Faculty – The Cannabis Partnerships Congress

Verónica Arroyave, Ph.D.
Expert Global Health Donation Advisor/Program Moderator

view speaker profile

Veronica Arroyave has worked in academic, corporate, government, and non-profit management roles for over fifteen years catalyzing global health partnerships with multilateral aid agencies, corporations, foundations, and non-governmental agencies to identify and champion philanthropic opportunities to strengthen communities worldwide. In her former role at AbbVie, she supported corporate responsibility and global philanthropic efforts focused on building strong communities and sustainable healthcare systems. In the execution of AbbVie’s strategy, she successful launched/managed 11 initiatives in just over two years primarily in Latin America to reduce the disease burden of neglected tropical diseases, pediatric oncology and non-communicable diseases in areas such Africa, Latin America, and the U.S.

Veronica was a former Global Health Fellow for the Partnership for Quality Medical Donations (PQMD) conducting research on the deployment of in-kind resources supporting health service delivery globally. Additionally, she has consulted for organizations such as Johnson & Johnson, Wyeth (Pfizer), Project HOPE and Medical Teams International and MAP International and worked USAID’s MEASURE Evaluation project as a senior program manager supporting the prevention and evaluation of global HIV/AIDS programs. Veronica earned her bachelor in business administration from Holy Cross College, her master in public health from Tulane University and her Ph.D. from Virginia Tech University.

Dr. Bruno Battistini

view speaker profile

Before becoming New Brunswick’s President, CEO and Scientific Director of the Provincial Health Research Foundation (NBHRF; 2012–), Bruno Battistini occupied senior positions in the private sector (CSO, VP, Senior Director), was a Health Research Scholar and Assistant- Professor (Medicine) at the Université Laval, and Scientist at the Hôpital Laval – Quebec Heart & Lung Institute (1997-2006), and still lectures at the Université de Sherbrooke.

A Sherbrooke – Eastern Township native, Dr. Battistini holds a B.Sc. (Cell Physiology), M.Sc. and Ph.D. (Pharmacology; 1992) from the Université de Sherbrooke, QC. As a Fellow, he conducted three post-doctoral pieces of training (1992–1997). at the William Harvey Research Institute – St. Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical College – U of London – under Sir John R. Vane, Nobel Laureate, UK, then UBC-Vancouver and U de Sherbrooke. He has been awarded many health research Studentships, Fellowships, and Scholarships and was in receipt of several operating grants and venture capitals funds. Dr. Battistini continues to serve on several provincial and national advisory committees, peer-review committees, and boards, recently as national Co-Chair of www.NAPHRO.ca and the Forum of Health Research (Canadian) Funders (2015-2017), and is the recipient of many national awards and honors.

His research focused on the cardiovascular, pulmonary and “diabesity” fields, with close to a hundred co-authored cited publications, a couple of patents, and 350 various posters, oral, keynote presentations, particularly on the mechanisms of endothelins and other vasoactive mediators in hypertension, sepsis, asthma, alveolitis, diabetes, and more recently in managing major scientific and social health endeavors. When a Faculty, he has trained over 20 students.

Since his arrival at the www.NBHRF.com in early 2012, he fostered a significant increase in the Foundation activities, programs, to fund, leverage, and facilitate over $10M per year of combined investment in the New Brunswick Health Research Enterprise in building the knowledge economy.

Bruce Bloom

view speaker profile

Dr. Bruce Bloom is President and Chief Science Officer of Cures Within Reach, a nonprofit corporation saving lives since 2005 by repurposing human approved drugs and devices to quickly deliver safe and affordable treatments and cures for diseases that have no currently effective therapy. Cures Within Reach uses CureAccelerator™, the only global online repurposing research collaboration platform, to bring together clinicians, researchers, funders and industry to create and conduct pilot clinical trials that quickly drive more treatments to more patients. Dr. Bloom is an Ashoka Fellow, recognized as a social entrepreneur for his system-changing solutions to one of the world’s most urgent social problems, finding new treatments for unsolved diseases. Dr. Bloom is the Patient Advisory Board Chair for the Institute for Translational Medicine; on the Science Advisory Boards of Rediscovery Life Sciences, the GARROD AKU Consortium, the Dr. Ralph and Marian Falk Medical Research Trust Awards Programs, the Findacure Social Impact Bond Initiative, and Healx, LTD; Chair of the Governance Committee of the Kendall College Charitable Trust; a member of the Board of Councilors of Midwestern University; and a member of the editorial board of ASSAY and Drug Development Technologies. Dr. Bloom hosts the Clinician’s Roundtable on ReachMD.com, and is a facilitator for Pathways to Successful Living.

Jerry Bryant

Dr. Guy Chamberland, M.Sc., Ph.D.
Master Herbalist, Chief Scientific Officer and Regulatory Affairs, TETRA BIO-PHARMA

view speaker profile

Dr. Guy Chamberland, M.Sc., Ph.D., Master Herbalist, has been Chief Scientific Officer & Regulatory Affairs of Tetra Bio-Pharma since June 2016. He has been developing new drugs since 1995 and has held several executive positions in drug development companies. He developed a specialty in regulatory affairs involving the development of complex products (drugs, biologics, medical device, combination products, botanicals). He was Vice President of Regulatory Affairs & Product Development at Biotanika Health Group Inc. 2007-2008. He served as Vice President of Clinical & Regulatory Affairs at Victhom Laboratory Inc. from 2005 to 2007. He works closely with physicians and naturopathic physicians in these clinical areas. He spent 6 years as the Co-Chair and member of Health Canada’s Expert Advisory Committee for Veterinary Natural Health Products and Low-Risk VHP. He was the Program Director of MDS Pharma Services. Dr. Chamberland has over 7 years experience in the development of clinical research protocols for botanical medicines and the management of these clinical studies in the areas of anxiety, sleep, pain, depression, inflammation and wound healing. He has over 22 years’ experience in the development of new drugs in the pharmaceutical industry (Canada and USA). He was a member of the Investment Committee of Fonds Bionovation for 7 years. Since 2007, Dr. Chamberland developed an expertise in botanical medicine and publishes a monthly column on natural alternatives for Oilfield Pulse Magazine and other health magazines. He gives lectures and continuing education workshops for health professionals (physicians, naturopathic physicians, chiropractors, etc) on the use of plants in the treatment of pain, anxiety, insomnia, wound healing etc. He got two patents (Patent granted on the synergy of phyto-ingredients.). He is the Professor of Botanical Medicine and Principles of clinical research at the Ecole d’Enseignement Superieur de Naturopathie du Quebec (EESNQ) and French language equivalent of the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNNM). He earned a diploma in Proficiency in Herbal Prescription from the Australian College of Phytotherapy, a Certified Herbalist from the Dominion College of Canada and a Master Herbalist diploma from the Dominion College of Canada. Dr. Chamberland received a B.Sc. in Agriculture from McGill University, an M.Sc. in Veterinary anatomy and physiology and a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences (toxicology) from the University of Montreal.

Nial Chase DeMena

Lezli Engelking
President and Founder, FOCUS

view speaker profile

Lezli possesses more than two decades of professional experience in cannabis, government relations, pharmaceutical, mental health, and nonprofit industries. More than twelve years with Eli Lilly Pharmaceuticals laid the perfect foundation for Lezli’s role as Executive Director of the first chain of vertically integrated medical cannabis operations in Phoenix, Arizona. Lezli’s proven success in the highly regulated pharmaceutical industry, combined with her firsthand experience working in the nascent cannabis industry, provided the perfect experience to create the Foundation of Cannabis Unified Standards (FOCUS).

Founded in 2014 as The Cannabis Health and Safety Organization, FOCUS addresses the many shortcomings in quality, safety, and consistency that became evident with the explosive growth of the global legal cannabis industry. FOCUS is an international, non-profit, cannabis standards development & third-party certification organization dedicated to protecting public health, consumer safety and safeguarding the environment. FOCUS is not an advocacy organization, nor an industry trade association. FOCUS does not accept membership dues or fees for standards development. This autonomy fosters a principled, objective environment that serves end users, and acts as the much-needed bridge between industry and regulatory protecting public health, consumer safety, and safeguarding the environment.

Brian Fisher
Vice President of Operations and Corporate Partnerships, THE STURGE-WEBER FOUNDATION

view speaker profile

Brian Fisher has more than 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry from sales to managed care and including marketing and product launch. Before working with The Sturge-Weber Foundation, Mr. Fisher was Managed Care National Accounts Manager for Schering-Plough Pharmaceuticals; Western Regional Sales Director for Draxis Health of Canada; and Sales, Marketing Rotations and Institutional Sales Trainer with Bayer Pharmaceuticals. Mr. Fisher’s strengths lay in patient advocacy after experiences in cross-functional pharmaceutical roles as he develops partnerships between industry and patient advocacy organizations. Mr. Fisher regularly lobbies in Washington, D.C., drawing attention to patient insurance support, translational research science, and rare diseases ultimately benefiting multisystem disease states.

Elias Jackson, Ph.D.
Director of Scientific Public Relations, VYRIPHARM BIOPHARMACEUTICAL

view speaker profile

Dr. Elias Jackson is the co-founder, President of Research and Development and Director of Scientific Public Relations for Vyripharm Biopharmaceuticals, a precision medicine biotechnology firm that develops drugs to target cancer, PTSD, drug addiction and other metabolic diseases. He was previously a professor and research faculty member at the Cardiovascular Research Center at the Yale University School of Medicine, and is a graduate of The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.

Darshan Kulkarni
FDA Regulatory and Compliance Attorney, THE KULKARNI LAW FIRM

view speaker profile

Dr. Kulkarni is Vice President, Regulatory Strategy and Policy at Synchrogenx — a medical writing and regulatory strategy company, and is the Principal Attorney at the Kulkarni Law Firm. He is an advisor for the American Society of Cannabis Pharmacists and works with a variety of life science companies and their service providers to help with a variety of services including aggressive and compliant:

  • A. Sales tool development
  • B. Health economics, sales, and marketing approval
  • C. Responses to titled and untitled letters from various governmental agencies including the FDA

He has worked as a pharmacist for more than 10 years and is currently Visiting Professor at the Univ. of the Sciences where he teaches and develops courses a course on Promotion of Biomedical Products. He has lectured in engineering, medical, and law schools all over the country and was voted in the Top 20 of the 2012 and 2013 Top 100 most influential Social media participants in the annual #pharma100 poll.

Dr. Kulkarni also serves on the Editorial Advisory Board for FDANews and serves in the American Bar Association where he participates and is actively involved in the Healthcare Fraud and Life Science Interest Groups.

Most recently, Dr. Kulkarni has written several articles, and chapters for textbooks including the chapter on Promotion of Pharmaceuticals, and the chapter on medical devices for the Second, Third, Fourth and upcoming fifth Edition of Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Law: Regulation of Research, Development, and Marketing – the American Bar Association’s flagship textbook for pharmaceutical and medical device law.

Alice P. Mead, J.D., LL.M.
Vice President, U.S. Public Policy and Public Affairs, GREENWICH BIOSCIENCES

view speaker profile

Ms. Mead received her Juris Doctor degree from University of Santa Clara School of Law and her Masters of Law degree from Yale. She served for twelve years as an in-house counsel to the California Medical Association (CMA), one of the largest state medical associations in the country. Prior to that time, Ms. Mead was a litigation associate at a global law firm and an Assistant Professor of Law at Arizona State University College of Law, where she taught courses in constitutional law. Since 1999 she has served as Vice President, U.S. Public Policy and Public Affairs, for Greenwich Biosciences, the first company in the world to develop cannabis-derived prescription medications in adherence to modern scientific and regulatory standards. She focuses on domestic and international drug control laws and policy issues.

Dean Petkanas

view speaker profile

Dean Petkanas has 30 years of capital markets experience in corporate finance and merchant banking with a focus on bio/pharma, healthcare, and clean coal, energy, basic materials, and consumer products & services. Competencies, financial analyses, risk management, merchant/corporate finance, and corporate governance.

Dean co-founded KannaLife Sciences, Inc., a socially responsible phyto-medical company specializing in the research & development of pharmacological products derived from plants. He is principally responsible for establishing the Company’s business plan, management team, target drug indications.

  • October 2009 founded Kannabis, Inc. and developed a business plan and model for KannaLife Sciences, Inc. Incorporated KannaLife Sciences, Inc. in August 2010.
  • Invented two formulary and database systems for the standardization, QA/QC, and packaging of Medicinal Marijuana in legally permitted states using the KannaPak™ / C-Level™ system. The patent-pending formulary and business methodology also extend to non-cannabis related plant sources for growing, testing, labeling, prescribing and dispensing other medicinal botanicals.
  • Co-developed KannaDerm® and Kannactiv®, two specialty cannabidiol (CBD) infused topical skincare brands.
  • Co-authored a drug development and commercialization plan which succeeded in obtaining an exclusive out-license/technology transfer of an NIH-OTT (National Institutes of Health – Office of Technology Transfer) U.S. Patent 6,630,507.
  • Co-Inventor of WIPO Patent WO2015/106108A2 “Novel Functionalized 1,3-Benzene Diols and Their Method of Use for the Treatment of Hepatic Encephalopathy”.

Christina DiArcangelo Puller

view speaker profile

Christina DiArcangelo Puller has forged a world-class reputation in the Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical industry for the past 20 years. Her engagements have led to numerous industry awards, keynote speaking engagements and the ultimate respect of her industry peers.

Throughout the course of Christina’s career, she has acted in various capacities for Global Clinical Research Organizations, Pharmaceutical Companies, and Biotechnology Companies.

Christina’s professional success and drive have been facilitated by her unwavering strength as a skilled negotiator, strategic clinical advisor, visionary entrepreneur, skilled financial expert and her ability to succeed to navigate the biotech and pharmaceutical industry with unparalleled success.

“Affinity BioCeuticals’ goal is to ensure that Medical Cannabis is being utilized in the correct manner, while additionally ensuring that safe dosing protocols are being considered in the delivery methods. It is our organization’s intent that through the utilization of Affinity Bio Partners’ CRO Services (clinical operations, safety, data management, regulatory services) we will achieve clinical trial results in a more efficient and rapid manner. This, in turn, will provide much-needed treatment to the many ill patients that are in desperate need of relief. As the CEO of each of the Affinity organizations, it is important to me that we always focus on helping provide assistance to unmet treatment needs for patients.”

Barbara Read
Vice President of Sales and Marketing, LIFESCRIPT

view speaker profile

Barbara Read is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Lifescript. Lifescript is the #1 website dedicated to women’s health. As an award-winning health site, our mission is to create a place where women find and share healthy living information — their way. This site inspires women to be proactive about their health and lives and helps them build a support network of experts and other users. We are the fastest-growing online healthy living publisher and are dedicated to operating the leading website for women to understand the full breadth and scope of cannabis. 18-year-old Lifescript will take a leading editorial position in the cannabis space from a lifestyle and healthy-living perspective.

Barbara joined Lifescript in 2015 to manage advertising sales and to drive the editorial direction for the next five years as health and lifestyle merge and consumers take charge of their well-being. With more than 20 years on Madison Avenue in the publishing, marketing, and advertising industries she has been on the forefront of technologies in mobile and video platforms as well as health and wellness. Barbara’s experience working with Merck, Pfizer, Bristol Myers Squibb, and their agency partners has proven that American’s are grappling with alternative medicine and “Big Pharma”. Barbara brings a wealth of knowledge and experience as a speaker and a panelist in the pharmaceutical and advertising industries and combines a natural talent for participating in high-growth industries.

Mark Reichman
EVP, Client Services Director, GUIDEMARK HEALTH

Cannabis Patient Advocate

view speaker profile

With more than two decades of healthcare industry experience, Mark is known as an innovator among his clients and peers. He has spent the last 20 years in the agency world working in a broad range of therapeutic categories, from OTCs to oncology. The five years prior, Mark was in the device industry on the client side.

Mark is an expert in innovative programs for HCP and patient/consumer audiences. He has extensive strategic branding experience for both corporate and product-specific assignments. Mark has led a variety of high profile and successful inline, launch, and relaunch efforts within the US and globally. Brands include Cialis, Nexium, Crestor, Symbicort, XIAFLEX, Duopa, Iressa, Myfortic, and Metamucil, which Mark worked to reinvigorate as Meta Multi-Health. He holds an MBA in Marketing, supplemented with a recent graduate-level executive education program in Digital Marketing, and a BA in Economics.

Jeremy Unruh
Director, Public and Regulatory Affairs, PHARMACANN LLC

view speaker profile

Jeremy Unruh brings a fifteen-year track record as a government prosecutor and big firm lawyer to the nascent medical cannabis industry. Mr. Unruh serves as the PharmaCann director of regulatory and external affairs.

He is responsible for external matters, including lobbying, legislative policy, and public affairs; media relationships; interface with state and local regulators; and developing investor and banking relationships.

Beginning his career as a prosecutor, Mr. Unruh distinguished himself as a solid courtroom advocate with a highly developed common-sense approach to the justice system respected by his colleagues, judges, and defense lawyers alike.

Mr. Unruh went into private practice for a firm that would reach the American Lawyer Top 100 during his tenure. Joining the firm’s Chicago office in 2006, Mr. Unruh helped grow the Chicago presence from a handful of lawyers to a powerhouse office of more than 100 lawyers when he left to join the medical cannabis industry. Mr. Unruh’s practice focused on commercial litigation, internal compliance investigations in the financial services and healthcare sectors, and product liability defense. Mr. Unruh was the lead attorney on the national product liability trial team for a Fortune 100 industrial company for many years.

He was PharmaCann’s first general counsel and chief compliance officer, helping to manage the buildout, security, and warehousing functions of the three existing PharmaCann cultivation centers and eight PharmaCannis dispensaries:

Developed two 70,000 ft.2 cultivation centers and four dispensaries in Illinois. Developed and operating a 130,000 ft.2 manufacturing center and four dispensaries in New York. Responsible for commissioning and obtaining state operational approval of these eleven facilities.

Managed interaction between company and the regulatory agencies of New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Massachusetts relating to the licensed cultivation and distribution of medical cannabis.

Responsible for all PharmaCann lobbying efforts, as well as banking, media relations, and other third-party relationships.

Responsible for developing legal and regulatory compliance systems for all 250,000 ft.2 of medical cannabis greenhouse growing and related operations, with more than 200 employees.

Responsible for developing regulatory compliance systems at eight medical cannabis dispensaries licensed pursuant to New York and Illinois law.

Jeremy has a B.S. from Kansas State University. He earned a Juris Doctor from Washburn University School of Law where he was an inaugural recipient of the Environmental Law certificate. While serving as an assistant state’s attorney in Chicago, Jeremy attended DePaul University’s Kellstadt School of Business Management at night and earned his M.B.A. Jeremy lives in Winnetka, Illinois with his wife and three children.

Sara Jane Ward, Ph.D.

view speaker profile

Dr. Sara Jane Ward is an Assistant Professor in the Center for Substance Abuse Research and Department of Pharmacology. She earned her Ph.D. in neuroscience at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem NC, studying the neurobiology of cocaine and heroin addiction and their interactive effects. She conducted her own NIH-funded research under a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Temple University where she began to study the role of cannabinoids in learning and memory and reward processing. Dr. Ward is currently working on several projects to elucidate the therapeutic potential of non-psychoactive cannabinoids, including studies supported by the National Institutes of Health and Department of Defense investigating the efficacy of Cannabidiol for the treatment of peripheral and central neuropathic pain. Other projects in collaboration with TUSM faculty investigate the efficacy of Cannabidiol and synthetic cannabinoids on a range of nervous system targets including stroke, traumatic brain injury, and addiction. Importantly there is compelling evidence that the use of Cannabis and related chemical entities can reduce the use of prescription opioids for the treatment of pain.