Charles A. Thompson, M.D., FAAP

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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.

Meghan Gwara

Meghan Gwara Photo

International Coordinator

Meghan began working as the Coordinator for iCAN in June, 2016. As the only non-volunteer position in the organization, Meghan is the primary point of contact for all iCAN correspondence and works to establish and maintain connections with partner organizations, exhibit at various pediatric innovation and research conferences, oversee and facilitate network-wide projects, plan iCAN’s annual Research and Advocacy Summit, and develop & advance the fundamental components of the growing organization. Meghan earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut in 2016 and is a certified Emergency Medical Technician. She has experience as a research assistant in emergency medicine, diagnostic histology, childhood obesity, and cultural disparities in human language and behavior. She’s an advocate for children with special needs and has a passion for empowering children and families to become involved in clinical research.

Sharon R. Smith, MD

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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

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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

Christopher Logel Photo

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

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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.

Christine Woods

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Parent Representative

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.

Vivian Tsang

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Youth Representative

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

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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 Photo

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.

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