Spring 2018 HRA Members Meeting (NYC)

March 12-13, 2018

Additional Event Info: Meeting Agenda | Participant List

Meeting Info

This meeting covered the following topics:

  • ORCID Reducing Burden and Improving Transparency (ORBIT) Project (Mon)
  • Health Services Research (Mon)
  • Novel Funding Models (Mon)
  • Implementation of Funder Data Sharing Policies (Tue)
  • Strategies for Increasing Diversity in the Workforce (Tue)

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

March 12, Monday

9:00 – 10:00AM

(60 min)

ORCID Reducing Burden and Improving Transparency (ORBIT) Project

This presentation will introduce strategy to reduce investigator burden and improve funder efficiency through the use of persistent identifiers. The NIH is currently engaged in pilot efforts with ORCID and Crossref (two non-profit groups) and other non-governmental funders to better manage funding and investigator data. The presentation will introduce the ORBIT project, a partnership between the NIH and ORCID that expands the ORCID data model to collect faculty profile information. The presenters will describe efforts to assign Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) to grants – effectively creating a universal funding identifier with ORCID IDs in its metadata. ORCID assigns unique persistent identifiers to researchers. These enable automated linkages between researchers and their professional activities making this info easily discoverable and simplifying reporting and analysis. Crossref assigns unique persistent identifiers to research objects, to make them easy to find, cite, link and assess. Thousands of journals use ORCID and DOIs as part of their workflow, and with the user’s permission, can automatically populate ORCID user accounts with citations when they publish.


Neil Thakur, PhD

Special Assistant to NIH Deputy Director for Extramural Research | NIH

Neil Thakur has served as Special Assistant at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Extramural Research since 2005, specializing in open science, governance and performance measurement. He serves as program manager for the NIH public access policy. In that role, he oversaw the transition of the public access policy from a voluntary one to a statutory requirement, and co-chaired the White House taskforce that lead to public access policies in all federal science agencies. He also spent a year on detail to the US Senate Special Committee on Aging, focusing on effective practices in long-term health care and the use of pharmaceuticals in elder care. Prior to his time at NIH, he was Assistant Director of Health Services Research and Development at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Dr. Thakur has received numerous federal awards, including the Secretary for Health and Human Services’ award for Meritorious Service, the second highest award that the Secretary can bestow. Dr. Thakur holds a Ph.D. in Health Policy from Yale University School of Public Health and completed a NIMH postdoctoral fellowship in mental health services research at the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


Geoffrey Bilder

Director of Strategic Initiatives | Crossref

Geoffrey Bilder is Director of Strategic Initiatives at Crossref, where he has led the technical development and launch of a number of industry initiatives including Similarity Check (formerly CrossCheck), Crossmark, ORCID and the Open Funder Registry (formerly FundRef). He co-founded Brown University’s Scholarly Technology Group in 1993, providing the Brown academic community with advanced technology consulting in support of their research, teaching and scholarly communication. He was subsequently head of IT R&D at Monitor Group, a global management consulting firm. From 2002 to 2005, Geoffrey was Chief Technology Officer of scholarly publishing firm Ingenta, and just prior to joining Crossref, he was a Publishing Technology Consultant at Scholarly Information Strategies.


Laurel Haak, PhD

Executive Director | ORCID

As the Executive Director of ORCID Laure drives awareness of the ORCID mission, building strategic relationships, working with a broad range of constituents, ensuring organizational persistence, and directing ORCID staff and contractors. Previously, Laure was Chief Science Officer at Discovery Logic, Inc.; a program officer for the US National Academies’ Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy; and editor of Science’s Next Wave Postdoc Network at the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Laure received a BS and an MS in Biology from Stanford University and a PhD in Neuroscience in 1997 from Stanford University Medical School, and she was a postdoc at the US National Institutes of Health.


10:30AM – 11:00AM

(30 min)

Welcome to the Members’ Meeting and Introductions


(90 min)

Health Services Research

Health Services Research (HSR) is a multidisciplinary field of research, both basic and applied, that examines multiple factors affecting research outcomes directly affecting the target population, including costs, quality, accessibility, delivery, organization, and financing to maximize benefit for individuals and populations. The goal of this session is to provide an overview of the discipline of HSR and relevant research questions, to offer examples of how it is integrated into health sciences funding programs, and to provide practical considerations funders should consider when incorporating the priorities of HSR into their RFAs and reporting requirements.


Lynne Garner, PhD

Trustee and President | Donaghue Foundation

Lynne Garner, Ph.D., was appointed the Individual Trustee for the Donaghue Foundation in 2008 while maintaining the duties of President. As Trustee, Dr Garner works closely with the Institutional Trustee, U.S, Trust-Bank of America, to establish the mission and policies of the Foundation and to ensure that its programs and practices are congruent with Ethel Donaghue’s purpose for the Foundation. As President, she is responsible for the overall operation of the Foundations programs, including working with the Foundation’s advisers and the research and philanthropic communities to develop new Foundation initiatives. Prior to her position at the Foundation, she worked at the Connecticut Office of Health Care Access, the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, and the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health doing program evaluation and quality management. Lynne is also a trustee of the Ethel F. Donaghue Trust for Elizabeth Park. She is a member of the Health Research Alliance Board of Director and co-leader of the HRA Health Services Research interest group.


Lisa Simpson, MB, BCh, MPH, FAAP

President and Chief Executive Officer | AcademyHealth

Dr. Lisa Simpson has been the President and Chief Executive Officer of AcademyHealth since 2011. A nationally recognized health policy researcher and pediatrician, she is a passionate advocate for the translation of research into policy and practice. Her research, and over 90 articles and commentaries in peer reviewed journals, focuses on the role of evidence and data to improve health and healthcare, particularly for children and vulnerable populations. Before joining AcademyHealth, Dr. Simpson spent eight years as a professor of pediatrics, first as an Endowed Chair in Child Health Policy at the University of South Florida and then as the Director of the Child Policy Research Center at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and the University of Cincinnati. She served as the Deputy Director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality from 1996 to 2002. Dr. Simpson serves on the Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Scholars Program National Advisory Council, the Board of Directors of the Institute for Accountable Care, and the Editorial boards for the Journal of Comparative Effectiveness Research and Healthcare: The Journal of Delivery Science and Innovation. In October 2013, Dr. Simpson was elected to the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine). Dr. Simpson earned her undergraduate and medical degrees at Trinity College (Dublin, Ireland), a master’s in public health at the University of Hawaii, and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in health services research and health policy at the University of California, San Francisco. She was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree by the Georgetown University School of Nursing and Health Studies in 2013. Dr. Simpson’s areas of expertise include translating research into policy; quality and safety of health care; health and health care disparities; childhood obesity; and child health services.


Susan Fitzpatrick, PhD

President | James S. McDonnell Foundation

Susan M. Fitzpatrick, Ph.D. is President of the James S. McDonnell Foundation in St. Louis, Missouri. The McDonnell Foundation is one of a limited number of international grant-makers supporting university-based research in biological, behavioral, and complex systems sciences through foundation-initiated programs. As President, Fitzpatrick serves as JSMF’s Chief Executive Officer and has been with the Foundation since 1993. Fitzpatrick is an adjunct associate professor of Neuroscience and Occupational Therapy at Washington University School of Medicine (St. Louis) and teaches neuroscience in both lectures and seminars. She lectures and writes on issues concerning applications of neuroscience to clinical problems, the translation of cognitive science to educational settings, the role of private philanthropy in the support of scientific research, and on issues related to the public dissemination of and understanding of science.

(No Slides Used)

Lori Melichar, PhD

Director, Pioneer Portfolio | Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Lori Melichar, a labor economist, is Director of the Pioneer Portfolio at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, where she focuses on discovering, exploring and learning from cutting edge ideas and emerging trends with the potential to help create a Culture of Health in America. She is also the host of the Foundation’s Pioneering Ideas Podcast. Over the past 15 years, Melichar has created and managed several programs to focus a broad research community on studies to improve health and healthcare policy and practice, and was a key driver of efforts to advance the science of quality improvement (QI) research and evaluation. She holds a PhD and MA in economics from the University of Maryland at College Park and a BA in economics from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania.


12:30PM – 2:00PM

(90 min)

Breakout Sessions over Lunch

2:00PM – 3:00PM

(60 min)

Host/Science Session

John Spiro (Deputy Scientific Director, Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI)) will give a brief overview of SFARI’s history, programs, and resources— and then will focus on a history of our understanding of autism genetics and biology through the lens of 3 different cohorts that are funded and managed by SFARI: The Simons Simplex Collection (SSC), The Simons Variation in Individuals Project (Simons VIP), and Simons Foundation Powering Autism Research for Knowledge (SPARK). Pam Feliciano (Scientific Director, SPARK) will talk about some recent challenges in recruiting and engaging tens of thousands of SPARK participants, including returning genetic results.


John Spiro, PhD

Deputy Scientific Director | Simons Foundation

John Spiro joined the Simons Foundation in 2007 and works with the SFARI director to oversee all aspects of the foundation’s autism research initiatives, including managing a team of scientists and administrative staff involved in launching requests for applications, evaluating proposals and other projects, organizing scientific workshops and meetings and overseeing SFARI.org. He helped launch the Simons Variation in Individuals Project (Simons VIP) and has spearheaded the foundation’s efforts to promote the use of preprints in the life sciences as well as other initiatives aimed at more open data sharing. Spiro earned his undergraduate degree in biology from Haverford College and his Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego. His thesis was based on work in the laboratory of the late Walter Heiligenberg, and his postdoctoral work was with Richard Mooney at Duke University. His research interests were in cellular and systems neuroscience, and he focused on preparations where it was possible to forge links between cellular neurobiology and behavior. In 2000, Spiro joined the Nature Publishing Group as an editor at Nature Neuroscience, where he was involved in evaluating research findings across the field of neuroscience. In 2004, he joined Nature as a senior editor on the biology team, where he oversaw a group of editors responsible for editorial decisions and peer review of manuscripts across all areas of neuroscience, ranging from molecular development to functional imaging and behavior. In addition, he gained experience in communicating science to both professional scientists and the public through his involvement in commissioning, editing and writing editorials, book reviews and other material for the journal and related web-based resources.


Marilyn H. Simons, PhD

President | Simons Foundation

Marilyn Hawrys Simons has been the president of the Simons Foundation since its inception in 1994. During this period, the foundation has grown rapidly to become one of the country’s leading private funders of basic scientific research. Simons is an advocate nationally for increased involvement of philanthropy in funding basic science. Simons also has more than 25 years of experience actively supporting nonprofit organizations in New York. She is vice president of the board of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, an outstanding U.S. research facility specializing in molecular biology and genetics, and a board member of the Turkana Basin Institute, a research institution that supports scientific projects in the Turkana Basin, Kenya. She also serves as chair of the Stony Brook Women’s Leadership Council. In addition to her work to advance basic science research, Simons has been involved in K-12 education for underserved communities. She is a member of the board of trustees of the LearningSpring School, a New York City based school for children diagnosed on the autism spectrum, and the East Harlem Scholars Academy in New York City. Simons received a B.A. and Ph.D. in economics from The State University of New York at Stony Brook.


John Spiro, PhD

Deputy Scientific Director | Simons Foundation

see bio above


Pam Feliciano, PhD

Scientific Director of SPARK | Simons Foundation

As a Senior Scientist with SFARI (Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative), Pamela Feliciano is deeply involved in the development and management of several projects whose mission is to build research cohorts of individuals with autism. She serves as the Scientific Director of SPARK (Simons Foundation Powering Autism Research for Knowledge), an online research initiative that aims to recruit, engage and retain a community of 50,000 individuals with autism and their family members. She is also involved in SFARI’s efforts to develop objective and reliable outcome measures for autism clinical trials. Feliciano joined the Simons Foundation in 2013 and has a son with autism. Previously, Feliciano worked as a senior editor at Nature Genetics, where she was responsible for managing the peer review process for research publications in all areas of genetics. While at Nature Genetics, Feliciano was engaged with the scientific community, attending conferences and giving talks and workshops on editorial decision making at academic institutions worldwide. Feliciano holds a B.S. from Cornell University, an M.S. from New York University and a Ph.D. in developmental biology from Stanford University. The journal Science named her Ph.D. thesis work on the parallel evolution of wild populations of three-spine stickleback fish part of the “Breakthrough of the Year” in 2005.


March 13, Tuesday

8:00AM – 9:00AM

(60 min)

Breakfast: Breakouts & Networking

3:30PM – 4:45PM

(75 min)

Breaking the mold: New models in research funding

Research funding mechanisms usually require a number of standard documents (i.e., research proposal, biographical sketches, and budget) and go through a peer review process. A number of groups however, are trying new approaches to accelerate innovation and solve tough problems through novel funding mechanisms. In this session, we will hear from three organizations using funding models ranging from endowments and crowdsourcing to unique scientific gatherings and ways to connect academic research to drug discovery and clinical studies. During this session, speakers will discuss the rationale for using their approaches, key considerations when developing and implementing a certain approach, and the successes and pitfalls of using such approaches.


Shannon Gallagher-Colombo, PhD

Assistant Director, Scientific Review and Grants Administration | AACR Foundation

Shannon Gallagher-Colombo, PhD, is Assistant Director of Scientific Review and Grants Administration at the AACR. In this role, she oversees a multi-million dollar portfolio of industry- and foundation-sponsored research grants for cancer scientists at all career stages. In addition, she works closely with the AACR Foundation, providing scientific expertise and relationship management to AACR’s many valued funding partners. Prior to joining the AACR, Gallagher-Colombo was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Pennsylvania, where she was involved in basic, preclinical, and clinical research investigating the use of photodynamic therapy as a treatment option for solid malignancies.


Simon Noble, PhD

Director, Science Communication | CHDI Foundation

Simon Noble has a diverse scientific communications background, beginning in scientific publishing as an editor at Nature Medicine where he managed the peer review process for all immunology and infectious disease manuscripts. Prior to joining CHDI in 2009 he was Senior Director for Scientific Communications at the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), a non-profit research, development, and advocacy organization committed to ensuring the development of an effective AIDS vaccine. He was also the editor of IAVI Report, that organization’s publication detailing scientific progress and challenges. Prior to this he pursued a transatlantic research career that included a PhD and postdoctoral fellowships focused on virology and immunology (including H1N1 swine influenza virus) at the Universities of Warwick and Wisconsin-Madison.


Christopher Martin, PhD

Interim Vice President of Science Programs | The Kavli Foundation

Chris Martin is the Interim Vice President for Science Programs at The Kavli Foundation, where he has been a Science Program Officer since 2013. He leads the Foundation’s interactions with its 20 endowed Kavli Institutes around the world in the fields of Theoretical Physics, Astrophysics, Nanoscience, and Neuroscience and builds catalytic opportunities to advance scientific research and funding, such as the U.S. BRAIN Initiative. Dr. Martin’s interests span the continuum from physics to public policy. Prior to joining the Foundation, he was a professor of physics and astronomy at Oberlin College (2004-2013) where he studied the Milky Way Galaxy using the Herschel Space Observatory, long duration balloon missions, and telescopes around the world. During his tenure at Oberlin, he spent a year as an American Association for the Advancement of Science Congressional Fellow with the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and was involved in the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010, space policy, nanotechnology, and the federal funding of science research. Dr. Martin completed his Ph.D. in theoretical physics at the University of California Santa Barbara in 1999, and then became the Station Science Leader at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station and spent two years wintering over at the bottom of the Earth during his postdoctoral fellowship at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.


Michael Batten, MD, MBA

Director, JDRF T1D Fund | JDRF

Michael L. Batten, M.D., M.B.A., is a director in the JDRF T1D Fund. In this role, he focuses on advancing scientifically and commercially promising Type 1 Diabetes research by facilitating venture creation of and syndicated venture investments in companies pursuing the best opportunities to prevent, treat and ultimately cure T1D. By leveraging his experience and relationships with key stakeholders in academia, industry and venture capital, he brings a unique skill set to JDRF that compliments the organizations efforts to translate novel, innovative science into lifesaving therapies for Type 1 Diabetes patients. Previously, Dr. Batten invested in both private and public healthcare companies as the life science portfolio manager at Merrill Lynch’s Strategic Investment Group and as a founding member of the investment team of the Health Holdings group at Caxton Associates. Prior to his investing roles, Michael was a member of Pfizer’s Business Development group where he led multiple transactions and was instrumental in the creation of Pfizer Venture Investments, the strategic venture capital arm of Pfizer. Dr. Batten received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from North Carolina State University, his M.D. from The University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill School of Medicine, trained in Ophthalmology at New York University, and received his M.B.A. at The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania with a concentration in healthcare management and finance.


9:00AM – 10:00AM

(60 min)

Implementation of Funder Data Sharing Policies

In this session, HRA members will share their process, considerations, and implementation of data sharing policies. These funders will share how their policies were conceived, whether input from the scientific community and other stakeholders was sought and used to craft the policies, how the policies are being implemented, and suggested best practices learned along the way. Our guest speaker will provide his perspective as a clinical researcher and proponent for open data access regarding the need to transform the scientific enterprise and the key role of funders in that effort. He will talk about practical considerations and discuss a model to make data available in a sustainable way so that data sharing becomes a vital part of the clinical research enterprise of the future.


Amy Laster, PhD

Senior Director, Grants and Award Programs | Foundation Fighting Blindness

Dr. Amy Laster, Senior Director, Grants and Award Programs, oversees FFB’s Science Portfolio consisting of research awards in four funding programs supporting career development, laboratory-based science research, translational research and multi-investigator program projects. In this role, Dr. Laster actively participates in the Science Department overall strategic planning, management and execution of the Science portfolio to support high impact inherited retinal degenerative disease research. Dr. Laster has fostered partnerships with other biomedical research funders to expand the Foundation’s career development program as well as its translational research program. Additionally, Dr. Laster strategically designs the science programming for the Foundation’s VISIONS and Investing in Cures national conferences. Prior to joining FFB, Dr. Laster was a faculty member of the Department of Biology at Stevenson University. Dr. Laster completed a Postdoctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in the Solomon Synder 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.



Liz Jackson

Director, Grants Administration | St. Baldrick's Foundation

Liz Jackson, Director, Grants Administration, St. Baldrick’s Foundation oversees the management of SBF’s $243 Million pediatric cancer research grant portfolio consisting of research awards in ten funding categories, supporting career development, laboratory-based science research, translational research, multi-investigator collaborative research projects and the Robert J. Arceci Innovation Awards (North American and Internationally) and infrastructure support. In this role, her responsibilities include gathering and sharing information related to open science and pediatric precision medicine initiatives in pediatric cancer research with the scientific advisory committee and leadership of the SBF. She currently serves on the Uberresearch Dimensions Development Task Force. SBF was an early-adopter of Altum ProposalCENTRAL’s partnership with Uberresearch to better analyze and support SBF’s portfolio of over $243 million in grant funds. She has also met bi-monthly with David Haussler’s team at UC Santa Cruz to explore data sharing and open science issues. Recently, she assisted in the execution of the 2nd pediatric precision oncology meeting held in conjunction with City of Hope and TGen which brought together pediatric oncologists in precision medicine and open scientists from around the world. She currently participates as a member for the HRA Open Science Task Force and represents SBF as part of the Open Research Funders Group.


Jason Gerson, PhD

Senior Program Officer | PCORI

Jason Gerson, PhD, is Senior Program Officer for the Clinical Effectiveness and Decision Science program at the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). He is responsible for providing intellectual and organizational leadership in designing and implementing new CER methods initiatives. He also leads some of PCORI’s open science initiatives, including the development of a data sharing policy. Dr. Gerson received an AB in bioethics from Brown University and PhD in health policy from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Jason also serves as co-chair for the HRA Open Science Task Force.


Belinda Orland, MBA

Senior Manager for Research Operations | American Heart Association

Belinda Orland is a Senior Manager for Research Operations at the American Heart Association. In this role, her responsibilities include the open science policies related to AHA funded research. She worked with volunteers and a consultant to develop and implement the current AHA Open Science policies. She currently serves as a co-chair for the HRA Open Science Task Force and represents AHA as part of the Open Research Funders Group. Belinda holds an MBA from Baylor University.


10:30 – 11:00AM

(30 min)


11:00AM – 12:30PM

(90 min)

Strategies for Increasing Diversity in the Workforce

This session will focus on the challenges and opportunities of diversity and unconscious bias that women and minorities face in peer review in academic science. To set the stage for this session, HRA members will participate in an exercise to demonstrate implicit bias. We will hear about an evidence-based approach to understand the basis of this problem, along with a pilot scheme that US institutions are undertaking to assess inequality, identify problem areas, and set plans to reduce disparities. Finally, we will hear from an HRA member organization that has implemented strategies to reduce bias throughout the application process and review cycle. A follow-up breakout session will give HRA members a chance to review their own processes and refine them based on the learnings discussed in this session.


Kristen Mueller, PhD

Scientific Program Director | Melanoma Research Alliance

Kristen Mueller, PhD, is the Scientific Program Director of the Melanoma Research Alliance. Prior to joining the Melanoma Research Alliance, Kristen was a Senior Editor at the journal Science. At Science, her primary responsibilities included orchestrating the peer review process for manuscripts covering subjects such as cancer immunology and immunotherapy, infectious disease and vaccines and also attracting the best research in these fields to Science. Kristen joined the Melanoma Research Alliance in 2017 with more than 15 years of experience in biomedical research and scientific publishing. She currently manages MRA’s research awards, including the solicitation, peer review, and oversight of approximately $8 to $10 million per year in funded programs. She is also responsible for coordinating MRA’s Annual Scientific Retreat. Kristen received her B.A. in biology from Carleton College and earned her Ph.D. in immunology from the University of Minnesota, where she studied the molecular regulation of T cell activation and adhesion – two processes critical for T cell responses to infection and for killing tumors. She continued to study similar processes in T cells as a postdoctoral fellow at the National Human Genome Research Institute at NIH. While at NIH, she also served as a member of the Fellows Committee (FELCOM), an advocacy group for NIH postdocs, and co-chaired the Career Development Subcommittee of FELCOM.


Anna Kaatz, PhD

Director of Computations Sciences | UW-Madison Center for Women's Health Research

Dr. Anna Kaatz is the Director of Computational Sciences at the UW-Madison Center for Women’s Health Research. As a data scientist at the nexus of research on scientific workforce diversity and stereotype-based bias, Dr. Kaatz is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop novel tools and technologies to study and address reasons for female and racial/ethnic minority scientists’ underrepresentation in science and medical research careers. Broadly, current projects involve development of curriculum to help women and minority scientists advance to leadership; development of data- and text-mining algorithms to test for race and gender bias in NIH’s peer review process; and development of interventions, including role-playing video games, to reduce race and gender bias in medical schools, universities, national labs, industry, and high school settings.


Shirley Malcom, PhD

Director of Education and Human Advancement | AAAS

Shirley Malcom is head of Education and Human Resources at AAAS. In this position she works to improve the quality and increase access to education and careers in STEM. Dr. Malcom is a trustee of Caltech, a regent of Morgan State University and a former member of the National Science Board, the policymaking body of the National Science Foundation. She served on President Clinton’s Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology. Malcom, a native of Birmingham, Alabama, received her PhD in ecology from Penn State, masters from UCLA and bachelor’s from the University of Washington, both in zoology. Malcom chaired the NAS Committee on Barriers and Opportunities to 2-Year and 4-Year STEM Degree Completion. She serves on the boards of the Heinz Endowments, Public Agenda, the National Math-Science Initiative and Digital Promise. In 2003, she received the Public Welfare Medal of the National Academy of Sciences, the highest award given by the Academy.


Sindy Escboar Alvarez, PhD

Senior Program Officer for Medical Research | Doris Duke Charitable Foundation

Sindy N. Escobar Alvarez is the Senior Program Officer for Medical Research at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. She manages the peer-review and evaluation of grants for early-career physician scientists and for research advancing knowledge and treatments for sickle cell disease. Sindy also supports planning, strategy, and grant policy development and implementation for awards to advance biomedical research innovation and to develop clinical research careers. Sindy is a graduate of the Pharmacology Department of Cornell University Weill Graduate School and Sloan-Kettering Institute.


12:30PM -2:00 PM

(90 min)

Breakouts Sessions Over Lunch

2:00PM - 2:30PM

(30 min)

HRA News and Updates