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Esteemed Faculty

Jennifer Alfonso, MBA, MSW, LCSW-C

Jennifer Alfonso, MBA, MSW, LCSW-C is a nationally recognized communication expert and speaker. Most notably, she was a past speaker at National Institutes of Health (NIH) sciLife Fall 2009 conference and NASA’s Occupational Health Conference in 2008.

She has guided hundreds of teams to become more effective and more cohesive, and ultimately get more results. Since 1997, Ms. Alfonso has had successful programs utilized by the State’s Attorney’s Office of Maryland. Her programs focus on primary, secondary, and tertiary interventions for violence prevention, conflict reduction, and better communication.

(See all of Ms. Alfonso's training sessions)

Thomas R. Blackburn, PhD

Since 2003, Dr. Blackburn has been principal of Thomas R. Blackburn Grants Consultancy, a consulting service that offers proposal writing workshops for colleges, universities, and scientific societies, and individual counseling on proposal preparation (www.science-funding.com).

He holds undergraduate and doctoral degrees from Carleton College and Harvard University, respectively. After a thirty-year career in college science teaching, he joined the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund (ACS-PRF) as Assistant Program Administrator, retiring as Senior Program Officer in 2002.

In the latter capacity, he managed over 3000 grant proposals (soliciting and reading over 10,000 expert peer reviews) and recruited panelists for and participated in dozens of proposal funding conferences.

(See all of Dr. Blackburn's training sessions)

Cesar V. Borlongan, PhD

Cesar V. Borlongan, PhD, is Professor and Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Neurosurgery and Brain Repair at the University of South Florida. Dr. Borlongan has won grants from foundations and biotech companies to support his research on stem cell-based therapies for stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and cerebral palsy. In fact, the James and Esther King Foundation, Celgene Cellular Therapeutics, and Sanbio Inc. have all funded Borlongan’s lab with annual grants of $300,000.

Additionally, Dr. Borlongan has served as a peer reviewer for NIH, the Canadian government, the United Kingdom Medical Research Council, the Wellcome Trust, the Swiss National Science Foundation, the American Heart Association and the U.S. Veterans Administration.

(See all of Dr. Cesar training sessions)

Tia Cavender, MA, GPC

In 2007, Tia Cavender, MA, GPC, became one of the first professional grant writers in the nation to be credentialed as a Certified Grants Professional (GPC) by AAGP’s Grants Professional Certification Institute. She is also currently a member of the American Association of Grant Professionals (AAGP) & the American Evaluation Association (AEA).

Tia has prepared grant requests for the NIH Agency for Healthcare, Research, & Quality, NIH National Cancer Institute, Dept. of Health & Human Services, National Science Foundation, The Colorado Trust, Kresge Foundation, Frey Foundation, WK Kellogg Foundation, and many more.

(See all of Ms. Cavender's training sessions)

Carol Lynn Curchoe, PhD

Dr. Curchoe is a reproductive biologist practicing clinical embryology at San Diego Fertility Center. Her PhD research is focused on animal cloning, and her postdoctoral fellowship is focused on human embryonic stem cell research. As a founder and CEO of 32ATPs, she applied her knowledge of biochemistry and biotechnology to the field of renewable energy, creating a patent pending biological supercapacitor.

Also, she was a member of the administrative team at the NYU School of Medicine's newly created Office of Collaborative Science, where she was a key author for several winning S10 grant applications for core research facilities.

Her written work has appeared in Science, Scientific American, Venture Beat, We Love GMOs and Vaccines, Huffington Post, Genetic Literacy Project, Fitness Reloaded, and Catalyst among others. She is a frequent podcast guest and keynote speaker, recent credits include Forbes' The Limit Does Not Exist, SciGasm, A Science Enthusiast, Wonder Women Tech among others.

(See all of Dr. Curchoe's training sessions)

Christopher Dant, PhD

Dr. Christopher Dant is a PhD-trained medical researcher and educator with over 40 years’ experience in government, academic, and biopharmaceutical settings. His PhD training was in immunology and cellular biology and he previously conducted research for several medical institutions in the United States.

Dr. Dant was trained in grant writing at the NIH and worked as a senior writer and managed publications at Stanford’s Medical School and established and built the Clinical Publications Division at Genentech in California. Until recently, Dr. Dant served on the faculty at Dartmouth Medical School and Norris Cotton Cancer Center to deliver lectures on NIH grant writing and manuscript writing.

He lectures widely in academic and biopharmaceutical settings on manuscript writing, NIH career and research grants, and basic scientific writing skills for scientists and his business, MEDCOM Consulting, serves academic clients to review and write Research and Training Grants for the NIH.

(See all of Dr. Dant's training sessions)

Christopher Francklyn, PhD

Christopher Francklyn, PhD, has been a funded NIH investigator for nearly 25 years, and reported discoveries related to protein synthesis and the genetic coding in leading journals such Nature, Science, Cell, Molecular Cell, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. His work on the molecular recognition of transfer RNA is routinely cited in most standard biochemistry textbooks.

He has been a regular NIH reviewer for the last decade and a half, served as the founding Chair of the Molecular Genetics A Study Section, and served on the editorial board of the Journal of Biological Chemistry. during the period of 2010-2011, he served as a regular columnist for the Principal Investigator’s Association Study Section Insider newsletter.

He is proud of the many former graduate students, post-doctoral students, and junior colleagues that he has successfully mentored in the process of capturing their early career awards.

(See all of Dr. Francklyn's training sessions)

Barbara Gastel, MD, MPH

Barbara Gastel, MD, MPH, is a professor at Texas A&M University, where she teaches scientific writing and related subjects and coordinates the graduate program in science communication. She is first author of the current edition of the book How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper, and for more than a decade she edited the Council of Science Editors periodical, Science Editor. She also has written many articles and chapters on writing, editing, and other topics.

Long committed to promoting the international communication of science, she taught for 2 years at what is now Peking University Health Science Center, and she has played lead roles in AuthorAID, a project to help researchers in developing countries to write about and publish their work.

Over the years, she has given workshops on scientific writing and publishing in about 20 countries. She has received awards and honors from the American Medical Writers Association, the Board of Editors in the Life Sciences, the Council of Science Editors, and the scientific research society Sigma Xi, among others, and she is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

(See all of Dr. Gastel's training sessions)

John Greenhoe, CFRE

John Greenhoe, CFRE, has worked in the foundation fundraising field for more than 15 years and is a leading authority on the practice. As Director of Foundation Relations at Western Michigan University, Greenhoe has a proven track record of successfully soliciting foundation gifts in the seven and six figure range.

Much of his efforts have focused on attracting funding from small and family-based foundations with little of no previous relationship with the University, leading to the establishment of numerous new philanthropic affiliations.

John is also popular domestic and international speaker on foundation philanthropy, having recently led well-received talks in the US, Italy and New Zealand.

(See all of Dr. Greenhoe's training sessions)

Bryan G. Helwig, PhD

Bryan G. Helwig, PhD, knows how to delegate. He has been a postdoctoral research associate and is currently a research physiologist/principal investigator in environmental pathophysiology while pursuing a masters in management at Harvard University. He has managed both academic and government research labs and additionally is experienced in strategic planning in the scientific environment.

Recently, he received funding for two studies on aspects of heat stroke and heat strain and has published numerous abstracts and articles on related biomedical processes.

(See all of Dr. Helwig's training sessions)

Cheryl L. Kester, M.A., CFRE

Cheryl L. Kester, M.A., CFRE is owner of Thomas-Forbes & Kester, LLC, a full-service grants consulting firm that serves higher education, health care, faith-based, and human services clients across the nation in obtaining foundation, state and federal grants.

Prior to joining the firm, she was grants director for a private college where she built the college’s first grant office. Kester received a B.A. in English from John Brown University and an M.A. from Georgetown University. She is a member of the American Association of Grant Professionals and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. She is an experienced trainer and speaker.

(See all of Ms. Kester's training sessions)

Thomas Landefeld, PhD

After attaining a science career focus in the area of reproductive endocrinology, Dr. Thomas Landefeld became a Professor at the University of Michigan Medical School.

He began mentoring efforts that were facilitated by roles as Principal Investigator, Director of NIH-funded Training grants among others. He has continued his mentoring efforts and became a Professor and Advisor at California State University and has authored two books.

(See all of Dr. Landefeld's training sessions)

Tom Lang

Tom Lang has been a technical or medical writer/editor since 1975. In addition to being the Manager of Medical Editing Services for the Cleveland Clinic for many years, he was also a Senior Scientific Writer at the Evidence-based Practice and Cochrane Centers at the New England Medical Center/Tufts University.

Specializing in critical appraisal and the reporting of biomedical research in scientific journals, he is the author of How to Report Statistics in Medicine: Annotated Guidelines for Authors, Editors, and Reviewers, 2nd edition and How to Write, Publish, and Present in the Health Sciences: Guidelines for Clinicians and Laboratory Researchers.

(See all of Mr. Lang's training sessions)

Diane H. Leonard, GPC

Diane H. Leonard, GPC is Grant Professional Certified (GPC) and an Approved Trainer for the Grant Professionals Association. Diane has personally secured more than $48.6 million dollars in competitive grant funds for her clients since founding her consulting firm, DH Leonard Consulting & Grant Writing Services in 2006.

Diane began her work in philanthropy by serving as a grantmaker, and continues to draw on that experience by serving as a reviewer for a variety of grantmakers each year. When she’s not working on grant applications for the federal government, state and local governments, or private foundations, Diane can be found in the 1000 Islands, out for a run, or drinking a strong cup of coffee.

(See all of Ms. Leonard's training sessions)

Michael Lesiecki, PhD

Michael Lesiecki, PhD. has been the executive director of the Maricopa Advanced Technology Education Center (MATEC) since its inception in 1996. He received his Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Oregon State University and has served as an associate research professor at the University of Utah and as an associate professor of Chemical Physics at the University of Puerto Rico.

Michael has published 27 technical articles and has received one patent. In industry he acted has the director of the BioScience Division of Candela Laser Corporation and worked as a research scientist at Exxon.

Michael has served as Principal Investigator on successful NIH and major NSF proposals and serves as a reviewer for NSF and Department of Labor grant proposals.

(See all of Dr. Lesiecki's training sessions)

Dorothy Lewis, PhD

Dr. Dorothy Lewis, Professor of Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases at the University of Texas Health Science Center has a 30-year history of writing grant applications, including experience with recent changes made by NIH. Her successful track record for winning grants has given her a valuable “in the trenches” perspective that can benefit you, at whichever stage you find yourself.

She received her PhD in Microbiology in 1978 from the University of Arizona in Tucson. She then pursued an NIH-supported postdoctoral fellowship at the University of New Mexico, School of Medicine in Albuquerque. In 1985, she published her first paper related to T-cell subset changes in HIV patients and acquired her own independent NIH funding. She has maintained continuous NIH funding since 1985, experiencing both times of multiple grants and times of reduced funding.

She just retired as a member of the Training and Workforce Diversity Study Section C, called TWD-C (2012-2016) and was former chair of the AIDS Immunology and Pathogenesis study section (2009-2011). She helps to teach grant writing at the graduate student level at Univ of Texas and at Baylor College of Medicine and serves as an ad-hoc reviewer on many applications.

(See all of Dr. Lewis' training sessions)

John W. Ludlow, PhD

John W. Ludlow, Ph.D, began his academic faculty career at the University of Rochester (NY) in 1991, with appointments in the department of biochemistry at the medical school and the university’s cancer research center.

During this time he maintained an independently funded research laboratory training graduate students and post doctoral fellows in the area of tumor suppressor gene expression, protein structure, and function. Funding for his laboratory came from a variety of sources, including the NIH, the American Cancer Society, and private foundations.

Dr. Ludlow began working in the commercial biotechnology sector in 2000, developing and managing research and pre-clinical programs for cell therapy and tissue engineered products, where he has continued to compete in, and advise on, multiple NIH award programs.

(See all of Dr. Ludlow's training sessions)

Alix Norris, PhD

Coming from an academic background, Dr. Alix Norris received her degrees from Virginia Tech and Wake Forest University. She went on to complete a successful four-year postdoctoral fellowship in the lab of Dr. Murray Korc (a prestigious Joseph M. Huber Professor and Chair of Medicine) at Dartmouth College, elucidating the complex signaling pathways activated in pancreatic cancer.

While in academia, Dr. Norris successfully competed for federal research and training grant programs, including the Department of Defense's Predoctoral Fellowship, the NIH's F32 Postdoctoral Fellowship, an NIH R21, and numerous travel and merit-based internal awards.

After the completion of her postdoctoral fellowship in 2011, Alix founded Tn Consulting, LLC, a powerhouse in the federal grant-writing arena, in order to support her love of writing and to use her scientific strengths in experimental planning, interpretation, and communication to better help others in science.

(See all of Dr. Norris' training sessions)

Rick Parmely

After teaching undergraduate chemistry at West Point and Juniata College, Rick Parmely, joined Restek in 1997 and until recently, he directed Restek’s technical education program. He taught chemistry and separation science theory through the Restek Learning Network (RLN), and coached other RLN instructors in public speaking.

He taught Public Speaking to doctoral and post-doctoral students at Yale, Columbia, and Rockefeller Universities, as part of a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Program. Recently, Rick presented a full-day, communications workshop at The Pittsburgh Conference. With over 30 years of teaching experience, Rick has taught science and communications courses to widely diverse audiences, including NATO officials, technicians at the U.N. Pesticides Laboratory in Austria, and scientists at the University of Nairobi, Penn State University and UPenn.

(See all of Mr. Parmely's training sessions)

Marjorie Piechowski PhD

Dr. Marjorie Piechowski, was the Director of Research Support in the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and has more than 25 years of experience in faculty grant development, research administration and technical writing at three Midwestern universities.

Additionally, she has over 15 years of experience as an independent grant writer for clients across the United States, resulting in over $12 million in awards for clients. Widely recognized for her expertise in these areas, she has made over 80 presentations at regional, national and international meetings.

Dr. Piechowski is a member of the National Council of University Research Administrators and a past president of the International Society of Research Administrators, which also honored her with its Excellence Award. She has written more than $13 million in successful grants for these organizations and reviewed grants for both the U.S. Department of Education and the National Institute on Aging.

(See all of Dr. Piechowski's training sessions)

Robert Porter, PhD

Robert Porter, PhD, has presented grant-writing and research development workshops at leading universities and medical schools nationwide. Currently Director of Research Development at the University of Tennessee, Dr. Porter has 30 years’ experience as a tenured professor, private consultant and research administrator.

His proposals have won more than $8 million in awards from government agencies and private foundations. A national leader in the growing field of research development, he has presented papers and workshops on grant writing at major conferences and has published prize-winning articles in the Journal of Research Administration and Research Management Review.

Dr. Porter has previously taught at Virginia Tech, Swarthmore College, Susquehanna University and Eastern Washington University. He holds graduate degrees in Speech Communications from the University of Michigan.

(See all of Dr. Porter's training sessions)

Alice M. Sapienza, DBA

Alice M. Sapienza, DBA has a rare combination of credentials: bachelor’s degree (magna) in chemistry; master’s and doctoral degrees from Harvard Business School; experience as a general manager in a Harvard teaching hospital; consultant to national and international science and technology organizations as well as government organizations; and wide graduate and executive teaching experience. Since 1990, she has been on the faculty of Simmons College, Boston.

Professor Sapienza has written Managing Scientists: Leadership Strategies in Scientific Research (Wiley, 2004 (2nd ed) and Creating Technology Strategies (Wiley, 1997) and is co-author of Leading Biotechnology Alliances—Right From the Start (Wiley, 2001). In addition to publishing in R&D Management, Project Management Journal, and Journal of Management, she has written numerous case studies of public and private sector bio-medical research organizations, in the U.S., Europe, and Japan. Institutions for which she has provided leadership training and coaching include NASA and a variety of private biomedical companies in the U.S. and Europe.

(See all of Ms. Sapienza's training sessions)

Dennis Taylor

Dennis Taylor is a master at Excel and a skilled educator. He can take the most complicated aspects of Excel and make them easy to understand. He has taught over 5,000 excel seminars and classes, and is the author of Teach Yourself Microsoft Excel 2000 and a co-author of four other books on spreadsheet software.

Dennis has developed customized Excel courses for specific clients, and has recorded over 180 hours of Excel training courses for Lynda.com. Since 2006 he has presented over 600 public webinars on a variety of Excel topics, and has led numerous training sessions with Apple, IBM, Lexmark, Texaco, Raytheon, Northrop-Grumman, and various federal and state agencies.

(See all of Mr. Taylor's training sessions)

Don Wetmore, JD

Dr. Don Wetmore has been in the field of Personal Productivity and Time Management for over thirty years. He created the Productivity Institute to assist professionals around the globe with their most challenging personal productivity and time management issues. His goal is to help everyone find more time in their day and be more productive.

During the past thirty years, Dr. Wetmore has helped more than 100,000 professionals at over 2,000 venues around the world improve their time management and personal productivity skills. Over the years, he has adapted his presentation to target specific industries to ensure unique industry needs are met. Dr. Wetmore’s presentations are always entertaining, humorous and down-to-earth, motivating his audiences to advance their own lives and reach their goals.

(See all of Dr. Wetmore's training sessions)

Wendy Reed Williams, PhD

Dr. Wendy Reed Williams joined the research administration staff in of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute in 2002 after completing postdoctoral research fellowships at the United States Department of Agriculture and in the Division of Oncology at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). Her work at the USDA focused on the control of gene expression in higher animals and her work at the Children’s Hospital centered on understanding the involvement of genes in the development of leukemia.

Dr. Williams received her B.S. degree in Zoology from Howard University in 1993 and her Ph.D. in Biology from the Johns Hopkins University in 1999. At Hopkins, her dissertation research focused on protein-protein interactions and protein-DNA interactions important to the regulation of gene activity by the AraC protein in Escherichia coli.

Dr. Williams has brought her formal training in science, her love of teaching and interest in bioethics and education to her position as Director of the Offices of Responsible Research Training and Postdoctoral Affairs at CHOP. Her position allows her to train the scientists with whom she once shared a laboratory bench in a broad range of topics including one of her favorites, responsible research conduct and integrity in science.

(See all of Dr. Williams' training sessions)