Morris Birnbaum, M.D., Ph.D.Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of Internal Medicinet, Pfizer
Dr. Birnbaum completed his undergraduate, graduate and medical training at Brown University in Providence, R.I., before moving to St. Louis to carry out clinical training in Internal Medicine at Barnes Hospital of Washington University School of Medicine. He then performed postdoctoral studies at the University of California, San Francisco and Sloan-Kettering Cancer Institute. Following an associate professorship in the Department of Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School, he moved to the University of Pennsylvania as professor of Medicine and Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, where he later became associate dean for Biomedical Cores and associate director of the Institute for Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism. In 2014, Dr. Birnbaum joined Pfizer Inc. in Cambridge, Mass., as senior vice president and chief scientific officer of CVMET. In 2017, he became the senior vice president and chief scientific officer of Internal Medicine. He was elected to membership in the American Society for Clinical Investigation and Association of American Physicians, and is a fellow of the AAAS. He has served as deputy editor for the Journal of Clinical Investigation and is currently on the Editorial board of Cell Metabolism. His research involves the study of insulin action, metabolism and how organisms respond to both a deficit and a surfeit of food.
Mark S. Blumenkranz, M.D., MMSHJ Smead Professor Emeritus, Department of Ophthalmology ,Stanford University
Dr. Blumenkranz is HJ Smead Professor Emeritus in the Department of Ophthalmology at Stanford University and the Managing Partner of Lagunita Biosciences an incubator and early stage medical investment company in Silicon Valley. He received his undergraduate and Master’s degrees in Biochemical Pharmacology and M.D. at Brown University. He completed his surgical internship and ophthalmic residency training at Stanford and a fellowship in vitreoretinal diseases at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute where he was appointed a member of the faculty following completion of his training in 1980. In 1985 he founded the vitreoretinal Fellowship Training Program at the William Beaumont Eye Institute in Royal Oak Michigan, and served as the fellowship director until 1992. He returned to Stanford in 1992 as head of the vitreoretinal service and was appointed to serve as the department chairman from 1997 until 2015. He played a leading role in the planning, fundraising and construction of the Byers Eye Institute at Stanford and served as founding director from September 2010 through June 2015. Dr. Blumenkranz has served on the editorial boards of The American Journal of Ophthalmology, Retina, Ophthalmology and Graefe’s Archives for Ophthalmology. He is a past president of the American University Professors of Ophthalmology (AUPO), the Retina Society and the Macula Society. He is a member of the Steering Committee of the Audacious Goals Initiative of the National Eye Institute (NEI) and a fellow of the Corporation of Brown University where he chairs the Medical School Committee. He has a longstanding interest in academic industrial technology transfer and innovation, and has served as a founder and director of a number of venture-backed private and public medtech and biotech companies.
Pat Brown, M.D., Ph.D.Founder and CEO, Impossible Foods
Dr. Brown is founder and CEO of Impossible Foods, a Redwood City, California-based startup making meat and dairy products directly from plants. He founded Impossible Foods to replace the world's most environmentally destructive industry - animal farming - by making delicious, healthy and affordable meats and cheeses from plant ingredients. Dr. Brown is also a founder of Lyrical Foods, maker of Kite Hill nut-based cheeses, and the Public Library of Science. He was previously a Professor of Biochemistry and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator at the Stanford University School of Medicine. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine, and has been awarded the American Cancer Society Medal of Honor and the NAS Award in Molecular Biology.
Stephen K. Klasko, M.D., M.B.A.President and CEO, Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health
As president and CEO of Philadelphia-based Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health since 2013, Dr. Klasko has steered the academic health institutions based on his vision of re-imagining healthcare and higher education. Creating and implementing programs that are shaping the future of healthcare earned him a place on Modern Healthcare’s list of the “100 Most Influential People in Healthcare” and “Most Influential Physician Executives” in 2017. He is a nationally recognized advocate for healthcare transformation, having served as dean of two medical colleges, and leader of three academic health centers prior to becoming president and CEO at Jefferson. He is author of 1999’s The Phantom Stethoscope, 2016’s We CAN Fix Healthcare in America, and editor in chief of the journal “Healthcare Transformation.” His new book is 2018's Bless This Mess: A Picture Story of Healthcare in America. Previously, as CEO of USF Health and dean of the Morsani College of Medicine at the University of South Florida, Dr. Klasko built the “assessment of technical and teamwork competence” center known as CAMLS (Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation). He also led a partnership with the country’s largest retirement community, The Villages, to create “America’s healthiest hometown,” an innovative primary-care-driven, patient-centric, Medicare-based accountable care model. He received his M.D. from Hahnemann University of Philadelphia, and his M.B.A. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Klasko serves on the board of Teleflex, and has served on both the audit committee and governance committee, and has been a director since 2008. He also is a trustee of Lehigh University
Norman E. “Ned” Sharpless, M.D.Director, National Cancer Institute, The National Institutes of Health
Dr. Sharpless became the 15th director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in 2017. Prior to his appointment, he served as the director of the University of North Carolina (UNC) Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, a position he held since January 2014. He was a Morehead Scholar at UNC–Chapel Hill and received his undergraduate degree in mathematics. He went on to pursue his medical degree from the UNC School of Medicine, graduating with honors and distinction. He then completed his internal medicine residency at Massachusetts General Hospital and a hematology/oncology fellowship at Dana-Farber/Partners Cancer Care, both of Harvard Medical School in Boston. After two years on the faculty at Harvard Medical School, he joined the faculty of the UNC School of Medicine in the Departments of Medicine and Genetics. He became the Wellcome Professor of Cancer Research at UNC in 2012. Dr. Sharpless is a member of the Association of American Physicians as well as the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI), and served on the ASCI council from 2011 to 2014. He was an associate editor of Aging Cell and deputy editor of the Journal of Clinical Investigation. He has authored more than 150 original scientific papers, reviews and book chapters, and is an inventor on 10 patents. He cofounded two clinical-stage biotechnology companies: G1 Therapeutics and HealthSpan Diagnostics. In addition to serving as director of NCI, Dr. Sharpless continues his research in understanding the biology of the aging process that promotes the conversion of normal self-renewing cells into dysfunctional cancer cells.
Geoffrey W. Smith, J.D.Founder and Managing Partner, Digitalis Ventures
Mr. Smith is founder and managing partner of Digitalis Ventures, a venturecapital firm that invests in fundamental new ideas in math and science to addresscomplex health problems. He currently represents Digitalis as a director of CareDoxand GRO Biosciences, and as a board observer of Second Genome. He is also a co-founder and general partner of Ascent Biomedical Ventures, a New York City-based venture capital firm focused on early-stage life sciences investments. He currently represents Ascent on the Board of Directors of Azevan Pharmaceuticals, BackBeat Medical, BlinkBio and Caliber Therapeutics, and is a board observer of Vivasure Medical. Mr. Smith serves as a trustee of The Jackson Laboratory. He is also a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston. Previously, he was the founding director of the Mount Sinai Institute of Technology and a professor in the department of Population Health Science and Policy at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Geoff received a B.A. (with honors) from Williams College and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
Michael Snyder, Ph.D.Stanford W. Ascherman Professor and Chair, Department of Genetics and Director, Center for Genomics and Personalized Medicine, Stanford University
Dr. Snyder received his Ph.D. training at the California Institute of Technology and carried out postdoctoral training at Stanford University. He is a leader in the field of functional genomics and proteomics, and one of the major participants of the ENCODE project. His laboratory study was the first to perform a large-scale functional genomics project in any organism, and has developed many technologies in genomics and proteomics. These include the development of proteome chips, high-resolution tiling arrays for the entire human genome, methods for global mapping of transcription factor binding sites (ChIP-chip now replaced by ChIP-seq), paired end sequencing for mapping of structural variation in eukaryotes, de novo genome sequencing of genomes using high-throughput technologies and RNA-Seq. Seminal findings from the Snyder laboratory include the discovery that much more of the human genome is transcribed and contains regulatory information than was previously appreciated, and a high diversity of transcription factor binding occurs both between and within species. He has also combined different state-of-the-art “omics” technologies to perform the first longitudinal detailed integrative personal omics profile (iPOP) of a person and used this to assess disease risk and monitor disease states for personalized medicine. He is a co-founder of several biotechnology companies, including Protometrix (now part of Life Technologies), Affomix (now part of Illumina), Excelix and Personalis, and he presently serves on the board of a number of companies.