Learn more about our Executive Leadership Committee by clicking on their name below.
Kirk Shepard, MD
Senior Vice President, Head of Global Medical Affairs Oncology
President 2016-2017, Medical Affairs Professional Society
Dr. Kirk Shepard is the 2016-2017 President of the Medical Affairs Professional Society and has more than 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. He is a board-certified medical oncologist and hematologist physician. He is currently Senior Vice President, Head of Global Medical Affairs Oncology at Eisai Pharmaceutical Company.
Dr. Shepard’s experience in multiple therapeutic areas includes operational and strategic product development from Phases I through IV and the diverse disciplines of medical affairs and product commercialization, such as leading compliance and SOP/policy efforts, health economics & outcomes research & patient access, data generation, field-based medical teams (MSLs), PV/safety, medical communication & publications, patient advocacy, and public relations. In 2015, he was selected as one of the 100 Most Inspiring People in the Pharmaceutical Industry (PharmaVOICE).
Before his pharmaceutical career, Dr. Shepard served as a staff physician in the Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, where he supervised numerous studies in oncology and symptom control. He has more than 50 medical publications in journals and books. Dr. Shepard earned his bachelor’s degree from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, and his medical degree from the University of Cincinnati Medical School in Cincinnati, OH. He completed both his internship and residency in internal medicine at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH, and fellowships in hematology and oncology at the University of Chicago Hospitals and Clinics in Chicago, IL.
Gail Cawkwell, MD, PhD
Chief Medical Officer and Vice President of Medical Affairs
Dr. Gail Cawkwell currently serves as Chief Medical Officer and Vice President of Medical Affairs at Purdue Pharma in Stamford, CT. After earning her medical degree at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, Dr. Cawkwell received her doctorate from the Department of Environmental Health, Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio. She completed a residency in Pediatrics at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, NC, and a fellowship in Pediatric Rheumatology at Cincinnati’s Children’s Hospital Medical Center.
Dr. Cawkwell and her team provide medical and scientific expertise to healthcare professionals, payers, patients, and health systems. They also focus on ensuring that medical and regulatory decision makers understand the company’s medicines and therapeutic areas.
Dr. Cawkwell’s research has been published in such journals as Arthritis and Rheumatism, Current Medical Research and Opinion, Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, and the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management.
Victoria Elegant, MBBS, DRCOG, FFPM
Vice President and Region Head Medical, JAPAC
Ramin Farhood, PharmD, MBA
Vice President, Head of Global Medical Affairs
Dr. Ramin Farhood is a Senior Level Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Executive with 20 years of experience in scientific and strategic operational leadership in Global Medical Affairs (GMA), Scientific Affairs and Shared Medical Excellence. His expertise is vast in building scalable world-wide organizational and operational capabilities of Medical Affairs while driving efficiencies and implementing best practices. His diverse therapeutic expertise spans across Oncology, Hematology, Immunology, and Ophthalmology.
Currently, Dr. Farhood is the Vice President, Head of Global Medical Affairs at AveXis. In this role, he is a key member of the senior leadership team accountable for World-Wide Medical Affairs organization. Previously, he served as the VP, Head of External Scientific Affairs for Shire who recently acquired Baxalta in July 2016. In this role, he was responsible for developing a strategic vision for the Medical Affairs Evidence Generation group. His accountabilities encompass Medical Evidence Generation, Continuum of Access to Medicines, Laboratory Services, Home Therapy Support, HCP Engagement Support & Educational Grants, Investigator Initiated Trials (IITs) and Professional Society Engagement Support. Here, he has been an inspirational leader who serves as a strategic business partner, cultural and change steward and operational expert.
Prior to his current role, he served as the Head of Medical Operations and Strategy at Baxalta. During his tenure, he built a flexible and scalable world-wide organizational and operational capability of Medical Affairs via centralizing common medical and operational activities globally with centralized hubs in the regions, driving efficiencies and productivities, and sharing and implementing best practices.
Earlier in his career, as Head of Global & US Medical Affairs for Immunology Franchise at Baxter, he was responsible for overseeing the Immunology franchise, leading the development and implementation of medical and commercial strategies, Life-Cycle Management and launch of products. This experience included diverse disciplines of medical and commercialization of drugs, such as leading medical communications and publications, Investigated Initiated Trials (IITs), educational activities (CMEs/IMEs), field-based medical teams (MSLs) and field-based outcome research teams (MSOLs), compliance and SOP developments.
Dr. Farhood acquired his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of Southern California (USC) and an MBA from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He currently holds the position of Adjunct Professor at the School of Pharmacy at USC and Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) and has established industry Post-Doctorate Fellowship programs in the US. He has been selected as the recipient of the Alumnus of the Year Award for his distinguished career, leadership, and contribution to the profession as a clinician, educator, and executive.
Dr. Farhood’s vast skills and knowledge have made him a leading and sought after expert in the industry. He is a frequent speaker at executive medical leadership forums and trainings, has multiple publications in industry journals and has written book chapters related to Medical Affairs. He is on the Board of Directors for the Medical Affairs Professional Society (MAPS) and holds membership in numerous professional affiliations.
Ann Ford, BSN, JD
Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer
Medline Industries, Inc.
Ann Ford currently serves as Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer at Medline Industries, Inc., in Northfield, IL. After completing her nursing education at Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI, she received her Juris Doctor degree from DePaul University College of Law in Chicago, IL.
Until she became an attorney, Ms Ford worked in high-risk obstetrics, pediatric intensive care, and neonatal intensive care. Upon graduating from law school, she spent 11 years in private practice representing physicians, nurses, and hospitals. After private practice, Ms Ford transitioned to in-house legal and compliance roles, including Vice President, General Counsel for two Chicago-area hospitals. In her current role as Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer at Medline, she oversees the global ethics and compliance program. In addition, she has been intimately involved with the development of a medical affairs function at Medline.
Ms Ford has served on various committees throughout her career, including the hospitals’ Institutional Review Boards. She is a frequent speaker on healthcare legal and compliance topics.
Neil Inhaber, MD
Global Medical Team Lead, HAE
Neil Inhaber, MD, currently is Chief Medical Officer at Sequana Medical AG in Boston, MA. He earned his medical degree at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, where he also became a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada.
Dr. Inhaber is a respirologist and intensive care specialist by training. His interests lie in scientific and organizational challenges, with a focus on developing scientific expertise and knowledge in varied therapeutic areas. He has extensive experience in clinical trial and regulatory execution. In addition, Dr. Inhaber has been successful in medical affairs strategy development in collaboration with commercial teams. His industry experience includes global medical affairs, both ends of clinical development, medical devices, and pharmaceuticals.
Dr. Inhaber is the author of numerous research publications, presentations, and abstracts. His research has been published in journals such as the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, and Sleep and Breathing.
Robert J. Matheis, PhD, MA
Executive Director and Head of Global Scientific Communications
Robert J. Matheis, PhD, MA is Executive Director and Head of Global Scientific Communications with Celgene located in Summit, NJ. He is Past President of the International Society for Medical Publication Professionals (ISMPP), a global organization headquartered in Tarrytown, NY. Prior to joining Celgene, Dr. Matheis was Head of Evidence Based Medical Communications for Sanofi, headquartered in Gentilly, France. He was trained as a clinical psychologist and obtained a masters degree in behavioral statistics.
Dr. Matheis has over 14 years of medical research and communications experience in both government and industry. He has conducted research, provided treatment, and instructed within a variety of clinical and academic capacities related to aging, brain and spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, and other neurocognitive disorders. Dr. Matheis advocates for the evolution of medical communication tools to translate medical evidence for use by health care decision makers, providers, and patients. He champions innovation and novel technology in medical communications. Most recently, Dr. Matheis has been involved in conceptualizing and synthesizing performance indicators to support a strong value proposition for medical affairs organizations.
Dr. Matheis has an extensive bibliography of scientific congress presentations and peer-reviewed publications across various disease states, in addition to research and publication accomplishments in alternative medicine and psychosocial factors impacting healthcare.
Thérèse McCall, PhD, MBA
Global Medical Affairs Strategy and Communications Leader
Dr. Thérèse McCall is the former Vice President of Global Medical Communications and Professional Strategies AbbVie, Inc. in Chicago, IL. She received a doctorate in clinical medicine from Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, and a master’s degree in business administration from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. She also holds a diploma in print journalism and radio broadcasting.
Dr. McCall has over 30 years of leadership experience with global companies in the fields of drug discovery, research and product commercialization strategy, clinical development, and regulatory approval. She has deep expertise in external stakeholder engagement and is focused on global medical affairs innovation, product commercialization, and medical communications transformation. During her career, Dr. McCall has consistently developed innovative medical and commercial strategies and solutions. She has led US and global initiatives involving external thought leader and reimbursement decision makers, investigator research programs, publications, medical information, and regulatory and compliance activities. Her therapeutic expertise includes oncology, immunology, gastroenterology, cardiology, neuroscience, and diabetes.
Dr. McCall has a long-standing interest in advancing the public’s understanding of science. To this end, she has developed and presented radio interviews and school presentations, and she has worked as a London-based science correspondent for the BBC. In addition, Dr. McCall has authored over 30 scientific publications, including newspaper and book chapters.
Michael Milane, MD, MBA
VP of Medical Affairs
Los Angeles, CA
Robin L. Winter-Sperry, MD
MS Franchise Strategy & Tactics
Global Medical Affairs
Dr. Robin Winter-Sperry started working in the industry in the area of Dermatology. She has had a long and distinguished career including Sanofi/Genzyme Global Medical Affairs, Strategy & Tactics in the area of Multiple Sclerosis and President and CEO of Scientific Advantage, LLC. She created Novartis’ Medical Science Liaison (MSL) department of Scientific Operations and Sanofi-Synthelabo’s Medical Therapeutic Liaison division. She has been involved in over 28 product launches. She has pioneered the recognition of MSLs as a specialty in the biopharmaceutical and device industry and is responsible for creating and developing many of the industry’s leading Medical Affairs and Medical Liaison teams.
Ornah Levine-Dolberg, MD
Vice President & Global Head of Medical Affairs
Research & Development
Dr. Ornah Levine-Dolberg graduated from the Ben Gurion University, Medical School in 1990. Following her residency in Psychiatry completed cum laude, she was the Director of the Day Hospital at the Sheeba Medical Center in Israel for 7 years. His first industry role was in 2003 as a Country Medical Director for Lundbeck. After 3 years in that role she moved to Copenhagen to take up various roles in Global Medical Affairs, including heading the department of Scientific Communications, responsibility for a competitive ISS program, and being the Global Medical Director for escitalopram, a highly successful treatment for Mood and Anxiety Disorders. One of her final roles in Lundbeck was the launch of escitalopram in China.
Dr Ornah Levine-Dolberg joined Teva Pharmaceuticals in mid-2013 to head the newly formed Medical Affairs, Growth Markets. From a team of 2 this department has grown to more than 100 employees. Dr Levine-Dolberg established all functions in this team including Medical Operations and Excellence, Therapeutic Area Leads and their operating model, Country Medical Directors and their departmental structures and deliverables. On a regional level, she built various infrastructure capabilities such as Medical Information, promotional material review, governance bodies, operating models, KPIs, financial structures, and a strategic project called Signature Medical Moves. In addition, Ornah was part of the leadership team of Growth Markets and a prominent member of the Global Medical Affairs Leadership team.
In September 2016 Ornah joined Glenmark Pharmaceuticals in their London headquarters to establish and launch Global Medical Affairs and to help the company in its transition from a medium sized Indian company to a global presence with expertise in all facets of drug development and commercialization.