Marta Fernández Suárez, Ph.D

Diagnostics R&D Expert and Consultant

Dr. Fernández Suárez has over 10 years of scientific and industry experience commercializing scientific technologies for developing markets. Most recently, Marta served as VP of Assay, R&D at Daktari Diagnostics, a HIV diagnostic company, where she developed a complex immunoassay platform designed for point-of-care medical testing. Prior to her role at Daktari, Dr. Fernández Suárez developed a point-of-care diagnostic for tuberculosis as a Postdoctoral Research fellow as Massachusetts General Hospital.

Marta obtained her Ph.D. in Biochemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and received a B.S. in Chemistry and M.S. in Chemical Engineering at the Institut Quimic de Sarria (Barcelona, Spain).

William Rodriguez, M.D.

Managing Director – Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation (DRK)

Dr. Rodriguez has been a leader in global health for more than two decades. He is the former founder and CEO of Daktari Diagnostics, an HIV diagnostic company, and is now a Managing Director at the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation (DRK), a global venture philanthropy firm supporting early stage, high impact social enterprises.

Dr. Rodriguez was the former Chief Medical Officer at the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND), a global NGO that aids in bringing new diagnostic tools to market in resource-limited settings, and from 2003-2007 he served as Chief Medical Officer of the Clinton Foundation, responsible for strategy and market development for global health products and clinical policies and programs.

Dr. Rodriguez held the role of Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School for five years, Research Associate of Internal Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) for six years, and was a member of the clinical staff at MGH and at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital (BWH) for more than a decade. He served as the Chief Medical Resident at BWH following his residency.

Dr. Rodriguez earned his M.D. degree from Yale University School of Medicine and a Sc.B. degree in Neural Sciences from Brown University.

Mickey Urdea, Ph.D

Founder & Partner – Halteres Associates

Dr. Urdea is Founder and Partner for Halteres Associates. He also founded and served as Chief Executive Officer of Tethys Bioscience, a proteomics-based diagnostics company that has been involved in the prevention of type-2 diabetes (assets acquired by HDL), and was CEO of Quantum Dots Corporation (assets acquired by Life Technologies).

Additionally, Dr. Urdea is a founder and the Chairman of Catalysis Foundation for Health (CFH), a non-profit organization addressing gaps in global healthcare caused by inefficiencies in disease diagnosis and monitoring; CFH is developing potential biomarkers for tuberculosis bacterial load with a grant for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Dr. Urdea is a member of the University of California at San Francisco Leadership Council for Global Health. He serves as a consultant to the life sciences industry and is on the scientific advisory boards and boards of directors of a number of biotechnology and diagnostics companies.

Prior to his current activities, Dr. Urdea founded the Nucleic Acid Diagnostics business at Chiron Corporation, where he pioneered viral load assays for the human hepatitis B, hepatitis C and immunodeficiency viruses; his team introduced the first commercial viral load assays for all three viruses. Dr. Urdea also headed the Oncology Diagnostics business unit at Chiron. He then became business head of the Molecular Diagnostics group and Chief Scientific Officer at Bayer Diagnostics. He has served as an advisor to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for over ten years. Dr. Urdea is an author on over 200 peer-reviewed scientific publications and has more than 125 issued and pending patents.

He received his BS in Biology and Chemistry from Northern Arizona University, his PhD in Biochemistry from Washington State University, and had an NIH postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California at San Francisco.