Dr. Ross McKinney currently serves as chief scientific officer of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), a position to which he was appointed in September 2016. Prior to joining the AAMC, Dr. McKinney spent more than three decades as a faculty member at the Duke University School of Medicine. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1975 and received his MD degree from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in 1979. Dr. McKinney did his pediatric residency and pediatric infectious diseases fellowship at Duke and joined the Duke faculty in 1985. At Duke, he rose through the ranks, eventually achieving the academic rank of professor of pediatrics. From 1994 to 2003 he served as chief of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, and in 2002 he was appointed the vice dean for research in the School of Medicine. In this role, he was an instrumental member of the team responsible for securing an NIH Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) at Duke in 2007, one of the first institutions so awarded. Dr. McKinney later served as chair of the Clinical Research Ethics Key Function Committee of the NIH CTSA collaborative consortium. In 2007 he switched roles at Duke and became the director of the Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities and History of Medicine, a position he held until 2016 when he moved to the AAMC. Dr. McKinney’s research was on the treatment of children with HIV infection, with parallel work in the natural history of pediatric HIV disease and the prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission. At the Trent Center, he worked on the ethics of human subjects research, informed consent and the nature of conflicts of interest in research.
Jon C. Mirsalis, Ph.D., DABT, has more than 35 years of
experience in the management and conduct of preclinical
development projects for the translation of pharmaceutical
products, vaccines, and medical devices into human clinical
trials. A large portion of his career has focused on accelerating
development of therapies for infectious diseases and biothreat
agents, including fast-tracking therapies for influenza, Ebola,
plague, anthrax TB and drug-resistant bacteria.Mirsalis joined
SRI in 1981 as a staff scientist, and subsequently served as a program
director, department director, laboratory director, associate director, and managing
director. He currently serves as VP of SRI’s Translational Development Section, a 90-
person group that is the largest contractor of preclinical services to the National
Institutes of Health.
Mirsalis has a broad background in drug development and has personally been
involved in the development of more than 70 therapeutics that have
entered clinical trials. Approximately 15 have achieved market approval. He
has also published extensively in the areas of genetic toxicology,
mechanisms of carcinogenesis, development of therapeutics for cancer and
infectious disease, and use of transgenic animals; he is the author of more than 200
publications, book chapters, and abstracts.
Before joining SRI, Mirsalis was a postdoctoral fellow at the Chemical
Industry Institute of Toxicology, where he developed the in vivo-in vitro hepatocyte
DNA repair assay, which is now used as a screen to identify potential carcinogens by
government and industry. Mirsalis regularly lectures on drug development at the
University of California-San Francisco, on global health at Notre Dame
University and on biosecurity at Stanford University. He recently completed two
terms as Chair of the Board of Directors of the California Biomedical Research
Association and in 2020 he joined the Board of the National Association of
Biomedical Research. He currently serves on the Advisory Council for the
Critical Path Institute’s Predictive Safety Testing Consortium (PSTC) and the
Medical CBRN Defense Consortium (MCDC). He has previously served on the Board
of Scientific Councilors for the National Toxicology Program and the FDA’s Over-the-
Counter Product Review Committee.
Mirsalis received his B.S. degree in zoology/molecular biology from Kent
State University, his M.S. degree in genetics from North Carolina State University,
and holds Ph.D. degrees in toxicology and genetics from North Carolina State
University. He has been certified by the American Board of Toxicology since 1983.
He was named an SRI Fellow in 2014.
MS PhD, DVM, DACLAM, DACAW, CAAB
Dr. Bayne is Chief Executive Officer for AAALAC International, a
private, nonprofit organization that promotes the humane treatment of
animals in science through voluntary assessment and accreditation
programs. Prior to this position she worked at the National Institutes of
Health leading a research program on nonhuman primate
psychological well- being and environmental enrichment programs for
primates, dogs, cats and swine. She is a Diplomate of the American
College of Laboratory Animal Medicine and of the American College of
Animal Welfare. She is also a certified applied animal behaviorist and has published
extensively in laboratory animal behavior and welfare. Dr. Bayne has held several
leadership positions including service as President of the American College of Laboratory
Animal Medicine, the Association of Primate Veterinarians, as well as the District of
Columbia Veterinary Medical Association. She is past Chair of the American Veterinary
Medical Association’s Animal Welfare Committee and was the inaugural Chair of the
American Society of Laboratory Animal Practitioner’s Animal Welfare Committee. Dr. Bayne
was the 2009 recipient of the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Animal Welfare
Award and Washington State University’s 2009 Excellence in Research and
Teaching Award. In 2012 she was awarded the Charles River Prize for her international
efforts in advancing laboratory animal welfare.
Valerie Bergdall is the Institutional Attending Veterinarian at The Ohio State University and also serves as the Director of the University Laboratory Animal Resources housing core. She completed her Veterinary degree at Purdue University and a Laboratory Animal Medicine residency at the University of Michigan and joined OSU in 1994. She is board certified by the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine. In addition to overseeing the veterinary care program, she is also a Professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine and involved in teaching professional, graduate, and undergraduate students. Her research interests center around animal model development especially in the field of wound healing. She has over 45 publications and has served as a co-investigator on several program project grants.
DVM, MS, DACLAM
Donna Clemons joined Abbvie (formerly Abbott) in November 2011 as Global Director of Comparative Medicine, bringing more than 20 years of experience in the area of biomedical science and research to her current role. As Global Director, she is responsible for animal care and animal research support for all AbbVie animal research functions. She received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Missouri in 1989. After completion of a residency program in laboratory animal medicine, and a master’s degree in Laboratory Animal Science at the University of Missouri, she joined Covance Laboratories as a clinical Laboratory Animal Veterinarian. From that point, she held various management positions with oversight of Animal care programs and veterinary medical staff at Covance. Before leaving Covance, she served as VP and Global Chief Scientific Officer for veterinary medicine and animal welfare and was responsible for leadership in animal care at Covance facilities across the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Dr. Clemons is board certified in Laboratory Animal Medicine (ACLAM) and has extensive experience in research colony, health management, regulatory-driven toxicology, national and international regulatory compliance, and facility operations.
Marina Emborg obtained her M.D. and Ph.D. at the University of
Buenos Aires. She did her postdoctoral training at Somatix Therapy
Corp. and The Parkinson's Institute in Sunnyvale, California,
followed by a fellowship in the department of Pharmacology at the
University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Since her graduate studies her
focus has been in preclinical models and the development of novel
therapies for Parkinson’s disease. In 2004 she became faculty at
the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where she was the
Director of the Preclinical Parkinson’s Research Program at the
Wisconsin National Primate Research Center. Currently, she is a Professor of Medical
Physics. Dr. Emborg’s research focuses in comprehensive nonhuman primate models
of neurological disorders, gene and cell-based therapies for Parkinson’s and the
development of conceptual frameworks for ethical clinical translation of novel treatments.
She is a member of the UK Parkinson’s College of Experts, past President of the
American Society for Neural Therapy and Repair, and the 2016 recipient of the
Bernard Sanberg Memorial Award for Brain Repair (http://
Dr. Brian Corning is the Executive Director of the Harvard Center for
Comparative Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Prior to joining
Harvard, Dr. Corning served as director for both university and
medical center animal research programs and worked in the contract
research industry responsible for global product and service
businesses including scientific and technical consulting. A Diplomate of the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine, Dr. Corning earned his
veterinary degree from Colorado State University, completed his post-doctoral
training in comparative medicine at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a
Master of Business Administration from the Kellogg School of Management at
Dr. Nancy Haigwood is the Director of the Oregon National Primate
Research Center (ONPRC) at Oregon Health & Science University.
She has over 39 years’ experience in molecular biology and
immunology research in the area of global health, both in the forprofit
and non-profit sectors, and for the last 34 years she
has been actively engaged in vaccine discovery and
immunotherapy research for in nonhuman primate (NHP) models
for HIV/AIDS. In the 1980s, her team co-developed one of the
first HIV vaccine candidates, an Envelope gp120 subunit vaccine,
and she has maintained a commitment to HIV/AIDS research. Expertise in the
laboratory extends to DNA delivery and viral vectors, and recombinant HIV
Envelope antigen design for use in vaccine studies. She has recently shown
that passive immunotherapy using potent human neutralizing monoclonal antibodies
can change the course of SHIV infection in infant macaques, preventing the
establishment of a permanent viral reservoir. In her position as Director of the
ONPRC, Dr. Haigwood oversees senior scientific, veterinary, and administrative
leadership to provide expertise and guidance to manage the Center, with a focus on
discovering improvements for human health. Her office is responsible for strategic
planning, assuring outstanding animal care, access to scientific models,
nonhuman primate resources, and expertise, as well as outreach to the public. Dr.
Haigwood has served on numerous review panels and advisory committees,
including the NIH Council of Councils, as well as on international and local nonprofit
boards. She was inducted into the American Academy of Microbiology in 2014.
DONNA MATTHEWS JARRELL
With over 30 years of experience, Donna Matthews Jarrell has managed laboratory animal-based research programs in government (NIH), the biotech industry (Millennium Pharmaceuticals) and academia (MGH/HMS). Donna joined Mass General Hospital (MGH) in 2002 and was promoted to Director, Center for Comparative Medicine (CCM) and the Attending Veterinarian for MGH in January 2013. She is recognized as the first laboratory animal veterinarian to adapt the principles, practices and tools of lean management in a research animal setting which has results in more efficient, less costly and safer vivarium operations. During the summer of 2017, CCM was recognized as a lean organization tour site for the Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME) annual meeting held in Boston, MA. CCM supports approximately one-third of MGH’s $800M research program with over 1000 research protocols lead by more than 350 principal investigators and conducted by 3000+ research staff customers. CCM also assures that all practices associated with this research meets or exceeds associated government regulations while constantly controlling costs and improving care quality. As the director, she leads a department of ~130 staff including a senior leadership team, veterinary professionals, program and facility managers, veterinary technicians, animal care staff and administrative staff. Her program is spread across three campuses and she is fiscally responsible for ~$17M operating budget that has grown continuously during her tenure in the face of a decline in hospital subsidy annually. Donna is board certified with the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine (ACLAM), served on the BOD from 2015-2018 and currently serves on the vice president for the organization. She served on the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), Institute of Laboratory Animal Resources (ILAR) Workshop Committee focused on improving laboratory animal welfare standards from 2015-2019. Lastly she currently serves as the president of the Vivarium Operations Excellence Network’s and was one of the 3 founding members of the organization. Donna has made numerous presentations at the regional, national and international levels on the topics of minorities in biomedical careers and continuous improvement/lean management in a clinical research & development arena as well as application of active learning for effective regulatory education and compliance. Donna received her undergraduate (BA, chemistry) and Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) from North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina. As an officer in the Public Health Service (PHS), she rose to the rank of lt. Commander and was granted an early exceptional capability (EC) promotion during her time in the PHS. Has an officer in the PHS, she was recognized as the first African-American female officer to become board certified in any veterinary specialty (ACLAM). After leaving the Corp and moving to Massachusetts, she continued her life-long learning by earning an Executive Education Certificate from The General Managers Program (TGMP) at the Harvard Business School in 2006. She has 4 children, two guinea pigs, and two dogs.
Boris is an innovative entrepreneur with a 30-year proven track record in organization building, commercialization and accelerated growth in the biomedical research industry. As co-founder and CEO of PreLabs, he pioneered and commercialized strategic non-clinical solutions with pharma, academia, governmental and nonprofit research organizations. Prior to establishing PreLabs, Boris served in various capacities, including vice president at Covance and serving on the board of directors at California Biomedical Research Organization and California Society for Biomedical Research. Boris’ industry expertise and passion for problem solving, team building and results-driven approach has enabled him to successfully lead teams to optimal outcomes.
David Schabdach is the Attending Vet & Associate Vice President
for Research & Innovation at the Animal Resources and Care
Division at Virgina Tech. Dr. Schabdach previously was the
Attending Veterinarian and Sr. Executive Director of the Division
of Laboratory Animal Resources at the University of Pittsburgh.
He received his DVM from the Virginia-Maryland College of
Veterinary Medicine, MS in Laboratory Animal Medicine from the
Pennsylvania State University, and is a Diplomate of the American
College of Laboratory Medicine. David spent three years in private practice prior to entering the field of laboratory animal medicine where he has
worked for the past 28 years in both large pharma and academia. Dr. Schabdach
serves on the Council for Accreditation for AAALAC International, the Board of
Directors for the Pennsylvania Society for Biomedical Research, and as the IACUC
chairperson for the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Ara Tahmassian, PhD, is currently the university chief research compliance officer at Harvard University within the Office of Vice Provost for Research and is broadly responsible for the oversight of the review, development and implementation of policies related to the life cycle management of research administration and compliance activities across the university. Additionally, Dr. Tahmassian serves at the institutional official for a number of regulatory areas and works toward the overall effort to manage potential risks at the university by integrating and coordinating the significant compliance requirements across the university. He also serves as the project director for BMENA Bioethics Forum, a project dedicated to implementing a comprehensive responsible conduct of science and a mentoring program for young and early career scientists from the Broader Middle East and North African (BMENA) Region (originally funded by the U.S. Department of the State – Bioengagement Program). Prior to being named university chief research compliance officer at Harvard in 2013, he was the associate vice president for research compliance at Boston University and Boston Medical Center from October 2006 to July 2014. Included in his portfolio were human and animal research protection programs, Laboratory Animal Science Center, Environmental Health and Safety and Emergency Preparedness; Office of Sponsored Programs; Institutional Biosafety, Radiation Safety and Laboratory Safety Committee; Individual and Institutional Conflicts of Interest; and Export Control. He also served as the research integrity officer, the principal investigator for the Core BSL-3 Select Agent Laboratory and as one of the associate directors of the National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories (NEIDL) at the BU Medical Campus. Dr. Tahmassian holds a B.Sc. in nuclear engineering and a Ph.D. in radiobiology from Queen Mary College, London University, and is a diplomat of the American Board of Sciences in Nuclear Medicine. He has been active in national and international efforts and has served, and continues to serve on many committees including: two terms on the Board of Directors of the Council on Governmental Relations (COGR), chairing the Research Compliance and Administration Committee; served on the NUCRA Professional Development Committee and as a contributing editor for the NCURA Magazine; and he is currently a member of the Interim Executive Committee of Broader Middle East and North Africa Biosciences Forum, COGR’s Research & Regulatory Reform, co-chair of FDP Animal Subject’s Subcommittee, chair-NCURA Select Committee on Peer Programs and Select Committee on Global Affairs.
PhD, FASAE, CAE
With over 40 years of experience in association management, health care administration and education, Dr. Ann Turner has served her communities in various manners. She is currently the executive director of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) in Memphis, TN. Prior to her current position, she served in various capacities for health care, rehabilitation and educational associations. She began her career in the educational arena and has taught and conducted research at the secondary school and university levels as well worked in community-based services and adult continuing education programs. Dr. Turner earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee, a Master of Education from the Pennsylvania State University and a Doctor of Philosophy in community systems planning and development also from Penn State. Dr. Turner has been a Certified Association Executive (CAE) since 1989 and was awarded fellow status in the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE)in 2006. She served on the Board of Directors for ASAE and the ASAE Foundation 2011 – 2013 and currently serves on the ASAE 2020 Centennial Research Initiative Task Force. Ann served as a community member of the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center IACUC from 2006 - 2016. She has published in scholarly journals as well as practice-oriented publications and is a frequent speaker on association administration, leadership, management, professional development and strategic planning. She currently serves as chair of the elders in her church and sings in the church sanctuary choir.
Kevin McNelly joined Charles River in November 2016 as the
Corporate Vice President, Global Procurement. Mr. McNelly has over
three decades of experience as a global supply chain, strategic
sourcing, and operations executive across multiple industries
including; biotechnology, pharmaceutical (including branded, generics,
large molecule, small molecule, cell therapies, vaccines and plasma),
medical devices, fast moving CPG, food, and service. Mr. McNelly has
has held leadership positions in 3 Fortune 500 and 2 FTSE 100 companies, and has
worked in over 75 countries around the world. Mr. McNelly is an experienced executive
with a proven track record of improving operational performance and delivering financial results. As the head of Global Procurement and Facilities Support, Mr. McNelly is responsible for developing strategic objectives for the procurement of goods and services, global engineering, integrated facilities management and sustainability and EH&S in
support of Charles River’s global business activities.
Prior to joining Charles River, Mr. McNelly was the principal at SCM Solutions Consulting,vLLC. In this role, he helped organizations identify and implement best practices that
delivered substantial results while progressing operational excellence. Prior to that he wasvthe Vice President, Global Supply Chain and Strategic Sourcing at AZ/MedImmune. Hisvexperience in a large biotech organization, working with colleagues to maximize the valuevthey receive from suppliers to ensure that business objectives are achieved, provides a unique perspective for Charles River. Mr. McNelly received a BS in Mechanical
Engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.
DVM, PhD, DACLAM
Dr. Wanda L. West has over 25 years of experience as a board-certified laboratory animal veterinarian. She is currently the director and attending veterinarian for Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. located in Ridgefield, CT and she also serves as the global animal welfare officer for the Human Pharma Innovation Unit. Dr. West previously worked in various roles up to the associate director level at DuPont Pharmaceuticals Company, Wilmington, DE, and as a veterinary research fellow at Bristol-Myers Squibb Biopharmaceutical Company, Princeton, NJ. Dr. West earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Mississippi State University, Miss. State, MS. She completed a small animal medicine and surgery internship at North Carolina College of Veterinary Medicine, Raleigh, NC, and completed a three-year residency program in laboratory animal medicine at University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL. Dr. West also earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in pharmacology with a specialization in neuroscience from Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA. Dr. West has been a diplomate in the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine since 1994. Wanda has served on several ASLAP and ACLAM committees during her career, including an appointment on the ASLAP Board of Directors during 2009-2012, and serving as president during 2013-14. Dr. West has a passion for education and is a lecturer at Drexel University teaching courses in the Master of Laboratory Animal Science Program. She has also taught laboratory animal courses at the University of Pennsylvania. Wanda has served as a thesis advisor for students at Thomas Jefferson University and Drexel University. Dr. West has recently accepted an appointment on a newly formed Dean’s Advisory Board at Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine. She has published several peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, and she currently is a reviewer for JAALAS and Jove. Her other professional interests include neuropharmacology, pain management and surgical model development.