The Universities Allied for Essential Medicine (UAEM) Board of Directors is the authority that handles all of the business affairs of UAEM, as well as providing long-term guidance to the student-led organization. The Board has the power, inter alia, to appoint and remove officers of UAEM, to manage the affairs of UAEM and make new rules for the organization, to determine its principal location, and to manage the non-profit’s financial resources.
Taylor Gilliland, Ph.D. is a Biomedical Innovation Policy Expert based in Washington, D.C. He is working on policy issues surrounding biomedical innovation to enhance the development, testing and implementation of medical interventions across a wide range of human diseases and conditions. Taylor received his graduate degree in Biomedical Sciences at the University of California San Diego where his research focused on understanding the structure and function of a family of proteins involved in immune cell migration. He is a recipient of the AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowship, NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, NSF Graduate STEM Fellowship in K-12 Education, and NIH Training Grant in Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology. Taylor previously served as a UAEM Coordinating Committee Member for five years where he helped lead chapter outreach and empowerment efforts and played a key role in the University of California campaign. He received his undergraduate degree in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology from the University of Florida where he conducted research on HIV drug resistance and was an active member of the Student Global AIDS Campaign.
Matt has been involved with UAEM since 2005 and served on its Board of Directors from 2008-2010. He is currently an MSc candidate in Harvard School of Public Health’s Department of Global Health and Population, previously worked on global health issues in East and Southern Africa, and has a BSc in Biology from The College of William and Mary.
Reshma is Program Manager for the Strategic Policy Program and North America node of ReAct-Action on Antibiotic Resistance, a global network founded in 2004 that spans across 5 continents working to combat this growing public health threat. The Strategic Policy Program also serves as the informal secretariat for the Antibiotic Resistance Coalition, a coalition of over 20 civil society organizations (including UAEM) across human and animal health. The Strategic Policy Program is housed at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where in her role as research faculty she works on projects in national and global pharmaceutical policy related to innovation and access.
Prior to this, she served as the first American Medical Student Association PharmFree Fellow, working on projects in pharmaceutical policy, the intersection between trade policy and health, and industry conflict of interest with academic medical centers. She currently serves as the co-Chair of the National Physicians Alliance Food and Drug Administration Task Force and the High Drug Prices Exploratory Committee. She is also a member of The Lancet Youth Commission on Essential Medicines Policies. Reshma received her medical degree at the Alpert Medical School at Brown University and a Master’s in Public Policy degree at the Harvard Kennedy School.
Jennifer K Choi
Jennifer is a JD Candidate at the Peter A. Allard School of Law. Before going to law school, Jennifer completed a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular biology, focusing on epigenetics, at the University of British Columbia. She has been involved in global health advocacy since 2007. Jennifer volunteered with UAEM as a student member and, eventually, as co-chair. Additionally, she is proud to have helped found the UBC Neglected Global Diseases Initiative, an organization focused on promoting multidisciplinary research and curriculum development in the area of neglected diseases. This past summer, Jennifer was a summer-articling student with Borden Ladner Gervais LLP.
Paul L. Maurizio
Paul is a Ph.D. candidate in the Bioinformatics and Computational Biology curriculum at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In his current research, as a predoctoral fellow in the molecular biology of viral diseases, he uses experimental and statistical models to better understand heritable determinants of infectious disease outcomes, with a focus on the pathogenesis of influenza A virus. He was an active graduate student volunteer with the Johns Hopkins chapter of UAEM from 2009 to 2011, and served as UAEM corporate secretary from 2010 to 2011.
Paul earned a master of science degree in molecular microbiology and immunology from the Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and he received a B.A. from Swarthmore College with a double major in biochemistry and religion. He has worked on the development of transgenic Plasmodium parasites for experimental malaria vaccines as a visiting scholar at Hopkins. In Zambia, he researched flavivirus transmission in wild mosquitoes as a recipient of the Simpson student award in tropical disease field research and of a Hopkins Global Health Field Research Award.
Eleanor is a special assistant to the California Attorney General. Previously, she served as an attorney at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Eleanor holds a B.A. from Wellesley College and J.D. from UC Berkeley School of Law. During law school, she led the UAEM chapter at UC Berkeley, organized the annual conference and other gatherings, and served on the Coordinating Committee.
Justin Mendoza, MPH, is currently an Organizer for Public Citizen’s Access to Medicines Program. As an organizer he works to mobilize a consumer-led movement against prescription drug corporations’ power in the legislative process. In his work, he aspires to build a broad-based movement that turns the tide on Big Pharma’s power in politics. Prior to Public Citizen, Justin was a Community Organizer and Policy Analyst for Partners In Health, where he worked to implement strategic advocacy and fundraising campaigns with a network of more than 600 volunteers from 33 states.
Justin earned a Masters of Public Health from Yale University, with a focus on health policy, in 2015. While in graduate school, Justin served on the Coordinating Committee of Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM), where he led and worked on access to medicines campaigns at the local, national, and international level. Prior to this, Justin had organized the UAEM chapter at Central Michigan University while pursuing a bachelor’s degree in biomedical science and neuroscience. Justin has a passion for civic engagement, access to medicines, and the right to health and serves on UAEM’s fundraising committee.
Aly currently works in the philanthropy sector in New York City. She holds a Master of Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She earned bachelor’s degrees from Miami University. During graduate school, Aly analyzed qualitative data at the Center for Health Policy & Inequalities Research at Duke University. Previously, she worked at the Feminist Women’s Health Center in Atlanta, where she coordinated special events and raised money for the organization’s education, advocacy, and clinical care programs. She also served as an AmeriCorps VISTA at the Medicare Rights Center.
Aly first became involved with UAEM at UNC Chapel Hill, where she led the student chapter. She is particularly interested in access to treatment for non-communicable diseases. She has volunteered with diabetes education organizations in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and the United States.
Natalie Spicyn is a physician and activist in Baltimore, Maryland. She trained in Internal Medicine & Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins’ Urban Health program, and since completing residency has been practicing full spectrum primary care within local federally qualified community health center networks; she currently serves as Chief of Internal Medicine at Park West Health Systems. Natalie is credentialed as an HIV Specialist through the American Academy of HIV Medicine and has a special interest in Addiction Medicine as well. Natalie is currently active in the Maryland American College of Physicians’ Health & Public Policy Committee, and also serves on the board of Clinicians for Progressive Care. She earned her BS, MD, and MHS from Yale, where she was an active UAEM member from 2006-2008.
Heather Pfahl has over fifteen years of field experience working on sustainable development and sustainable supply chains in over a dozen countries on four different continents. Additionally, she has effectively managed cross-cultural teams, designed and successfully operationalized organizational strategies, managed stakeholders and developed sustainability benchmarks and evaluation methodologies that drive and communicate program impact. She has fundraised over $100 million dollars in grants and private donations over the past 15 years. Heather recently transitioned to the private sector as a senior Sustainability Director focused on developing integrated sustainability strategies that align with business objectives to effectively contribute toward achieving the sustainable development goals.
Sara Aviel was one of the original founders of UAEM—as an undergraduate at Yale, she helped lead the groundbreaking campaign that resulted in Yale’s patent concession on d4t, a key AIDS drug, in South Africa. Currently Sara serves as a senior advisor on international economic policy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Brookings Institution. Previously, Sara served for all eight years in senior positions in the Obama Administration including as the United States representative on the Board of the World Bank, the chief operating officer of the Office of Management and Budget, and a senior advisor to Secretary Geithner. Prior to joining the Obama Administration, Sara worked for international development organizations in Afghanistan, Kosovo, and throughout Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East. Ms. Aviel received an M.B.A, as well as M.A. and B.A. degrees in political science, from Yale University. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Bretton Woods Committee, and the Aspen Global Leadership Network, and is a fellow in the Aspen Institute’s inaugural Finance Leaders Fellowship.
Annie Liang currently works in the international development sector, for health operations in East and Southern Africa. With specific interests in neglected tropical diseases and innovative R&D financing models for diseases of poverty, she holds at Bachelors of Science in Pharmacology and International Development Studies at McGill University, and a Masters of Public Health in Epidemiology (Global Health Emphasis) at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. Annie has worked in a variety of different sectors – in the research sector screening drug candidates for Leishmaniasis and Chagas disease, in the policy sector studying US antimicrobial resistance legislation, in the development sector conducting fieldwork on the psychological wellbeing of orphaned and vulnerable youth in Kenya, in the advocacy sector tracking Canadian-developed Ebola therapies for the MSF Access Campaign, and with international organizations like the World Health Organization and World Bank Group. She has represented Canadian youth on various high-level meetings (World Health Summit, 67th World Health Assembly, World Bank/ IMF Spring Meetings), and is particularly passionate about youth empowerment and representation in global health.
Annie has been involved with UAEM since 2012 – first as research intern for first iteration of the University Report Card Project, then as a chapter leader for McGill University UAEM chapter, and later serving on the North American Coordinating Committee of Universities Allied for Essential Medicines with a focus on neglected tropical disease, chapter building, and trans-Canada communication networks. She is really excited to join the Board of Directors this year!
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