Event Schedule

Dec 12th, 2021



12:00 pm – 7:00pm


3:00 pm – 4:30pm

Starting Off On The Right Foot: Best Practices for Aspiring MSLs

Pre-Conference Workshop for Aspiring MSLs

  • Learn how to build a network through professional organizations & social media and gain perspectives on the true value of a referral.
  • Craft a CV and cover letter that gets you noticed by the recruiter and avoid common pitfalls when applying from academia or clinical practice.
  • Recognize and explore opportunities to stand out from the crowd when interviewing with recruiters, hiring managers, and future colleagues.

Nabhan Islam, MD, MSL, Syneos Health

Maria Abunto, MD, MPH, MSL, Exact Sciences

3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Why ask Why? “How the use of this 3-Letter Word can Enhance KOL Engagement & Actionable Insights in the F2F or Virtual Environment”

Pre-Conference Workshop for MSLs

  • Examine the psychological effects of asking this question
  • Explore how this asking this question can transform KOL engagements
  • Learn how asking this question reveals actionable insights for the KOL and your company

Chad Fellers, PharmD, Director MSL, Harmony Biosciences

6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Welcome Reception

The Welcome Reception will take place at ALIBI Ultra Lounge at Aria. Attire is Business Casual.

Dec 13th, 2021


7:30 am


9:00 am – 9:15 am

Fun Activity

9:15 am – 9:45 am

General Session + Welcome and Opening Remarks

Samuel Dyer, PhD, CEO, MSL Society 

9:45 am – 10:15 am

Past, Present, and Future - How Medical Affairs Will Evolve by 2025

  • What happened over the last 5 years for MSLs – that have set the stage for where we are today?
  • How COVID changed the life and best practices of an MSL.
  • What will change over the next 5 years for MSLs and beyond.

Ariel Katz, CEO & Co-Founder, H1

10:15 am – 10:45 am

Fireside Chat with MSL Leaders: What have we learned? What will change?

Lisa Sundquist, MSN, NP-BC, MBA, AOCN, Senior Director, Field Medical Affairs & Scientific Education, Partner Therapeutics

Douglas M. Yau, PhD, MBA, CMD, National Director of MSLs, Sanofi Genzyme

10:45 am – 11:30 am

Networking Break & Exhibitor Interacting

11:30 am – 12:00 pm

Accelerate the Medical Affairs Digital Transformation

  • Targeting and engagement approaches to ensure meaningful interactions with HCPs, both virtually, and in-person.
  • Advanced strategies to deepen and expand relationships with key decision-makers based on insights from their patient’s journeys.
  • Data-driven tools to measure engagements’ effectiveness and ensure further organizational support and investment.

Brett Balzer, MBA, General Manager, Medical Affairs, Komodo Health

12:00 pm – 12:30 pm

The MSL – Agent of KOL Personalization

  • Discuss the continued evolution and increasing importance of the MSL role.
  • Outline the case for the MSL being uniquely positioned to deliver personalized scientific exchange experiences for KOLs.
  • Explore some key challenges in achieving optimal effectiveness in this KOL engagement model.
  • Discuss the importance of KOL-centricity, data & technology in delivering personalized scientific exchange.

Dave Gulezian, MBA, Co-Founder and CEO, Alucio

12:30 pm – 1:30 pm

Lunch & Exhibitor Interacting

1:30 pm – 2:30 pm

No Train, No Gain: Tools and Strategies to Enable the MSL Profile of 2022 and Beyond

Workshop 1

  • Identifying and resolving the most common gaps in MSL skill sets.
  • How to make training and mentorship a pillar of culture instead of an extracurricular activity.

Jeff VaughanPharmD, MS, National Director, Field Medical Science, Ashfield Engage

Medical Affairs Transformation 2022 and Beyond

Workshop 2

  • What is Field Medical Affairs looking like in 2021 and beyond?
  • What does the medical affairs organization need to do to adapt to the environment?
  • You will get an opportunity to hear from our field leadership, current team members, and talent acquisition.

Paige Nelson, MSN, FNP, Senior VP, Business Development, Medical Affairs, Syneos Health

Randy Miller, PharmD, VP, Medical Affairs, Syneos Health

Amanda Hohman, Director Talent Acquisition, Syneos Health

Larry Dollar, PharmD, MS, MSL-BC, VP Medical Affairs, Syneos Health

Verena Ottley, BSN, VP Medical Affairs, Syneos Health

Elise Fields, PharmD, MSL, Syneos Health

Josh Yoder, PhD, MSL-BC, Regional MSL Director, Medical Affairs, Syneos Health

Ric Phipps, PharmD, EVP, Global Field Medical Affairs, Syneos Health


Skills Set for the Future MSL

Workshop 3

  • Explore the collection of insights in a digital and evolving environment.
  • Discuss and identify deficient areas and inform meaningful strategy.
  • Brainstorm on how to better optimize the MSL role with additional capabilities and technologies.

Jihad (JR) Rizkallah, MD, MSL-BC, Director MSL, Sunovion Pharmaceuticals

Field Medical Affairs: Setting Yourself up for the Future

Workshop 4

  • Explore current needs for new skill sets and training.
  • Discuss key challenges in technology and communication.
  • How do we bridge the gaps in cross-functional collaboration?
  • Exchange thoughts on how we are recruiting for and nurturing the right skill sets.

Madleine Makori, PharmD, Senior MSL, Big Health

Developing and Utilizing Networking Skills With Emotional Intelligence

Workshop 5

  • Maximizing your attendance and making an impact with your first “HELLO”
  • Identifying YOUR strategic objectives and growing your brand by developing advocates.
  • Demonstrating your VALUE by driving successful professional and social conversations.

Cynthia Nwachukwu, PhD, MSEM, MSBE,  MSL, Sanofi Genzyme

2:30 pm – 3:15 pm

Networking Break & Exhibitor Interacting

3:15 pm – 4:15 pm

Navigating a New Set of Stakeholders - Diversity of Insights in Medical Affairs

Workshop 6

  • Understanding the need for diversity of thought and experience in KOL engagement strategy.
  • How thinking about diversity differently, can yield better results for MSLs.
  • Discussing methods of identifying and strategically engaging these groups.

Stacey Rivkin, Vice President, Client Solutions / Strategy, H1

Kirstan Summers, Director, Client Solutions & Strategy, H1

The Art of Status Alignment when Developing KOL Relationships


  • Be able to define the full spectrum of peer-to-peer relationships with KOLs.
  • Identify required professional courtesies when engaging KOLs.
  • Understand the line between being respectful of professional status and establishing yourself as a qualified peer when engaging KOLs.

Linda Traylor, PhD, VP, Clinical Development & Medical Affairs, Biodesix

From the Military to Medical Affairs: Risk Assessment and Mitigation

Workshop 8

  • We all concern ourselves with risk as it relates to external compliance, but have you thought of how risk applies internally?
  • This can be more insidious and pervasive, tearing down teams and companies along the way.
  • This talk will help to apply learnings from military General McChrystal and his book “Risk: A User’s Guide.”
  • In this interactive workshop, we will explore how to view risk management and strategies to mitigate unnecessary risk.
  • You will be able to walk away from this with a tool to analyze a variety of situations we deal with a daily basis in medical affairs.

Alyson Evans, DNP, MBA-HM, MLS, ACNS-BC, RN, MSL-BC, Associate Director, MSL, Biohaven Pharmaceuticals

Emotional Intelligence for Medical Affairs in the Post Pandemic World


  • Explore ways of improving your social skills for greater stakeholder engagement.
  • Learn how to foster collaboration while using virtual platforms.
  • Developing resilience and uncovering ways to innovate the medical affairs role.

Douglas M. Yau, PhD, MBA, CMD, National Director of MSLs, Sanofi Genzyme

Being an MSL for Managed Care Organizations: The other KOL.

Workshop 10

  • Basic overview of Managed Care Organizations, their purpose, their agenda, and where an MSL fits into it.
  • What’s different when you present to Managed Care Organizations? What’s the same?
  • Basic concepts that Managed Care Organizations use when evaluating a new therapy.

Jamie Tobitt, PharmD, MSL-BC, Medical Value Liaison, Apellis Pharmaceuticals

4:15 pm – 4:45 pm

Driving KOL Engagement on a Strategic Continuum Using Insights and Outcomes

  • How to create a strategic plan for KOL outreach.
  • The importance of a well-defined insights and outcomes framework.
  • Reporting back on your MSL teams value to the organization.

Manish Sharma, CEO & Co-Founder, TikaMobile

4:45 pm – 5:00 pm

Closing Remarks and End of Day One

5:00 pm – 6:30 pm

Exhibitor Interacting

7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Awards Night Celebration

The Awards Night Celebration will take place at Juniper Ballroom.  Attire is Business, Cocktail, or Formal.

Dec 14th, 2021



8:00 am


8:00 am – 9:00 am

Exhibitor Interacting

9:00 am – 9:15 am

General Session + Welcome and Opening Remarks

9:15 am – 9:45 am

Evolving Medical Affairs and Data Management With Artificial Intelligence

  • How a healthcare-specific, AI-based knowledge graph facilitates better data management and analysis.
  • How the application of AI can reduce costs and allow your team to focus on tasks requiring human intelligence and higher-order thinking.
  • How AI can provide your team with a more integrated, comprehensive view of your market by bringing together all key data sources (clinical trials, conferences, social media, earnings call reports, press releases, etc.).

Sriram Subramanian, MA, CEO & Co-founder, ZoomRx

9:45 am – 10:15 am

Leveraging Scientific Activity Insights to Inform Medical Strategies

  • As the industry continues to evolve the profile of field medical, it must seek out new competencies, technology solutions, and data sources that better support patient-centric outcomes.
  • Field teams are at the forefront of this evolution and newly positioned to rewrite the traditional corporate formula for success.
  • Understanding and analyzing the scientific share of voice of competitive compounds have become increasingly critical when evolving engagement strategies.
  • These highly specific insights create a foundation for continuous improvements and opportunities to act with greater focus.
  • These efforts allow teams to accurately benchmark external relations and inform strategic engagement.

Robert Groebel, VP Global Strategy, Definitive Healthcare

10:15 am – 10:45 am

How to “Sell”, When You’re Not Allowed To; A Realistic Conversation About Strategic Thinking and Scientific Exchange

  • Framing a scientific foundation with KOLs.
  • What does it mean to build “advocacy”?
  • How to carry marketing and commercial thought into the scientific discussion.

Stacey Rivkin, Vice President, Client Solutions / Strategy, H1

Samuel Dyer, PhD, CEO, MSL Society 

Linda Traylor, PhD, MSL-BC, VP, Clinical Development & Medical Affairs, Biodesix

Tiama Chaar PhD, MSL-BC, Senior MSL, Exelixis

10:45 am – 11:30 am

Networking Break & Exhibitor Interacting

11:30 am – 12:00 pm

Measuring and optimizing impact with your key thought leaders’

  • Examine the value of measuring scientific impact.
  • Review key metrics to objectively measure scientific engagement and impact.
  • Discuss case studies on measuring and optimizing impact with Share of Scientific Voice.

Allyson Metcaff, Director Business Development, Pharmaspectra

Gabrielle Peterson, Client Services Manager, Pharmaspectra

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Lunch & Exhibitor Interacting

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Best Practices as a Hybrid MSL + Starting 2022 Off Strong

Workshop 11

  • Navigate pearls learned from the pandemic including balancing effective virtual and customer-facing scientific exchange.
  • Share tips for building strong thought-leader relationships in a hybrid world.
  • Optimize planning for a new year including prioritization of territory plans and scheduling collaborative strategy meetings with cross-functional colleagues.

Jessica Hart, PharmD, BCACP, MSL, AstraZeneca


Know your Audience: Engaging with KOLs

Workshop 12

  • How do you know who to talk to? Leverage data-driven strategies to segment and identify KOLs.
  • How do you know you’re successful? Build differentiated engagement and measurement strategies to demonstrate effectiveness.
  • How should you talk to them? Design innovative approaches to identify new influencers, share novel content and build value-driven relationships with a new field of digital opinion leaders.

Brett Balzer, MBA, General Manager, Medical Affairs, Komodo Health

Kunal Ramani, PharmD, Senior Director, Regional Medical Affairs Team – West, Xeris Pharmaceuticals


Live Versus Virtual: It’s All in the Balance

Workshop 13 

  • Exchange thoughts on live, virtual and hybrid MSL engagements moving forward.
  • Explore effective methods for both live and virtual engagements to build strong relationships and prompt in-depth clinical discussions.
  • The New Virtual: Do you know the proper etiquette to ensure a professional image?

Delinda Bane Melvin, APRN, FNP-BC, CDECS Senior Manager, MSL, Fresenius Kabi


Compliance Update: Implications of Recent OIG Industry Speaker Program Concerns

Workshop 14 

  • Review OIG compliance concerns related to industry speaker programs.
  • Review key aspects of the published MSL Activities Guidelines.
  • Share additional areas of expanded concern that may impact Medical Affairs.
  • Consider implications of recent OIG enforcement areas on Medical Affairs efforts.

Cherie Hyder, PharmD, MSL-BC, Associate Director, MSL, Biohaven Pharmaceuticals


What It’s Like to Be an MSL in a Medical Device Company

Workshop 15 

  • Difference between pharma MSLs and medical device MSLs.
  • My personal journey to become an MSL for a medical device company.
  • What will help to get hired into a medical device company.

David R. Tanouye, OD, MSL, Alcon

2:00 pm – 2:45 pm

Networking Break & Exhibitor Interacting

2:45 pm – 3:45 pm

The Importance of Emotional Intelligence in the Field Medical Affairs

Workshop 16 

  • Awareness of Different Color Personalities.
  • Illustrate the use of emotional intelligence in the interviewing process.
  • Creating and Working with the Diverse Emotionally Intelligence Team.

Sasha Bogdanovich, MD, PhD, MBA, MSL-BC, Associate Medical Director, Atara Biotherapeutics


Up in the Air: Travel Tips and Tricks During the COVID Era

Workshop 17 

• Deciding when to travel during COVID
• Maximizing efficiency on the road
• Self-care while traveling
• Tips to maximize travel rewards
• Packing/traveling tips including useful apps

Christiane Carney, PhD, MSL Regional Leader,  Taiho Oncology

Building NEW KOL Relationships in a Virtual Environment

Workshop 18

  • Preparing for the virtual engagement.
  • Tactics to promote interactive virtual engagements.
  • Key MSL skills to drive participation.

Lynell D’Sylva, BSN, RN, Associate Director, MSL, American Regent


Impactful Approaches to Drive MSL Engagement and Retention

Workshop 19

  • Discuss impactful ways to engage your MSL team and minimize attrition.
  • Explore approaches that create an MSL experience that drives active engagement.
  • Understand what data can inform your tactics deployed to drive optimal MSL engagement.

Elizabeth Kupferer, PhD, WHNP-BC, National Director, Women’s Health, AbbVie

Randy Miller PharmD, VP, Medical Affairs, Syneos Health

Amands Hohman, Director, US Teams & Account Management, Syneos Health

Nadeem Khan, MD, Field Medical Director, Syneos Health

Techniques for Breaking into the MSL Profession

Workshop 20

  • Methods to prepare for the MSL role
  • Successful approaches for getting noticed
  • Most common mistakes to avoid
  • Standout practices to employ
  • Pulling it all together

Rita Zambelas MSN, MSL-BC, Director, MSL, AVROBIO

Ellen Shannon, PhD, RN, MSL-BC, U.S. Head of Medical Affairs, Valneva

3:45 pm – 5:15 pm

Fun Activity: Build-a-Bike

This high-energy event will have you laughing and cheering on your team as you race to build bicycles for local children in the community while improving your teamwork and communication skills. 

5:15 pm – 5:30 pm

General Session + Closing Remarks and End of Day Two