Charles A. Thompson, M.D., FAAP
Chair & Founder
Charles A. Thomspon, M.D., FAAP is a board-certified pediatrician who earned his M.D. at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine and completed his pediatric residency at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford. He is a Clinical Instructor of Pediatrics at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine and is a member of the medical staff at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. Currently, Charlie is the Global Lead for the Pfizer Pediatric Center of Excellence. Throughout his 19 year career at Pfizer, Charlie has taken on diverse roles in clinical development, clinical safety/risk management, and field medical affairs. Charlie is also the Chair of the Executive Committee for the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Advances in Therapeutics and Technology, a member of the Board of Directors for the Hezekiah Beardsley Connecticut Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Founder and Chair of iCAN (International Children’s Advisory Network), and a Steering Committee Member for the Global Alliance for Pediatric Therapeutics, a pre-competitive public/private partnership to advance the development of medicines for children. He is serving his second term as a governor-appointed member of the Connecticut Pharmaceutical and Therapeutics committee and has served on the State of Connecticut Immunization Task Force following an appointment by the Speaker of the House. In his community, Charlie is an active youth leader in sports and scouting and is a former board member of the Connecticut Make-A-Wish Foundation. Charlie lives in Florida, USA, with his wife, Heather, and four children.
Leanne West, MS
Leanne West, MS, is the Chief Engineer of Pediatric Technologies for Georgia Tech, a Principal Research Scientist, and the Chief Innovation Officer for the Pediatric Technology Center. As Chief Engineer, she coordinates all research activities related to pediatrics across campus. She helps manage the formal relationship with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and is Director of the Quick Wins funding program.
Ms. West serves on the executive management team of the Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering & Bioscience and is a member of the Institute for People and Technology Health Council, with the goal of creating large-scale, interdisciplinary collaborations across campus in the area of healthcare. She is an active participant at her organization and was the twice elected Chair of the Georgia Tech Executive Board and the Georgia Tech Chair for the State Charitable Campaign. Ms. West currently serves on the Boards of the Georgia Technology Authority and the International Children’s Advisory Network.
Her research background focuses on mobile and wireless health system and sensor development, user interfaces, system integration, and diagnostic devices. She is author of a book chapter in Technology for Aging, Disability and Independence: Computer and Engineering for Design and Applications (John Wiley & Sons) and has written a number of papers and given several presentations on wireless technology device development and remote sensing systems. Ms. West has seen her invention of a wireless personal captioning system installed at commercial venues through her start-up.
Ms. West was named the Woman of the Year by Women in Technology in 2014, in addition to the Georgia Tech’s Outstanding Achievement in Research Enterprise Enhancement Award in 2014, a GTRI Innovative Research Award team member in 2014, and the Optical Society’s 2012 Paul Forman Engineering Excellence Award as a Lidar Team member. In addition, Ms. West was selected for the 2008 class of Leadership Georgia, and she was named one of Georgia’s “40 Under 40” by Georgia Trend magazine in 2004.
Christine Woods is an Atlanta, Georgia -based healthcare IT human resources and management professional, currently working for the highest ranking healthcare IT services firm on the INC 5000 list. More importantly, Ms. Woods is a wife and mom to two amazing kids with really big dreams. As the Parent Council Chair, she hopes to foster parent collaboration between iCAN chapters, as well as provide a way for parents to share experiences, learn, and support others. Ms. Woods also enjoys reading historical fiction, volunteering at her kids’ school, and coffee. So much coffee. Her educational and professional background includes a B.S. in Communications from the University of Tennessee – Knoxville, and a prior career in television news.
Laura is a certified clinical research professional (CCRP) and fully licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT).
She has contributed to research and clinical care for children affected by autism, congenital heart defects, and other stressors affecting the whole family system. Laura has studied and worked internationally, having recently performed for 2 years as the international relations manager at a historic research hospital in Paris, France.
Ms. McMaster believes that physical challenges and illness cannot wholly define patients, and that healthcare professionals have the opportunity to empower young people to live fully-realized lives in partnership with clinical care and research. Laura draws on her education in Anthropology to find meaningful ways to connect across disciplines and cultures. She is an alum of Emory University, The London School of Economics, and Mercer University. Laura and her husband reside in Atlanta, GA, USA.
Chester J. Koh, MD, FACS, FAAP
Dr. Chester Koh is a pediatric urologist at Texas Children’s Hospital and an Associate Professor of Urology, Pediatrics, and OB/GYN at Baylor College of Medicine. He also holds adjunct titles in the USC Department of Urology and the Rice University Department of Bioengineering. He also serves as the director of the Pediatric Robotic Surgery Program, and the director of the Pediatric Urology Fellowship Program. Dr. Koh received his B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from UC Berkeley and his medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine. He completed his urology residency at USC and his pediatric urology fellowship at Children’s Hospital Boston / Harvard Medical School.
His clinical area of expertise is in minimally invasive surgery in children, especially with robotic surgery and single incision laparoscopic surgery, and the pediatric device needs in this area. He currently serves on the Executive Council of the Societies for Pediatric Urology, the newsletter editor for the AAP SOATT, and the Membership Cahir of the AAP Section on Urology. He has been an NIH-funded principal investigator in the field of bladder regeneration / inflammation. In addition, he is the founder of the Southwest Pediatric Device Consortium based at TCH / BCM, as well as Co-founder and co-PI of the Southern California Consortium for Technology and Innovation in Pediatrics (CTIP), an FDA-funded pediatric medical device consortium that is dedicated to improving children’s health through innovative pediatric medical devices.
Dr. Koh lives in Houston with his wife and 2 teenage children.
Sharon R. Smith, MD
Sharon R. Smith, MD is a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine and an emergency medicine physician at CT Children’s Medical Center. Dr. Smith is the Research Director of the Emergency Department and one of the Associate Program Directors for the Pediatric Residency Program. She enjoys working closely with the residents, and teaches medical students, residents and fellows in the ED. She also runs resident research rotations and the Undergraduate Research Assistant Program (URAP) at the University of Connecticut. URAP introduces undergraduates to clinical research, and these students enroll subjects in the emergency department as part of their for-credit course work. Dr. Smith went to medical school at Wake Forest, residency at Duke, and completed her fellowship at Washington University. She has been at Connecticut Children’s since 2004.
Jillian Wood is the Executive Director of the Connecticut Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and a partner in Graff Wood Association Management Solutions. For the past 18 years, Jillian has been the Executive Director of several non-profit organizations focused in the medical and social services fields. Prior to her work in non-profit association management, Jill worked for several years as a part-time lobbyist at the Connecticut Capitol. She also worked for nearly a decade in medical equipment sales. Jill has served on the Boards of Directors of NARAL, and currently is on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of Channel 3 Kids Camp and the Advisory Committee of ACCESS-MH. Additionally, she serves as an elected member of the Board of Assessment Appeals in Coventry, CT, where she lives with her husband.
Christopher Logel joined Pfizer in January 2000 as a scientist, outsourcing Pre-Clinical Toxicology studies. In 2004, he changed roles within Pfizer and joined the Clinical Outsourcing Group as an Outsourcing Lead. Prior to working at Pfizer, he was with Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus, Ohio, where he worked for 10 years performing Pre-Clinical Toxicology studies. Chris has an executive M.B.A. from Capital University and a B.A. in Pre-Professional Zoology from Ohio Wesleyan University. He also serves as the Board of Finance Chair for iCAN.
Pamela Dicks is the manager of the Scottish Children’s Research Network, which provides infrastructure and expertise to support both commercially funded and publicly funded research In pediatrics. This is a broad portfolio with trials in most specialties within children’s medicines and healthcare. She also raises the awareness of the importance of clinical trials and evidence based medicine amongst doctors and consultants and encourages them to participate in clinical trials with ScotCRN research nurse support. Pamela has a background of research in endocrinology, seasonal physiology and melatonin. Prior to working with ScotCRN she was a scientific advisor in the Food Standards Agency. She has three children, all at University, two horses, a huge labradoodle and two cats.
Vivian Tsang is a third year student in the Faculty of Science majoring in population health and therapeutics at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. She is passionate about young people’s engagement in the healthcare field and is a big advocate for collaboration between pediatric researchers and their target demographic. Currently, she is the Team Leader for KidsCan Vancouver and serves on iCAN as the Chair of the Youth Council. In her spare time, Vivian conducts research regarding androgen deprivation therapy in prostate cancer patients at the Vancouver General Hospital, coaches students on academic success and mental wellness as part of the Science Peer Academic Coaching program, and spearheaded an organization titled the Humanitarian Organization for Providing Empowerment (HOPE) in efforts to empower marginalized community groups through mutual aid and interpersonal relationships. Vivian hopes to pursue a career in healthcare and to continue inspiring young people to get involved with research and patient advocacy.
Sandra Carbonari, M.D
Sandra Carbonari, M.D is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College, Dr. Carbonari attended the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. She has practiced primary care pediatrics in the greater Waterbury area for over 30 years. She has a strong interest in working with children with special needs along with their families, as well as underserved children and families. Dr. Carbonari is the immediate past president of the Connecticut Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the current Medical Director of the chapter. As a long time member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, she has been active in federal, state, and community advocacy speaking up on behalf of children. Along with her colleagues, Dr. Carbonari has worked to make protecting the health and well being of children a priority at every level of government.
Lynne Yao, M.D
Lynne Yao, M.D., is the Director, Division of Pediatric and Maternal Health in the Office of New Drugs, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. She has held this position since 2012. The Division of Pediatric and Maternal Health oversees quality initiatives which promote and necessitate the study of drug and biological products in the pediatric population; and improve pregnancy and lactation-related information in product labeling. Dr. Yao started at FDA as a Medical Officer and primary reviewer on the Inborn Errors of Metabolism team in the Division of Gastroenterology and Inborn Errors Products (DGIEP) in 2008, and was a team leader in DGIEP from 2009-2012. Dr. Yao graduated from the George Washington University School of Medicine, completed residency in Pediatrics at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and fellowship in Pediatric Nephrology at the Georgetown University Children’s Medical Center. Dr. Yao is board certified in both Pediatrics and Pediatric Nephrology.