The Patient Advisory Council ensures that every activity of DIA actively incorporates and reflects the perspectives of the patients we ultimately serve.

Cynthia L. Verst



Cynthia L. Verst, PharmD, MS, is President of Design and Delivery Innovation for Research and Development Solutions at IQVIA, responsible for accelerating growth through innovative solutions powered by rich data assets, advanced predictive analytics, integrated technology capabilities, and deep domain expertise to develop actionable insights that drive better clinical research outcomes. Dr. Verst has been named one of the Top Women in Biotech by FierceBiotech, and is the 2018 Vice Chairman of the Association of Clinical Research Organizations. Dr. Verst earned her PharmD and Bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy from the University of Cincinnati, and her Master’s degree in Structural and Cellular Biology from the University of Illinois.

Nicola Bedlington

European Patient's Forum

Nicola Bedlington is EPF’s Secretary General since September 2014 and was previously the Executive Director since the setting up of the EPF Secretariat in June 2006. She worked as an external expert for the European Commission on disability policy and NGO cooperation and was the first Director of the European Disability Forum during the 90s. More recently she led the ENSI Secretariat, an OECD initiated international governmental network on education and sustainable development. She has a BA (Honours) Degree Management Studies and French from the Metropolitan University Leeds (United Kingdom).

Tanisha Carino


Tanisha Carino, PhD, serves as Executive Director of FasterCures, the Center of the Milken Institute devoted to saving lives and improving the medical research system. A respected senior executive with more than two decades of experience in academia, government, and the private sector, Dr. Carino has been at the forefront of collaborative efforts to promote policies, research, and business practices that support the fight against disease and improve the lives of patients. Dr. Carino previously held leadership positions at GlaxoSmithKline, Avalere Health, and the Medicare program. She earned her PhD in Health Policy from Johns Hopkins University and is a Fulbright fellow.

Daiming Fan

China Anti-Cancer Association

Professor Daiming Fan is the current President of the Chinese Anti-Cancer Association, President of Asian Pacific Association of Gastroenterology, Council Member of the World Gastroenterology Organization, and member of the Board of Directors of the Union for International Cancer Control. He has a long-standing interest in both clinical and basic research of digestive diseases and has been committed to the theoretical research and clinical practice of Holistic Integrative Medicine. He was the first awardee of the Prize “French National Academy of Medicine-Servier”. As an editor-in-chief he has authored 31 books on gastroenterology and oncology and has published more than 600 peer review articles on international journals.

Patricia Furlong

Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy

Pat Furlong is the Founding President and CEO of Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD), the largest nonprofit organization in the United States solely focused on Duchenne muscular dystrophy (Duchenne). Their mission is to end Duchenne. They accelerate research, raise their voices in Washington, demand optimal care for all young men, and educate the global community.

Kenneth A. Getz

Fellow of DIA

Tufts University School of Medicine

Kenneth A. Getz, MBA, is the Director of Sponsored Research and an Associate Professor at the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development, Tufts University School of Medicine, where he directs research programs on drug development management strategy and practice. He is also the Founding Chair of the Center for Information & Study on Clinical Research Participation, and Founder of CenterWatch, a leading publisher in the clinical trials industry. Mr. Getz serves on the editorial board of Pharmaceutical Medicine and Therapeutic Innovation and Regulatory Science, and his column for Applied Clinical Trials was nominated for a Neal Award. He earned his MBA from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.

Yves Juillet

Fellow of DIA

Academy of Medicine Foundation

Yves Juillet, MD, is the Secretary General of the Foundation of the French Academy of Medicine. He is a Member of the Academy of Medicine of France and Past President of the National Academy of Pharmacy. He was Chair of the EFPIA Scientific Technical and Regulatory Policy Committee, and also served as Chairman of the IFPMA Regulatory Policy and Technical Standards Committee. Dr. Juillet represented European industry as a Member of the ICH Steering Committee, co-chaired the ICH Global Cooperation Group, and was a Member of the official Registration Committee, and Transparency and Post-Marketing Committees, of the French Health Ministry. He is a Fellow of DIA and was the first DIA Board President from Europe.

Alastair Kent

Genetic Alliance UK

Alastair Kent OBE was the Director of Genetic Alliance UK (the UK alliance of 200 patient groups, supporting all those affected by genetic conditions) for almost 25 years. He has been a member of many committees and working groups and has lectured and published on a wide range of issues relevant to patient and family needs and expectations. Alastair was made OBE for services to health care in 2011, and elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 2017. Since retiring, Alastair has continued to work on behalf of patients and families affected by rare and genetic diseases. He is currently co-chair of the UK Rare Disease Policy Board at the Department of Health and Social Care and Chair of the Rare Diseases Advisory Group for NHS England.

Kevin Loth

Celgene Europe

Kevin Loth is currently the VP, Corporate Affairs and Policy, Worldwide Markets, responsible for leading Celgene’s Corporate Affairs Department, encompassing the functions of Communications, Government Relations and Patient Advocacy. Kevin’s role is to lead the EMEA Corporate Affairs Community of Practice; ensuring patients remain at the center of decision making, supporting Celgene’s growth, and promoting the value of innovation, he is also a member of the EFPIA Healthcare Systems Working Group and IFPMA Rare Disease Committee. Kevin has a PhD in Environmental Epidemiology, an MSc in Environmental Technology from Imperial College, London and an MBA from Manchester Business School.

Theresa Mullin

Center for Drug Evaluation and Research

Theresa Mullin, Ph.D., serves as CDER’s Associate Director for Strategic Initiatives. She leads the Patient-Focused Drug Development initiative, which includes work related to the FDA Reauthorization Act and implementation of the 21st Century Cures Act. Leads FDA Patient Focused Drug Development and heads the FDA delegation to ICH. She previously served as director of CDER’s Office of Strategic Program (OSP) for almost a decade. Under her leadership, the office became a critical part of CDER’s sustained effort to modernize drug regulatory operations. Dr. Mullin received her bachelor’s degree in economics from Boston College and a Ph.D. in public policy analysis from Carnegie-Mellon University.

Junko Sato

Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency

Ms. Sato joined the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency (PMDA) in 1998, and she is currently the Office Director for the Office of International Cooperation. She has work experiences in new drug review for 11 yrs, risk management for 3 yrs, and international area for 6 yrs. She also worked in U.S. FDA as a guest reviewer from 2002-2003, and in EMA as the Japan Liaison Officer from 2012-2014. She is actively involved in many academic societies, and contribute them as counselor, committee member, and a board member.

Jessica S. Scott

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company

Dr. Jessica Scott is the Head of R&D Patient Engagement at Takeda. Prior to Takeda, she was with Global Medical Organization, leading efforts related to clinical trial transparency, patient centricity initiatives, bioethical issues and the development of GSK’s approach to sharing aggregate results of clinical trial in plain language. Jessica received her MD from Tufts University School of Medicine, completing her residency in Family Medicine with the University of Virginia. She practiced Family Medicine in NC for more than a decade, leaving her medical practice to join GlaxoSmithKline. Jessica also attended Campbell University School of Law, graduating with honors with admittance to the NC Bar in 2010, where she is currently licensed.

Jeffrey W. Sherman

Fellow of DIA

Horizon Pharma

Jeffrey W. Sherman, MD, FACP, is Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President at Horizon Pharma. Dr. Sherman has more than 25 years of pharmaceutical industry experience through engagements with IDM Pharma, Takeda Global Research and Development, NeoPharm, Searle/Pharmacia, and Squibb/Bristol-Myers Squibb. He a Past President of DIA, has served as DIA Annual Meeting Chair, received the DIA Outstanding Service Award, serves as DIA liaison to the FDA Clinical Trial Transformation Initiative Steering Committee, and was an inaugural DIA Fellow. He is a member of the Global Genes Medical and Scientific Advisory Board, and serves on the Board of Advisors of the Center for Information and Study on Clinical Research Participation.

Marshall Summar

Children’s National Health System

Marshall L. Summar, M.D., is Chief of the Division of Genetics and Metabolism at Children’s National Health System and holds the Margaret O'Malley Professorship in Genetic Medicine. He leads the largest clinical division of its kind in the world, treating more than 7,000 patients per year with rare diseases. Dr. Summar is known for his pioneering work in caring for children diagnosed with rare diseases. Dr. Summar’s laboratory works on both devices and treatments for patients with genetic and biochemical diseases and adapting knowledge from rare diseases to mainstream medicine. His work has resulted in new drugs in Food and Drug Administration (FDA) trials for patients with congenital heart disease and premature birth.