Popup Star team events will be judged by 2 industry stakeholders using a common rubric. The rubric includes measurements for engagement, creativity, diversity of representation (clinicians, patients, research, etc.), attendance and learnings. Winners will be announced at the Popup Star Gala at PulsePoint Headquarters in NYC on 31 May 2018. Keep and eye on this space for more information!
Executive Director, Venture Cafe Winston Salem
Karen is the founding executive director of Venture Cafe Winston Salem where she’s responsible for building and leading the organization’s growth in the Piedmont Triad. Venture Cafe Winston Salem seeks to align, amplify and accelerate the local innovation and entrepreneurship economy and since its launch, the community has enthusiastically embraced these efforts.
A Winston Salem native, Karen’s been an entrepreneur since grade school when she picked vegetables from her dad’s garden and sold them around the neighborhood from her red wagon. Prior to joining Venture Cafe, Karen worked as the founder of her own marketing and communications consulting firm, founding partner and director of operations for an artificial intelligence startup, and strategic lead for several advertising agencies working with Fortune 100 clients. including Boeing, ConAgra Foods, MillerCoors, Johnson & Johnson, Steelcase, Georgia-Pacific, Toshiba, Hanes, General Mills and Lowe’s Home Improvement.
She’s a natural connector and former journalist who loves nothing more than a good story followed by a hearty laugh.
Barnes has a master’s degree in journalism and public affairs from The American University, and a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Hollins University. When she’s not building communities, you can likely find her outside with her wife and dog.
Head of Patient Recruitment, Rare Diseases
Kelly Johnston McKee is a clinical trial innovator and problem solver with a focus on patient recruitment and engagement. Kelly has been in the industry for over 18 years with previous positions at Lilly, Merck and Sanofi-Aventis and is currently the Head of Patient Recruitment, Rare Diseases for Vertex. She has an in-depth understanding of novel tactics and technology in protocol feasibility, site selection and patient recruitment. Kelly was named Pharma Times U.S. Clinical Researcher of the Year in 2012 in the research team category and a Centerwatch Top Innovator in 2018.
Vice President of Site Collaborations and Patient Centricity, PPD
As vice president of site collaborations and patient centricity, Rhonda Henry leads PPD’s commitment to building strategic relationships with physicians and patients across the world with the objective to give patients more treatment options. As a breast cancer survivor, Rhonda understands the importance of involving patients in the clinical trial process, while also making potentially life changing therapies more accessible to patients where they live.
Rhonda joined PPD in 1991 as a clinical research associate. During her time with the company, she also held a variety of roles with increasing responsibilities on both the operational, as well as the commercial side of the business.
Rhonda has a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Rhonda is a member of the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals, the Oncology Nursing Society, Avoca’s Leadership Advisory Board for Patient Engagement and chairs PPD’s cross-functional Patient Engagement Working Group.
Executive Director, Greater Gift
Ms. Wright has been involved with Greater Gift since its inception in 2010, and has been an active advocate in building awareness for Greater Gift throughout industry constituents. As of 2013, Amanda assumed the role of Executive Director for Greater Gift, and since that time, she has led strategic program development and expansion.
Ms. Wright has a passion for patient engagement and believes that the patient needs to be at the center for those innovating and collaborating. This is done when a consensus is built while creatively collaborating with a diverse range of contributors, which is ultimately essential when attempting to adapt to the changing landscape.
Ms. Wright began her career in clinical research in 1998, working as a Clinical Research Coordinator at PMG Research. She moved on to serve in various roles across the site enterprise, including leadership roles in operations, patient engagement, business development and marketing. At PMG Research, Ms. Wright dedicated a great deal of her time to forging mutually valuable strategic partnerships. These partnerships continue to be key in the industry and include executive-level decision makers across stakeholders.
Ms. Wright serves on numerous boards and committees throughout the industry, many of which are centered around the engagement of patients and enhancement of the clinical trial process to address current industry trends.
Clinical Research Director - Australia & NZ Global Clinical Trial Operations, MSD Merck
Zoe began her career in clinical research 19 years ago at MSD. She started in clinical operations as a CRA, moving through various functional roles including, project, operations and people management. In 2009 Zoe assumed the role of research director for Australia and NZ at MSD and supported the clinical operations team through the subsequent merger with Schering Plough. For the last 9 years Zoe has led research operations as Executive Director of Clinical Research across ANZ. From 2013-2015, Zoe also led research for MSD across South East Asia in addition to ANZ. Working in South East Asia provided unique insight into how clinical trials can truly make a difference to patients, how critical clinical trials can be in terms of patient access to innovative treatments and how there are both challenges and opportunities in executing clinical trials in diverse patient populations. Zoe now manages a broad team of 119 people across Australia and New Zealand and remains deeply passionate about clinical research and access to medicines through clinical trials. Zoe holds a BSc (Biotechnology) from the University of Technology, Sydney, she is a proud mother of two children, loves travelling, and a good wine.
Director of Clinical Research, Novant Health Inc.
Susan has over 28 years of experience in clinical research in a variety of roles. She started her clinical research career at PMG Research in Winston-Salem as a clinical research coordinator and for the next 25 years continued her career development with PMG from coordinator, Assistant Clinical Operations Manager Winston-Salem, Manager of Clinical Operations Winston-Salem, Manager of Training and Quality Assurance for all PMG sites, and finally Director of Quality Assurance for all PMG sites. Susan was instrumental in the growth and development of PMG from 1 research site in 1990 to 11 sites across 4 states (NC, SC, TN, and IL) at the time she left PMG in 2015.
After leaving PMG, Susan worked for FHI 360, a nonprofit human development organization in Durham, NC, as the Director of Clinical Regulatory and Compliance. Most recently, Susan joined Novant Health as the Director of Clinical Research in January of 2017. Novant Health is a not for profit healthcare provider with 15 hospitals and more than 350 physician practices in NC, SC, and VA.
Susan has 25 years of management, training, regulatory and compliance experience in the clinical research industry. She has been involved in developing standard operating procedures, creating and maintaining job descriptions, developing and maintain training programs for clinical research coordinators and research site managers, managing clinical research sites small to large, monitoring and auditing clinical trials, conducting the study start up, maintenance and close out process for research sites, completing the budget negotiation process, completing and overseeing regulatory submissions to Institutional Review Boards (IRB’s), mentoring staff and managing departmental and study budgets.
Susan is knowledgeable of FDA regulations and ICH Good Clinical Practice Guidelines. She has experience and knowledge in conducting clinical trials across a wide variety of therapeutic areas such as oncology, cardiology, endocrinology, pulmonology, respiratory, gastroenterology and allergy immunology.
Susan has been a member of ACRP, the Association of Clinical Research Professionals, and a certified clinical research coordinator since 1992. She is passionate about the development and growth of research professionals and so she became involved in the certification process for research coordinators with ACRP. She is currently serving on the ACRP Global Clinical Research Coordinator (CRC) Exam Committee and has been an ACRP test item writer for the CRC exam from 2013-January 2018.
Susan earned a BS degree in Biology with a double major in Sociology from Wake Forest University. Susan spends her free time jogging, reading and keeping up with her three almost grown children.
Associate Director for the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity at Wake Forest School of Medicine
Associate Director for the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity at Wake Forest School of Medicine. The Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity supports moving scientific discovery to action through translational research navigation, health & biomedical science pipeline programming, and health equity education and training. Meaningful community engagement is essential for the center to support the learning healthcare system of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.
Raised an Army brat, Claudia learned early to embrace and respect the culture and values of others. Prior to relocating to Winston-Salem last year, Claudia worked in a large pediatric research healthcare system for 26 years. Early in her career she developed a passion for pediatric literacy and implemented the Reach Out and Read Program in her organization, which she grew into the largest of more than 4,700 programs in the country. She is a leader in startup and turn around operations with extensive experience in health equity and health literacy program management and research.
Barrett received her Master’s Degree in Health Administration from Ohio University, Dual Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and Organizational Leadership from Franklin University, and Associate’s Degree Clinical Dietetics from Kettering College of Medical Arts. Claudia finds peace and joy outside of work spending time with her family including Daisy her yellow lab, and reading.
GM, Clinical Trial Solutions, PulsePoint
Angela Radcliffe is an innovator in healthcare communications who helps the research community problem solve and co-create solutions to express the impact of clinical trials to the general public. After losing a brother suddenly to an undiagnosed health condition, a clinical trial made a tremendous impact on Angela’s family. This experience exposed the impact that research can have, not just on our health, but every social cause we care about. Angela is committed to the pursuit of more authentic patient engagement, the promotion of health literacy for all, and normalizing clinical research a care option.
For over 17 years Angela has been responsible for the strategic oversight, implementation, and evaluation of clinical trial recruitment efforts, professional education initiatives, and brand promotion - positioning new and existing brands to fill unmet clinical needs. Her experience in medical marketing and public relations runs the gamut of the product development lifecycle and crosses most major therapeutic areas such as cardiology endocrinology, oncology, hematology, infectious disease, pain management, CNS and women's health. Her creative outlook and collaborative approach is informed by a diverse marketing background and bolstered by a track record as an expert in project management.