We have experience in

every function of building, growing and scaling organizations from strategic planning to executing a grand strategy.

This experience includes starting, growing and restructuring organizations, raising capital, recruiting diverse management teams, creating and implementing strategic plans, scaling operations, developing internet-based, information platforms, data warehouses and marketing and branding. 
We have successfully managed and negotiated large, complex, public/private healthcare and research related transactions with extensive public approval processes, design and construction programs, zoning and related legal documentation.

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GP-write and the Center of Excellence for Engineering Biology

  • The Human Genome Project (HGP-read) aimed to read a human genome. Successfully completed in 2003, HGP-read is now widely recognized as one of the great feats of exploration, one that sparked a global revolution in science and medicine, particularly in genomic-based diagnostics and therapeutics.
  • But the understanding of the human genome – and the full benefits to humanity from this knowledge – remains incomplete.
  • Many scientists now believe that to truly understand our genetic blueprint, it is necessary to “write” DNA and build genomes from scratch. Such an endeavor will require research and development on a grand scale.
  • Served as part of a leadership group which launched GP-write and formed a new Center of Excellence for Engineering Biology.
  • GP-write is an open, international research project led by a multi-disciplinary group of scientific leaders who will oversee a reduction in the costs of engineering and testing large genomes in cell lines more than 1,000-fold within ten years. The overarching goal of such an effort is to understand the blueprint for life provided by the HGP-read.
  • GP-write is being implemented through a new, independent, nonprofit organization, the Center of Excellence for Engineering Biology, which is managing initial planning and coordination efforts. These efforts include supporting the formation and work of multi-institutional and interdisciplinary research teams working in a highly integrated fashion, responsive to and engaged with a broad public outreach.
  • Held three organizing meetings at the Alexandria Center for Life Science in NYC, Harvard Medical School and the New York Genome Center, the latest consisting of 250 attendees from 10 countries.
  • Developed governance/corporate structure for the Center of Excellence in Engineering Biology.
  • Formed international scientific consortium consisting of 200 scientists from 15 countries.
  • Formed ten scientific working groups to create charters, roadmaps and white papers.
  • Received 26 proposals for GP-write Pilot Project and received $500,000 in DARPA funding for one of the projects.
  • Published four scientific publications, including a Commentary in Science in June, 2016.

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“This grand challenge is more ambitious and more focused on understanding the practical applications than the original Human Genome Project. Exponential improvements in genome engineering technologies and functional testing provide an opportunity to deepen the understanding of our genetic blueprint and use this knowledge to address many of the global problems facing humanity.”

George Church, PhD
Professor of Genetics, Harvard Medical School
Core Faculty Member, Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering

Strategic Plan for Synthetic Biology

  • Synthetic Biology is now contributing sustainable and innovative solutions to pressing human needs and global challenges  with implications for global competitiveness and employment
  • US is losing ground in a field it pioneered; without road map for continued investment, value will not be realized
  • Led an initiative to develop a strategic plan to advance the field of synthetic biology in the United States, conducting over 110 interviews, a review of nearly 500 documents, attendance at major SynBio events and relevant institutions, and engaging over 300 members of the Synthetic Biology community with findings
  • Created 9 monthly working groups comprised of 100 participants to consider foundational questions for SynBio
  • Framed a set of findings and recommendations with strong agreement from the SynBio community
New York City Genome Center NJKANew York City Genome Center NJKA
“When the Sloan Foundation decided to fund a strategic planning process for synthetic biology in the US, we turned to Nancy J Kelley + Associates, a proven big thinker in science.  Their expertise in the public, private, and academic life sciences sectors allowed them to conduct the most in-depth evaluation of the fledgling global synthetic biology landscape to date.”

Paula Olsiewski, PhD
Program Director
Alfred P Sloan Foundation

Cancer Diagnostic Commercialization

  • RPCI had developed an innovative next generation sequencing-based cancer diagnostic
  • RPCI had a need to determine the feasibility of commercialization and spin off
  • Developed feasibility study, detailed financial models, and comprehensive business plan, including technology and market assessments
  • Led (re)negotiation of numerous business and technical relationships that were at risk
  • Developed plan for initial operations and led initial implementation of time-critical components (marketing, communications, recruiting)
  • Prepared “NewCo” for incorporation, launch, and eventual spin-off
  • Commercial spin off received financial commitments over $25 million
  • Outside relationships were rationalized and de-risked, allowing internal team to focus on critical product issues and increasing ultimate value of business
  • Internal team had complete “playbook” by which to launch and grow business
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New York City Genome Center NJKA
“Nancy J Kelley brought an experienced, multi-disciplinary team with in-depth knowledge of medical genomics and the changing nature of diagnostic testing to assist Roswell Park Cancer Institute in forming and spinning out an advanced diagnostic testing commercial venture, thereby positioning RPCI to be a real player in the field of cancer genomics.”

Candace Johnson, PhD
President and CEO
Roswell Park Cancer Institute

New York Genome Center

Despite the prominence and strength of its academic research and medical institutions, New York City had failed to invest in the infrastructure needed to propel the City into the coming ‘Century of Biology’

  • Developed and implemented feasibility study for a world-class sequencing, bioinformatics and data storage facility which would serve as a shared resource for NYC institutions
  • Recruited 11 Founding Institutional Members and two Associate Members
  • Developed detailed financial model and comprehensive business plans, including technology and market assessments
  • Negotiated critical clinical and technology relationships
  • Established Pilot Laboratory and the NYGC Innovation Center
  • Recruited 50+ member senior management and scientific team
  • Oversaw the selection and build-out of NYGC’s permanent, 170,000 sq. ft. facility
  • Raised $110m in cash and $70m in operational support
Start-up to fully operational, world-class genomics  research center and provider of cutting edge sequencing, bioinformatics, and data services

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New York City Genome Center NJKA
“Nancy J. Kelley was instrumental in nurturing the New York Genome Center from an idea to a reality, to the inestimable benefit of scientific research and New York City.”

Russ Carson
Ivan Seidenberg

NYGC Board of Directors

East River Science Park
(Alexandria Center for Life Science)

  • In 2004, New York City issued a Request for Proposals to develop the East River Science Park, designed to be New York City’s premier flagship destination for a vibrant clustering of commercial life science entities.
  • On behalf of Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Nancy J Kelley was a leader of the multi-disciplinary team (approximately 60 consultants) that responded to NYC’s RFP for the East River Science Park, designed and implemented the proposal.
  • Established New York office, responded to NYC’s RFP and was a leader of the team that won, designed and implemented a speculative life science development in Manhattan at the East River Science Park, designed for translational research, as well as support services and a conference facility.
  • Team identified and resolved a host of structural and environmental issues with the site prior to commencement of construction; appeared at public meetings held by the Community Board, Landmark Commission and NYC City Council.  Negotiated terms of financing with NYC and NYS agencies and a long term land lease with NYC.
  • Through a highly competitive selection process established by New York City, Alexandria was selected to develop an urban life science campus encompassing approximately 3.5 acres comprising approximately 1.1 million square feet of future office and laboratory space.  The plan also provided for a Winter Garden and 43K sq ft of publicly accessible open space, including a riverfront esplanade
  • This world-class campus is the centerpiece of New York City’s plan to dramatically increase its ability to retain, grow, attract and foster collaborations amongst a diverse spectrum of entities in the life science sector.
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East River Science Park
“The development of the East River Science Park… will allow us to take advantage of our enormous scientific base and world-class research institutions to attract both start-up firms and established bioscience companies to New York City.”

Michael Bloomberg
Former Mayor of New York City
August 10, 2006

McLean Hospital Campus Redevelopment

  • McLean Hospital sought to redevelop 240 acres of land in the Town of Belmont, representing 8% of the Town’s total size.
  • The McLean Hospital Task Force was appointed by the Board of Selectmen to represent the Town’s interests in the McLean Hospital Land Use planning process.
  • Nancy J Kelley was elected to Chair the Task Force.
  • The McLean Task Force presided over an intensive two and one-half year process involving public education, establishment of Town goals and objectives, analysis of development proposals, negotiation with McLean Hospital over project impacts and benefits and creation of zoning and related legal documentation.
  • Nancy J Kelley chaired over one hundred educational sessions, public meetings, public hearings and other public forums during the course of this time, often fielding negative public commentary resulting from the anger and concerns of citizens related to the development.
  • The work of the Task Force was ultimately endorsed through support of the land use plan by a unanimous vote of the Board of Selectmen, by a two-thirds vote of the Town Meeting and a vote of 69% of the Town’s electorate.
  • The Board of Selectmen issued a proclamation of thanks to Nancy J Kelley for her faithful service, stating that “the McLean Land Use Plan will benefit the Town for generations by controlling development on the site, protecting over 100 acres of open space, and providing municipal burial space”, among other things such as expanded tax base.  The value of the benefits to the Town of Belmont were estimated at approximately $75 million.
East River Science Park
“Please accept my thanks for the development of McLean Hospital land… Our collaborative effort with the Town over the past three years was the right approach to negotiating a development plan with benefits for both the Town and McLean Hospital.  We take great pride in the open and direct planning process we pursued with the people of Belmont.”

Bruce M. Cohen, MD, PhD
Former President
McLean Hospital
Harvard Medical School

SC2.0/Synthetic Genomes Conference

  • Following his move to NYU, Sc2.0 scientific leader Jef Boeke wanted to produce an expanded event that would showcase the growth of the synthetic genomes research efforts
  • With little time to plan, Boeke and his NYU team were not positioned well for success
  • NJK+A assembled a team that met weekly to plan the conference in less than five months
  • Conference leadership included development of a budget and detailed workplan, recruitment of speakers and special guests, recruitment of sponsors, development and management of conference website, registration system, and interactive community, management of marketing and social media, oversight of conference venue (New York Genome Center), coordination with media, and all on-site operations for conference
  • Conference, which attracted 200 attendees from over eight countries, was deemed to be a huge success by attendees, organizers, and host venue representatives and was featured in several scientific publications like Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News as well as popular media like The New York Times and Fast Company
  • Operating budget of $70K was managed effectively, resulting in a profit of $10K (15%+)
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Synthetic Genomes Conference
“The 2015 Sc2.0 conference was the biggest and the best meeting to date. Nancy J Kelley + Associates took the event to an entirely new level of professionalism and prominence, attracting nearly 200 scientists from over 8 countries and numerous new sponsors. We look forward to working with them again in 2016.”

Jef D. Boeke, PhD
Institute for Systems Genetics
New York University School of Medicine

Biodesign Challenge

Daniel Grushkin, a journalist and co-founder of Genspace, the world’s first community laboratory, conceived of the Biodesign Challenge as a competition amongst top design schools that would offer art and design students the opportunity to envision future applications of biology. Dan needed advice, contacts and financial resources to launch his project and his organization, with just three short months to do it.

NJK+A assembled a team that met bi-weekly to plan the organization and launch of the project, including assisting in developing a work plan and budget. NJK+A recruited sponsors, offered financial and operational advice, planned marketing and outreach efforts, reviewed content and web materials, helped to promote the launch of the project and judged the final event at an awards ceremony at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

The Biodesign Challenge launched in October, 2015, at the BioFabricate Conference hosted in NYC by Microsoft, with six top design school teams, exploring future applications for engineering biology in architecture, communication, energy, food, materials, medicine, transportation and water.  In 2018, 26 schools from around the world hosted more than 400 participating students in the competition.  27 student teams gathered at MOMA to showcase their projects and compete for prizes, including the Glass Microbe, Outstanding Field Research, Outstanding Science, Outstanding Presentation, and the PETA Prize for Animal-Free Wool.

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“When I decided to start the Biodesign Challenge, Nancy J Kelley + Associates was the natural choice as a partner. Knowledgeable and highly experienced in all aspects of start-up organizations, their team was an invaluable resource to helping launch and finance a successful organization and a successful project.”

Daniel Grushkin
Biodesign Challenge