Leaders in Health: Preparing for Summer and Return to School
Access & Features
Join William & Mary alumnae and health industry leaders, Dr. Melissa Moore '84, chief scientific officer at Moderna, Dr. Lee Beers '92, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and Colleen Gorman '95, head of quality events and investigation in global product development at Pfizer, as they share insights with Dr. David Dafashy, W&M's medical director, about the latest in vaccine development, mRNA, boosters and preparing children for the school year and beyond.
Dr. Melissa Moore '84
Chief Scientific Officer, Platform Research
In her role as Chief Scientific Officer, Platform Research, Dr. Melissa Moore is responsible for leading mRNA biology, delivery and computation science research at Moderna. She joined Moderna in 2016 from the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS), where she served as Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Pharmacology, Eleanor Eustis Farrington Chair in Cancer Research and a long-time Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). Dr. Moore was also a founding Co-Director of the RNA Therapeutics Institute (RTI) at UMMS, and was instrumental in creating the Massachusetts Therapeutic and Entrepreneurship Realization initiative (MassTERi), a faculty-led program intended to facilitate the translation of UMMS discoveries into drugs, products, technologies and companies. Dr. Moore is a elected member of the National Academy of Sciences (2017) and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2019).
Dr. Moore holds a B.S. in Chemistry and Biology from William & Mary, and a Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry from MIT, where she specialized in enzymology under Prof. Christopher T. Walsh. She began working on RNA metabolism during her postdoctoral training with Phillip A. Sharp at MIT. During her 23 years as faculty member, first at Brandeis and then at UMMS, her research encompassed a broad array of topics related to the roles of RNA and RNA-protein (RNP) complexes in gene expression, and touched on many human diseases including cancer, neurodegeneration and preeclampsia.
Dr. Lee Beers '92
American Academy of Pediatrics
Lee Ann Savio Beers, MD, is the president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and the Medical Director for Community Health and Advocacy at Children’s National Hospital. She is the Founding Director of the DC Mental Health Access in Pediatrics program and Co-Director of the Early Childhood Innovation Network. She also oversees the Child Health Advocacy Institute’s Community Mental Health CORE, a public-private coalition that serves as a catalyst to elevate the standard of mental health care for every young person in Washington, DC.
She earned her undergraduate degree from William & Mary, her medical degree from Emory University School of Medicine and completed a pediatric residency at the Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth VA. Prior to joining Children’s National, she was a general pediatrician at the Naval Hospital in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, MD.
She received the Academic Pediatric Association 2019 Public Policy and Advocacy Award. She serves in a wide variety of leadership and advisory positions within the Washington DC community. Her clinical and research interests include adolescent pregnancy and parenting, the integration of mental health and pediatric primary care, the impact of adversity and stress on child well-being and advocacy education. She lives in Washington DC with her husband Nathaniel, and two children.
Colleen Gorman '95
Head of Quality Events and Investigation in Global Product Development
Colleen Gorman is the Head of Quality Events and Investigation (QEAI) in Global Product Development (GPD) at Pfizer. The QEAI team is responsible for the assessment and investigation of quality events which occur in our clinical trials and ensuring effective Corrective and Preventative Actions are put in place. Colleen has over 20 years of clinical study execution and quality experience beginning her career at Pfizer in 1998 as a clinical study manager. Colleen held roles of increasing responsibility in study management and clinical operations until she left Pfizer in 2007 to join PricewaterhouseCoopers where she worked as a management consultant in their Pharma R&D practice. While at PwC, Colleen worked on clinical operations transformation and compliance initiatives for a variety of pharmaceutical clients.
Prior to joining Pfizer, Colleen worked as a CRA (clinical research associate) and as study coordinator with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC). Colleen holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from William & Mary and a Masters of Public Health in Health Policy and Management from The Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University.
Dr. David Dafashy
Medical Director and Staff Physician, Student Health Center
William & Mary
Dr. David Dafashy specializes in internal medicine. He received his undergraduate degree from Johns Hopkins University and his M.D. from Virginia Commonwealth University's School of Medicine. He completed an internal medicine residency with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
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