The Importance of Diversity & Equal Opportunities in a Healthy R&D Environment: Diversity & Inclusion in Clinical Trials

2 June 2022 Webinar

2 June 2022


14:00-15:30 CET






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A patient-centric approach to pharmaceutical research and development must account for the impact new therapies can bring to all patients, especially those in underserved communities.

How can the R&D-based biopharmaceutical industry strive for innovations that serve those who need them the most?

Randomized clinical trials (RCTs) remain an essential tool in assessing a new therapy’s safety and efficacy. However, RCTs intrinsic limitations have to be acknowledged and actively mitigated. Lack of diversity in clinical trials has been identified as a multifaceted issue that requires holistic approaches from beginning to end of a product’s lifecycle. Furthermore, research on diseases that affect fragile communities, commonly addressed as “neglected diseases of poverty,” is challenging due to a general lack of awareness and health care services often being unequipped to diagnose and gather data on the issue. Young people are committed to address these issues as the frameworks used for research and innovation today will directly impact access to safe and effective therapies tomorrow.

In this HYPER-IFPMA session, panellists will explore different solutions to this problem, such as the use of innovative digital tools that can improve trial design, management, and patient and site selection.

This event is moderated by Maurice Hameleers, Global Program Manager, UCB. Speakers include:

  • Keith Dawson, Principal Science Leader, Global Health Equity and Population Science, PD Portfolio Strategy; Execution (PD-PSE), Genentech, A Member of the Roche Group
  • Mary Nwokedi, Director of Diversity in Clinical Trials, PhRMA
  • Dr Frances-Catherine Quevenco, Executive Committee Member, Women’s Brain Project.

Event recording


Maurice Hameleers Moderator; Global Program Manager, UCB

Maurice is a project manager at UCB. He works on rare diseases and coordinates the global team to bring an innovative product to patients in two rare neuro-immunological indications.

Maurice joined UCB in 2018 and previously worked on policy and external engagement in immunology and muskoskeletal diseases.

Maurice holds a business degree from the Erasmus School of Management and an EU politics degree from the KU Leuven.

Outside of work, he can be found on the squash court or in the garden, upcycling an old cabinet to a new coffee table.

Keith Dawson Principal Science Leader, Global Health Equity and Population Science, PD Portfolio Strategy; Execution (PD-PSE), Genentech, A Member of the Roche Group

Keith Dawson is a Principal Science Leader in Global Health Equity and Population Science, Pharma Development (PD) Portfolio Strategy; Execution (PD-PSE) at Roche/Genentech. Keith leads Clinical Development & Medical Evidence Generation strategy to broaden population specific insights and evidence generation across the drug development lifecycle for Roche.

Keith joined Genentech in 2004 and has held positions of increasing responsibility in PD Clinical Operations, gRED Oncology Clinical Science, and United States Medical Affairs (USMA). Keith holds a Doctorate in Nursing Practice from the University of San Francisco, an MS in Nursing from Georgetown University, and a BS in Nursing from the University of Pittsburgh.

Mary Nwokedi Director of Diversity in Clinical Trials, PhRMA

Mary is a Director at PhRMA, the largest pharmaceutical trade organization globally, leading their Diversity in Clinical Trials Initiative. Mary joined PhRMA in 2021 and previously completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Eli Lilly in US and International Regulatory Policy and Strategy and Merck working in Global Oncology Labeling.

Mary holds a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Howard University (Washington D.C.) and a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biology from Allegheny College (Meadville, PA). Mary Is an avid runner and a amature gardener, who enjoys live music and visiting many of the free museums in D.C.

Dr Frances-Catherine Quevenco Executive Committee Member, Women's Brain Project

Dr. Frances-Catherine Quevenco is an accomplished neuroscientist with a passion for enabling dementia patients to access timely and accurate diagnoses. She completed her studies in University College
and Imperial College London before joining the National University of Singapore as a Cognitive Neuroscientist. After 2 years of research at NUS, she joined Prof. Roger Nitsch’s group at the University of Zurich.

She has since then broadened her field of expertise, working as an International Medical Manager at Roche for Alzheimer‘s disease and is committed to educating and establishing the value of a timely biomarker-based diagnosis in Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological diseases.