• Dr. Steve Casper
  • Dean of the School of Applied Life Sciences; Henry E. Riggs Professor of Management


Dr. Casper received his PhD in government from Cornell University. He came to KGI from the University Of Cambridge, UK, where he was a University Lecturer in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Judge Institute of Management Studies. He was previously employed as a Senior Research Fellow at the Social Science Center, Berlin.

Dr. Casper is widely published in the fields of economic sociology, international business, and public policy. He has written a book on the development of the science-based industry in Europe (Creating Silicon Valley in Europe: Public Policy Towards New Technology Industries, Oxford University Press, 2007). Dr. Casper has been selected as an academic year fellow at the Netherlands Institute of Advanced Studies and a summer fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University. In 2009, Casper was awarded a Fulbright Research Scholarship to do research in Canada.

  • Dr. Joel West
  • Professor, Innovation & Entrepreneurship; Program Director, MBS in Business of Bioscience


Dr. West combines a high-tech entrepreneurial background with more than a decade of leadership in graduate business education. He received an SB degree in Interdisciplinary Sciences from M.I.T. with a concentration in Meteorology, and has worked more than 20 years in the software industry as an engineer, manager and entrepreneur. He was co-founder and president of Palomar Software as well as co-author of the Modsim programming language.

Dr. West has earned a PhD in Management from the University of California, Irvine and taught at Temple University Japan, Pepperdine and UC Irvine before joining the San Jose State University College of Business. At SJSU, he taught innovation, strategy and entrepreneurship classes, and was co-founder of the SJSU Solar Workforce Project and Silicon Valley Open Source Research Project.

Dr. West is known as a researcher, public speaker, and blogger on the topic of open innovation, including editing (with Henry Chesbrough and Wim Vanhaverbeke) the books Open Innovation: Researching a New Paradigm (Oxford, 2006) and New Frontiers in Open Innovation (Oxford, 2014). His research has been published in Information Systems Research, Journal of Management Studies, Journal of Product Innovation Management, Journal of Technology Transfer, R&D Management, Research Policy, and Telecommunications Policy, among other journals.

  • Ms. Tamanna Prashar
  • Sr. Director of Consumables Operations at Cepheid.


Ms. Tamanna Prashar is the Sr. Director of Consumables Operations at Cepheid. In this position, Ms. Tamanna provides the day to day oversight and support for a production and engineering organization focused on the manufacturing of beads, liquid reagents, and finished cartridges for worldwide distribution. With an emphasis on safety, quality, and compliance, and with collaborative efforts with Sweden, the Cepheid Global Operations Team successfully produced over 17 Million filled cartridges in 2014.

Prior to beginning this role at Cepheid in March 2014, Ms. Tamanna spent 4 years at Covidien Neurovascular as the Director of Operations and the Director of Supply Chain. Prior to Covidien, Tamanna held a number of technical and operational leadership roles with Boston Scientific. Her educational background includes both a BS and a MS in Industrial Engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and a MBA from the University of Minnesota. Over the past decade, Tamanna has built a track record of successfully leading teams to deliver ever-improving results in highly technical, complex, and regulated-market environments.