Who We Are

Mission of PBG

As an interdisciplinary graduate student organization, we seek to:

  • Provide graduate-level students with real world business and consulting experience
  • Help our members develop strong leadership and teamwork skills, and improve business knowledge
  • Build a healthcare and biotech network within the Penn community and the Greater Philadelphia region
  • Assist our members to find positions in the consulting and biotech fields

Members of PBG

Our group is comprised of members from several graduate schools across Penn. Members with such diverse backgrounds allow us to share knowledge within our group to allow our members to learn more about the “business of science” or the “science of business.”

Below are statistics of our membership in recent years.


Any graduate-level student or post-doc is welcome to join us! Membership fees are $25 for one year. To participate in our events, you must be a PBG member. To sign up as a member, please go here.

PBG Leadership


Co-President – Iryna Shakhmantsir (LinkedIn)

I am a 6th year Ph.D. candidate in Cell and Molecular Biology program at the Perelman School of Medicine. I study circadian clocks in both fruit flies and mice, focusing on regulatory mechanisms of circadian behavior and implications of circadian misalignment in the context of disease. Outside of lab, I enjoy painting, practicing my muay thai skills and biking around Philly.



Co-President – Chen Gao (LinkedIn)

I am a rising 5th year Ph.D candidate in the Chemical and Biomolecular program. My research at Penn focuses on functionalizing recombinant protein for a variety of applications, such as targeted drug delivery and enhancing diagnostic sensitivity. I graduated from University of Minnesota – Twin Cities in 2013 with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering. I joined PBG in Fall 2015 and have served as a team member, Project Manager and Director. I am very excited to serve as a PBG Co-President next year and look forward to meeting everyone!


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Co-President – Susan Adler (LinkedIn)

I am a rising 2nd year MBA at the Wharton School, and am part of the healthcare management program. Prior to Wharton, I was a Senior Knowledge Analyst for the Healthcare Practice Area at The Boston Consulting Group. My most recent focus at BCG was on the biopharma commercial sub-sector, though I also have experience in the medical devices and technology, and payer space. Prior to BCG, I was a Business Analyst at Public Consulting Group, where I worked with state agencies to plan for and implement various aspects of the Affordable Care Act, namely the health insurance exchanges and Medicaid expansion. This summer, I will be interning at Sanofi Genzyme, on their marketing team. I very much look forward to continuing my work with PBG, and look forward to meeting you all!



VP of Business Development – Elizabeth Dempsey (LinkedIn)

I am a rising 6th year Ph.D candidate in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics (BGS) with a research focus on developing diagnostic and therapeutic nanomaterials. I am a member of the Graduate Training in Medical Science program as well as the Chemistry-Biology Interface program. Before joining Penn, I completed a B.S in Biochemistry at Syracuse University and worked several years as a research specialist at Johns Hopkins. I also have a B.A. in Music Performance and perform regularly with Penn Singers Light Opera Company. After five semesters and six projects with PBG (3x TM, 1x PM, 2x D), I’m thrilled to join the E-board and to undertake the sourcing of exciting clients and projects!


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VP of Career Development – Cheyenne Allenby (LinkedIn)

I am a rising 4th year Ph.D. candidate in Pharmacology at the Perelman School of Medicine. I am currently in the lab of Dr. Caryn Lerman, and my focus is on neuroimaging and stress reactivity in smokers who are trying to quit smoking. I have completed two PBG projects as a team member, and I am excited to meet more members of PBG and contribute to the E-board. As VP of Career Development, I look forward to facilitating connections and providing resources to prepare our members for careers in consulting.


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VP of Communications – Christie Ojiaku (LinkedIn)

I am a rising 5th year Ph.D. Candidate in Pharmacology at the Perelman School of Medicine. My research investigates the mechanisms governing human airway smooth muscle contractility in asthma.  Outside of the lab, my hobbies include cooking and cardio kickboxing. I have participated in PBG as both a Team Member and Project Manager over the past year, and I am extremely excited to contribute to PBG’s E-board this year as VP of Communications.

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VP of Consulting – Malcolm Daniels  (LinkedIn)

I am a rising sixth year PhD candidate in Pharmacology at the Perelman School of Medicine. My thesis research with Harry Ischiropoulos is focused on understanding small molecule inhibitors of the protein aggregation that may drive Parkinson’s disease. I earned my BA at Kalamazoo College, where I studied Biology and Neuroscience. During my time at Penn I have been a PBG team member and project manager. I look forward to working with you to make every project successful, not just for the client, but for each member of PBG.


VP of Finance – Dhruv Jaggia (LinkedIn)

I’m a rising second year Wharton MBA student, majoring in healthcare management and finance.  Prior to Wharton, I worked at IBM Watson in Strategy and Business Development roles. This summer, I will be interning at MTS Health Partners, a healthcare investment bank. I am also VP of Student Life for Wharton Graduate Association (WGA), Social chair for Wharton India Club, and VP of Finance for Wharton’s Dance Studio. I look forward to joining the PBG team!


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VP of Operations – Debopreeti Mukherjee (LinkedIn)

I am a rising fourth year Ph.D. candidate in the Gai Lab at the Chemistry Department and I use non-natural amino acids as site-specific spectroscopic probes to understand the dynamics of protein folding. Before coming to Penn, I received my B.Sc. degree in Chemistry from Presidency College, Kolkata, and my M.S. in Chemical Sciences from JNCASR, Bangalore, India. I have been actively involved in PBG for two semesters, working as a team member and I have found those projects to be very helpful for my professional development. I look forward to being a part of this year’s E-board as the VP of Operations.


VP of Social – Hongbo Zhao (LinkedIn)

I’m a rising 5th year Ph.D. candidate in bio-engineering, working at McKay Orthopaedic Research Laboratory at Perelman school of Medicine. My research focuses on treatment of osteoporosis and Micro-CT imaging. I joined PBG last semester as a team member and had a really great time during last project. It’s great honor for me to be VP of social at PBG and I’ll try my best to organize great social events to fellow PBG members.


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VP of Knowledge Management – Elizabeth Piette (LinkedIn)

Elizabeth R. Piette is a PhD candidate in the Genomics and Computational Biology graduate group under the advisement of Jason H. Moore.  Elizabeth’s research lies at the intersection of human genetics, computer science, and statistics and focuses on developing techniques for improving the detection of complex interactions in genome-wide association studies. She is interested in how big data can be mined and analyzed to direct, inform, and compliment public health and personalized medicine.  Prior to attending Penn, Elizabeth completed a Master of Public Health degree and a bachelor’s in Neuroscience, both at Brown University.


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VP of Alumni Relations – Nan Lin (LinkedIn)

I am a rising 6th year Ph.D. Candidate in Cancer Biology at the Perelman School of Medicine. I graduated from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with B.S. in Chemistry. Now, I am studying the role of hypoxia-inducible factors in regulating macrophages’ functions in the setting of inflammatory bowel diseases and colorectal cancer. I’ve worked with PBG as a Team Member, Project Manager and Director. As VP of Alumni Relations this year, I look forward to expanding alumni network to better support career development of members.