Speakers


Russ Biagio Altman

Professor of Bioengineering, Genetics, & Medicine (and of Computer Science, by courtesy) at Stanford University, Chair, Department of Bioengineering

Russ Biagio Altman is professor of bioengineering, genetics, & medicine (and of computer science, by courtesy) and chairman of the Bioengineering Department at Stanford University. His primary research interests are in the application of computing technology to basic molecular biological problems of relevance to medicine. He particularly interested in informatics methods for advancing pharmacogenomics, the study of how human genetic variation impacts drug response (e.g. http://www.pharmgkb.org/). Other work focuses on the analysis of functional sites within macromolecules and the application of algorithms for determining the structure, dynamics and function of biological macromolecules (http://features.stanford.edu/).

Dr. Altman holds an M.D. from Stanford Medical School, a Ph.D. in Medical Information Sciences from Stanford, and an A.B. from Harvard College. He has been the recipient of the U.S. Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers and a National Science Foundation CAREER Award. He is a fellow of the American College of Physicians, the American College of Medical Informatics, and the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering. He is a past-president, founding board member, and fellow of the International Society for Computational Biology, and an organizer of the annual Pacific Symposium on Biocomputing. He leads one of seven NIH-supported National Centers for Biomedical Computation, focusing on physics-based simulation of biological structures (http://simbios.stanford.edu/). He won the Stanford Medical School graduate teaching award in 2000. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.

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Dennis A. Ausiello, MD

Dennis A. Ausiello, MD is the Jackson Professor of Clinical Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Chief of Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), and Chief Scientific Officer of Partners Healthcare. He received his undergraduate degree from Harvard College and his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He has made a substantial contribution to knowledge of epithelial biology in the areas of membrane protein trafficking, ion channel regulation and signal transduction. He has published numerous articles, book chapters, and textbooks and currently serves as the co-editor of Cecil's Textbook of Medicine, now in its 23rd edition. A nationally recognized leader in academic medicine, Dr. Ausiello was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science in 1999 and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2003. He is also a Director at Pfizer,Inc. He has written for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Boston Globe on health subjects, including human genetics, clinical trials, and the relationship between the academy and industry.

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Jean Bennett, M.D., PhD

Jean Bennett, MD, PhD is the F.M. Kirby Professor of Ophthalmology and Cell and Developmental Biology and a Senior Investigator in the F. M. Kirby Center for Molecular Ophthalmology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. She also has an appointment as a Senior Investigator at the Center for Cellular and Molecular Therapeutics, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). She received her B.S. in Honors Biology from Yale University in 1976 and her Ph.D. in 1980 in Zoology and Cell and Developmental Biology at the University of California, Berkeley under the direction of Daniel Mazia. She received her M.D. in 1986 from Harvard Medical School. Dr. Bennett carried out a fellowship in Human Genetics at Yale University School of Medicine during 1986-7 and then became the Stetler Fellow in Developmental Genetics in the Department of Physiology at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institute. She became an Instructor in Ophthalmology at the Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins between 1990-1992 and then joined the Scheie Eye Institute at the University of Pennsylvania. The goals of Dr. Bennett's research program are to improve our understanding of the molecular bases of and to develop therapies for inherited retinal degenerations. Her research, conducted at Penn over the past 18 years, has established the scientific underpinnings which made possible to test the first potential definitive retinal gene therapy treatment for patients with blinding retinal degenerations. This trial, which evaluates the safety and efficacy of gene augmentation for a disease called Leber Congenital Amaurosis, was initiated in the fall of 2007 at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Dr. Bennett is the Scientific Director of that study.

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Donald A. Berry, PhD

Donald Berry holds the Frank T. McGraw Memorial Chair for Cancer Research at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, where he is Head of the Division of Quantitative Sciences and Chairman of the Department of Biostatistics. He serves as a faculty statistician on the Breast Cancer Committee of the Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB), a national oncology group. In this role he has designed and supervised the conduct of many large U.S. intergroup trials. He is well known as a developer of Bayesian adaptive designs that minimize sample size while increasing the likelihood of detecting drug activity, efficiently using information that accrues over the course of the trial. Since moving to M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in 1999 his department has designed over 300 clinical trials that take a Bayesian approach. He is co-developer (with Giovanni Parmigiani) of BRCAPRO, a widely used program that provides individuals' probabilities of carrying mutations of breast/ovarian cancer susceptibility genes BRCA1 and BRCA2. Dr. Berry received his Ph.D. in statistics from Yale University, and previously served on the faculty at the University of Minnesota and at Duke University, where he held the Edger Thompson Professorship in the College of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Berry is the author of several books on biostatistics and over 300 published articles, including first-authored articles in the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of the American Medical Association, and Nature. Dr. Berry has been the principal investigator for numerous research grants from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. He is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association and of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics.

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Sir Tom Blundell FRS FMedSci

Tom Blundell is in Biochemistry, University of Cambridge. Until 2009 he was Sir William Dunn Professor of Biochemistry and Head of Biological Sciences in Cambridge. His research is focused on structural biology and bioinformatics and their applications to drug discovery and medicine. Most of his work has been on multi-component protein assemblies that mediate cell regulation and relevant to cancer. More recently he has become interested in TB antimicrobials.

Tom Blundell has played an active role in national science policy: member of advisory group to the Prime Minister (ACOST) in 1980s; founding Chief Executive, BBSRC (1994-1996) and now Chairman of BBSRC; Chairman, Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution (1998 to 2005): President of UK Biosciences Federation until 2005 and Biochemical Society. He was

Non-Executive Director of Celltech (1996 to 2005), science advisory roles with Pfizer, UCB and SKB and co-founder Astex Therapeutics (1999) with oncology drugs in clinical trials.

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Tania Bubela

Tania Bubela is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences at the School of Public Health, University of Alberta and an Adjunct Professor in the School of Business. She holds a BSc from the Australian National University, a PhD in zoology from the University of Sydney and a Law Degree from the University of Alberta. In 2003, she clerked at the Supreme Court of Canada. Dr Bubela's research interests include intellectual property law and policy, health law, technology transfer, commercialization of biomedical research and science communication. Her transdisciplinary research has resulted in unique, empirically grounded publications and reports with a strong policy focus.

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Francis S. Collins, M.D., PhD

Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., 16th director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is an internationally-renowned physician-geneticist most noted for his landmark discoveries of several disease genes and his leadership of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of the NIH. From 1993–2008, Dr. Collins served as director of NHGRI, steering it from its early beginnings as a center to a fully-funded NIH Institute that met projected milestones both ahead of schedule and under budget, culminating in the April 2003 completion of the much-anticipated human DNA instruction book. Dr. Collins received his B.S. in chemistry from the University of Virginia, his Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Yale University, and his M.D. degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to his arrival at the NIH in 1993, Dr. Collins spent nine years on the faculty of the University of Michigan, where he was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. The Collins laboratory discovered a number of important genes, including those responsible for cystic fibrosis, neurofibromatosis, Huntington's disease, a familial endocrine cancer syndrome, and most recently, genes for type 2 diabetes and the gene that causes Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome. In recognition of his work, Dr. Collins was elected a member of the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences. He is the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2007) and the National Medal of Science (2009). On April 22, 2010, Dr. Collins was a co-recipient of the Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research.

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Michel GOLDMAN, MD, PhD

Michel Goldman, MD, PhD is the Executive Director of the Innovative Medicines Initiative Joint Undertaking (IMI). With a budget of 2 billions € until 2017, IMI is a public-private partnership between the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations and the European Commission.

Professor of Immunology at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium), Michel Goldman has served on European Research Council review panels and was a founder of the BioWin Health Cluster created by the government of Wallonia (Belgium) to foster partnerships between industry and academia. Michel Goldman's scientific achievements resulted in more than 400 articles in peer-reviewed journals and he was recognised as ISI Highly Cited Scientist in 2006 by the Thomson Institute for Scientific Information. Michel Goldman held in 2001 the Spinoza chair at the University of Amsterdam and was awarded in 2007 the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa of the Université Lille II, France.

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Margaret A. Hamburg, MD

Margaret A. Hamburg became the 21st commissioner of food and drugs on May 18, 2009. The second woman to be nominated for this position, she is an experienced medical doctor, scientist, and public health executive. As the top official of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Dr. Hamburg is committed to strengthening programs and policies that enable the agency to carry out its mission to protect and promote the public health. "Strengthening FDA's programs and policies will help us protect the safety of the food supply, give the public access to safe and effective medical products, find novel ways to prevent illness and promote health, and be transparent in explaining our decision-making," says Dr. Hamburg. "A strong FDA is an agency that the American public can count on."

Dr. Hamburg graduated from Harvard Medical School and completed her residency in internal medicine at what is now New York–Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. She conducted research on neuroscience at Rockefeller University, studied neuropharmacology at the National Institute of Mental Health, and later focused on AIDS research as assistant director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

From 2005 to 2009, Dr. Hamburg was the senior scientist at the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a foundation dedicated to reducing the threat to public safety from nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. From 2001 to 2005, as the foundation's vice president for biological programs, she advocated for broad reforms to confront the dangers of modern bioterrorism as well as the threats of naturally occurring infectious diseases such as pandemic flu.

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Dr. Dennis C. Liotta, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Chemistry, Emory University

Dr. Dennis C. Liotta is the Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Chemistry at Emory University. Prof. Liotta received his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry in 1974 from The City University of New York under Dr. Robert Engel and completed his post-doctoral training at The Ohio State University under Dr. Leo A. Paquette. Dr. Liotta has been a professor at Emory University for thirty-four years. He is a Fellow of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the recipient of a Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher Scholar Fellowship, the 2005 Herty Award, and was the Emory University Distinguished Faculty Lecturer for 2006. Along with his colleague, Raymond Schinazi, he was the recipient of the 2003 Biomedical Industry Growth Award, given by the Georgia Biomedical Partnership. He is currently the Director of the Emory Institute for Drug Discovery, as well as the co-director of the Republic of South Africa Drug Discovery Training Program.

While at Emory, Dr. Liotta has authored over two hundred research publications and and approximately seventy issued US patents. Over the last twenty five years he has also developed a great deal of experience in the discovery and development of pharmaceuticals. He has served as a consultant to several major pharmaceutical firms, including Merck, Glaxo, Burroughs Wellcome, Boehringer Ingelheim and Johnson & Johnson. He serves (or has served) on the Scientific Advisory Boards (SABs) of several small biopharmaceutical companies including Altiris (scientific founder), Pharmasset (scientific founder), iThemba Pharmaceuticals (scientific founder, SAB Chair), NeurOp, and FOB Synthesis. In addition, he is the inventor of record for several clinically important agents, including FTC (Emtriva®, Emtricitabine), 3TC (Epivir®, Lamivudine), Reverset® (DPC 817, D-D4FC), Racivir, Elvucitabine (L-D4FC) and MSX-122.

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Bruce McManus, MD, PhD, FRSC, FCAHS

Bruce McManus is Professor, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, at the University of British Columbia. He serves as Director of the James Hogg Research Centre at St. Paul's Hospital, as Director of the Heart + Lung Institute at St. Paul's Hospital, and as Director of the NCE CECR Centre of Excellence for Prevention of Organ Failure (PROOF Centre). Dr. McManus served as the inaugural Scientific Director of the Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory Health, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, from December 2000 until April 2006. His basic and translational research program is focused on mechanisms, consequences, detection and prevention of injury and aberrant repair involved in inflammatory diseases of the heart and blood vessels, with particular emphasis on enteroviral infections of the heart and transplant vascular disease. He works in a cross-disciplinary setting on molecular biomarker discovery, development, commercialization and implementation in relation to heart, lung and kidney failure. Dr. McManus has co-authored over 300 peer-reviewed publications and many chapters, as well as editing four books. He currently serves on editorial boards of several professional and scientific journals, and on many advisory committees and boards. He has long been committed to training and mentoring scientist trainees across a range of disciplines. He has convened many public and private sector partnerships in research. Dr. McManus has been recognized for his scientific contributions by numerous institutions and organizations through visiting professorships, lectureships, and awards. He was co-recipient of the prestigious Max Planck Research Award in 1991. He was elected to the Royal Society of Canada as Fellow in the Academy of Sciences in 2002, and was elected as inaugural Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences in 2005.

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Ralph W. Muller, Chief Executive Officer, University of Pennsylvania Health System

Ralph Muller is Chief Executive Officer of the University of Pennsylvania Health System – a $3.3 billion enterprise that includes three owned and two joint venture hospitals, a faculty practice plan, a primary-care provider network, multispecialty satellite facilities, home care, hospice care, and long-term care. Prior to joining UPHS, he was, from 1985 to 2001, the President and CEO of the University of Chicago Hospitals and Health System. In 2001-2002, he was a Visiting Fellow at the Kings Fund in London, U.K.

In 1985-86 Mr. Muller also served as the Deputy Dean of the Division of the Biological Sciences at the Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago. Previously, he had been Budget Director at the University.

Before joining the University, Mr. Muller held senior positions with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. His career with the Commonwealth included serving as Deputy Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Welfare, where he was the operating officer responsible for the state's major welfare programs, including Medicaid. Mr. Muller received his bachelor's degree in economics from Syracuse University and a master's degree in government from Harvard University.

Mr. Muller has served and currently serves on the boards of several national healthcare organizations. He is Chairman of the University Healthsystem Consortium (UHC), a Director of the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) and a Commissioner of The Joint Commission (TJC). He has served as Commissioner on the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), Chairman of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and Chairman of the Council of Teaching Hospitals and Health Systems (COTH). He is former Chairman of the Board of the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago (NORC).

He is a Member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies (IOM) and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

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Sir Michael Rawlins, Chairman

Sir Michael Rawlins has been chairman of the National Institute of Health & Clinical Excellence (NICE) since its formation in 1999. He is also an Honorary Professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London, and Emeritus Professor at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. He was the Ruth and Lionel Jacobson Professor of Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne from 1973 to 2006 .At the same time he held the position of consultant physician and consultant clinical pharmacologist to the Newcastle Hospitals NHS Trust. He was vice-chairman (1987-1992) and chairman (1993-1998) of the Committee on Safety of Medicines; and chairman of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (1998 - 2008).

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Charles L. Sawyers, MD

Dr. Sawyers is an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the inaugural Director of the Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program (HOPP) at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, where he is building a program of lab-based translational researchers across various clinical disciplines and institutional infrastructure to enhance the application of global genomics tools to clinical trials. Dr. Sawyers' laboratory is currently focused on characterizing signal transduction pathway abnormalities in prostate cancer, with an eye toward translational implications. His research is best demonstrated through his earlier studies of BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase function in chronic myeloid leukemia, his work with Brian Druker and Novartis in the development of the kinase inhibitor imatinib/Gleevec as primary therapy for CML, and his discovery that imatinib resistance is caused by BCR-ABL kinase domain mutations. This discovery led Dr. Sawyers to evaluate second generation Abl kinase inhibitors, such as the dual Src/Abl inhibitor dasatinib, which received fast track approval at the FDA in June 2006 based on his work.

Dr. Sawyers' work in prostate cancer has defined critical signaling pathways for disease initiation and progression through studies in mouse models and human tissues. This preclinical work led to the development of a novel antiandrogen MDV3100, a small molecule inhibitor discovered in collaboration with UCLA chemist Michael Jung, which targets the increased levels of androgen receptor found in hormone refractory disease. Based on impressive clinical results in a phase I/II study, MDV3100 is currently in a phase III registration trial. Dr. Sawyers is past President of the American Society of Clinical Investigation and served on the National Cancer Institute's Board of Scientific Councilors. He has won numerous honors and awards, including: the Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Award; the Dorothy Landon Prize from the American Association of Cancer Research; the David A. Karnofsky Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology; and the 2009 Lasker~DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine and in 2010 was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

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Eric Schadt, Ph.D, Pacific Biosciences

Dr. Schadt joined Pacific Biosciences as Chief Scientific Officer in June 2009 to oversee the scientific strategy for the company, including creating the vision for next-generation sequencing applications of the company's technology. Dr. Schadt is also a founding member of Sage Bionetworks, an open access genomics initiative designed to build and support databases and an accessible platform for creating innovative, dynamic models of disease.

Dr. Schadt's current efforts were motivated by the genomics and systems biology research he carried out at Merck to elucidate common human diseases and drug response using novel integrative genomics approaches based on genetic and molecular profiling data. His research helped revolutionize a field in statistical genetics (the genetics of gene expression), has energized the systems biology field, and has led to a number of discoveries relating to the causes of common human diseases. As of earlier this year, greater than 50% of all new drug discovery programs at Merck in the metabolic space were derived from Dr. Schadt's work. Dr. Schadt also holds an affiliate professor position in the Departments of Medical Genetics and Biostatistics at the University of Washington in Seattle, and he was recently appointed as Fellow to the Institute of Systems and Synthetic Biology, Imperial College London. Dr. Schadt received his B.S. in applied mathematics/computer science from California Polytechnic State University, his M.A. in pure mathematics from UCD, and his Ph.D. in bio-mathematics from UCLA (requiring Ph.D. candidacy in molecular biology and mathematics).

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