Maryrose Franko, PhD

Executive Director

maryrose [at] healthra [dot] org

Dr. Maryrose Franko is Executive Director of the Health Research Alliance. Working closely with the organization’s board, she sets its strategic priorities, advances its members’ objectives through key programs, and develops tools for the nonprofit biomedical community.

Dr. Franko’s background includes over 20 years of program management at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), including strategic planning as well as creating, implementing, and managing over a dozen programs and initiatives. These include graduate, medical student and postdoctoral research fellowships, and an innovative and groundbreaking joint initiative with the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering at the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Franko also ran both the graduate and undergraduate programs at HHMI’s state-of-the-art research facility, Janelia Research Campus, and created professional development opportunities for Janelia’s postdocs. Dr. Franko’s collaboration with the Burroughs Wellcome fund to develop a residential Lab Leadership and Management course, led to the creation of Making the Right Moves: A Practical Guide to Scientific Management for Postdocs and New Faculty, and the companion guide, Training Scientists to Make the Right Moves, which were joint efforts of HHMI and Burroughs Wellcome Fund.

Dr. Franko received her PhD in molecular genetics from University of Southern California and did a post-doctoral fellowship at the National Institutes of Health before joining HHMI. During her time at HHMI, Franko was a founding board member of HRA, serving from 1995 to 2012. While a member of HRA, she initiated and led the Early Career Scientist Working group which is now the Research Workforce and Early Career Development working group. She serves on many boards, including the Center for Open Science, and Northern Virginia’s new interactive science museum – the Children’s Science Center.

Annette Huetter

Director of Operations

annette [at] healthra [dot] org

Annette Huetter is HRA’s Director of Operations. Annette has been with the Health Research Alliance since October 2010 and is dedicated in advancing HRAs mission by managing all aspects of HRA’s operations. Prior to joining HRA Annette worked for the Burroughs Wellcome Fund as a grants administrator. She holds undergraduate degrees in Biology and History from North Carolina State University and is a native speaker of both German and English. In her spare time Annette enjoys training for SUP races, spending time with her welsh terriers, and exploring other cultures in her travels.

Board of Directors

The Health Research Alliance is governed by a Board of Directors composed of representatives from HRA member organizations.

Heather Snyder, PhD, Chair
Vice President of Medical and Scientific Operations
Alzheimer’s Association

Sindy Escobar-Alvarez, PhD, Vice-Chair
Program Director for Medical Research
Doris Duke Charitable Foundation

Salvatore LaRosa, PhD, Treasurer
Chief Science Officer
Children’s Tumor Foundation

Jenna Koschnitzky, PhD, Secretary
National Director of Research Programs
Hydrocephalus Association

Kara Coleman, PhD
Project Director, Pew Programs in the Biomedical Sciences
The Pew Charitable Trusts

Marion Greenup, MPH, MEd
Vice President for Administration
Simons Foundation

Leslie Hearn
Vice President, Science Strategy and Business Planning
American Heart Association

John Kanki, PhD
Director of Research
Neuroendocrine Tumor Research Foundation

Rusty Kelley, PhD, MBA
VP Investments & Alliances
Foundation Fighting Blindness

Amy Laster, PhD
Vice President, Science & Awards Program
Foundation Fighting Blindness

Yung Lie, PhD
President and Chief Executive Officer
Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation

Kristen Mueller, PhD
Senior Director, Scientific Program
Melanoma Research Alliance

Jill O’Donnell-Tormey, PhD
Chief Executive Officer and Director of Scientific Affairs
Cancer Research Institute

Krissa Smith, PhD
Vice President, Mission Strategy and Operations
Susan G. Komen

Carole Wegner, PhD
Senior VP, Research and Grants Administration
The V Foundation for Cancer Research

Maryrose Franko, PhD
Executive Director
Health Research Alliance