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Funding Committee

(Click on a name to reveal their bio)

Howard A. Zucker, M.D., J.D. (Chair), is the Commissioner of Health for New York State. In his previous role as first deputy commissioner, Dr. Zucker led DOH's preparedness and response initiatives in natural disasters and emergencies. A native of the Bronx, Dr. Zucker earned his M.D. from George Washington University School of Medicine at age 22, becoming one of the country's youngest doctors. He trained in pediatrics at Johns Hopkins Hospital, anesthesiology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, pediatric critical care medicine/pediatric anesthesiology at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and pediatric cardiology at Children's Hospital Boston/Harvard Medical School. Before joining the state Department of Health in September 2013, Dr. Zucker was a professor of Clinical Anesthesiology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and pediatric cardiac anesthesiologist at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx. He was also an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law School, where he taught biosecurity law. Dr. Zucker also holds a J.D. from Fordham University Law School and a LL.M. from Columbia Law School.
Bradford C. Berk, M.D., Ph.D., is the Senior Vice President for Health Sciences at the University of Rochester and CEO of the Medical Center and Strong Health. Dr. Berk received his medical and doctoral degrees from the University of Rochester. He has served on the faculties of Harvard Medical School, Emory University, and the University of Washington. He previously was Chairman of Medicine (1999-2006) and Chief of the Cardiology Unit (1998-2003) at the University of Rochester. In addition, he was Director of the AB Cardiovascular Research Institute. Dr. Berk is a fellow of the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology, and a member of the Association of American Physicians. Dr. Berk is past-president of the North American Vascular Biology Organization (NAVBO). He is Consulting Editor for Circulation and Circulation Research and is on the editorial boards of ATVB and the Journal of Clinical Investigation. He serves on the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), Stem Cell Clinical Trial Network and Gene and Cell-Based Therapies Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB). Dr. Berk has published more than 250 articles, chapters and books. His research interests include: molecular biology of renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system; regulation of endothelial cell function especially by shear stress; the role of oxidative stress in vascular injury biology and the genetic mechanisms of vascular remodeling.
Robin Anthony Elliott, M.A., has been Executive Director of the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, Inc. since October, 1996. He has been active in development, communications and not-for-profit management in New York City for more than 35 years, serving as Vice President for Development and External Affairs at Teachers College, Columbia University (1988-95) and at Hunter College, The City University of New York (1982-88); as Deputy to the Chancellor for University Relations at the City University of New York (1979-82); and as Director of Information and Education for Planned Parenthood Federation of America (1971-79). Mr. Elliott grew up in southern England and received his B.A. from Magdalen College, Oxford University and his M.A. in American Government and Politics from Columbia University. Avocationally, he is active in reproductive health and rights, including as Member of the Board of Directors of Advocates for Youth, a Washington-based organization he co-founded in 1980, and has served on the vestry of St. Michael’s Church on West 99th Street and the boards of directors of the St. Cecilia Chorus and Community Health Charities. Until recently, he was Chair of New Yorkers for the Advancement of Medical Research, a pro-stem cell research coalition of disease advocacy groups, scientists and universities and citizens’ groups.
David C. Hohn, M.D., is President Emeritus and Executive Director of Health Policy at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI), where he served for 10 years as President and CEO. Dr. Hohn continues his national leadership role in health policy issues, especially as they relate to cancer research and treatment and training the next generation of cancer specialists. During his tenure as RPCI President, Dr. Hohn was widely credited with re-establishing the Institute as a leader in the national cancer community. He implemented the Institute’s first strategic plan focused on making RPCI internationally and nationally competitive in cancer science; led the restructuring of RPCI as a public benefit corporation; stabilized funding and increased revenue; recruited over 160 senior leadership faculty, top-tier clinicians and scientists; completed the $250 million renovation and rebuilding of the Institute campus; and implemented an innovative managed care strategy which opened regional access to RPCI. As Principal Investigator of the National Cancer Institute Cancer’s Center Support Grant, Dr. Hohn led the successful renewal of Roswell Park’s designation as a comprehensive cancer center – a designation the Institute has held continuously since 1974. Dr. Hohn came to RPCI from the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center where, as Vice President for Patient Care from 1993 to 1997, his responsibilities included oversight of all clinical departments, clinical research programs and the protocol office.
Norma Jean Nowak, Ph.D., is the director of science and technology for the University at Buffalo (UB) New York State Center for Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences, and is a Professor of Biochemistry. From 1999-2012 she served as director of the UB/RPCI Genomics Facility, a collaborative research lab shared by UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI). Before that, she spent 14 years conducting research at RPCI, developing resources for cloning disease genes and mapping the human genome. Her research contributed directly to the Human Genome Project, and to genomic based approaches to understanding heritable disorders and cancer. Her work on the Human Genome Project was published in the genome issue of Nature. Dr. Nowak led and coordinated the NCI extramural Cancer Chromosome Aberration Project. As part of this project, Dr. Nowak developed BAC based array CGH (Comparative Genomic Hybridization), for which she received the 2008 American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) Team Science award. In 2008, RPCI awarded her the Thomas B. Tomasi award for her outstanding achievements in science. Dr. Nowak is the founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Empire Genomics LLC, a molecular diagnostics firm focused on enabling personalized medicine.
David P. Speach, M.D., is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PMR) at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in Rochester, New York. He obtained his B.S. in Preprofessional studies from the University of Notre Dame in 1984 and his medical degree from SUNY Upstate Medical Center in 1988. After completing a transitional year internship in Internal Medicine in 1989, Dr. Speach served as a general medical officer with the United States Army 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, New York until 1993. He completed his residency in PMR at the University of Rochester in 1996 and has served on the faculty as a full time clinician teacher. The specialty of PMR was created to help individuals with impairment and disability to function to the fullest possible extent. Dr. Speach obtained subspecialty certification in Neuromuscular Medicine in 2009. His expertise is in the evaluation and treatment of pain, spinal disorders and the assessment of peripheral nerve disorders using electrodiagnosis.
Madelyn Wils is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Hudson River Park Trust. Prior to joining Hudson River Park Trust, Ms. Wils served as the Executive Vice President of the Planning, Development and Maritime Division of the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), where her portfolio included over 100 complex projects such as the redevelopment of Willets Point, Coney Island, East River Esplanade and Hunters Point South. Prior to joining NYCEDC, Ms. Wils served as President of the Tribeca Film Institute where she managed the expansion of the organization, from programming a 10-day film festival into a diverse institution offering year-round cultural and educational events. From 2000 to 2005, she served as Chair of Community Board One in Lower Manhattan, where she played an integral role in the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan. Ms. Wils led the development of the Master Concept Plan for the East River Waterfront, and was awarded The Visionary Award from the New York League of Conservation Voters for her efforts. She negotiated significant capital projects for her community, including new schools and parks, community facilities, Little League fields and a library in Battery Park City. Ms. Wils was a founding board member of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and The Hudson River Park Trust.