My mission is to build partnerships that advance technology and improve human health.

Marilyn Ferrari

Experience in all three pillars of successful partnerships

Marilyn E. Ferrari, PhD, MBA

Founder and President


Philosophy and Experience

I have worked with a number of for-profit and not-for-profit organizations and built partnerships to develop therapeutics, vaccines, and devices. These include academic/corporate alliances and joint biotech/government projects ranging from early stage research to clinical development and manufacturing services.

Through leading roles in all stages of the discovery, development, and partnering processes I learned the importance of tight integration of the scientific, business, and relationship aspects of alliances. I have been:

At the bench

As a senior scientist, I have experience in assay development, regulatory documentation and product development plans. I also know what it means to be responsible for designing and executing research plans as lead scientist and liaison on high value collaborations. As scientists, we are problem solvers by nature. Our best work is done when we focus on what we want to create from the science.

At the negotiating table

As a business development leader, I completed agreements for collaborations, licensing and manufacturing services. I have a perspective from both sides: providing and receiving funding, and from discovery through clinical. In my business development roles, I have also performed technology evaluations and competitive intelligence.

The navigator

I know what it’s like to implement and maintain partnerships-including those I helped negotiate. I use mediation skills to support problem solving, navigating issues and competing interests that arise. Progress is made through constructive discussion, pressure testing and improving ideas.


I hold a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Minnesota and an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management. I completed postdoctoral research at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. I am also a credentialed mediator and, in addition to my consulting work, serve to mediate community disputes.

What’s in a name

Since my company is about bringing people together to build successful partnerships, I named it after my grandmother, Cesira. She created a place for people to come together. In her home there was a lot of talking, laughing, and a good share of very spirited disagreements. Everyone who entered was treated with respect and we all gained from being there.


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