Christopher Konop, Ph.D., Executive Director    Christopher has his Ph.D. in the field of neurobiology and completed a postdoc in the Department of Zoology studying neuropeptide mediated signaling pathways involved in motor control. Currently Christopher serves as WiSolve's Executive Director. Before co-founding WiSolve Consulting Group, Christopher participated in the Wisconsin Entrepreneurial Bootcamp. He has consulted for a small pharmaceutical company, working on a wide range of projects in technology assessment, market analysis, competitive intelligence, and helping to generate investor-facing materials. Christopher is an Advisory Board member for the Advocacy Consortium for Entrepreneurs (ACE) and the outreach chair for the UW-Madison Postdoctoral Association. As Executive Director at WiSolve, Christopher is responsible for fostering relationships with our strategic partners, acquiring new clients, and managing the portfolio of current engagements.

Christopher Konop, Ph.D., Executive Director

Christopher has his Ph.D. in the field of neurobiology and completed a postdoc in the Department of Zoology studying neuropeptide mediated signaling pathways involved in motor control. Currently Christopher serves as WiSolve's Executive Director. Before co-founding WiSolve Consulting Group, Christopher participated in the Wisconsin Entrepreneurial Bootcamp. He has consulted for a small pharmaceutical company, working on a wide range of projects in technology assessment, market analysis, competitive intelligence, and helping to generate investor-facing materials. Christopher is an Advisory Board member for the Advocacy Consortium for Entrepreneurs (ACE) and the outreach chair for the UW-Madison Postdoctoral Association. As Executive Director at WiSolve, Christopher is responsible for fostering relationships with our strategic partners, acquiring new clients, and managing the portfolio of current engagements.

Jonathan Lenz, Ph.D., Director of Operations  Postdoc, Department of Medical Microbiology & Immunology  Jonathan is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Medical Microbiology & Immunology (MMI) where he studies how pathogenic bacteria interact with human tissues. Since arriving at UW he has been active in postdoctoral leadership, serving as President of the UW-Madison Postdoctoral Association from 2015-2017, sitting on the UW-Madison Office of Postdoctoral Studies Advisory Committee, and representing postdocs at MMI department faculty meetings from 2012-2016. Jonathan is a 2017 Wisconsin Entrepreneurial Bootcamp alum and participated in the 2016 Postdoctoral Training Course on Scientific Leadership & Management. He is the recipient of an NRSA Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. As Director of Operations at WiSolve, Jonathan oversees organizational planning, including developing consultant teams and managing the project portfolio.

Jonathan Lenz, Ph.D., Director of Operations
Postdoc, Department of Medical Microbiology & Immunology

Jonathan is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Medical Microbiology & Immunology (MMI) where he studies how pathogenic bacteria interact with human tissues. Since arriving at UW he has been active in postdoctoral leadership, serving as President of the UW-Madison Postdoctoral Association from 2015-2017, sitting on the UW-Madison Office of Postdoctoral Studies Advisory Committee, and representing postdocs at MMI department faculty meetings from 2012-2016. Jonathan is a 2017 Wisconsin Entrepreneurial Bootcamp alum and participated in the 2016 Postdoctoral Training Course on Scientific Leadership & Management. He is the recipient of an NRSA Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. As Director of Operations at WiSolve, Jonathan oversees organizational planning, including developing consultant teams and managing the project portfolio.

Muhammad M. Khalifa,   Director of Marketing and Sales  Graduate Student, Pharmaceutical Sciences Division  Muhammad is a PhD candidate in the Pharmaceutical Sciences Division studying organic chemistry with an emphasis on small molecule synthesis, methodology development, and medicinal chemistry in the context of anti-infectious disease drug discovery. As a founding member of the group, Muhammad led a project that shaped WiSolve’s marketing strategy towards attracting member-consultants and clients. He has also participated in projects related to SBIR/STTR grant generation and early review for the commercialization of new technologies. As Director of Marketing and Sales, Muhammad is responsible for cultivating relationships that enable WiSolve consultants to remain at the forefront of hypothesis-driven solutions to our clients’ business needs.

Muhammad M. Khalifa, Director of Marketing and Sales
Graduate Student, Pharmaceutical Sciences Division

Muhammad is a PhD candidate in the Pharmaceutical Sciences Division studying organic chemistry with an emphasis on small molecule synthesis, methodology development, and medicinal chemistry in the context of anti-infectious disease drug discovery. As a founding member of the group, Muhammad led a project that shaped WiSolve’s marketing strategy towards attracting member-consultants and clients. He has also participated in projects related to SBIR/STTR grant generation and early review for the commercialization of new technologies. As Director of Marketing and Sales, Muhammad is responsible for cultivating relationships that enable WiSolve consultants to remain at the forefront of hypothesis-driven solutions to our clients’ business needs.

Zhihui (Jennifer) Yao, Director of Finance  Graduate Student, Biophysics Program  Jennifer is a Ph.D. candidate majoring in Biophysics. Her research is to understand the structural and function relationship of peptide toxins. Jennifer is the president of a registered student organization Asian Student Supporting Group with a focus on career development. She also participated in the Wisconsin Entrepreneurial Bootcamp. Jennifer has consulted with local biotech companies in technology validation and market analysis areas in order to raise capitals from potential investors. Experienced in strategic planning, Jennifer is responsible for accounting, billing and fundraising needs of the group.

Zhihui (Jennifer) Yao, Director of Finance
Graduate Student, Biophysics Program

Jennifer is a Ph.D. candidate majoring in Biophysics. Her research is to understand the structural and function relationship of peptide toxins. Jennifer is the president of a registered student organization Asian Student Supporting Group with a focus on career development. She also participated in the Wisconsin Entrepreneurial Bootcamp. Jennifer has consulted with local biotech companies in technology validation and market analysis areas in order to raise capitals from potential investors. Experienced in strategic planning, Jennifer is responsible for accounting, billing and fundraising needs of the group.

Mark A. Farrugia, Ph.D., Director of Human Resources  Postdoc, Department of Medicine  Mark obtained his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology with a focus on Enzymology. His love of structural biochemistry and enzymology lead him to working as a postdoc, where he studies the structure/function relationship for several proteins that are potential therapeutic targets for neurodegenerative disorders. In addition to working with WiSolve since its inception, Mark has participated in the 2017 Wisconsin Entrepreneurial Bootcamp and is working toward developing commercial tools to incentivize peer-to-peer interactions at scientific conferences. In his role of Director of Human Resources, Mark manages WiSolve’s consultants through designing project teams, screening new applicants, communicating events of interest for WiSolve’s members and tracking consultant training and event attendance.

Mark A. Farrugia, Ph.D., Director of Human Resources
Postdoc, Department of Medicine

Mark obtained his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology with a focus on Enzymology. His love of structural biochemistry and enzymology lead him to working as a postdoc, where he studies the structure/function relationship for several proteins that are potential therapeutic targets for neurodegenerative disorders. In addition to working with WiSolve since its inception, Mark has participated in the 2017 Wisconsin Entrepreneurial Bootcamp and is working toward developing commercial tools to incentivize peer-to-peer interactions at scientific conferences. In his role of Director of Human Resources, Mark manages WiSolve’s consultants through designing project teams, screening new applicants, communicating events of interest for WiSolve’s members and tracking consultant training and event attendance.

Marc G. Chevrette, Director of Technology  Graduate Student, Department of Genetics  Marc works in the Department of Genetics, where he develops computational methods to discover new drugs from the genomes of bacteria. Marc is a fellow of the Chemistry-Biology Interface Training Program and has extensive experience in the drug discovery and biotechnology industries. As Director of Technology, Marc manages WiSolve’s digital assets, website, electronic record keeping, and analytics.

Marc G. Chevrette, Director of Technology
Graduate Student, Department of Genetics

Marc works in the Department of Genetics, where he develops computational methods to discover new drugs from the genomes of bacteria. Marc is a fellow of the Chemistry-Biology Interface Training Program and has extensive experience in the drug discovery and biotechnology industries. As Director of Technology, Marc manages WiSolve’s digital assets, website, electronic record keeping, and analytics.

Alex Harwig, Ph.D., Director of Professional Development  Postdoc, Virology  Alex is a post-doctoral researcher with a Ph.D. in molecular virology obtained at the University of Amsterdam. Two years ago, he and his family moved to the UW-Madison where he now works in the Landick lab to better understand the different mechanisms behind transcription regulation. During his long career, Alex never felt restricted to the academic bubble. This resulted in many excursions into the fields of entrepreneurship, management, event organization and business communication. As the current Director of Professional Development at WiSolve, Alex oversees the up-to-date training of its members by creating a core curriculum while identifying and organizing seminars for advanced members..

Alex Harwig, Ph.D., Director of Professional Development
Postdoc, Virology

Alex is a post-doctoral researcher with a Ph.D. in molecular virology obtained at the University of Amsterdam. Two years ago, he and his family moved to the UW-Madison where he now works in the Landick lab to better understand the different mechanisms behind transcription regulation. During his long career, Alex never felt restricted to the academic bubble. This resulted in many excursions into the fields of entrepreneurship, management, event organization and business communication. As the current Director of Professional Development at WiSolve, Alex oversees the up-to-date training of its members by creating a core curriculum while identifying and organizing seminars for advanced members..