Planned MAQC Society 2021 Keynote Speakers


Dr. William Slikker, Jr – Director of the FDA’s

National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR)

Dr. William Slikker, Jr. is the director of FDA’s National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR). He received his Ph.D. in pharmacology and toxicology from the University of California at Davis. Dr. Slikker holds adjunct professorships in the Department of Pediatrics, as well as the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. He has held committee chairmanships or elected offices in several scientific societies; including the Teratology Society (serving as president) and the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (chair, Developmental Pharmacology Section and member, Program Committee). Dr. Slikker is also the co-founder and past president of the MidSouth Computational Biology and Bioinformatics Society. He is currently associate editor for NeuroToxicology and associate editor for the “Environmental Health” section of Experimental Biology and Medicine. He is the past president of The Academy of Toxicological Sciences and the Society of Toxicology. He is a recipient of the 2014 George H. Scott Memorial Award from The Toxicology Forum and was invited to present the Warkany Lecture at the 2015 annual meeting of the Teratology Society. In early 2019, the Academy of Toxicological Sciences selected Dr. Slikker to receive the prestigious Mildred S. Christian Career Achievement Award.

Dr. Rebecca Doerge – Dean of the Mellon College

of Science at Carnegie Mellon University

Rebecca Doerge is the Glen de Vries Dean of the Mellon College of Science at Carnegie Mellon University. Prior to joining both the Department of Statistics and the Department of Biology at Carnegie Mellon University she was the Trent and Judith Anderson Distinguished Professor of Statistics at Purdue University. Dean Doerge joined Purdue University in 1995 and held a joint appointment between the Colleges of Agriculture (Department of Agronomy) and Science (Department of Statistics) until her departure from Purdue University. Professor Doerge's research program is focused on Statistical Bioinformatics, a component of bioinformatics that brings together many scientific disciplines into one arena to ask, answer, and disseminate biologically interesting information in the quest to understand the ultimate function of DNA and epigenomic associations. Rebecca is the recipient the Teaching for Tomorrow Award, Purdue University, 1996; University Scholar Award, Purdue University, 2001-06; and the Provost's Award for Outstanding Graduate Faculty Mentor, Purdue University, 2010. She is an elected Fellow of the American Statistical Association (2007), an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2007), and a Fellow of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC; 2009). She is the Chair-Elect of the AAAS Section U. Dean Doerge has published over 130 scientific articles, published two books, and graduated 25 PhD students.


Rebecca was born and raised in upstate New York. As a first generation student, she studied theoretical Mathematics at the University of Utah; it was there that she gained interest and experience in both computing and Human Genetics. Rebecca obtained her PhD in Statistics from North Carolina State University under the direction of Bruce Weir, and was a postdoctoral fellow with Gary Churchill, Biometry and Plant Breeding at Cornell University.


Dean Doerge is a past member of the Board of Trustees for both the National Institute of Statistical Sciences, and the Mathematical Biosciences Institute. She is a member of the Engineering External Review Committee at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and a member of the Global Open-Source Breeding Informatics Initiative (GOBII) Advisory Board.


Dr. Joel Parker – Director, Lineberger

Comprehensive Cancer Center Bioinformatics Core

Joel Parker is Director of the Lineberger Bioinformatics Core and Associate Professor of Genetics at UNC.  His research is focused on methodological development and integrated analysis supporting high throughput research activities. Joel's work in this field began with a double major in biology and computer science from the University of Tennessee (1999), and then followed with a M.S. at Vanderbilt University (2002) where he was the first graduate of their biomedical informatics program.  He worked for one year in the lab of Chuck Perou before moving into industry as a bioinformatics consultant with Constella Group.  Upon acquisition of Constella by SRA, Joel left for Expression Analysis, a genomics services start-up where he rose through the ranks of senior and principal scientist while developing their RNA sequencing program.  During this time, he received his PhD at UNC (2010), and was the first graduate of the Bioinformatics and Computational Biology program.  Joel's PhD work and continuing work with Nanostring resulted in Prosigna, the first FDA approved IVDMIA with indications in breast cancer. Shortly after completing his PhD, he returned to UNC to lead the Lineberger Bioinformatics Core. Under his leadership, the core has grown to 20 employees, including 8 PhDs in computational science, whose combined scientific output constitutes > 300 manuscripts with an h-index > 100. 

Dr. Andrew Marshall, Chief Editor of Nature Biotechnology

Andrew Marshall was appointed Chief Editor of Nature Biotechnology in 2000. As well as frequently speaking about biotechnology research and translation at conferences, he also organizes meetings and symposia. Previously, he was Editor of Current Opinion in Biotechnology. Scientific American cited him as one of the 100 most influential people in biotechnology. He has written hundreds of articles and editorials in the trade and popular media, including The Economist and Popular Science. He has pioneered networking events termed SciCafés in Boston, San Francisco, New York, San Diego, Houston, London and Singapore, which showcase rising stars in academia to early-stage investors and industry R&D leaders. He is on the Advisory Committee of Robertson Translational Fund, a Board member of Eureka Institute for Translational Science, a Voluntary Professor at the University of Miami, a member of the Biotechnology Advisory Committee, International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Member of the Visiting Scientific Committee, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China. He obtained a BSc with Honors and his PhD and postdoctoral experience in molecular biology and microbiology at King’s College London, where he was given the Helen White Prize, likely as a result of a clerical error.


Invited Speakers


Dr. Kelly Rose, Program Officer for the Burroughs Wellcome Fund

Kelly Chavez Rose joined the Burroughs Wellcome fund in January 2019 and oversees the Interfaces in Science and Regulatory Science programs, which invest a combined $10 million a year in biomedical research.  Prior to BWF, Dr. Rose was Executive Director for the Research Triangle Material Research Science and Engineering Center (RT-MRSEC), and coordinated research, education, and outreach activities between four partner universities in the Research Triangle (Duke, UNC-CH, NC State and NC Central). Before moving to North Carolina, Dr. Rose was the program coordinator for the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine Bridges to the Baccalaureate Program for Berkeley City College. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California-San Francisco (UCSF), which was funded through a National Institute of Health (NIH) Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Award (IRACDA).  At UCSF, Kelly worked on a joint project in the Departments of Bioengineering and Craniofacial Biology, and her work focused on bioengineering a stem cell niche for tooth regeneration with Drs. Tejal Desai and Ophir Klein. She earned her PhD in Biomedical Sciences from the University of New Mexico in the laboratory of Dr. Laurie Hudson in the College of Pharmacy. Her PhD project was focused on the dynamics of cell-cell junctions during epidermal wound healing.

Dr. Elena Helman - Director of Bioinformatics, Guardant Health

Elena Helman is Director of Bioinformatics at Guardant Health, a leader in liquid biopsy technology based in in Redwood City. Elena obtained her PhD under the direction of Matthew Meyerson and Gaddy Getz at the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences & Technology. Her graduate work focused on investigating somatic retrotransposition events in whole-genome sequencing of cancer as part of The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). At Guardant, Elena works closely with pharmaceutical and biotech companies to help accelerate their clinical trials with the use of liquid biopsies.

Guardant Health is a leading precision oncology company focused on helping conquer cancer globally through use of its proprietary blood tests, vast data sets and advanced analytics. In pursuit of its goal to manage cancer across all stages of the disease, Guardant Health has launched multiple liquid biopsy-based tests, Guardant360 and GuardantOMNI, for advanced stage cancer patients, which fuel its LUNAR development programs for recurrence and early detection. 


Dr. Shirley Wang - Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and  REPEAT Director

Shirley Wang is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Associate Epidemiologist in the Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics at Brigham and Women's Hospital. She is a pharmacoepidemiologist focused on developing innovative, non-traditional analytic methods to understand the safety and effectiveness of medication use in clinical care as well as facilitating appropriate use of complex methods for analyzing large observational healthcare data. To that end, she has developed enhancements to epidemiologic study designs and analytic methods as well as led efforts to guide appropriate use of complex methods for analyzing large observational healthcare data. Shirley has been involved with the US Food and Drug Administration’s Sentinel Initiative since 2011 and her methods work has been recognized with awards from two international research societies. She recently led a joint task force for the International Society for Pharmacoepidemiology (ISPE) and the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) focused on improving the confidence of decision-makers in utilizing real world evidence through increasing transparency and reproducibility of healthcare database studies and is currently on the Steering Committee of a Transparency Initiative led by ISPOR in partnership with ISPE, Duke Margolis, and the National Pharmaceutical Council. She was also a writing group member for a National Academy of Medicine white paper focused on executing and operationalizing open science.