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Heather Abourjaily

Sr. Director Global Medical Communications, Global Medical Affairs
Vertex Pharmaceuticals

Type of Company:
Professional Degrees: PharmD

Bio: Dr. Abourjaily is an experienced Scientific Communications leader with over 15 years of progressively increasing responsibilities in the biopharmaceutical industry. Her global scientific communication role encompasses Strategic Scientific Communications, Publications, Health Literacy and Digital Media for communications. During her time in this role, she has worked to integrate these functions to ensure a clear, consistent and modern approach to scientific communications with a focus on multi-media and field empowerment. In her leadership roles at Biogen, Dr. Abourjaily has overseen the scientific communication strategy for multiple Phase 2 and 3 read-outs, the launches of TECFIDERA (dimethyl fumarate), PLEGRIDY (pegylated interferon beta-1a) and ZINBRYTA (daclizumab) for the treatment of multiple sclerosis and SPINRAZA (nusinersin) for the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy we well as multiple regulatory and safety scientific communications. Dr. Abourjaily is an innovative problem solver who is often recruited to participate in optimizing critical scientific and business initiatives for the worldwide medical organization. While at her current company, she launched several transformational systems and platforms for the worldwide medical organization including Veeva Vault Med Comm, BigTinCan, a custom strategic communication platform and a custom scientific congress application. Dr. Abourjaily¿s ability to lead with innovation and creativity led to the transformation of medical congress strategy and deliverables to be first and best in class throughout the industry. She also drove the innovation of using AR, video and podcasts in various medical settings. Dr. Abourjaily also has experience as an MSL and MSL regional director at two mid-size pharmaceutical companies. Dr. Abourjaily started her career at Tufts Medical Center as a Clinical Pharmacy Specialist in cardiology and earned her Bachelors of Science and Doctorate of Pharmacy at the University of Rhode Island.

Victoria Anderson

Project Manager
Oxford PharmaGenesis

Type of Company:
Communications Agency
Professional Degrees: MEd

Bio: Victoria has more than 3 years of project management experience in medical communications publishing, promotional events/professional meetings and digital education materials. She is skilled in coordinating client teams, medical experts, and internal agency operations while ensuring high-quality deliverables, and has extensive experience in meetings management. Victoria received her BA in Psychology and MEd in Education from Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA.

Gregory Bezkorovainy

Vice President, Scientific Services
Adelphi Communications

Type of Company:
Communications Agency
Professional Degrees: BA/BS, MA
CMPP Certified: (3/2010)

Bio: Gregory Bezkorovainy is Vice President of Scientific Services at Adelphi Communications in New York. He entered healthcare communications in 1988, just as strategic medical publications planning was taking root. Over the years, he's worn almost every publications planning hat imaginable, including medical reporter, editor, writer, designer, tactical planner, and strategic planner. Gregory joined Adelphi in 2002 and has been in his current position since 2007. This is Gregory's 10th consecutive year as faculty for Introductory Publication Planning.

Jon Bigelow

Executive Director
Coalition for Healthcare Communication
Professional Degrees: BA/BS

Bio: Jon Bigelow is Executive Director of the Coalition for Healthcare Communication, a nonpartisan organization promoting the free flow and accessibility of accurate and credible health information, with member companies spanning medical communications, marketing, advertising, medical publishing, and digital content platforms. He previously was CEO and President of KnowledgePoint360 Group, a leading provider of multichannel medical communications, consulting, benchmarking, and workflow solutions in the U.S., U.K., and Germany; President of Cliggott Publishing; Editor of several innovative clinical controlled-circulation journals; and President of the Association of Medical Media.

Victoria Blasberg

Account Director, Accounts
Peloton Advantage

Type of Company:
Communications Agency
CMPP Certified: (9/2019)

Bio: Vicki Blasberg, Account Director, has more than 15 years of experience in the medical communications industry. Ms. Blasberg is responsible for the management of large-scale strategic publication plans and ensures that initiatives are completed on time, within budget, and in adherence with industry guidelines. Ms Blasberg has been working in HEOR, since Peloton Advantage entered the HEOR space two years ago.

Alia Bucciarelli

Association Director, Global Scientific Communications

Type of Company:
Professional Degrees: MS

Bio: Alia is a health communications leader with more than 15 years of experience in the field. In her role as head of Communication Excellence, she leads a team that drives and develops innovative communication assets to improve the reach and usability of external scientific publications and internal medical communications. During her time in this role, her team has launched two internal podcast series, author videos and mobile posters for scientific congress publications, and multiple interactive educational exhibits, including an augmented reality program about the pathophysiology of various neurological diseases. Before joining Biogen, Ms. Bucciarelli was an assistant professor at Tufts University School of Medicine where she developed and taught health communication classes with an emphasis on plain language writing and writing for lay audiences. She also was a freelance writer and plain language consultant for healthcare-related organizations. Ms. Bucciarelli is a skilled communicator and expert in health communication who is often recruited to give talks and provide training workshops on health communication principles. Ms. Bucciarelli started her career in health care consulting at Covance, Inc. In her 10-year tenure there, she gained increasing responsibilities leading to her role as a principal. Ms. Bucciarelli earned her Bachelors of Arts at the University of Arizona and Master of Health Communication at the Tufts University School of Medicine.

Laura Carlson

Division Head, Engage Scientific Solutions
Envision Pharma Group

Type of Company:
Communications Agency
Professional Degrees: BA/BS, CMPP, JD
Other Degrees*: LMT
CMPP Certified: (3/2012)

Bio: Laura Carlson has been working in the publication and medical communications field for 20 years, providing strategic planning and tactical experience and insights across varied therapeutic areas and at all phases of product lifecycle, for large and small pharmaceutical and biotech companies in support of their global and local publication planning and/or medical communications programs. Laura is a Division Head of Engage Scientific Solutions, which is a part of the Envision Pharma Group. She has served as Vice Chair of the ISMPP Certified Medical Publication Professional (CMPP) Credentialing Board since 2018, and has been an ISMPP CMPP since 2011. Before entering this field, Laura was a practicing attorney. She earned her law degree from Villanova University School of Law after obtaining a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the Berklee College of Music. In 2012, Laura also completed an accredited training in massage therapy and is now a licensed massage therapist in Connecticut. Her diverse education and life experiences bring a unique perspective to her work and help her successfully navigate complex compliance- and communication-related issues of the medical publications and communications industry.

Dheepa Chari

Senior Director, Global Scientific Publications
Pfizer Oncology

Type of Company:
Professional Degrees: MS

Bio: Dheepa Chari has 18 years of experience in the pharmaceutical/biotech industry in various cross-functional leadership roles involving strategic communication plan development, medical congress activities, and clinical research management. She currently works at Pfizer Oncology as Senior Director and Team Leader of Global Scientific Publications. In this capacity, she leads a team to develop and execute publication strategies across the oncology portfolio within the Global Medical Affairs organization. Prior to this role, she was Director of Global Medical Communications at Pfizer Oncology for the hematology and renal cell carcinoma franchises, US Scientific Communications Director at Novartis Oncology, and global publication planning lead at Amgen. In addition to her publications experience, she worked in clinical study and data management roles for several years at both Amgen and Pfizer across various therapeutic areas, including oncology, inflammation, CV/metabolic, and neuroscience. Outside of her pharmaceutical career, Dheepa is a jazz vocalist and songwriter. Dheepa holds a Master of Science degree in Biostatistics from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry with minors in Math and Music from Southern Methodist University.

Gretchen Chidester

Associate Scientific Director II, Scientific Services
MedThink SciCom

Type of Company:
Communications Agency
Professional Degrees: BA/BS, MA, PhD
CMPP Certified: (9/2017)

Bio: As an Associate Scientific Director II at MedThink SciCom, I am responsible for overseeing the development of scientifically accurate content across a wide variety of formats, including abstracts, peer-reviewed publications, interactive congress booth materials, symposia, and webinars. My agency experience also includes providing strategic direction for a range of medical and scientific communication initiatives, such as scientific platforms and publication planning. My therapeutic areas of expertise include neurology, rheumatoid arthritis, biosimilars, and oncology. I earned my MA and PhD in Psychology (Behavioral Neuroscience) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and completed my postdoctoral training at the Duke University Medical Center.

Malgorzata Ciepielewska

Sr. Manager, Scientific Communications

Type of Company:
Professional Degrees: MS

Bio: Malgorzata has more than 14 years of experience in pharmaceutical industry in various cross-functional roles involving operations, HEOR research and scientific communications. She currently works at Celgene as a Global Scientific Communications Lead for HEOR.

Leslie Citrome

Editor-in-Chief, International Journal of Clinical Practice
Leslie Citrome, MD, MPH

Type of Company:
Professional Degrees: MD, MPH

Bio: Leslie Citrome, MD, MPH, is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at New York Medical College in Valhalla, New York, and has a private practice in Pomona, New York. He graduated from the McGill University Faculty of Medicine in Montreal, Canada and completed a Residency and Chief Residency in Psychiatry at the New York University School of Medicine. He also went on to complete a Masters in Public Health at Columbia University. Dr. Citrome was the founding Director of the Clinical Research and Evaluation Facility at the Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research in Orangeburg, New York. After nearly 2 decades of government service, as a researcher in the psychopharmacological treatment of severe mental disorders, Dr. Citrome is now engaged as a consultant in clinical trial design and interpretation. He is a frequent lecturer on the quantitative assessment of clinical trial results using the metrics of evidence-based medicine. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology. Dr. Citrome is the editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Clinical Practice. He has authored or co-authored over 500 published research reports, reviews, and book chapters within the biomedical literature. He is the author of the textbook, Handbook of Treatment-Resistant Schizophrenia, published in 2013 by Springer Healthcare.

Juli Clark


Type of Company:
Professional Degrees: BA/BS, PharmD

Bio: Juli Clark is the current Past Chair of the ISMPP Board of Trustees (BOT). During her 20-plus years of experience in biopharma industry, she has led Medical Information and Medical Communications teams, but the focus of her career has been leading and managing teams of publication writers and planners, and assuming accountability for ethical, compliant publications processes and practices. Most recently, she served as Director, Global Publications, at Amgen, Inc, where she has held various positions over the last 17 years, including leading the Global Medical Writing Department, and the Medical Information Department. Prior to joining Amgen, Juli led Medical Information and Medical Communication groups in smaller companies as well (Immunex, Pathogenesis, and Otsuka). Before entering the biopharma industry, Juli practiced as a clinical pharmacy specialist in several different health care settings, including managed care, the Indian Health Service, and both private and large University Hospitals. Juli has been an active ISMPP and BOT member, has served as committee member and participant/presenter in the Medical Publishing Insights and Practices Initiative (MPIP), as well as presenting at AMWA and DIA professional society meetings. Earning her B.S. Pharmacy and Doctor of Pharmacy degrees at University of Iowa, Juli also completed both General Hospital Pharmacy Residency program, and a Fellowship in Ambulatory Care Clinical Pharmacy. Juli retired from Amgen in September 2018, and while completing her current term on the BOT, plans to stay active in ISMPP, pursue travel, and explore new opportunities.

Rebecca Cooney

North American Executive Editor
The Lancet

Type of Company:
Professional Degrees: PhD

Bio: Rebecca Cooney is the North American Executive Editor of The Lancet. Rebecca received her PhD in Psychology from Stanford University in 2007 and subsequently trained as a fellow in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Columbia University where she studied the neural basis of mood and anxiety disorders. Prior to joining The Lancet family in 2012, she worked as an associate and assistant editor at The Annals of New York Academy of Sciences. As a representative of The Lancet in the US, Rebecca is particularly interested in liaising with the medical and health communities to provide information on and support for author and reviewer best practices and publication transparency.