About Us

Advisory Board

Ellis Emerson

Patient/ Survivor Advisor

Ellis Emerson is a Badwater 135 finisher and started running before her diagnosis. She jumped in, fully. Running was how she processed feelings/fears and so it was also a part of her early cancer experience. Ellis describes Badwater as "maybe the hardest thing I’ve done. It came in the middle of treatment—body puffy from steroids. Unfamiliar, but I needed to prove I was still me.”

Ellis was diagnosed 10/30/17 and entered into the cancer community quickly because it’s how she made sense of her experience.

"I feel like the community made all the difference. If we never share our story, we feel so alone because we don’t realize how shared our experiences are." On her website https://www.cancerpurgatory.com/
, it says “our experiences, while unique, are not different.” Ellis believes sharing connects us. Both the one sharing and the one hearing. She believes it is a gift to share her experiences.


Kate Griffin

CRO/ PRO Advisor

Kathleen (Kate) Griffin currently serves as an Executive Director on the Syneos Health Customer & Digital Engagement team. In that role, she identifies opportunities to harness data and technology to improve trial execution and commercial success. She monitors the digital health environment, supports business development efforts and looks for ways to partner across the organization, as well as with Vendors and Customers. Prior to the merger of INC Research and inVentiv Health, which created Syneos Health, Kate held the same position within the Corporate Strategy team and contributed to the INC Research position on the use of external data in the execution of clinical trials.

Prior to her strategic business role, she served as an Executive Director in the INC Research IT department and was responsible for IT Strategy, Communication and Business Relationship Management teams. Kate was a founder of AVOS Life Sciences, a management consulting firm in the biopharmaceutical industry. Her industry experience includes 3 years at Quintiles Transnational in a host of strategic development roles. She also spent time at IBM’s Wilkerson Group, focusing on pharmaceutical practice initiatives.


Shwen Gwee

Digital Health / Pharmaceutical Innovation Advisor

Shwen is a recognized pioneer in digital health and social pharma, as well as a well-respected industry thought-leader who was named a Top 40 “Healthcare Transformer” by MM&M in 2015 and a PR Week and MM&M "Health Influencer 50" in 2017 & 2018. He sits on various advisory boards, including Google (Healthcare), SXSW (Health), MM&M Healthcare Transformers, conversationHEALTH and the Digital Health Coalition.

Shwen brings over a decade of experience leading digital strategy and driving innovation in commercial, communications, and clinical organizations, both on the client-side and at leading creative agencies. He is often featured in industry publications, speaks regularly at industry events and chairs the Digital Innovation Day for the Digital Pharma Series (East, West and EU).

Shwen is also very involved in the health tech startup community and organizes startup boot camps, runs startup pitch contests and plays an active role running healthcare hackathons around the world as part of the MIT Hacking Medicine team.


Dr. Catherine Benedict

Clinical / Mental Health Advisor

Dr. Catherine Benedict is a behavioral health researcher and clinical psychologist (NY license). She is passionate about developing evidence-based digital health interventions that support patient experiences, optimize clinical care, and improve health outcomes. Most recently, her work has focused on improving adolescent and young adult cancer survivorship. Project have included building digital health resources to support survivors in managing late and long-term effects of treatment including physical, psychosocial, and financial difficulties; while identifying strategies for improving adherence and clinical care experiences. Dr. Catherine Benedict is part of the GRYT Health team, developing an app for cancer survivors to receive targeted, tailored information and peer support. Dr. Catherine Benedict works closely with patient organizations such as Stupid Cancer and The Samfund in various roles supporting their efforts to improve adolescent and young adult cancer outcomes.


Dr. Kamala Maddali

Precision Medicine Advisor

Dr Kamala K Maddali is a passionate global precision medicine executive and her mantra for leadership is to “spread some sunshine” by being passionate and positive about her commitment to patient’s health. Dr. Maddali’s cross collaborative mindset comes from her versatile professional background across pharma like Merck and Co, clinical trial organizations like Quintiles and diagnostics companies like Quest Diagnostics, Cancer Genetics etc. She holds a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from University of Missouri-Columbia and a doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Acharya N.G. Ranga Agricultural University in India.

As an ongoing warrior with Multiple Sclerosis (Like) Dr. Maddali’s vision includes “Educate global communities with hope from science and innovation” which will foster awareness towards precision treatments plus early disease diagnosis and prevention. She is a board member for several US based patient advocacy organizations like “Paltown”, “Cancer NJ” etc. Dr. Maddali serves as an executive advisor for several healthcare technology companies focused in artificial intelligence, blockchain genomics, nutraceuticals, bioinformatics, biotechs focused on unique biomarker driven drug targets.

Dr. Maddali was the 2016 Healthcare Heroes Finalist Award for “Innovation-Individual” category at NJBIZ. Dr. Maddali received many awards focused on women empowerment from several organizations in USA. Dr. Maddali serves as a Vice Chair for the Women in Bio (WIB) Philadelphia chapter. The Women In Bio organization promotes careers, leadership, and entrepreneurship for women in the life sciences. In 2019, Dr. Maddali was awarded “Women Empowerment in Healthcare” by North American Indian Association for her expert contributions in innovation and her commitment to educate everyone about innovation in healthcare.

Please click on the weblink below for her mission on innovation and education of personnel worldwide about the impact of innovation to patients and communities.

http://healthcollaborations.com/expert-contributions/


Ty Curran

Health Communications Advisor

Chairman of Harrison & Star and Biolumina, Ty continues to lead and motivate a growing team that always gives 110% to its clients. And, like a chief of surgery who’d rather be in the OR than behind a desk, Ty enjoys nothing better than immersing himself in a strategic challenge—and helping a client score a victory for the brand.

Prior to joining Harrison and Star, Ty was Managing Director at NCI Communications, where he helped build brands for Hoechst Marion Roussel, Glaxo Wellcome, Teva Marion Partners, Galderma, Boehringer Ingelheim, Parke-Davis, and SmithKline Beecham.

Ty has extensive oncology experience working on brands such as Avastin, Taxotere, Erivedge, Zelboraf, Zometa, Herceptin, and Femara. He is also on the National Advisory Board for the Family Reach Foundation.

He earned his BS in Sociology and Psychology at the State University of New York at Albany and an MBA from Old Dominion University. He and his wife live in Fairfield, Connecticut, with their 3 sons, all of whom are training to take the world by storm, just like their dad.


Alexis C. Harris

Caregiver/ Advocacy Advisor

Alexis C. Harris is a passionate artist, mother, creator and event manager. Originally from Washington, D.C., Alexis now resides in Upstate New York with her fiancé and daughter. After attending the Rochester Institute of Technology, Alexis spent four years as an Event Coordinator for the American Cancer Society. She is currently the Special Events Manager for Habitat for Humanity and served on the American Cancer Society Associate Board of Advisors.

One of her most defining moments was in 2017, when she conceptualized, planned, and successfully executed her first Inspire Photo Gallery – an event where she interviewed and photographed more than 15 cancer survivors and caregivers, wrote articles on each of them, locked in multiple sponsors, and published an event magazine – all in under two months. This event was widely received throughout Western New York and further fueled Alexis’ passion for creating powerful experiences for the community through meaningful events.

Believing that the ultimate key to life is growth, Alexis is taking on a new challenge and focusing on the creation of her storytelling company with a mission to positively inspire through memorable, engaging, and profound experiences.