Panelists

Adrelia Allen, PharmD

Adrelia Allen is the Executive Director of Clinical Trial Patient Diversity at Merck. Adrelia brings more than 25 years of experience in clinical research and clinical operations execution across multiple therapeutic areas. As the Executive Director of Clinical Trial Patient Diversity, she leads a team of operational experts responsible for the strategy and execution of activities to drive the enrollment of diverse participants in clinical trials across the portfolio. Due to her commitment to clinical trial diversity, Adrelia was selected as one of the 2022 PharmaVoice 100 Most Inspiring People in the life sciences.

Adrelia earned a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the College of Pharmacy at Florida A&M University.

Ashita Batavia, MD, MS

Ashita S. Batavia, MD, MS, is head of Hematology Oncology Data Sciences for Johnson & Johnson Innovative Medicine. She is an industry leader in using AI to accelerate drug development. She was previously at McKinsey & Co., where she counseled Fortune 500 Executives on precision medicine and using advanced analytics to drive impact. Dr. Batavia is an assistant professor at Weill Cornell Medicine and has been a practicing physician for over 15 years. She has received numerous research awards and has multiple peer-reviewed publications. Dr. Batavia is passionate about using data and technology to improve the health of patients.

Otis W. Brawley, MD, MACP

Dr. Otis Brawley is a globally recognized expert in cancer prevention and control. He currently leads a broad interdisciplinary research effort on cancer health disparities at the Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, striving to close racial, economic, and social disparities in the prevention, detection, and treatment of cancer in the United States and worldwide. He also directs community outreach programs for underserved populations throughout Maryland.

He joined Johns Hopkins University as a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor in 2019 from the American Cancer Society and Emory University. He also is a former member of the FDA Oncologic Drug Advisory Committee (ODAC).

Dr. Brawley is a current member of the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Board of Scientific Counselors. Formerly, Dr. Brawley was a professor in the Department of Hematology and Oncology at the Emory University School of Medicine. He was also previously a senior investigator at the National Institute of Health (NIH) and NCI. In 2013, he was the recipient of a Special Recognition Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Dr. Brawley received an M.D. from the University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine. He completed an internal medicine residency at Case-Western Reserve University and a fellowship in medical oncology at the NCI. He is board certified in internal medicine and medical oncology.

Jenine Caulkins

Jenine Cauklins is vice president and head of Oncology Clinical Project Management and Clinical Trial Diversity and Patient Engagement at Bayer. She has 33 years of pharmaceutical industry knowledge specializing in clinical development research trials ranging from phase I-IV studies. Her primary focus in the last 24 years has been in the oncology therapeutic area. Her pharma knowledge includes 15 years of working at Pfizer in Clinical Development and Development Operations focusing on the central nervous system, cardiovascular and oncology. For the past 18 years at Bayer, she has been working in oncology, cardiovascular, and NOHI (neurology, ophthalmology, hematology and immunology) in clinical development and clinical project management.

She is also focused on formalizing and enforcing Clinical Trial Diversity strategy, supporting all clinical trials across oncology indications to ensure Bayer’s clinical trials are available for underrepresented patient populations; and shaping and strengthening the patient’s voice in the planning and execution of Bayer’s oncology clinical trials by maintaining Bayer’s partnerships with the healthcare community, mainly the patients, healthcare professionals, and the Patient Council.

Kelelaye Emiru

Kelelaye Emiru champions health equity through data-driven insights and innovative strategies. As Vice President of Health Information Strategy & Services at the National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF), he spearheads their transformation into a groundbreaking healthcare agency driving industry change.

With over 17 years in the pharmaceutical industry, Kelelaye brings a wealth of experience in process improvement, leadership, and strategic partnerships. He previously chaired the Cancer Stage Shifting Initiative, aligning with President Biden’s Cancer Moonshot 2.0. Kelelaye is dedicated to making purpose-driven impacts, weaving an approach that revolves around empathy, collaboration, and decisive action to construct a better and more equitable world.

Brian Frasca, PharmD

Dr. Frasca joined Brand Institute as a Drug Safety Evaluator in 2010. He was promoted to Vice President of Brand Strategy, Market & Safety Research in 2015, where he oversaw over 1,500 nomenclature research projects worldwide. In 2017 he was promoted to President, Chicago and, in 2019, he was promoted to Divisional President of the Midwest Region, covering all of the Midwestern States as well as Texas and down into Florida, covering a total of 25 States for Brand Institute.

Dr. Frasca has worked on over 2,500 healthcare and consumer branding/naming initiatives throughout his tenure with Brand Institute. As Divisional President, Dr. Frasca’s primary responsibilities include personally leading brand naming initiatives from inception to completion (Creative Name Development to Trademark/Regulatory Submissions) and acting as a face-to-face liaison with our Miami Headquarters and Clients.

Tara Frenkl, MD, MPH

Tara is senior vice president and head of Oncology Development in the Oncology Strategic Business Unit at Bayer Pharmaceuticals. As Head of Oncology Development at Bayer, she is responsible for late clinical development strategy, clinical operations, data analytics project management and regulatory affairs shaping the oncology portfolio as well as fostering the cross functional collaboration that is crucial to transforming science into therapies and medicines.

Tara earned her MD, MPH and B.S in Pharmacy from Rutgers University. She went on to complete residency at Brown University and fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic. Tara’s pharmaceutical career began at Merck where she worked across multiple therapeutic areas, including leading the development and approval of pembrolizumab for several different stages of bladder cancer. More recently at GSK, she held the role of Senior Vice President, Head of Medicine Development Leaders in Oncology at GlaxoSmithKline, with strategic impact on the global development across the company’s Oncology portfolio, and how best to deliver differentiated medicines to cancer patients.

Tim Gabel

Tim J. Gabel is RTI International’s president and chief executive officer, overseeing an institute with annual revenues of approximately $1.2 billion and 6,000 worldwide staff members supporting projects in more than 93 countries. Mr. Gabel became CEO in 2022, having served the previous 10 years as executive vice president of Social, Statistical, and Environmental Sciences, the largest business unit within RTI. A long-tenured RTI employee, Mr. Gabel has served at every level of RTI leadership.

Gregory Goldmacher, MD, PhD, MBA

Greg has been at Merck since 2015. With his team of physicians and scientists, he oversees imaging and pathology-based endpoints in ~280 clinical trials in oncology and other therapeutic areas. He also leads research in novel approaches to clinical trial imaging, including radiomics, tumor growth kinetics, and novel response criteria. In addition, he supports various business development, data standardization, and educational activities. Prior to Merck, he was a senior medical director and head of oncology imaging at a global CRO, and before that in academia. His clinical training was in diagnostic radiology, along with a PhD and postdoctoral research in neuroscience, and business training in finance.

James E.K. Hildreth, PhD, MD

James E.K. Hildreth Sr., PhD, MD, was named chairman of the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences board of trustees in 2019. As president and CEO of Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee since 2015, he leads the nation’s largest private historically Black academic health sciences center. Hildreth holds an MD from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, a PhD from Oxford University and a BA from Harvard University where he graduated as a Rhodes scholar.

A world-class infectious disease expert, Hildreth’s ability to explain complex science to laypersons made him a national figure during the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, he was appointed to the FDA Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee and in 2021, he was named to President Joseph Biden’s Health Equity Task Force. Hildreth spent 23 years at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine as student, postdoc, professor and associate dean and served as dean of the College of Biological Sciences at University of California, Davis.

Steve Kearney, PharmD

Steve Kearney is the Global Medical Director at SAS where he helps lead the organization’s focus on the future of digital health across health care, life sciences, government, and the research and development divisions. An innovator in health outcomes and digital medicine, Dr. Kearney co-developed and implemented one of the first electronic disease registries at Duke Health while also offering the first web-based ambulatory medicine elective at UNC. Dr. Kearney then joined the medical outcomes group at Pfizer where he continued his practical, actionable approach to data and the patient journey. He focused on health outcome insights from electronic medical record migrations, early personal digital assistants, novel health software programs and the first large patient claims databases. Throughout his career, Dr. Kearney has been a trusted advisor on health policy for state & federal agencies as well as Ministries of Health around the world.

Doug Lowy, MD

Dr. Lowy is the Principal Deputy Director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health (NIH), and Chief of the Laboratory of Cellular Oncology at NCI. He received his medical degree from New York University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine at Stanford University and dermatology at Yale. Dr. Lowy’s research includes the biology of papillomaviruses and the regulation of normal and neoplastic growth. He has received numerous honors, including the 2007 Federal Employee of the year Service to America Medal from the Partnership for Public Service, the 2011 Albert B. Sabin Gold Medal Award, the 2012 National Medal of Technology & Innovation, and the 2017 Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award.

Lester Martinez-Lopez, MD, MPH

Dr. Lester Martinez-Lopez is currently serving as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs. In this role, he is the principal advisor to the Secretary of Defense and the Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness for all Department of Defense health and force health protection policies, programs, and activities.

Dr. Martinez, a family medicine physician, retired from the Army as a Major General and was the first Latino to head the Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, where he directed the Army’s worldwide medical research, acquisition, and logistics program. His experience in military medicine also includes tours as the Commanding General of the Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine, where he directed a worldwide public health organization, and command of three military hospitals. After retiring from the Army, he served as the Chief Medical Officer at the Brandon Regional Hospital in Florida and Senior Vice President and Administrator of the Lyndon B. Johnson General Hospital in Texas.

Dr. Martinez graduated from the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine with a Doctor of Medicine degree, and earned a Master of Public Health degree from Johns Hopkins University.

Scott Morris

Scott Morris is vice president and general manager for Clinical Trial Solutions of Optum Life Sciences. Scott has significant experience in health care and technology across life sciences, research and provider market segments. Scott is uniquely qualified to understand the challenges, lead the delivery of support offerings to accelerate and diversify clinical trials participation, and streamline processes to help bring new therapies to market for the patients who need them.

Most recently, he served as vice president of health sciences at Change Healthcare, prior to its acquisition by Optum. Scott has also held various leadership roles at IQVIA (formerly Quintiles), as well as Oracle and Premier, Inc., and has demonstrated success in developing and growing new business offerings and partnerships in the context of larger organizations.

Scott received his Bachelor of Science from the Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business at Clemson University with additional emphasis in computer science and math. He also completed an executive leadership program at the Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Jude Ngang, PharmD

Jude Ngang is the Executive Director for the Representation in Clinical Research (RISE) at Amgen. The RISE team’s efforts are focused on improving proportional representation across Amgen’s clinical trials in collaboration with internal and external partners. Jude has held leadership roles in clinical operations and was recognized with the Amgen ‘Innovation Trail Blazer’ award for his leadership in the clinical operations strategy for LUMAKRAS® that enabled acceleration in the development of the program. Jude specializes in clinical sciences & innovation with a focus on bio and clinical diversity and is also a pharmacist trained at Roseman University of Health Sciences.

Gary Puckrein, PhD

Gary A. Puckrein, PhD, is President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Minority Quality Forum (formerly the National Minority Health Month Foundation), a not-for-profit organization that he founded in 1998. Dr. Puckrein also serves as the Executive Director of the Alliance of Minority Medical Associations (a collaborative effort of the Asian and Pacific Physicians’ Association, the Association of American Indian Physicians, the Interamerican College of Physicians and Surgeons, and the National Medical Association).

Dr. Puckrein was graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Brown University, where he received his master’s degree and doctorate. Between 1974 and 1992, he taught and lectured at Roger Williams College, Brown University, Connecticut College, and Rutgers University, where he was a tenured member of the faculty. Dr. Puckrein has received many awards and honors, including being named a visiting scholar and fellow at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and a visiting fellow at Princeton University.

Kimryn Rathmell, MD, PhD, MMHC

Dr. W. Kimryn Rathmell began work as the 17th director of the National Cancer Institute in December 2023. She previously led the Vanderbilt University Medical Center as physician-in-chief and chair of the Department of Medicine.

With a specialty in the research and treatment of complex and hereditary kidney cancers, Dr. Rathmell also focuses on underlying drivers of kidney cancers using genetic, molecular, and cell biology to develop interventions to improve patients’ lives. She co-founded the nonprofit RMC Alliance to support patients with renal medullary carcinoma. She has also created national mentorship networks and forged pathways for physician-scientist recognition and career impact.

Dan Reuland, MD, MPH

Dr. Reuland is a general internist and health services researcher focused on cancer screening. He is principal investigator of the Accelerating Colorectal Cancer Screening and Follow-Up through Implementation Science (ACCSIS) NC Research Center, funded by the NCI Cancer Moonshot. He is MPI of one of seven new NCI Cancer Screening Research Network (CSRN) centers also funded through Cancer Moonshot. The CSRN will use NCI Clinical Trials infrastructure to study multi-cancer detection assays and other emerging screening technologies. He completed his undergraduate degree at University of Michigan, medical degree at Johns Hopkins University, Internal Medicine residency at Yale School of Medicine, and post-doctoral research fellowship at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Chet Robson, DO, MHCDS, FAAFP

Dr Robson is the chief medical officer at Jasper Health. He previously served as chief clinical officer and chief medical officer at the Walgreens Boots Alliance. Dr. Robson provides clinical leadership for evidence-based medical practice in digital cancer support and navigation, and integrated delivery systems. By implementing innovative technology, patient-engaging care delivery models, and evidence-based medicine, he clinically advances an integrated model of care.

Dr. Robson was awarded the Walgreens Boots Alliance Global Divisional Leadership Award, the Distinguished Leadership Award by Adventist Midwest Health, and was inducted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Practice.

Maya Said, ScD

Dr. Said is the Founder and CEO of Outcomes4Me, a health technology company focused on empowering cancer patients with personalized, evidence-based navigation and improving outcomes through better access to innovation. Prior to founding Outcomes4Me, she was Senior Vice President of Global Market Access & Policy at Novartis Pharmaceuticals and Vice President of Strategy & External Innovation at Sanofi.

Dr. Said is a strong advocate for life sciences innovation and serves on the Board of Directors of Transgene, Pieris Pharmaceuticals, and Home Biosciences. She was a founding member of the Boston Consulting Group Strategy Institute.

Mark Shapiro, MBA, MA

Mark Shapiro is chief operating officer of xCures. He is a pharmacologist and widely recognized expert on growth and innovation strategies in clinical research and clinical development. As a management consultant at Campbell Alliance, he led strategic planning, growth, and change management initiatives at many pharmaceutical, biotech and clinical research organizations. He was most recently the SVP, Operations at Clinipace, a global, oncology-focused CRO, where he was part of the leadership team that grew the organization from ten to over a thousand employees worldwide.

Gail Stephens

Gail Stephens is the executive champion of Health Care and Life Sciences at SAS, with a passion for helping customers harness data’s hidden intelligence to make the world a better place. She heads Research and Development (R&D), product management/strategy, industry consulting as well as philanthropic efforts in this industry.  She consults with customers on data-driven initiatives, and evangelizes how SAS software delivers insights that transform organizations.

Leading collaborative teams that deliver quality software has been Stephens’s mission for 37 years at SAS. In previous roles, she developed graphical user interfaces (GUIs) and managed teams that developed some of the earliest GUIs at SAS. She also spent many years guiding the overall BI R&D efforts at SAS, an experience that provided unique insights into streamlining BI software within the Health Care and Life Sciences projects she oversees today. A North Carolina native, Stephens graduated from North Carolina State University with a bachelor’s degree in computer science.

Madalina Sucala, PhD, MBA

Madalina Sucala is a Senior Director of Digital Science at Evinova. Dr. Sucala has a PhD in Clinical Psychology and completed her postdoctoral training in Behavioral Medicine – Cancer Prevention and Control, at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She also has an MBA from Cornell University, and an MS in Healthcare Policy and Research from Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences.

Dr. Sucala is a behavioral scientist and digital health strategist with over 10 years of experience acquired at top medical centers and pharmaceutical companies (Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca). She brings a combination of academic and industry acquired expertise in developing, implementing, and evaluating digital health solutions for wide reach and impact.

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