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Dr. Linda K. Molnar is a scientist and entrepreneur with more than 20 years of experience in the life science and chemical industries, integrating her scientific research and engineering background with commercialization for startups, and international, government, and business environments. Currently, Linda is a Program Director for the NSF Convergence Accelerator Program in the Office of Integrative Activities at the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF). The Convergence Accelerator is a relatively new organizational structure and activity within the NSF, designed to accelerate the transition of use-inspired convergence research into practice in areas of national importance. A guiding rationale of the Convergence Accelerator is that to achieve progress on scientific and societal challenges it is necessary to develop teams that can share expertise across research fields as well as with multiple partners and stakeholders, including the ultimate users of the research products. Previously, Linda was a Program Director in the NSF Engineering Directorate in the Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships where she managed a portfolio of Phase I and Phase II SBIR/STTR grants. She also served on the Working Group for the NSF Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation program (EFRI), which provides critical, strategic support of fundamental discovery at the frontiers of engineering research and education.
Prior to joining NSF, she was co-founder and CEO of Simpatica Medicine, Inc., an artificial intelligence precision medicine company based in San Francisco, California. Linda founded and worked with life science startup companies from many universities. She has also provided strategic consultancy to venture capital firms, public companies, non-profit institutes, and the federal government. Her background includes positions as Managing Director in the Life Sciences Merchant Banking group and Venture Group at Burrill & Company, Executive in Residence at Momentum Biosciences, Program Officer for the National Cancer Institute in the Office of the Director (Center for Strategic Scientific Initiatives), and research and business development roles at Caliper Life Sciences, NASA Ames Research Center, and Rohm & Haas Co. Linda completed the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Executive Management Program and holds a Ph.D. from the Program in Polymer Science and Technology (Materials Science and Chemical Engineering) from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a B.S. in Chemistry (Biology) from the University of Pittsburgh (magna cum laude).