About me

I like creative partnerships that push me to learn while facilitating success for the partnership and others. This often involves working to understand challenges with the transformation of biomedical research into innovations that actually help people. In these cases my scientific expertise is important, but it is also important to nurture confidence, belonging, power and possibility within the partnership or team.

What I am working on now:

1. Student Partnerships for Learning, Teaching and Community Engagement

“Precision Medicine or Privileged Medicine?: Addressing disparities in biomedical research” (BIOL-0940E) was started with a sophomore and created in partnership with undergraduate students. Each offering of this course is an opportunity to facilitate students’ learning goals while exploring new ways to make biomedical research more inclusive and applicable for patients. The goal is to go beyond a relational understanding of how things are to a transformational understanding of how change can be achieved. In parallel some of the creative team behind the course are working to share and publish strategies that empower students and facilitate inclusiveness.

2.  Increasing the Value of Biomedical Research for Patients

I was a patient before I was a college student, and I tend to bring a patient’s perspective to my work. Biomedical innovation depends on a complex system of stakeholders who collectively decide what new medicines are created and reach patients. Part of this complexity is the different distribution of potential benefits, costs and harms of new medicines across stakeholders. We are working to understand how mechanisms to expedite new drug development are impacting patients and other stakeholders, and how these mechanisms can be made more effective.

My other work:

a. Leadership of New Drug Discovery and Development in Industry

My work includes contributions to the development of ten globally approved medicines. These include small molecules and recombinant proteins to address needs in cardiovascular, infectious disease, metabolic, neurodegenerative, oncology, and reproductive health indications. My leadership roles include biopharma executive on regional and global management teams, leader of global project teams, and director of research departments and a discovery research site. My work spans most of drug discovery and development, from preclinical to clinical, regulatory and post-approval settings.

b. Leadership of Research in Academia

In parallel to my industry experience I have had an active academic career with productive, innovative research in protein engineering, molecular evolution, drug target validation, and drug discovery for neglected tropical diseases. This includes being a PI for NIH R01 and Public-Private Partnership grants, and publications in both broad-audience scientific journals (Nature, Science, PNAS) and specialty journals.

c. Teaching and Mentoring of Students from High School through Graduate School

My interest to improve the value of biomedical research led me to create new courses at Brandeis and Brown that engage students in real-world problems while facilitating skills important for career success. I have also mentored high school and college students with research opportunities in my lab, and these students have completed, or will soon complete, PhD or MD studies. I am also an active mentor with the New York Academy of Sciences.