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.
Director, Alliance Management
Dr. Ece Auffarth joined the TB Alliance in October 2022, as Director of Alliance Management. In this role, Ece manages the global research and development alliances and works in collaboration with internal cross-functional teams and external partners to ensure efficiency and effectiveness of the collaborations.
Before joining the TB Alliance, Ece was Senior Manager, Technology Development & Intellectual Property, at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research Ltd where she managed and coordinated the pre-clinical and early-stage clinical development of scientific technology assets with the Ludwig Institute’s teams along with its external stakeholders.
Prior to that position, Ece was Contract and Licensing Manager at the Office of Biotechnology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine managing various strategic alliance programs with large pharmaceutical companies. In addition, she was involved in the marketing and licensing of the College’s patent portfolio to various commercial entities ranging from start-ups to large pharmaceutical companies.
Earlier in her career, Ece worked as a project manager responsible for managing the administration of a multi-institutional research program for HIV vaccine development funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Ece earned her BS in Biology and PhD in Molecular Microbiology at SUNY Stony Brook. Upon graduation, she worked at a boutique intellectual property law firm, Darby & Darby PC, as a scientific advisor.
Ece is a registered patent agent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Christi Champ Baine
Senior Manager, Contracts AdministrationChristi 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 Specialist, ContractsSevil Becklo first joined the TB Alliance in September 2014. In her current role as a Contracts Senior Specialist, she is responsible for drafting and finalizing contracts primarily for the procurement of external professional services and coordinating the process for internal departments and external parties.
She previously worked at Fujifilm Medical Systems U.S.A. where she served in a similar capacity, responsible specifically for Service Agreements across the Medical Informatics division.
Sevil is a graduate of Michigan State University with two Bachelor’s degrees in Business and French. She grew up overseas mostly in Dubai, U.A.E. but also lived for some time in Istanbul, Turkey.
R&D Financial Analyst
As an AP student and member of the Principal Leadership Academic at Springfield Gardens High School, Aaron was recommended by his principal and her leadership staff to participate in JA (Junior Achievement) enrichment program given his strong advanced academic skills, particularly in mathematics. He accepted the offer and went on to teach entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial literacy/banking through experiential, hands-on programs to 3rd graders for two consecutive years in collaboration with the JA (Junior Achievement) enrichment organization. Moved by the experience, Aaron pursued a career in accounting post graduating high school.
After graduating high school, Aaron began taking college courses where he was enrolled and eventually received his undergraduate degree from Queens College of the City University of New York (CUNY). He graduated in June 2011 with (B.S.) Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Information Systems. Post completion of his undergrad degree Aaron went on to embark on a career of work as a staff accountant turned financial analyst in several industries ranging from Fashion: Retail/Wholesale, Global Entertainment & Events and now Pharmaceutical. His motto is, “finance is finance and what you do in finance can be done in any industry. That is the beauty of this career.”
Aaron actively serves as the chairman of the Board of Trustees at the New Canaan Baptist Church where he’s been a member since 2014.
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. As of January 2021, she has taken on the role of Manager, Administration, working in an expanded HR capacity, overseeing Operations and coordinating the QA program.
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.
Senior Director, Biology
Todd A. Black, Ph.D. joined the TB Alliance in February 2021 as the Senior Director of Biology.
Prior to joining the TB Alliance, Todd was the Executive Director for Merck's Infectious Diseases and Vaccines Basic Research group. He has worked the last 25 years on the discovery and development of novel therapies for infectious diseases at Novartis, Schering-Plough and Merck. Todd and his research teams have supported the discovery and development of a variety of therapies for prevention and treatment of infectious diseases, including new classes of antibiotics, antifungals for invasive infections, HIV and HCV antivirals, new classes of agents for treating and preventing recurrent C. difficile infections, in addition to vaccines to prevent prevalent respiratory and invasive infections. Todd’s passion has been on the prevention and treatment of emerging pathogens including multi-drug resistant bacteria and other emerging pathogens and is excited to be focusing on novel therapies for mycobacterial infections.
Todd earned his Ph. D. in Biochemistry at Michigan State University/DOE Plant Research Laboratory.
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.
She has her bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Creative Writing from Seton Hall University, as well as her Master’s in English and Creative Writing from Southern New Hampshire University. While her educational background is on the creative side, her professional career has been spent in non-profits. Bridget has previously been an Executive Assistant to a CEO, and most recently a Program Manager for the American Thoracic Society, working on patient education and advocacy issues. Her previous work instilled a passion for patient issues and health equity; she is excited to bring this passion to TB Alliance.
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.
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.
Anna Cordero joined TB Alliance in 2017 as part of the Finance team. She started as an Accounts Payable Specialist and has recently been promoted to Financial Analyst. Anna is excited in her new role and brings 10 years’ experience in accounting having worked with non-profits. Most recently, Anna was part of the Finance team at JCCA which provides child welfare and mental health services to New York’s Neediest. Anna has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accounting from Baruch College and earned an MS in Business Management and Leadership from CUNY School of Professional Studies.
Senior Manager, Market Access
Maria Diachenko is a Senior Manager in Market Access, focusing on the development and implementation access strategies for rapid, consistent and sustained access to new TB regimens at the national and global levels.
Having started her career as a research scientist, Maria moved to the pharmaceutical sector, where she has 10 years’ experience working in different departments including Medical Affairs and Market Access in Sanofi, Johnson & Johnson and Sandoz. During her work in Market Access at Johnson and Johnson, Maria was responsible for development and implementation of access strategies for several therapeutic directions in Ukraine and Belarus, including tuberculosis.
Maria holds a PhD in Cell Biology from Kyiv Shevchenko National University. Maria also holds an MS in Biotechnology from Jagiellonian University and a BS in Biology.
Director, 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.
Senior Director, Medical Affairs
Salah Foraida, MD, MS joined TB Alliance in February 2021 as Senior Director and Head of Medical Affairs. In this role, Dr. Foraida collaborates across the organization to define the medical affairs strategy for public health agencies, commercial partners, the medical community, key opinion leaders and other stakeholders to bring TB Alliance approved regimens to patients, and to provide expert scientific advice and information to external parties. He also contributes to the strategy of new regimens, and to the overall scientific and post-approval strategy.
Dr. Foraida is a physician with 19 years of combined experience in clinical practice and leadership roles at multiple pharmaceutical corporates including Novo Nordisk, Sanofi, Shire, and most recently Takeda. Over his pharma career, he led medical affairs strategy, teams, functions, portfolio planning, launch readiness, peri-launch activities and life cycle management of several compounds across multiple therapeutic areas, including Infectious Diseases, Vaccines, Diabetes, Cardiovascular, Neuroscience and Psychiatry.
Dr Foraida earned his Medical Degree from Cairo University, and a Master of Science in Emerging Infectious Diseases from Georgetown University in Washington DC.
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.
Reva Grimball joined the TB Alliance in June 2019 and supports activities for the Market Access and External Affairs teams.
Prior to joining the TB Alliance, Reva worked in research and programmatic roles in HIV and STI prevention for the Columbia University School of Nursing, the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, and the University of California, Berkley, and as an analyst for the California Department of Public Health.
Reva holds a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree with a focus on Infectious Disease and Vaccinology from the University of California, Berkeley. She has a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Biology from St. Edward’s University, Austin.
Director, Market Access
Aastha Gupta is a Director in Market Access, working on the development and implementation of global access strategies. She leads collaborations in key priority countries to ensure adoption, implementation, scale-up of TB Alliance regimens and is responsible for health economics studies at the Alliance.
Prior to joining TB Alliance, Aastha was Senior Business Development Manager for the Medicines Patent Pool, responsible for licensing and business analytics. Previously, she spent eight years in the generic manufacturing industry, responsible for health economics, international marketing, portfolio management and project management.
Aastha holds an MBA in International Business from the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade and is an honors graduate of Delhi University.
Ana Maria Harkins
Senior 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.
Director, Quality Assurance
Jenny joined the TB Alliance team in South Africa as a QA Consultant in July 2015, and then as Director, QA in April 2020. Jenny has more than 25 years’ experience working in the clinical research environment with global Pharmaceutical companies, Biotech organizations and CROs, across all phases of clinical trials.
Jenny holds an honors degree in Pharmacy from Rhodes University, South Africa and an MBA from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.
Senior Director, Preclinical Drug Development
As Senior Director of Preclinical Drug Development, Dean is responsible for helping create and implement the research and pre-clinical development strategy of the TB Alliance.
Dean has more than 24 years of experience supporting multidisciplinary teams with pharmacokinetics, drug metabolism and translational sciences expertise from early discovery, through development and NDA filing, and post marketing across multiple therapeutic areas at Abbott Laboratories (1996 to 2004) and Amgen (2004 to 2019). Since 2020 he has been assisting discovery and lead optimization efforts for small biotech companies both as a consultant and subsequently as VP for Preclinical and Translational Sciences at Arclight Therapeutics, a neurodegenerative disease focused startup.
He received his undergraduate degree in Biochemistry and Toxicology from the University of Surrey, and subsequently received his D.Phil. at the University of Oxford applying molecular biology and enzyme kinetics to study the human clinical polymorphisms of N-acetyltransferase. His post-doctoral experience includes development of in vitro drug metabolism assays to inform the clinical drug-drug interaction potential of new medicines.
CMC Project Manager
Koteswara Rao (Koti) Inabathina joined TB Alliance in November 2020 as the CMC Project Manger for Pharmaceutical product development holding responsibility for managing the key activities across CMC disciplines.
Prior to joining the TB Alliance, Koti was an Associate Director & Lead- Late-stage product development for various therapeutic areas in Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories. He served DRL for more than 15 years in various roles and contributed to the successful first cycle NDA approvals. Koti holds a degree of Master of Science in Chemistry and Analysis of Foods, Drugs & Water.
Ram Iyer joined the TB Alliance in April 2022. Prior to joining the TB Alliance, Ram was a scientist and project leader at Entasis Therapeutics Inc (Waltham, MA) managing research activities supporting antibacterial discovery and leading the development of exploratory ideas and pre-clinical research projects. Ram worked as a senior scientist in the Infectious Disease group at Vertex Pharmaceuticals (Boston, MA) from 2007 to 2015, where he led the development of ideas and approaches to evaluate small molecule permeation and efflux in Gram-negative human pathogens.
Ram earned his Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Houston characterizing the function of bacterial outer membrane porins. He also trained as a post-doctoral associate at Brandeis University and Tufts University Medical School where he conducted research on bacterial chloride channels and Streptococcus pneumoniae pathogenesis.
His areas of investigation and interests include microbial physiology & pathogenesis, antibiotic drug discovery, mechanisms of antibiotic resistance and human gut microbiome.
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.
Senior Director, Financial Planning & AnalysisTrudy Kline joined TB Alliance team in August 2009 and currently serves as Senior Director, Financial Planning & Analysis. 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.
Director, Project Management for Preclinical Programs
Dr. Guiying Li joined TB Alliance in May 2020 as the Senior Manager, Project Management for Preclinical Programs. Dr. Li has over 20 years of experience in research and development of small molecules for treatment of CNS disorders, cancers and infectious diseases. She has worked for biopharmaceutical, biotechnology companies and non-profit organizations including Lundbeck, Neurogen, Kelun Biotech BioPharmaceutical, where she served as Director of Medicinal Chemistry, and most recently at TB Alliance where she was a consultant managing preclinical discovery programs. Dr. Li has either led or played a critical role in advancing several compounds from early discovery to early development.
Dr. Li completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the United States National Institutes of Health. She has doctorate and Master’s degrees in Organic Chemistry from the Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Wuhan University. She has 31 peer-reviewed publications, 31 published patent applications and 11 issued US patents.
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.
Priti Mahabir graduated from Queens College with B.A. degree. Her background in Biology and Drama and Theater allowed her to navigate many paths. She spent several years of her professional career in trial administration and management first at Cerba Healthcare (formerly BARC USA) and then most recently, at the law firm of Shaub Ahmuty Citrin & Spratt LLP. She joined TB Alliance in July 2023 to support the activities of the Clinical team.
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.
Senior Manager, R&D Finance
Christina Mooney joined the TB Alliance team in January 2022. As a Senior Manager in R&D finance, she is responsible for budgeting, forecasting, and reporting for all areas of R&D. Christina brings over 20+ years of finance and budgeting experience starting her career in the finance industry before moving to the pharma world. She has worked for several medium size CROs in the past, but her most recent experience has been with Clinilabs Drug Development Corp and the ophthalmic pharmaceutical company Aerie Pharmaceuticals. She has a BA degree in Business Administration from Stockton University.
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, Medicinal Chemistry
Dr. Papillon joined TB Alliance in May 2023 as a Director, Medicinal Chemistry. He is responsible for helping set the chemistry strategy for the overall portfolio, organize and manage the research activities necessary for the discovery research and preclinical development of antituberculosis drugs.
Prior to joining TB Alliance, Dr. Papillon spent 18 years at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research in Cambridge, MA. As a medicinal chemist and project team leader, he helped create and advance numerous drug discovery programs from target validation to early-stage clinical trials, and design small molecule modulators of protein targets for cardiovascular, oncology, ophthalmology, and virology indications. He contributed to the discovery of twelve pre-clinical development candidates, including Isturisa® (osilodrostat), marketed for adults with Cushing's disease, and darovasertib, a PKC inhibitor in registration trials for metastatic uveal melanoma.
Prior to Novartis, Dr. Papillon was a post-doctoral fellow at Stanford University. Dr. Papillon obtained his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of York, United Kingdom. He is a member of the American Chemical Society (ACS) and has served as a member of the ACS Medicinal Chemistry Division’s Long-range Planning Committee. He is an author on over 30 publications and patents, and a recipient of the 2023 ACS Division of Organic Chemistry’s Mid-Career Investigator Award.
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.
Senior Medical Officer
Dr. Maria Paris joined the TB Alliance in July 2023 with more than 20 years of experience in pharmaceutical development from early to late stage. She previously was the Executive Medical Director at Amgen. She has participated in the development and approval of multiple compounds for several diseases. Most recently in psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis and Behcet’s disease.
Maria received her MD degree from the College of Medical Sciences of Central America and University of Costa Rica follow by a Fellowship in Pediatric Infectious Diseases at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. She practiced Pediatric Infectious Diseases in the National Children’s Hospital in Costa Rica before joining the pharmaceutical industry.
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.
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.
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.
Manager, 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.
Project Manager, Preclinical Programs & Program Manager, WGNDZaid Tanvir joined the TB Alliance in September 2013. He currently serves as a Project Manager on our Drug Discovery team and as Program Manager for the Stop TB Partnership’s Working Group on New Drugs (WGND). As a project manager, Zaid is responsible for planning, tracking, and monitoring activities related to our preclinical studies. As Program Manager of the WGND he develops and executes the program’s portfolio of initiatives, while engaging with a global community of TB drug development stakeholders. Zaid comes to TB Alliance after completing a Master’s of Science in Biology at American University, where his research focus was neurophysiology.
Juliano Timm joined the TB Alliance as Director, Microbiology, in September 2020, after having consulted for the organization for a number of years. Dr. Timm has also been a consultant for Otsuka and Novartis. Prior to his consultant work, Dr. Timm was a Program Manager for LabCap, a technical assistance program of the American Society for Microbiology. He also served as a Researcher at Rockefeller University. Dr. Timm earned a PhD in Microbiology at the University of Paris/Pasteur Institute, an MPH at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and an MS degree in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at Free University of Brussels. He is a graduate of the University of Brasilia, Brazil.
Senior Specialist, Communications
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.
Prior to joining TB Alliance, Sawida was an Administrative Specialist in Quality & Patient Safety at Weill Cornell Medical College. She has spent her professional career in administrative and customer service roles at both national and international non-profit organizations. Sawida is a graduate of Stony Brook University with a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Business Management, and a minor in Digital Art.
Chris Zuniga joined the TB Alliance team in November 2021. As Controller, he is responsible for managing the Finance department's daily and routine operations, coordinating the completion of the financial statements, annual audit, banking, and payroll management, accounts payable, and expense report management. Mr. Zuniga brings over 20 years of experience in the not-for-profit sector, focusing on developing policies and procedures to improve performance, productivity, and collaboration between finance and administration. Chris joins us from The Center for Family Support, Inc., and served as the Director of Finance and Accounting. Before his current role, Chris worked as Assistant Controller and accounting manager at several NY-based not-for-profits; he also spent over ten years as an external auditor with accounting firms specializing in not-for-profit accounting. He is a graduate of York College with a BA degree in Accounting.