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Tuesday, October 11

Morning Plenary: "Team Science: Catalyzing Collaborative Solutions"

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Julie Louise Gerberding, MD, MPH 

CEO, Foundation for the National Institutes of Health 

Dr. Julie Louise Gerberding is the Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH).  The FNIH creates and manages research alliances with public and private institutions in support of the mission of the NIH to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability.  The FNIH works with its partners to accelerate biomedical research that addresses some of the most pressing health challenges in the United States and across the globe. 


Formerly, Dr. Gerberding was Executive Vice President and Chief Patient Officer at Merck & Co., Inc., where she was responsible for patient engagement, strategic communications, global public policy, population health, and corporate responsibility. She joined Merck in 2010 as President of Merck Vaccines to help increase global access to important vaccines among those who need them most.  


Dr. Gerberding was Director of the United States CDC from 2002-2009, where she led the agency through more than 40 emergency responses to public health crises, including SARS in 2003.  She currently co-chairs the CSIS Commission on Strengthening America’s Health Security and is a board trustee at Mayo Clinic and Case Western Reserve University and serves as a board director for HilleVax, Afternext Health Tech, and SummerBio.  


Dr. Gerberding has received more than 50 awards and honors, including the United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Distinguished Service Award for her leadership in responses to anthrax bioterrorism and the September 11, 2001 attacks.  In 2018, she was selected as the Healthcare Businesswomen Association’s Woman of the Year.  


Dr. Gerberding received her undergraduate and M.D. degrees from Case Western Reserve University (CWRU).  She completed her internship and residency in Internal Medicine and fellowship in Clinical Pharmacology and Infectious Diseases at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and is board certified in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases. She served as a tenured member of the infectious diseases faculty at UCSF and the hospital epidemiologist at San Francisco General Hospital and is currently an Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine at UCSF and an Adjunct Professor of Medicine at CWRU.  Dr. Gerberding received a Masters of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley.  She is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the American College of Physicians. 


John Flavin, MBA

Founder and CEO, Portal Innovations

John is the Founder and CEO of Portal Innovations, a premier venture development engine that builds and invests in life sciences ventures. John is a proven leader with a track record of bringing valuable corporate, academic, and civic enterprises from concept to reality, including Advanced Life Sciences, MediChem, MATTER and the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Chicago. John is Co-Founder and Chairman of Pyxis Oncology (NASDAQ: PYXS), Executive Chair of ClostraBio, and Board member at Grove Biopharma. Over the course of his career, John has successfully raised more than $375 million of private and philanthropic capital and three NASDAQ IPO’s.

John hosts the Lab Rats to Unicorns podcast focused on humanizing biotech and is a frequent key-note speaker, panelist, and lecturer on the topics of innovation, entrepreneurship and commercialization and is quoted often in the financial press including Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, Crain’s Chicago Business and thought leadership media appearances on Bloomberg and WGN.

Afternoon Plenary: "Becoming Better Ancestors:
The Role of Industry in Achieving Global Health Equity"


Vasant Narasimhan, MD

Chief Executive Officer, Novartis 

Since becoming CEO of Novartis in 2018, Vas has led a strategic and cultural transformation to build a focused medicines company powered by technology leadership in R&D, data science, world-class commercialization and global access to medicine. He leads a company of more than 108,000 associates that does business in approximately 155 countries and that reached 766 million patients with its medicines in 2021.

Vas has focused his education and career on improving human health and on his personal purpose of inspiring a healthier world. During and after his medical studies, he worked on public health issues such as HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis in India, Africa and South America. He continues to champion access and global health priorities, including through a commitment by Novartis to expand access to innovative medicines in low- and middle-income countries by at least 200% by 2025.

"I never lose my sense of wonder at how human ingenuity is leading to longer, healthier lives. At Novartis, we are reimagining medicine by using innovative science and technology to address some of society’s most challenging and long-standing healthcare issues. We discover and develop breakthrough treatments and find new ways to deliver them to as many people as possible."

Since joining Novartis in 2005, Vas has held a range of leadership roles, including Global Head of Development for Novartis Vaccines, and Global Head of Drug Development and Chief Medical Officer. In recognition of his sustained efforts to improve human health, he is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine in the US.

As CEO, Vas is transforming Novartis to unleash the creativity of employees and make culture a driver of innovation, reputation and performance. Drawing inspiration from ancient philosophical texts and from leading thinkers today, he is committed to developing “unbossed” leaders who inspire and empower their teams. Vas has also sparked a digital revolution at Novartis; the company is using data science and digital technology to find new ways to discover and develop medicines and increase efficiency.

Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Vas lives in Basel, Switzerland, with his wife and two sons. A lifelong vegetarian, he is passionate about environmental and wildlife conservation and is an avid reader on topics including history, leadership and philosophy.


Vivian Singletary, MBA, JM 

Director, Public Health Informatics Institute, The Task Force for Global Health 

Vivian Singletary, MBA, JM, is the executive director of the Public Health Informatics Institute. In this role, she steers the work of PHII toward a world where every country has the capacity to access, use and share timely information to protect and improve the health of its people. Vivian is a recognized leading voice in the emergent and rapidly evolving field of public health informatics.

As a seasoned informatics expert and global public health leader, Vivian is uniquely positioned to drive and develop PHII’s global portfolio of innovative, cross-cutting projects in the larger public health context. Vivian brings modern systems thinking, innovation and creativity to her oversight of PHII. Her leadership is driven by an inherent desire to transform public health information systems to provide information for decision-making in a timely manner to protect health.

Vivian’s experience combines nearly 30 years in systems development and public health. Earlier in her career, she served in leadership positions in supply chain management, process improvement and information systems implementation. She also acted as the director of informatics practice for the Child Health and Mortality Prevention Surveillance (CHAMPS)initiative, which addresses the causes of childhood mortality in developing countries in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

Vivian serves as vice president for Digital Bridge, a forum for healthcare experts, public health professionals and industry partners to discuss the challenges of information sharing and incubate solutions for a nationally consistent and sustainable approach to promoting bidirectional information exchange between healthcare and public health. She has been recognized as one of the Most Powerful Women in IT by Health Data Management and has been honored during Women's History Month for her contributions toward ending theCOVID-19 pandemic. Vivian also serves on the board of directors for the Public Health Foundation and on the Advisory Board for Georgia State's Institute of Health Administration Program.

Vivian has contributed extensively to public health scholarship by authoring and co-authoring a range of academic publications and presentations. Most recently, Vivian advocated for an integrated approach to data modernization and offered guidance to health departments looking to use best practices of the software development field to increase their informatics capacity. She also recently co-authored a chapter on project management and informatics for the third edition of the seminal Public Health Informatics and Information Systems textbook, in addition to numerous other publications.

Vivian holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Kennesaw State University and a juris master’s degree from Emory University School of Law, with a focus on global health. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

John Flavin
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