Administrative Assistant / Office ManagerMs. Ackermann joined the TB Alliance Africa Office in May 2007 as an Assistant to Research and Development, before moving to the position of Clinical Trial Assistant in July 2011. In 2019 she became the Administrative Assistant/Office Manager. She has experience in Information Technology and, after a 10-year career in the Payroll Software Industry, where she worked mainly in Training, and later in Marketing as a Graphic Design Assistant, decided to move from the corporate sector to the TB Alliance. Ms. Ackermann also spent 2 years in the United Kingdom helping develop an Integrated Health Care Facility in Kentish Town, London, which aims to combine a variety of Primary Health Care Services into a single facility. This facility was completed in 2009, and Ms. Ackermann believes that the experience gained in helping with this project laid the foundation for her decision to devote herself to global health and the non-profit space.
Christi Champ Baine
Senior Manager, Operations and ContractsChristi Baine joined the TB Alliance in 2009 and currently serves as Senior Manager, Operations and Contracts where she is responsible for contracts administration and the day-to-day internal operations of the organization.
Christi is an active choral member of The New York Choral Society as well as a member of its Board of Managers. She also volunteers for The International HUG Foundation, a 501c3 organization whose mission is to help orphans and other needy children in Uganda. Originally from the Midwest, Christi attended Indiana University where she has earned both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Music.
Senior Director, Clinical OperationsDr. Majda Benhayoun joined the TB Alliance in July 2010 as Senior Director, Clinical Operations. Dr. Benhayoun brings expertise in complex multinational clinical operations and project management throughout the drug development process.
Prior to joining the TB Alliance, Dr. Benhayoun worked in clinical project management for more than 15 years. She was Clinical Project Director at Parexel International for four years, where she managed complex clinical trials in all phases of development through post-registration in multiple regions. Earlier, Dr. Benhayoun spent more than 11 years at Aventis Pharma (now Sanofi Aventis) in various clinical project management roles with responsibility for all aspects of clinical trials, including protocol writing, clinical study reports, trial operations, and leadership of international monitoring staff. Most recently Dr. Benhayoun was Director of Program and Portfolio Management at Vertex Pharmaceuticals for more than four years, where she had a leadership role in development strategy, planning, execution and control of drug candidates in several therapeutic areas.
She also serves as adjunct professor of Project Management for a Graduate Program in Biopharmaceutical Leadership at Emmanuel College in Boston.
Dr. Benhayoun holds a master’s degree in biology from Universite Paris-Sud, Orsay, France. A graduate of Universite Paris-Nord, Dr Benhayoun earned a Ph.D in Biology and Biomedical Engineering.
Roksana Bialczak joined TB Alliance in April 2016 as the Executive Assistant to the Chief Administrative Officer, Human Resources, Communications and the Pediatric Initiative. She has since been promoted to Administrative Coordinator, increasing her project management activity and deepening her involvement in program activities. She has spent a majority of her professional life working in a healthcare capacity with roles ranging from administrative to data analysis and policy implementation. She completed her Bachelor of Science degree at Fordham University in Psychology, minoring in Business Administration and her Master of Arts at New York University in International Education. Her graduate courses have prepared her for work on a global scale, especially in regards to development and education. She strives to become an organizer of local and global changemakers. Her last position was as a Curriculum Development intern at UCSF’s HEAL Initiative which launches global health fellowships. Now, she is excited about working at TB Alliance to further enhance health equity around the world.
Director, Financial CommitmentsMs. Brewster joined the TB Alliance team in July 2007 and currently serves as Director, Financial Commitments. She holds a B.B.A in Accounting from Baruch College in New York. She brings to the TB Alliance over 25 years of experience in Financial Operations and Grant Management of various non-profit organizations. Most recently, Ms. Brewster was the Senior Fiscal Officer of East Side House, Inc. where she oversaw the Fiscal Department. Prior to that, she served as Grants Manager at Project Renewal Inc. where she was responsible for the external reporting of $30 million in Federal, State and City Grants.
Senior Medical Officer
Paul Bruinenberg, MD, MBA serves as Senior Medical Officer and works with the clinical development of products in the TB Alliance portfolio. Paul joined us from Tiara Pharmaceuticals, a startup biotechnology company working with anti-inflammatory compounds. He has an extensive, 30-year background in strategic drug development, in both small and large pharmaceutical companies as well in the CRO sector. Paul’s expertise spans across clinical development, licensing, business development, and regulatory strategy in a number of therapeutic areas, including infectious disease, respiratory, oncology, and cardiology. During his development career he played a pivotal role in bringing several products to the market. E.g Pulmozyme, Ò CellceptÒ and Zenapax Ò
A native of the Netherlands, Paul started his career heading-up the Cardiac Care Unit as a practicing physician and researcher, and after working in the pharmaceutical industry in the Netherlands and Switzerland (Roche HQ), he moved to the US in 2006. Dr. Bruinenberg is a graduate of the medical school of the University of the Stellenbosch, South Africa and obtained two MBA’s from the University of Nijenrode in the Netherlands and Rochester University in the USA.
Director, Clinical OperationsAlmari Conradie joined the TB Alliance in Pretoria as Manager, Clinical Operations, in February 2009. She started her Pharmacy career in the public sector, specializing in Oncology and continued working as an Oncology Pharmacist in the private sector for 6 years before joining the pharmaceutical industry in clinical research. She later obtained her Masters Degree in Pharmacy and has 13 years experience in planning, executing and management of various Phase II-IV local and multinational clinical trials at major pharmaceutical companies, including AstraZeneca South Africa. Many of these trials focused on oncology and infectious disease.
Executive Assistant / Project Coordinator
Hawa joined TB Alliance in December 2017 as the Executive Assistant and Project Coordinator to the research and development team. She recently relocated from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where she received her Bachelor’s in Human Biology from Temple University. Hawa has worked as an administrative support team member for over 5 years in positions at University of Pennsylvania Hospital and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She hopes to further her education in medicine as well as strengthen her project management skills. Hawa is very thrilled to be a part of TB Alliance and the mission to fight tuberculosis.
Senior Program Specialist, Market AccessSince joining the TB Alliance in 2010 Sarah has worked with both Market Access and External Affairs, initially providing program related research, data compilation and analysis, and international meeting planning. She then worked with Community and Stakeholder Engagement and Market Access, providing program management, technical assessment, and leadership for several international trainings. Sarah is presently focused within Market Access, responsible for project and donor relationship management, study oversight, and technical evaluation.
Sarah holds an M.A. in International Human Rights and Global Health Affairs from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver and a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Prior to joining TB Alliance Sarah was a Senior Research Associate with the Human Trafficking Clinic at the Korbel School. She has experience working with torture survivors, including implementing women’s health trainings and aiding in reintegration. Sarah also designed and implemented a pioneering maternal and child health capacity-mapping project which was replicated as part of ongoing graduate research program.
Christopher B. Cooper
Senior Director, ChemistryChristopher B. (Chris) Cooper joined the TB Alliance in January, 2009, as Director of Chemistry. Chris received his BS (magna cum laude) in Chemistry from Clemson University in 1980, and his MS in Organic Chemistry at Stanford University with Professor Carl Djerassi in 1982. Following a two-year industry sabbatical at CIBA-Geigy Pharmaceuticals, he returned to Stanford in 1984 to earn his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry with Professor Paul A. Wender. From 1988 through 1998, Dr. Cooper was engaged in medicinal chemistry research at Pfizer, Inc., in both their Groton, Connecticut, and Sandwich, England, laboratories. His areas of investigation included veterinary and human drug discovery programs (infectious disease, inflammation, immunology, oncology, and neuroscience), as well as applications of automated synthesis technologies for both lead generation and lead optimization purposes.
Dr. Cooper joined Bristol-Myers Squibb, Inc., in Princeton, New Jersey, in 1998 to launch the Lead Synthesis Group overseeing the design, development, and synthesis of novel, drug-like medicinal chemistry arrays. More recently, Dr. Cooper’s research team at BMS has been directly responsible for the rapid pharmacological assessment of exploratory biological targets of interest, and the advancement of early- and full-phase discovery programs through hit-to-lead, lead optimization, and pre-development candidate selection medicinal chemistry approaches.
Senior Manager, Clinical OperationsErica Egizi joined the TB Alliance in June 2009 as a Clinical Operations Manager, helping with the oversight of activities for ongoing clinical trials. Prior to joining the TB Alliance, Ms. Egizi spent over seven years at Pfizer Inc., first as a Study Manager on a large, Phase IV, international cardiovascular trial and later as an Associate Director in Pfizer’s Public Health Group where she managed a suite of philanthropic academic grants. Before she was at Pfizer, Ms. Egizi had seven years of extensive trial management experience as a Study Manager at ICON Clinical Research and prior to that as a Clinical Monitor at IBAH (now Omnicare ). Ms. Egizi has a BS in Comprehensive Science from Villanova University and an MPH from Columbia University.
Clinical Trial Assistant
Ms. Fourie joined the TB Alliance on 1st August 2016 as Clinical Trial Assistant/Office Manager. She has eight year’s previous experience supporting multiple phase studies at ClinResearch, as a clinical trial assistant and personal assistant, where she provided both administrative and reception support as well as study support on a variety of assignments.
Ana Maria Harkins
Director, External Affairs
Ana Maria Harkins joined TB Alliance in August of 2016 as Director, External Affairs. Previously she worked at the International Rescue Committee, where she was responsible for resource acquisition and management, and held earlier assignments managing refugee programs across Asia, East Africa, and the Republic of Georgia. Ana Maria has also worked in the private sector with an arts and technology company connecting the arts community to online platforms. She was executive director of Geekcorps, a start-up international volunteering organization focused on information and communication technology in emerging economies. Ana Maria is a graduate of Georgetown University with an MS in Foreign Service and Latin American Studies, and received her undergraduate degree from Mount Holyoke College.
Dr. Dowdy Jackson joined TB Alliance in January 2019 as the Director of Biology. Dr. Jackson completed his postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Medical Center in Dr. Douglas Hanahan’s laboratory studying tumor angiogenesis.
Dr. Jackson has worked for large pharmaceutical companies and biotechnology companies including Pfizer, Novartis, MedImmune, Agensys/Astellas and most recently Ambrx, where he served as the Director of Biological Sciences. Dr. Jackson has led teams developing small molecule inhibitors, antibody drug conjugates and bispecific antibodies to treat cancer patients. Dr. Jackson has either led or played a critical role in the submission of several INDs, has published in high impact peer-reviewed journals, including Science, authored book chapters and serves as an ad-hoc reviewer for several journals.
Dr. Jackson has a doctorate from Northwestern University where he studied Biophysics and Molecular Biology in the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Cell Biology. He has a Masters degree in Molecular Biology from California State University Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) and a Bachelors degree in Biology from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA).
Senior Research FellowDr. Kaneko is a Senior Research Fellow at the TB Alliance, where he is responsible, with other members of the Discovery Group, for overseeing drug discovery research activities between the TB Alliance and collaborating pharmaceutical companies and academic institutions. Native of Japan, he is also involved in TB collaborations with Japanese pharmaceutical companies through the Global Health Initiative Technology fund. Having over thirty years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry, he is an expert medicinal chemist with a specific background in infectious diseases, oncology, and natural products. Prior to joining the TB Alliance in October 2007, Dr. Kaneko was a Research Fellow in the Antibacterial Drug Discovery Group at Pfizer Global Research and Development Division in Groton, CT. He also managed the Natural Product Discovery Team in Pfizer before joining the Antibacterial Group. Before moving to Pfizer, Dr. Kaneko worked in the Oncology Drug Discovery Group in Bristol-Myers Pharmaceutical Research and Development Division in Wallingford, CT.
In academia, Dr. Kaneko was trained as a Post-doctoral Fellow in the Department of Chemistry, Harvard University, specializing in synthetic organic chemistry, and was a faculty member in the Chemistry Department at Texas A&M University. He is a member of the American Chemical Society and has served as a member of the society’s Long-term Planning Committee in the Medicinal Chemistry Division and is also a member of the New York Academy of Sciences Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Discussion Group. Dr. Kaneko is an author of more than 120 publications and patents. He holds a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Missouri and an M.S. and Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Michigan.
Dana Kappel joined the External Affairs and Market Access teams in October 2015 as an Administrative Assistant and has since been promoted to Administrative Coordinator. Dana has over seven years’ experience in administrative management, most recently as Executive Assistant and Marketing Coordinator for a surgeon, where she was responsible for office administration, researching and editing journal articles, coordinating event logistics, and managing a website and social media. Previously, she worked in administration for Patina Restaurant Group and Seton Hall University. A native of Illinois, Ms. Kappel holds a Master of Arts in World History and a Bachelor of Arts in Classical Studies from Seton Hall University. She serves as a volunteer for Aid Afghanistan for Education and the iHug Foundation.
Rachel King joined TB Alliance in May 2018 as Executive Assistant for the Research and Development team. Prior to joining TB Alliance, Rachel worked in the fashion industry where she served in business and office management roles at a small boutique modeling agency. Rachel earned her BA in Communications with a specialization in Public Relations from Florida Gulf Coast University.
CMC, Project Manager
Polina Kishinevskaya joined TB Alliance in May 2018. Polina has diversified experience in the Pharmaceutical Industry (17+ years working at Pfizer Inc.) including Pharmaceutical Technology, Manufacturing, and Quality Assurance. She has extensive experience in CMC, project management, analytical chemistry, material science, quality, advanced manufacturing technology applied to product development, manufacturing, technical support of all dosage forms, technical transfers, international/ emerging markets support, and global regulatory requirements. Polina held variety of positions and roles; she led a technology transfer support projects working with the CMOs/CROs across the globe. Polina holds Master of Science Degree in Chemistry from the State University of Moldova and Medical Technology program certification from NY Rochester General Hospital.
Director, Financial Management & ControllerTrudy Kline joined TB Alliance team in August 2009 and currently serves as Director, Financial Management & Controller. Trudy has 25 years of diverse financial experience including accounting, budgeting, forecasting, audit management and compliance, and both internal and external reporting. Trudy joins us from Alpharma Pharmaceuticals, a specialty pharmaceutical company, where she was Accounting Manager for the past four years. Earlier in her career, she worked in the service and manufacturing sectors for both publically held and private organizations. Trudy has a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Brooklyn College and recently completed her M.B.A at the University of Phoenix.
Dr. Li joined TB Alliance in October of 2016 as the Clinical Safety Officer.
Prior to joining the TB Alliance, Dr. Li served as a pharmacovigilance consultant to TB Alliance since 2015. Before that, she worked at Xi’an- Janssen Pharmaceutical company (Johnson & Johnson) for seven years in the US and China, where she was the therapeutic area manager responsible for clinical development strategy, protocol design and project execution in Anti-Infectious Diseases (HCV and TB), most recently she served as the study responsible physician for a phase III registration trial (HCV) in Asian pacific region as part of the global program while also serving as the AP representative in global clinical team. Earlier she worked in medical affairs as therapeutic area physician/manager running phase 4 trials in Anti-Infectious Diseases (Invasive fungal infection, HIV and TB) and Cardiovascular & Metabolism therapeutic areas, on local, regional and global basis.
Dr. Li received her medical training from a seven-year program at China Medical University and is a board certified internal medicine physician. She is currently pursuing an MPA at Columbia University.
Director, Clinical OperationsAs a Registered Nurse, Leandra started her career in the clinical research industry as a research nurse and coordinator at various Phase 1 units in London in 1996. Since then she was gained experience as a CRA, Project Manager, Business Unit Manager, Clinical Operations Manager, and Trainer in a variety of local, regional and global roles in both the CRO and pharmaceutical industries and across all phases of clinical trials.
Most recently, Leandra held the position of Clinical Operations Manager, Africa for Novartis Vaccines (now GSK) and later as the Regional Training Partner responsible for all associates within the Global Monitoring Organisation located in Africa, Asia and Australia.
On 1 April 2015, Leandra joined the TB Alliance team in Pretoria as Senior Manager, Clinical Operations.
Senior Manager, Communications
Thomas Lynch joined TB Alliance in 2016 and is responsible for shaping and implementing the organization’s communications strategy. He previously worked at the World Bank Group, where he served as a Communications Specialist responsible for social media, web content, and project management for the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery. Prior to that role, Thomas was Deputy Communications Director at New York City Council. He started his career in communications by managing digital engagement at the EastWest Institute, an international think tank focused on strategic trust-building among political entities.
Thomas is a graduate of the University of Virginia with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Foreign Affairs.
Manager, External Affairs
Anu-Raga Mahalingashetty joined the TB Alliance in May 2016. As a member of the External Affairs team, she is responsible for fundraising, advocacy and partnership development. Ms. Mahalingashetty’s career has focused on international health, ranging from program evaluation and research to community development, program implementation and resource mobilization. She has worked at BRAC, where she led large scale community health and youth programs across five countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, providing strategic support, partnership development and innovation for maternal child health and reproductive health initiatives. Previously, Ms. Mahalingashetty worked in India managing qualitative impact studies of Avahan, a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation supported HIV/AIDS program across multiple high burden states.
Ms. Mahalingashetty holds a Master’s Degree in Public Health from Columbia University, where she specialized in Global Health.
Director, Market Access.Shelly Malhotra joined the TB Alliance in March 2013. She currently serves as Director, Market Access. Prior to this role, she served as Senior Manager for Resource Mobilization, responsible for the TB Alliance’s fundraising and partnership efforts. Before joining the TB Alliance, Ms. Malhotra served as Director of Strategic Projects at the Sihanouk Hospital Center of HOPE in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, heading the organization’s strategic alliances and resource mobilization efforts, working closely with partners including GFATM, Institute for Tropical Medicine Antwerp, FHI 360, WHO, and the NTP of Cambodia. Ms Malhotra started her career as a Peace Corps Volunteer in rural Thailand, where she designed an innovative peer outreach model for HIV prevention in collaboration with UNICEF that went on to receive national honors. She has 20 years of experience in the global health and academic sectors, including work with the UN Office of the Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery; Columbia University Law School; and the AmeriCares Foundation, where she oversaw a portfolio of grant and in-kind pharmaceutical partnerships spanning 7 countries in Asia. Ms. Malhotra holds a Bachelor of Arts from Brown University and is a doctoral candidate in Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley, where she also received her MA degree.
Hannah joined TB Alliance in October 2018 as the Executive Assistant to the CEO and CFO. Hailing from Australia, Hannah earned her Bachelor degree in Social Work from Deakin University. Having started her career as a case manager at New Hope Foundation, a Melbourne based not-for-profit organization, Hannah worked for five years offering resettlement support to newly arrived refugees. Since her move to New York in January 2016, Hannah worked as an executive assistant to a leading surgeon, responsible for office administration and patient coordination. Hannah is very excited to be part of a global non-profit that is helping to find a better cure for those suffering from tuberculosis.
Manager, Clinical Operations
Joanna Moreira joined the TB Alliance Organization in June 2016 as a Clinical Project Manager, helping with the oversight of activities across several ongoing clinical trials. Ms. Moreira comes on board with over nine years of industry experience, started her career at Eisai, Inc. in 2007 working on Global Phase II and Phase III oncology studies. Over the last five years, Ms. Moreira has continued to work on Global Phase III trials at Purdue Pharma, Inc., Regeneron, Inc., including TB Alliance as a consultant bringing clinical operation experience on trial management. Ms. Moreira has a BS in Biology from the State University of Albany.
Jerry R. Nedelman
Senior Director, Pharmacometrics
Jerry joined the TB Alliance in February 2017. He applies quantitative clinical pharmacology and model-based drug development to characterize exposure/response relationships, evaluate the benefit/risk tradeoff, and inform clinical development planning. Jerry received his BA in Mathematics from University of Cincinnati in 1975 and his PhD in Applied Mathematics from Cornell University in 1981. After a postdoctoral fellowship at The Rockefeller University he taught at Clemson University and The State University at Albany. His academic research focused on mathematical applications in biology such as cell population dynamics and malaria epidemiology. In 1991 he was recruited to start a Pharmacometrics group in the Clinical Pharmacology department of Novartis (then Sandoz) Pharmaceuticals in New Jersey. He remained at Novartis for 25 years, fostering and applying modeling-and- simulation methodologies for preclinical and clinical drug development across all therapeutic areas, specializing in statistical modeling and population pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics.
Senior Director, Clinical Development
Dr. Morounfolu (Folu) Olugbosi joined TB Alliance on August 1, 2017, as Senior Director, Clinical Development and works with the clinical development of products in the TB Alliance portfolio, helps to oversee clinical trials in TB endemic countries and heads the South Africa office.
He obtained his medical degree at the College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Nigeria and specialized in Clinical Microbiology with primary interest in antimicrobial resistance during which he worked on Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) at the Otto von Guericke University, Magdeburg, Germany. He also obtained a Masters degree (cum laude) at the University of Siena, Italy in the field of Vaccinology and Pharmaceutical Clinical Development.
Between 2009 to 2017, he worked with Novartis Italy S.p.A as a Clinical Research Associate (CRA) and intern epidemiologist; Novartis South Africa (Pty) Ltd as Regional Physician, Middle East and Africa; Novartis USA Inc (transitioned to GSK) as Clinical Development Physician, North America and GSK South Africa (Pty) Ltd as Vaccines Medical Affairs Lead, South and Southern Africa. During this period, he worked on the clinical development of maternal immunization vaccines (Group B Streptococcus and Respiratory Syncytial Virus vaccines), meningococcal and Influenza vaccines; where he also co-authored numerous international peer reviewed publications.
His areas of experience also include medical affairs and pharmacovigilance.
Director, Clinical OperationsFran Pappas joined the TB Alliance in November, 2008, as Clinical Operations Director, bringing over 25 years of experience in the clinical research industry. As Clinical Operations Director, she is responsible for planning and oversight of clinical trials. Prior to joining the TB Alliance Ms. Pappas spent 28 years at Merck & Co. Inc where she was involved in the planning, execution and management of large international clinical trials in multiple therapeutic areas including lipids, endocrinology and infectious diseases. She was also involved in the preparation of global regulatory documentation including Clinical Study reports, major Common Technical Document (CTD) Summaries (Safety and Efficacy) and responses to Regulatory Agencies. Ms. Pappas has a B.A. and M.S. in Biology from the University of Bridgeport in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
Stephanie S. Seidel
Senior Manager, Community EngagementStephanie Seidel joined the TB Alliance in July 2005 and is a member of the External Affairs team. She acts as Program Manager of Community Engagement and focuses on the development and implementation of community engagement strategies around several of TB Alliance’s clinical research programs. She is responsible for managing a small grants program; providing guidance and technical assistance to research sites in the development of their own community outreach programs as well as developing materials to educate communities about TB drug research and development and measuring the impact of community engagement on the outcomes of clinical research. Prior to joining the TB Alliance Ms. Seidel studied at the Yale School of Medicine Physician Associate program, where she developed her interest in the treatment of infectious diseases. She has a long history of patient education and advocacy, and previously worked for Planned Parenthood of Connecticut as a patient advocate and clinic assistant, providing counseling for patients on issues related to women’s health, communicable disease prevention and treatment, and family planning. Ms. Seidel holds a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology and Latin American Literature from Earlham College, and completed Post Baccalaureate pre-medical studies at SUNY Purchase.
Project Lead, Biology
Dr. Serbina joined the TB Alliance in January 2019 as a Project Leader, Biology. Prior to joining TB Alliance, Dr. Serbina spent six years at Elusys Therapeutics where she led non clinical activities that supported US regulatory BLA submissions for a monoclonal anthrax antitoxin approved under FDA’s Animal Rule. Dr. Serbina also spent some time at Celgene where she led translational immune biomarker initiative across multiple myeloma trials.
Prior to joining Elusys, Dr. Serbina conducted extensive academic research in the infectious disease area encompassing research in tuberculosis, listeriosis and aspergillosis. Dr. Serbina spent nine years at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center as a post-doctoral fellow and senior research scientist in the laboratory of Dr. Eric Pamer where she elucidated host-pathogen interactions triggering the onset of inflammation during microbial infection.
Dr. Serbina received her PhD in immunology from the University of Pittsburgh where she studied immune protection in the murine model of acute and latent TB infection in the laboratory of Dr. JoAnne Flynn. Dr. Serbina has an extensive publication record in leading peer-reviewed scientific journals and authored book chapters and subject matter expert reviews in the areas of immunology and infectious disease.
Specialist, Contracts & Operations
Jonathan joined TB Alliance in October of 2018 and currently serves as Specialist, Contracts & Operations where he is responsible for contracts administration and supporting the Senior Manager, Operations and Contracts in the day-to-day internal operations of the organization.
Jonathan has over 8 years experience in contract administration and general paralegal work. His last role was at CareConnect Insurance Company, Inc. where he served 3 years as the Manager, Document Control. Jonathan is a cum laude graduate of Iona College where he obtained his BA in Political Science with a Pre-Law minor.
Director, Human Resources
Marianna Shlak joined TB Alliance in July 2015 as Director, Human Resources. Prior to joining TB Alliance, Marianna served as Director of Talent Acquisition and Retention at Services for the Underserved (SUS) a large not-for-profit organization that provides social and health services for HIV/AIDS patients, veterans, and others in need. Marianna’s 15 years’ work experience spans the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors and she has a broad range of human resources experience including recruitment, employee relations, coaching, training and staff development.
Marianna earned an MA in Industrial and Organizational Psychology at NYU, and holds certifications as both a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and as a Senior Certified Professional through the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM-SCP). On a personal note, she is a native of Ukraine who, after living in Europe for several years, moved to the NYC area with her family.
Senior Specialist, External Affairs
Zvia joined the TB Alliance in January 2019 as part of the External Affairs team, managing donor relationships and grant reporting, as well as participating in writing proposals. Previously she worked at Action Against Hunger US on the Research Team, managing stakeholder engagement, research uptake, and communication strategies for the research portfolio, and tracking global and local changes in practice and policy based on the organization's research findings. Zvia also worked as the communications officer for the Crisis Management Centre - Animal Health, based in Rome's Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, where she managed the global communications strategy for a team of experts responding to animal health emergencies across Africa and Asia. She started her career managing social media and communications activities for companies in the food and travel industries, like Zagat Survey and Spotted by Locals.
Zvia holds a Masters of Arts degree in Religious Studies from Duke University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from the Macaulay Honors College at Baruch College
Gerald J. Siuta
Business DevelopmentDr. Siuta is the President of Siuta Consulting, Inc., a pharmaceutical licensing consulting firm established in 1995 to provide worldwide in- and out-licensing services to pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology companies, universities and research institutes. Prior to starting his consulting business, Dr. Siuta spent 20 years in the pharmaceutical industry with the Medical Research Division of American Cyanamid Company, first as a synthetic organic chemist and then in New Product Licensing.
With more than 22 years of experience in pharmaceutical licensing, he has established an extensive network of licensing contacts at pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies in the United States, Europe and Japan as well as at Technology Transfer Offices in universities and research institutes in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Israel and Australia. Dr. Siuta received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Chemistry from Hunter College of The City University of New York and his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Fordham University.
Secretariat, WGND & Administrative CoordinatorZaid Tanvir joined the TB Alliance in September 2013 and currently manages program-related activities for the Working Group on New TB Drugs (WGND) and additionally, coordinates for the Drug Discovery and CMC Teams.
In his role as Secretariat for WGND, Zaid develops and executes the program’s portfolio of initiatives, engaging with a global community of TB drug development stakeholders. WGND’s primary goals to track the global TB pipeline; to incite collaboration and serve as a venue for interaction among partners on a global stage working at all levels of TB drug R&D; and to provide resources to its members to accelerate TB drug development. In previous roles, Zaid has supported the administrative needs of External Affairs, Market Access, Pediatrics, Business Development, and Drug Discovery. Zaid comes to TB Alliance after completing a Masters of Science in Biology at American University, where his research focus was neurophysiology.
Senior Director, BiologyIn her position as Senior Director, Biology Dr. Upton is responsible for evaluating, building and overseeing discovery and preclinical development projects and preclinical initiatives. Dr. Upton joined the TB Alliance in September 2007, serving initially as Scientific Liaison to the Stop TB Partnership Working Group on New Drugs and joining Research and Development in 2008. Prior to joining TB Alliance, Dr. Upton developed expertise on the microbiology, molecular biology and biochemistry of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, through academic research. Dr. Upton worked for five years as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Rockefeller University, where her research focused on evaluating the importance of metabolic pathways to Mycobacterium tuberculosis during infection and identifying potential targets for drugs to treat persistent TB. A native of England, Dr. Upton received her Ph.D. from Oxford University for work towards understanding how Mycobacterium tuberculosis becomes resistant to the cornerstone drug, isoniazid. Dr. Upton holds a B.A. in Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry from Oxford University.
Program CoordinatorIrina Usherenko joined the TB Alliance in October 2013 and supports program related activities for the expanded access program and select pediatric initiatives.
Prior to joining the TB Alliance, Irina worked as a Service Coordinator at Public Health Solutions, where she coordinated therapeutic services for early childhood development. Irina’s research experience ranges from clinical outcomes of chronic diseases to HIV/AIDS harm reduction prevention. She conducted a study in South Africa on condom use among sex workers, which was later used for advocacy and safe-sex education. Irina has also volunteered with FROST’D, a needle exchange program, where she provided short term harm reduction counseling for persons at risk for and living with HIV/AIDS.
Irina holds a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree with a focus on Community and International Health from New York University. She has a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Sociology and Neuroscience from Grinnell College. She is fluent in Russian.
Jess Wiggs joined TB Alliance in 2018 as part of the External Affairs team and contributes to the development and implementation of the organization’s communications strategy. She previously worked in the field of healthcare public relations where she executed communications and public awareness campaigns across several therapeutic areas, including dermatology, diabetes and women’s health. Jess holds an MSc in Human Rights from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Through her master’s program, she analyzed the intersection between global health and human rights and her dissertation focused on the role of international organizations to combat antimicrobial resistance. She earned a BA from Syracuse University with degrees in Public Relations and English & Textual Studies, and a minor degree in Spanish.
Senior Manager, FinanceSkyelar Yaffie joined TB Alliance in November 2009. He is currently the Senior Manager of Finance, leading the Month-end Processes, Accounts Payable, and Budget Processes while also managing the financial systems. Skyelar has 10 years of accounting experience while previously working for Moody’s Investor Services and Alpharma Pharmaceuticals. Skyelar holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Rowan University and has obtained his MBA at Syracuse University.
Tian J. Yang
Director, Pre-Clinical Drug EvaluationDr. Yang joined the TB Alliance in August 2011 as Director of Preclinical Drug Evaluation. Prior to joining TB Alliance, he worked at Roche for four years as a group head of enzymology, then head of biotransformation. There, his responsibilities include discovery ADME/Tox optimization, preclinical drug metabolism for IND, and clinical human ADME, MIST and DDI studies. Before working at Roche, Dr. Yang spent eight years at Dupont Pharmaceuticals and Bristol-Myers Squibb. There, he focused on enzyme-based drug-drug interactions, drug metabolism and excretion pathways, and biotransformation-caused liver injuries. Dr. Yang was also a consultant of Oncology Clinical Pharmacology at Novartis.
Dr. Yang received his Ph.D. in pharmacology from Peking Union Medical College at Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences. Following two years of postdoctoral research at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences at Bethesda, MD, he joined the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health, working on carcinogen activation mechanism and enzyme phenotyping with prepared monoclonal antibodies to a panel of cytochromes P450.