Suresh Katta, Founder and CEO
Suresh founded Saama Technologies in 1997, well before the collective global corporate conscience was aware of the extraordinary opportunities – and significant challenges – inherent in big data. Today, under Suresh’s visionary stewardship, Saama successfully harnesses and applies the power of Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning to its award-winning, proprietary analytics platform.
As one of the world’s most inspiring data & analytics (D&A) innovators, Suresh was named PM360 ’s 2018 ELITE Entrepreneur and as one of PharmaVOICE’s 100 Most Inspirational Leaders. He is a frequent contributor to industry publications and a featured speaker at industry conferences.
Prior to founding Saama, Suresh successfully launched two startups. He earned his M.S. in Computer Engineering at the University of Southwest Louisiana, and his B.S. in Electronics Engineering at the University of Bangalore.
Sagar Anisingaraju, Chief Strategy Officer
Sagar drives the concepts, business models, and development of Saama’s innovative analytics solutions. His passion is to help pharma companies operationalize clinical data and accelerate drug development. In 2018, Sagar was awarded a patent for his work using Natural Language Understanding (NLU) for risk and compliance programs.
Sagar came to Saama through the 2010 acquisition of InfoSTEP, Inc., the analytics company he founded in 1998. Sagar served as InfoSTEP CEO for 11 years, where he architected and sold solutions to help manage IT business value and business risks. Prior to starting infoSTEP, Sagar worked at CMC Ltd. with other pioneers in mathematical font generation and transliteration systems.
Sagar holds a B.S. from Andhra University and an M.S. from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur. He is a featured industry speaker and frequent industry association contributor, and has served on the board of ISACA, Silicon Valley Chapter, as Vice President and Director.
Rajeev Dadia, Chief Client Care Officer and Chief Technology Officer
With 24 years of experience in leadership roles at Saama and Silicon Graphics (SGI), Rajeev currently leads Saama’s Client Care and Delivery organizations, while simultaneously driving the company’s technology roadmap.
Previously at Saama, Rajeev led the development of strategies, methodologies, and partnerships, with a focus on cloud, syndicated data sources, social data, advanced analytics, and mobile technologies.
Rajeev has created BI and Analytics strategies for large organizations and managed large-scale deployments of data warehousing, analytics and applied data mining/predictive analytics systems in diverse business environments. He has also been involved in the analysis, design, and deployment of both B2C and B2B solutions in different vertical industries.
Rajeev earned an M.S. in Computer Science at California State University, Chico.
Murali Krishnam, Senior Vice President, Ecosystem Innovations
Murali is responsible for bringing value across the drug lifecycle for biopharmaceuticals through patient-centric data analytics solutions, joint innovation, and transformative business models within the broader ecosystem.
With more than two decades of experience in Industrials, Telecommunications, Technology, and Life Sciences, Murali brings extensive knowledge in mission-critical systems, data analytics, AI/ML, open source, and cloud technologies. During his tenure at Saama, he has pioneered “Analytics-as-a-Service” for mid-size to large organizations with the goal of democratizing data, verticalizing the technology stack, leveraging complementary ecosystems, and generating prediction-guided outcomes.
Murali has played various leadership roles at Saama, focusing on customer success in data analytics strategy and growth-oriented Go-to-Market strategies. In his current position, Murali leads a team that drives Saama’s strategy for collaboration with life sciences partners, including CROs, health systems, academia, data providers, consortiums, public agencies, and non-profit organizations.
With his passion for emerging markets, disruptive technologies, and transformative business models, Murali engages with the broader ecosystem to accelerate drug development for biopharmaceuticals, and, most importantly, enhance patient outcomes.
Murali earned a B.E. in Electronics and Communications from Bangalore University. His work on Analytics-as-a-Service is featured as a case study in The Strategic CIO.
Jonathan Burr, Senior Vice President, Clinical Platform Strategy
As Senior Vice President of Saama’s Clinical Platform Strategy, Jonathan is responsible for growing client adoption of Saama’s existing products at top biopharmaceutical companies, as well as helping to define the long-term and short-term visions for rapidly evolving, transformative changes in the industry. Jonathan is adept at identifying technology trends and market opportunities in the life science industry, and inspiring customers with a vision and
roadmap for leveraging Saama’s solutions to meet their challenging clinical development needs.
Jonathan’s two decades as a strategic, global life sciences industry leader has encompassed multiple technology domains, including clinical data management, biostatistics, pharmacovigilance, and regulatory. His career has also spanned the disciplines of software development, product management, sales and consulting. Prior to joining Saama, Jonathan spent 10 years at Accenture Life Sciences, serving most recently as Managing Director in Accenture’s London-based Accelerated Research & Development (R&D) Services practice where he spearheaded R&D technology offerings across Europe. Previous to that role, Jonathan led the Accenture Life Sciences Cloud (ALSC) offering, with responsibility for a global sales portfolio across the top 50 life sciences companies, as well as strategy and client services. Jonathan’s experience also includes tenures in the sales divisions of Oracle and the contract research organization PPD, as well as software development at Datatrial.
Jonathan is passionate about the opportunity to positively disrupt the life sciences industry by overturning out-of-date business processes and bringing cutting-edge technology to researchers and data scientists, so they are empowered to deliver life-changing therapies where they are most needed, faster than ever before.
Vasant Shetty, Vice President, Corporate Strategic Transformation and Execution
Vasant leads Saama’s business transformation efforts and is responsible for aligning cross-functional initiatives to achieve focused business results.
He has more than 20 years of experience in operations, marketing, and supporting technology solutions in Business Intelligence and data analytics in India and North America.
Prior to Saama, Vasant held a leadership position at DataStraits, a data analytics services company, where he was responsible for establishing a global product development and data analytics team in India and increasing the DataStraits footprint globally. Before that, he was responsible for building the center of excellence for business Intelligence at Capgemini, a leading services firm.
Vasant attended the Executive M.B.A. program at SP Jain Institute of Management and Research in Mumbai and holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Maharashtra University in Kolhapur.
Gregory T. Simpson, Vice President, Head of Marketing
As the leader of Saama’s overall marketing strategy and execution, Greg is responsible for building and strengthening the Saama brand, supporting growth strategies, cultivating opportunities, and increasing demand for Saama solutions.
Prior to joining Saama, Greg spent more than five years at Medidata Solutions, a leader in eClinical development software, where he led an integrated marketing team, built a marketing operations team, and oversaw product marketing for the Medidata Clinical Cloud.
Before Medidata, he was the Chief Marketing Officer at Frontwave, a cloud software startup. Greg is also the founder of a marketing consultancy and served as the CEO of an internet startup. Prior to those entrepreneurial experiences, he held executive marketing, product management, and sales positions at AT&T.
Greg received an MBA in Marketing and an MS degree in International Business from Seton Hall University. He also has a certification in Executive Leadership from Cornell University, and is currently pursuing a MicroMasters in Artificial Intelligence at Columbia University. He is certified in Inbound and Content Marketing and is an Agile ScrumMaster.
Greg is an avid runner who has completed a marathon in every state, as well as the Ironman Triathlon to benefit an autism charity. He also serves on the board of Affinity Federal Credit Union.
On Twitter, follow @GregoryTSimpson.
Distinguished Business Advisors
Opinder Bawa, Advisor
Opinder Bawa is the Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), where he is responsible for institution-wide technology and innovation advancement.
Before his current appointment, Opinder was the CTO at UCSF and CIO at the UCSF School of Medicine. In these roles, he provided leadership in technology, innovation, planning, and delivery of solutions and services across research, education, and patient care.
Opinder is well known in Silicon Valley for building high quality technology teams, providing meaningful vision, and creating widely recognized products. Throughout the course of his career, he has developed award-winning service organizations, known for innovation, domain expertise, and customer satisfaction. He has more than 20 years of experience in business solutions, client engagement, information technology, innovation, and business development.
Prior to joining UCSF, Opinder held other executive roles, including CTO at Boston City Hospital and Senior Vice President at The SCO Group, where he led their worldwide software product lines and customer services.
Opinder’s career also includes leadership and technical roles at Acta Technology, 3Com Corporation, Citibank, Toshiba, IBM, and Metaphor. He has been a board member and seed investor for several technology startups, including ESapio, eTrons, netERP, QVR Corporation, and ValuStream.
Opinder holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from City University of New York and an executive master’s degree in Business and Information Technology from the University of Phoenix.
Mehdi Benchoufi, Ph.D., Advisor
Dr. Mehdi Benchoufi is an Assistant Professor in Clinical Epidemiology at Parisian Hospital Hôtel-Dieu. He is mainly invested in interfaces between clinical research and open technologies, with a strong focus on Blockchain.
Mehdi coordinates a number of Open Science programs, such as echOpen and Epidemium. He was also an associate professor in pure mathematics and a software developer.
Rick Bernstein, Advisor
Rick is the Chief Commercial Officer for MedNet, a healthcare technology company specializing in eClinical solutions for the global life sciences industry, where he is responsible for the development of commercial infrastructure and strategy. He is currently leading the development of an optimized sales, business development, and distribution strategy to drive aggressive growth across key market segments, including CROs and pharmaceutical, medical device, and biotechnology sponsors.
Ashok Bhat, Advisor
Ashok Bhat is a Board Advisor at Saama. Based in London, United Kingdom, Ashok brings more than two and a half decades of experience of serving Pharma Tech. In his most recent role, he was the Global Vice President- Customer Innovation at Oracle Corporation. He has also held senior roles in pharmaceutical companies, including GSK and Celltech, before foraying into the life sciences and healthcare software industry with a focus on providing Software-as-a-Service to global majors. His depth of experience in Clinical Development, Data Science, Cloud Computing, SaaS, and related areas will strengthen the company’s ability to deliver on sustainable growth. He has been widely recognized for helping and advising technology companies grow and become leaders in providing Life Sciences technology solutions.
Stephen Cunningham, M.D., Advisor
Dr. Stephen Cunningham is a 25-year pharmaceutical veteran who has led teams that delivered on the development, regulatory approvals, and launch of numerous significant products that improve patient health. He has global experience leading cross-functional teams from Phase 1 through lifecycle management in the areas of Neuroscience, Cardiovascular, Metabolism, Respiratory, Immunology, Oncology, Women’s Health, Transplant, and Clinical Pharmacology.
Stephen started his career at ICI Pharmaceuticals, holding global positions of increasing responsibility at ICI, Zeneca, and Novartis. After joining Novartis in 2000 as Head of Medical Affairs in the U.S., Stephen quickly assumed the role of Chief Scientific Officer and Head of U.S. Clinical Development, Medical Affairs and Evidence Based Medicine in 2001.
While at Novartis, he built a world-class U.S. Clinical Development and Medical Affairs organization, supporting drug development, launch and lifecycle management of products worldwide.
Since 2014, Stephen has worked with venture capital firms as a strategic consultant and as an independent board director.
John J. Fox, Advisor
John is Vice President, Global Payroll with Johnson & Johnson. Prior to his current assignment, John served as Vice President of Information Technology of the Pharmaceuticals Group from 2000 to 2009 and also served as a member of the Pharmaceuticals Group Operating Committee. Before this, he was the Vice President Information Management for the Pharmaceuticals Group, EMEA and Asia/Pacific.
John began his career as a Medical Statistician at Janssen UK, moving into Information Management in 1982 and eventually assuming the position of IM Manager for Janssen UK in 1985. In the following seven years, John assumed responsibility for Finance at Janssen UK, eventually becoming the Director of Finance and IM and a member of the Management Board.
Over the years, John has built a strong reputation as an active business partner and has been responsible for a number of major systems implementations supporting the supply chain, research and development, sales and marketing, and administration.
After receiving a degree in Applied Mathematics from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, John began as an actuarial trainee and later joined Janssen UK in 1979.
John is a native of Glasgow, Scotland. He and his wife, Margaret, are the parents of two sons.
Clark Golestani, Advisor
Clark Golestani has over 30 years of experience in health, life sciences and technology, and is an active investor, advisor and board member with a focus on the healthcare, life science and technology, media, and telecommunications (TMT) sectors. Mr. Golestani currently serves as the managing director of C Sensei Group, LLC an advisory services firm, as a senior advisor to New Mountain Capital, as an investment advisor to both the K2 Access Fund and The CXO Fund, as a member of the DIA – Science and Policy Advisory Council, and as a special advisor to the Dean at the University of Texas at Austin, Dell Medical School.
Mr. Golestani actively advises companies, private equity and venture funds across healthcare, life sciences and horizontal technology sectors spanning company, go-to-market, data, digital, technology, and transformation strategies.
Mr. Golestani serves as an independent director on the board of directors for CIOX Health, the leading provider of health information management and exchange across the United Sates; eMids, a leading provider of digital transformation solutions to the healthcare industry, serving payers, providers, life sciences, and technology firms; Molecula, the leading Cloud Data Access platform that simplifies, accelerates, and improves control over big data infrastructure for mission critical Advanced Analytics, Machine Learning, and IoT applications; ToposWare Inc., developer of the worlds most advanced fully interoperable blockchain ecosystem powered by zero-knowledge proofs that provides tamper resistance and data privacy to enable global enterprises; TruU, Inc., the leading provider of converged security services that leverages AI, biometrics, and user behavior to provide a trusted user identity that can seamlessly migrate across digital and physical mediums; and Zapata Computing, the leading provider of quantum computing software and algorithms to solve industry-critical problems.
Mr. Golestani retired from Merck in 2018 as the President, Emerging Businesses and Global CIO, with responsibilities for Merck’s portfolio of digital health services and solutions companies inclusive of the company’s venture and equity funds – each of which extensively leverages opportunities across the digital health ecosystem. Further, Mr. Golestani led the company’s global Information Technology organization, strategy, and execution worldwide, spanning all lines of business inclusive of Human Health and Animal Health BioPharma.
Prior to joining Merck, Mr. Golestani was responsible for establishing and managing strategic client relationships from business development through consulting services engagement delivery as a principal with Oracle.
Previously, Mr. Golestani served as chairman of the board for Sparta Systems acquired by Honeywell International Inc., on the Board of Directors for Liaison Technologies acquired by Open Text Corporation, NPower, and Seal Software acquired by Docusign, and UMUC/Ventures. He has a degree in Management Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management, and is a cofounder of Cross Road Technologies, Inc., in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Scot Harper, Ph.D., Advisor
Dr. Scot Harper received his undergraduate degree from DePauw University and his doctoral degrees from Indiana University School of Medicine. He subsequently served on the faculty of the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, where he oversaw an extramurally funded research program in hypertension, stroke, and neoplasia.
He began his industry career with GlaxoSmithKline in medical affairs and new product development roles. He was recruited to Eli Lilly and Company to develop its oncology investigator-initiated clinical trial program and later became U.S. oncology medical director, followed by a role leading U.S. clinical research operations. He was recruited to Novartis Pharmaceuticals to head up North America clinical research operations and later became the CEO of a subsidiary, Novartis Clinical Operations, Inc., which provided clinical research services to all clinical development divisions within the company.
Following his retirement from Novartis, Dr. Harper became the head of clinical development at Endocyte, an oncology biotechnology company, leading its early phase clinical program. He is currently president of SLH Group, LLC, a life sciences consulting company.
Stef Heylen, M.D., Advisor
Former Managing Director Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, Belgium and Chief Operating Officer, Janssen R&D Global
Stef Heylen, M.D., recently retired as Managing Director of Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, Belgium, and Chief Operating Officer of Janssen R&D Global.
Stef has 30-plus years of drug development and executive management experience in the pharma industry. His expertise extends over a wide range of areas: the development of small molecules, monoclonal antibodies and vaccines; clinical research in neuroscience and infectious diseases; regulatory affairs, drug safety, medical affairs, R&D operations, project/portfolio and general management.
As Managing Director Stef oversaw the corporate direction and strategy of Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, Belgium, focusing on leadership, innovation and unmet medical needs for patients in the development of tomorrow’s solutions. He was responsible for maximizing existing strengths and leveraging the present blend of innovation and experience to break new ground. He also was instrumental in using this strength to foster the ecosystem in Belgium by setting up successful strategic collaboration agreements with most of the large universities in Belgium and Research Institutes such as VIB and IMEC, as well as attracting start-up companies to the JLABS bio-incubator in Beerse.
As leader of the global Janssen R&D Operations team, Stef oversaw Global Clinical Development Operations, Quantative Sciences, Pharmaceutical Development and Manufacturing Sciences, R&D Project and Portfolio Management and R&D Operations Innovation, driving operational excellence and execution of the company’s global development programs to bring innovative transformational solutions to patients globally, quickly and cost-effectively.
In his previous role, Stef was the Head of the Johnson & Johnson R&D Innovation Program Office, driving meaningful innovation and leveraging innovation capabilities across all sectors of the Johnson & Johnson enterprise.
From 2009 till 2013 he was Head of R&D and Chief Medical Officer for Janssen Alzheimer Immunotherapy, LLC, based in San Francisco, USA, and before that Chief Medical Officer, Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Early Development, EU. From 2003 to 2007 Stef served as Site Head, Vice President Development for Tibotec, based in Mechelen, Belgium. During his tenure, two of the company’s HIV medicines were granted accelerated approval.
Before joining Tibotec, Stef was Vice President, Development & Regulatory Affairs at Crucell in Leiden, the Netherlands, and held several senior positions within Janssen including Vice President, Global Regulatory Affairs and Pharmacovigilance, and Vice President, Medical Affairs for the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. He joined the Janssen Research Foundation in 1987 and led the global clinical development of the antipsychotic RISPERDAL, one of the most successful Janssen medicines.
Stef obtained his M.D. at the University of Leuven, Belgium, and the Prince Leopold Institute for Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium.
Stef has a passion and proven track record for global public health and innovation in drug development.
Currently, he is board member of AZ Turnhout General Hospital, UZA University Hospital Antwerp, and ExeVir, a Belgium-based biotech company developing single-domain antibody-based therapies for COVID-19 and other viral infections.
Makarand Jawadekar, Ph.D., Advisor
Dr. Makarand (Mak) Jawadekar is currently an independent pharma professional. He worked at Pfizer, Inc. for 28 consecutive years as Director, Portfolio Management. During his tenure at Pfizer, he was responsible for external Drug Delivery Technology Assessment. He has extensive experience in creating and cultivating partnerships and alliances.
His experience with Pfizer R&D includes Solids R&D, Drug Product formulation/Dosage Form/Drug Delivery development, Clinical Trials Supply Manufacturing, Scale-up and Technology Transfer, Pharma R&D outsourcing, and Pharmacy. He was the Bench Scientist who worked on the challenging Sertraline (ZOLOFT) tablet formulation. In the recent past, he had been also been engaged in coordinating outsourced R&D activities with external partners.
Mak began his professional career at Pfizer Central Research in early 1982, after having completed his Ph.D. in Pharmaceutics at the University of Minnesota. He was honored with an honorary D.Sc. degree by DYP Mumbai University, recommended by the President of India in Feb 2011.
Jay Kaminski, Advisor
Jay is currently Chief Operating Officer at Celularity, a biotech start-up focused on harnessing the power of allogeneic placental cell therapeutics in Immuno-Oncology and other diseases with unmet medical needs.
Jay has close to 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry, covering a broad range of therapeutic areas. He is an accomplished executive who is equally adept at shaping strategy and driving execution and nurturing culture.
Jay held the position of SVP, Global Clinical Research & Development Operations at Celgene Corporation, where he was responsible for leading all Global Clinical R&D Operations in support of Celgene-sponsored trials. At Celgene, Jay was also Director Field Sales; Executive Director Sales and Commercial Operations; Vice President Strategic Operations; Vice President General Manager, Celgene Cellular Therapeutics; and Vice President Business Development. Jay was instrumental in designing and patenting the enhanced S.T.E.P.S. (REMS) managed distribution program in support of THALOMID (thalidomide) and REVLIMID (lenalidomide) commercialization and successor compounds.
Prior to joining Celgene, Jay was with TAP Pharmaceuticals, a joint venture between Abbott Laboratories and Takeda Pharmaceuticals, for seven years, where he held various positions in sales, sales management, and marketing.
Jay holds a B.S Degree in Business Management from Ithaca College.
Mohit Kaushal, M.D., Advisor
Dr. Kaushal has had an extensive career within investing, clinical medicine/academia and public policy. Mohit is an investor/board member to numerous transformational companies including Humedica (acquired by Optum Health), Rxante (acquired by Millennium), Change Healthcare (acquired by Emdeon), Universal American (NYSE:UAM) acquired by WellCare (NYSE:WCG), Gravie, Elation Health, Wellframe, CitiusTech and Oak Street Health.
During his time in the Obama administration, he was a member of the White House Health IT task force; a cross agency team implementing the technology aspects of the ACA and testified to Congress on the application of beneficial technology to the Medicare population.
He also built and led the first dedicated health care team at the Federal Communications Commission, where his team-initiated collaboration with the Food and Drug Administration for the regulatory streamlining of converged telecommunications, data analytics and medical devices leading to the release of the mobile medical applications guidance by the FDA. In addition, his team reformed the Rural Healthcare fund to create the Healthcare Connect Fund, which aligned the funding mechanism with wider health care payment policy and technology reform.
In addition, Dr. Kaushal is an Adjunct Professor at Stanford University with a joint position within the newly created Biomedical Data Science Department and the medical school’s Clinical Excellence Research Center.
Rebecca D. Kush, Ph.D., Advisor
Dr. Rebecca Daniels Kush is President of Catalysis, Inc., a consulting company founded in 1997 with a vision to apply enterprising solutions to transform clinical research and accelerate a learning health system. She is also the Chief Innovation Officer for Elligo Health Research, which is dedicated to engaging physicians and patients who may not otherwise have access to research and transforming the research process using eSource and improved data flow techniques.
Rebecca also consults for the Translational Research Informatics Institute (TRI Japan), working to expand the International Academic Research Organization (IARO) Council activities globally. She serves on the Steering Committee of the Learning Health Community.
Previously, Rebecca was the Founder, President, and CEO of the Clinical Data Interchange Standards Consortium (CDISC). This organization offers a suite of data standards that support clinical research in therapeutic areas that affect more than 1.5 billion lives. These standards are now required for submissions for new drug applications by the FDA and PMDA.
Rebecca has more than 30 years of experience in clinical research, including positions within academia and at the U.S. National Institutes of Health, a global CRO, and biopharmaceutical companies in the U.S. and Japan.
She wrote the chapter on Data Sharing in Clinical Research Informatics (ed., Springer), was the lead author of eClinical Trials: Planning and Implementation (a CenterWatch publication), and has written numerous publications for journals like the New England Journal of Medicine and Science Translational Medicine. She is currently an Associate Editor for Wiley’s open access journal on Learning Health Systems.
Rebecca earned her Doctorate in Physiology and Pharmacology from the University of California San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine, and her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Chemistry from the University of New Mexico.
FREDA C. LEWIS-HALL, MD, DFAPA, MFPM, Advisor
During her 35-year career in medicine, Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall has been on the frontlines of health care as a clinician, educator, researcher, and leader in the biopharmaceuticals and life sciences industries. Freda served as Pfizer, Inc.’s Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President until the end of 2018 and as Chief Patient Officer and Executive Vice President during 2019. In these roles, Freda expanded outreach to patients, reshaped the focus on patient engagement and inclusion, improved health information and education, and amplified the voice of the patient within company culture and decision-making. She was responsible for the safe, effective and appropriate use of Pfizer medicines and vaccines.
Before joining Pfizer, Dr. Lewis-Hall held senior leadership positions of Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President, Medicines Development at Vertex Pharmaceuticals; Senior Vice President, US Pharmaceuticals at Bristol Myers Squib; Vice President, Research and Development, Product Development at Pharmacia Corporation; and, Product Team Leader and Director at Eli Lilly and Company.
Freda currently serves on the Board of Fellows of The Harvard Medical School, the Board of Advisors of the Dell Medical School, the board of the Foundation of the National Institutes of Health, and the Board of Governors for the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. She currently serves on the corporate boards of Milliken and Company, a global diversified industrial manufacturer; 1Life Healthcare, Inc., a health services company; Exact Sciences, Inc., a molecular diagnostics company, and SpringWorks Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company.
Prior to joining the biopharmaceutical industry, Freda served as vice chairperson and associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Howard University College of Medicine and was an advisor to the National Institute of Mental Health. She earned a B.A. in Natural Sciences from The Johns Hopkins University and an M.D. from Howard University College of Medicine. She launched her medical career as a practicing physician and then focused her academic research on the effects of health care disparities and the impact of mental illness on families and communities.
Freda is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine of the Royal College of Physicians of the United Kingdom. She is a frequent speaker on issues such as improving patient safety and health outcomes, reducing stigma and healthcare disparities, women’s health, public health, corporate leadership and diversity. Freda is an accomplished developer of consumer education and medical outreach programs, including national television and radio shows such as segments on Dr. Phil, The Doctors, THE REAL, TEDMed, The Urban Health Report, and multiple on-line sites.
Azmi Nabulsi, M.D., M.P.H, Advisor
Dr. Azmi Nabulsi, a physician and public health professional, is a seasoned global corporate executive with a successful track record in pharmaceutical research and development. He is currently Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) at Frazier Healthcare Partners in Palo Alto. This followed a 14-year career at Takeda Pharmaceuticals, marked by industry-leading innovations and transformational accomplishments.
At Takeda, Azmi served as both the deputy chief medical and scientific officer of Company Limited, one of the 20 largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, and R&D head of strategic and professional affairs. In these roles, he oversaw a $3 billion global portfolio and managed more than 1,000 people and a budget of $450 million.
He was responsible for bringing the majority of Takeda’s 21 new drugs in multiple therapeutic areas and countries to market from 2005 to 2015, and led the creation of the first global Biotechnology Innovation Park in Japan.
Azmi has led or directed partnerships and alliances in oncology, immunology, and cardiovascular medicine and metabolism. His impact extends to investor relations, regulatory affairs, crisis management, and stakeholder relations, including patient advocacy.
From 2009 to 2013, he played a key role in transforming Takeda’s organization and culture following the acquisitions of Millenium, Nycomed, and TAP. From 2006 to 2009, he worked in Japan as the company’s general manager of strategic development, where he oversaw global development and regulatory strategy for all Takeda products, as well as portfolio strategy and R&D alliance management. He was also instrumental in the globalization efforts of Takeda R&D. From 2004 to 2006, he held leadership positions in R&D Operations.
Azmi currently sits on the board of the Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research. He previously served as a board member for the Illinois Science and Technology Coalition, iBio Institute, and the Rosalind Franklin School of Medicine and Science College of Pharmacy. He has also held academic appointments in epidemiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Minnesota.
Azmi received his M.D. from Ain-Shams University, Cairo, Egypt, and an M.P.H. from the University of Minnesota. His professional affiliations include the Chief Medical Officers Executive Summit & Roundtable; International Society of Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR); American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO); and the American Heart Association (AHA). He is the author of, or cited in, more than 25 scientific publications.
Christine Poon, Advisor
Christine is an Executive-in-Residence in the Department of Management and Human Resources at The Max M. Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University, where she served as Dean and the John W. Berry, Sr. Chair in Business from 2009 to 2014.
Prior to joining Fisher, she spent eight years at Johnson & Johnson, most recently as vice chairman and worldwide chairman of pharmaceuticals. She also served on the company’s board of directors and executive committee. Before joining Johnson & Johnson, Christine spent 15 years at Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, where she held senior leadership positions including president of international medicines and president of medical devices.
Christine serves on the boards of Prudential Financial, Inc., The Sherwin-Williams Company and Royal Philips Electronics.
M. R. Rangaswami, Advisor
M.R. (Madhavan) Rangaswami is a software executive, investor, entrepreneur, corporate eco-strategy expert, community builder and philanthropist. Recognized as a software business expert, M.R. participated in the rapid expansion of the Silicon Valley software industry during his tenure as an executive at both large and small software companies. In 1997, M.R. co-founded Sand Hill Group, an investment and consulting group which made several notable investments, produced the Enterprise and Software conference series and launched SandHill.com, an online resource for software business strategy. In 2007, M.R. founded the Corporate Eco Forum, an organization dedicated to improving the effectiveness of eco-strategies at Global 500 companies. In 2012 he founded Indiaspora to unite Indian Americans and to transform their success into meaningful impact in India and on the global stage.
Rich Roth, Advisor
SVP / Chief Strategic Innovation Officer, CommonSpirit Health
Senior executive with a proven track record of success. Recognized throughout career for advancing novel concepts and championing positive change.
Extensive background in joint venture and start-up development, venture capital, private equity, healthcare strategy, public health, and health policy.
Patrick Steele, Advisor
Patrick Steele is an innovative executive with experience in all aspects of healthcare, insurance, retail, wholesale, supply chain, merchandising, information technology (IT), dot.com profit & loss, and worldwide retail exchange functions. A technology astute executive with generalist leadership talent, focused on the intersection of technology and business, from a strategic perspective. A proven executive with the ability to create a vision, secure the monetary resources and focus the management team to align the human capital needed to achieve the strategic execution that brings a vision to life. As member of executive management teams, successfully led several business process reengineering and technology refresh projects. An excellent communicator and speaker in presentations to both Board of Directors and the public.
Mr. Steele has 50 years of experience in healthcare, insurance, corporate retail, wholesale, supply chain, merchandising, and information technology (IT) functions.
Mr. Steele retired 5 years ago as Executive Vice President and CIO for Delta Dental of California and a member of the Senior Executive Management Team. Delta Dental is an $8 billion enterprise and one of the largest dental benefit administrators in the nation.
Prior to joining Delta Dental, he was involved in consulting and business development, and was active in establishing several technology companies that serve the retail sector. As a former member of the executive management team for a $37 billion retailer, Mr. Steele led numerous strategic projects, inclusive of both large and small mergers and acquisitions, which spanned a 35 year career.
Mr. Steele is focused on the power of organizations using technology as a differentiator in their marketplace and is always looking for solutions that fall outside of the usual lines of business he is involved in. To assist in this quest Mr. Steele Chairs the Advisory Board for Blumberg Capital a Venture Capital firm and is active in the evaluation of new companies for the firm to invest in.
Mr. Steele was a Board member and Vice Chair of the Board for Dignity Health, a large multi-state Healthcare delivery company based in San Francisco and now sits on the Board of CommonSpirit Health, a national Healthcare company.
Mr. Steele holds a BA in Business Administration and a BS in Mathematics, both from the University in Washington.
He has been active in numerous civic organizations and divides his time between his homes in San Francisco and Seattle.
Anand Tharmaratnam, M.D., Advisor
Anand Tharmaratnam is a seasoned healthcare executive with 24 years of life sciences industry experience.
An anaesthesiologist by training, Anand qualified as a medical doctor at University College London, UK and subsequently specialised in Anaesthesiology. Following an early career in anaesthesia and critical care medicine with the National Health Service, UK, he joined the healthcare industry in 1997.
Anand spent 23 years at Quintiles, where he initially worked as a medical lead and led clinical development programs across Europe. In 2001, he led the expansion of the Quintiles business into India by setting up the world’s first offshore clinical development ECG laboratory in Mumbai. He subsequently helped build the Quintiles business in Japan, Brazil, and Peru.
Between 2004 and 2016 Anand led a team that built the Quintiles business in Asia Pacific/Japan to a billion dollar a year sales business, and in that time was also part of the global executive team that took Quintiles public on the NYSE in 2013. He further led the expansion of the Quintiles business in Asia Pacific to build new local products and services to serve the fast-growing and emerging biotechnology clients in Korea, China, Australia, and Taiwan. In 2016 he was on the global executive team that merged with IMS Health to create IQVIA.
Between 2016 and 2020 Anand led and grew the merged IQVIA businesses across Asia Pacific, including the largest clinical development business in Asia, the largest healthcare consulting practice in Asia, an emerging real-world data business, the legacy IMS commercial solutions, and technology businesses.
Anand currently runs AskDrT Limited an independent healthcare investments and management advisory practice, based out of London, UK.
He is a senior advisor to TPG Capital and is Chairman of Novotech Health Holdings, the largest independent CRO in Asia Pacific.
In addition to his role at Saama Technologies he sits on advisory boards for other innovative, fast-growing healthcare companies, as well as advises governments on their clinical trials capabilities.
Anand is an investor in the healthcare and entertainment industries and is kept busy outside of work by his three teenage sons and passions for food, sport, and travel.
Sandy Tremps, Advisor
Having spent the majority of her career driving the information technology (IT) organizations within leading global pharmaceutical companies, Sandy Tremps has wide-ranging leadership experience with the technology aspects of R&D, information management, shop floor controls, and supply chain capabilities.
Most recently, Sandy was the Vice President of Research & Development IT at Merck, where she led all aspects of IT, from strategy development through implementation. In this role, she focused on optimizing discovery and development, with an emphasis on compliance, through greater data integration and visibility.
Prior to that, Sandy led IT organizations across multiple Merck divisions and programs in support of Merck Research Laboratory Global Development, Merck Research Laboratory Pre-Clinical, Global Human Health Emerging Markets, Merck Manufacturing Division IT Automation, and Merck Manufacturing Division Project 2000.
Sandy earned her Bachelors in Computer Information Systems from Purdue University, and her Masters in Technology Management from the University of Pennsylvania.
Jonathan Zung, Ph.D., Advisor
Dr. Jonathan Zung is an experienced pharmaceutical industry executive with more than 25 years of development experience. He has held executive leadership positions in the pharmaceutical and pharmaceutical services industries.
Jonathan currently serves as advisor to the CEO, WCG, and President of Clintrax. Prior to that he was group president, Clinical Development & Commercialization Services for Covance Drug Development, where he led a global organization of 8,000-plus employees in 60 countries, spanning all phases of development and global market access services.
Before joining Covance, Jonathan was vice president and head of Global Clinical Sciences and Operations at UCB, with responsibility for clinical operations, data management, statistical sciences, contracting, medical writing, and operational excellence across the United States, Europe and Asia.
Previously, he was vice president and head of Global Development Operations at Bristol-Myers Squibb, where he led a 1,400-person organization that managed clinical trials from Phase II through registration. He also held several positions of increasing responsibility at Pfizer Global Research and Development.
Jonathan is a board member of the Clinical Data Interchange Standards Consortium (CDISC). Previously, he served as chair of the TransCelerate BioPharma operations committee from 2013-2015 and served as a member of The Florida Institute of Technology Board of Trustees from 2010-2016.
He received his doctorate in analytical chemistry from Emory University in Atlanta, and has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne.
Special Advisor to the CEO
David J. Shulkin M.D.,
The Honorable Dr. David J. Shulkin was the ninth Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Nominated by President Trump, Secretary Shulkin was confirmed by the U.S. Senate by a vote of 100-0.
As Secretary, David represented 21 million American veterans and was responsible for the nation’s largest integrated health care system, with more than 1,200 sites of care. The VA is also the nation’s largest provider of graduate medical education and a major contributor to medical research.
Prior to joining the VA in the Obama administration, David was a widely respected healthcare executive. He served as chief executive of leading hospitals and health systems, including Beth Israel in New York City and Morristown Medical Center in Northern New Jersey. He has also held numerous physician leadership roles, including Chief Medical Officer of the University of Pennsylvania Health System, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Temple University Hospital, and the Medical College of Pennsylvania Hospital.
David has also held numerous academic positions, including Chairman of Medicine and Vice Dean at Drexel University School of Medicine.
As an entrepreneur, David founded and served as the Chairman and CEO of DoctorQuality, one of the first consumer orientated sources of information for quality and safety in healthcare. He has served on boards of managed care companies, technology companies, and health care organizations.
David is the 2018 University of Pennsylvania Leonard Davis Institute Distinguished Health Policy Fellow and Professor in the Jefferson University College of Population Health. A board-certified internist, he received his medical degree from the Medical College of Pennsylvania, his internship at Yale University School of Medicine, and a residency and Fellowship in General Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Presbyterian Medical Center. He received advanced training in outcomes research and economics as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania.
Over his career, David has been named as one of the Top 100 Physician Leaders of Hospitals and Health Systems by Becker’s Hospital Review and one of the “50 Most Influential Physician Executives in the Country” by Modern Healthcare and Modern Physician. He has also previously been recognized as one of the “One Hundred Most Influential People in American Healthcare” by Modern Healthcare.
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