Assembly Presenters

2018 Confirmed Presenters:


Ifeoma Ajunwa, PhD, is Assistant Professor at Cornell University’s Industrial and Labor Relations School (ILR), and a Faculty Associate Member of Cornell Law School.  She is also a Faculty Associate at the Berkman Klein Center at Harvard University and an Affiliate of the Center for the Study of Inequality at Cornell University. She holds a Ph.D. from the Sociology Department of Columbia University in the City of New York (emphasis on Organizational Theory and Law and Society).  She is interested in how the law and private firms respond to job applicants or employees perceived as “risky.” She looks at the legal parameters for the assessment of such risk and also  how technology and organizational behavior mediates risk reduction by private firms. “I examine the sociological processes in regards to how such risk is constructed and the discursive ways such risk assessment is deployed in the maintenance of inequality. I also examine ethical issues arising from how firms off-set risk to employees.”

Dan Cavanaugh is the Alvin V. and Nancy Baird Curator of Historical Collections at the University of Virginia’s Claude Moore Health Sciences Library. As head of the library’s special collections department, he is responsible for overseeing the acquisition, long-term preservation, and dissemination of rare and unique information resources that document the history of the health sciences. Cavanaugh and his team are working to ensure that rare print and digital resources under their care will be preserved for the benefit of future generations.

Melissa Creary, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Management and Policy in the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan. She received her PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies (focusing on Health, History, and Culture) at the Graduate Institute for the Liberal Arts (ILA) and Masters in Public Health at Emory University. She served as a health scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the Division of Blood Disorders for nine years, where she helped create the first national program and data collection system for sickle cell disease (SCD) at the agency. Dr. Creary’s research and teaching interests broadly include how science, culture, and policy intersect. Through this lens and using historical and ethnographic methods, she investigates how national policy for SCD is influenced by race and other notions of belonging. She has been published in Social Science and Medicine, Genetics in Medicine, The American Journal of Bioethics, and the Huffington Post.

Dr. Joel Dudley is currently Associate Professor of Genetics and Genomic Sciences and founding Director of the Institute for Next Generation Healthcare at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Prior to Mount Sinai, he held positions as Co-founder and Director of Informatics at NuMedii, Inc. and Consulting Professor of Systems Medicine in the Department of Pediatrics at Stanford University School of Medicine. His work is focused at the nexus of -omics, digital health, artificial intelligence (AI), scientific wellness, and healthcare delivery. His work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Scientific American, MIT Technology Review, CNBC, and other popular media outlets. He is co-author of the book Exploring Personal Genomics from Oxford University Press. Dr. Dudley received a BS in Microbiology from Arizona State University and an MS and PhD in Biomedical Informatics from Stanford University School of Medicine.


Valerie Florance, PhD, is an Associate Director of the National Library of Medicine (NLM), NIH, where she directs NLM’s Extramural grant programs. NLM’s grant programs focus on the development of novel informatics and data science methods and approaches to meet needs in biomedical and behavioral research relating to human health. She also serves as program director for NLM’s highly-regarded university-based pre-and post-doctoral training programs in biomedical informatics and data science. Before coming to NLM in February 2001, she spent 3 years leading a visioning project undertaken at the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) to help the association’s members bring the power of computers and networks to bear on managing health information, and worked in library administration at 3 different universities.

Dr. Stephen Friend is the Chairman of the Board and Past-President of Sage Bionetworks. He is an authority in the field of cancer biology and a pioneer in the field of the genetics of gene expression, integrating system biology approaches to complex diseases. Dr. Friend co-founded Sage Bionetworks in 2009 on the belief that successful biomedical research requires the active participation of all stakeholders. Prior to co-founding and leading Sage as President, Dr. Friend was Senior Vice President and Franchise Head for Oncology Research at Merck & Co., Inc. where he led Merck’s Basic Cancer Research efforts. Formerly Dr. Friend along with Dr. Hartwell founded and co-led the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center’s “Seattle Project”, an advanced institute for drug discovery and later they co-founded Rosetta Inpharmatics with Drs Hartwell and Hood. He received his M.D/Ph.D. from Indiana University. Dr. Friend was named an Ashoka Fellow for his work at Sage Bionetworks.


Laura Germine is Co-Director of the Institute for Technology in Psychiatry at McLean Hospital, and a faculty member of Harvard Medical School.  She is also Creator and Director of, a citizen science research initiative for understanding cognitive health.
Dr. Nils Gilman is Vice President of Programs at the Berggruen Institute. From 2013 to 2017 he served as Associate Chancellor and Chief of Staff to the Chancellor at U.C. Berkeley, and as the Founding Executive Director of Social Science Matrix, Berkeley’s flagship interdisciplinary social science research center. Earlier in this career, he worked in scenario planning and as the research director at the Monitor Group and Global Business Network, and in software companies such as and BEA Systems. He is the author of Mandarins of the Future: Modernization Theory in Cold War America (2004), Deviant Globalization: Black Market Economy in the 21st Century (2011), as well as numerous articles on intellectual history and political economy. He holds a B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in History from U.C. Berkeley.

Eric Hekler is an Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine and Public Health (DFMPH) at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). His research interests are behavior change, agile science, patient-led science. human-computer interaction, control systems engineering.

After building her own DIY “artificial pancreas”, Dana Lewis helped found the open source artificial pancreas movement (known as “OpenAPS”), making safe and effective artificial pancreas technology available (sooner) for people with diabetes around the world. She is part of the #WeAreNotWaiting movement & engages with patient communities globally to solve healthcare problems in new and innovative ways. She is now a Principal Investigator (PI) for a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funded grant project to work to scale patient-led innovation and scientific discovery in more patient communities. 

Lara Mangravite, PhD is President of Sage Bionetworks. Previously, Dr. Mangravite served as Director of the Systems Biology research group at Sage Bionetworks where she focused on the application of collaborative approaches to advance understanding of disease biology and treatment outcomes at a systems level with the overriding goal of improving clinical care. Dr. Mangravite obtained a BS in Physics from the Pennsylvania State University and a PhD in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from the University of California, San Francisco. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in cardiovascular pharmacogenomics at the Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute.

Elaine Nsoesie is an Assistant Professor of Global Health at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, and an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Informatics and Medical Education at the University of Washington. She has a PhD in Computational Epidemiology from the Genetics, Bioinformatics and Computational Biology program at Virginia Tech. She also has an MS in Statistics and a BS in Mathematics. She is interested in the use of digital data and technology to improve health. Her research is focused on the development of statistical and computational approaches for public health surveillance and disease forecasting. She also writes journalistic articles on the use of digital data for public health. You can find her on Twitter at @ensoesie.

Dr. Nathan Price is Professor & Associate Director of the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle where he co-leads with Lee Hood the Hood-Price Integrated Lab for Systems Biomedicine. He is Co-Founder and on the Board of Directors of Arivale, a scientific wellness company that was named as Geekwire’s 2016 startup of the year. He was the recipient of early career awards from NIH, NSF, American Cancer Society, the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust, and Genome Technology.  He was also named as a Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar, and received the 2016 Grace A. Goldsmith Award for his work launching scientific wellness. He serves on numerous advisory boards including for Roche (Personalized Medicine division), Providence St. Joseph Health, Habit, Trelys, Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability, Science Translational Medicine and Cell Systems. He is also a fellow of the European Society of Preventive Medicine.

Dorothea Salo is a Faculty Associate in the Information School at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on information and its organization, information technologies, free-and-open movements, digitization, and digital preservation. She has written and presented internationally on privacy, scholarly communication, copyright, and research-data stewardship. She holds an MA in Library and Information Studies and another in Spanish from UW-Madison.


David Weinberger writes about the effect of technology on our ideas. He is a senior researcher at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, and was co-director of Harvard’s Library Innovation Lab. He has a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Toronto


John Wilbanks is the Chief Commons Officer at Sage Bionetworks. Previously, Wilbanks worked as a legislative aide to Congressman Fortney “Pete” Stark, served as the first assistant director at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, founded and led to acquisition the bioinformatics company Incellico, Inc., and was executive director of the Science Commons project at Creative Commons. Wilbanks holds a B.A. in philosophy from Tulane University and also studied modern letters at the Sorbonne.