The Commons Team
Susan Froshauer, Ph.D. - President of The Commons
Dr. Froshauer is President and CEO of CURE (Connecticut United for Research Excellence, Inc.) and President of CURE Innovations, LLC. She has spent over 27 years in biopharmaceuticals research and development. She is an experienced scientist, pharmaceutical executive, mentor, entrepreneur and angel investor with skill at connecting academic expertise and technology with the commercial sector. Susan is involved with the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute, the CTNEXT funded group, SECT Tech, the Creative Arts Workshop and the Angel Investor Forum. Prior to joining CURE, Dr. Froshauer was Director of the Technology Exchange Portal at the University of Connecticut’s Office of Economic Development. In this role Susan assisted Connecticut-based entrepreneurs and organizations with initiatives that train students, create jobs and contribute to economic development. She connected ideas with business expertise, business plans with investors and industry with scholars.
Until 2010, Susan served as President and CEO of Rib-X Pharmaceuticals, which she co-founded with Yale scientists in New Haven in 2000. Under her leadership, Rib-X raised more than $160 million in private equity, bridge financing and government grants and built an emerging pipeline of antibiotics to treat serious antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections. Prior to Rib-X, for 5 years Susan served as a member of Pfizer’s Strategic Alliance Group where she was part of a team involved in the creation of a $200 million investment portfolio that transformed the Pfizer global research and development strategy, helping the company identify new resources for drug discovery. Prior to work at Pfizer in business development. Dr. Froshauer ran a drug discovery research lab responsible to identify new classes of antibiotics.
Susan received a Ph.D. in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics from Harvard University and a B. A. from Connecticut College. She performed post-doctoral research at Yale Medical School in the Department of Cell Biology as a Jane Coffin Child’s Fellow.
Kimberly Nash Kelly - Director, Project Management
Kimberly Kelly joined CURE in April of 2014 as Director, Project Management, bringing to The Commons her biotech experience in research, facilities, project management and environmental health and safety (EHS). Ms. Kelly is a veteran of this world, having a 17-year history with start-ups. She is especially talented at creating effective, high performing team environments and delivering on team goals.
Prior to joining CURE, Ms. Kelly was Associate Director of Operations at Melinta Therapeutics (formerly Rib-X Pharmaceuticals) and was instrumental in driving the companies’ operational activities. Ms. Kelly held various roles at Melinta with increasing responsibilities in the areas of, project management, EHS, laboratory management, contractor and vendor management, managing facility improvements and the associated budgets.
Kim previously worked at Worldwide Clinical Trials (formerly CEDRA) where she held project management and supervisory roles. She developed the sample control department which under her leadership became both a profitable entity and draw for potential clients.
She holds a Bachelors of Science from University of Rhode Island.
Kim is a member of the Leadership of Eastern Connecticut Program Class of 2017.
Fernanda Ave - Marketing Director
Fernanda Ave is the Marketing Director of CURE. She has extensive experience developing and implementing traditional and online marketing strategies in several industries, with a special focus on bioscience and healthcare.
She has worked as a freelance marketing consultant for 3 years. She was also a Digital Marketing Specialist for Mission Branding, a boutique marketing agency in Connecticut.
Until 2013, Fernanda was the Online Marketing Coordinator for the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Program at Yale University School of Medicine. Before that, Fernanda managed the marketing department of a private dermatology practice.
She holds a Master of Science degree in interactive media from the School of Communication at Quinnipiac University. Her previous education include project management training at New York University and a Bachelor degree in business administration.
Kelley Gipson - Executive Director, Operations Coordination
Kelley is the Executive Director, Operations Coordination of CURE. She is an accomplished integrated marketing and communications professional possessing entrepreneurial, corporate and agency experience.
Most recently, Kelley has been working in a consulting capacity on experiential brand strategy and multi-channel communications engagements. Until 2010, she served as the Brand Director, Chief Communications Officer and Chief of Staff at a global, Fortune 500 financial services firm. Prior, Kelley was a Group Account Director and senior strategist at several NY based advertising agencies developing compelling brand narratives for clients in a variety of categories.
Operationally, Kelley has deep experience in change management as well as clarifying business and cultural objectives to energize and align brands, improve engagement and build positive word-of-mouth. She has directed several high-profile communications initiatives including corporate acquisitions and divestures, management transitions, IPOs, bankruptcy and restructurings as well as a number of crisis programs. The Public Relations Society of America and the Financial Communications Society have recognized her work.
She is a member of International Association of Business Communicators, Elevate and Financial Communications Society. Kelley is a prior member of the National Advertising Review Board, CIT’s Women’s Leadership Council and Executive Management Committee. A graduate of New York University, Kelley completed the Executive Program on Negotiation at the Harvard Business School.