Frontiers in Life Sciences, the Greek connection

04may5:30 pm8:30 pmFrontiers in Life Sciences, the Greek connection

Event Details



Wednesday May 4, 2022
5:30-8:30 pm
Foley & Lardner,
111 Huntington Avenue, 25th Floor, Boston, MA 02199, United States
Attached to Prudential Mall-near Barnes & Nobles
Parking garage under the building (not validated)

Green line stop at Prudential Center

Register here

Please join us for a celebration of Greeks in life sciences, starting with a fireside chat among two Boston-based Greek luminaries: Michel Vounatsos, CEO of Biogen, and Nicholas Galakatos, Global Head of Life Sciences at Blackstone. This will be moderated by Anna Protopapas, CEO of Mersana.

Following the discussion, several Greek entrepreneurs will pitch their startups which are fundraising for US expansion. We will also present the Hellenic Innovation Network Lifetime Achievement Award to George Behrakis, entrepreneur and philanthropist.

SPECIAL THANKS to our event sponsor, Elpen, which is building a new, state-of-the-art life science center in Athens and to Foley Lardner for hosting the event at their space.

Cocktails and networking at the conclusion of the event will help advance our mission of building a bridge between the startup tech ecosystems of Greece, Cyprus and the US.

Drinks from: Kleos


Michel Vounatsos

CEO of Biogen

Michel Vounatsos is Chief Executive Officer at Biogen and has served in this position and as a member of the Board of Directors since January 2017. Prior to that, from April 2016 until his appointment as our Chief Executive Officer, he served as our Executive Vice President, Chief Commercial Officer. Prior to joining Biogen, Mr. Vounatsos spent 20 years at Merck & Co., Inc., a pharmaceutical company, where he most recently served as President, Primary Care Business Line and Merck Customer Centricity. In this role, he led Merck’s global primary care business unit, a role which encompassed Merck’s cardiology-metabolic, general medicine, women’s health and biosimilars groups and developed and instituted a strategic framework for enhancing the company’s relationships with key constituents, including the most significant providers, payers and retailers and the world’s largest governments. Mr. Vounatsos previously held leadership positions across Europe and in China for Merck. Prior to that, Mr. Vounatsos held management positions at Ciba-Geigy, a pharmaceutical company. Mr. Vounatsos received his C.S.C.T. certificate in Medicine from the Universite Victor Segalen, Bordeaux II, France, and his M.B.A. from the HEC School of Management in Paris. 

Mr. Vounatsos is also a member of the Board of Directors of PerkinElmer, Inc., a global scientific technology and life science research company, and currently serves as the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Electrophysiology and Heart Modeling Institute at the University of Bordeaux, on the Board of Directors of N-Lorem Ultra-Rare Disease Foundation, on the Board of Directors of Early Detection of Neurodegenerative Diseases, on the advisory board of Tsinghua University School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, on the Supervisory Board of Liryc, and as a member of the MIT Presidential CEO Advisory Board. 


Nicholas Galakatos

Global Head of Life Sciences at Blackstone

Nicholas Galakatos is the Global Head of Life Sciences and is the Chairman of its Investment Committee, having joined Blackstone as part of its acquisition of Clarus in December 2018. Prior to joining Blackstone, Dr. Galakatos was a co-Founder and Managing Director of Clarus. Dr. Galakatos has over 30 years of industry and investment experience in the healthcare sector and has led investments in biotechnology, pharmaceutical company partnerships, and diagnostics, from startups to commercial-stage companies. Before Clarus, Dr. Galakatos was the Vice President of New Business at Millennium Pharmaceuticals (presently Takeda) and a member of the Management Team. He is a founder of Millennium Predictive Medicine and TransForm Pharmaceuticals, where he was the Chairman and founding CEO. Dr. Galakatos is the Chairman of Anthos Therapeutics and a member of the Board of Directors of BioMed Realty, Talaris, Inc (NASDAQ: TALS), and Neurvati. 

Dr. Galakatos earned his PhD in Organic Chemistry from MIT and performed his post-doctoral studies at Harvard Medical School. He earned his undergraduate degree at Reed College. 


Moderated by  
Anna Protopapas

CEO of Mersana

Anna joined Mersana in March 2015, bringing a substantial track record of executive leadership and business experience in the biotech industry. Prior to Mersana, Anna was President of Millennium, where she led Takeda Pharmaceutical Co.’s $1.3 billion oncology business. Anna also served as the Executive Vice President of Global Business Development for Takeda Pharmaceuticals where she oversaw global acquisitions, partnering, licensing, and venture investing. In this role, she led Takeda’s $12 billion acquisition of Nycomed, a critical step in the company’s globalization. Anna was a member of Takeda’s executive committee and was elected a corporate officer in 2011. 

Earlier in her career, Anna served as an executive officer at Millennium Pharmaceuticals and served in various senior leadership positions, playing an integral role in the company’s transformation from a genomics start-up to a fully integrated oncology leader. She was instrumental in the sale of Millennium to Takeda for $8.8 billion. Anna also served on the board of directors of Ariad Pharmaceuticals from May 2015 to February 2017, when it was sold to Takeda for $5.2 billion; the board of Bioverativ from January 2017 to January 2018, when it was sold to Sanofi for $11.6 billion; and the board of Dicerna Pharmaceuticals from January 2019 to June 2021. 

Anna earned her B.S. in Science and Engineering from Princeton University, M.S. in Chemical Engineering practice from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and M.B.A. from Stanford Graduate School of Business. 


The Hellenic Innovation Network (HIN) has a mission to accelerate technological innovation and entrepreneurship in Greece to world-class level by 2030, thereby fueling the economy and job creation. As an outgrowth of MIT Enterprise Forum Greece, HIN is a US-based non-profit organization created with the support of the Consulate General of Greece in Boston to facilitate access to resources, partners, and best practices by building bridges between the diaspora in global tech hubs and the Greek tech community. Driven by an advisory group of global innovators, HIN disseminates startup news, broadcasts educational webcasts, organizes monthly CEO group meetings, and hosts in-person pitching and networking events.

Our online platform allows for virtual connections of our members in between events, so please register at to become part of our community and to learn more about Greek startups in the news.

During our live webcast, please send in questions with your name, and the speakers will address them at the end. 

If you missed our prior webcasts, you can catch up here


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May 4, 2022 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm(GMT-04:00)

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