Speakers
Regional Biotechnology Conference  2022

Anjalee Khemlani
Senior Reporter at Yahoo! Finance

Anjalee Khemlani is an award-winning journalist with a decade of experience spanning numerous beats and media. She is currently the Senior Reporter at Yahoo! Finance covering all things health care, including the COVID-19 global pandemic.

As an immigrant and woman of color, she prides herself on the reputation she has built as a simultaneously enthusiastic and tough reporter. Her life experiences have given her a rich knowledge base that allows her to easily connect with folks from all walks of life.

Prior to joining YF, Anjalee was Managing Editor at ROI-NJ, the premier business news site for New Jersey. Throughout her career, she has dabbled in local, national and international news and has also appeared as a guest on Canada’s CTV, the U.K.’s BBC Radio 5 Live, NJTV-PBS, New Jersey 12, TV Asia and CNN in India.

She has moderated panels in the U.S. and globally, including at the CES Digital Health in Las Vegas and Web Summit in Europe. Previous event topics have included health care, business, investigative reporting and politics.

Anjalee graduated with a BS in Journalism from the University of Florida.

Phil Krause, MD
Independent consultant and former FDA Deputy Chief for Vaccines

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As the Deputy Director of FDA's Office of Vaccines, Phil Krause was at the center of key US regulatory decisions about all vaccines, including COVID vaccines, until leaving the FDA last year.  He also advises the World Health Organization on its response to emerging infections, including recently as chair of its COVID expert working group.  He will talk on the topic of "SARS-CoV-2 vaccines: What happened, what have we learned, and what’s next?".

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Randall N. Hyer, MD, PhD, MPH
President, Baruch S. Blumberg Institute; and CEO, MERLIN Biotech

Dr. Hyer has two decades of experience with vaccines, biologics, biosimilars and small molecule development.  He was most recently the Senior Vice President for Global Medical Affairs at Moderna, where he helped gain approvals and launch the Moderna mRNA COVID-19 vaccine worldwide. Prior to Moderna, at Dynavax he was pivotal to the 2017 approval of a two-dose adult hepatitis B vaccine (HEPLISAV-B), the first FDA approved vaccine with a truly novel adjuvant. His responsibilities have included directing vaccine and pharmaceutical safety programs, overseeing vaccine clinical operations and biometrics functions, engaging medical scientists and policy-makers and managing crises. Graduated with distinction from the US Naval Academy,  studied at Duke Medical School and earned his PhD in molecular biology from Oxford University. At Oxford, he founded Alpha-Plus DNA, a biotech firm he later sold. Dr. Hyer later served four years at the World Health Organization as a medical officer responding to outbreaks and emergencies including anthrax, Ebola, SARS, avian influenza, as well as tsunamis and earthquakes. Dr. Hyer's perspectives and contributions span his residing in eight and traveling to 100-plus countries in diverse roles across the public and private sectors.

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Michael J. Sofia, PhD
Co-founder and CSO of Arbutus Biopharma, Inc.

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Michael J. Sofia, PhD is Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Arbutus Biopharma, Inc. where he established the programs in HBV-cure and coronavirus therapeutics. During his career, he has introduced numerous drugs into clinical development for both infectious diseases and inflammatory diseases. He is responsible for the discovery and early development of sofosbuvir, which became the backbone of many HCV curative therapies including Sovaldiâ, Harvoniâ, Epclusaâ and Voseviâ.  Mike has held research and management positions at Gilead Sciences, Pharmasset, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Transcell Technologies and Eli Lilly and Company. He holds a BA in chemistry from Cornell University, a PhD from the University of Illinois and was an NIH postdoctoral fellow at Columbia University. 

 

He has received numerous awards for his work on hepatitis C including the 2015 Economist Innovation Award, the 2015 ACS Heroes of Chemistry Award, 2016 IUPAC-Richter Prize, the 2016 Lasker-Debakey Award in Clinical Medical Research, the 2017 Gertrude Elion Award from the International Society for Antiviral Research, the 2018 IS3NA John Montgomery Award and the 2020 Cameron Prize for Therapeutics from the University of Edinburgh. In 2017 he was inducted into the American Chemical Society Medicinal Chemistry Hall of Fame and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.