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Dr. Edward Ergenzinger


Edward R. Ergenzinger, J.D., Ph.D.Director of Intellectual Property, Duke Human Vaccine Institute

Ed Ergenzinger is Director of Intellectual Property for the Duke Human Vaccine Institute (DHVI) at Duke University School of Medicine. His responsibilities include managing intellectual property issues for DHVI and the Center for HIV-AIDS Vaccine Immunology (CHAVI), including development and strategic management of the institute’s patent portfolio, and contract preparation and review (including material transfer agreements, confidentiality agreements, and collaborative research agreements.) He also provides general legal counsel to the Director and to the Chief Operating Officer of DHVI.

Dr. Ergenzinger received a J.D. (2002), a Ph.D. in Neuroscience (1999), and a B.A. in Biology & Psychology (1994), all from Wake Forest University. He has worked in the intellectual property field for over ten years, focusing on issues relating to biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. He is lead author or co-author on numerous scientific and legal publications in such venues as Nature Neuroscience, Legal Times, The Scientist, Nature Reviews Neuroscience, Nature Biotechnology, and Stanford Technology Law Review. He has also served as an adjunct professor at Wake Forest University School of Law and has taught a number continuing legal education courses on patent law topics.


Dr. Jackie Joseph-Silverstein Joseph-256.png

Jacquelyn Joseph-Silverstein, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President, Academic and Student Affairs
Cuyahoga Community College

Dr. Joseph-Silverstein earned a Ph.D. in Cell Biology from the City University of New York. Following a post-doctoral fellowship at New York University Medical Center she was appointed to the faculty at St. John’s University in Queens, N.Y., where she taught undergraduate and graduate Biology courses and carried out research with her team focused on the role of fibroblast growth factor in avian development. She is the author of 24 research publications and book chapters. Her administrative posts at St. John’s University included Acting Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Associate Provost for Academic Affairs. In the latter role, among other responsibilities, she had broad oversight for student retention, scientific research and teaching initiatives, and program development and accreditation. She was responsible for the development of the University’s first program review process and its student evaluation of teaching instrument. In 1999, she was appointed Associate Vice Chancellor at the University of Connecticut with responsibility for administration of the University’s Campus in Stamford Connecticut, which included leadership for both the academic enterprise and community outreach. UConn’s first seamless articulation agreement with a local community college was crafted under her leadership. Dr. Joseph-Silverstein arrived at Cuyahoga Community College in May, 2004 as senior academic and student affairs officer. There she has focused on programs, policies and processes aimed at improving student success and fostering cultural change around collaborative and data-driven decision making. She is a member of the College’s senior leadership team with broad responsibilities for areas ranging from enrollment management to academic programming.


Dr. Wallace Sharif Sharif-256.png

Wallace Sharif is an Assistant Professor of Biology at Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA. Morehouse College is the nation’s only all-male, predominantly black liberal arts institution, and awards more baccalaureate degrees to African American men than any other college in the country. Dr. Sharif teaches the General Biology course, and serves as an academic advisor to several on-campus science research scholarship programs. Dr. Sharif received his Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University in 2003, where he studied meiotic homologous recombination in the laboratory of Dr. Wayne Wahls in the Department of Biochemistry. He did a postdoctoral fellowship at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in the laboratories of Drs. Woody Wright and Jerry Shay, studying the suppression of gene expression and recombination in telomeric regions of human chromosomes. His current research interests involve the role of telomerase in response to severe cellular hypoxia, and in using telomere length as a diagnostic measure of health status in African Americans.


Dr. Eric Haseltine Haseltine-icon-256.png

Eric Haseltine is a former intelligence officer and entertainment executive who was formally trained as a Neuroscientist. He has applied new discoveries about the human brain to diverse fields such as Aerospace Technology, Virtual Reality, Special Effects, and most recently, Intelligence and National Security. He got his PhD studying the sensory neurophysiology of the brains of snakes (Boas and Pythons) that “see in the dark” via heat sensors around their lips. After completing one year of post-doctoral training in Neuroanatomy at Vanderbilt Medical School, Eric went to work for Hughes Aircraft Company as an Industrial Psychologist, where he used his training to design advanced fighter cockpit displays and flight simulation systems. Dr. Haseltine’s research in military flight simulation gave him a strong foundation in the emerging field of Virtual Reality, so in 1992 he joined Walt Disney Imagineering to help found the Virtual Reality Studio, which he ultimately ran until his departure from Disney in 2002. When he left Disney, Dr Haseltine was Executive Vice President of Imagineering and head of R&D for the entire corporation, including film, television, theme parks, Internet and consumer products. In the aftermath of 9/11, Eric joined the National Security Agency as its Associate Director, in charge of Research and Development, where he directed a broad range of projects, specializing in counter-terrorism technology. When Congress created the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Dr. Haseltine was promoted in 2005 to become its first CTO (Associate Director National Intelligence, reporting to the Director). In his two years there, Eric oversaw all Science and Technology efforts within the United States Intelligence Community as well as fostering development innovative new technologies for counter terrorism. Through his consulting company Haseltine Partners LLC, Eric now helps intelligence agencies and the Department of Defense find and apply cutting edge technologies to problems such as counter terrorism and collaborative intelligence analysis. Dr. Haseltine also consults for Fortune 500 companies, helping them develop breakthrough innovations and business practices. He serves on numerous boards, and is an active speaker and writer.


Dr. Larry Kerr Kerr-256.png

Deputy Director for Countering Biological Threats
Office of the Director of National Intelligence

Dr. Lawrence D. Kerr (Larry) is the Deputy Director for Countering Biological Threats within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). He previously served at the Senior Bio Advisor to the Director of the National Counterproliferation Center (NCPC) within the ODNI. As a Senior Intelligence officer, Dr. Kerr advises the senior leadership on strategic plans to prevent and counter the spread of biological weapons of mass destruction in support of the National Intelligence Strategy. Before joining NCPC in April 2006, he was Director for Biodefense Policy with the White House Homeland Security Council in the Executive Office of the President (EOP). He served as Assistant Director for Homeland Security for the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and as Director of Bioterrorism, Research and Development for the Office of Homeland Security in the EOP. Dr. Kerr joined the Life Sciences division of OSTP in January 2001 where he came from his position as Chief of Transplantation, Transplantation and Immunology Branch at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Prior to his work at the NIH, Dr. Kerr worked in science and health care policy for Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) on the health subunit of the Senate Judiciary Committee during the 106th Congress. As a Robert Wood Johnson Fellow, he staffed the Senator on a variety of legislative affairs including: NIH reauthorization; medical device coding for Medicare reimbursement; radiation exposure compensation litigation; interagency coordination of counter-bioterrorism efforts; traumatic brain injury act, pediatric AIDS, and Ryan White CARE reauthorization.

In his capacity at OSTP, Dr. Kerr advised the Director in a variety of science and health care issues including: interagency coordination of chem/bio anti-terrorism technologies; infectious disease topics (HIV/AIDS, foot and mouth disease, etc.); cloning; embryonic and adult stem cell biology; and administered the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers. As Director of Bioterrorism, R&D, Dr. Kerr advised the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security in identifying and fostering policies to meet national objectives. Dr. Kerr led and participated in the development of short- and long-range policies including the president’s National Strategy on Homeland Security, the National Biodefense Strategy (HSPD-10), the Biosecurity Initiative, and most recently the National Strategy for Avian and Pandemic Influenza. He interfaced with senior officials and staffs of the White House, the Congress, the Federal Departments and agencies, and individuals from private industry and the academic community on counter-terrorism programs.

As an Assistant Professor in Microbiology and Immunology at Vanderbilt School of Medicine in Nashville TN, Dr. Kerr ran a basic science laboratory devoted to the study of the transcriptional regulation of gene products involved in HIV replication and breast cancer development. He lectures at the national and international levels and has received awards for teaching excellence. He is the author of more than 50 peer-reviewed articles, reviews and book chapters. He holds a B.S. in Biology and Art History from the University of the South in Sewanee, TN. Dr. Kerr completed his Ph.D. in Cell Biology from Vanderbilt University in 1990 and undertook his post-doctoral work at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego, CA. Dr. Kerr is currently an Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C.


Dr. Paul McDonald

Paul McDonald Ph.D. Co-Founder and CEO, AxHill, LLC

Dr. McDonald holds a degree in Neuroscience from Vanderbilt University and has been working in the government market for the last 6 years. While a Associate at Booz Allen Hamilton, Dr. McDonald was a Scientific Engineering and Technical Assistant to the Defense Science Office (DSO) at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), oversaw technology development for Special Operations Command (SOCOM), and worked with the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs as part of their Medical Readiness Oversight Taskforce. During this time Dr. McDonald evaluated technical proposals, assisted with contract development, and facilitated technology selection (source selection). These were high-risk high-reward projects that included assistance in milestone and technology development in order to make them usable by the government. In addition, Dr. McDonald performed hands-on milestone and technology assessments to determine if technologies were ready to move on to the next phase of development.

In February 2009, Dr. McDonald founded AxHill LLC, which specializes in bringing cutting edge technologies to the government market. AxHill works with our clients to win federal government contracts that assist in their technology development. We then manage all aspects of the contract to ensure our client’s success. Our mission is to bring the best technologies to the Department of Defense in an effort to better the lives of the Warfighter.


Dr. David Adams

David H. Adams, Ph.D. is a Clinical Research Scientist at Eli Lilly and Company. David earned a M.Ed. from Vanderbilt University in 1994 and earned his PhD in Pharmacology and Toxicology from the University of Utah in 2001, where he studied the effects of psychostimulants on second messenger signaling pathways in the striatum. David served as a postdoctoral fellow in the Yale Department of Psychiatry studying gene expression in animal models of stress and depression and in post mortem brain using custom and commercial microarrays. David joined Lilly as a Sr. Scientific Communications Associate in 2004 supporting the US affiliate neuroscience team. David also strategically led the development of scientific data disclosure plans to meet customer needs as a publication coordinator. In 2008, David transitioned to a Clinical Research Scientist position at Lilly where he supports the clinical development of a phase II neuroscience compound. He has authored or co-authored over 28 peer-reviewed manuscripts.


Dr. Aris Economides Aris-256.png

Dr Aris N. Economides joined Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc in 1992 and he currently holds the position of Sr. Director, leading two groups: Genome Engineering Technologies, and Skeletal Diseases TFA. Dr. Economides is a co-inventor of the Cytokine Trap technology that led to the development of the IL-1 trap, a currently approved biologic drug (ARCALYST™). He is also a co-inventor of the VelociGene® technology, that has led to the development of VelocImmune®, a method for the generation of all-human antibodies in mice. More recently, he has been spearheading the development of new methods for the generation of transgenic mice using BAC as transgene vectors, and has also pioneered a new method for generating conditional alleles.


Dr. Jeroo Sinor Sinor-256.png

Jeroo Sinor is a Market Planning Manager at Genentech but is currently on assignment in Basel Switzerland at the Roche Headquarters. She the Strategic Analytics Group Leader for the Hematology/HER2/Signaling Franchises.
She joined Genentech in 2005 as the market planner for anti CD20 Neuroimmunology and in early 2007 expanded her role to include all aCD20 programs as the lead Senior Market Planner, preparing for both the PPMS and Lupus launches as well as providing strategic context for Phase III trials for ocrelizumab in RA. Most recently, Jeroo assumed the lead Market Planner position on Xolair.

Prior to joining Genentech, Jeroo was Global Market Research Manager supporting the launch of Tysabri for Biogen Idec. She made significant contributions to Avonex life cycle management and Zevalin marketing initiatives. Previous roles included working in the new product development group at Decision Resources and strategy consulting work for marchFirst.

Jeroo earned a Ph.D. in Neurobiology, Anatomy, and Cell Science from Univ. of Pittsburgh and completed a Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Neuroscience at Caltech and Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Jeroo received her B.A. in Biology and Chemistry from Skidmore College.


Dr. Joe Tasto Tasto-icon-256.png

After graduate school, Dr. Tasto worked as a senior consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in the West Coast Life Sciences practice. At PwC, Dr. Tasto was engaged on a variety of projects including commercial compliance at a major biotechnology company, technical grant writing for a major pharmaceutical firm, and physician coding analysis for a national healthcare provider. Dr. Tasto left consulting to join Roche’s diagnostic division as a senior licensing manager where he is responsible for out-licensing Roche’s intellectual property to the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology as well as other business development activities. Dr. Tasto earned both his Ph.D. and MBA from Vanderbilt University in 2003 and 2005, respectively.


Dr. Francis Willard Francis-256.png

Francis S. Willard Ph.D. is a Research Scientist at Eli Lilly and Company, Indianapolis. Dr. Willard runs a preclinical drug discovery research laboratory with a focus on cell surface receptors and the endocrine therapeutic area.

Francis earned a B.Sc. in Physiology at Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand. He went on to complete a Ph.D. in Neuroscience at the Australian National University, and in 2003 received the Frank Fenner Medal for his doctoral studies. Dr. Willard then served as a Postdoctoral Fellow and Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. During this time he was awarded an American Heart Association Postdoctoral Fellowship and a UNC Postdoctoral Award for Research Excellence. Dr. Willard has contributed to the scientific literature with over 50 peer reviewed publications.


Dr. Mimi Healy Healy-256.png

Mimi has more than 20 years of healthcare, start-up molecular diagnostics and biotechnology experience in both US and international markets. She has completed the successful development and commercialization of several molecular diagnostics from research to market. Her product development skills have placed more than 10 commercial assays in the market, all of which have been acquired by major players in the diagnostics market. Her last project as President and CEO resulted in the successful financing of a small start-up and its profitable exit via acquisition. She serves on several grant review boards, has reviewed numerous manuscripts and serves on the TAMU Professional Biotechnology program board. She has presented at numerous international scientific meetings, published in more than 15 peer-reviewed journals, authored 4 book chapters and filed/received several patents.

Mimi received her Ph.D. in Microbiology, M.S. in Biology, B.S. in Biology with a minor in Chemistry, and B.A. in Psychology of Industry and Organizations. She is currently president of H2F Consulting, helping translate scientific discoveries into commercial successes


Dr. Ryan Bender Bender-256.png

Ryan Bender is a board certified clinical molecular geneticist and a diplomat of the American Board of Medical Genetics. He completed his Ph.D. in Neil Osheroff’s laboratory at Vanderbilt University. While at Vanderbilt he studied the interaction between topoisomerase II and metabolites of environmental toxins as well as chemotherapeutic agents. Following his studies at Vanderbilt he accepted a fellowship in clinical molecular genetics at the Partners Center for Personalized Genomic Medicine at Harvard Medical School. During his fellowship he helped develop an oligonucleotide array designed to identify mutations in genes in the RAS/MAPK pathway that cause Noonan, cardio-facio-cutaneous and Costello syndromes. He also developed sequencing assays to aid in the identification of individuals affected with Noonan syndrome and familial thoracic aortic aneurysm disorder. In addition, he also performed basic research at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Lynda Chin’s laboratory indentifying biomarkers that predict response to chemotherapeutic therapies and development of pre-clinical therapeutic mouse models for melanoma.

Currently, Ryan is a molecular geneticist at Caris Life Sciences in Phoenix, AZ. At Caris he performs molecular analyses on tumor and hematological samples for diagnostic, prognostic and pharmanostic purposes. He also aids in the development and validation of new molecular tests and works with pharmaceutical companies to identify molecular markers of chemotherapy response or resistance.


Dr. David Chapman

David Chapman obtained his PhD in Pharmacology and Toxicology from the University of Utah in 2003 where he studied interactions between striatal NMDA receptors and D1 dopamine receptors in saline- and methamphetamine-treated animals using electrophysiologic, pharmacologic, and behavioral techniques. This research was supported by the American Foundation of Pharmaceutical Education, an NIH-training grant awarded to the Department, and an individual predoctoral National Research Service Award. From 2003-2005, Dave completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas which focused on mouse models of schizophrenia and sleep disorders looking at the consequences of NMDA receptor hypofunction and D1-NMDA receptor interactions in hippocampus, and adenosine-NMDA interactions, respectively. Following his postdoctoral training, Dave became a CNS Medical Science Liaison with the Biopharmaceutical Company UCB. The disease states that were focused on during Dave’s tenure at UCB were epilepsy and Parkinson’s Disease. In early 2010, Dave joined Ameritox, LLC, where he serves as Assistant Director, Medical Science and Health Outcomes Research.

Dave lives in St. Louis, Missouri with his wife, Kim, and their four children. When not traveling or chasing kids, Dave prefers to run and play soccer.


Dr. Maureen McDonnell McDonnell-256.png

Maureen McDonnell graduated from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota with majors in Biology and English. She received her Ph.D. from the Department of Cell Biology at Vanderbilt University under the direction of Dr. Harold L. Moses. After completing her degree she worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Dr. David Miller. Maureen then returned to Minnesota and worked as a Scientist in the Department of Lab Medicine and Pathology at the University of Minnesota while attending Hamline University School of Law through their Weekend Program. Maureen is currently a Regulatory Affairs Specialist at Beckman Coulter, Inc. She provides regulatory support for the immunoassay and molecular diagnostics business center located in Chaska, MN.


Dr. Lisan Parker parker-256.png

Dr. Lisan Parker joined the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development (TB Alliance) in January of 2010 as Scientific Liaison to the WHO Stop TB Partnership Working Group on New TB Drugs (WGND). The WGND serves as a platform for interaction among partners working in all stages of TB drug R&D, to increase efficiencies and decrease risk for the development of effective and affordable new therapies for TB. Dr. Parker acts as the Secretariat for the Working Group, managing the efforts of a variety of stakeholders, from academia, industry and international health agencies, to coordinate global TB drug R&D.

Prior to joining the TB Alliance, Dr. Parker was a senior research biologist in neuroscience drug discovery at Merck Research Laboratories in Boston, MA. She was engaged in research to identify and validate novel Alzheimer’s disease drug targets, including lead compound identification. Dr. Parker’s postgraduate work was conducted in the Department of Neurobiology at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, preceded by her graduate work with Dr. Bih-Hwa Shieh in the Department of Pharmacology at Vanderbilt. Dr. Parker’s research studies have been published in various scientific journals and she has received numerous fellowships and awards for her work.


Dr. Patrick Harrington Harrington-256.png

Patrick Harrington, Ph.D., Clinical Microbiology Reviewer
U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Division of Antiviral Products
Silver Spring, MD

Dr. Harrington is a Virology Reviewer within the Division of Antiviral Products at FDA/CDER. He analyzes non-clinical and clinical virology data, reviews study protocols, and provides virology-related guidance to companies, academic researchers, and other FDA scientific and regulatory disciplines involved in the development of antiviral drugs, biologics and microbicides. Prior to joining FDA in 2008, he was a Research Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, in the Carolina Vaccine Institute and Department of Microbiology and Immunology. He completed his Ph.D. and postdoctoral training at UNC-Chapel Hill, working with investigators in the Lineberger Cancer Center, Center for AIDS Research, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, and UNC School of Public Health. He was also employed as a bench scientist at a biotechnology company prior to attending graduate school. Dr. Harrington will discuss the many unique and rewarding features of a career as a scientific reviewer at FDA.


Dr. Jason Lambert Jason-256.png

Lambert, Jason C., PhD, DABT

In 2005, Dr. Jason C. Lambert joined the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Cincinnati, Ohio. He serves as chemical manager for numerous human health risk assessments of National interest. Dr. Lambert also investigates the practical application of “-omic” data/approaches to informing chemical risk assessment. Prior to coming to the EPA, Dr. Lambert received his B.S. from Western Kentucky University in 1998, with a double major in Recombinant Genetics and Chemistry. He then earned his M.S. (2001) and Ph.D. (2003) degrees in Pharmacology and Toxicology from the University of Louisville. His basic research expertise includes mechanisms of hepatic and gastrointestinal injury and repair, molecular and cellular signal transduction, and cellular therapies including metallothionein and recombinant probiotics. During his academic career, Dr. Lambert’s research efforts led to various publications, awards, and grants. In 2006, he became a Diplomat of the American Board of Toxicology. Dr. Lambert serves as reviewer for toxicology and risk assessment journals, is professionally affiliated with the Society of Toxicology (SOT), Society for Risk Analysis (SRA), and is an officer in the Ohio Valley Chapters of both SOT and SRA.


Dr. Rebecca Wagenaar-Miller Wagenaar-256.png

Dr. Rebecca Wagenaar-Miller is a Scientific Review Officer with the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) at the NIH. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Lawrence Univeristy in Appleton, Wisconsin and then went on to obtain her PhD from Vanderbilt University under the direction of Dr. Lynn Matrisian in the Department of Cancer Biology. At Vanderbilt, Dr. Wagenaar-Miller’s research focused on the role and regulation of matrix metalloproteinase-7 (MMP-7) in mouse models of intestinal tumorigenesis. She spent the next four years as a post-doctoral fellow in the Oral Pharyngeal Cancer Branch at NIDCR in the laboratory of Dr. Thomas Bugge where she expanded her studies of proteases. At NIDCR, Dr. Wagenaar-Miller examined the functional overlap between the pericellular, MT1-MMP-mediated, and intracellular, uPARAP-mediated, pathways of collagen degradation in bone evelopment. Additionally, she cloned and biochemically characterized a novel type II transmembrane serine protease, DESC3. Dr. Wagenaar-Miller then moved to her current position on the extramural side of NIDCR where she handles grant review of Special Emphasis Panels on multiple research areas relevant to dental research.

Outside of work, Dr. Wagenaar-Miller spends her time running after her three year old Eleanor and one year old twins Isabelle and Maggie. She is married to Tim Miller, an engineer at NASA and alumnus from Vanderbilt University, Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Sciences.


Dr. Ray Price Price-256.png

MBA, Entrepreneurship & Strategy, INSEAD
PhD, Pharmacology, Vanderbilt University
BA, Biochemistry, Whitman College

Ray Price has worked in the pharmaceutical industry as a business development executive to create and implement global business strategies for both therapeutic compounds (drugs) and proprietary assay systems (platform technologies). He has work experience at pharma/biotech companies in Japan, the US, and France. He enjoys using his combination of research and business experience to be a bridge between the two sometimes disparate disciplines-by being able to speak both 'languages'. He is currently managing his own company as a freelance consultant in business development and medical writing in the biotechnology industry.


Dr. Adam Bristol Bristol-256.png

Adam Bristol, Ph.D.
Vice President

Adam joined Aquilo Partners in 2010. From 2007 through 2009, he was an associate at the Biotechnology Value Fund, assisting in the sourcing, evaluation and management of investments in private and public life science companies. Adam serves as a start-up mentor for the NIH's Commercialization Assistance Program and works with UC-Davis's Entrepreneurship Academy and The Michael J. Fox Foundation’s Therapeutic Development Initiative. Adam previously served on the boards of Airmid and Viriome. He has been an author on over 20 publications in the fields of neurology and cognition.

Adam is a Kauffman Fellow. He completed his postdoctoral training in neurobiology at Stanford University School of Medicine. Adam received a Ph.D. from Yale University and a BA from the SUNY-Binghamton.


Dr. Michael J. Malecki Malecki-256.png

Michael J. Malecki, Ph.D., is a Product Director at HealthLeaders-InterStudy and Decision Resources, where he manages four product lines interpreting primary survey, sales, and claims data to discern the market positioning of drugs now and in the future. Prior to joining the company, Dr. Malecki completed his doctorate in biological chemistry and molecular pharmacology at Harvard Medical School, where he was an American Heart Association Predoctoral Fellow.


Dr. Yung S. Lie

Yung S. Lie, Ph.D., is the Scientific Director of the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, a non-profit organization that identifies the most brilliant and promising early career scientists and provides them with funding to pursue innovative research that will eliminate cancer as a deadly disease. Yung’s responsibilities include overseeing the Foundation’s three grant programs ($10 million annual budget) and serving as the primary liaison between current and former award recipients, the Foundation, and its private and corporate sponsors. She received her B.A. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of California at Berkeley and earned her Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from Stanford University. Following graduate school, she worked as a bioinformatics consultant at Celera/Applied Biosystems, contributing to the Human Genome Project. Yung completed her postdoctoral research in neuroscience at the University of California at San Francisco and at The Rockefeller University.


Dr. Layton H. Smith Smith-256.png

Layton Smith received his Ph.D. (Pharmacology, 2002) from Vanderbilt University, where he also received his postdoctoral training in Clinical Pharmacology and Cardiovascular Medicine. Smith is a Florida native and returned to his home state in 2005, to join The Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter, Florida as Associate Director of Pharmacology. There he played an integral role in the establishment of the small molecule discovery program, providing in vitro and in vivo pharmacology support of five drug discovery programs. In 2007, he was recruited to the position of Assistant Professor at Sanford Burnham Medical Research Institute, where he also served as the Director of the Pharmacology core service. In addition to the research program in his lab, Dr. Smith was recently appointed Director of Drug Discovery-Florida. He now oversees the drug discovery efforts of the Conrad Prebys Center for Chemical Genomics at the Orlando research site of Sanford Burnham.

Research Focus
My lab is focused on identifying molecular mechanisms of increased risk for cardiovascular disease in the metabolic syndrome, a cluster of risk factors including insulin resistance, hypertriglyceridemia, hypertension, obesity, and inflammation. To address this issue, we seek to identify proteins that affect cardiac and vascular function, but are unexpectedly produced by expanding fat tissue. One such molecule is apelin. Apelin is a vasoactive peptide that increases cardiac contractility and decreases vascular tone to reduce blood pressure. Paradoxically, this vasoprotective peptide is over-produced by fat tissue in obese people, but fails to elicit the positive effects on the cardiovascular system. To address this paradoxical effect, we employ molecular biology, cells, and animal models as well as novel pharmacologic tools. The lab is currently developing cell-based assays to identify small molecule probes of the apelin receptor using a HTS strategy. This work is funded by the NIH Molecular Libraries Initiative


Dr. Chastity Bradley Bradley-256.png

Chas Bradley completed her PhD in Pathology under the direction of Dr. Fritz Parl. Her main research focus while in the lab was investigating early protein changes that occur during mammary carcinogenesis. Immediately following the completion of her degree, she accepted a position as a Medical Writer at Precise Publications, LLC, a small medical communications company in Pluckemin, NJ. Under the direct mentorship of the CEO of Precise Publications, Dr. Bradley began to learn the qualities of a being a successful medical writer. Her primary responsibilities included publication planning and writing clinical publications for major pharmaceutical and biotech companies, such as Pfizer and Genzyme Biosurgery. She became experienced in writing in a number of therapeutic areas including women’s health, orthopedics, cartilage repair, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, and oncology.
Chas recently accepted a Senior Medical Writer position at Healthways, Inc. in Franklin, TN. Healthways is the leading provider of specialized, comprehensive solutions designed to help millions of people maintain or improve their health and well-being and, as a result, reduce overall health care costs. In this senior-level role, Chas has the opportunity to write scientific articles within the health outcomes research field and also play an active role in designing future health outcomes studies. Dr. Bradley attributes her early writing experiences in the pharmaceutical field to being able to quickly adapt and transition so smoothly into her new role. She anticipates making significant contributions as a member of the Science & Value team at Healthways for years to come.
Prior to her graduate work at Vanderbilt, Dr. Bradley also earned a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Spelman College and a Master of Science in Biology from Tennessee State University.


Susanne Tranguch, PhD Trangach-256.png

Susanne Tranguch, PhD
Editor, Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism
Cell Press

Susanne Tranguch, PhD, is the editor of Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism (TEM) (, a reviews journal published by Cell Press. TEM publishes reviews, opinion pieces, and book reviews on cutting edge topics, including lipids, pituitary signaling, diabetes, nutrient signaling and reproductive physiology, with the majority of content commissioned. As editor, Dr. Tranguch is responsible for commissioning articles, evaluating unsolicited proposals, steering manuscripts through peer-review, editing manuscripts for pitch, tone, and overall organization, and ultimately, ensuring an appropriate rate of copy flow and maintaining high quality content. She also interacts with the appointed editorial board, shapes the scope and content of journal, manages the TEM website and helps with marketing the journal – you can follow TEM on twitter (

Before joining Cell Press in June 2008, Susanne’s scientific training was as a reproductive physiologist; she received her PhD from Vanderbilt University in the lab of Dr. Sudhansu K. Dey, and completed a Master’s degree in Biology from University of North Carolina at Charlotte (2002), studying preimplantation embryo development.

Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism is in an editorial working group with Cell Metabolism and Trends in Molecular Medicine.


Dr. Brianna Blaser Blaser-256.png

Brianna Blaser is the Project Director of the Outreach Program for Science Careers where she organizes career and professional development workshops for graduate students, postdocs, and early-career scientists. She regularly speaks to audiences about career development topics including: career options outside of research, job search skills, networking, advisor/advisee relationships, and work/life balance. Brianna earned her Ph.D. in Women’s Studies at the University of Washington in 2008. Her dissertation, More Than Just Lab Partners: Women Scientists and Engineers Married to and Partnered with Other Scientists and Engineers, examined how women scientists’ relationships with other scientists affect both their professional and personal lives. While at the University of Washington, Brianna was a research assistant at the Center for Workforce Development where she organized professional development activities for graduate students in science and engineering. Brianna earned her B.S. in Mathematics and Psychology with a minor in Gender Studies from Carnegie Mellon University. She has held internships with the Association for Women in Science and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.


Tammy Key Tammy.png

Tammy Key is a training consultant for Vanderbilt Human Resource's Organizational Effectiveness Team. She develops and conducts professional development workshops (including teaching Vanderbilt HR's "Targeted Selection" course on behavioral interviewing) and provides both one-on-one and team consultations. Her consultations include needs assessment, team retreats/training sessions, team building, coaching for individuals and teams, and facilitation services. Her goal is to help employees and teams set and reach their professional/work goals.

Tammy has been in the training and development field for 10 years, previously working at Belmont University's Frist Center as a training consultant and at Cigna Government Services as a Senior Training consultant. She most recently worked as an independent training consultant and coach, partnering with Belmont's Center for Professional Development, developing and conducting training for local corporations and businesses.

Tammy is certified as a corporate coach through the Worldwide Association of Business Coaches and is a Certified Technical Trainer (CTT+) through Friesen K and Associates. She is a member of the American Society of Training and Development and regularly spends her time developing and facilitating training for non-profit organizations.


Dr. Mary MacDougall

Dr. Mary MacDougall, the James R. Rosen Chair in Dental Research, is the Associate Dean for Research and Director of the Institute of Oral Health Research at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Dentistry. She earned her Ph.D. in Craniofacial Biology at the University of Southern California (USC) School of Dentistry and her B.A. in Biochemistry with a minor in Theatrical Design at the University of California at San Diego. She was the recipient of National Institute of Dental Research Fellowships during both her pre-doctoral and post-doctoral studies. In 1986, she joined the faculty at USC School of Dentistry as a Research Assistant Professor at the Center for Craniofacial Molecular Biology. In 1993, she joined the faculty at University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio (UTHSCSA). She was promoted to Professor with tenure in 1998 and became the Dental School’s first Associate Dean for Research in 1999. In 2005, she joined the faculty of UAB School of Dentistry. Dr. MacDougall’s research centers on the molecular mechanisms associated with tooth formation, dental tissue-specific cytodifferentiation, extracellular matrix formation, tooth adult stem cell regeneration and related human genetic dental diseases. Her research in craniofacial genetics and tissue engineering has been funded continuously since 1985 by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research with total career federal funding in excess of 13.5 million dollars.

Dr. MacDougall has received a number of awards including the International Association for Dental Research (IADR) Distinguished Scientist Pulp Biology Research Award in 2001 and the IADR Distinguished Scientist Mineralized Tissue Research Award in 2005. In 2003, she was awarded the American Association for Dental Research (AADR) National Student Research Group Mentor of the Year Award for her efforts to foster student research training. She has implemented two dental pipeline out-reach programs targeting minority students to careers in dental academics both funded by William J. Gies Research Scholarship Awards. She is director of the UAB School of Dentistry’s DMD/PhD and Institutional research training program “Dental Academic Research Training” (DART). She served a President of the AADR in 2006. In 2007, she was honored as an American Association for the Advancement of Science fellow. She is currently serving as Vice-President of the IADR and will matriculate to serve as President of the organization in 2012. Her research has been featured in several publications including Reader’s Digest and Men’s Health as well as several TV programs including Discovery Health Channel’s “The Painless Dentist”.


Kimberly Pace kim-256.png

Kimberly Pace is a clinical professor at Vanderbilt University's Owen Graduate School of Management where she teaches courses in leadership communications. Professor Pace uses her formal training in the performing arts to bring a unique perspective to business education and practice. According to Pace, "In business, every time we communicate, we are performing. Effective managers are always 'on' – aware of their audience and communicating in the way that makes the biggest impact. One of the most valuable tools for the success of a person's business career is the ability to communicate effectively and authentically." Before joining Vanderbilt, Pace served in marketing and communications roles for two international faith-based non-profit agencies located in Nashville. She designed integrated communications marketing strategies, and managed a staff of 17 people responsible for $20 million in revenue. She was also a communications consultant, who led communication audits, launched a national TV branding campaign, was a key-note speaker, and taught branding and public relation seminars for professional communicators. Kimberly also served as the Executive Director and "on-air talent" for a radio and television program aired on Fox, CBS and NBC in 7 states to 5.5 million homes. She directed and produced the broadcasts, interviewed guests, and trained other on-air hosts. Kimberly's focus outside the classroom is training executives in "personal branding" and offering masterclasses for effective presentations. She seeks to help executives understand the unique value they bring to the company, to their staff, to clients, and to customers. Kimberly says, "It's important that we identify our own brand, and design a personal branding plan that helps people understand who we are even before they meet us, when they meet us, and after they've met us." Kimberly received her Masters in Music from Shenandoah University's Conservatory of Music in Winchester, VA and her Bachelors of Arts in Vocal Performance from Millsaps College in Jackson, MS. In her free time, Kimberly travels, hikes and sings.


Mr. Dan Ryan Ryan-256.png

Dan Ryan
Sr. Consultant
The Human Capital Group

In his role as a Senior Consultant, Dan provides Retained Executive Search and Leadership Consulting work for his clients. Dan’s search work focuses on mid-to-senior level leadership while his consulting work includes Executive Coaching, Organizational & Leadership Development, and Outsourced Leadership Consulting. His primary market segments include Engineering, Construction,
Architecture, Defense, Life Sciences, and Healthcare.
Dan has earned a MEd. from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University, an MBA from Tennessee State University, and a BS in Engineering Physics from Murray State University. He has also served as an adjunct faculty member for Belmont University.

Dan is a member of the Tennessee Biotechnology Association, Society of American Military Engineers, Nashville Chamber, Franklin Breakfast Rotary Club, Middle Tennessee Workforce Investment Board, Natchez Trace District of Boy Scouts of America, and he is a Board Member of Leadership Middle Tennessee.


Dr. Dayle A. Savage savage-256.png

Dayle A. Savage, Ed.D. is Assistant Professor of the Practice of Leadership and Organizations at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College. She has been at the university since the fall of 2005 and studies organizational change and leadership development particularly as it relates to talent management and human capital. She serves as the Director of Graduate Studies for the Human Resource Development and Organizational Leadership master’s programs and co-directs the Peabody Career Development Office. In July 2008 she left VU for approximately one year to become VP of HR and Chief Learning Officer of Saint Thomas Health Services where she fostered collaboration between recruitment, clinical education, and talent / performance management. She returned to her current role at Vanderbilt in August 2009.

As a practitioner, Dayle focuses on organizational effectiveness specifically in the areas of workplace learning & performance, leadership, human capital and talent management. She has had a successful consulting practice with various industries including healthcare, technology, education, not-for-profit, entertainment, and professional service organizations. Dayle completed her certification in professional coaching and works with executives and managers who want success, balance, and fulfillment in their careers. She is a past president of the Tennessee Coaches Alliance.

Dayle is currently studying the effects of faculty engagement on student career choice. She is also exploring the use of social media in today’s employment markets; specifically how effective and successful these various mediums will be for all those seeking employment and hiring employees.

Dayle is originally from Illinois but “grew up” in Nashville. To realize, value, and inspire the possibilities that only you possess is her passion.


Christy Waggoner christy-256.png

Christy Waggoner is a Career Development Professional currently serving as Assistant Director and Career Coach for the Vanderbilt University Career Center. Previously, Christy spent several years in career and employment services from a range of perspectives including roles as a Vocational Specialist, Corporate Recruiter, and a Career Coach, in addition to her experience supporting an employment law organization. Drawing from an educational background in counseling psychology, Christy approaches her coaching sessions as an integrationist largely influenced by Humanistic, Existential, and Cognitive theories. She has volunteered at organizations such as Career Advancement Centers, Career Support Groups, and local universities providing career coaching services and covering topics such as personal life mapping and exploration, mental wellness, networking, interviewing, resume development, and professional communications.

Christy holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from James Madison University and has completed a full graduate curriculum towards a Masters in Mental Health Counseling from Argosy University. Her graduate work included a personal emphasis on goal development, career and opportunity realization, and self-actualization counseling that approaches a client holistically using a model of mental wellness.

Some of Christy’s professional influences include Dr. Frederic Hudson of the Hudson Institute, Dr. Katharine Brooks of the University of Texas, Austin, author of “You Majored in WHAT!?”, and Dr. Martha Beck, author of , “Finding Your North Star”.

Christy also incorporates the concepts of Choice Theory, as developed by William Glasser. Her favorite quote is worded, “If your ship doesn’t come in, swim out to it.” ~ Anonymous

Christy has a passion for people finding their passions, and she is thrilled to facilitate such a journey for her clients and customers.


Dr. Melinda Willard Willard-256.png

Dr. Melinda Willard is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Oncology and Translational Sciences at Eli Lilly and Company in Indianapolis. She received her B.A. in Cellular Neuroscience from Colgate University in 2000. She obtained her Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2006, where she was a PhRMA Foundation Predoctoral Fellow in Pharmacology/Toxicology. Her current research interests focus on the role of G protein-coupled receptors in oncology, and structure-function relationships of receptor variants found in cancer. Melinda has 13 peer reviewed publications.