AIRI 2018 Speaker Bios

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Many thanks to this year's speakers for sharing their expertise with the membership at AIRI 2018.

Mark Bouchard, MPH
Director, Environmental, Health & Safety, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Mark Bouchard has been working in the Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) field for over 20 years within the San Diego research environment.  He is responsible for managing comprehensive EH&S programs and is currently the co-chair of the Institutional Review Board, Embryonic Stem Cell Research Oversight Committee and the Institutional Biosafety Committee.  His primary goal is to ensure the Institute utilizes research materials in an ethical and responsible manner to ensure personnel, the public and environment are protected.  Mark started his EH&S career within the San Diego biotech start ups and eventually moved on to non-profit research Institutions.  He spent 8 years at the La Jolla Institute and eventually moved on to the Salk Institute 5 years ago.  Mark holds a BA from the University of Maine and a MPH from Boston University.

David M. Cabrera, MS, AIRI Board Director & AIRI 2018 Co-Chair
Chief of Staff, Office of the CSO, Van Andel Institute
David Cabrera is Chief of Staff of VAI’s Office of the CSO in Grand Rapids, Michigan. David provides central coordination of the functions and staff in the office including research/operations liaison, strategic planning, science policy, faculty peer review, research event planning, science communication & editing, laboratory operations logistics, budget allocation, and library services. He is a course director in the Van Andel Institute Graduate School. David previously held the position of Science Policy and Administrative Manager in the Office of the CSO. Prior to his arrival at VAI in 2013, David worked for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland. At NIH, David held a position as laboratory manager in a neuropharmacology laboratory from 2001-2009 before being accepted into the 2-year NIH Management Intern fellowship. Following his fellowship, David was a science policy analyst in the NIH Office of Science Policy and Office of the Director, where he worked on strategic initiatives and science policy issues. David is a member of the Society for Neuroscience, American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, and Sigma Xi.

James Calaway
Director of Communications, Noble Research Institute, LLC
J. Adam Calaway serves as Director of Communications and Public Relations at the Noble Research Institute. Calaway holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Cameron University (2001) and a Master of Arts degree in communications (2005) from the University of Oklahoma. The creative teams led by Calaway have earned more than 250 awards for the production of outstanding public relations and marketing material.

Arlene Y. Chiu, PhD
Director, Office of New Research Initiatives, City of Hope
Following graduate school and postdoctoral training at Caltech, Dr. Chiu joined City of Hope as the first woman faculty recruited to Neurosciences.  Her research on diseases afflicting motor neurons was supported by NSF and NIH.  In 1998 she joined the NIH as program director for Spinal Cord Injury and established the first program for Stem Cell Research. In 2005, she was recruited by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) as Director of Scientific Activities, and later served as Interim Chief Scientific Officer. She played a key role in developing grants administration policy and review procedures at the young agency. In her current role, she manages several internal funding programs, fosters new research partnerships, and continues to be a strong mentor to young scientists, especially women.

Hollis Cline, PhD
Hahn Professor of Neuroscience, Scripps Research Institute
As the Hahn Professor of Neuroscience at Scripps Research, Holly Cline focuses her investigations on how experience during development shapes brain connections and what happens when that process goes awry. She also directs the Institute’s Dorris Neuroscience Center where a multidisciplinary team of scientists investigates the complexities of the human brain. She has served on numerous advisory boards and currently serves as a council member for the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Dr. Cline has been elected as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and is a past-president of the Society of Neuroscience.

Adam Cohen, Esq., AIRI 2018 Co-Chair
Sr. Vice President & General Counsel, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation
As OMRF’s chief legal officer, Adam focuses on strategic initiatives while also serving as counsel on business transactions, managing litigation matters, and ensures compliance in areas ranging from intellectual property to human subjects research. He maintains direct responsibility for human resources and public affairs, with dotted-line oversight of government affairs, development and technology ventures. Adam previously worked in the University of Oklahoma’s office of legal counsel and as a litigator at Hughes Hubbard & Reed, a New York City law firm. Also a writer, Adam’s work has appeared in more than a dozen publications, including The New York Times. He holds BA in English from the University of Pennsylvania and a JD from the Duke University School of Law.

Valerie Conn, Public Service Award Recipient
Executive Director, Science Philanthropy Alliance
Valerie brings over 25 years of experience working with philanthropists, foundations, and corporations to fund science, medicine, engineering, and education initiatives. In 2015 she joined Science Philanthropy Alliance as its second employee in the role of vice president, helping to create the strategy to advise philanthropists on how to effectively support basic science research. Prior to joining the Alliance, Valerie was vice president of strategy for the B612 Foundation (2014-2015). Valerie began her career at the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1989, after which she led a campaign for medical research at Children’s Memorial Hospital (now Lurie Children’s) in Chicago (1999-2003). Valerie spent a decade as a development officer at the University of Chicago (2004-2013). She holds a bachelor of arts degree from Northwestern University.

Mike Costigan, Proud Sponsor of AIRI 2018
Portfolio Support Executive, Sciences, Educational & Institutional Cooperative Services, Inc. (E&I)
Michael Costigan has worked in the Scientific Industry for 30 years in various functions including Sales, Customer Service and Marketing.  Mike worked for VWR International as a sales representative for 27 years and holds a Master’s Degree in Analytical Chemistry.  Currently Mike works for E&I Cooperative Services where he supports the Scientific Supplier Partners in all Sales and Marketing efforts.  In addition, Mike supports the E&I Membership though supporting the E&I Member Relation Executives. Mike earned his Master’s Degree, Analytical Chemistry, University of Houston-Clear Lake and he is a graduate of Rowan University where he earned his Bachelors, Chemistry.

Donald Curristan, Proud Sponsor of AIRI 2018
Managing Director, Executive Benefits Solutions
For the past twenty years, Don has served the benefit needs of client boards of directors and senior management in public, private and tax-exempt organizations. He focuses on the design, funding, implementation, and administration of select executive retirement, retention and performance- incentive plans to attract, retain and reward key talent. A featured speaker at professional associations, Don’s written work has appeared in the Credit Union Times, Western Independent Banker’s Magazine and the Foundation for Enterprise Development, “Ask the Expert” publication.  He earned his BS in finance from Arizona State University, and the CLU and ChFC professional designations. Don resides in San Diego with Melissa, his wife, and two daughters. He’s a board trustee for the Social Advocates for Youth, a golfer, skier and believer in the timeless quote: Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence . . .”

Rob Damian
Director, Enterprise Systems & IT Engagement, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
Robert (Rob) Damian, Director, Enterprise Systems and IT Engagement, has been with the Broad Institute for over 10 years.  His current focus is on improving users’ experience interacting with Broad’s ERP and Reporting systems, while furthering Broad IT’s operating principles of sustainability, agility, and scalability.  He also manages the budget and finances for the IT department covering administrative, cost recovery, fee for service and capital accounts. Prior to joining the Broad, Rob spent 19 years at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in various roles in internal audit, accounting, cash management, sponsored research and IS&T.  Rob received his undergraduate degree in Accounting and his MBA (Information Systems) from Bentley University.

Melanie M. Davis
Director of Enterprise Systems and Informatics, Noble Research Institute, LLC
As the director of enterprise systems and informatics at the Noble Research Institute, Melanie Davis leads the organization’s traditional and applied technology efforts, both traditional IT and applied technology, including bioinformatics and research support, along with spatial technology, UAVs, and library services. With more than 25 years of experience in the industry, most in various capacities at Noble, she takes great pride in leading this nontraditional IT team to work together to enable the Institute to provide solutions to great agricultural challenges. Melanie holds bachelor’s degrees in business administration and computer science from East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma.

Alison Evans, AIRI Washington Office
AIRI Washington Representative, Lewis-Burke Associates LLC
Alison Evans is an associate at Lewis-Burke Associates LLC and handles issues related to biomedical and defense research. She previously worked in the Public Affairs office for the American Geophysical Union, a non-profit science society located in DC. She received her B.S. in Biochemistry from Arizona State University.

John Forrister
Director, Network & Information Security, Translational Genomics Research Institute
As Director of Networking and Information Security at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), John is responsible for the design and operation of TGen’s administrative computing environment, as well as TGen’s networking, telecommunications, and security infrastructure, IT-related audit, and regulatory requirements as they pertain to TGen’s Information Technology environment.

Erica Froyd, AIRI Washington Office
AIRI Washington Representative, Lewis-Burke Associates LLC
Erica Froyd represents the interests of Lewis-Burke clients in the areas of biomedical research, federal research policy, and health care with a particular focus on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other agencies within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, including the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).  Prior to joining Lewis-Burke, Ms. Froyd served as the Director of Government and Public Affairs at the Society for Neuroscience. She has extensive experience working with Congress, the Executive Branch, scientific and health organizations, and other stakeholder partners. Ms. Froyd developed her expertise in research and health advocacy at the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) where she directed a coalition of more than 80 organizations. Prior to AAMC, she served as the Grassroots Representative at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.  Ms. Froyd earned her BA in political science from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota and her Master’s in Public Administration with a focus on health policy from The George Washington University in Washington, DC.

Charles Gagnon
Senior Director, IT, New York Genome Center
Charles Gagnon is the Senior Director of IT Infrastructure at NYGC and is responsible for the institution’s security, network, enterprise services and the high-performance computing environment. Charles oversees all aspects of the NYGC’s technology footprint and is preparing it for a transition towards public cloud environments. Charles holds a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering degree and came to the NYGC with over 20 years of experience in computational finance infrastructures. Prior to his position at NYGC he was head of IT Infrastructure at Hutchin Hill Capital for seven years.

Tim Geary
Head, Operations & Services, Stowers Institute for Medical Research
Tim Geary, Head of Operations and Services, joined the Stowers Institute in 2001 from his role as Manager of Administrative Services with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Dallas, Texas.   Mr. Geary supports the Institute’s scientific mission by overseeing the operations of most of the Institute’s non–science departments and facilities, such as Scientific Equipment, Library Services, Laboratory Services, Fly Stock Facility, Contract Services, Procurement, Plant Engineering and Maintenance, and General Services. He has been responsible for over $90 million in renovations including a 24,000 sq. foot, 11,000 cage vivarium facility, a 7,600 sq. foot reptile facility, three aquatic facilities, and numerous laboratory projects. Previously, Mr. Geary spent six years as an administrator with American Red Cross Blood services in Texas and Oklahoma.  He also served as the Lead Chemistry Technologist at Wichita General Hospital and as Technical Services Specialist with Technicon Instruments Corporation, both in Wichita Falls, Texas. Mr. Geary earned a Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology from Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas and a Master of Business Administration in Health Care Administration from Wayland Baptist University in Plainview, Texas. He served four years in the United States Navy as an Operations Specialist, Petty Officer Second Class, based in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Walter L. Goldschmidts, PhD
VP and Executive Director, Sponsored Programs, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Dr. Goldschmidts and his Department facilitate and support new and continuing sponsored research initiatives to promote the research, education and scholarly mission of CSHL and its investigators. Prior to joining CSHL, Dr. Goldschmidts served as the Extramural Research Training Officer for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) where he coordinated all extramural research training and career development programs across the funding components of the NIH.  He also served as an NIH Program Official for twelve years with the National Institute of Mental Health, and has conducted research in the intramural research program of the National Cancer Institute. He was also a Senior Associate with the management and technology consulting firm of Booz Allen and Hamilton. Dr. Goldschmidts serves on the Board of Directors for the Council on Government Relations (COGR) and travels the U.S. teaching Fundamental Grants Management for the National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA). Dr. Goldschmidts received his undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland and Ph.D. in Microbiology from Georgetown University.

Peter Goodhand
Chief Executive Officer, Global Alliance for Genomics and Health
Peter Goodhand is a leader in the global health sector as a senior executive and board member. Goodhand played a key role in the creation of the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) and was appointed as its founding Executive Director in 2014, and as Chief Executive Officer in 2018. From May 2016 to April 2018, he also served as the President of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR). Prior to the GA4GH and OICR, he was the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Cancer Society, Canada's largest health charity. Before joining the charitable sector, Goodhand had a 20 year career in the global medical technology industry, including strategic leadership roles with multinational healthcare companies such as American Cyanamid and Johnson & Johnson; Board Chair and President of Canada’s Medical Device Industry association (MEDEC); and as the founding Managing Director and then Board Chair of the Health Technology Exchange (HTX).

Austin Gwilliam, Proud Sponsor of AIRI 2018
Principal, GRP Financial
For the past 17 years, Mr. Gwilliam’s focus is helping organizations improve their respective retirement plans as it relates to investments, fees, fiduciary liability, compliance, employee education, and financial wellness.  He provides investment and fiduciary-related advisory services to companies with retirement plan assets between $1 million and $1 billion covering all industries, plan types, challenges, and complexities. Austin is one of a very small group of advisors to be awarded the Top 50 Advisors Under 40 award by the National Association of Plan Advisors every year between 2014 and 2018. He is an Investment Advisor Representative, also fluent in Spanish. Mr. Gwilliam has passed the FINRA Series 6, 63, & 65 examinations. He has also been named as a Top 300 Most Influential Advisor in the Industry by 401kWire and 401kExchange. He was also recognized as a member of the Top 100 Advisor Teams by PlanSponsor Magazine and Top 100 Most Successful Advisory Teams by PlanAdviser Magazine.

Tim Hassen, CPA, AIRI President-Elect
Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation
Tim Hassen has been with Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation since 1998.  He held internal auditor and controller position prior to being promoted to Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.  Tim currently oversees  all areas of financial management including; financial reporting, budgeting, pre-award and post-award grants accounting, payroll, and donor services.   He spends a significant portion of his time on strategic planning related to the Foundation’s indirect cost policies and negotiating the indirect cost agreements.  Hassen is a Certified Public Accountant and holds a BS in accounting from the University of Central Oklahoma and an MBA with an emphasis in finance from Oklahoma City University.  He began his career as an auditor for Deloitte & Touche in Oklahoma City, where he served clients in the non-profit, governmental and SEC sectors.   Tim currently serves as President-Elect for the Association of Independent Research Institutes.

Liza Hing, Proud Sponsor of AIRI 2018
Director, Cain Brothers & Company, LLC
Liza Hing is an investment banker with over a decade of experience assisting non-profit borrowers obtain financing for their capital project needs. She has executed transactions totaling over $1.4 billion in a variety of capital raising and strategic advisory situations. Her transaction experience includes public bonds, bank lending, investment grade rated and nonrated, swaps, bond insurance, fixed and variable rate debt. Ms. Hing holds a BA from Harvard College and an MPP from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

Christine Hughes
VP, Institutional Advancement, Burke Medical Research Institute
Christine started the newly created VP position at Burke Neurological Institute (BNI) in May of 2017.  Hailing most recently from Weill Cornell Medicine, she was recruited to lead and build an Institutional Advancement program, a team and re-brand the Institute.  Christine has over 12 years of experience in Development and PR and has built a solid reputation of successful execution of multi-institutional, transformational gifts. Christine also has15 years of experience in basic and translational scientific research studying the proteomes of cancer, ALS and osteoporosis. Her former career in scientific research and her experience in academic medicine Development and PR, uniquely situate Christine to help advance the Institute.

Brenda Kasper
Partner, Kasper & Frank LLP
Brenda S. Kasper is a founding member of Kasper & Frank LLP, a law firm representing California and multi-state employers for all of their human resources and employment law needs.  She regularly advises employers of all sizes on wage and hour compliance, leaves of absence, disability accommodation, reductions in force, terminations and discipline management, employment contracts, personnel policies, and hiring issues.  She also provides management and human resources training.  Brenda is a former HR director so her legal advice is practical, creative and tailored to each client’s needs.  She was the 2015 San Diego SHRM Board President, is an instructor for the HR Certification program at the University of California San Diego Extension and holds her SHRM-SCP and SPHR-California certifications.

Marc Kastner, PhD, Public Service Award Recipient
President, Science Philanthropy Alliance
Prior to leading the Science Philanthropy Alliance, Marc Kastner held a variety of senior positions at MIT, including dean of the School of Science.  Kastner’s research has focused on semiconductors and superconductors, and his group is well known for discovering the first semiconductor single electron transistor as well as the Kondo effect in such structures. He has won the Oliver E. Buckley Prize and the David Adler Lectureship Award, both from the American Physical Society.  He is a member of both the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has served on a number of science advisory boards including for the National Cancer Institute, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the Basic Energy Sciences program of the Department of Energy.

Brent Keck
Chief Information Officer, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation
Mr. Brent Keck leads the Information Technology and Telecommunications departments at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. He has been working in the computer technology field at OMRF since 1984. He spent his first 27 years at OMRF in application development, application system administration, and project management. He has served as CIO since May 2011. He is responsible for all facets of information technology, including strategic planning, operations, infrastructure, application development, technical support, and budget planning. Mr. Keck and his IT team are currently implementing initiatives in information security, cloud storage, and ERP enhancements. He has served as breakout session presenter for the 2013 AIRI annual meeting. He was a member of the Program Planning Committee and session moderator for the AIRI 2014 Information Technology meeting. He was the 2016 and 2018 Co-Chair for the AIRI Information Technology Summit. He is the IT co-track leader for AIRI 2018. The 2018 annual meeting will be his tenth AIRI meeting. He is all-in on AIRI and its value to independent research institutes like OMRF. Mr. Keck earned a BA in Management from Southern Nazarene University (1991) and an MBA from Oklahoma Christian University (2009).

Michael Kenney
Senior Director, Research Administration, City of Hope
Since 2013, Mr. Kenney has served at the Beckman Research Institute (BRI) where he oversees preparation and financial management of an  annual budget of ~$350MM. Reporting to the Senior Vice President of Research Operations, he oversees the annual budgeting process and financial management of COH’s research enterprise, manages the Office of Sponsored Research, provides operational support for COH’s 30 core facilities and oversees research space and facilities for 30+ research buildings spanning 500,000 square feet.  Prior to joining City of Hope, Mr. Kenney worked as a Manager with Huron Consulting Group. He has over 7 years of consulting experience assessing, evaluating, and building administrative operations, procedures, and business processes related to research at grantee and grantor research institutions, including sponsored program administration (pre and post award) and compliance. At Huron, Mr. Kenney led multiple research administration cost reduction and organizational re-design projects for top 50 research universities aimed at improving resource efficiency and customer service.  Areas of focus/expertise include: staffing benchmarking/right-sizing, business process redesign, and development of shared service models/principles.

Jen Keyes, CPA
Chief Financial Officer, The La Jolla Institute
Jen Keyes has over 15 years of hands-on non-profit and for-profit experience in roles such as auditor, consultant, Director of Finance and grant maker.  Ms. Keyes has experience managing a diverse and robust investment portfolio, with responsibility for all associated accounting and tax matters. She has worked closely with non-profit organizations and philanthropists providing assistance with overall grant-making and educational activities. Throughout her career, Ms. Keyes has successfully implemented internal controls while streamlining processes and procedures to achieve efficiencies. Prior to joining La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology in 2014, Ms. Keyes held the position of Controller at Episcopal Community Services, a California non-profit civic and social organization with $24M in revenues. A licensed Certified Public Accountant since 2003, she received a BS in Accounting from San Diego State University. Ms. Keyes serves the local community as Treasurer of the Board of Directors of Dreams for Change, a San Diego nonprofit organization; Treasurer for the San Diego Police Foundation, and Audit Committee Member of Harmonium, Inc.

Gary Kuyat
Director, IT, Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason
With over three decades of Information Systems experience, Gary has worked in most every aspect of IS, from application development to managing large, geographically diverse systems teams. He is presently the Director of Information Technology for the Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason, where he leads IT Operations and IT Applications Development. When not engrossed in budgets and policy, Gary can be found sailing the waters of Lake Washington in his RS Quest.

Michael Labosier, CPA, CGMA, CMA
Director of Finance & Accounting, Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason
Michael R. Labosier joined Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason (BRI) in 2006. He held the Controller position for seven years and now serves as Director of Finance and Accounting. Mr. Labosier oversees all of BRI’s accounting and financial management functions, including budgeting and financial reporting and analysis. His responsibilities also include annual financial statement/Uniform Guidance and retirement plan audits, tax reporting, and federal indirect cost rate negotiations. Mr. Labosier was involved in the Institute’s $30 million bond offerings in 2006 and 2012, and handles ongoing debt compliance monitoring and reporting obligations. Prior to his tenure at BRI, Mr. Labosier served in financial management roles for several professional services firms in Seattle, including Virginia Mason Medical Center. He began his career as a Certified Public Accountant with Ernst & Young after receiving his B.S. in Accounting, Summa Cum Laude, from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona in 1981.

Homer W. Lane, Jr., MBA
Executive Director & CFO, Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason
Mr. Lane has had over 20 years’ experience working for two AIRI member institutes.  He has also been very active in AIRI leadership first serving as the Chair of the Information Committee and then serving as the Vice President Member Communications from 2008 through 2013. He has been at BRI since June 2011 and has overseen; a 78% increase in sponsored research funding, the launch of a Branding & PR effort, an orderly transition to a new BRI President in 2016, and a recent update of BRI’s Strategic Plan.  Prior to his move to BRI he worked at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) starting in 1998 as their CFO.  Key accomplishments during his tenure included working with McKinsey & Company in developing a Strategic Plan and the negotiation of an MOU with Brown University for a joint PhD program.  Prior to joining the MBL, Homer was a career banker and received an MBA from Columbia University.

Kirsten Leute
Senior Vice President of University Relations, Osage University Partners
Kirsten Leute is Senior Vice President for University Relations at Osage University Partners (OUP), a venture capital fund that invests in startups out of academic institutions. At OUP, she is responsible for the relationships with the more than 90 academic institutions that are partnered with the fund, engaging potential new partner institutions, and enhancing and creating value-add programs for the partnered academic institutions. Kirsten is an experienced technology transfer professional, spending 19 years in technology transfer at Stanford University and the German Cancer Research Center. Prior to joining OUP, she was Associate Director at Stanford’s Office of Technology Licensing. Over her career at Stanford, she managed portfolios of inventions in most technology areas, but concentrated in biotechnology.

Tiem-Li Loke Walsh
Attorney at Law, Loke Walsh Immigration Law, PC
Tien-Li (“TL”) Loke Walsh is the principal of Loke Walsh Immigration Law, where she focuses on obtaining visas for new graduates, professionals, artists and entertainers, professors and researchers, athletes, investors and entrepreneurs, multinational company transfers and individuals in various industries. She has served on numerous American Immigration Law Association (AILA) committees, including the Scholars and Students Committee, DOS Liaison Committee and the CSC Liaison Committee. TL is the recipient of a 2010 AILA President’s Commendation Award and was recently selected as the 2015 Best Lawyers in America® “Lawyer of the Year” in immigration for Los Angeles. In addition, she is regularly selected for inclusion in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, The International and California editions of Who’s Who of Business Lawyers and the Southern California Super Lawyers Edition. She has spoken at numerous AILA and NAFSA conferences and local bar association events.

Rebecca Madere, SPHR-SCP, PHR
Assistant Vice President, Human Resources, Texas Biomedical Research Institute
Rebecca Madere serves at the Assistant Vice President, Human Resources at Texas Biomedical Research Institute.  She has more than 25 years of experience in human resources and is a senior certified professional in human resources (SHRM-SCP).  Rebecca has applied her in-depth knowledge and experience in Human Resources to drive strategic initiatives, innovation, and engagement.  Rebecca has been accountable for the successful planning and delivery of HR Programs and processes demonstrating success in creating an empowered and values-driven workplace culture to enhance overall business results.   Rebecca received her BBA in Human Resources from the University of Texas at San Antonio.  She is a past-president of the San Antonio Human Resources Management Association and is member of various professional organizations including the San Antonio Industry Liaison Group and the Society for Human Resource Management.

Priya McCue
Senior Director of Development, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
Priya works with the institute’s scientists and senior leaders to expand its base of philanthropic support and enable transformational science. McCue brings to this role over 20 years of experience in fundraising for organizations at the leading edge of science, medicine, and research. Prior to joining the Broad Institute in January 2014, McCue was the chief development officer at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, whose fundraising revenue she more than tripled during her four years of service. Previously, she spent 12 years on the development team at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI), where she managed corporate and foundation relations, annual giving, gift planning, and corporate-cause marketing and sponsorship. She generated nearly $50 million annually in private philanthropic support for DFCI and attained the position of associate vice president for development.

Megan McDevitt
Vice President of Communications, Gladstone Institutes
Megan Graziano McDevitt is vice president of communications at the Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco. Leading a team of creative and strategic thinkers, McDevitt is responsible for Gladstone's varied communications needs as it relates to all audiences, directly managing internal and external communications activities that promote and enhance Gladstone, its people, and its brand. McDevitt has an entrepreneurial spirit with a consistent ability to develop and implement focused communications that help organizations develop their brand, find their voice, identify their priorities and audiences, and then articulate their stories in clear and compelling ways through strategic communications. McDevitt received a BA in communications with a focus on technology from the University of Washington and was later designated a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP).

Ann G. Merchant
Deputy Executive Director, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, & Medicine
Ann Merchant has worked in marketing and communications for more than 25 years.  She is currently the Deputy Executive Director for Communications at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in Washington, D.C., where she is responsible for a number of innovative outreach programs that contribute to an increased public understanding of science.  With a special interest in promoting science, engineering, and medicine through non-traditional entertainment channels such as television, film, and videogames, she was instrumental in launching and now overseeing The Science & Entertainment Exchange, a program of the National Academy of Sciences that seeks to connect entertainment industry professionals with top scientists and engineers.  She also has responsibility for the institution’s presence at large-scale outreach events such as the USA Science & Engineering Festival.  Merchant served for many years as marketing director for the Academies’ publishing division where she and her staff promoted and marketed more than 175 new titles every year.

Ben Merens
Chief Storyteller, BloodCenter of Wisconsin, Inc.
Ben Merens is the “Chief Storyteller” for the philanthropy team of the Blood Research Institute. He joined the BRI, part of BloodCenter of Wisconsin, in April 2016 to help raise awareness of the BRI’s work and mission, and to help raise funds for research. He spent 21 years at Wisconsin Public Radio as a talk show host. In 2017, Ben taught a graduate storytelling seminar at Mount Mary University. He is the author of “People Are Dying To Be Heard.”

Michael "Chip" Morgan, AIRI Past President 2008-2010
Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation
Chip Morgan has held numerous positions in his 48 years with OMRF and currently serves as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. In his current capacity, he is responsible for managing the internal business operations of this internationally recognized nonprofit biomedical research institute. During his tenure, OMRF has grown to a contiguous campus of over 500,000 square feet and total assets of $380 million. Morgan received his B.B.A. degree from the University of Oklahoma and holds an MBA from Oklahoma City University. He is Past President of the Board of the Association of Independent Research Institutes and currently serves as Chairman of the Government Affairs Committee.  He previously served as Chairman of the Board of the Oklahoma Health Services Federal Credit Union (now known as the FOCUS Federal Credit Union) and the Oklahoma Chapter of the American Heart Association.

Manu Nair
Vice President of Technology Ventures, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation
Mr. Manu Nair is the VP of Technology Ventures for the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (“OMRF”). He is in-charge of developing/commercializing OMRF's technologies, establishing strategic industry collaborations and managing an innovation fund. Prior to joining OMRF, Mr. Nair worked at Mayo Ventures - the technology commercialization and investment arm of the Mayo Clinic. Mr. Nair is an advisor for several US and international organizations. He received his MBA from Lamar University, TX and an advanced degree in intellectual property & technology laws from the Univ. of NH School of Law.

Michael Nunn, PhD
Staff Researcher and Project Manager, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Dr. Nunn has a background coordinating, and securing funding for large multi-institutional research teams. Dr. Nunn came to Salk the Institute from the NIH, where he was Scientific Review Officer (CSR) and Program Director (NINDS). He received his PhD in Molecular Biology from UC Berkeley and postdoctoral training at the Salk, and worked in the biotechnology industry for seven years before moving to the NIH. Dr. Nunn is currently Project Manager of CEMBA, a $25M NIH BRAIN project.

Christine O'Connell, MMSc
Senior Director, Lab Research Operations, Moffitt Cancer Center
Christine O’Connell, MMSc, serves as the Senior Director of Laboratory Research Operations at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute.  Ms. O’Connell has 28 + years of experience in Research Administration.  In 1986 Ms. O’Connell received an MMSc degree in Immunology from Emory University (Atlanta, Ga, USA).  In addition she has received post-graduate training in the area of Health Policy and Management.  In 2007, Ms. O’Connell completed a two-year fellowship at the Advisory Board, an organization focused on healthcare operations and leadership best practices.  Ms. O’Connell joined Moffitt in 1988 and has held several positions within research administration with increasing responsibility.  In her current role, as Sr. Director Laboratory Research Operations, Ms. O’Connell provides leadership and oversight to the laboratory based shared resources.  Duties and responsibilities include the administrative oversight of operating and capital budgets, purchasing, chargeback/fee schedule development and implementation, strategic planning, and the facilitation of the Core Leadership Committee. In addition to proving leadership to Moffitt’s Shared Resources, Ms. O’Connell is responsible for the oversight of the Research Environmental Health & Safety Department and research space planning and management.

Libby O'Hare, AIRI Washington Office
AIRI Washington Representative, Lewis-Burke Associates LLC
Libby leverages her biomedical research expertise, background in research administration policy, and experience on Capitol Hill to provide strategic analysis and support to Lewis-Burke clients in the areas of biomedical research as well as research policy and regulation, with a particular focus on the National Institutes of Health.  Prior to joining Lewis-Burke, Dr. O’Hare was a Program Officer with the Board on Higher Education and Workforce at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine where she managed policy studies examining the regulatory structure governing scientific research, the competitiveness of American research universities, and STEM workforce development.  Dr. O’Hare previously served as a Legislative Assistant for Representative Rush Holt, where she handled energy, science and education policy issues and staffed Rep. Holt in his role as the Senior Democrat on the Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee, House Committee on Natural Resources.  Dr. O’Hare got her start in science policy after being selected by the Society for Research on Child Development as a 2010 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Congressional Science Policy Fellow.  Dr. O’Hare holds a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of California, Los Angeles and an A.B. in Psychology from Bryn Mawr College.

Melissa Pantazi
Director of Organizational Development and Learning, The Jackson Laboratory
In her current role, Melissa is responsible for the review of organizational development and effectiveness at JAX.  In this capacity, she partners with leadership and supports the planning, development and execution of the company’s HR strategies.  Additionally, she plays a key role in applying both strategic and tactical leadership across a variety of HR programs such as learning and development, executive coaching, performance management, training, and project management for key HR initiatives. Prior to joining JAX, Melissa held a variety of Human Resource leadership roles with Ernst & Young, UBS, Diageo and PerkinElmer Inc. In these roles, she lead a variety of global organizational and human resource projects such as organizational development and change management, performance management and measurement, talent acquisition and employee engagement. Melissa holds certifications as a facilitator/trainer with DDI and MBTI as is a member of the APT (Association of Psychological Type) as well as SHRM (Society of Human Resource Management). She has a BS Degree in Psychology and has completed extensive continuing education in Organizational Psychology.

Jennifer Pawlosky
Executive Director of Communications, Allen Institute
As Executive Director for Communications, Jennifer Pawlosky leads messaging, media relations, events and integrated communications efforts for the Allen Institute. Previously, Jennifer worked at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, where she led all development communications and marketing strategies and activities. She held positions in consulting and service line marketing in Seattle, Dallas and Charlotte, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation in Washington, D.C., where she led national media and public relations campaigns. Jennifer received her B.A. in English Literature and Economics from the University of Virginia.

Laura Perin, Proud Sponsor of AIRI 2018
VP, Scientific Category, Educational & Institutional Cooperative Services, Inc. (E&I)
Laura Perin has worked in the Scientific Industry for 25+years in various functions including Sales, Customer Service, and Strategic Sourcing.  Laura has worked for several different organizations including VWR International, Thermo Fisher and The Stowers Institute for Medical Research.  Currently she works for E&I Cooperative Service where she oversees the Scientific Category. Laura is a graduate of Denison University where she earned a BA, Biology and a BA, Dance.

Judah Pollack, Tuesday Keynote Speaker
Author and Partner, Riverene Leadership
Judah is an author, speaker and consultant specializing in creating innovative work cultures. He is a former faculty member at Stanford's StartX Incubator and has spent the past four years working with Airbnb's Research and Design lab. He has worked with the US Army's Special Forces and General Staff on the dynamics of innovation. His latest book is "The Net and the Butterfly: the Art and Practice of Breakthrough Thinking", out from Penguin. It discusses the neuroscience behind the brain's creative process and gives concrete tools and practices to bring that process into the workplace.

Anna-Marie Rooney
VP, Communications, Scripps Research Institute
Recognized as a highly skilled communicator and marketing strategist, Anna-Marie Rooney possesses more than 25 years of experience helping the nation’s leading corporate and nonprofit organizations shine. Currently in her initial year as Vice President of Communications at Scripps Research, she has implemented an effective communications strategy, beginning with a refinement of the nearly 100-year-old institute’s brand and message and culminating in the launch of an entirely redesigned website and supportive collateral. The institute’s visibility and media coverage have since increased significantly across local, national and international landscapes and resulted in new partnerships. Previously, Rooney was Chief Communications Officer at the Salk Institute where she oversaw all communications and media relations. During her leadership, she expanded institute recognition, successfully employing multimedia and social media to disseminate its many accomplishments. Both the website and institute magazine were reimagined, ultimately earning a number of industry awards. Prior to that, Rooney served as Vice President, Marketing and External Affairs for The San Diego Foundation, the largest community foundation in the San Diego region.

Lari C. Russo, AIRI President
Chief Financial Officer, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Lari Russo is the Chief Financial Officer of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, a private not-for-profit research and educational institution located on the north shore of Long Island. CSHL is a leader in pioneering work that shapes contemporary molecular biology and genetics, and enhances scientific knowledge worldwide. Named CFO in 2011, Ms. Russo is currently responsible for all facets of finance, accounting and reporting for the institution, including audit, budgeting, forecasting, endowment, investments, cash management and treasury functions. Ms. Russo joined CSHL in 1998 after working in public accounting managing audits of not-for-profit organizations throughout the Northeast for Schultheis and Panettieri, LLC. Ms. Russo is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants. An alumna of C.W. Post/Long Island University, Ms. Russo is currently President of the Association of Independent Research Institutes, a nationwide association of nonprofit independent research institutes.

Edward Seijo, MS
Director, Translational Sciences & Biorepository Shared Resources, Moffitt Cancer Center
Mr. Seijo joined the Cancer Center in 1999 and currently serves as the Director of Translational Sciences & Biorepository Shared Resources. He is responsible for administratively directing the overall operations of the Translational and Biorepository Shared Resources which include the Tissue Core, Cell Therapies Core, and institutionally-supported Translational Research Facility. His primary responsibilities include, but are not limited to, annual capital and operational budgets; development and implementation of assigned core facilities fee recovery strategies; ensuring that all policies, procedures, and guidelines governing core facility activities that support member-driven science are being followed; serving as a liaison between the shared resources, members, and Cancer Center leadership; and providing operational and feasibility review for new protocols utilizing biospecimens and related data. Mr. Seijo is an active member of the Cancer Center’s Laurel Scientific Review Committee (SRC) which provides scientific and operational review of new protocols utilizing human biospecimens. Similarly, he is the co-chair of the TCC Data and Tissue Management and Release Committee (DATMAR), which provides institutional oversight and recommendations related to release of biospecimens and linked data.

John Shereda, MHRLR, CCP
Senior Compensation Consultant, Van Andel Institute
John Shereda, MLRHR, CCP, is the Senior Compensation Consultant at Van Andel Institute in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  He manages the design, development, deployment, and administration of compensation strategies, policies and programs, and consults with executive leadership, managers and employees to identify, develop and implement strategic initiatives that impact compensation and performance management results.  He has over 30 years of experience in human resources as a generalist and compensation, benefits and HRIS leader in the consumer products, food service, manufacturing, hospitality services, retail, pharmaceutical, public education, and not-for-profit industries.

Robin Snyder, PhD
Vice President, Communications, Buck Institute for Research on Aging
As head of Communications, Robin leads media relations, internal and external communications, marketing, community relations, and public affairs at the Buck. Before joining the Buck in 2017, Robin held a variety of executive roles at the biopharmaceutical company Genentech, including Director of Science Communications and Director of Corporate Communications. Prior to joining Genentech, she was Senior Vice President of the San Francisco Corporate Practice at the global public relations firm Ketchum. Robin is a former TV journalist who worked at the PBS station WNET in New York, CBS News in New York and the CBS affiliate KPIX in San Francisco. She is an obnoxiously proud graduate of Penn State, and holds a PhD in political science from Rutgers University.

Keith Spencer, PhD
Director Academic Liaison, GSK
Keith joined GSK in 2016 and leads the US Academic Liaison Team at GSK, based just outside Philadelphia at GSK’s US R&D Hub. At GSK Keith is responsible for putting in place agreements to facilitate GSK’s collaborations with US academic institutions and other global academic centers. Keith also works to increase GSK’s profile within the US and find opportunities to improve and expand GSK’s search for innovative science and  talent. GSK’s current focus is to  build trust for the mutual benefit of GSK and it’s academic partners and access Innovation across the sector. Prior to being at GSK Keith was at the global research charity, Wellcome Trust, where he was part of the Innovations team which financed a broad range of healthcare opportunities and managed a portfolio of projects worth over $130M. Keith trained as an organic chemist, and obtained his PhD at the University of Oxford. After a postdoc at the University of Pennsylvania he spent 10 years in the biotech sector at Arrow Therapeutics and co-founded re:Viral, a UK-based biotech.

John Stillwagen, MBA
Director, Management Information Systems, The La Jolla Institute
John has for twenty years used technology and process to accelerate technology and create bridges between researchers and the administrators that support them. A native of San Diego, John graduated with a BA from UCSD and started work in the surrounding mesa of biotech institutions and companies - a career spent in this hub of biomedical activity. Having a breadth of IT experience from software and web development, to storage and infrastructure, networking, security and systems and database administration there are very few hats John has not worn over the years. More recently, an MBA graduate of the Kelley School of Business at the University of Indiana, John has begun to use his technical background to aid in solving business and process problems within the labs themselves - offering coaching, solutions management and consultation on all aspects of technology and laboratory management while working on refreshing the La Jolla's back-office systems for ERP, HCM and P2P.

Cary E. Thomas, MBA, CMA, AIRI Past President 2018-2019
Chief Information Officer, Scripps Research Institute
Cary is the Chief Information Officer at The Scripps Research Institute where he has served in a variety of capacities for more than nine years.  Prior to coming to Scripps, Cary held leadership positions in both public and private academic institutions: Senior Associate Dean for Administration and Finance at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine from 2004 to 2008; Chief Operating Officer for the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center from 2000 to 2004; Director for Administration and Finance at the Information Sciences Institute of the University of Southern California from 1991 to 2000; and Director for Administrative Information Systems at San Diego State University from 1989 to 1991.  Cary is a Past President of the Association of Independent Research Institutes (  Cary received two degrees from the University of Maryland at College Park: a BS in information systems and an MBA. Cary has earned the Certificate in Managerial Accounting and is a Certified Research Administrator.  Cary is a contributing author to the textbook, Research Administration and Management: Thomas, C. (2006) Working with Boards of Trustees and Advisory Boards. In E. C. Kulakowski & L. U. Chronister (Eds.), Research Administration and Management, (pp. 113-120). Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett.  Thomas, C. (2006). Financial Reporting for the Research Administrator. In E. C. Kulakowski & L. U. Chronister (Eds.), Research Administration and Management, (pp. 411-420). Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett.

Lydia Villa-Komaroff, PhD, Tuesday Keynote Speaker
Founder and Principal, Intersections SBD
Lydia Villa-Komaroff, PhD, former VP Research and COO of Whitehead Institute, is founder of Intersections SBD Consulting; board member of ATCC, Biomedical Sciences Careers Program, the Keck Graduate Institute, and Cytonome (former CEO, CSO); member of the NSF Committee on Equal Opportunity in Science and Engineering, and the Advisory Council of the NSF Directorate for Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences. She held faculty positions at UMass Medical Center, Children's Hospital, Boston, and Harvard Medical School, and was Vice President for Research at Northwestern University. She served on the boards of the Massachusetts Life Science Center, Transkaryotic Therapies, Inc, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and on the Advisory Councils for National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke, the Biology Directorate of NSF, and the National Academies Standing Committee on Women in Science, Engineering and Medicine. She received a BA from Goucher College and a Ph.D. in Cell Biology from MIT and is a founding member of SACNAS, the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science.

Steve Werling, DBA
President, Werling & Associates
Dr. Stephen Werling is a consultant and educator with over 30 years of consulting experience and 40 years academic experience.  Dr. Werling received his Doctorate of Business Administration with an emphasis in Human Resource Management from the University of Kentucky.  He is the President of Werling Associates, Inc. a San Antonio, TX based Human Resource Management consulting firm established in 1993 that specializes in the design of compensation and incentive plans and selection systems.  Dr. Werling is also a Senior Lecturer at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Stephen S. Wilson, PhD
Executive Vice President & COO, The La Jolla Institute
Dr. Wilson serves as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at LJI. Working with the Board of Directors and President, Chief Scientific Officer, he is responsible for efficient stewardship of Institute resources, effective operation of the research facility, and overall support and well-being of the Institute’s world-class staff. As both an advocate for the Institute and an enthusiast of new frontiers of medicine, Dr. Wilson speaks to groups across the nation with backgrounds that are scientific, industrial, or simply in the public interest.  He serves on several external boards in companies that span the fields of medical diagnostics, interventional therapies, and financial services.  Dr. Wilson was a postdoctoral fellow with funding from the National Institutes of Health as well as the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, with a research focus and journal authorships on autoimmune diseases and informatics. In his capacity as an investigator, he is Executive Director of the Functional Genomics Center, Deputy Principal Investigator of the NIH’s national Immune Epitope Database and Analysis Program, and holds a BSA and PhD from the University of Arizona.

Dagnia Zeidlickis
Vice President, Communications, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Dagnia Zeidlickis is a communicator, passionate about sharing the wonders of life science with public audiences. At Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL), she leads a team that leverages all forms of media available to tell stories about the societal relevance of CSHL’s research discoveries and innovative approaches to science education. With BA/MA degrees from Johns Hopkins University in economics and international relations, Dagnia has worked around the globe in the public and private sectors as an advisor to multinational corporations on trade and investment policy, a strategist and negotiator on foreign direct investments, and a director of public relations campaigns.  But she found her true calling thanks to the help of the 1100 CSHL faculty, employees and students. Their work inspired her conviction that the public needs to know more about biology and genetics. Why? So that everyone can make informed decisions about personal and societal issues like healthcare, food security, energy sources, the environment and even the criminal justice system!

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