Meet the HIV/HCV ECAB Team
Our work at Epividian is also guided by an Epidemiology & Clinical Advisory Board (ECAB). Learn more about our board members and the expertise they bring.
Michael Sension: Clinical Advisor
Michael G. Sension, MD, is currently a Medical Director for CAN Community Health with primary offices in Plantation and Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Prior to joining CAN Community Health in 2017 he served for 24 years as Medical Director of HIV Clinical Research and the HIV/AIDS Primary Care Practice at the Comprehensive Care Center for Broward Health. He received his medical degree from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD, where he was awarded the Dean’s Research Award and the Harold Lamport Biomedical Research Prize, awarded for outstanding research for a study of HIV infection and measles in hospitalized African children through Project SIDA. Dr Sension completed his residency and internship at Cornell University, New York Hospital Department of Medicine, New York, NY and did additional fellowship training at the NIH/NIAID in Bethesda, MD. Dr Sension served over 5 years in clinical and educational programs overseas in Central and Eastern Africa, Asia, and Switzerland. He has presented abstracts on his work nationally and internationally, as well as contributing to numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals.
Lewis McCurdy: Clinical Advisor
Lewis McCurdy’s research has centered around both pharmaceutical development of new HIV therapies as well as the delivery of HIV care and patient retention. He has been involved in multiple clinical trials including phase I, II and III studies surrounding the development and study of the safety and effectiveness of novel and approved agents. He was involved in both the pre-clinical and clinical development efforts for dolutegravir. His research has also improved access and retention in care of patients. He is the principal leader of a large Ryan White Part A grant initially under ID Consultants PA and now as Specialty Director for Infectious Diseases for a large healthcare system. In addition, he is a co-investigator for a grant focused on virtual delivery of patient interaction to improve retention in HIV care focused on hospitalized patients who are out of care or disengaged in care. He received a B.S. in Biology at Wake Forest University and is a graduate of the University of Alabama School of Medicine with a Fellowship in Infectious Diseases from Vanderbilt University and a Post-doctoral Fellowship with the National Institutes of Health.
Amy Justice: Epidemiological/Methodological Advisor
Amy Justice is a Clinical Epidemiologist who has developed multiple large national cohorts based on data from the Veterans Affairs Healthcare System Electronic Medical Record enhanced with National Death Index and CMS data, patient completed surveys, DNA and tissue repositories, and stored pathology samples. She has two decades of experience in the processes required to clean, validate, and standardize raw EMR data and in its analysis using standard statistical methods, machine learning techniques, and cross cohort validations. The oldest and best known of her projects is the Veterans Aging Cohort Study (VACS). VACS is an ongoing, longitudinal study of >170,000 United States veterans with and without HIV infection continuously funded by National Institutes of Health (NIH) since 1996. She has developed and validated widely used indices including a prognostic index, the VACS Index, and a patient reported symptom index, the HIV Symptom Index. She is the principal investigator of the National Cancer Institute provocative questions grant HIV and Aging Mechanisms for Hepatocellular Cancer, has published over 400 peer reviewed manuscripts, and has presented work at the United Nations, The International AIDS Society, The Royal Medical College in London, the White House, and Congress. She is a member of the National Cancer Institute Ad hoc Subcommittee on HIV and AIDS Malignancy and the HIV and Aging Working Group, NIH Office of AIDS Research. She has recently joined the International Advisory Board of Lancet HIV. Dr. Justice is a tenured Professor of Medicine and Public Health at Yale University. She trained at Harvard College (BA), Yale Medical School (MD), University of Pennsylvania (MSCE), and the Wharton School (PhD). She completed a residency in medicine and the Robert Wood Johnson Program Clinical Scholars fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania. She has worked within the VA Healthcare System for three decades, serving as a primary care provider for two decades and Section Chief of General Medicine at the VA Connecticut Healthcare System West Haven for 13 years.
Michele Jonsson-Funk: Epidemiological/Methodological Advisor
Michele Jonsson-Funk is a methods-oriented epidemiologist with more than 13 years of experience in interdisciplinary research. Michele studied psychology at Reed College and epidemiology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill where she earned a Master’s of Science in Public Health (2000) and a Doctor of Philosophy in Epidemiology (2003). Her research has focused on the intersection of pharmaco-epidemiology, methods for estimating valid effects in observational data, and women’s health research. She has built an independent research program with substantial external funding (including two R01s), published over 70 papers in the peer-reviewed literature, in multiple therapeutic disciplines such as ID, GU, Renal, Opioid/Pain, CVD/stroke and Metabolics (diabetes), with much of her work having a methods orientation that is focused on the evaluation and application of novel approaches to rigorously estimate the comparative safety and effectiveness of medical interventions using large administrative healthcare claims databases. These methods include propensity score analysis and doubly robust estimators. Her most recent research (funded by PCORI and NIH) addresses the challenges of identifying treatment effect heterogeneity in non-experimental settings. In addition to her portfolio of methods-focused research, she directs ongoing studies using administrative claims data (such as Marketscan and Medicare), as well as electronic medical records linked to insurance claims. Recently, she was elected to the Board of Directors for the International Society for Pharmacoepidemiology and has mentored many graduate students in the study of epidemiology.
Michael Wohlfeiler: Clinical Advisor
Michael Wohlfeiler is a native of Tucson, AZ and a graduate of Rush Medical College. Prior to becoming a physician, he attended law school and was hired after graduation as an associate in a law firm that practiced primarily corporate and business litigation. Michael began his work in the field of internal medicine during his postgraduate residency at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Florida before entering private practice in 1990. Since 1990, Michael has practiced in the private sector with an emphasis on HIV disease. In 1996, he joined with Dr. Joseph Piperato to form the practice that became Wohlfeiler, Piperato & Associates (WPA). In September 2011 WPA joined AHF and changed its name to AHF-WPA. Michael served as AHF’s Medical Director of Research and Patient Protocols during that time. Michael spent 10 years as the Medical Director for Special Immunology Services (SIS) at Mercy Hospital. Mercy’s SIS department was Miami-Dade County’s largest safety net provider of services to Ryan White, Medicaid and other underserved HIV+ patients. He has been a member of the Miami-Dade County HIV/AIDS Partnership’s Medical Care Subcommittee for 10 years and has been elected chair twice. In August 2012, Wohlfeiler was appointed as AHF Southern Bureau Medical Director, where he oversaw medical operations and expansions in Haiti, Florida, Georgia, Atlanta, Texas, Louisiana, North Carolina, and South Carolina, as well as the development of services in Mississippi. About a dozen new clinics specializing in sexual health screenings and treatment were opened during Michael’s tenure in the Southern Bureau, offering an abundance of new medical opportunities in a region that is hard-hit by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. As an esteemed leader in the field of HIV medicine, Michael has been awarded a multitude of awards and accolades over the past three decades. He received a Red Ribbon Hero Award from the Communities Advocating Emergency AIDS Relief (CAEAR) Coalition in January 2012, and has been selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Doctors in America guide every year since 1996. In 2013, Michael was selected by the International Association of Internists as one of “The Leading Physicians in the World.” In August 2013, AHF proudly announced Michael’s appointment as the AHF Chief of Medicine. He now leads the AHF Department of Medicine, which oversees and sets the standards for provision of specialized HIV/AIDS treatment and care in over 36 countries worldwide.
Gerald Pierone Jr: Clinical Advisor
Gerald Pierone is a board certified physician in Internal Medicine and Infectious Disease. He is the Founder and Executive Director of the Whole Family Health Center, a nonprofit clinic with offices in Vero Beach and Fort Pierce, Florida. This nonprofit medical clinic provides primary medical and behavioral health care for low-income patients; including free HIV testing and HIV care for patients regardless of patient’s socio-economic status and ability to pay. Dr. Pierone is an experienced researcher who is active in clinical research in HIV treatment. Dr. Pierone has published numerous peer-reviewed reports. He founded the AIDS Research and Treatment Center of the Treasure Coast (ARTCTC) in Ft. Pierce, Florida to provide high quality medical care to patients living with HIV infection and conduct clinical research in HIV. Dr. Pierone received his medical degree from the University of Florida in 1983, completed his internal medicine residency training at the University of Medicine and Dentistry in New Jersey, and trained in infectious diseases at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. Dr. Pierone is a member of the American Society for Microbiology, Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA), International AIDS Society, Physicians Association for AIDS Care, and the American Academy of HIV Medicine.
Karam Mounzer: Clinical Advisor
Karam Mounzer is the Chief Medical Officer of Philadelphia FIGHT community health centers and the Medical Director of the largest, community-based Philadelphia HIV program, Philadelphia FIGHT-– The Jonathan Lax Treatment Center. State-of-the-art medical care is provided in a setting that includes case management, HIV education, mental health assessments, nutritional counseling, substance abuse referrals, and behavioral-based adherence support intervention and treatment. Dr. Mounzer identified two major gaps in the care of patients with HIV / hepatitis C (HCV) co-infection, and the complexity of multidrug-resistant HIV treatment. He served as the Principle Investigator on many clinical trials focusing on drug/strategy development to fight HIV/HCV and better understanding of HIV immunopathogenesis and HIV cure with the Wistar Institute. Additionally, he is involved in teaching and mentoring fellows, residents and students. He is a Clinical Professor of Medicine at The Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania-Infectious Diseases Division. He continues to participate in the inpatient care and educational programs in the Infectious Disease Division at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center.
Anthony Mills: Clinical Advisor
Anthony Mills serves as the primary care provider for over 2,000 patients, including 1,000 living with HIV. A graduate of Duke University and Duke University Medical School, he completed an internship in Internal Medicine, a residency in Anesthesiology and a fellowship in Cardiovascular Anesthesiology at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Mills is a member of many professional societies including the Infectious Disease Society of America, HIV Medical Association, International AIDS Society, IAS-USA, and the American Academy of HIV Medicine. Dr. Mills has been participating and leading many clinical trials for the treatment of HIV and is well published with over 15 journal articles and many congress presentations.
Philip Lackey: Clinical Advisor
Charlotte Magazine named Dr. Lackey a Top Doctor for Infectious Disease in 2007, 2008 and 2009. He has clinical interests in HIV, tropical medicine and travel medicine, and is certified by the International Board of Travel Medicine. Dr. Lackey graduated from the University of North Carolina Medical School in 1990, completed a residency in internal medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1993 and a fellowship in infectious diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1996. Dr. Lackey has been participating in observational studies of, and clinical trials for, the treatment of HIV with multiple publications to his credit.
Ricky Hsu: Clinical Advisor
Ricky Hsu obtained a Bachelor of Science with Honors in Biology and a Bachelor of Arts with Distinction in Psychology from Stanford University. Subsequently, he received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School, and performed his residency in internal medicine and HIV specialization at UCLA Medical Center. He is an Associate Clinical Professor at NYU Medical Center in New York City, where he teaches residents and medical students. His interest in HIV lies in both the clinical and research settings. His research interests range from molecular immunology, monoclonal antibody humanization, and in clinical research in HIV novel and salvage therapies, HIV drug resistance, lipodystrophy studies, carotid intimal thickness and cardiovascular risk stratification, and immunotherapy with gene modified cells. He has lectured on HIV throughout the country, published review articles and research in a variety of journals, and has presented his clinical studies at International AIDS Conferences. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and is a member of the HIV Medicine Association of the Infectious Disease Society of America and currently serves as an author and editor of the American Academy of HIV Medicine Study Guides.
Kevin Frost: Community Advisor
Kevin Robert Frost joined amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, in September 1994 and has served as the chief executive officer since March 2007. In February 2010, Kevin was appointed by President Obama to the Presidential Advisory Committee on HIV/AIDS (PACHA), which is charged with providing guidance and recommendations to the administration on the U.S. government’s domestic and international HIV/AIDS prevention and research programs. Kevin served as a member of the international advisory committee for the XIV International AIDS Conference in Barcelona, Spain, and was a member of the Scientific Committee for the XVI International AIDS Conference in Toronto, Canada, in August 2006. He has served on the advisory panels for three U.S. Food and Drug Administration hearings on a new drug application for Chiron Corporation’s ganciclovir implant; a new drug application for Gilead’s cidofovir; and a review of the application for fomivirsen sodium. He has been published in The Lancet, Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, Journal of AIDS (JAIDS), Journal of Infectious Diseases, and The AIDS Reader. As vice president, clinical research and prevention programs at amfAR and later, vice president, global initiatives, Kevin worked extensively in Asia, where he facilitated the development of amfAR’s TREAT Asia program. This network of more than 50 hospitals, community clinics, NGOs, and healthcare facilities works together with civil society in 17 countries to build the capacity necessary for scaling up treatment efforts in the region. Prior to joining amfAR, Kevin served as the inpatient care coordinator of the AIDS program at New York City’s Bellevue Hospital. Previously, he was a research assistant at the New York University Medical Center where he worked primarily on clinical research studies of cytomegalovirus retinitis in people with HIV/AIDS.
Jennifer Fusco: Epidemiologist
Jennifer Fusco is President and Head of Scientific Operations for Epividian and a member of the OPERA® Epidemiology & Clinical Advisory Board (ECAB). She has been working in and/or consulting for the pharmaceutical industry and academia for the past 18 years. She studied biology at the University of Michigan and epidemiology at the College of Human Medicine at Michigan State University. Her research focus has been mainly in HIV working with population-level, observational databases. As a founding member of the CHORUS (Collaborations in HIV Outcomes Research in the US) database at GlaxoWellcome/ GlaxoSmithKline, she has consulted on specific research efforts as well as the design and development of database architectural and analysis standards. Her clients have included GlaxoWellcome, GlaxoSmithKline, Boehringer-Ingelheim, Hoffmann-La Roche, University of North Carolina School of Public Health, the Veterans Administration and Yale University. She is well published with experience in the CHORUS database, the OPERA database, the CASCADE (Concerted Action on SeroConversion to AIDS and Death in Europe) database and the VACS (Veterans Aging Cohort Study) database as well as multi-database global collaborations such as the ARTCC and PLATO research collaborative groups.
Gregory Fusco: Chairman, ECAB
Gregory Fusco is Chairman of the ECAB, Chairman of the Board of Directors, and Chief Executive of Epividian. He studied microbiology at the University of Michigan, epidemiology at the University of Michigan School of Public Health and medicine at the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. He trained in anatomic pathology at the University of Pittsburgh. His epidemiology experience spanned both government and industry appointments. He was a site coordinator (Detroit) for the Adult Spectrum of Disease in HIV Study, a national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sponsored study. This study contributed to the 1993 revised classification system for HIV infection and expanded surveillance case definition for AIDS among adolescents and adults. He has 18 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry leading Phase 1, 2, 3, and 4 clinical trials in multiple therapeutic disciplines as well as leading epidemiology and outcomes research groups and pharmacoepidemiologic, pharmacovigilance, risk management and signal detection efforts in development and post-approval programs for both small molecules and biologics. His therapeutic development and life cycle management experience includes Infectious Disease (HIV/HCV), gastrointestinal disease (UC/CD, EE, GERD), metabolic disease (diabetes), cardiovascular disease (hypertension), dermatologic disease (psoriasis), and renal & hematologic disease (anemia of CKD). Well published in multiple therapeutic disciplines, he continues to develop systems for the improvement of medical practice, clinical development and adverse event management and signaling. Additional efforts include the development and identification of biomarker profiles utilizing observational (big healthcare data) databases to assist in the medical management of patients and the design and conduct of clinical trials.
Douglas Dieterich: Clinical Advisor
Doug Dieterich is currently Professor of Medicine in the Division of Liver Diseases and also Director of Continuing Medical Education in the Department of Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY. He has a triple appointment in the divisions of Liver Disease, Gastroenterology, and Infectious Diseases. Douglas T. Dieterich graduated from Yale University in New Haven, CT and received his Doctorate of Medicine from New York University of Medicine in NY. He completed his internship and residency in Internal Medicine at the Bellevue Hospital Center in New York, NY where he was also a fellow in the Division of Gastroenterology. He became Clinical Assistant Professor of medicine and then a Clinical Professor of Medicine, both at the New York University. He remains as an Adjunct Clinical Professor of Medicine at New York University School of Medicine. Dr. Dieterich is an investigator for many ongoing clinical trials evaluating the safety and efficacy of new antiviral treatments for chronic hepatitis B & C. Dr. Dieterich is a member of many professional societies and is a fellow of both the American College of Physicians and the American College of Gastroenterology. He has served on several committees of the AIDS Clinical Trials Group at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), including the Steering Committee of the Opportunistic Infections Core Committee and the Cytomegalovirus (CMV) Committee. He was Chair and Co-Chair, respectively, of the Enteric Parasites Committee and the Protozoan Committee. He also served on the NIH Study Sections for CMV and cryptosporidiosis. Widely published, Dr. Dieterich is the author of numerous journal articles, abstracts and book chapters on viral hepatitis and AIDS associated infections of the gastrointestinal tract and liver.
In Memoriam: Felix Carpio: Clinical Advisor
Felix Carpio has been AltaMed’s corporate Medical Director of Clinical Informatics since January 2010. He is a Venezuelan physician who obtained his degree of Physician and Surgeon at the Universidad Central de Venezuela in Caracas in 1982. He came to the United States in 1986 and completed a Master’s Degree in Public Health at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. His interest in HIV care, research, health informatics and quality improvement started in Detroit, Michigan in 1989 where he worked as the Director of Research and Data Management for a not-for-profit substance abuse center. Here he was instrumental in developing an IT infrastructure for data management and implementing a successful HIV / AIDS outreach, prevention and education program targeting Latino intravenous drug users. He then relocated to Los Angeles in 1991 to work as the Program Director for AltaMed’s new HIV Early Intervention program. In 1993, he was accepted at Harbor / UCLA Medical Center Family Practice Residency program where he finished as Chief Resident in 1996. At that time he returned to AltaMed as the Associate Medical Director for HIV services, a position that he occupied until 2010. In this position, Dr. Carpio’s leadership helped increase the program from 400 patients in 1996 to more than 1,500 HIV / AIDS patients. He has been a coauthor of numerous publications and has been a speaker in multiple HIV / AIDS related symposiums and conferences in the United States and Latin America. Emphasis on health informatics and quality improvement started in 2005, when AltaMed’s HIV program got an Electronic Health Record (EHR) donated and he was responsible for its implementation at AltaMed’s three HIV clinics. In 2007, AltaMed started the selection process of an enterprise EHR and he became the provider champion for the effort. In 2009, he successfully lead the EHR adoption and implementation of Nextgen Ambulatory EHR at AltaMed’s 30 sites, 150+ primary care physicians practice caring for more than 150,000 patients. Over the last five years he has been responsible for leading the EHR optimization efforts to maximize the use of the technology and implementing Clinical Decision Support (CDS) aimed at improving quality, safety and efficiency. He has also been involved in the implementation of AltaMed’s Health Information Exchange (HIE), clinical data depository, care coordination systems, and patient portal. Thanks to his informatics leadership he was instrumental in helping AltaMed being recognized as a Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) with NCQA Level 3 certification and with The Joint Commission PCMH accreditation in 2011.