Fall 2020 HRA Members Meeting (Virtual)

September 21, 22 & 24, 2020

Additional Event Info: Meeting Agenda

Meeting Info

Please click on the session titles below to access the slides and recording of each session.

For speaker bios/session details please expand the meeting dates below.

Monday, September 21, 2020
COVID-19: How are funders best supporting the biomedical enterprise by their response to the COVID-19 crisis?
12:30 - 2:00pm ET        
Tuesday, September 22, 2020 

Opportunities to Achieve Diversity and Inclusion in Biomedical Research 
12:30 - 2:00pm ET 

Balancing Stakeholder Expectations
3:00 - 4:30pm ET       
Thursday, September 24, 2020
Using Social Media to Advance Your Mission
12:30 - 2:00pm ET

Resiliency and Sustainability: Exploring Best Practices in Development and Fundraising
12:30 - 2:00pm ET       

Open Mic: Innovation in Philanthropy
3:00 - 4:30pm ET  

Meeting Agenda, Speaker Bios and Presentations (click on each day to expand)

September 21, Monday

12:30 – 2:00 PM ET

COVID-19: How are funders best supporting the biomedical enterprise by their response to the COVID-19 crisis?

This unprecedented and continuously evolving COVID-19 pandemic has caused turbulence in the lives of the global public. Organizations worldwide are doing their best to learn and understand the impact of this novel coronavirus in order to adequately respond to this crisis and become better positioned for subsequent threats. In this session, we will hear perspectives from a research and a governmental funding agency about challenges they anticipate in addition to those they are currently facing. In addition, we will hear what strategies have been developed to address those challenges and if there are metrics to evaluate their success. Importantly, we will discuss the generalizability of strategies to better prepare for future crises.

Moderator

Patricia Frustace

Senior Director of Awards and Diversity | American Society for Hematology

Patricia Frustace joined ASH in April of 2012. Broadly the Awards and Diversity department encompasses responsibility for a selection of the ASH career development awards and the ASH diversity and inclusion programs. Patricia is responsible for the management and oversight of the organization’s honorific awards, career development awards, and the diversity and inclusion programs. Under her tenure, these programs have expanded to represent a $13 million longitudinal pathway of support that seeks to recruit and retain talent within the field of hematology. Further, the Minority Recruitment Initiative now contains an unbroken pathway of programs seeking to support those from backgrounds underrepresented in medicine succeed in the field of hematology.Patricia has 20+ years of professional experience ranging from external auditing for non-profits to working as an internal consultant for a Fortune 500 media company to working as an internal consultant and operational lead for one of the most recognized non-profits in the world. Prior to joining ASH, she served in a variety of roles, including Executive Director for Development Advancement at the American Red Cross, National Headquarters. In this role she was responsible for transforming the organization’s fundraising strategy and structure, including leading edge prospecting and lead generation as well as training strategy and donor communications for 1,200 relationship managers across the country. She also served as the Director of Operations for a 5-year, $200M recovery program in response to Hurricane Katrina. Patricia has two bachelor’s degrees in Accounting and Decision Sciences from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, and earned her Certified Public Accountant licensure in Virginia in 1995.

Presenters

Reeti Behera, PhD

Senior Scientific Program Administrator | AACR

Reeti Behera joined the American Association for Cancer Research in 2017. The AACR has awarded more than $460 million in grants to more than 800 scientists for research projects that aim to advance the understanding and treatment of cancer. In her current role, Reeti supports the Scientific Review and Grants Administration department at AACR, that manages AACR research grants portfolio, supporting researchers domestically and abroad at every stage of their careers. Reeti has 10+ years of professional experience ranging from laboratory research to managing research grants portfolio. Reeti received her PhD at the National Center for Cell Science, Pune, India, and came to the United States of America for further training. Reeti completed her postdoctoral training at the Wistar Institute, Philadelphia.

Presentation

Erin Gibson, PhD

Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science | Stanford University

Dr. Gibson received her Bachelors of Science from Duke University majoring in Psychology/Neuroscience and a minor in Biology. She received her PhD under Dr. Lance Kriegsfeld at the University of California, Berkeley studying the role of the circadian system in homeostatic processes, including neuroendocrine, immune and neural stem cell regulation. As a postdoctoral scholar in the lab of Dr. Michelle Monje at Stanford University, Dr. Gibson studied the effect of in vivo neuronal activity on myelin microstructure in health and disease such as in the dysmyelinating disorder associated with chemotherapy-related cognitive impairment. The research in Dr. Gibson’s lab focuses on understanding how glial cells modulate neural circuits throughout development and in diseases such as chemotherapy-related cognitive impairment, autism, and multiple sclerosis. Her lab studies how the circadian clock system regulates glial function to better understand diseases of the nervous system in which both circadian/sleep and glial dysfunction are prominent. Dr. Gibson is also passionate about finding solutions to the persistent ‘leaky pipeline’ in STEM fields that causes the attrition of women, mothers, and historically excluded groups, such as individuals who identify as BIPOC or LGBTQ. Dr. Gibson has written about this topic in numerous journals, including Cell, PNAS, and Science.

Presentation

Oliver Bogler, PhD

Director of NCI’s Center for Cancer Training | National Cancer Institute

Oliver studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge University, completed his PhD at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in London and did post-docs at the Salk Institute, and the Ludwig Institute, San Diego. He was on faculty at Virginia Commonwealth University, Henry Ford Hospital and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center where he also served as director of basic research for the Brain Tumor Center. His work focused on EGFR signaling and novel platinum compounds in glioblastoma.In 2010, he became MD Anderson’s Vice President for Global Academic Programs supporting a network of 35 Sister Institutions in 22 countries and fostered cancer research and training across the globe. In 2011, he was also appointed Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, stewarded MD Anderson’s education mission and accreditation, and oversaw 300 people, who supported 1,700 faculty and more than 2,000 trainees and students. In 2018 he became COO at the ECHO Institute at the University of New Mexico, and helped democratize scarce expert knowledge to improve services to the underserved in healthcare, education and beyond. In 2020 Oliver joined the National Cancer Institute’s Center for Cancer Training which supports the goal of training cancer researchers for the 21st century.

Presentation

September 22, Tuesday

12:30 – 2:00 PM ET

Opportunities to Achieve Diversity and Inclusion in Biomedical Research

Dr. Hannah Valantine, NIH’s first Chief Officer for Scientific Workforce Diversity, will present NIH’s plans to support scientific workforce diversity and inclusion efforts in the face of COVID-19. NIH’s plans include supporting inclusive excellence, which features messages about cognitive bias and institutional culture change. Dr. Valantine will discuss a number of NIH programs that target these areas, primarily at the graduate and faculty level.Dr. Cato Laurencin chairs the NASEM Roundtable on Black Men & Black Women in Science Engineering, and Medicine. He has written extensively on related issues, including a Science Editorial highlighting the efforts of the Roundtable to focus on confronting issues that threaten the future of Blacks broadly in science. The ideas became a blueprint for actions that not only address Black men in medicine but the trajectory for Black women, and issues in engineering and science overall. The Roundtable was initiated to understand the barriers, explore opportunities, and develop actionable plans to increase the number of Blacks pursuing science, engineering, and medicine. Dr. Laurencin will be speaking to progress made to date.

Moderator

Jessica M. Biddinger

Senior Manager, Pre-Award and Operational Guidelines Oversight | American Heart Association

Jessica M. Biddinger is a Senior Manager in Research Operations at the American Heart Association. In this role, she manages the applications and peer review teams and supports both AHA’s foundational and strategic research programs. Prior to joining the AHA, Jessica worked at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and School of Nursing, with core responsibilities including program development, grant submission, pre- and post-award activities, tracking and reporting, evaluation, and business development. She also has prior non-profit experience working with the American Urological Association. Jessica earned a BS in Chemistry from the University of Vermont and an MS in Biotechnology from Johns Hopkins University.

Presenters

Hannah Valantine, MD

Chief Officer for Scientific Workforce Diversity | NIH

Hannah Valantine is the first NIH Chief Officer for Scientific Workforce Diversity, and a Senior Investigator in the Intramural Research Program at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Prior to starting this position in April 2014, Dr. Valantine was Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine and the Senior Associate Dean for Diversity and Leadership at Stanford, a leadership position she held since November 2004. She is nationally recognized for her transformative approaches to diversity and is a recipient of the NIH Director’s Pathfinder Award for Diversity in the Scientific Workforce. She is currently leading NIH efforts to promote diversity through innovation across the NIH-funded biomedical workforce through a range of evidence-based approaches. Dr. Valantine maintains an active clinical research program that continues to have high impact on patient care. Current research extends her previous finding that an organ transplant is essentially a genome transplant, and that monitoring the level of donor DNA in a recipient’s blood as a marker of organ damage will detect early stages of rejection. She is currently overseeing a multi-site consortium of mid-Atlantic transplant centers to validate these findings clinically toward the development of a non-invasive tool for detecting early signs of organ rejection.

Presentation

Cato T Laurencin, MD, PhD

University Professor | The University of Connecticut

Dr. Laurencin is a designated University Professor at the University of Connecticut. He is the Albert and Wilda Van Dusen Distinguished Endowed Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and the Chief Executive Officer of The Connecticut Convergence Institute for Translation in Regenerative Engineering at the University of Connecticut. He is the Chair of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine’s Roundtable on Black Men and Black Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine. Dr. Laurencin is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is the recipient of the Walsh McDermott Medal, the National Academy of Medicine's oldest/highest award. Dr. Laurencin is an expert in public health, especially as it pertains to ethnic minority health and health disparities. He is a core faculty member of the Africana Studies Institute at the University of Connecticut, and is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities, published by Springer Nature. He has written landmark papers, including the first paper in the refereed literature showing high levels of COVID-19 cases and deaths in Blacks. Dr. Laurencin is active in mentoring and in social justice. He received the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Mentor Award, the Beckman Award for Mentoring, and the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Math and Engineering Mentoring from President Barack Obama in ceremonies at the White House. Dr. Laurencin is the recipient of the 2020 Herbert W. Nickens Award of the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) recognizing his efforts in promoting social justice, equity and fairness.

Presentation

2:00 – 2:30 PM ET

Virtual Networking Break

As with in-person meetings, the discussion doesn’t end with the end of the session. Please stay on for a few extra minutes to share thoughts and ideas about the session, or just network with colleagues. We know networking during the breaks have always been a valuable part of HRA meetings and we urge you to take advantage of this virtual networking opportunity!

3:00 – 4:30 PM ET

Balancing Stakeholder Expectations

This session will discuss successful strategies used within an organization’s governance structure to manage expectations of key stakeholders, specifically donors and foundation leadership. Using presentations of case studies from member organizations, we will learn strategies and processes employed to ensure stakeholder satisfaction while retaining mission alignment and integrity of the scientific review and selection process.

Moderator

Amy Laster, PhD

Vice President, Science & Awards Program | Foundation Fighting Blindness

Dr. Amy Laster is the VP, Science and Award Programs for Foundation Fighting Blindness, the world’s largest private funder of research for treatments and cures of blinding retinal degenerative diseases. The Foundation has raised nearly $800 million since its inception and is currently funding more than 80 research projects globally. Dr. Laster oversees the Foundation’s preclinical research portfolio consisting of research awards in four funding programs supporting career development, laboratory-based science research, translational research and multi-investigator program projects. Additionally, she actively participates in the overall strategic planning, management and execution of the Foundation’s research portfolio. Prior to joining FFB, Dr. Laster was a faculty member at Stevenson University. Dr. Laster completed a Postdoctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in the Department of Neuroscience. Her area of research focus was the study of neurodegenerative diseases. Dr. Laster holds a B.S. Natural Science from Spelman College and a Ph.D. Biological Sciences from Purdue University.

Presenters

Sam Moore

Executive Director | PSI Foundation

Samuel Moore is the Executive Director of PSI Foundation. Along with PSI’s Board of Directors, he is committed to ensuring that PSI remains a world leader in clinician driven medical research.Under Sam’s stewardship, PSI rejuvenated its granting activities by shifting its focus from almost entirely operating grants to include knowledge translation and research trainee fellowships, a robust Visiting Scholar program at Ontario’s medical universities, and stakeholder outreach through an annual Research Symposium and a Lunch & Learn program.One of Sam’s major accomplishments in achieving this goal was to become the first Canadian member of the Health Research Alliance (HRA), perhaps the world’s largest members only association of medical research funders representing over 85 non profit funders having invested nearly $14 billion in biomedical research and training.

Presentation

Eryn Marchiolo, MPH

Senior Director, Research and Training | Rheumatology Research Foundation

Eryn Marchiolo joined the Rheumatology Research Foundation in 2013. She oversees the strategy and management of the Foundation’s mission related objectives, works closely with the Scientific Advisory Council and provides operational oversight to the organization’s grants portfolio. Eryn received her Master’s degree in Public Health from Georgia State University and a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science from Guilford College.

Presentation

Becky Weaver

Chief Mission Officer | St Baldrick’s Foundation

For more than 20 years, Becky’s career focused on development, with leadership positions raising funds for a museum, organizations working with troubled children, and cancer research. In 1997, she began fundraising for childhood cancer research, and she worked with the volunteers who created the first St. Baldrick’s event in 2000. When the St. Baldrick’s Foundation was created 2004, she became one of its first employees. Creating an effective grantmaking program became Becky’s next challenge, and her role evolved from development to leading the mission programs: grantmaking, family relations and advocacy. With recent staffing reductions due to COVID she finds herself once again leading development as well. Becky works with donors, volunteers, charity partners and researchers to facilitate the funding of excellent childhood cancer research.

Presentation

Louise Perkins, PhD

President | CSO Emerita LLC

Louise Perkins is a healthcare research executive with three decades of non-profit and pharma industry experience. Her passion is research and advocacy programming that engages cross-sector stakeholders to accelerate progress. Louise is Chief Science Officer Emerita of the Melanoma Research Alliance. During her six years as MRA CSO, she was responsible for grant awards totaling $63 million and measuring the impact of those investments. Prior to joining MRA, Louise was CSO for five years at the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. While at the MMRF, she led the evolution of its venture philanthropy program and Scientific Agenda. She also developed the scientific direction and pre-competitive industry consortium for the MMRF CoMMpass program, a $40 million longitudinal genomic study of 1,000 patients. Dr. Perkins’ non-profit career was preceded by 16 years in pharma oncology research at Bayer Pharma and Schering-Plough (now Merck) participating in target-finding via human genomics data and drug discovery. Louise earned a PhD in Biological Chemistry from the University of Michigan and BS in Zoology from UNC-Chapel Hill. She is Board President of the Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research, the world’s leading sarcoidosis research and advocacy group, and was a member of the Health Research Alliance Board of Directors. She is founder and president of CSO Emerita LLC providing consulting services for healthcare research non-profits.

Presentation

September 24, Thursday

12:30 – 2:00 PM ET

CONCURRENT SESSION: CEO Roundtable

HRA is hosting a roundtable session specifically for CEOs/Executive Directors of HRA member organizations who are interested in connecting with peers. We plan to break into small groups based on topics of interest such as Governance, Leadership, Operations’ budgets, and other topics identified by the attendees.

Moderator

Anne Hultgren, PhD

Executive DIrector | Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation

Dr. Hultgren joined the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation in 2015 as Executive Director and CEO. The Foundation invests in young and emerging scientists, to support the beginning careers of the next-generation of scientists and provide initial funding of high-risk research projects that will change the world.Previously, she was at the Department of Homeland Security, Science and Technology Directorate, working in chemical and biological defense technologies. She received her PhD in Physics and Astronomy from the Johns Hopkins University, and BA in Physics and Mathematics from Franklin and Marshall College.

Sam Moore

Executive Director | PSI Foundation

Samuel Moore is the Executive Director of PSI Foundation. Along with PSI’s Board of Directors, he is committed to ensuring that PSI remains a world leader in clinician driven medical research.Under Sam’s stewardship, PSI rejuvenated its granting activities by shifting its focus from almost entirely operating grants to include knowledge translation and research trainee fellowships, a robust Visiting Scholar program at Ontario’s medical universities, and stakeholder outreach through an annual Research Symposium and a Lunch & Learn program.One of Sam’s major accomplishments in achieving this goal was to become the first Canadian member of the Health Research Alliance (HRA), perhaps the world’s largest members only association of medical research funders representing over 85 non profit funders having invested nearly $14 billion in biomedical research and training.

12:30 – 2:00 PM ET

CONCURRENT SESSION: Resiliency and Sustainability: Exploring Best Practices in Development and Fundraising

For the first time, the members’ meeting planning committee is organizing a session dedicated exclusively to development and fundraising. In this interactive session, we will discuss best practices and proven strategies for fundraising and navigating through challenging periods. The panel will address questions like:• What kinds of strategies can we put in place now to overcome inevitable situations that will negatively impact our abilities to fundraise? • How do we make our organizations as catastrophe-proof as possible? • What is the best way to plan for long-term sustainability while addressing short-term organizational needs?In this session, Ray Happy, Principal and Managing Director from CCS Fundraising, will set the stage and then moderate a panel discussion by HRA members who will share their experiences and lessons learned.

Moderator

Kristin Smith Doody

Associate Vice President, External Programs | New York Stem Cell Foundation

Kristin Smith Doody is the Associate Vice President, External Programs at the New York Stem Cell Foundation Research Institute (NYSCF) where she oversees NYSCF’s external programs, including: the NYSCF Innovator Program; which support and trains early career scientists throughout the world; the Student and Teacher Education and Outreach Program, which provides scientific educational opportunities for students of all ages and teachers; and the Initiative on Women in Science and Engineering (IWISE), which works to ensure that women enter, excel, and compete in science. She joined NYSCF in 2009. Kristin graduated from Yale University in 2009 with a BA in History of Science, History of Medicine.

Presenters

Raymond P. Happy

Principal and Managing Director | CCS Fundraising

Raymond Happy is a Partner at CCS. He has planned, directed, and supervised fundraising campaigns throughout the United States and provided strategic advice to leading organizations around the globe. Ray has worked for CCS for 32 years.He has conducted numerous feasibility and planning studies, building programs, endowment campaigns, and annual appeals. He has helped institutions recruit new trustees, solicit transformational gifts, develop strategic plans, and install and operate new information systems. At CCS, he has conducted numerous seminars concerning the solicitation of major gifts, the use of information systems in fund raising, and the training of volunteers. He has also written company guidelines on prospect research, feasibility studies, major gifts, planned giving, and electronic screening.Ray lives in New York City with his wife, Carolyn, and daughter, Eleanor. He is a graduate of Grinnell College.

Presentation

Karen Jupiter

Director of Individual Philanthropy | Conquer Cancer, the ASCO Foundation

Karen serves as the Director of Individual Philanthropy for Conquer Cancer, the philanthropic arm of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. With a mission to fund breakthrough research and share cutting-edge knowledge, Conquer Cancer funds research for every cancer, every patient, everywhere. In her role Karen oversees a growing major gift program as well as the foundation’s planned giving legacy society. She previously served as the Associate Director of Individual Giving, running Conquer Cancer’s Annual Fund. Karen is well versed in every area of individual giving, and has consulted with several local nonprofits. Prior to joining Conquer Cancer, Karen served as the Director of Development for Good Shepherd Housing and Family Services. For more than twelve years she oversaw all fundraising for the organization including individual, foundation, corporate, and event philanthropy. Karen received her BA in Public Policy and Economics from the College of William & Mary.

Presentation

Samuel Rogers

Senior Director of Development | Lung Cancer Research Foundation

Sam has spent nearly fifteen years in the non-profit sector and now serves as the Senior Director of Development at the Lung Cancer Research Foundation (LCRF) where his primary responsibilities include major gifts, LCRF’s annual fund, planned giving, signature events and oversight of the organization’s data team. Prior to LCRF Sam spent over eight years at the Lymphoma Research Foundation (LRF). Sam has an MS in Urban Policy and Management from the New School University.

Presentation

12:30 – 2:00 PM ET

CONCURRENT SESSION: Using Social Media to Advance Your Mission

Social media can be an important tool for nonprofits to build strong communities online and further their reach. Are you using your social media channels effectively? In this session, we will discuss how to integrate social media into your communication strategy to expand your Mission work. Join our panelists as they address questions like:• What are some challenges and benefits of using social media? • How do you get started, and what does it take to be successful? • Are some social media channels better than others for non-profit Mission work? • What are other HRA members doing in this space - what worked, what didn’t, and why?

Moderator

Shannon Michaelson

Senior Manager, Marketing Strategy | Susan G. Komen

Shannon Michaelson is a Senior Marketing Manager at Susan G. Komen, establishing the strategic direction and integrated marketing efforts for 60+ Affiliate offices. She is a proven leader with a passion for building brands, cultivating relationships and leveraging assets to drive revenue and consumer engagement on an emotional level.Prior to joining Susan G. Komen, Shannon spent two decades in the sports marketing industry with a focus on business development and brand strategies. She led on-site brand involvement at two Olympic Games and was a key driver in the creation and launch of the global swim brand MP with Olympian Michael Phelps. Throughout her career, Shannon’s positivity, strong work ethic and adaptability have helped her deliver on key initiatives with top brands such as Speedo, Aqua Lung, PepsiCo and Frito Lay.Shannon holds Bachelor of Science degrees in Marketing and Sport Administration from the University of South Carolina.

Presenters

Kalle Eko

Digital Communications Associate| MacArthur Foundation

Kalle Eko develops digital strategies for the MacArthur Foundation, highlighting the work of grantees using multimedia and live video, and supporting the release of Foundation news, including the recipients of the MacArthur Fellowship (also know as the "genius grants”).Prior to his role at MacArthur, he developed social media strategies at City Colleges of Chicago (CCC) and advised CCC staff and leadership on digital. He also worked as the Online Media Fellow in the Congressional campaign of Tammy Duckworth and before that as the first Social Media Fellow in Chicago's Office of the Mayor under Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Presentation

Mina Lezenby

Social Media Coordinator | Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation

Mina Lezenby is a Social Media Coordinator at Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation. In her role, she manages strategy, content creation and community engagement for the Foundation's presence on social media. Through her work communicating the national brand, programs, and events, Mina advances the Foundation's mission to change the lives of children with cancer through funding impactful research, raising awareness, supporting families, and empowering everyone to help cure childhood cancer. Prior to joining Team Alex, she worked in social media and content marketing roles at local and national agencies with clients in non-profit advocacy, B2B, fitness, and the food and beverage sectors. Mina received her bachelor's degree in Public Relations with a minor in Sociology from Temple University.

Presentation

Katie McKissick

Digital Engagement Manager | The Kavli Foundation

Katie McKissick is the digital engagement manager at The Kavli Foundation. In this role, Katie oversees the organization’s social media and web presence, using all available tools to tell the story of the foundation, its activities and programs, and to grow online communities in support of the foundation’s mission. Whether it’s a web story, Instagram post, or motion-text video, Katie’s goal remains the same – sharing science with diverse audiences in engaging and inclusive ways. A former high school biology teacher turned science communicator, Katie has worked on digital content teams at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory at Caltech, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. Katie is also a published author; her most recent book (under her nom de plume, Beatrice the Biologist) is called Everyday Amazing: Fascinating Facts about the Science That Surrounds Us (Simon & Schuster, 2019). Originally from Reno, NV, Katie received her bachelor’s degree in biological sciences and master’s in teaching from the University of Southern California.

Presentation

Laura Jacobs

Director, Medical Science Marketing and Communications | Alzheimer’s Association

Laura Jacobs serves as Director, Medical Science Marketing & Communications at the Alzheimer’s Association, responsible for the marketing and communication of global research initiatives. Laura is part of the Association’s Marketing Leadership and Scientific Engagement teams, with the purpose to engage nationwide Chapter staff through tools such as the Research Champions program and the first-of-its-kind “Science Hub” mobile application. With more than 20 years’ experience, Laura’s expertise is health, medicine, and science marketing communications. She has also served in the agency and corporate settings, as an adjunct professor of science writing and business communications at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), and as a mentor at the Chicago-based technology incubator, 1871. Laura earned her Masters of Arts in writing from DePaul University, and completed graduate course work at Rosalind Franklin University (Finch University of Health Sciences) in physiology, biochemistry, molecular biology and neuroscience. She received her B.A. with honors from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), majoring in English Literature, biology and chemistry, and studied abroad in Japan at Chiba University, where she also performed independent laboratory research under Ichiro Tatsuno, MD, PhD, using osteoblast, cancer cell lines and protein assays, wrote and reviewed laboratory write-ups, including data analysis, and edited journal submissions after Japanese-English translation.

Presentation

2:30 – 3:00 PM ET

Virtual Networking

Networking is what HRA Members Meetings are all about. Can we make it work virtually? Please join the Open Mic session early to do the experiment! Use these 30 minutes to share ideas, discuss follow-up actions, and just connect with colleagues.

3:00 – 4:30 PM ET

Open Mic: Innovation in Philanthropy

Recent events have forced member organizations to examine the gaps in the current biomedical research system - exposing areas of weakness, while also highlighting areas of immense opportunity. This ‘open mic’ session will explore innovative concepts and actions have the potential to revolutionize all aspects of the work of funders in the next decade (and beyond). The experiences gained during this challenging period in history have motivated many organizations to rethink how they serve their communities – from opting for faster, more efficient, and more open dissemination of research results, to accelerating the awarding of research grants, to equitably support the community in times of great need, and of course adding a greater focus on increasing diversity and inclusion in the scientific community to ensure greater equality. Beyond this, research stakeholders are seeking innovative approaches to move their science and cause forward, whether by improving access to clinical trials through the use of telemedicine or expanding the use of open access platforms to share their results. Join us for an open mic session on forward-thinking concepts with the catalytic potential to improve the future of biomedical research.

Moderator

Joe Cotter

Research Constituent Engagement Manager | American Cancer Society

Joe Cotter is the American Cancer Society’s Research Constituent Engagement Manager. He produces and co-hosts the Society’s research podcast, manages the online community for current and former ACS grantees, helps connect grantees with each other, and shares research highlights with staff and volunteers around the country.

Erik Lontok, PhD

Director of Research | Barth Syndrome Foundation

Dr. Erik Lontok joins BSF as the Director of Research after serving as Chief Science Officer of the Lipedema Foundation since 2017. As CSO, Erik successfully engaged novel researchers, key clinical leaders, and patient advocates to launch the first ever lipedema research program. With a focus on patient-centric research, Erik was also instrumental in the development and launch of a patient registry designed to engage individuals in research participation. Prior to the Lipedema Foundation, Erik served as a Senior Associate with the Milken Institute, wherein he led philanthropic research efforts in inflammatory bowel disease, leukemia, funding academic research, and lipedema. Alongside NIH, FDA, pharmaceutical, and academic partners,Erik facilitated multi-stakeholder collaborations to advance the regulatory science of hepatitis C virus, human immunodeficiency virus 1, and viral deep sequencing at the Forum for Collaborative Research.Erik graduated with a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of California, San Francisco, and upon moving to the Maryland area, served as an Adjunct Professor of Biochemistry for the University of Maryland, College Park. Erik’s passion is to engage, learn, and apply knowledge to advance disease research, with the ultimate goal of effective treatments for affected individuals. Erik is an avid cook, occasional gamer, and considers his time teaching Biochemistry as one of his all-time favorite hobbies. Erik lives in Silver Spring, MD with his wonderful wife, Katherine, and their two boisterous kiddos, Ben (5) and Tess (2).

Presenters

Alycia Halladay, PhD

Chief Science Officer | Autism Science Foundation

Alycia Halladay is the Chief Science Officer for the Autism Science Foundation, where she oversees the scientific activities, grants, and initiatives of ASF. The Autism Science Foundation focuses on investments in junior level career researchers to both improve scientific discovery while training the next generation of scientists using cutting edge technologies. These awards include pre and post doctoral fellowships, undergraduate awards, accelerator grants, the Autism Sisters Project and the Baby Siblings Research Consortium. In addition, the Autism Science Foundation provides outreach and communication support to the Autism BrainNet, helping to explain the importance of this program to families and individuals with ASD. She also produces a weekly podcast aimed specifically at explaining scientific information to the public. Prior to joining ASF in 2014, she served as the Senior Director of Clinical and Environmental Sciences at Autism Speaks. There, she helped lead the “Early Access to Care” Initiative, which aimed to lower the age of diagnosis for autism and improve access to evidence based services. She received a PhD in biopsychology from Rutgers in 2001 and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in pharmacology and toxicology at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of NJ in 2004. She still holds a faculty appointment at Rutgers. She has a 9 year old daughter with ASD.

Yung Lie, PhD

President and Chief Executive Officer | Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation

Yung S. Lie, PhD, is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides today’s best young scientists with funding to pursue innovative cancer research. She joined the Foundation in 2008 as Scientific Director, was promoted to Deputy Director and Chief Scientific Officer in 2014, and began her current role in December 2018. Her goals are to foster new generations of scientists, enabling them to explore novel ideas and take risks, and to fill the gaps in traditional research funding that threaten future breakthroughs.Yung received her BA in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of California at Berkeley and earned her PhD 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. She completed postdoctoral research in neuroscience as a Damon Runyon Fellow at the University of California at San Francisco and at The Rockefeller University.

Christy Barrow

Program Manager | Pershing Square Sohn Cancer Research Alliance

Christy Barrow is a Program Manager at The Pershing Square Foundation and oversees its life science portfolio and programming. In particular, she is responsible for managing all aspects of the Foundation’s only in-house grantmaking initiative, the Pershing Square Sohn Cancer Research Alliance (PSSCRA), which annually awards a cancer research prize that emboldens early-career investigators to pursue innovative research projects at a stage when traditional funding is lacking. She also currently co-chairs the Grants Administration Working Group of the Health Research Alliance, a collaborative member organization of nonprofit research funders that is committed to maximizing the impact of biomedical research to improve human health.Prior to the Foundation, Christy worked as a Development Officer at The Rockefeller University, a world-renowned center for scientific research and graduate education, where she assisted the fundraising initiatives Women & Science and Parents & Science. As a recent college graduate, Christy worked in the laboratory of Dr. Abigail A. Baird, Professor of Psychological Science at Vassar College. Christy graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Vassar College in 2011 with a B.A. in Psychology and Japanese.