Leadership and Advisory Board Team

Our team of passionate professionals can help you reach growth milestones at an accelerated rate. 

Christina P. Orsi

Principal Investigator

Christina Orsi.

With strong leadership skills and more than two decades experience, Christina guides university-wide economic development efforts.

Orsi oversees the Business and Entrepreneur Partnerships office, to help businesses and other community partners connect with UB researchers and resources, including workforce development training, entrepreneur support and access to programs like START-UP NY, to advance UB’s mission as an economic engine in Western New York and beyond. She works with principal investigators, business development executives and commercialization teams at UB’s New York State centers of excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences (CBLS), Materials Informatics (CMI) and the university's incubators and incubation programs, to facilitate commercialization of technologies invented by UB researchers and students. She also supervises the Western New York Incubator Network and UB's Center for Advanced Biomedical and Bioengineering Technology (UB CAT).

Prior to joining UB, she provided strategic direction for the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council and played an integral role in New York State’s Buffalo Billion economic development plan. Both initiatives are pushing Western New York’s economy toward advanced manufacturing, clean technology, life sciences and other knowledge-based industries.

Alan Belicha, PhD

Director, Business Development and Industry Engagement

Alan Belicha.

Alan Belicha is the Director, Business Development and Industry Engagement at Business & Entrepreneur Partnerships, at the University at Buffalo.  Prior to his transition into business development, Alan obtained a Ph.D. in molecular tumor immunology at Roswell Park Cancer Institute and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, where he also worked as a consultant in an early-stage venture fund for several years.

Alan then joined the Business Development team at Mount Sinai Innovation Partners where he was responsible for evaluating early stage life science technologies, developing a commercial strategy and ultimately partnering those assets to biotech and pharma companies. During his time at Mount Sinai Innovation Partners he contributed to the licensing of ~$850M of preclinical stage assets.

In addition to his current role at the State University of New York at Buffalo, Alan is a consultant for several small entities in the life sciences and is a co-founder of a biotech company developing a gene-therapy for an extremely rare genetic disease called Mitochondrial NeuroGastroIntestinal Encephalomyopathy (MNGIE).

Norma J. Nowak, PhD

Founding Member

Norma Nowak.

Norma Nowak is an acclaimed researcher – a recognized leader in the human genomics field – and an entrepreneur. Her research contributed directly to the Human Genome Project, as well as to genomic-based approaches to understanding heritable disorders and cancer. Nowak is also the founder and chief scientific officer of Empire Genomics, LLC, a molecular diagnostics firm focused on enabling personalized medicine.

Nowak's efforts were instrumental in obtaining more than $70 million in funding for research and infrastructure, and she has authored and co-authored 144 research articles. Among other achievements, she received the 2008 American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) Team Science Award and the 2008 Thomas B. Tomasi Award from Roswell Park Cancer Institute for her outstanding achievements in science. She is a Buffalo Museum of Science board member and was recently appointed to the Empire State Stem Cell Board for New York State and the founding board for 43North.

Nowak is also at the forefront of a new era of personalized medicine as a driving force in the governor’s investment in UB and the New York Genome Center (NYGC) to create the Buffalo Institute for Genomics and Data Analytics (BIG).

Advisory Board Members

Teresa Bair, JD
Senior Vice President, Administration & Legal Affairs, Corporate Secretary 

Jennifer Beckage, JD
Beckage PLLC

Marnie LaVigne, PhD
President and CEO
Launch NY

Irv Levy, CPA
Founder / Managing Member
Capital Partners Business Solutions, LLC

Alan Rosenhoch, MBA
Entrepreneur Selection & Growth Account Manager