About - 2015 Healthcare Strategy Conference & Case Competition

2015 Healthcare Strategy Conference & Case Competition

Wake Forest University – School of Business



2015 marks the sixth anniversary of the Healthcare Strategy Conference and Case Competition sponsored by the Wake Forest School of Business and Wake Innovations. This event draws very competitive teams from across the nation’s top schools. The objective of this conference and case competition is to bring the best and brightest minds together to solve a real business issue in the healthcare space. The Wake Forest University School of Business is the host of this competition because we are aware of the intimate and necessary connections between business and healthcare. This year we are honored to have Boston Scientific as the competition’s lead sponsor – notably this is their second year doing so as they are pleased with the creative and practical business solutions that are generated through the WFU Healthcare Strategy Conference and Case Competition.

This case competition attracts teams composed of diverse academic backgrounds. From these multi-talented teams, creative solutions and the identification of future opportunities in healthcare/biotechnology arise. Besides the required MBA student slot on the team, each year we welcome students from the fields of engineering, social sciences and the arts, and many others.

This year’s event will be held on March 13th and 14th at the Wake Forest Biotech Place located on Wake Forest Innovation Quarter in downtown Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Like the previous years, the lineup of activities include a networking event with competition sponsors and other industry leaders, a keynote address, and the actual case competition. This year’s keynote speaker is Mr. Michael F. Mahoney. Mr. Mahoney is the Chief Executive Officer for Boston Scientific.

Schedule of Events

All events on Friday and Saturday will be held at Biotech Place and are open to the public unless noted otherwise.

Friday – March 13, 2015

Networking with Sponsors – 3:00pm – 3:45pm

Keynote Address & Panel Discussion – 4:00pm – 5:30pm

Cocktail Reception – 5:30pm – 6:15pm

Teams Dinner – 6:30pm – 8:00pm (Invitation only)

Saturday – March 14, 2015 

Case Presentations – 8:30am – 11:30am

Lunch – 12:00pm

Case Presentations – 1:00pm – 2:05pm

Cocktail Reception (Invitation only) – 6:00pm

Gala & Awards Banquet (Invitation only) – 7:00pm

Please see a more detailed conference schedule here.

Event Organizers

Photo-PreslarLen B. Preslar, Jr

Mr Preslar is the Executive Director of the Biotechnology Conference, and Adjunct Professor at the Wake Forest School of Business, having been a Distinguished Professor of Practice at the School following his retirement from NC Baptist Hospital in 2007.

Mr Preslar’s career at Baptist Hospital, a partner with Wake Forest School of Medicine forming the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, spanned 38 years of service. He was their VP for Finance for 13 years before becoming their President and CEO, serving in that capacity for 19 years before retiring in 2007.

Mr Preslar has his BA in Economics from Wake Forest University, and his MBA in Finance from UNC-Greensboro. He has served on many professional and community Boards, including Chair of the NC Hospital Association where he is a lifetime member; the NC Institute of Medicine; Council of Teaching Hospitals; University Healthcare Consortium; United Way of Forsyth County; Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce; and Forsyth Futures. He is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Photo-RedfernDeepika Poranki

Deepika Poranki is a Commercialization Associate at Wake Forest Innovations. She works with licensing technologies and developing strategies to commercialize new technologies developed at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and Wake Forest University. She was formerly Business Development Associate at Aerial BioPharma, where she focused on business strategies for the pain therapy drug market.

Deepika received her PhD in Molecular Genetics from Wake Forest University and both Masters and Bachelors from Andhra University, India. Her research work was focused on integrating cellular, molecular, and engineering principles to understand the role and function of keratin biomaterials in regenerative therapies for the treatment of burns and trauma.

Photo-RedfernCrystal Redfern

Ms. Redfern is originally from Charlotte, North Carolina and completed her undergraduate education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is currently a 5th year PhD/MBA student studying Bordetella pertussis. Her career goal is to become director of a clinical microbiology laboratory.




Dipen Vyas

Dipen Vyas is a PhD/MBA candidate for the class of 2015. Dipen has been involved with this event in the past as a competitor on Wake Forest team in 2013 and as a co-chair of the event in 2014. Dipen is a also Vice-Chair for the WFU Business School Healthcare club for 2014-2015. His career interest lies in product portfolio management and M&A’s in pharmaceutical/biotech industry.


Photo-RedfernBryan A. Wilson

Mr. Wilson is currently a PhD/MBA graduate student, in Molecular Medicine and Translational Sciences. He is originally from New Orleans, Louisiana and completed his undergraduate education in biology and nutrition from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. His current research focuses on understanding disease mechanisms of cardiovascular disease as it relates to blood pressure regulation and kidney injury.  His career interests are to focus on further developing and bridging communication barriers and gaps between the science community and the general public population.

Mr. Wilson possesses a strong interest in science marketing, media and journalism. He has written several science media articles for national science journals/magazines including LabMedicine and AAAS Science Books and Flim. Additionally, he has worked as a media blogger and press representative for several national meetings including the annual Experimental Biology Conference and the Endocrine Society Meeting.

Photo-RedfernChristie Young

Ms. Young is originally from Indianapolis, Indiana. She completed her undergraduate studies at  Virginia Tech for undergraduate where she pursued a major in biology with a minor in chemistry. After completion of her bachelor’s degree, she entered the graduate program at Wake Forest University. Currently she is a 5th year graduate student in the joint PhD/MBA program. Her PhD thesis project is focused on Group A Streptococcus and its mechanisms of copper homeostasis. Her future career goals are to be involved in product development and commercialization for a biotechnology company.


Photo-RedfernHelen Ann Cuffe

Current PhD/MBA graduate student at Wake Forest University researching the effects of cholesterol on obesity and diabetes. Will be graduating in May of 2015 and hopes to move into a position within the pharmaceutical/biotech industry.


Photo-RedfernAmanda Davis

Amanda is a student of the Wake Forest MBA Class of 2016 and a 5th year PhD Candidate in the Department of Cancer Biology at Wake Forest University. Under the mentorship of Dr. Steve Kridel, Amanda studies de novo lipogenesis to further the understanding of cancer biology and help develop potential chemotherapeutic options. She received the American Association for Cancer Research Women in Cancer Research Scholar Award in 2013 and currently serves as the Graduate Student Representative to the Wake Forest Department of Cancer Biology Curriculum Committee.

Amanda received a BS in Animal Science from North Carolina State University in 2010. While attending North Carolina State University she participated in the NCSU Scholars Program, served as Vice President of the Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity Beta Delta Chapter, and was offered one of three internships for undergraduate students and Piedmont Research Center, a division of Charles River Laboratories, in Morrisville, NC.

Photo-RedfernJesalyn Bolduc

Jesalyn Bolduc is a fourth-year Ph.D. student in the laboratory of Dr. W. Todd Lowther in the Biochemistry department. She has a BS in Chemistry with a minor in Biology from Concord University. Her current research focuses on the structural biology of a family of antioxidant enzymes known as peroxiredoxins. In addition to her research interests, Jesalyn is also passionate about science policy and science educational outreach, particularly with students from socially/economically disadvantaged backgrounds.