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Announcing Speaker Lineup for the 7th Annual AQC® Global Quality Summit

Press Release – May 23, 2018

Princeton, NJ – The Avoca Group has announced the full speaker lineup for the 7th Annual AQC® Global Quality Summit, taking place 13-14 June 2018 in Dublin, Ireland. The theme for this year’s event – Embrace the Present. Own the Future. – focuses on today’s most innovative solutions for driving efficiency, improving quality, and mitigating risk in the execution of clinical trials.

Featuring two engaging days of high-quality analyses and discussions, participants will take an active role in addressing key industry challenges, such as risk mitigation, ICH E6 (R2)’s impact on the industry, and creating a culture of quality within virtual teams.

The Summit is a unique opportunity for C-level executives and industry professionals from clinical operations, quality, regulatory, and procurement to network and collaborate on issues that will transform the clinical trial execution process. The collaborative component of this event allows for the free flow of ideas required to influence global change as we examine the future of clinical trials.

The speaker lineup includes over 20 panelists and speakers from the top sponsor companies, CROs, and clinical service providers. The influential list includes co-Chairs Neil McCullough, PhD, MSc, Executive Vice President Quality & Compliance for ICON Clinical Research and Christopher Hilton, Vice President Clinical Development Quality for Pfizer. The keynote address will be delivered by Lucien Engelen, Director Radboud University Medical Center’s REshape Center for Innovation; Global Strategist Digital Health Deloitte Center for the Edge, Faculty Singularity University Silicon Valley and The Netherlands. Engelen will speak to the intersection of technology and patient empowerment in the changing clinical trial landscape.

“We are at an inflection point where patient engagement, new technology enablers, clinical trial execution, and healthcare are converging at the same time as the clinical trial ecosystem is increasing in complexity,” says Patricia Leuchten, Founder and CEO of The Avoca Group. “I am excited to bring together a diverse group of industry leaders and experts external to our industry to address these challenges, the impact on quality, and the steps we need to take to be poised for success in the future. I am looking forward to the open dialogue and debate and to a productive meeting.”

The current list of confirmed speakers includes (in alphabetical order):

  • Imogen Cheese, European Director Business Development, Imperial Clinical Research Support
  • Evjatar (Evi) Cohen, Vice President Global Life Sciences – Pharma/Biotech & Medical Devices, Appian Corporation
  • Nona Dokuzova, Head of Global Quality Compliance, Merck KGaA
  • Patty J. Donnelly, PhD, Vice President Research and Development Quality, Eli Lilly and Company
  • Ken Getz, Director, Sponsored Research Programs, Associate Professor, Tufts CSDD, Tufts University School of Medicine
  • Jeffrey S. Kasher, PhD, Executive Chair, Avoca Quality Consortium
  • Mitchell Katz, PhD, Vice President Development Operations, Ferring Pharmaceuticals
  • Rose Kidd, Senior Vice President Global Clinical Operations, ICON Clinical Research
  • Jim Kremidas, Executive Director, The Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP)
  • Jim Lane, Chief Business Officer, Longboat
  • Patricia Leuchten, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, The Avoca Group
  • Karen Lojeski, PhD, Chief Executive Officer, Virtual Distance International
  • Crissy MacDonald, PhD, Executive Director Client Delivery, Avoca Quality Consortium
  • Irene Catherine Michas, BA, MSc, PhD, Senior Consultant, The Avoca Group
  • Suzanne Murray, Vice President Quality, Agios Pharmaceuticals
  • Panni Patel, Strategic Relationship Director Pharma R&D Third Party Resourcing, GSK
  • Merrick Rosenberg, Chief Executive Officer, Take Flight Learning
  • Jonathan Rowe, PhD, MS, MA, Executive Director, Head of Clinical Development Quality Performance and Risk Management, Pfizer
  • Dennis Salotti, Chief Operating Officer, The Avoca Group
  • Steve Whittaker, Executive Director, Avoca Quality Consortium

Speakers and panelists are still being added. Those interested are encouraged to visit the website for most current information.

This year’s Summit is supported by Platinum-level sponsor ICON, Gold-level sponsor Purdue Pharma, and Silver-level sponsors Appian Corporation and Longboat Clinical. Additional sponsorship opportunities are available; interested companies can access the Sponsorship Guide for more information.

Embrace the Present. Own the Future. Learn more about the Summit at Avoca Quality Consortium Members receive two complimentary passes.


About The Avoca Quality Consortium®

The Avoca Quality Consortium (AQC) is a member-based pre-competitive collaborative comprised of clinical operations, quality, and outsourcing professionals from pharma, biotech, CROs, and clinical service providers. The AQC was founded based on a commitment to have a positive impact on clinical trial execution. Each Member organization receives company-wide access to a comprehensive and proprietary Knowledge Center of over 400 leading practices, guidelines, tools, templates, and process documents, as well as AQC research and archived webinars. Learn more about the Consortium here.


About The Avoca Group

The Avoca Group is an integrated research and consulting firm providing survey research, consulting services, and training in the areas of clinical trial outsourcing, strategic alliances, and quality management. Sponsors of clinical research and clinical research organizations have benefited from quantitative and qualitative perception data gathered by The Avoca Group from sites about their reciprocal working relationships. The company’s focus is to help solve complex clinical trial challenges and to improve the quality and efficiency of clinical trial execution. Founded in 1999, the company works exclusively in the healthcare industry and has a focus on clinical research and clinical outsourcing. Learn more about The Avoca Group at and on LinkedIn and Twitter.