Young Entrepreneur Initiative (Yei). Prior to Business France, Alexandre worked in drug safety at AstraZeneca and was Endocrinology product management at Genzyme France, where he developed the European commercial strategy of orphan drugs.  His passion is helping health care innovative companies to successfully increase their footprint in the US.

About Alain Eudaric


Bridging Business, Science and Tech.

Alain Eudaric is the founder and president of Idea Pathways.  He is a seasoned life sciences and healthcare executive with experience working for several industry leading companies, including PAREXEL International, Thermo Fisher Scientific and Kearney. With over 20 years of international experience in pharma and life sciences, his fields of expertise include program leadership, clinical operations, alliance management, strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions, growth and innovation, supply chain leadership and process improvement. He received a Master in Biotech and Entrepreneurship from Johns Hopkins University, an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management, and a Master of Science from Purdue University.  He is also a graduate of the Patient Safety, Quality, Informatics and Leadership Program at Harvard Medical School and has an Engineering Degree from École Centrale de Lille (France). Alain Eudaric is a Board member of the French American Chamber of Commerce for New England, an Advisor at Berkeley Pharma Tech, and a member of the Beth Israel Deaconess – Needham Board of Advisors, where he serves on the Finance Committee.

Lucie Rochard

Lucie Rochard, Ph.D

External Engagement Program Lead


About Lucie Rochard

Lucie has over ten years of experience in conducting biomedical research. She trained in Rennes, France,  at the National Center for Research (CNRS) and the National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM). After graduating with her Ph.D., Lucie moved to the US to complete a post-doctoral fellowship at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Shriners Hospital (joint appointment) in Boston, Massachusetts. Committed to foster alliances between Academia and Industry, to facilitate the transfer of technology for the benefit of patients, Lucie joined the largest trade association for the life Sciences, MassBio in 2017 and is Director Innovation Services. Within MassBio, in the Innovation Services team, Lucie created and now leads the Academic outreach and Engagement initiatives. Her mission is to leverage MassBio’s community of members and experts with the goal to facilitate company creation and strategic alliances within academic institutions. Over the last two years, Lucie has built several working groups convening leaders from academia and industry, as well as mentoring programs for academic scientists and joined several advisory boards to foster entrepreneurship beyond the Boston region.




Romain Marmot 

Digital Health, Strategy, Fundraising,
Business Development, Operations


Jean Jacques Yarmoff, Ph.D

Innovation & International Strategy


Jonathan F.X. O’Brien

Corporate law


About Romain Marmot

Romain is an entrepreneur and executive with more than 20 years of experience in the digital health and Software-as-a-Medical-Device (SaMD) industries. He is currently Chief Business Officer of the Digital Health division at Aptar Pharma. Prior to his role at Aptar, he co-founded and led Voluntis, a VC-backed then publicly-traded company specialized in digital health. He has managed multiple development programs of digital therapeutics ultimately cleared by regulatory authorities, often as first-in-class, and reimbursed by payers in the US and EU. He has also established and managed multiple long-term collaborations with global pharmaceutical leaders, from the US, EU, India and Japan, around companion apps and drug-digital combinations in diabetes, oncology, cardiology, immunology and neurology. He holds a Master of Science from CentraleSupelec (University of Paris-Saclay) in Applied Mathematics.


About Jean Jacques Yarmoff


PhD in Engineering from Tokyo University, a Masters in Biotechnology and a Chemical Engineering diploma from the University of Nancy, France. Currently works for BioLabs, responsible for the international expansion of this biotech co-working incubator. Member of the board of North Shore InnoVentures. Previously, part of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs from September 2013 to August 2017 as Attaché for Science and Technology in the Consulate General of France in Boston ; responsible for International Partnerships in France with OSEO (since renamed Bpifrance), running the ISI program to help technologically advanced projects with large market potential (1.2 billion Euros in aid to these collaborative projects); previous roles include US- and Japan-based positions within the pharmaceutical industry in large companies and start-ups.


About Jonathan F.X. O’Brien

Jonathan is licensed to practice law in Massachusetts, Paris, and New York and leverages his prior experience in the U.S. and abroad on behalf of his clients. His practice is focused on corporate law and commercial real estate, representing clients in corporate formation, contract negotiation, joint ventures, licensing, resolution of shareholder and director disputes, mergers and acquisitions, and the purchase and sale of assets.

Having worked on cross-border M&A and corporate projects in Paris for an international law firm for five years, Jonathan continues to represent French businesses entering into commercial transactions and acquiring assets and companies in the U.S.  Some examples of his French clients include a technology company with offices in New York City and a manufacturing company that imports its products into the U.S.  Jonathan’s work has included incorporating companies for his foreign clients, acquiring assets and businesses, leasing space, hiring employees, identifying experts for accounting, tax, and immigration matters, and providing general legal counsel.   


Monique Yoakim-Turk, Ph.D

Program and Alliance Management



Samuel Gosselin, MBA

Alliance Management



Shahin Gharakhanian, MD.

Clinical Drug Development & Medical Affairs


About Monique Yoakim-Turk


Monique is a life sciences professional with extensive experience in academic technology transfer, identifying commercially viable innovations and supporting their translation into new products for patient care.  At Boston Children’s Hospital, she launched an academic investment fund which invested internal funds into selected hospital technologies leading to the formation of 9 startup companies.    Monique has significant experience in team and project management, contract negotiations and patent prosecution.  Monique holds a PhD in Biochemistry from Tufts University and after almost two decades in the Technology Innovation and Development Office (TIDO) at Boston Children Hospital, recently moved to Moderna Therapeutics in a Program and Alliance Management role for rare diseases.


About Samuel Gosselin


Samuel heads the Global Alliance Management group at Sarepta Therapeutics, the leader in precision genetic medicine for rare diseases including Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and other CNS-related disorders. The Company’s programs and research focus span several therapeutic modalities, including RNA, gene therapy and gene editing. Samuel spearheads the successful progression of Sarepta’s numerous strategic collaborations, driving partnerships that establish a foundation for future growth. Demonstrated success with over 15 years of industry experience managing external relationships with Pharma/Biotechs, Academia and CRO/CMOs, Samuel’s expertise lies in promoting cross-functional synergy to implement positive changes and comprehensive business approaches that lead to enhanced profitability while maintaining a strong patient focus. Samuel earned his MBA at Drexel University and his BA in International Sales and Marketing at the Ecole National de Commerce, Paris, France. Samuel has both personal and professional experience with diverse international cultures. He is fluent in English and French and is proficient in German.


About Shahin Gharakhanian


Shahin is an Infectious Diseases specialist and has expertise in Pharmaceutical Medicine, Leadership & Management. He is principal/founder of Shahin Gharakhanian MD Consulting LLC, based @ the Cambridge Innovation Center, a US/EU network of experts, focused on novel drugs & vaccines Clinical Development as well as Medical Affairs. Since 2011, his group has collaborated globally with Bionor Pharma, Genzyme, DaVolterra, Exl Pharma, InnaVirVax, GSK/ViiV Healthcare, Novartis, NovoBioPharma, Metys Pharma, Transgene, Versantis, VCLS. In New England, his most recent corporate position was Vice-President, Medical Affairs/Medicines Development Group, Global R&D, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Overall, Shahin has managed or led projects for 12 different companies, ten different brands and four drug launches, in different therapeutic areas and geographic regions [Asia, USA, EU].


Simo Arredouani

Simo Arredouani, PhD. 



Adeline Simenon, Esq.

Business Immigration


About Simo Arredouani


Expert in immuno-oncology, Simo has an extensive experience in innate and adaptive immunity in the context of solid and hematologic malignancies, autoimmune and infectious disease. Focused on development of potent mono- and combination immunotherapies. Outstanding interpersonal and organizational communication skills leveraged to lead multi-institutional translational R&D collaborations. Broad experience in vaccine-, adjuvant-, antibody- and cell-based immunotherapies of cancer. Significant accomplishments in leadership roles within academic and industry settings. Expert knowledge of the drug discovery process.


About Adeline Simenon


Adeline leads PF+C’s Business Immigration team.  She represents a diverse group of corporate clients, of all sizes, including technology and business consultancies, life sciences, specialized construction, manufacturing, food and beverage, entertainment, and retail companies, in the hiring, and transfer of foreign nationals’ executives, managers, professionals and artists. She has extensive experience assisting foreign companies, investors and entrepreneurs (particularly from Canada and France) establish U.S. offices, make investments, and secure visas or work authorizations to launch their U.S. offices, either temporarily or permanently. She represents on a regular basis Canadian entrepreneurs and their employees seeking admission into the United States at Custom and Border Protection ports of entry or preclearance airports under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). She advises her clients in the context of mergers, acquisitions and spinoffs to ensure compliance with U.S. immigration law. In February 2018, she was appointed Trade Advisor for the French Government (Conseiller du Commerce Exterieur pour la France) by ministerial decree (Boston – New England Committee). A French native speaker, Adeline holds two master’s degrees in law from Lille University in France and an LL.M. from University of Southern California Gould School of Law, Los Angeles.


Michael S. Varadian, JD, MBA

Healthcare, Integrated Care, National Health Payment Reform


Aude Ouensanga 

Market Access, Commercial Due Diligence, Corporate Strategy, and M&A


Elsa Levy-Passer, LL.M. in Taxation and American Law

U.S. Commercial Contracts Counsel – Takeda Pharmaceuticals


About Michael S. Varadian


Michael S. Varadian is a nationally recognized leader and innovator of progressive private and public sector healthcare systems, health reform, health regulations and law, mergers and acquisitions, value based services, and integrated physical/behavioral health systems.  For over thirty years, he has operated at the highest levels of state government, academic medical centers, national provider and managed health corporations, clinical outcome agencies, and consulting and law firms.  He has specialized in national and statewide operations, innovative product and services pilots and program implementation in the health care provider, payer and licensing and regulatory arenas.  He has been involved in over $1billion in healthcare merger and acquisition activities.


About Aude Ouensanga

Aude Ouensanga is a healthcare industry passionate and innovation enthusiastic particularly enjoying leveraging her experience of both the EU and US ecosystems. She is currently a Partner at Alira Health, an integrated healthcare advisory firm, she joined in 2012 in Paris and relocated to Boston in 2015. Aude has +10 years of experience in the healthcare industry, managed +100 market access, commercial due diligence, corporate strategy, and M&A projects for US, EU, and Japan-based clients in MedTech and Pharma with a focus on infection prevention, wound care, drug delivery, oncology, AI and in-silico trials for both start ups and large corporations. Before joining Alira Health, Aude was a Strategy Analyst at Novartis and an M&A Analyst at BNP Paribas. Aude works continuously with healthcare start-ups being a board member and board observer of two of Alira Health Ventures’ companies and a steering committee member of MassMedic’s IGNITE program.

About Elsa Levy-Passer


Elsa has over 15 years’ legal experience combined in France and in the U.S. as in-house counsel and legal contracting and over 10 years’ experience combined in the US in life science and pharmaceutical industry. Elsa received a Juris Doctor in Law and a Master’s degree in Employment Law at University Paris II Assas-Sorbonne (DEA en Droit Social). She relocated in Massachusetts 14 years ago and graduated from two Master’s degree, one with a concentration in international law and Business (LL.M in American Law) at Suffolk Law School and one in Taxation at Boston University Law School (LL.M in Taxation). During the course of the last 5 years, Elsa supported different Business Units at Shire now Takeda Pharmaceutical among which : – Technical Operations Group (facilities, Engineering contracting teams) providing legal support to all contracting aspects of Facilities, Process, Plant and automation engineering, Project engineering/ Management, Safety, Site & administrative Services ; Process Development and Technical Supply, – Research & Development Group through clinical agreements for pipe line growth, legal support to the Global Medical Affairs group and the review of grant programs through Investigator Initiated Research Agreements. Elsa ensured a secondment for the cluster France, Belgium and Netherlands (2015-2016) whereby she supported the legal review for various agreements (confidentiality, communication, consulting agreement with Health Care professionals (HCP), speaker and Medical Advisory Board for HCP). Elsa developed HCP bilingual agreement templates and worked with regulatory compliance for declaration to Country Medical Board.


Jerome Windsor, Pharm.D, MBA

Business Strategy, Med Device, & Artificial Intelligence


Alexia Sibony, PT, PSM.

 Clinician, Digital Health & Business Innovation Strategy


About Jerome Windsor


Jerome Windsor is an entrepreneur and an executive with broad experience building and growing commercial organizations for payers, pharmaceutical and medtech companies. Well connected with both French and local academic institutions in Boston (e.g. HMS, Beth Israel, Dana Farber, MGH),  he has lead significant corporate strategy, equity funding, business transformation plans for new ventures and mid-sized organizations in Europe or in the US in the fields of artificial intelligence, in Oncology, Cardiology, Dermatology, Imaging and Genomic profiling. Jerome is co-founder and board member of the French Tech in Boston.


About Alexia Sibony

Alexia is a Digital Health expert with more than 10 years of clinical experience coupled with healthcare product strategy, engaged in bringing medical innovations to Health Professionals’ daily practices, improving care and patient experience. She is a French Physical Therapist who graduated from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Nice Sophia-Antipolis, France, where she also received her Healthcare Management & Quality Engineering Master’s Degree. Relocated to Boston from Monaco, Alexia has a track record in piloting and scaling Digital Therapeutics portfolios, Connected Medical Devices, and more recently, Conversational Artificial Intelligence software as Vice President of Product at Orbita, an American company. Strongly involved in the French American eco-system in Boston, she is the co-founder and Vice President of French Tech Boston, aimed to promote French entrepreneurship in the US.