Joseph P. Menetski, Ph.D., Associate Vice President of Research Partnerships

Joseph Menetski is Director of the Biomarkers Consortium. He received his Ph.D. from Northwestern University Medical School with Dr. Stephen Kowalczykowski and completed his post-doctoral training at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology, National Institutes of Health (NIH/NIDDK) with Dr. Martin Gellert. He then started his career in industry in 1993 in the Immunopathology Department at Parke-Davis (later Pfizer), where he established a discovery research program in cellular inflammation that eventually transitioned to the molecular study of osteoarthritis. Joseph moved to Merck in 2004. His first position was in the department of Immunology where he was involved in the osteoarthritis new targets and biomarker program. While at Merck he has been a member of the Molecular Profiling group, the Knowledge Discovery and Knowledge Management group and finally a Director in Global Competitive Intelligence.

  Stacey J. Adam, Ph.D., Director, Cancer

Dr. Stacey Adam is the Scientific Program Manager for Cancer at the FNIH. In her role, she leads the Cancer Research Partnership programs. She is a molecular pharmacologist/cancer biologist skilled in molecular biology techniques, animal modeling, clinical genomics, systems biology, project and team management and strategy consulting.


Prior to FNIH, Dr. Adam was a Manager at Deloitte Consulting within the Federal Life Sciences and Healthcare Strategy practice where she supported a number of federal and not-for-profit client projects. She was the project manager and scientific research advisor for an institute-wide research strategic planning effort at the NIH and for a project to develop a novel technology platform to assist a major non-profit agency with combining clinical, genomic and patient-generated data to accelerate research on chronic gastrointestinal diseases. She also worked for two years with a federally-associated not-for-profit granting agency as a scientific review officer.


Before Deloitte, Dr. Adam conducted her postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University School of Medicine, Department of Oncology where she was an NIH and American Cancer Society supported fellow. While at Stanford, she focused on developing better animal models for studying lymphoma and osteosarcoma; performing large cancer genomics screens for genes related to self-renewal, differentiation, and tumor recurrence; merging high-throughput biological techniques with novel cancer animal models to define molecular disease signatures to allow for rapid diagnosis and prognosis of cancer; and working with companies to test novel compounds in pre-clinical trials.

  Eline Appelmans, M.D., MPH, BMedSci, Scientific Project Manager, Neuroscience

Dr. Eline Appelmans is a Scientific Project Manager for Neuroscience at the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health. In her role, Dr. Appelmans supports the Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP) Parkinson’s Disease project.


Prior to joining the FNIH team, Dr. Appelmans worked for 3.5 years at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle WA, specializing in biostatistics, bioinformatics, and epidemiology related to Vaccine and Infectious Diseases. Dr. Appelmans also spent time working at Beaumont Hospital Ireland in Colorectal and General Surgery as well as Gynecology, Urology, Infectious Diseases, and Stroke, and Geriatric Medicine. Dr. Appelmans received her Master’s in Public Health from University of Washington and her Medical Degree and associated Bachelors in Medical Science from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.

  Rosa Canet-Aviles, Ph.D., Director, Neuroscience

Dr Rosa Canet-Avilés leads the Neuroscience Research Partnerships at the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH). In her role she is responsible for the development and management of the Neuroscience Research Partnership portfolio of projects and programs that includes: the Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP) for Alzheimer’s Disease (AMP-AD), AMP Parkinson’s Disease (AMP-PD), AMP Schizophrenia (AMP SCZ), the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative 3 (ADNI3) and the Biomarkers Consortium Neuroscience Steering Committee (BC NSC). Rosa manages different teams in coordination with NIH, FDA, non-profit organizations and industry leaders. She represents the organization’s interests internally and externally on neuroscience and neuroscience-related matters.


Dr Rosa Canet-Avilés served previously as a Science Program Officer for Neuroscience at the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). In her role, she planned and devised translational research programs, policies and procedures in consultation and collaboration with the executive officers of the organization and key stakeholders to implement and monitor the organization’s overall research and development strategy. Amongst other things, Dr Canet-Avilés was responsible for planning and developing Requests for Applications (RFAs), organizing scientific reviews of grant applications, managing a portfolio of grants and organizing workshops and meetings relevant to the strategic goals of the organization. Dr Canet-Avilés participated in determining scientific direction and in science policy development.


Previous to that, Rosa served as a Scientist leading 2 of the Neurodegeneration programs at Amgen Inc. Her group was responsible for the discovery and validation of therapuetic targets for Parkinsons’s (PD) and Alzheimer’s Diseases. Prior to joining industry, she held post-doctoral fellowships at Elan Inc., (a neuroscience-based biotechnology company that is focused on discovering, developing, manufacturing and marketing advanced therapies in neurology, autoimmune diseases, and severe pain); the laboratory of Neurogenetics at the National Insititutes of Health (NIH, Bethesda), and the laboratory of Cell Biology at Mayo Clinic (Jacksonville, Florida).


Dr Canet-Avilés earned her PhD degree in Neuroscience from the School of Medicine at Leeds University, UK. She also holds a BS in Organic Chemistry from the Central University of Barcelona (UB) and a Masters in Quality management from the Catalan Institute of Technology (ICT, Barcelona, Spain).

  Dana Connors, M.S., P.M.P., Senior Project Manager, Cancer

Dana E. Connors is a Scientific Project Manager for Cancer projects within the Biomarkers Consortium at FNIH. He was most recently a Project Manager for the Electronic Data Methods Forum at AcademyHealth and has extensive experience as an independent consultant working internationally with health care companies and device manufacturers in marketing, communications and project management. In addition to strategic planning, branding and product development assistance, his projects included seminar and symposia planning and collaboration on research project design and clinical trial development. Before his consulting role, Dana worked in marketing and communications management for the biomarker portfolios of Thermo Fisher Scientific and BRAHMS Diagnostics. Dana received his Master of Science from the University of Amsterdam in 2006 and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Florida..

  Stephanie Cush, Ph.D., Senior Project Manager, Inflammation & Immunity

Dr. Stephanie Cush is the Scientific Project Manager for Inflammation and Immunity at the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health. She manages established and emerging projects within the Biomarkers Consortium Inflammation and Immunity Steering Committee and supports the Accelerating Medicines Partnership Rheumatoid Arthritis and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Program.


Dr. Cush is trained in cellular immunology and molecular biology with focus areas in T cell immunology, infectious diseases, and immune modulation. In her current role, she utilizes her skills in strategic planning and consulting, project and program management, and building multi-stakeholder alliances.


Prior to FNIH, Stephanie was a Senior Strategy Consultant at Deloitte Consulting within the Federal Life Sciences and Healthcare Strategy practice where she served on a number of federal health projects. She was the project coordinator supporting the NIH in its strategic vaccine development efforts for an emerging viral epidemic. She also worked for 2 years at the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research at the FDA to design, develop and implement an enterprise-wide technology solution to streamline the drug approval process.


Before Deloitte, Dr. Cush conducted her post-doctoral training in the Laboratory of Viral Diseases at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at NIH, studying the immune response and host-pathogen interactions at the site of infection using in vivo imaging techniques. She earned her Ph.D. in Integrated Biomedical Sciences with a focus in Immunology from the Ohio State University, and a B.A. in Microbiology and Molecular Biology from Miami University.

  Helen Heymann, MMSC, Scientific Project Manager, Metabolic Disorders

Helen Heymann is the Scientific Project Manager for Metabolic Disorders within the Biomarkers Consortium at the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH).


Helen worked most recently in the health membership association where she was the Senior Program Manager for Education overseeing the education and awards portfolio in collaboration with multiple committees. Prior to this, Helen served for several years as a Senior Health Project Manager at Family Health International 360, a non-profit, where she designed strategic plans and managed national and international health and nutrition projects with partners to address health disparities through evidence-based practices. Helen also worked at the United National Development Program Headquarters and at a Country Office in various program capacities ranging from project and grants management to quality control and communications.


Helen earned a Masters of Science in Health/Social Policy & Planning from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a Masters of Medical Sciences in Human Nutrition from the University of Sheffield.

  Steve Hoffmann, M.S., Director, Inflammation & Immunity

Steve Hoffmann is the Director, Inflammation and Immunity in Research Partnerships at the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH). In this role, he provides strategic planning, programmatic management and research administration of a broad portfolio of established and emerging projects in arthritis, organ toxicity, infectious disease and other autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.


Steve has worked for over 20 years in the academic, government and industry sectors in the field of translational biomarkers, molecular immunology and precision medicine with a focus on multi-stakeholder partnerships and project development. Prior to joining FNIH, Steve worked as both a project and product manager at Meso Scale Discovery (MSD), a protein diagnostics biotech in Gaithersburg, MD, gaining extensive experience in team management, product development and marketing of multiplex protein immunoassays. Before MSD, Steve was a scientist in the Transplantation and Autoimmunity Branch of the National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) and led research efforts utilizing immune depletion and co-stimulatory blockade strategies for human renal and islet cell transplant trials. His work focused on molecular profiling of surrogate biomarkers of rejection, tolerance and drug toxicity. Steve holds a Master of Science degree in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry and Biophysics from the University of Pittsburgh.

  Sidra Iqbal, Scientific Project Manager, Metabolic Disorders

Sidra Iqbal recently joined FNIH as a Scientific Project Manager in the Metabolic Disorders group in Research Partnerships. She is a seasoned scientific professional with over 10 years of experience working for government, pharmaceutical and biotech organizations.


She joins us from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) at NIH, where she was serving as a Scientific Project Manager in the Novel Experimental Therapeutics Division where she managed relationships and collaboration with the Chemical Biology Consortium, a committee of 24 dedicated research centers around the country ranging from various academic, biotech, pharma and government institutions. Here she monitored project plans, budgets and deadlines she routinely organized national scientific review meetings with NCI management and external stakeholders.


Prior to this, Sidra was working in Research and Development at Rubius Therapeutics, a cellular therapy startup in Cambridge, MA. Here she worked to create an erythrocyte designed cellular therapy platform for classic and moderate versions of the metabolic disorder phenylketonuria. Prior to that she worked at H3 Biomedicine, a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery and development of small-molecule drugs to treat cancer.


Sidra is pursuing a Master of Liberal Arts (ALM) in Biotechnology at Harvard University and earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, MA.

  Tania Kamphaus, M.Sc., Ph.D., Scientific Program Manager, Metabolic Disorders

Dr. Tania Nayak Kamphaus is the Scientific Program Manager for Metabolic Disorders at the FNIH. In her role, she leads the Metabolic Disorders Research Partnership programs and manages the Steering Committee for Metabolic Disorders Biomarkers Consortium as well as the Type 2 Diabetes Accelerated Medicines Partnerships (AMP T2D) program in coordination with the NIH, non-profit and industry leaders. Dr. Kamphaus is trained in molecular genetics, molecular and cell biology and skilled in strategic planning and collaborative program development across basic, translational and clinical research.


Prior to joining the FNIH, Dr. Kamphaus was the Director of the Office of Clinical Protocol Development at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she supported development of large clinical trial protocols ranging from interventional and observational studies to implementation and dissemination studies. She also served as a key member of the Trial Initiation Network (TIC).


Before her work in clinical trials, Dr. Kamphaus was Director of Collaborative Research at the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation. In this role, she oversaw nine translational research consortia in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD), including IBD Genetics and Gut Microbiome, as well as quality of care and patient-centric programs. Dr. Kamphaus was the program director for IBD Plexus, the world’s largest research database for IBD.


Dr. Kamphaus conducted her postdoctoral fellowship at Columbia University at the department of Pathology and Cell Biology. She has published important works in neuronal stem cell migration, standardizing techniques for animal modeling and in vivo imaging. Dr. Kamphaus earned her PhD in Molecular Genetics from The Ohio State University and her Masters in Biotechnology from Madurai Kamaraj University, India.

  Nakita Kanu, MPH, Scientific Project Manager, Inflammation & Immunity

Nakita Kanu is the Scientific Project Manager for Inflammation and Immunity at the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health. She manages established and emerging projects within the Biomarkers Consortium Inflammation and Immunity Steering Committee and supports the Accelerating Medicines Partnership Rheumatoid Arthritis and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Program.


Nakita received a Bachelor of Science degree, with a concentration in global health, and a Master of Public Health degree, with a concentration in maternal and child health, from George Washington University. In her current role, she utilizes her skills in strategic planning, project management, communications, and stakeholder engagement.


Prior to FNIH, Nakita served as a Project Manager and Management Analyst at the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research within the National Institutes of Health. She managed a variety of communications and outreach efforts related to the NIDCR 2030 strategic visioning initiative, and helped coordinate the peer review process. She has also worked for a number of nonprofit organizations, including the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE), the Council on Education for Public Health, and the National Association of County and City Health Officials. As Editorial Manager for SOPHE’s Health Education & Behavior journal, Nakita managed manuscript submissions, oversaw the peer review process and coordinated publication of all issues and supplements of the journal. As manager of SOPHE’s Smoking Cessation and Reduction in Pregnancy Treatment (SCRIPT) program, she also coordinated and facilitated SCRIPT training workshops, developed and disseminated marketing materials, conducted outreach to potential partners and funders, and developed funding proposals.

  Cheryl Melencio, Executive Assistant

Ms. Melencio provides administrative support to the Director and Scientific Program Managers of The Biomarkers Consortium. In that capacity, she supports the Executive Committee and Steering Committees. Cheryl has been with the FNIH since 2007. Previously she was employed by The National Industrial Transportation League.

  Emily Morgan, Associate Project Manager

Emily Morgan provides administrative assistance to the Research Partnership team. Emily has been with the Foundation since April 2016. Previously she was employed by 0ptimus, a political consulting firm.

  Ericka Ruiz, Ph.D., Scientific Project Manager, Neuroscience

Dr. Ericka Ruiz is a Scientific Project Manager for Neuroscience at the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health. In her role, Dr. Ruiz supports the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI), the Autism Biomarkers Consortium for Clinical Trials (ABC-CT) and other Neuroscience projects.


Prior to joining the FNIH team, Dr. Ruiz worked for 3 years at Emergent BioSolutions in Gaithersburg, MD, where she managed two Government funded anthrax vaccine projects that were at different stages of product development. Dr. Ruiz also spent 3 years teaching post-baccalaureate students on the Psychosocial Determinants of Health and Communication for Health Professionals at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Ruiz received her Doctoral degree in Neuroscience from Georgetown University and her Master’s in Biopsychology from George Mason University.


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