Nicole Wagner
Nicole WagnerCo-Chair

Nicole Wagner, PhD, CEO, LambdaVision

Dr. Wagner obtained her PhD in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of Connecticut under the advising of Dr. Robert Birge. Nicole entered the graduate program in 2007 and spent the majority of her graduate career working on optimizing retinal-containing proteins for application in devices. During the course of her PhD research, she played a critical role in the proof-of-concept experiments, which helped to found LambdaVision in May 2009. Through the use of site-directed mutagenesis, site-specific saturation mutagenesis, and directed evolution, Nicole was able to genetically engineer the protein, bacteriorhodopsin, for a variety of device applications, including protein-based holographic and 3-dimensional memories, a chemical detection sensor, and, most recently, a protein-based artificial retina.

Nicole is an accomplished scientist and entrepreneur with numerous peer-reviewed publications – presenting her research at both National and International meetings. Dr. Wagner is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Connecticut Technology Council’s Women of Innovation “Collegian Innovation and Leadership Award,” CT Magazine’s 40 under 40 for the class of 2015, the 2020 Women in Aerospace Achievement Award, and the Hartford Business Journal’s Women in Business Award for 2021. Nicole serves on the Board of Directors of the New England Women in Science Executive’s Club, as well as the CT Technology Council, and recently joined the ISS National Lab User Advisory Committee as the Subcommittee Chair for Applied Research and Development. Nicole has been with LambdaVision since inception, and is LambdaVision’s President and CEO. Since taking on the role of CEO, Dr. Wagner has been successful in securing greater than $8.75M in local, state, and government funding to accelerate the research, development, and commercialization of LambdaVision’s artificial retina.

LambdaVision is developing the first protein-based artificial retina to restore meaningful vision for patients who are blind or have lost significant sight due to advanced retinal degenerative diseases, including retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Diane Joseph-McCarthy
Diane Joseph-McCarthy Co-Chair

Diane Joseph-McCarthy is the Executive Director of the Bioengineering Technology & Entrepreneurship Center (BTEC) and Professor of the Practice in Biomedical Engineering at Boston University. She is a senior life science executive with over 20 years of drug discovery, development, and leadership experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sector. Most recently, she was the Senior Vice President of Discovery & Early Development at EnBiotix, a bioengineering company focused on developing novel antibacterials. Before joining EnBiotix, she was an Associate Director in the Infection iMED at AstraZeneca, where she led an innovative group of scientists as well as a global team in Predictive Science. Prior to that she was at Wyeth where she held positions of increasing responsibility. She has been actively involved in the discovery of several compounds that have reached clinical trials. Dr. Joseph-McCarthy received her PhD from MIT, and was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University and Harvard Medical School. She has more than 75 publications/patents and has given numerous invited talks. She also has served as a member of the National Academy of Sciences Polio Antiviral Advisory Committee.

Karen Borofsky
Karen BorofskyTreasurer

Director of Administration, Lando & Anastasi, LLP

Karen has worked in Boston area law firms of various sizes for more than 30 years. She has promoted women’s initiatives within law firms and through her service to non-profit organizations throughout her career. Karen is a founding Board Member of NEWISE, and serves as Treasurer of the organization. Karen previously served for several years as a member of the Board of Directors of WEST. Karen received her undergraduate degree from Brandeis University and her M.B.A. from the Simmons College School of Business.

Sarah Cardozo Duncan
Sarah Cardozo DuncanMember

Owner of Career Strategist

Sarah runs her own consulting firm, Career Strategist, and draws upon more than 20 years of recruitment and career development experience to help her global client base define new or existing career paths, or to help them navigate successfully in their current companies. In 2003, she was recognized by Boston Magazine one of the 100 most powerful women in Boston. Sarah is an accomplished and highly-regarded speaker and workshop leader. She conducts hands-on training and workshops for postdoctoral fellows, as well as companies, trade organizations, and associations. Her commitment and dedication to helping scientists, particularly postdocs, transform their career paths earned her the 2014 Mass AWIS Mentor of Excellence Award. Sarah has held leadership positions in many organizations including WEST, Mass Gap, Mass AWIS, South Shore Chamber, and Mass Alliance. She recently served on the Board of Directors of the Science Club for Girls (SCFG) and was the 2014 SCFG Catalyst Awards co-chair. Sarah is a founding Board Member of New England Women in Science Executives Club, and currently serves as Chair of the NEWISE Board.


The NEWISE CLUB offers a unique sponsorship opportunity for companies and organizations who seek to connect with senior life sciences executive women. By hosting one of our private monthly dinner gatherings, your organization’s senior leaders will have an opportunity to dine informally with our members.

Please visit our Sponsor page for more information or contact NEWISE leadership at