Dr. Santhanam manages the $5.6M 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 80 startups, >$200M 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. 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.