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Rachel Cervantes Joins University City Science Center as VP Corporate Development

Rachel Cervantes, Ph.D., MBA has joined the University City Science Center as VP Corporate Development. Cervantes brings over 20 years’ experience in the commercial and scientific aspects of pharmaceutical innovation within large pharmaceutical, biotech, and academic research environments.

In this newly created position at the mission-driven nonprofit, Cervantes will play a leadership role in forging strategic partnerships with industry, non-profit and academic institutions with the goal of building a sustainable corporate and institutional presence in uCity Square and yielding additional revenue sources for the Science Center.

“As uCity Square expands, University City will enter a new era of innovation, access, inclusion, and discovery with the Science Center playing a key role as the connector between multiple, diverse organizations,” says Science Center President & CEO Stephen S. Tang, Ph.D., MBA. “Rachel’s business development background and private industry experience will enhance the Science Center’s ability to develop creative and flexible approaches that bring mutual value to its partners.”

Cervantes was most recently Senior Director of Business Development at Egalet Corporation where she was responsible for the company's external partnering efforts with a primary focus on M&A and licensing. Cervantes held similar roles at Inovio Pharmaceuticals and Merck & Co., where, in addition to evaluating, structuring and negotiating global healthcare partnerships, she also held a number of leadership roles within R&D and marketing. In addition to her private sector experience, Cervantes was a research associate at the Salk Institute at Biological Sciences where she conducted NIH-funded cancer research.

Cervantes earned an MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, a Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Cincinnati, and a BA from the University of Hawai'I at Manoa. She serves on the Wharton Alumni Executive Board and is a member of the Trustee's Council of Penn Women.

About the Science Center
Located in the heart of uCity Square, the Science Center is a mission-driven nonprofit organization that catalyzes and connects innovation to entrepreneurship and technology commercialization. For 50+ years, the Science Center has supported startups, research, and economic development in the life sciences, healthcare, physical sciences, and emerging technology sectors. As a result, graduate firms and current residents of the Science Center’s incubator support one out of every 100 jobs in the Greater Philadelphia region and drive $13 billion in economic activity in the region annually. By providing resources and programming for any stage of a business’s lifecycle, the Science Center helps scientists, entrepreneurs and innovators take their concepts from idea to IPO – and beyond.

For more information about the Science Center, go to

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