Event Schedule


Tuesday, Sept 3rd, 2019

2:00 pm – 4:30 pm


3:00 pm – 4:30 pm

Pre-conference Workshops

Stream 1

MSL Workshop: Hit the Ground Running

  • Identify the core value added as an MSL for your organization 
  • Develop productive relationships with your managers and key stakeholders
  • Execute the key objectives through managing your time, travel and interaction

Yishan Chuang, PhD, Director, Scientific & Medical Affairs – Biodesix

Christiane Carney, PhD, Medical Science Liaison II – Bayer


Stream 2

 Aspiring MSLs Workshop: How to Maximize Your Attendance and Make a Great First Impression

  • Do’s and Don’ts of making a great first impression when engaging with MSLs and managers
  • Networking through the conference and beyond

Samuel Dyer, PhD, CEO – MSL Society

Tiama Chaar, PhD, MS, Sr. MSL – AAA, a Novartis Company

Stream 3

MSL Manager Workshop: Managing the Virtual Field-Based Teams: The Highs and Lows of Communication and Difficult Conversations

  • Improving communication with virtual teams  Tips fr facilitating team and individual virtual meetings to 
  • Tips for facilitating team and individual virtual meetings to improve chemistry
  • Navigating challenging topics virtually to get to a positive outcome

Larry Dollar, PharmD, MS, VP of Medical Affairs – Syneos Health


6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Welcome Reception

Tao, Opium Lounge

Day 1

Wednesday, Sept 4th, 2019

8:00 am – 9:00 am


9:00 am – 9:15 am

“Did I get it?” An Activity in Communication

  • Choose victims… 
  • Watch closely 
  • Have Fun!

Samuel Dyer, PhD, CEO – MSL Society


9:15 am – 9:45 am

Welcome and Opening Remarks

  • Updates/ Accomplishments of the Society   
  • Building a community   
  • Upcoming events 
  • Advisory Committee 
  • Introduction of Sponsors

Samuel Dyer, PhD, CEO – MSL Society



9:45 am – 10:15 am


A Patient Success Story and the Impact of Medical Affairs

  • Enhance your understanding of what it is truly like to have a chronic condition such as Parkinson’s disease
  • Obtain a better understanding of how critical your role is in the managing of chronic conditions and instilling hope that a cure will be found  
  • Know how much each of your, often behind the scenes, efforts are appreciated

John Baumann, Inspirational Patient Speaker – Decide Success, LLC


10:15 am – 10:45 am

Global Field Excellence

  • What are they and why set up a center of excellence? 
  • Key success factors and challenges in the implementation of a center 
  • Best practices and the importance of a center moving forward

Ralph Rewers, PharmD, US Head of Medical Affairs – AbbVie


10:45 am – 11:30 am

Networking Break

11:30 am – 12:30 pm

The Great Debate: Current Topics and Career Discussions that Matter

  • A live point-counterpoint session with some of the industry’s top leaders
  • Focused on MSL best practices and career decisions
  • 90 Seconds on the clock, you get to vote for the winner in each round!

Arthur Chan, PhD, MBA, Head of MSL Capabilities – Novartis

Doug Yau, PhD, MBA , Director, Oncology Medical Affairs – Sanofi Genzyme

Larry Dollar, PharmD, MS, VP of Medical Affairs – Syneos Health

Cherie Hyder, PharmD, Field Medical Director – Biohaven Pharmaceuticals

Ellen Shannon, PhD, RN, US Head of Medical Affairs – Valneva

Mike Abbadessa, PharmD, Executive Account Manager – rMark Bio, Inc.

Davida White, MD,  Head, Medical Excellence & Education – Indivior

Kevin Voelker, PhD, Director, Field Medical Capabilities – Novartis

Ralph Rewers, PharmD, US Head of Medical Affairs – AbbVie

Victor Sastre, MS, Sr. MSL – Amgen

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

12:30 pm – 1:30 pm


1:30 pm – 3:00 pm


Stream 1

How Artificial Intelligence Can Optimize the Scientific Engagement Process

  • Planning and cultivating scientific exchange using artificial intelligence  
  • Capturing strategic insights for real-time results across the Medical Affairs  ecosystem  
  • Measuring the impact of field medical value through outcome indicators

Jason Smith, MS, CEO & Co-founder- rMark Bio, Inc

Mike Abbadessa, PharmD, Executive Account Manager – rMark Bio, Inc

Ryan McClellan, PharmD, SHIMSSDirector Field Medical Excellence – Takeda Pharmaceuticals

Stream 2

Urgent Care for MSLs: Drop-in Clinic

  • Everything you ever wanted to know but were afraid to ask  
  • Are there topics you always wanted to ask advice on but haven’t?  
  • Have you ever been out in the field and needed to consult with someone or had a question?

Rita Zambelas, MSN, Associate Director, Pompe Program, Clinical Science Liaison– Amicus Therapeutics

Ellen Shannon, PhD, RN US Head of Medical Affairs – Valneva

Stream  3

Change Management: Maintaining your Cool and Productivity in the midst of Continual Change

  • Understand Change Management as it pertains to the MSL role
  • Critical role of managing yourself through change
  • Opportunities in continual change

Anne VanBuskirk, PhD, MBA, Exec MSL, Associate Director, US Medical Affairs – Takeda Oncology

Larry Dollar, PharmD, MS, VP of Medical Affairs – Syneos Health

Stream 4

Are you Brave Enough to Lead?

  • It starts with you: Because who we are is how we lead
  • It continues with others: Because courage is contagious
  • And it circles back to you: Because great leaders create leaders, not followers

Danielle Imbeault, RN, CEO – Panacea

Stream 5

Continued Success for Seasoned MSLs

  • List, discuss, and describe the characteristics of the MSL retention  
  • What has worked and what hasn’t worked during this time?  
  • Discover new strategies and opportunities to improve the motivation of seasoned MSLs

Victor Sastre, MS, Sr. MSL – Amgen

Stream 6

Out On a Deserted Island?  How to Become More Engaged as a Field-Based Employee

  • Explore the differing challenges and needs of field-based and office-based teams
  • Participate in fun and effective engagement activities
  • Discover ways to enhance culture and increase engagement in the workplace

Heather Seashore, PharmD, Sr. MSL – Janssen Scientific Affairs, LLC

Stream 7

Aspiring MSL Stream: How to Address Your Lack of Experience in the MSL Role

  • Defining “MSL”experience and developing your story 
  • Outlining key universal and transferable skills – communication, scientific exchange, KOL engagement
  • Success stories that align with the MSL role 

Linda Traylor, PhD, Vice President, Clinical Development & Medical Affairs – Biodesix


What Makes an Aspiring MSL Successful

  • Understand your personal goals ( why do you want to be an MSL?)
  • Create a plan for becoming an even better MSL candidate that managers want to hire   
  • How to strategically grow your network and make use of all your resources

Kerstin Pohl, PhD, Manager of Medical Affairs – Biodesix


3:00 pm – 3:45 pm

Networking Break

 3:45 pm – 5:15 pm



Stream 1

Fostering Ethical Interactions  Beyond Compliance Training

  • List, describe and discuss the basic principles of healthcare Ethics
  • Through team-based scenarios, apply Ethics principles and guidelines to the MSL role and KOL relationship development.
  • Discuss how MSLs can commit themselves to high ethical standards, elevating credibility with KOLs, while maintaining customer-focus and patient-centricity

Cherie Hyder, PharmD,  Field Medical Director- Biohaven Pharmaceuticals

Mitch D’Rozario, PhD, MSL – Genentech/ Roche

Stream 2

Insight Creation

  • Describe how insights align medical strategy with stakeholder needs 
  • Describe the process for identifying sources of insight and managing an insight process
  • Discuss opportunities and obstacles   to improving insight creation in your organization

Tony Page, MBA, CEO – Voxx

Josh Yoder, PhD, MSL – uniQure

Stream 3

How Social Media is Super Charging Our Medical Affairs Team 

  • Understand the new ways of KOLs engaging with social media in 2019
  • Learn how MSLs can efficiently monitor social media using time saving tools
  • Discuss the future of social media in Medical Affairs

Ryan Carstens, PhD, Associate Director of Training, Operations, & Strategic Projects Sanofi Genzyme

Stream 4

The Value of HEOR in Medical Affairs: A Health Outcomes Liaison Perspective 

  • Describe the similarities/differences between and HOL/MSL(i.e. roles, customers, impact to company etc.)
  • Have a high- level understanding of the Payer landscape/customer segment
  • Convey potential career development pathways to becoming a HOL
  • Debate whether HOLs, MSLs or both are needed within an organization

    Mahesh Tawney, PharmD, Associate Director-Medical Outcomes Science Liaison – Alnylam Pharmaceuticals


Stream 5

Metrics: Quantitative and Qualitative Measurements for MSL Performance

  • Understanding MSL competencies and performance. Do we know how to measure this
  • Current metrics or KPIs for MSL performance. What does and doesn’t that say about our role?
  • Combining quantitative and qualitative metrics that best represents MSL performance. What should this look like?

Cristina Arce, PharmD, MSL – Amgen

Stream 6

Effective Networking

  • Build your “Elevator Pitch”
  • Step out of your comfort zone
  • Speak with authenticity and kindness

Prashant Desai, PharmD, RPh, Sr. MSL – AbbVie

Stream 7

Aspiring MSL Stream: Understanding the Medical Science Liaison Role

  • Define what the role is and how it fits into the pharmaceutical landscape 
  • Review the qualifications and attributes needed to be a successful MSL 
  • Describe the role throughout the product lifecycle and how MSLs influence patient care

Davida White, MD, Head, Medical Excellence and Education – Indivior

Understanding a Hiring Manager’s Perspective

  • Highlight the roles and responsibilities of an MSL.
  • Explain the characteristics of a good MSL candidate
  • Examine the elements of an MSL job posting
  • Explore a hiring manager’s perspective of the phone interview and live interview
  • Discuss tips for successfully addressing interview topics.

Doug Yau, PhD, MBA, Director, Oncology Field Medical Affairs – Sanofi Genzyme


5:15 pm – 5:30 pm

Closing Remarks

Samuel Dyer, Phd, CEO- MSL Society

7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Awards Night Ceremony – MSL of the Year Awards

The MSL Society is proud to be recognizing excellence within the MSL profession during our 7th Annual Conference.  During the Awards Night Celebration, on September 4th at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, we will honor the finalists and as well as the winner of each category. 

We will have awards in 6 categories: MSL of The Year (US) MSL of The Year (outside the US) MSL Rookie of The Year (US) MSL Rookie of The Year (outside the US) MSL Manager of The Year (US) MSL Manager of The Year (outside the US)

Day 2

Thursday, Sept 5th, 2019

9:00 am – 9:15 am

Welcome to Day 2!

Samuel Dyer, PhD, CEO – MSL Society


9:15 am – 9:45 am


Create Value for the MSL Organization

  • Build an organizational structure that enhances the value of  Field Medical Affairs
  • Use technology to upgrade talent and their resources 
  • Use technology as an insight generation tool and as a way to highlight the value of the Medical organization to our internal and external customers

Ravi Tayi, MD, MPH, CMO, Head of Medical Affairs – Ferring Pharmaceuticals


9:45 am – 10:15 am


Examine the Evolving Interpretation of Value and the Role Of MSLs in the Medical Affairs Strategy

  • Examine KPIs for the role of the MSL and how to communicate that value to senior leaders
  • Develop measurements that capture the value that MSLs bring to an organization

Martin Marciniak, RPh, MPP, PhD, Vice President, US Medical Affairs – GSK


10:15 am – 10:45 am


PANEL – An Interactive Panel Discussion on Mentoring: Uncovering the Future of You!

  • Negotiating Expectations and Goals
  • Establishing the Relationship
  • Developing Needs/ Knowledge Aquisition
  • Career Development
  • Sustaining the Relationship

Anne VanBuskirk, PhD, MBA, Exec. MSL Associate Director, US Medical Affairs – Takeda 

Mahesh Tawney, PharmD, Associate Director – Medical Outcomes Science Liaison – Alnylam Pharmaceuticals 

Christian Buettner, PharmD, MBA, MSL – CSL Behring  

Luchy Hidalgo, MD, MSL – Hansa Medical   

Liliana Janes, MD, MBA, MSL – Aerie Pharmaceuticals   

Deepak Kilpadi, PhD, MSL – KCI an Acelity Company 

Takara Scott, PhD, MSL – Ferring Pharmaceuticals 


10:45 am – 11:30 am

Networking Break

11:30 am – 12:00 pm

New and Innovative Ways to Think About Key Opinion Leader Engagement for the 21st Century

  • The evolution of KOL identification over the past decade  
  • Figure out how to find all of the experts you should engage with  
  • Walk away with the knowledge and tools to success when identifying experts

Ariel Katz, Co-Founder & Partner – H1 Insights

12:15 pm – 1:30 pm


1:30 pm – 3:00 pm


Stream 1

Let’s discuss the Guidelines! What are they and how do we use them?

  • Highlights of first ever global MSL Guidelines will be shared
  • Discuss how guidelines benefit MSL role, structure and understanding of appropriate boundaries
  • Interactive review and analysis of examples where Guidelines have been employed in the first year since Guidelines were published

Cherie Hyder, PharmD, Field Medical Director – Biohaven Pharmaceuticals



Stream 2

Leveraging Emotional Intelligence to Improve Stakeholder Engagements

  • Understanding the five key skills of Emotional Intelligence 
  • Specific Tools for MSLs to Enhance Emotional Intelligence Skills
  • Role of Emotional Intelligence in Stakeholder Engagement

Doug Yau, PhD, MBA, Director, Oncology Field Medical Affairs – Sanofi Genzyme



Stream 3

Effectively working  with Commercial Colleagues

  • Understand the current laws regarding medical and commercial interactions
  • Understand the current Pharma Guidelines regarding these interactions
  • Discuss decision-making strategies for cross-functional interactions

Alyson Evans, DNP, MBAHM, MSL – Sun Pharma

Stream 4

Finding Your Strengths

  • What are your strengths? Focus on what you have-not what you don’t have!
  • How do my strengths apply to my daily life? My work?  My team?
  • What strengths does your team have and how does that help you?

Joan Hester, MS, Interim MSL Team Leader- Alimera Sciences

Stream 5

The Power of Insights

  • Insights, what do you mean? Defining a common understanding, a communication format and a review process
  • Information is power: from Insight collection to Intelligence optimization, is there a need for a tool?
  • Cross-functionality and Insights: putting Medical in the driver seat
  • Looping back and rewarding a hero: maintaining a virtuous cycle with the MSL

Sami Ali, MD MBA, Former Sr. Director Global Field Medical Excellence – Novartis

Stream 6

How to Achieve Effective Medical Communication and Optimize Field Force: A Revolutionary Approach to for KOL Mapping

  • Circulate medical messaging from KOLs among the KOL network during pre-launch to ensure it percolates to the next tier including community opinion leaders (COLs) and local healthcare practitioners (HCPs)
  • Gain an overview of the “Pyramid of communication” concept that increases participants’ understanding of how information flows among HCPs from all tiers, and how pharma can leverage this information to achieve a successful product launch
  • Learn how this concept helps medical and commercial teams work together prior to launch, not only to achieve effective medical communications but also to later optimize the field sales force

Badal Shah, B.Pharm, MBS (MS + MBA), Managing Director – KOL, HCP Targeting & Opioid Risk –QPharma

Stream 7

Aspiring MSL Stream: Learn the 10 Most Common Mistakes Candidates Make

  • Have you ever wondered why after a seemingly successful phone interview, you received no further contact from a prospective company 
  • Are there common pitfalls that MSL candidates should avoid? 
  • How can I strengthen my phone and in-person interview chances?

Ellen Shannon, PhD, RN, US Head of Medical Affairs – Valneva


Breaking into Your First MSL Role: Insights From a New MSL

  • The winding road traveled to becoming an MSL: From Clinician to Industry
  • Your first MSL role: is it possible or a mission impossible with out experience
  • Self introspection and how to rebrand yourself
  • Networking : Value of Linkedin and making your brand
  • Keys to success on obtaining your first MSL role

Jonathan Margolin, DPM, MSL II – Organogenesis, Inc.



3:00 pm – 3:45 pm

Networking Break

3:45 pm – 5:15 pm


Stream 1

Successfully Navigating the Medical Device World as an MSL

  • Explore strategic ways to be a successful MSL in an environment where new devices are introduced into the field at a rapid rate
  • Discover how to effectively communicate knowledge about medical device technology, utilization, and data in a clinical setting
  • Interact with and serve as a value added medical resource for KOLs and other key stakeholders

Shelley E. Brown, PhD, MDivMSL – Vericel

Andrew Kocher, MPT, CMPT, MSL – Vericel

Stream 2


Managing Your Time as a Busy MSL

  • Discuss techniques to improve efficiency, increase productivity, and reduce stress 
  • Critically assess higher and lower priority activities to focus on what matters
  • Create a plan for banishing time-wasters

Belinda Gist, PhD, Director, Medical Affairs – Kite, a Gilead Company

Stream 3

Creating Your Own Development Plan

  • Learn the key components of a Professional Development Plan
  • Identify “your vision”  
  • Discuss the implementation of your plan

Ryan McClellan, PharmD, SHIMSS, Director Field Medical Excellence – Takeda Pharmaceuticals

Stream 4

Onboarding: Creating a Successful Start

  • Demonstrate the purpose of quickly integrating new hires into team and company culture
  • Discuss opinions about the role of a mentor during onboarding
  • Explore onboarding plans to help all MSL’s have a successful start in the field

Kevin Voelker, PhDDirector, Field Medical Capabilities – Novartis

Stream 5

The Power of Personal Branding for Field Medical Professionals

  • Discover branding strategies to communicate who you are and what you do
  • Explore Social Media to communicate your brand
  • Identify distribution channels to convey your brand

Susan Malecha, PharmD, MBA, Former Lead, National Managed Care Liaisons U.S. Medical Affairs – Genentech, Inc

Stream 6

Optimizing Your KOL Engagement

  • Defining the role of an MSL and how to bring value to the KOL and their patient population
  • Outline the blueprint of a successful KOL interaction
  • Define a KOL engagement strategy

Davida White, MD, Head, Medical Excellence and Education – Indivior

Stream 7

Aspiring MSL Stream: Navigating the Entire MSL Hiring Process & What Salary to Expect as a New MSL

  • Understand key strategies for successfully navigating the MSL hiring process and receiving an offer
  • Improve and enhance taking steps that will allow for better chances of landing your first MSL gig
  • Manage the salary expectations and total compensation for MSL positions

Cherie Hyder, PharmD, Field Medical DirectorBiohaven Pharmaceuticals


How to Network and Prepare

  • Networking with MSLs and Hiring Managers 
  • Understanding the MSL Role and Company   
  • CV/ Resume Tips

Debra Lycett, PharmD, Senior Director, Field Medical AffairsEpizyme

5:15 pm – 5:30 pm

Closing Remarks

Samuel Dyer, PhD, CEO – MSL Society

Ready to join us?