Innovators in Patient Engagement, Industry and Regulation to Lead DIA 2014 50th Annual Meeting

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PatientsLikeMe co-founder, Pfizer executive and top regulator champion collaboration.

dia 50 anniversary

These pioneers in patient engagement, industry and regulatory affairs will share their valuable expertise at our milestone meeting with thousands of professionals who can advance health care solutions.

Global innovators in pioneering drug development and access will lead the DIA 2014 50th Annual Meeting in San Diego from June 15 to 19. Freda C. Lewis-Hall, executive vice president and chief medical officer of Pfizer Inc., and Sandra Kweder, deputy director of the Office of New Drugs for the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, will co-chair the meeting to drive dialogue and collaboration on therapeutic innovation.

Kicking off the annual meeting will be a keynote address, delivered by patient engagement and research advocate Jamie Heywood, on June 16 at 2:30 p.m.

“DIA is honored to host these worldwide leaders who are dedicated to strengthening collaboration across all arenas of medical products development,” said Barbara Lopez Kunz, DIA’s Global Chief Executive. “These pioneers in patient engagement, industry and regulatory affairs will share their valuable expertise at our milestone meeting with thousands of professionals who can advance health care solutions.”

Lewis-Hall leads Pfizer Medical, the division devoted to ensuring the safe, effective and appropriate use of products across the world. Prior to joining Pfizer, she was a leader in medical affairs and biomedical product development with Vertex, Pharmacia, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Eli Lilly and Co. In 2010, Lewis-Hall was appointed to the inaugural board of governors for the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, which directs a range of research programs to improve the quality of health care in the U.S. She was named Woman of the Year by the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association in 2011.

With a career spanning decades in public service and medical advancements, Kweder directs drug and therapeutic biologics as the deputy director of the Office of New Drugs—a position she has held since 2002. She also oversees special programs such as Pediatric and Maternal Health, the development of patient-reported outcome tools and their qualification as endpoints for clinical trials. Commissioned into the U.S. Public Health Service in 1980 by the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Kweder’s career at the FDA began in the division of antiviral drugs to help spearhead the emergent field of HIV drug development.

Heywood’s work on behalf of patients worldwide, driven by his brother Stephen’s diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), has been critical to therapeutic innovation. He co-founded PatientsLikeMe, a groundbreaking online platform where hundreds of thousands of patients connect to track their experiences with diseases and provide vital data that the medical community can use. Heywood trained as an engineer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and launched the ALS Therapy Development Institute to spearhead research to develop effective therapies that slow and stop ALS.

ABOUT DIA: DIA is the global connector in the life sciences product development process. Our association of more than 18,000 members builds productive relationships by bringing together regulators, innovators and influencers to exchange knowledge and collaborate in a neutral setting. DIA’s network creates unparalleled opportunities for the exchange of knowledge and has the interdisciplinary experience to prepare for future developments. DIA is an independent, nonprofit organization with its global center in Washington, D.C., USA, and regional offices covering North and South America (Horsham, Pa., USA); Europe, North Africa and the Middle East (Basel, Switzerland); and Japan (Tokyo), India (Mumbai) and China (Beijing). For more information, visit

ABOUT DIA’s 2014 50th ANNUAL MEETING: Celebrate the Past – Invent the Future is the largest multidisciplinary event that brings together a community of life sciences professionals at all levels and across all disciplines involved in the discovery, development and life cycle management of medical products. The meeting aims to foster innovation that will lead to the development of safe and effective medical products and therapies for patients. For more information, visit

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Tiffany Cohen
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