We are grateful to our independent panel of experts who bring specialized knowledge and experience in innovation, healthcare and advocacy to our awards process.
Vice President, Strategic Business Development
Chris Fidyk is the Vice President and Head of Business Development at PatientsLikeMe. He joined the company in 2009 and is responsible for partnership development with biopharmacos, health insurers, academic institutions, and government agencies that align the needs of patients and industry. Before joining PatientsLikeMe, Chris began his healthcare career at Amgen where he held a number of positions in commercial operations and trade. Originally trained as a computer scientist, Chris earned his BS in computer science from Columbia University and his MBA in entrepreneurship from UCLA. A native of Southern California, Chris and his wife Erin reside in Boston with their dog Seamus.
Angus J. Grant, PhD
Corporate Vice President, Business Development
Angus Grant joined Celgene as Vice President North American Regulatory Affairs in 2006, in the Summit NJ Headquarters. In 2008, Angus moved to London as Head of Europe RA for 3 years. Angus returned to the Summit NJ Headquarters as VP, Business Development and Global Alliances, in 2011, where he has since completed multiple innovative deals and has in tandem built the Alliance Management function, which now manages over 50 collaborations and investments with pharmaceutical and biotech partners.
Prior to joining Celgene, Angus held positions as Executive Director for Alliance Management for Novartis Oncology, and positions of increasing responsibility in Regulatory Affairs for Merck KGaA/EMD, Rhone-Poulenc Rorer, and SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals. Prior to working in industry, Angus served as a Senior Staff Fellow at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Biologics, and conducted his post-doctoral research in immunotherapy at the National Cancer Institute. Angus received his Ph.D. in Anatomy & Immunology from the Medical College of Virginia.
Paul Howard, PhD
Director, Healthy Policy
Manhattan Institute for Policy Research
Paul Howard is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and director of health policy. He is a contributor to The Apothecary, the Forbes blog on health care policy and entitlement reform, and a regular columnist for The Morning Consult.
Howard has written on a wide variety of medical-policy issues, including FDA reform, biopharmaceutical innovation, consumer-driven health care, and Medicare and Medicaid reform. He is often quoted on health care issues, and his work has appeared in such publications as Bloomberg View, Wall Street Journal, National Affairs, USA Today, RealClearPolitics, New York Post, Investor’s Business Daily, Health Affairs, and FoxNews.com. He is a member of MI’s Project FDA.
Howard was part of the health care policy advisory group for Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign, has testified twice before Congress, and, from 2013-2015, served on an expert panel as a judge for Celgene’s Innovation Impact Awards. He joined MI in 2000, as deputy director of its Center for Legal Policy, where he edited research papers, managed legal policy analyses, and organized conferences. He holds a B.A. from the College of the Holy Cross and a Ph.D. in political science from Fordham University.
Sheila L. Thorne
President and CEO
Multicultural Healthcare Marketing Group, LLC
Recognized as one of the nation’s leading experts in multicultural health marketing, Sheila Thorne has spent almost three decades designing health education programs for racially and linguistically diverse populations and cultural competency training programs for the healthcare professionals who treat them. A former senior executive in five medical advertising and healthcare marketing communications companies, Sheila now heads up her own firm of multicultural, multilingual marketing, media and health education professionals.
Born in the South Bronx and a former secondary school teacher of foreign languages, Sheila has worked for the healthcare industry throughout the United States and for six years, based in London, worked on behalf of the healthcare industry in Western Europe and Latin America.
Sheila is past president of the Coalition of 100 Black Women/Manhattan Chapter; past chair of the Health Committee of the National Council of Negro Women/Bronx Chapter; and past president of the Black Public Relations Society of Greater New York. From 2012 – 2014, as an Affordable Care Act Certified Application Counselor Volunteer, Sheila enrolled 126 uninsured residents of New Jersey, coordinated 8 ACA Town Hall Meetings, conducted 12 ACA Community Workshops in English and Spanish and made 110 ACA and presentations to faith and community-based organizations in New York, New Jersey, and Washington, DC.
For her volunteer work in relation to the outreach and implementation of the Affordable Care Act, she was named ‘Citizen of the Year’ by Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, received the Community Service Award from the Civil Liberties Division of the Elks, the largest predominantly Black fraternity of 450,000 members and received the 2014 Patient Advocacy Award from Englewood Hospital and Medical Center.
A much sought-after keynote speaker and workshop leader, she is published in Pharmaceutical Executive, Medical Marketing & Media, HealthLeaders.com, PharmaVoice, Journal of the New York State Dental Foundation, PM 360, Society for Clinical Research Sites newsletter, Global Forum, quarterly magazine of the Drug Information Association and the American Journal of Multicultural Medicine. Former Health Editor of The Harlem Times, she sits on the Editorial Advisory Board of Medical, Marketing & Media, prominent trade publication in the healthcare marketing industry.
Graffiti artist, Author, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist
Erik Wahl is an internationally recognized graffiti artist, # 1 best-selling author and entrepreneur. Erik redefines the term “keynote speaker.” Pulling from his history as both a businessman and an artist, he has grown to become one of the most sought after corporate speakers available today. Erik’s on-stage painting seamlessly becomes a visual metaphor to the core of his message, encouraging organizations toward profitability through innovations and superior levels of performance.
Erik’s bestselling business book UNTHINK was hailed by Forbes Magazine as THE blueprint to actionable creativity and by Fast Company Magazine as Provocative with a Purpose.
Erik’s understanding of vision was originally born in the school of disappointment. After an eight-year career as a partner in a corporate firm, he became frustrated by the lack of innovative thought and corresponding profits he saw in business. So he set out to challenge companies to change their way of thinking, while simultaneously pursuing his own individual passions. He rediscovered his love for art, and now plays in the business world by working through his art.
In the past 10 years, he has shared his incredible message with the largest and most influential companies in the world, leaving behind his prized artwork as a reminder of his passion for breakthrough thinking. He’s the Warhol of Wall Street, the Renoir of ROI, the Picasso of Productivity, the Jobs of… well, having a Job.