Dr. Kim Eagle is the Albion Walter Hewlett Professor of Internal Medicine, Professor of Health Management and Policy, University of Michigan School of Public Health and Director of the Frankel Cardiovascular Center at the University of Michigan. He graduated from Oregon State University in 1976 and Tufts Medical School in 1979. His residency and chief residency in Internal Medicine was completed at Yale-New Haven Hospital in 1983.
Dr. Eagle completed research and clinical fellowships in cardiology and health services research at Harvard Medical School, Harvard School of Public Health and The Massachusetts General Hospital from 1983 through 1986. From 1986 to 1994, He served MGH where he was promoted to Associate Director of Clinical Cardiology and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard. Beginning in 1994, Dr. Eagle developed a research program at the University of Michigan with a focus on quality, cost-effectiveness, practice guidelines, treatment of aortic diseases, the fight against childhood obesity, and reuse of pacemakers in third world nations.
He founded the IRAD registry which has studied nearly 9,000 patients with acute aortic syndromes at more than 50 sites around the world over the past 20 years. He served as the study chair of the GenTAC registry from 2006 to 2016 which focused on the genetic underpinnings of thoracic aortic diseases and its more effective diagnosis and treatment. More recently he has been named chair of the NHLBI sponsored GenTAC Alliance which continues to push the frontiers of better diagnosis, prevention and treatment of genetic aortic conditions.
Dr. Eser Tolunay is the Deputy Chief of the Vascular Biology and Hypertension Branch at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health and provides leadership to nations research agenda in vascular biology, vascular diseases and hypertension. She specializes on aortic aneurysms and the lymphatic system. Dr. Tolunay serves as the program director of the GenTAC Alliance in collaboration with Dr. Patrice Desvigne-Nickens. Previously, they were the program directors of GenTAC, the National Registry of Genetically-triggered Thoracic Aortic Aneurysms and Related Cardiovascular Conditions. Additionally, Dr. Tolunay chairs the trans-NIH committee that coordinates NIH’s efforts on research of the lymphatic system. Before joining NHLBI, Dr. Tolunay was a research scientist at Searle and worked on drug discovery for hypertension, atherosclerosis and inflammatory diseases such as sepsis
Dr. Patrice Desvigne-Nickens is a Medical Officer in the Heart Failure and Arrhythmias Branch in the Division of Cardiovascular Science in the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Dr. Nickens is responsible for the scientific development and fiscal management of relevant research programs focused on prevention, recognition and treatment in cardiovascular medicine. Her research portfolio has included many mechanisms of research: investigator-initiated projects, center grants, contract and grant solicitations, small business and conference grants to support basic and clinical investigations including clinical trials.
Her current portfolio includes a clinical trial network, an international multisite trial and a large pragmatic trial addressing heart failure. Dr. Nickens is responsible for initiative development, workshops, and meetings and provides updates within these scientific areas to the Division and Institute Directors.
Dr. Nickens is a reviewer for several journals and is the NHLBI liaison to the Heart Failure Society of America.
Katie Waller, MPH, Project Manager of the GenTAC Alliance, has 12 years of experience in public health, program management, partnership formation, and organizational startup. Her work in public health has focused mainly on infectious disease prevention, and has been concentrated in the subject areas of vaccine-preventable diseases, maternal and child health, HIV/AIDS, and waterborne diseases.
She has successfully managed multi-million-dollar projects for a variety of federal agencies, non-profit organizations, and private donors. She is skilled at working with the private sector, and forging partnerships in the health space between non-profit, government, and private sector partners to achieve health system improvements.
Additionally, she has overseen the startup of two organizations, the International Association of Immunization Managers (which was started up under the Sabin Vaccine Institute) and Friends of TASO (which she co-founded in 2010 to support HIV-affected children in Uganda). She earned a Master in Public Health from George Washington University and a Bachelor of Arts in Health Policy Studies from Vanderbilt University.
Jacqueline O. Akunda currently serves as a Research Assistant for the GenTAC Alliance. In her role, she leading the construction of the GenTAC Alliance website. Ms. Akunda has experience in politics, with a focus on gender and African Studies.
Prior to joining Social Solutions, Ms. Akunda participated in initiation and planning of the first ever Women’s Global Leadership Forum at the University of Virginia, the “Role of Women in 21st Century Democracy.” In her capacity as an intern, she researched the history and impact of women at the University of Virginia.
She also has interned for the Center of Entrepreneurial Leadership at the African Leadership Academy in Johannesburg, South Africa. She managed and coordinated logistics for the Global Scholars Program and supported the selection process for the Anzisha Prize, a youth entrepreneurship award.
Ms. Akunda provides support to federal clients including CSR, SAMSHA and USAID, as well as other organizations. Ms. Akunda obtained her BA in Political and Social Thought from the University of Virginia.
Ellen Walker is a Research Associate with the GenTAC Alliance project and serves as a Project Manager at Social Solutions International. She has five years of experience in public health research, programming and evaluation.
While working at Social Solutions, Ms. Walker has provided support on projects for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Ms. Walker has a Masters in Public Health (MPH) in Physical Activity, with a concentration in Epidemiology from The George Washington University and a Bachelor of Science in Allied Health Professions from The Ohio State University.
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