Gates MRI Leadership Update

The Gates MRI is taking an exciting step in its journey to solve some of the world’s toughest and most persistent global health challenges. I’m pleased to introduce the inaugural members of our leadership team.

Each of the individuals joining the leadership team brings a unique background and perspective to the Gates MRI, and each shares a commitment to helping accelerate progress in translational science for global health.

Here are the new members of the Gates MRI leadership team:

David Kaufman serves as Chief Medical Officer. Previously, he led Translational Oncology at Merck Research Laboratories, where he oversaw immuno-oncology translational research and biomarker development, as well as global translational research partnering. Prior to Merck, he was a faculty member at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, where his research focused on HIV vaccine immunology. David holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology, sociology, and anthropology from Swarthmore College, a PhD in Molecular Virology & Immunology from Rockefeller University, and an MD from Weill Medical College of Cornell University. He trained in internal medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and in infectious diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. David is a member of the Board of Directors of the Society for the Immunotherapy of Cancer.

Jared Silverman serves as Head of Translational Discovery. He was previously Senior Vice President at Kaleido Biosciences, developing a drug discovery research platform for the microbiome. Prior to Kaleido, he spent 18 years at Cubist Pharmaceuticals, where he contributed to the discovery of three novel antibiotics. Jared trained as a microbiologist, focusing on a variety of problems in microbial pathogenesis. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Molecular Biology from Princeton University and a PhD in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics from Harvard University. Jared is a member of the Board of Directors of Auspherix and on the editorial board of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.

Debra Weiss serves as Head of Quality Assurance. Before joining the Gates MRI, Debra was Group Vice President and Head of R&D Quality Assurance at Shire Pharmaceuticals. Prior to Shire, she was a leader in R&D Quality Assurance at Merck & Co. Inc. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Hahnemann University and her Master of Science degree in the same field from the University of Pennsylvania. Debra is also an adjunct professor at Temple University, teaching a graduate course on good clinical practices.

John Boama-Sefah serves as the Chief Human Resources Officer. Previously, John was the Vice President of Human Resources at Baxalta, where he collaborated with business and HR leaders in multiple markets around the world. He also spent 14 years at Sanofi in New Jersey where he held HR leadership roles of increasing responsibility within the Research & Development function. John has expertise leading HR strategy and implementation across multiple geographies and during significant times of change and transformation. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the University of Ghana and his Master of Business Administration degree in human resources and marketing management from Vanderbilt University.

Dina Berdieva serves as Head of Project Management & Clinical Operations. Prior to joining the Gates MRI, she was the Executive Director of Clinical Operations for Boston Pharmaceuticals, and spent nine years at Novartis Vaccines prior to that. Dina holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Clark University and a Master of Public Health degree from Boston University with a focus on International Health & Epidemiology and Biostatistics.

Mary Thistle serves as the Gates MRI’s Chief of Staff. Mary is a biopharmaceutical leader with more than 20 years of expertise in driving accelerated growth, and leading organizational strategy, operations, and business development. Before joining the Gates MRI, she was the COO for Dimension Therapeutics, a gene therapy company focused on rare diseases of the liver. Prior to Dimension, Mary was the Senior Vice President of Business Development at Cubist Pharmaceuticals. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and Business/Management from the University of Massachusetts. Mary serves on the Board of Directors for Enterome Biosciences.

In the coming months and years, the Gates MRI will continue to build a strong, talented team dedicated to our mission of eradicating malaria, accelerating the end of the tuberculosis epidemic, and ending diarrheal deaths in children.

This team will work to create a place where experts in translational science and medicine can come together, apply transformational science, and improve the lives of millions of people in the world’s poorest countries.

I’m excited to welcome each of these individuals, and I look forward to the work ahead!