Dr. Howard McLeod, Chief Scientific Advisor
Dr. Howard McLeod is Fred N. Eshelman Distinguished Professor and Director, UNC Institute for Pharmacogenomics and Individualized Therapy, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Dr. McLeod holds appointments in the Schools of Pharmacy and Medicine, the Carolina Center for Genome Sciences, and the Lineberger Cancer Center. He is Chair of the NHGRI eMERGE network external scientific panel and is a member of the FDA committee on Clinical Pharmacology.
Dr. McLeod also directs the Pharmacogenetics for Every Nation Initiative, which aims to help developing countries use genetic information to improve National Drug Formulary decisions. He has published over 380 peer reviewed papers on pharmacogenomics, applied therapeutics, or clinical pharmacology and continues to work to integrate genetics principles into clinical practice to advance individualized medicine.
Dr. Karen Weck, Medical Advisor
Dr. Karen Weck is a Clinical Professor of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine and Genetics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is also Director of the UNC Hospitals Clinical Molecular Genetics Laboratory and Associate Director of the UNC Institute for Pharmacogenomics and Individualized Therapy (IPIT). Dr. Weck has over 15 years experience in molecular diagnostic testing for inherited diseases, cancer, infectious diseases, and pharmacogenomics. Her primary research interests are in translating developments in genomic knowledge and technology to advance diagnostic medicine. Dr. Weck has developed molecular methods for diagnosis of several infectious diseases and multigenic genetic diseases. She has served as a consultant or advisor to numerous commercial and professional organizations. She is the Associate Editor of Molecular Genetics and Pharmacogenomics for the journal Genetics in Medicine and is an editor of the Journal of Molecular Diagnostics. Dr. Weck currently serves on the Pharmacogenetics and Biochemical and Molecular Genetics Resource Committees for the College of American Pathologists and as a consultant to the FDA Molecular and Clinical Genetics Devices Panel of the Medical Devices Advisory Committee. She received Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Medicine degrees from Duke University, residency training in Laboratory Medicine at Washington University in St. Louis, and is boarded in Clinical Pathology and Molecular Genetic Pathology.
Dr. Wei Jia, Scientific Advisor
Dr. Wei Jia is Professor in the Department of Nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) and Co-Director of The UNCG Center for Research Excellence in Bioactive Food Components, located at the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis. Dr. Jia was previously Professor of Natural Medicines and Vice Dean, School of Pharmacy, Shanghai Jiao Tong University. He was also the Principal Investigator and Leader of the Metabolomics Program at the Shanghai Center for Systems Biomedicine. This organization conducts innovative and cross-disciplinary research creating novel solutions to clinical problems.
Dr. Jia’s M.S. and Ph.D. were completed at the University of Missouri-Columbia in the field of radiopharmaceutical chemistry. He has worked for nearly a decade on biochemical profiling and evaluation of botanical preparations (traditional Chinese medicine, TCM) in pharmacological models. He pioneered the application of metabolomics approaches to TCM research and has taken leading roles in several important studies funded by Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology and Shanghai Science and Technology Commission. Dr. Jia is the author of over 130 scientific papers and 4 books, and the speaker at over 45 invited lectures and talks at major life sciences and pharmaceutical-based conferences and institutes. He serves on the editorial boards for 10 scientific journals of -omics sciences, TCM and herbal medicines, and an expert reviewer for State Food and Drug Administration of China, Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology, Natural Science Foundation of China, and Research Grants Council of Hong Kong.
Professor Jia’s current research focuses on mass spectrometry (MS)-based metabolomics profiling technologies, metabolic phenotypes and metabolic transformation in cancer, and pharmacokinetic and metabolomic characterization of TCM and natural products. He utilizes global metabolic and chemical profiling approaches as a way to scientifically bridge different pharmaceutical and nutritional concepts and methodologies. A top-down or ‘from whole to parts’ strategy is taken in his research to capture the holistic and dynamic variations of biological systems in response to environmental stimuli or drug intervention, and to elucidate the underlying mechanisms of disease onset and pathological development.