Our Team


Alexandria Center for Life Science - NYC is the flagship property of Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc., and opened in September 2010. Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. (NYSE:ARE), Landlord of Choice to the Life Science Industry®, is the largest owner, cluster developer, and preeminent first-in-class international real estate investment trust providing infrastructure, services and capital to the broad and diverse life science industry.

Alexandria’s world-class cluster locations provide a multidisciplinary “trading floor” where innovative science, top talent, and smart capital strategically come together to collaborate and innovate in the best locations adjacent to the world’s top academic and medical research institutions.

Chief Executive Office, Chairman, and Founder
Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc.

Joel S. Marcus is the Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, and Founder of Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. (NYSE:ARE), the largest and leading urban office REIT uniquely focused on collaborative science and technology campuses in AAA innovation cluster locations. Mr. Marcus co-founded Alexandria in 1994 as a garage startup with a business plan and $19 million in seed capital and has led its growth into a publicly traded, investment-grade REIT with a total market capitalization of approximately $10 billion and dominant market presence in key locations, including Greater Boston, San Francisco, New York City, San Diego, Seattle, Maryland, and Research Triangle Park. Mr. Marcus also founded and leads Alexandria Venture Investments, the company’s strategic venture capital arm, which focuses on novel, breakthrough discoveries in biopharmaceuticals, diagnostics, research tools, agtech, digital health, and technology. In 2011, Mr. Marcus co-founded the renowned Alexandria Summit, an invitation-only gathering of the world’s foremost visionaries from the biopharmaceutical, medical, academic, financial, philanthropic, advocacy, and government communities, to address the most critical global healthcare challenges. Prior to co-founding Alexandria, Mr. Marcus had an extensive legal career specializing in corporate finance and capital markets, venture capital, and mergers and acquisitions, with a unique expertise in the biopharmaceutical industry. He was also a practicing certified public accountant and tax manager with Arthur Young & Co., where he focused on the financing and taxation of REITs. Mr. Marcus serves on the boards of Accelerator Corporation, of which he was one of the original architects and co-founders, Atara Biotherapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATRA), Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH), Friends of Cancer Research, Intra-Cellular Therapies, Inc. (NASDAQ:ITCI), MedBlue Incubator, Inc., MeiraGTx Limited, Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF), NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate, Partnership for New York City, and Yumanity Therapeutics, as well as on the 2016 NAREIT Advisory Board of Governors. Mr. Marcus is a recipient of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award (Los Angeles – Real Estate). He completed his undergraduate and Juris Doctor degrees at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Executive Director,
Strategic Programming & Philanthropy
Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc.

Emily Sheridan is the Vice President of Strategic Programming & Philanthropy for Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. Ms. Sheridan works primarily on the development and execution of life science programming for the collaborative spaces at the Alexandria Center for Life Science – New York City, including the Alexandria Summit® and Converge at Alexandria. By bringing together Alexandria’s diverse life science network in these unique and highly collaborative platforms, Alexandria programming catalyzes transformative discussions and collaborations that will help advance the most critical life science innovations. Ms. Sheridan also works on Alexandria’s philanthropic program, providing transformational support for leading-edge medical research as well as military support services. Prior to joining Alexandria, Ms. Sheridan was Director of Development at City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center in Duarte, CA, where she raised funds to advance the development and delivery of novel and effective therapies for patients fighting cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases. Ms. Sheridan received her B.A. in Psychology from Vassar College.

President & Co-Founder, Alexandria Summit;
Chief Science Advisor to the CEO,
Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc./
Alexandria Venture Investments

Lynne Zydowsky is an experienced executive in the life science industry who has been involved in the launching and building of several successful companies. Her biotechnology experience spans all aspects of corporate and business development, operations and finance. With over 18 years of industry experience, she has played a key role in raising private capital, setting the overall corporate strategy, and establishing and managing strategic alliances. As the President of Zydowsky Consultants, an international consulting practice founded in 2003 offering services to emerging companies, Lynne works with founders, investors and management teams to build the foundations of life science companies. She has been responsible for numerous transactions resulting in significant strategic partnerships. Dr. Zydowsy works closely with Alexandria and the team at Apella™ to develop life science focused content. Previously, Dr. Zydowsky was a cofounder of Renovis, Inc (now Evotec) where she served as the initial President and COO and as a member of the Board of Directors, and later as the COO and SVP of Corporate Development. Prior, Dr. Zydowsky joined Exelixis, Inc. as its first employee and held various positions of increasing responsibility including VP of Pharmaceutical Business Development. As a member of the senior management, she worked with the executive teams on the growth and development of both companies which led to their initial public offerings. Dr. Zydowsky earned her PhD in Chemistry from The Ohio State University and was a National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at the Harvard Medical School. She was a Sr Research Scientist at Ariad Pharmaceuticals and Glaxo Research Institute (now GSK) and has a BS in Pharmacy from Butler University.


Backal Management Group, LLC brings exceptional event management services to Apella. CEO and Founder, Arthur F. Backal, has over 20 years' experience in the hospitality industry. Backal Management Group’s companies and affiliates include State of the Art Enterprises Inc., an elite event planning company, and TBar Restaurant. The Group has also had a unique and prestigious consulting partnership with the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, New York, since the hotel’s grand opening in 2003. With intimate knowledge of the hospitality, lifestyle, and event industries, Backal Management Group brings an experienced, dynamic, and well-rounded events management team to facilitate the planning and execution of all conferences and private events at Apella.

Chief Executive Officer and Founder

Arthur F. Backal is the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Backal Management Group, LLC. He is also the Consulting Director of Catering at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, New York. The hotel’s enormous success was credited by The New York Times to Mr. Backal in 2003. From the outset of his career, Mr. Backal worked with some of New York’s most renowned hoteliers from Leona Helmsley at The Helmsley Palace to Donald and Ivana Trump at The Plaza. He was in charge of the re-opening of the St. Regis, New York, overseeing the entire food and beverage operation, and was also credited with restoring The Pierre to its legendary grandeur during his time there as Director of Catering. In addition, Mr. Backal spent time at The Waldorf-Astoria and with the Cipriani Group. Mr. Backal has for many years enjoyed a reputation as one of New York's most experienced and talented food and beverage professionals, as well as an unparalleled artist in the arena of special events. He was inducted into the BizBash Hall of Fame in 2010 in honor of his major contributions to furthering the event industry's goals, as well as to personal philanthropy.

Events Manager

Rachel Huber is an Events Manager at Apella. Mrs. Huber manages event sales and logistics at Apella on behalf of Backal Management Group and serves as the main point of contact for her clients throughout the event planning process. Prior to joining Apella, Mrs. Huber managed mid- to large-scale meetings and conferences as Meeting Planner for the American Camp Association. Mrs. Huber graduated from The George Washington University with a B.A. in Communication.

Events Manager

Jaimie DeSantis is an Events Manager at Apella. Ms. DeSantis manages event sales and logistics at Apella on behalf of Backal Management Group and serves as the main point of contact for her clients throughout the event planning process. Prior to joining Apella, Ms. DeSantis directed the Food and Beverage/Catering department at the Quin hotel. Ms. DeSantis graduated from Marist College with a B.A. in Communication.

Director of Operations

Mynor Ruano is the Director of Operations for Apella. Mr. Ruano is leading the operations team on behalf of Backal Management Group at Apella and oversees all events onsite. Mr. Ruano has extensive experience managing and servicing events, having previously held the position of Banquet Manager at the Gramercy Park Hotel, The Rainbow Room and the Russian Tea Room. In addition, Mr. Ruano has worked within the banquet service teams at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, the Plaza Hotel, the W Hotel at Union Square, and the Regent Wall Street Hotel, all in New York City.

Director of Technology

Jamie Dembeck is the Director of Technology for Apella. Mr. Dembeck manages all technological services and amenities at Apella and serves as the main point of contact for all AV and IT needs. Mr. Dembeck oversees the Audio Visual coordination for events from planning to execution. Prior to joining Apella, Mr. Dembeck worked as an independent AV consultant with various hotels and event spaces in New York City including Gansevoort Hotel Group, Andaz Hotels, and Grandlife Hotels.  He also has experience working as a grip for Broadway theaters and concert venues.


Riverpark, a Tom Colicchio Restaurant located within the Alexandria Center, reflects Tom Colicchio’s overall vision as restaurateur, showcasing his thoughtful approach to dining.. The menus, developed by Executive Chef, Bryan Hunt, showcase seasonal farmers’ market ingredients. Buffet lunches, dinners, and cocktail receptions at Apella are catered by Riverpark.


Tom Colicchio made his New York cooking debut at such prominent restaurants as the Quilted Giraffe, Gotham Bar & Grill, Rakel, and Mondrian. He opened Gramercy Tavern with Danny Meyer in 1994, following that critical and popular success in 2001 with the equally well received Craft. Colicchio has expanded the Craft restaurant family to include Craftsteaks, Craftbars, and ’wichcraft sandwich shops* around the country, and he has recently opened Colicchio & Sons in New York. He is also the author of three cookbooks and the winner of four James Beard Foundation medals. Since 2006, he has appeared as the head judge on Bravo’s hit reality cooking series, Top Chef.


Bryan was raised in Tennessee and moved to New York in 1998 to attend the Culinary Institute of America. At the age of 20, Bryan had his first trail at Gramercy Tavern, which opened the doors to the world of fine dining. It was during his externship there that he first encountered acclaimed chefs Jonathan Benno, Marco Canora and Sisha Ortúzar. These three chefs would eventually help shape Bryan's culinary career, as he would work with each of them again – with Jonathan at Per Se, as Chef de Cuisine for Marco at Insieme, and Sisha at Riverpark.