The 2020 Mentoring Program Application Is Now Open!

Join us in the New Year for our 7th Mentoring Program! Mentors can provide you with valuable information, guidance and tips for your career advancement. We have gathered an outstanding group of seasoned mentors who are excited to help you.

There are a wide range of areas where mentors can help:

  • Providing tips on how to be promoted or negotiating salary in your job
  • Navigating workplace conflicts/politics
  • Consulting on issues relevant to women, for example: How can women get recognized for their strengths when they are less likely to speak up?
  • Providing personal stories about how to overcome challenges
  • Giving advice about how to dress professionally
  • And more!

Check out our past success stories in our mentor journal and blogs from our President on her personal mentoring experience!

  • November 1, 2019: Mentoring Program application opens
  • November 15, 2019: The deadline for the applications 
  • November 22, 2019: Match Announcement
  • December 6, 2019: Deadline for Mentees payment
  • December 11, 2019: Mentors and Mentees Meet & Greet
  • January – May 2020: Mentoring Program

One time Registration fees on Acceptance:
The cost for Students/Post docs are $40 and Professionals are $60

Visit our FAQs and Code of Conduct for more information

Apply Here

Meet our 2020 mentors!

Regina Au
(Mentor since 2015)

Regina is Principal, New Product Planning/Strategic Planning at BioMarketing Insight with 20+ years experience in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical device, diagnostic and healthcare industries.  She helps companies to maximize the benefits of their technology by conducting the business due diligence early in product development to de-risk the process and increase commercial success.

Ms. Au serves as an advisor for the Massachusetts Technology Transfer Center Platform Meetings,  Advisory Board member for an entrepreneur team at the Martin Trust Center for Entrepreneurship at MIT, and as a Mentor with the MIT Enterprise Forum Mentoring Program for Entrepreneurs. 

Regina is a member of the Editorial Board for the International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology & Pharmacotherapy and Industry Advisor for the European BioPharmaceutical Review Journal. She has published numerous articles on market and technology trends such as “Immuno-oncology: Chimeric Antigen Receptors T-Cell Design; Microbiome; Genetic and Genomic Engineering; and Alzheimer Pathology.


Dr. Dennis A. Dean

Dr. Dennis A. Dean, II is a Principal Investigator at Seven Bridges where he leads several national-scale genomic analysis projects and mentors a scientific team in the Boston office.

Dr. Dean’s oversight responsibilities include genomic scientists, bioinformatics scientists, scientific program managers, scientific project managers, and genomic data scientists. In this capacity, he is responsible for the success of his team members across commercial, government, and internal projects. He leads Seven Bridges collaboration outreach with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the US Department of Veteran Affairs Million Veteran Program (MVP), the Patient Derived Xenograph Network funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and oversee several projects with large pharmaceutical companies.

Dr. Dean is passionate about training the next generation of scientists. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Biomedical Science Career Program where he focuses on developing post-doctoral training programs and supporting STEM trainees. Dr. Dean is proud of his mentees which are in graduate programs, medical school and actively pursuing careers in the biomedical sciences as physicians and scientists.

Dr. Dean is trained as a research fellow in medicine at the Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in the Program for Sleep Epidemiology and the Program for Sleep and Cardiovascular Medicine. He earned his PhD in biomedical engineering and biotechnology and M.S. in computer science from the University of Massachusetts. He earned his B.S. in computer science from SUNY, Empire State College.


Samira Farboodmanesh
(Mentor since 2018)

Samira is a Technical Manager for Parenteral Combination Products in Pharmaceutical Technology & Development Team at AstraZeneca. She has been an experienced professional in developing biomedical and combination products and related supporting technologies, ranging from nanofibrous materials to combination products to purification processes. She is passionate to be part of Women Accelerators, especially that she has had successful women as mentors throughout her education and industry experience.

Samira moved from Tehran, Iran for graduate studies and received her Masters and Doctoral Degree in Mechanical Engineering at University of Massachusetts Lowell (UMass Lowell). She became a post-doc and conducted research in Biomedical/Mechanical Engineering joint research with Tufts University and UMass Lowell. She joined the medical device and pharmaceutical industry after her post-doc.

Samira enjoys spending time with her family and outdoor activities. She is an avid skier and swimmer.


Cindy Huang

Cindy is a Client Strategist at Profitwell, a startup in Boston focused on advising and developing software for SaaS companies. Prior to joining Profitwell, Cindy spent several years working as a bridge engineer at the multinational engineering firm Arup, which gave her the opportunity to live and work all over the world, from Los Angeles to NYC to Amsterdam. These experiences and the communities she found abroad helped her realize the importance of mentorship.

After moving back to the US, Cindy obtained her MBA at Harvard Business School. Now that she calls Boston home, Cindy is committed to creating opportunities for others and helping women navigate careers in STEM.

In her downtime, you can find Cindy reading at a cafe, watching the Great British Bake Off, or learning Chinese.

Melissa Hunter-Ensor
(Mentor since 2015)

Melissa is Vice-Chair of Greenberg Traurig’s Global Patent Prosecution Group. Melissa focuses her practice on the intellectual property and commercial needs of clients in the life science industry, encompassing pharmaceutical, biotechnology, chemical agricultural, diagnostics and medical device companies. Melissa has experience representing clients throughout the business cycle, from start-ups and universities to global pharmaceutical companies, with patent portfolio management and strategic alliances, as well as litigation and pre-litigation strategy. She also assists venture capital firms and other investors in assessing the IP risks of target investments and conducts IP patent and licensing due diligence in connection with life science technology transactions.

Before becoming a lawyer, Melissa earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Pennsylvania and her thesis research resulted in a first author paper in Cell. She followed this accomplishment with a four-year post-doctoral fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology laboratory of Nobel laureate H. Robert Horvitz where she was a Jane Coffin Childs fellow.


Brenda Loan-Baker
(Mentor since 2018)

Brenda is recognized for taking large-scale visions and developing a systematic, step-by-step approach to process creation, performance outcomes, and measurable success.

As an executive coach with proven success in the finance and sales industries, Brenda Loan Baker empowers individuals and organizations to reach their full leadership potential. While she serves leaders at all levels and across a broad range of functional roles and industries, she has a special interest in partnering with women and minorities in normally male-dominated industries like STEM, finance and law, to help them become more confident, visible, and influential leaders. It is Brenda’s passion to assist women and minorities in building greater confidence, improving their communication and public speaking, so they can lead with strength and compassion and become a role model for women to follow.

Brenda is an Professional Certified Coach (PCC) with the International Coach Federation (ICF). She is a Certified Professional Coach trained in both Core Energy Leadership™ through IPEC (The Institute of Professional Excellence in Coaching) and the Results System™ through Thought/Action. She received a Bachelor of Science in Business/Marketing from the University of Massachusetts.


Jeff Lou

Jeff is the Head of Automation at the synthetic biology company, Ginkgo Bioworks. At Ginkgo, he has built a team and platform that supports the industrialization of organism engineering using software, hardware, and process control. In addition to interests in robotics and engineering biology, he is a lifelong student of business ethics, economics, individual and organizational psychology, developing people, and more recently, aiding the cause of equity in STEM.

Prior to Ginkgo, Jeff co-founded a battery chemistry startup that developed nanostructured materials for grid-backup applications. Jeff holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Stanford University. Outside of career pursuits, Jeff enjoys cooking, board games, orienteering races, and rock climbing.


Sara Lupin

Sara is Chief of Staff to the Global Head of Medical at Sanofi Genzyme. Prior to this role, Sara spent 9 years holding various HR positions in the pharmaceutical industry, successfully partnering with a number of leaders and teams throughout the value chain (R&D, Industrial Affairs, and Commercial) and across multiple geographies. She has been guiding leaders through deep organizational transformations (creation of new departments, restructuring, integration after M&A) and cultural changes in global and multicultural environments.

Sara completed a dual BA program in International Business between the University of Turin (Italy) and the Warwick Business School (UK) before receiving a Master Degree in Human Resources from Panthéon-Sorbonne University (France).

Sara speaks fluently Italian, English, French, and Spanish. Sara always says “yes” to try a new fun activity and learn a new skill.


Nidhi Maniar
(Mentor since 2018)

Nidhi has been associated with Women Accelerators as a volunteer for 4 years, a mentee and now a mentor. She enjoyed the mutual learning experience with her mentee and looks forward to more.

A graduate of Northeastern University with a Masters degree in Pharmacology, she has been an active alumni member there, guiding students each year since 2014.

Nidhi currently works at University of Massachusetts Medical School’s MassBiologics, a biotechnology firm in Boston as a Research Associate III. Her valuable experience includes 5 years of supporting process development activities for therapeutic monoclonal antibodies and other proteins, developing newer analytical strategies for characterization, leading non-GMP client studies etc.

Nidhi enjoys meeting and building connections with inspiring people. She aspires to be a social entrepreneur in India in the near future.


Uma Ellur Staehler
(Mentor since 2018)

Uma has over 20 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry, working in a variety of marketing roles at Eli Lilly and Company. She recently transitioned to a new role as Market Research Advisor for the Connected Care Program; this program is focused on leveraging technology to connect various healthcare related components to improve patient outcomes (i.e. pharmaceutical drugs, devices, software, etc.), and is based in the Lilly Innovation Center in Cambridge, MA. Uma has had the privilege and opportunity to work in a variety of marketing and sales roles and leadership roles in Global, US, European and China marketing. She has experience in oncology, osteoporosis, diabetes and infectious diseases, as well as across the entire lifecycle for brand management.

She has launched several new products and new indications, and worked in new product planning to late lifecycle and managing post-patent strategies.

She is also passionate about people development, inclusive leadership and “being the change you want to see happen in the world”. Uma has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Purdue University, and an MBA from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her husband David, friends and family; fitness and health (especially running); traveling; and learning about new things, especially people and cultures.


Robin Rose

Robin is a customer-focused operations leader with extensive experience creating and delivering inventive business strategies and client-focused solutions that improve margins and increase customer retention. For over 20 years she has worked with companies in the software and services industry helping them establish process and create efficiencies to improve business outcomes. She is passionate about optimizing the customer journey to provide a best-in-class experience, aligning customer’s expected outcomes to build adoption, create delighted brand ambassadors, and develop new business opportunities.
An engaging communicator and relationship builder Robin enjoys unifying diverse resources and cultures to build high-performing teams. She has a strong interest in empowering women in the workplace, and is a member of several boards charged with supporting women, particularly in their local communities, and increasing leadership opportunities.
Robin graduated from Trinity College with a BS in Computer Science and a minor in Psychology. She is a voracious reader, local sports fan and loves to travel.


Susu Wong

Susu Wong
(Mentor since 2016)

Susu is the Principal and Founder of Tomo360, an online marketing agency, and the co-founders of Women Accelerators. She is an experienced business and marketing strategist who worked on a variety of companies from high-tech industry, healthcare, biotech, higher education to startup companies.

She was an adjunct Professor in Marketing at the UMass Lowell and a frequent workshop speaker at CWE and small business accelerators.  She has a unique combination of marketing, business and technical experience that provides a well-rounded advantage for her clients.  See her career profile on LinkedIn.

Susu is an advocate for helping women advancing their careers. She holds an Master in IT Management from Lesley University.  Susu has been a Women Accelerators mentor since 2016.