CONNECTICUT Shaping the Future of Healthcare: The Role of Innovation in Rapid Technology Development


Patti Compton

Vice President, Head of Statistical Programming and Analysis
Keynote Speaker

Patti Compton is Head of Statistical Programming and Analysis within Global Product Development at Pfizer. With over 15 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry, she has been responsible for operational expansions in the data field within Asia including China, India and Japan. She serves as a business sponsor for implementing technologies and methodologies to build a sustainable framework for data delivery. These include robotic process automation, digital tools, risk-based monitoring methodology and innovative research approaches. She has a BA and a MS degree in Experimental Psychology from the University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University.


Usha Pillai

Founder and President, Aria Management Consulting, LLC

Dr. Usha Pillai is the Founder and President of Aria Management Consulting, LLC, specializing in strategy, critical thinking, change management, and project/program management. With over three decades in the pharmaceutical industry, academia, and consulting, she has deep knowledge of the industry and a passion for entrepreneurship and education.

Usha serves as the Bio-Strategist for the Economic Development Corporation of New Haven. She is a senior consultant for Leading Now, an organization dedicated to leadership development and advancement of diversity at executive/management levels. Usha serves on the Connecticut Bioscience Growth Council, the New Haven Innovation Collaborative (NHIC) Board, the Advisory Board of the Biotechnology Academic and Career Pathway (BioPath), and the Garde Arts Center in New London, CT.

Prior to founding Aria Management Consulting, Usha held various positions with increasing responsibilities and complexities at Pfizer, Inc. She is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP). Usha holds a Bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy; an Executive Masters in Technology Management; and a Ph. D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences. She also trained as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ


Mark Adams

Deputy Director and Professor
The Jackson Laboratory .

Dr. Mark Adams is Deputy Director and Professor at The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine in Farmington, CT. Dr. Adams was a co-founder of The Institute for Genomic Research and Celera Genomics, where he led the DNA sequencing and genome annotation groups. From 2003-2011, Dr. Adams was Associate Professor of Genetics at Case Western Reserve University. From 2011-2016, he was the Scientific Director and Professor at the J. Craig Venter Institute. There he directed programs that characterized genomic changes in the evolution of antibiotic resistance in hospital-acquired infections.

At JAX, he leads the research component of the CLIA diagnostic testing laboratory in developing new gene-based tests to improve personalized medicine. His research lab also develops new approaches to microbial profiling in human studies and mouse models for demonstrating the roles of microbes in health and disease states. Dr. Adams has a BA in Chemistry from Warren Wilson College and a PhD in Biological Chemistry from the University of Michigan.


Yashoda Sharma

Program Director for Digital Health Measures, Digital Medicine Society

Yashoda Sharma has a PhD in biology with a focus in molecular biology and genetics. She went to Skidmore College as a pre-med but left with a strong interest for research. Dr. Sharma received her PhD from the University of Iowa, where she found a passion for genetics. Following her post-doctoral training in genetics and immunology at the Jackson Laboratory, Dr. Sharma served as the Project Administrator for the NIDDK Inflammatory Bowel Disease Genetics Consortium at Yale School of Medicine. From there she went on to the role of Administrative Manager in the Department of Genetics and Genomic Sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine. At the Community Health Center, Inc. and through her role as a Senior Research Scientist, Dr. Sharma was the Principal Investigator for NIH’s All of Us Research Program and a Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute project on patient engagement for precision medicine. Dr. Sharma is currently in a new role as Program Director for Digital Health Measures, at the Digital Medicine Society. These experiences, in addition to serving as a leader and manager, drives her passion to mentor and guide undergraduates and graduates as they explore their career paths. Dr. Sharma invites you to connect via Linked In, if you would like to learn more about traditional career paths in STEM.


Shira Landskroner-Eiger

Associate Director, External Innovation

Shira Landskroner-Eiger joined Ipsen as an Associate Director, External Innovation in April of 2021. As a member of the External Innovation team, Shira leads identification, prioritization and scientific assessment of external partnering opportunities in the rare disease space working with cross functional team members to deliver intelligence output driving business development projects. She serves as representative of Ipsen to biotech, venture and academic communities positioning Ipsen as a partner of choice. Shira was a Director of R&D Alliances at AtlasXomics, a Yale spin out commercializing a spatial multi-omics platform developed by Prof. Rong Fan. In this role she was accountable for identifying external scientific collaborations opportunities and building a research pipeline to advance the platform. Before joining AtlasXomics, Shira was a Senior Principal Scientist with the Translational Sciences group at Eloxx Pharmaceuticals, where she was a primary contact for collaborations with Ionis pharmaceuticals and the Hubrecht Institute (Netherlands) supporting the development of biomarker assays to detect CFTR protein in 3D organoid models. Earlier in her career she was a scientist at Alexion in the preclinical pharmacology group partnering with Moderna to develop mRNA in the rare disease space. She holds a PhD, MSc from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York , a B. Pharmacy from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and completed her post-doctoral fellowship with Prof. Bill Sessa at Yale university.


Sarah Wojiski

Director of Education at the Jackson Laboratory , Moderator


Victoria Godoy

Clinical Genomic Technologist, Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine, Molecular and Cellular Biology, UConn, 2020

Victoria is a 2020 graduate of UConn, earning her Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology with a minor in Spanish Language and Literature. She was also a member of the Pre-medical society and worked both in a research laboratory and as an office administrative assistant on campus while earning her degree. Victoria is currently a Clinical Genomic Technologist at The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine, where she is testing COVID-19 samples through RT-PCR and performing whole genome sequencing to determine viral strains. Victoria is also enrolled in the master’s program in Applied Genomics at UConn.


Ashley Johnson

Clinical Quality and Operations Assistant, The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine, Biomolecular Sciences, CSCU, 2020

Ashley Johnson is a 2020 graduate of Central Connecticut State University, earning her Bachelor of Science degree in Biomolecular Sciences with a minor in Chemistry. Ashley also earned her Associates Degree in Biology from Northwestern Connecticut Community College, where she worked as a lab assistant in the science department. Ashley is currently a Clinical Quality and Operations Assistant at The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine, where she is responsible for helping to maintain the standards required for a clinical laboratory. Some of her duties include maintenance of personnel training and records, preparation for clinical audits and problem-solving to create a better experience for both lab staff and customers.


Lionel Meda

Manager, Clinical Supply Operations, Prizer
MBA University of Rhode Island School of Business
BS Biology/Biological Science, University of Connecticut

Lionel Meda currently holds a position as a Manager in Clinical Supply Operations at Pfizer. Lionel graduated from the University of Connecticut with a Bachelor of Science in Biology in 2011. He began his professional career as a material assessment lab scientist at Pfizer in the Drug Product Development group, within the Pharmaceutical Sciences organization in 2012 before transitioning to a role as a drug formulator for pre-clinical toxicology studies in 2014. Lionel began his current role in Clinical Supply Operations in 2019 and is currently pursuing his MBA (pharmaceutical focused) from University of Rhode Island. Lionel participates as the talent acquisition pillar lead in Pfizer’s Global Black Community Colleague Resource Group.


Amber Fearnley

Intern, Evolvelmmune Therapeutics, Southern CT State University Student, Educational path: Biotechnology Industries