Dr. Santhanam manages the $5.8M Maryland Innovation Initiative (MII) program investing in commercialization and start-up companies spun out of five participating universities; Johns Hopkins University, the University of Maryland College Park, Baltimore and Baltimore County campuses, as well as Morgan State University. Established in 2012, MII has invested $29M that has resulted in 77 startups, $163M follow-on funding and 5 exits till date!
Dr. Santhanam leverages over 20 years of experience in life science research, and a multidisciplinary background, providing subject matter expertise for conception, design and delivery of technical and commercialization solutions for start-ups. Her past clients included early biotechnology start-ups in Maryland, public -private partnerships as well as federal agencies. At TEDCO, Dr. Santhanam has served various roles over the years including Investment Analyst for the Maryland Venture Fund and Manager for the Life Science Investment Fund, where she was responsible for over $3M of seed investments and served in a Board Observer role for multiple Portfolio Companies.
Dr. Santhanam received a Master of Science in Clinical Biochemistry from University of Madras (India) and a PhD in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics from Rutgers University, NJ. She did her postdoctoral fellowship at the National Cancer Institute.
She serves on the Board of Directors of the Annapolis-based non-profit advocacy group METAvivor Research and Support, Inc., where she established the METAvivor research program to fund groundbreaking research to treat Stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. Under her directorship METAvivor has awarded over $4M in research grants and was selected as a premier patient-run Research Programs in VP Joe Biden’s Cancer Moonshot Initiative! She is also an active member of the Women In Bio- Capital region chapter.