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BIOs

Sarah A. Alwardt, PhD
Vice President, Real-World Data and Research
Ontada

Sarah Alwardt, Vice President, leads the talented associates of Ontada’s Market Insights and Real-World Research organizations. A highly accomplished leader with domestic and international experience in health economics and outcomes research, research and development, operations, analytics, and technology innovation, Sarah has proven success in organizational transformation, business acceleration, associate engagement, and delivering data-driven insights and evidence. She is a self-proclaimed real-world data evangelist and spends considerable time recruiting others to this important cause.

Prior to joining Ontada, Sarah enjoyed 10 years at Humana where she held increasingly responsible leadership roles in research, program, and process development. During her tenure, she reorganized and revitalized the research business, facilitated strategic planning for Humana Pharmacy Solutions, numerous Pharmacy segments, and re-engineered the capital budgeting process for Humana Pharmacy Solutions.

Sarah spent five years at Givaudan and four years at Brown-Forman, leading process development and translating the manufacturing processes from the lab to the plant. She also served two years as adjunct professor of chemical engineering at the University of Louisville. Sarah is an accomplished author and speaker, having published and presented several works in the international flavors and fragrance industry, real-world evidence application, and rapid analytics. She holds multiple patents for her work on the removal of pesticides from citrus oils. In her current role, Sarah speaks frequently on the challenges and opportunities of real-world evidence and research collaboration between Fortune 100 companies.

Sarah is currently a member of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, Tau Beta Pi, and Sigma Xi. She also serves as an advisor on University of Louisville’s Chemical Engineering Board of Industrial Advisors and an editor for the American Health and Drug Benefits journal.

Sarah holds Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral degrees in Chemical Engineering and a Certificate in Environmental Engineering, all from the University of Louisville’s Speed School of Engineering.


Amy Anderson
Senior Project Manager
Proximyl Health

Amy brings nearly 25 years of experience in project operations and project management. In her role as Senior Project Manager, she leverages an expansive network and extensive expertise to manage high-pressure, fast-moving projects.
She has been responsible for overseeing multiple mid-size to large projects from inception through production, effectively and proactively executing on time and within budget; managing resources effectively; and ensuring adherence to client and company policy and processes. Amy is professional and reliable with sound judgment and critical thinking skills to independently plan and manage the needs of clients and internal team members. She can adapt to changing priorities while maintaining a positive attitude and strong work ethic. She is a CMP (Certified Meeting Professional) since 2003.

Prior to joining Proximyl Health, Amy worked at eNOVA as Senior Director, Project Operations with direct oversight of the project team managing internal operations and client deliverables. Amy earned her BS in Management and Business from New York University.


Daniel B. Bernstein, Founder
Chief Product Officer
metaMe Health

Daniel Bernstein enrolled at Tulane University to study architecture during the very earliest days of Computer-Aided Design (CAD). Soon after graduation, he was hired at Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill (SOM) as a digital drafter, designer, and modeler. After starting in the Chicago office and transferring to Los Angeles, he came to realize that his true passion was not restricted to architecture. Rather, it was in applying technology to design, particularly to designing solutions to real-world challenges. That realization was the start of a string of endeavors. Daniel left SOM and started his own design consultancy, which led to projects ranging from modeling downtown Los Angeles for urban planning to designing 3D worlds in video games.

After positions at Activision, IBM, and as Director of IOT (Internet of Things) App Development at Sears, Daniel’s experience in leading software and design teams, coupled with his passion for technology and helping others, led him to entrepreneurship in healthcare technology. His first healthcare startup was Medic8 Manager, which focused on helping people improve their medication adherence. Launched in 2008 after raising a seed round, the iMedic8 app attracted thousands of enthusiastic users, but never achieved full product-market fit or sustainability.

In 2015, his diverse background in architecture, computer game design, management of consumer software projects, and entrepreneurship were the perfect combination for founding metaMe Health, a digital therapeutic company. Daniel has suffered from GI disorders including Crohn’s disease and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) since his early teens. He founded metaMe after his personal experience with how painful and disruptive GI disorders can be, with a desire to help as many others as possible. metaMe Health is currently awaiting FDA clearance of its first product, a prescription-only SaMD (Software as a Medical Device) for the treatment of IBS.


Hossein Borghaei, DO, MS
Chief of Thoracic Medical Oncology
Professor, Department of Hematology and Oncology
Co-Director, Immune Monitoring Facility
Co-Program Leader, Molecular Therapeutics
The Gloria and Edmund M. Dunn Chair in Thoracic Malignancies
Fox Chase Cancer Center
Philadelphia, PA

Event topic:
Recruiting and retaining patients for clinical trials

Dr Borghaei earned his degree at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed a residency at Graduate Hospital in Philadelphia. Since completing his fellowship training at Fox Chase, he has been involved in a number of clinical trials aimed at developing new, antibody-based therapies and immunotherapies for patients with lung cancer.

In addition to his clinical practice and participation in immunotherapy-based clinical trials, Dr Borghaei is the principal investigator (PI) of a laboratory that develops new monoclonal antibodies and novel immune-modulating drugs, with the aim of bringing these approaches to the clinic. He served as the PI of a phase III randomized study that proved the effectiveness of nivolumab in the treatment of patients with advanced non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer after progression on prior chemotherapy. This work led to the approval of nivolumab, one of the first immunotherapy-based drugs to be approved for lung cancer in this setting.

Dr Borghaei is a member of the thoracic core committee at Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) and has been a past member of the NCCN non-small cell lung cancer guidelines committee. He is the recipient of an American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Young Investigator Award and an ASCO Career Development Award. Dr Borghaei is a long-standing member of ASCO, AACR, IASLC, SITC and the ECOG thoracic committee.

Dr Borghaei has been a recipient of the Robert Krigel Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence from Fox Chase Cancer Center, ASCO’s Young Investigator Award, and the Career Development Award from ASCO. His work has been published in The New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of Clinical Oncology, The Lancet Oncology, Leukemia Research, Journal of Thoracic Oncology, Clinical Cancer Research, Clinical Lung Cancer, and Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.


Daniel Carchedi
Sr. Director, Business Development & Strategy
Microsoft Corporation
Philadelphia, PA

Expertise: Pharma, Biotech, Medical Devices

Daniel leads the development and implementation of strategic plans/partnerships associated with new product/partner offerings in Life Sciences (Pharma/Biotech/MD&D). Previously, he was a founding member and the Director of Business Development and Strategy for Microsoft Genomics. In addition, he led a cross vertical (payer, provider, health and life sciences, HHS) Microsoft Patient Engagement strategy with the goal of creating a strategic devices and services portfolio in health technology focusing on advancing the efficient access and delivery of healthcare.

Recently, Daniel served as the Global Business Development Director for Phillips Healthcare. Daniel was responsible for supporting Philips Sleep and Respiratory Care businesses and led inorganic growth (strategic partnerships, alliances, M&A, and strategic investments) as well as geographical expansion.

Prior to Philips and Microsoft, Daniel spent 16 years of his career at Johnson & Johnson (J&J) holding positions within all three J&J sectors of Medical Device, Biotech/Pharmaceutical, and Consumer Products. Daniel was a part of the J&J Corporate IT Innovation Team involved in leading the identification, investigation, and creation of a strategic product and services portfolio, which is focused on advancing the efficient access and delivery of healthcare. In this role, he drove business case development and syndication with the goal of investing in, licensing, acquiring, or partnering with health technology companies focused in the areas of mobile and telehealth, patient engagement, home health/aging in place, and personal health management. Daniel had the opportunity to work in multiple areas of J&J’s businesses holding leadership roles in Digital Marketing, Business Development, License and Acquisition, and Sales.

Daniel holds a Bachelors degree from La Salle University and an MBA from Cornell University.


Elena A Christofides, MD, FACE
Endocrinology Associates, CEO
Endocrinology Research Associates, CEO
MediZen, Managing Partner
Columbus, OH

Event topics:
Understanding health technology in rural areas/remote patient care
Using wearable technology as a diagnostic tool

Dr Christofides practices endocrinology in Columbus, Ohio at Endocrinology Associates. Dual board certified in Endocrinology, Diabetes, Metabolism, and Internal Medicine, she also runs an independent research facility, Endocrinology Research Associates. Dr Christofides consults with multiple companies on Bio-Tech innovations in the Endocrine and Metabolic space. She is currently the Co-Chair of the Nutrition and Obesity Resource Center at the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and a member of the EndocrineWeb Editorial Board. Dr Christofides is known for her excellence in public speaking and is highly sought after for creating enduring educational content for all healthcare stakeholders. Her patient education video series on nutrition, Shop With The Doc, won a Silver Medal, the highest honor for a non-commercial entity, in the prestigious Telly Awards.


Ezra Cohen, MD, FRCPSC, FASCO
Chief, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Medicine, UC San Diego
Co-Director, San Diego Center for Precision Immunotherapy
Associate Director for Clinical and Translational Science, UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center
Co-Leader, Solid Tumor Therapeutics Program
Co-Director, Head and Neck Cancer Center of Excellence
San Diego, CA

Event topics:
Exploring options to expedite disease diagnosis
Recruiting and retaining patients for clinical trials

Ezra Cohen, MD, is Chief of the Division of Hematology‐Oncology, and Co‐Director of the San Diego Center for Precision Immunotherapy. A physician‐scientist, Dr Cohen led an independently funded laboratory interested in mechanisms of action of novel therapeutics. He has made major contributions to targeted and immunotherapy. His research has received peer‐reviewed funding in the study of epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitors, cell therapy, and immunotherapy in head and neck cancer. He has made major contributions to the understanding of critical signaling pathways, integration of novel agents into standard of care, and definition of mechanisms to overcome resistance to drug therapy. He has also recently co‐developed a personalized neoantigen vaccine using unique cancer mutations to boost an anti‐tumor immune response.

Dr Cohen is Associate Director for Clinical and Translational Science and leader of the Solid Tumor Therapeutics research program at Moores Cancer Center. He brings his expertise and preeminent reputation in head and neck cancer research and patient care to solid tumor therapeutics. Among other roles, he is chair of the Protocol Review and Monitoring Committee (PRMC) and serves as a member of the Cancer Council and the Cancer Center’s Executive Committee.

Dr Cohen recently served as editor‐in‐chief of Oral Oncology, the highest-impact specialty journal in head and neck cancer, and currently serves as senior editor for Clinical Cancer Research. He has been the principal investigator on multiple studies of novel agents in head and neck cancer and other solid tumors in all phases of development including chemoprevention, phase I, II, and III trials. Dr Cohen has authored more than 170 papers and has presented his research at national and international meetings. In addition, he has served as a grant reviewer for the NIH, American Association for Cancer Research, American Society of Clinical Oncology, and the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research.

Dr Cohen completed residencies in Family Medicine at the University of Toronto and in Internal Medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He completed a Hematology/Oncology fellowship at the University of Chicago where he was named chief fellow. Prior to his arrival in San Diego, Dr Cohen was Co‐Director of the Head and Neck Cancer Program, Associate Director for Education, and Program Director for the Hematology/Oncology Fellowship at the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center. A dedicated educator, Dr Cohen also mentored and developed young faculty in his program.


Terri Conneran
Kraskickers.org

Terri’s journey with lung cancer began with what she perceived as allergy and asthma-like symptoms. She developed pneumonia, which led to identification of a tumor and diagnosis of Stage 3 non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Since then, she has had three recurrences.

Terri didn’t find out until she was 3 years into her journey that she had a KRAS mutation – and what that meant for her prognosis and options. “I went looking for my community. As cancer patients, we’re always looking for commonalities. I wanted to connect with other people who had a cancer caused by a KRAS mutation, but I found there wasn’t a specific way to do that – or a group dedicated to KRAS. So I founded KRAS Kickers to bring together the folks that KRAS affected – the patients and those who love us.”

At the same time, Terri has focused on educating herself on KRAS and the latest developments. She attends conferences, reads academic journals, interviews world-renowned KRAS experts, and serves on 14 different lung cancer non-profit boards. She works 24/7 to keep up with the rapid developments in KRAS so she can communicate them to the KRAS Kickers community.


Lauran K. Evans, MD, MPH
Resident Surgeon
UCLA Department of Head & Neck Surgery
Los Angeles, CA

Event topics:
Exploring options to expedite disease diagnosis
Improving HCP and patient conversations through enhanced communication tools

Dr Lauran K. Evans grew up in Las Vegas, NV and attended the University of Southern California for undergraduate schooling. There, she majored in neuroscience, performed trumpet in the USC Marching Band, conducted neurosurgery research, and graduated magma cum laude. She attended medical school at the University of Nevada, Reno in the dual MD/MPH program, emphasizing in clinical ethics and epidemiology. She was awarded acceptance into the prestigious Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society and graduated in the top 5% of her class. She then matched into one of the most competitive medical specialties, Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery.

Dr Evans is currently pursuing her specialized surgical training at the University of California, Los Angeles. She has presented novel scientific research at over 20 meetings, and in her spare time mentors undergraduate and medical students for success as female surgeons. Dr Evans has published and reviewed numerous scientific journal articles pertaining to otolaryngology, COVID-19, and HPV.


Steven Evans, MD
Vice President for Quality and Utilization Management
Pharmacy Director
Intermountain Healthcare Nevada
Las Vegas, NV

Event topics:
Exploring options to expedite disease diagnosis
Improving HCP and patient conversations through enhanced communication tools

Steven Evans, MD currently serves as Vice President for Quality and Utilization Management for Intermountain Healthcare, Nevada. He also serves as the organization’s Pharmacy Director.

Dr Evans has held leadership positions in managed care for more than 20 years. Prior to joining Intermountain Healthcare, some of his previous experience included Chief Medical Officer for United Healthcare Nevada, President of The Medical Group of Texas, and Vice President Medical Affairs for Healthplan of Nevada. Dr Evans still maintains an active anesthesiology practice, devoting 10 hours a week to the practice of medicine and anesthesia.


Jeremy Force, DO, MA
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Division of Medical Oncology
Duke Breast Oncology Program
Durham, NC

Event topic:
Recruiting and retaining patients for clinical

Dr Jeremy Force completed his medical degree at the University of New England, his internal medicine training at the University of Indiana, and completed a fellowship in medical oncology at Duke University. Dr Force is an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Breast Oncology in the Department of Medicine within the Division of Medical Oncology at Duke University. He is integrated within the Precision Cancer Medicine and Investigational Therapeutics program at Duke where he is focused on utilizing functional precision medicine approaches to improve the outcomes of patients with metastatic breast cancer.


Ryan Haumschild, PharmD, MS, MBA
Director of Pharmaceutical Services
Emory Healthcare and Winship Cancer Institute
Atlanta, GA

Event topics:
Improving HCP and patient conversations through enhanced communication tools
Understanding health technology in rural areas/remote patient care

Ryan Haumschild, PharmD, MS, MBA is an experienced director of pharmacy at Emory Healthcare and Winship Cancer Institute overseeing pharmacy operations, clinical services, formulary management, payer and health plan contracting, and medication use across one of the nation’s largest academic integrated delivery networks and Georgia’s only NCI-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. Ryan provides strategic direction within oncology and non-oncology disease states, infusion and specialty pharmacy services, and the expansion of clinical services through treatment pathway development. He currently serves on the board for the Institute of Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) and Center for Biosimilars, and was recently recognized as 40 under 40 by three separate organizations: University of Florida, Atlanta Business Chronicle, and Association for Value-Based Cancer Care.


Dave Heckard
Executive Vice President
HRA/Medstro

Dave Heckard has worked in the healthcare industry for over 27 years. His experience includes pharmaceutical sales and sales management, medical education, corporate development, and clinical work as a physical therapist for 10 years. Dave is the EVP of HRA and Medstro where he oversees operations for both organizations. Dave has been with MJH Life Sciences (parent company of the Truth Serum NTWK) for 8 years. He has held several positions with the organization including President of Pharmacy Times Continuing Education (PTCE) and launched PER Medical. Dave also served as the VP of Corporate Development, working on several acquisitions including Medstro and the UBM/Informa Life Sciences multimedia business.

Prior to joining MJH Life Sciences, Dave was Medical Education Manager at Medical Communications Media (MCM), a medical education development company. Dave also worked in the pharmaceutical industry for Forest Labs, Inc. for 8 years where he held roles of increasing responsibility including sales representative, specialty sales representative, sales trainer, and district sales manager – consistently meeting or exceeding sales goals. While at Forest Labs, Dave was a part of several launch products including Celexa, Lexapro, Benicar, and Namenda. Dave began his career as a physical therapist at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and held various roles within this organization from 1993 to 2001. In addition to serving as a clinician, Dave served as a manager to three satellite physical therapy centers within the Health System.

Dave received his BA in Health Science from Gettysburg College and his Master’s in Physical Therapy from Beaver College (Arcadia University).


Iksha Herr
Microsoft Corporation
Managing Director, Data & AI, Customer Success
US HealthCare & Life Sciences

Iksha Herr leads the Data & AI organization for Microsoft’s Health & Life Sciences (HLS) Business Unit. The mission of the Data & AI team is to ensure that Microsoft’s HLS customers are successful in realizing value from the investments they’ve made in Azure by leveraging the power of Data Science & AI.

Iksha joined Microsoft from AstraZeneca (AZ), a biopharmaceuticals company, where she served as the Global Head of Scientific Data Assets for Data Science & AI in the R&D Data Office. At AstraZeneca, Iksha led the creation of a Global Real-World Data (RWD) & Real-World Evidence (RWE) organization that leveraged Data Science & AI to generate actionable insight. This led to the wide-spread use of RWD & RWE from the US, EU5 countries, and Asia-Pacific region, for informing the end-to-end drug development process from drug discovery, clinical development, commercialization, to value-based agreements.

Prior to joining AZ, Iksha led clinical research-related Data Science, AI, and Analytics projects for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies like Bristol Myers Squibb and Human Genome Sciences, and healthcare data and technology-related Management Consulting projects for Booz Allen Hamilton. Iksha holds a Bachelor’s degree in Polymer Engineering from India and a Master’s degree in Computer Science from New Jersey Institute of Technology.

Recent Keynotes & Panel Discussions:

  • Harvard University – AI in Healthcare, February 2021
  • CDO/ML/AI National Virtual Summit – The Future of Enterprise AI – April 2021
  • Microsoft Healthcare Innovation Forum – Realize Positive Change With the Help of AI and Machine Learning – May 2021

Patsy Hinson
National Coalition of Cancer Survivors

Patsy is a 15-year survivor of recurrent ovarian cancer. She is a carrier of the BRCA2 gene, as is her daughter. Patsy joined a clinical trial at the time of her first treatment and continued to participate in clinical trials for 7 years. She was discharged at that time due to kidney issues. Patsy has participated in many ways as an advocate. At the time of her diagnosis, community resources were limited. Therefore, she created a support group for survivors, organized a coalition of groups serving those with ovarian cancer and coordinated the first Survivors Teaching Students at her cancer center. She continues to speak to medical students in this program and participates in the OCRA woman to woman program. She also authored a blog titled Cancer Emotions. Patsy’s passion in advocacy has been research. Some of her activities in this area include being a Research Advocate Scholar at ASCO, participating as a member of a Patient Reported Outcomes Advisory Board, serving on the leadership team for Rare Ovarian Cancer Subtypes research training, and serving as a consumer reviewer on the CDMPD Ovarian Cancer Research Program. Patsy is currently serving on a clinical trial team, HRD Project Working group, to study participation in clinical trials.


Gina Hollenbeck, RN, BSN
President, ALK Positive Incorporated

Gina Hollenbeck is a nurse living with Stage 4 lung cancer since 2015. She has a supportive husband and is the mother of 2 boys. In 2018, Gina became the President of ALK Positive, a patient-driven group with the mission to improve the life expectancy and quality of life of ALK positive patients worldwide. She is a driven advocate for lung cancer research, early detection, patient-centric clinical trials, and biomarker testing.


Todd Jackson
Account Director
Proximyl Health

Todd brings more than 15 years of agency and brand marketing experience from both healthcare and consumer products to his role at Proximyl Health. As Account Director, he’s a strategic partner and relationship builder—one who always has the brand’s goals in mind.

Before joining the team, Todd spent 10 years at GSW and Navicor, developing his client services and strategic skills, as well as driving brands across numerous categories, including oncology, hepatology, nephrology, pulmonology, infectious disease, and neuromuscular disease. Todd has also played significant roles in several new product launches and campaign evolutions. He led marketing strategy and account services teams for a multinational direct sales company, with responsibility for product go-to-market, sales field asset development, and digital marketing efforts.

Understanding customers’ behaviors and motivations are at the core of Todd’s approach to marketing. But it’s not just the prescriber who’s critical to effective healthcare marketing. Todd has a passion for the patient, approaching their struggles with empathy and a drive to sincerely make a difference in people’s lives.


Ankit Kansagra, MD
Assistant Professor
Eugene P. Frenkel, MD, Scholar of Clinical Medicine
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Dallas, TX

Event topics:
Understanding health technology in rural areas/remote patient
Recruiting and retaining patients for clinical trials

Ankit Kansagra, MD, is an Assistant Professor of Medicine and a Eugene P. Frenkel, MD, Scholar of Clinical Medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center. Dr Kansagra did his medical school at University of Gujarat in India, followed by medicine residency in Boston at Partners HealthCare and Fellowship in hematology/oncology and stem cell transplant at Baystate Medical Center/Tufts University and Mayo Clinic in Rochester. He specializes in stem cell transplants and CAR-T therapy and has special interest in caring for patients with plasma cell disorders, including multiple myeloma and amyloidosis. He is the Assistant Director of UTSW’s Outpatient Stem Cell Transplant and Cellular Therapy Program and Co-Director of the UTSW Multidisciplinary Amyloidosis Program.


Emmy Marr
Senior Account Executive
Proximyl Health

As a senior account executive, Emmy brings a fresh perspective to every project she touches. Prior to joining the Proximyl team, Emmy led both direct-to-consumer and data-driven campaigns as an account executive at a healthcare public relations agency. She has developed and executed media plans on a national scale, reaching key stakeholders across oncology, neurology, and cardiology.

In addition to maintaining relationships with clients, patient advocates, and non-profit organizations in her role at the PR agency, Emmy is also familiar with stepping into the minds of her customers as a pharmaceutical sales representative. In this position, she gathered hands-on experience utilizing marketing materials, established open lines of communication with healthcare professionals, and developed comprehensive knowledge of the payer landscape all while driving sales.
With a passion for helping others and a career path rooted in building healthcare relationships, becoming a member of the Proximyl account team was a seamless transition. She can take what you want to say and get healthcare professionals to listen.


Bob McLovich
Executive Director of Neurology, Professional Relations
MJH Life Sciences

Bob has spent his career working with some of the top experts in the field of neurology. With over 25 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries, he has worked with thought leaders in multiple sclerosis, migraine, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, and movement disorders. Before arriving to MJH Life Sciences, Bob had served many leadership positions, with executive and managerial roles in sales, marketing, and sales operations.

Bob enjoys the collaborative spirit at MJH Life Sciences and thrives on being innovative along with having a passion for helping patients. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a double major in both Business and Communications and has multiple certifications in leadership development.


Bradley J. Monk, MD, FACS, FACOG
Professor
Arizona Oncology (US Oncology Network)
US Oncology Medical Director of Gynecologic Oncology Research
University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix
Creighton University School of Medicine at St. Joseph’s Hospital
Phoenix, AZ

Event topic:
Improving HCP and patient conversations through enhanced communication tools

Dr Bradley Monk graduated at the top of his class from the University of Arizona College of Medicine –Tucson in 1988, and completed a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1992. Between 1988 and 1995, he was the recipient of three fellowships in Medical Genetics and Gynecologic Oncology. In 1995, Dr Monk was appointed Director of Gynecologic Oncology at Texas Tech University Health Services Center and, from 1998 until 2010, was Associate Professor with Tenure of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California Irvine Medical Center and Director of Research in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr Monk was then appointed Director and Professor in the Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Creighton University School of Medicine at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, AZ. In 2016, he became a member of Arizona Oncology and part of the US Oncology Network and continues to practice in Phoenix. Most recently, he has been appointed the US Oncology Medical Director of Gynecologic Oncology Research. Dr Monk is also a Professor on the Clinical Scholar Track at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix and works at Arizona Oncology (US Oncology Network).

Dr Monk’s research interests include the prevention and treatment of gynecologic cancers. He was the first to report the activity of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) therapy in ovarian cancer and his papers in the New England Journal of Medicine led to the global approval of anti-VEGF therapy in recurrent cervical cancer in 2014 and advanced ovarian cancer in 2018.

He was also the lead author on the pivotal trial of trabectedin in recurrent ovarian cancer as well as many other studies that have met their primary endpoints. Finally, his other papers in the New England Journal of Medicine and Lancet Oncology have led to four FDA approvals of PARP inhibitors in ovarian cancer.

Dr Monk was also awarded the highly prestigious Ernst Wertheim Award for his research in cervical cancer and is on the Board of Directors for the GOG Foundation, Inc and was the Cervical Cancer Sub-Committee Chair for NRG Oncology for 11 years. He currently chairs the Cervical Cancer Committee for the Gynecologic Cancer Intergroup (GCIG). Finally, he is on the Board of Directors for the GOG Foundation and Co-directs the GOG Partners Research consortium as well as being the lead investigator (Director) of gynecologic cancers in the US Oncology Network (USON).

Dr Monk is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology, as well as being an active member of the Society of Gynecologic Oncology, International Gynecologic Cancer Society, and American Society of Clinical Oncology. He has authored more than 320 peer-reviewed articles along with more than 30 book chapters dealing predominantly with the prevention and chemotherapy of gynecologic malignancies and patient quality of life.


Brett Nowlan, MD, FACC, ABCL, RPVI
Non-invasive Cardiologist and Lipidologist
Cottage Grove Cardiology
Bloomfield, CT

Event topic:
Improving HCP and patient conversations through enhanced communication tools

Brett Nowlan was born and raised in South Africa and attended medical school in Cape Town, South Africa. After working in a rural hospital setting in South Africa, he moved to the United Kingdom, where he worked for five years in the NHS. He then emigrated to the US, and completed his medical residency and Chief residency at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York. This was followed by a Cardiovascular Disease fellowship at the University of Connecticut.

He currently works in private practice as a non-invasive cardiologist. He is a board-certified lipidologist and is the founder and director of a lipid and cardiovascular disease prevention clinic. He also maintains board certifications in echocardiography, nuclear cardiology, and vascular interpretation.


Ahmed Obeidat, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Neurology, Neuroimmunology and Multiple Sclerosis
Director, Neuroimmunology and MS Fellowship Program
The Medical College of Wisconsin
Milwaukee, WI

Event topics:
Exploring options to expedite disease diagnosis
Recruiting and retaining patients for clinical trials

Dr Ahmed Obeidat received his medical degree with honors from the Jordan University of Science and Technology in 2008. He then joined the graduate program in neuroscience and physiology at Wright State University (WSU), where he received a PhD in biomedical sciences in 2013. During his time at WSU, he won the graduate student excellence award, served as a President’s Ambassador, and was selected to join the Phi Kappa Phi honor society. He then joined the University of Cincinnati, where he completed neurology residency training in 2017 and his fellowship in Neuroimmunology & Multiple Sclerosis in 2018. During training, Dr Obeidat received several junior-investigator and travel awards including the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Resident Annual Meeting Scholarship and the 2018 AAN fellow Scholarship, and he was awarded the Clinical Care fellowship by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS).

Dr Obeidat is the current chair of the Multiple Sclerosis Professionals in-training (MS-PiT) special interest group established by the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC). He also serves as a member of the board of governors of the CMSC and advisory board member for ACTRIMS. Dr Obeidat is currently an Assistant Professor in Neurology, Neuroimmunology and Multiple Sclerosis at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Dr Obeidat’s research aims to advance our understanding of the immunology of multiple sclerosis, improve the current assessment tools, and the integration of technology in MS clinical care. Dr Obeidat is the recipient of the 2020 Imagine More award for research in neuroscience. He has published over 50 peer-reviewed articles and abstracts. Dr Obeidat has a keen interest in the intersection between medicine, humanities, and the arts.


Matt O’Donnell
Industry Executive, US Health & Life Sciences
Microsoft Corporation
Philadelphia, PA

Expertise: Clinical Trials, Health Informatics, IoT, Pharmaceutical Manufacturing

Passion project: Rise Against Hunger

Matt currently serves as Industry Executive for the US Health & Life Sciences at Microsoft. In this capacity, he leverages his 25 years of experience in information technology, with 10+ years of that time deeply engaged with biopharmaceutical companies. Matt has a focus on life sciences and works in partnership with US-based organizations in the industry to identify their specific needs and to assemble solutions incorporating the capabilities of Microsoft’s platforms, products, devices, and services.

He brings with him a broad knowledge base and set of experiences across the pharmaceutical and medical device industries, having consulted with some of the largest biopharmaceutical companies across portions of their clinical trial, adverse event tracking, connected devices, and manufacturing processes. During the last 8 years with Microsoft, Matt has managed the global business relationships with Becton Dickinson, Bristol Myers Squibb, and Merck.

Matt earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in Business from Villanova University. He is passionate about solving complex challenges by applying the most appropriate technologies. He has co-founded two successful startup companies, holds multiple US patents, and is always eager to listen and learn. Aligned with Microsoft’s mission, Matt wants to empower every Life Sciences company to discover new therapies, reduce time-to-market, and provide better outcomes to patients.


Vince Parry
EVP, Brand Strategy
Proximyl Health

Throughout his career in healthcare marketing and communications, Vince has worked on many of the most iconic corporate, franchise, service, and product brands launched over the past 30 years. His pain and addiction experience includes The Rx to OTC switch of Advil, the launch of Vioxx, the relaunch of Darvon/Darvocet, and the smoking addiction therapy, Nicotrol. Vince ran Parry Branding Group from 2012 to 2019.

Vince’s previous experience includes an 11-year tenure with inVentiv Health (now Syneos), where he served as the chief branding officer. There, he started New York operations for the communications division by founding Y Brand, the strategic nucleus of inVentiv Health. He also founded the New York office of GSW Worldwide in 2003, helping the firm win Agency of the Year twice (2004 and 2007). Prior to joining inVentiv, Vince worked for Young & Rubicam’s flagship global healthcare agency, Sudler & Hennessey, for 13 years and was the chief creative officer.

In his capacity as a healthcare marketing expert, Vince has appeared in industry print, TV, and radio, and guest lectures at the Rutgers Pharma MBA program. Vince’s book—Identity Crisis: Healthcare branding’s hidden problems and proven strategies to solve them—was published in March 2017.


Anna C. Pavlick, BSN, MSc, MD, MBA
Professor of Medicine and Dermatology, Weill Cornell Medical College, Division of Medical Oncology
Founding Director, Weill Cornell Medicine, Melanoma and Cutaneous Oncology Program
Medical Director, Well Cornell- Meyer Cancer Center Clinical Trials Office
Ithaca, NY

Event topics:
Improving HCP and patient conversation through enhanced communication tools
Recruiting and retaining patients for clinical trials

Dr Anna C. Pavlick is a Professor of Medicine and Dermatology at the Weill Cornell College of Medicine, Meyer Cancer Center in New York. She is the Director of the Weill Cornell Medicine Cutaneous Oncology Program and Medical Director for the Meyer Cancer Center’s Clinical Trials Office.

Dr Pavlick received her Bachelor of Science in Biology and Nursing from Fairfield University, her Master of Science in Anatomy from Fairleigh Dickenson University, her Doctorate in Medicine from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, and her Masters in Business Administration from the Columbia Business School.

Her research focuses upon novel immunologic and targeted therapies for cutaneous malignancies. She has published on both clinical and translational aspects of cutaneous malignancy research. Additionally, she has developed an extensive translational clinical trials program in melanoma, which correlates tumor response with biomarkers from serum and tumors.

Dr Pavlick is on several editorial boards and cutaneous malignancy advisory boards. She is an active melanoma awareness educator and participates in many melanoma outreach community activities. She has published in many peer-reviewed journals and has spoken at both national and international cutaneous malignancy conferences.

She was named one of Poet’s and Quant’s “Best and Brightest” in 2017 and has been named to the Castle and Connelly Best Doctors list for the past decade. Dr Pavlick also enjoys experimenting with a new recipe in her kitchen, reading, and watching NY Rangers hockey with her several rescued dogs.


Anthony F. Pero Jr.
Executive Director of Professional Relations, Managed Markets
MJH Life Sciences

Anthony leads our thought leader engagement and strategic partnership development teams across managed markets. His prior experience includes serving as director of population health at a management services organization (MSO) where he was responsible for maximizing the clinical quality, operating, and financial performance while building positive relationships throughout the provider network (physician, ancillary, medical groups, and hospital/health systems). Preceding experience includes working directly at a large health plan within the Quality Management Medical Director Department, focused on clinical care transformation by developing tools, actionable data, incentives, and support systems to enable provider networks to provide patient-centric, high-value care.

Anthony is excited for this opportunity to collaborate and innovate. He has bachelor’s degrees in Biology and in minor in Chemistry. Personally, Anthony and his wife Alexa have a one-year-old son and live on the south shore of Long Island, New York. They enjoy traveling to new places, trying new restaurants, and spending time with family and close friends.


Jennifer Peters
SVP/Business Director/Agency Services
Proximyl Health

Jennifer has over 25 years of life sciences global marketing and advertising experience. She has led numerous launch teams across a breadth of categories, including pain, oncology, urology, dermatology, cardiology, infectious disease, and women’s health. Jennifer is passionate about uncovering key customer insights to inform brand strategies and creative campaigns. Clients have recognized her calm leadership skills and abilities to navigate agency networks to bring the right talent to task on behalf of her clients.

Previous to joining Proximyl Health, Jennifer led strategy and client relationship management at several global advertising and PR agencies, including Edelman, Publicis, inVentiv Health, GSW, and Abelson-Taylor.

In addition to her agency experience, Jennifer led several brands as senior brand leader at the Abbott Pharmaceutical division. Jennifer also served as a corporate relations director on the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association board and has done pro bono work with the National Epilepsy Foundation.


Hope S. Rugo, MD, FASCO
Professor of Medicine
Director, Breast Oncology and Clinical Trials Education
Department of Medicine
Division of Hematology/Oncology
University of California San Francisco Comprehensive Cancer Center
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
San Francisco, CA

Event topics:
Improving HCP and patient conversations through enhanced communication tools
Recruiting and retaining patients for clinical trials

Dr Hope S. Rugo is a medical oncologist specializing in breast cancer research and treatment. A Professor of Medicine, Dr Rugo joined the Breast Care Center in 1999 after a decade of experience at University of California San Francisco (UCSF) in malignant hematology/bone marrow transplantation. She entered the field of breast cancer in order to incorporate novel therapies with excellent quality of care into the treatment of breast cancer. Dr Rugo graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in 1983. She completed a residency in internal medicine and primary care followed by a fellowship in hematology and oncology at UCSF and was a post-doctoral fellow in immunology at Stanford University. Dr Rugo joined the faculty at UCSF in 1990.

Dr Rugo is the Director of Breast Oncology and Clinical Trials Education at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. She served as a principal investigator of multiple clinical trials focusing on novel targeted therapeutics to improve the treatment of breast cancer, publishing widely in this area. Her research interests include immunotherapy and combinations of targeted agents to treat breast cancer, as well as the management of toxicity. She is co-chair of the Safety Committee for the multicenter adaptively randomized phase II I-SPY2 trial, co-chair of the Triple Negative Working Group of the Translational Breast Cancer Research Consortium (TBCRC), and a member of the Alliance breast committee. Dr Rugo is an active clinician and is committed to education. She has received a number of awards honoring her work.


Frank Saia
Managing Director
Truth Serum NTWK

Working within the innovative healthcare and technology space, Frank has been in the business of delivering extraordinary results to clients for over 20 years. In 2019, he arrived at the Truth Serum NTWK as a proven expert in strategy, digital marketing, and new product launches. The Truth Serum NTWK includes five unique companies—Proximyl Health, The Whyse, HRA, Medstro, and The Outlet.

In his current role as Managing Director at the Truth Serum NTWK, Frank is applying his digital healthcare agency leadership experience to bringing new and innovative solutions to clients. His work is contributing to the disruption of the industry’s standard agency model.

Previously, Frank led the launch of Hyphen Digital, McCann Torre Lazur (Active Ingredient), Within3, and a reboot of Group DCA. As a valued partner in delivering competitive insights, improved revenue, and marketing strategies as well as new service offerings, Frank has a proven track record in achieving explosive growth and effective solutions in digital healthcare agencies and physician social networks. Prior to joining the Truth Serum NTWK, he led product launches for Afinitor (NET Indication), Lemborexant, and Erelzi. Frank’s steady leadership and vision led his groups to succeed and flourish in fast-paced, evolving environments.

Dedicated to integrity and client satisfaction, Frank has built deep relationships that led to organic growth, something he knows about first-hand. He began his career as a developer at Bond Technologies and quickly rose through the ranks to become a practice manager within 3 years. While there, he managed over 100 technology consultants while overseeing business development to improve business processes, reduce cost, and increase profitability.


Rachel Seidman
Director, Digital Strategy
The Whyse

For nearly a decade, Rachel has been a digital marketing leader in the events and healthcare industries, bringing the digital landscape to life and leading a wide range of marketing initiatives. Her experience ranges from full digital strategy, CRM management/automation, audience segmentation/activation, conversion rate optimization, and paid media strategies.

Before joining the Truth Serum NTWK, Rachel was with the media side of MJH Life Sciences for 1.5 years, where she helped start the Digital Center of Excellence, concentrating on activating HCPs and patients throughout the MJH digital ecosystem for brands like OncLive, Targeted Oncology, Cancer Network, and CURE. Rachel then led the email programs for over a dozen brands at MJH and made strategic improvements in branded design, optimization, and advanced segmentation that led to conversions valuated at over $2.5M in just 1 year.

Prior to joining MJH Life Sciences, Rachel was the marketing director for a private hospitality company with a collection of nationally renowned banquet halls and hotels including Marriott, Hilton, and IHG properties. During her 8 years with the company, Rachel led multiple marketing teams, managed a dozen websites, and provided an outstanding experience in person and online for numerous events, including the NFL Hall of Fame Induction ceremony for 4 years in a row.


Jamile M. Shammo, MD, FASCP, FACP
Professor of Medicine and Pathology
Director of MDS/MPN/AA/PNH program
Rush University Medical Center
Chicago, IL

Event topic:
Recruiting and retaining patients for clinical trials

Jamile M. Shammo, MD, FASCP, FACP, is Professor of Medicine and Pathology, Section of Hematology and Stem Cell Transplantation, Division of Hematology/Oncology at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois, where she has been practicing since 2000. In her current position, she spearheads the MDS/MPN/Bone Marrow Failure Program. As resident education faculty leader, principal investigator of clinical trials in her area of expertise, and as chair of the protocol review and monitoring committee at Rush Cancer Institute; she is heavily involved in education, research, and administrative activities in the division of Hematology/Oncology.

Dr Shammo earned her medical degree from Aleppo Medical School in Syria, after which she completed residencies in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology, as well as Internal Medicine at McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University, in Evanston, Illinois. She then completed a 3-year fellowship in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at University of Chicago.

Dr Shammo is board certified in anatomic and clinical pathology as well as hematology. She is a fellow of both the American Society of Clinical Pathologists and American College of Physicians. She received the Department of Medicine Excellence in Service and Teaching Award from Rush University Medical Center in 2003, was a finalist in the Department of Medicine Positive Environment Learning Award in 2014 and was chosen to receive the MDS foundation Nobility in Science Award in 2019.

She is a national coordinator for the PNH registry in the US. As an active member of the American Society of Hematology with demonstrated service on various committees, she was nominated and elected in 2020 by her peers to a 4-year term on ASH’s Executive Committee.

She founded the Chicago MDS/MPN group in 2011 to facilitate scientific exchange among academic medical centers in Chicago and has chaired multiple city-wide meetings. She has developed and chaired multiple online CME activities pertaining to MDS/MPN, as well as PNH. She has designed and conducted several investigator-initiated trials in her area of expertise. She has authored and contributed to over 100 publications; including abstracts, posters, original papers, and book chapters. She served as a reviewer for several medical journals including Journal of Clinical Oncology and Blood. As an invited speaker, Dr Shammo lectured at national and international meetings and conferences.


Donna Short, MA
Executive Vice President, Professional Relations
MJH Life Sciences

Donna is a leader in the field of thought leader engagement and development. She has worked in this arena for over 20 years in several settings including multimedia and pharma. Prior to this work path, she was a successful sales consultant in the biotech and pharma industries for another 20 years (obviously she started working at the young age of three). But her career path all started as a Radioactive Materials Chemist and bench scientist.

Donna is excited for any opportunity to tap the two pillars that drive MJH Life Sciences – Entrepreneurialism and Innovation. She also enjoys using her broad spectrum of experiences along with her educational background to drive change. She has bachelors degrees in both Biology and in Chemistry as well as a Masters in Strategic Communication in Leadership focused on driving change management.


Suzanne Soliman, PharmD, BCMAS
Founder, Pharmacist Moms Group, Chief Academic Officer
Accreditation Council for Medical Affairs
Oradell, NJ

Event topics:
Exploring options to expedite disease diagnosis
Recruiting and retaining patients for clinical trials

Dr Suzanne Soliman earned her PharmD from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy (UIC-COP) in 2004. She completed a residency in primary care with an emphasis on education at Midwestern University Chicago College of Pharmacy and a teaching fellowship at UIC College of Medicine. She is a board-certified medical affairs specialist (BCMAS). Suzy worked as a clinical pharmacist, a medical science liaison (MSL), and national field team educator prior to becoming an Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs at UIC-COP. She most recently was an Associate Dean at Touro College of Pharmacy New York and an independent pharmacy owner.

Currently, she is the Chief Academic Officer for the Accreditation Council for Medical Affairs (ACMA). Suzy has over 100 publications and presents nationally on pharmacy, parenting, and women issues. She is a Rufus A. Lyman Award recipient which is granted for the best manuscript published in the American Journal of Pharmacy Education and in 2019, she was a recipient for the Next Generation Pharmacist Civic Leader Award.

Suzy serves as a medical expert and journal reviewer for Annals of Pharmacotherapy and Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning. She has been featured in the following news outlets: The New York Times, ABC7NY, Daily Voice, New York Magazine, Crain’s Chicago Business, Time Out Chicago, and more. Her areas of interest are parenting, women’s health, assessment, and professional development.

Suzy loves spending time with her husband and children, cooking, baking, and eating! She recently started working out and ran her first 5k. For years, she struggled between work/life balance, ultimately finding that balance is something she works on each day.

She tries to live by one of her favorite quotes by Rumi: “Live life as if everything is rigged in your favor.”


Juliet Wolford, MArch, MLARP, MS-BATS, MD
Assistant Professor,
University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Department of OBGYN
Division of Gynecologic Oncology and Advanced Pelvic Surgery
Cincinnati, OH

Event topic:
Exploring options to expedite disease diagnosis

Dr Juliet Wolford is a Gynecologic Oncologist at the University of Cincinnati specializing in the care of women with cervical, uterine, ovarian and vulvar/vaginal cancers. A former architect-turned-physician, she earned dual Master’s degrees in Architecture and Landscape Architecture at University of Pennsylvania. In the wake of 9-11, Dr Wolford was hired to serve on the design team for the Pentagon Memorial, a project that inspired her to study medicine. She received her MD from Marshall University and completed her OBGYN residency and GynOnc fellowship at UC Irvine. While in fellowship, she earned a Master’s in Biomedical and Translational Science. Motivated by her past, she has an interest in design and technology applied to her GynOnc research endeavors and has received several awards and grants for her work, including an ABOG Young Investigator Award and several ASCO Merit Awards. Her cost-effectiveness analysis of maintenance therapy for relapsing ovarian cancer was selected as an oral plenary for the ASCO 2018 Annual Meeting and was later featured in the 2018 Best of ASCO program and presented worldwide.

In 2019, Dr Wolford received the OncLive Innovative Technology in Cancer Care Challenge for the creation/implementation of 3D-printed speculums for use in cervical cancer screening programs in low-resources settings, a project she is currently implementing in Tanzania. Secondary to a need for an interactive application for mobile devices that can bridge the gap between the complex and quickly evolving nature of chemotherapeutics to the clinicians providing care on a daily basis, she is on a team that is currently developing a chemotherapy application specific to Gynecologic Oncology. The research Dr Wolford has pursued has successfully given her the opportunity to bridge her background of design and technology into her medical career.


Christine Wu
Patient/Research Advocate

Christine was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer 6 years ago, and her cancer has been stable for 3 years under targeted therapy. She was a professor of engineering in Canada, and is currently on sick leave. Three years ago, she started advocacy, and currently, she serves as a patient advocate and patient research advocate locally, nationally, and internationally.

Locally: She co-organized the Winnipeg Lung Cancer Support Group in 2019, which has a monthly meeting to support lung cancer patients and annual conferences in Manitoba to invite speakers to share their experiences and knowledge about lung cancer with patients. Christine was the recipient of the 2020 Asian Women of Winnipeg Distinguished Service Award to contribute to lung cancer advocacy.

Nationally: She is a member of the Research Committee in Lung Cancer Canada (LCC). The committee is responsible for identifying and evaluating lung cancer research and grant opportunities and advises the Board of Directors of LCC on research objectives and strategies. She organized the ROS1+ Lung Cancer Group to help LCC bring lung cancer drugs to Canada. She is involved in several surveys on issues related to COVID-19 and lung cancer patients, and its results have an impact on the provincial government’s decisions. She leads fundraising for LCC and GO2 LC Foundation for more than $45,000. She also spoke to more than 30 recently diagnosed lung cancer patients through the Canadian Cancer Society.

Internationally: She has been attending IASLC/WCLC since 2018 with a Patients Travel Award in 2019, and is a Patients Research Advocate for IASLC. Christine is in training as a grant reviewer for Advocate Institute / Conquer Cancer Grant Reviewer Training Pilot. She is a Contributor and a Moderator for Lungcancer.net, part of the Health Union in the USA, which raises patients’ voices, shares experiences, and encourages each other. She also serves in the Health Union Pillars Leadership Council (PLC) to represent the voices of the larger advocate group by providing feedback on different Community Team projects and other Health Union initiatives. She is directly involved with several lung cancer subgroups, including ROS1ders, ALK Positive, and EGFR Resistor.

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