BioPharma Week kicks off in Boston on March 30

The American Heart Association will be hosting three webinars in Boston during BioPharma Week, starting March 30, devoted to the organization’s pursuit of scientific approaches in the fight against heart disease and stroke.

Click here to register

The series will introduce the latest American Heart Association-backed scientific advancements to members of the region’s biopharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

The panel discussions will be held at noon on Tuesday, March 30; Wednesday, March 31; and Thursday, April 1.

The series is part of the Heart of Boston, a new year-round campaign focused on taking action to improve the health of Greater Boston. The campaign is co-chaired by Barry Greene, CEO of Sage Therapeutics, and Steve Purpura, vice chairman of the Boston consulting team at CBRE.

The on-going American Heart Association campaign will feature multiple touchpoints throughout the year, including the Boston Heart and Stroke Ball event in May of 2021.

BioPharma Week is supported by Alnylam Pharmaceuticals and Pfizer.

Boston and the COVID-19 Vaccine
Tuesday, March 30, 12 p.m.
Join us to learn more about the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine in Greater Boston. The panel will discuss the status of the vaccine rollout, its efficacy and what we can expect as we head into summer. Featuring Dr. Emelia Benjamin, professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine; Neil Maniar, president of the Massachusetts Public Health Association; and Marty Martinez, chief of the Mayor’s Office Health and Human Services, Boston.

  • Emelia J. Benjamin, M.D., ScM, FAHA
    Dr. Emelia J. Benjamin is a professor of medicine and epidemiology at Boston University School of Medicine and Public Health, as well as a clinical cardiologist at Boston Medical Center, an urban safety net hospital. She is vice chair for faculty development and diversity in the Department of Medicine, and assistant provost for faculty development at Boston University Medical Campus.
  • Neil Maniar, Ph.D., M.P.H.
    Neil Maniar is a professor of public health practice, associate chair of the Department of Health Sciences and director of the Master of Public Health program in the Bouvé College of Health Sciences at Northeastern University. Maniar specializes in developing large-scale, data-driven public health interventions to improve community health and advance health equity. Prior to joining Northeastern, he was the vice president of health systems within the American Cancer Society’s New England Division, overseeing cancer control efforts in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.
  • Marty Martinez, M.A.
    Marty Martinez serves as the chief of the Mayor’s Office Health and Human Services for the City of Boston, the largest agency within city government. Martinez oversees 10 departments that include the Boston Public Health Commission, the Office of Recovery Services and Boston Centers for Youth & Families. He leads the city’s response to the opioid epidemic and the expansion of youth development programming that encompasses the city’s violence prevention and intervention efforts.


Women in BioPharma
Wednesday, March 31, 12 p.m.
Join a panel of leading women from the biopharmaceutical industry for a discussion about their career paths and the importance of exposing more girls and young women to STEM fields. Featuring Dr. Mariell Jessup, chief science and medical officer, American Heart Association; Alicia Chong Rodriguez, founder and CEO, Bloomer Tech; Amy Schacterle, senior VP research and development strategy and business management, Sage Therapeutics; Sara Nochur, chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

  • Mariell Jessup, M.D., FAHA
    Dr. Mariell Jessup is the chief science and medical officer of the American Heart Association. She is responsible for leading the Association’s science enterprise, including its science and medical strategy and key strategic science relationships.
    An internationally renowned thought leader in heart failure research, prevention and treatment, Dr. Jessup’s efforts resulted in heart failure and transplant cardiology becoming a certified secondary subspecialty in 2004. Her tireless and compassionate work as a physician scientist and mentor have touched the lives of many patients and their families, and young professionals, over her distinguished clinical career.
  • Alicia Chong Rodriguez, M.S.
    Alicia Chong Rodriguez is the CEO at Bloomer Tech. She graduated from the MIT Electrical Engineering and Computer Science program and MIT IDM, where her research focused on sex-specific, computationally-generated, cardiac biomarkers at the MIT Computational Cardiovascular Research Group. She received the MIT Legatum Fellowship and the MIT Graduate Women of Excellence Award. She has also been recognized as a 2018 Medtech Boston 40 under 40 Healthcare Innovator, and in the top 100 Female Founders across the U.S. by Inc Magazine. Prior to MIT, she worked in the semiconductor industry at companies such as HP and Teradyne and co-founded MenTe en Acción (Mujeres en Tecnología), where she serves on the board as a technical advisor
  • Saraswathy Nochur, Ph.D.
    Sara Nochur serves as chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer at Alnylam Pharmaceuticals in Cambridge, Mass. Prior to taking on this role in January 2021, she was chief regulatory officer/head of global regulatory affairs at Alnylam for 14 years, where she built and led a world-class team of global regulatory affairs professionals, enabling the development and approval of three novel drugs for the treatment of rare diseases based on the Nobel Prize winning science of RNA interference. Nochur has been in the biotechnology industry in the Boston area since 1989. She holds a Ph.D. in biochemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a master’s degree in microbiology from the University of Bombay.
  • Amy Schacterle, Ph.D.
    Amy Schacterle’s career spans nearly 30 years in the biotech industry, mainly in regulatory affairs and quality assurance. She is the senior vice president of research and development strategy and business management at Sage Therapeutics, where she provides strategic guidance to Sage’s portfolio of products being developed to treat brain health disorders. Prior to this role, she led Sage’s regulatory efforts for the first treatment specifically approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for postpartum depression. Dr. Schacterle received her Ph.D. and M.S. in biomedical engineering at the University of Virginia and her B.S. in biomedical engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. In 2014, she was named as one of the Boston Business Journal/Mass High Tech Women to Watch.

Genomics and Cardiac Risk: One Brave Idea
Thursday, April 1, 12 p.m.
Leaders from One Brave Idea, a groundbreaking research initiative to understand the earliest stages of coronary heart disease, discuss how genetics play into heart disease. Featuring Dr. Stanley Y. Shaw, chief science officer, One Brave Idea.

  • Stanley Y. Shaw, M.D. Ph.D.
    Dr. Stanley Y. Shaw is the chief science officer for One Brave Idea (at Brigham and Women’s Hospital), an initiative funded by the American Heart Association, Verily, AstraZeneca and Quest to develop new approaches to understand and treat coronary heart disease. He leads research efforts in digital health, bioinformatics, the gut microbiome and non-traditional streams of patient-reported data. He also serves as the associate dean for executive education at Harvard Medical School. In this role, he designs and leads customized executive programs for companies and individuals in the health care industry, including technology, health IT, biopharmaceuticals, and investing. Previously, Dr. Shaw co-founded the Center for Assessment Technology and Continuous Health at Massachusetts General Hospital, and his team led the development of one of the first ResearchKit iPhone apps (for type 2 diabetes) in partnership with Apple. He is a practicing cardiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and is a member of the Editorial Board of npj Digital Medicine.