Tara is an investment banker and advisor, providing financial and strategic advisory services to healthcare and life sciences corporations. Tara completed a PhD in developmental and cellular biology at Southern Illinois University where she studied cellular de-differentiation and commitment plasticity as related to cancer, and taught histology to medical students. Subsequently, she completed a post-doctoral fellowship at University of Missouri-Columbia, studying early embryonic gene expression and immunity. After 11 years of academic research and mentoring at Cornell Medical College, and completion of an MBA in Finance (ODE and BGS), from Fordham Graduate School of Business Administration in 1999, she transitioned to the private sector. She has worked in the areas of corporate strategy, private and public financing, M&A, and joint venture in a number of domestic and cross-border transactions. During the past 2 years, Dr. Sharif has accelerated her involvement in the start-up community, aiming to use her dual scientific and financial experiences to foster the growth of younger companies and their passage through the earlier stages of development. Aside from her main role, Dr. Sharif serves on external advisory boards of LIBH and acts as the interim CEO of Tarachon, LLC.