2016 Bioscience Speaker Information

Fink Bioscience Symposium Speakers

 George W. Carmany III ’62
George W. Carmany III
50 Congress Street
Suite 936
Boston, Mass. 02109
Tel: 617/542-5918

George Carmany is a graduate of Amherst College, is a director of the Macquarie Infrastructure Company, New York, NY; and is a senior advisor to Brown Brothers Harriman and Company; Essex Woodlands Health Ventures; EnGeneIC Ltd.; a biotechnology company in Sydney, Australia; and The Asia Link Group of Beijing, PRC. He retired as a director of Sun Life Financial, Toronto, Canada, in 2010, and served until 2005 as chairman and CEO of Helicon Therapeutics, a biotechnology company founded by the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Roche Pharmaceuticals and OSI Pharmaceuticals.

Carmany is the past chairman of the New England Medical Center; a member of the President’s Circle of the National Academies; a trustee and member of the Executive Committee of Bentley University; vice president of the Alumni Council of Amherst College; and past chairman of the Board of Associates of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research. He is married to the former Judith Jermain Lawrence, and they are the parents of two children, Bill, of Los Angeles, CA, and Elizabeth of New York.

Carmany, together with Gerald R. Fink '62, are the founders and organizers of the Gerald R. Fink '62 Bioscience Symposium.

 Gerald R. Fink ’62

Gerald R. Fink
Whitehead Institute/MIT
Nine Cambridge Center
Cambridge, Mass. 02142
Tel: 617/258-5215

Gerald R. Fink '62 is a founding member of the Whitehead Institute and the American Cancer Society Professor of Genetics at MIT. He was director of the Whitehead Institute from 1990 to 2001. His research focuses on the molecular biology of yeast and fungal infectious disease. He was the first to describe transformation in fungi—the stable uptake of DNA into the genome of yeast cells. He is past president of the Genetics Society of America. Among his many awards are the National Academy of Sciences Award in Molecular Biology, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Medal of the Genetics Society of America, Emil Christian Hansen Award (Denmark), the Yale Science and Engineering Award, the Yale Wilbur Lucius Cross Medal, the 2001 George Beadle Award and the 2010 Gruber Award in Genetics. Fink has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Institute of Medicine and the American Philosophical Society. Fink has been the founder of two biotechnology companies, Myco Pharmaceuticals and Ironwood Pharmaceuticals.

Fink, together with George Carmany ’62, are the founders and organizers of the Gerald R. Fink ’62 Bioscience Symposium.

Pamela Flood MD, MA
851 Indiana St. #504
San Francisco, CA 94107
Tel: 201/370-3933

Dr. Pamela Flood ’85 majored in biology at Amherst where she was turned on to the wonders of Neurobiology by her thesis adviser, Dr. Steven George. She graduated from Columbia Medical School in 1990, completed her residency in anesthesiology in 1994, and in 1996 earned a Master’s degree in neuroscience and completed a clinical fellowship in obstetric anesthesiology. In June 2016, on the 20th anniversary of her first fellowship, she will complete another fellowship in pain medicine at Stanford where she is currently professor of anesthesiology, perioperative and pain medicine. She splits her time between clinical pain medicine, obstetric anesthesia, and research in pain management, particularly related to women’s health. She writes: “Many of my colleagues think I am crazy to do another training program at my great old age, particularly one that requires another board exam. Frankly, I am finding it to be a blast. A steep learning curve is invigorating…” She learned from Dr. George the importance of mentorship which has been an important and rewarding part of her career.

She is married to Steven Shafer, MD, also an anesthesiologist and has two children and two step-children.

Minjee Kim
Tel: 206/909-8755

Minjee Kim ’17 is a junior from Seattle majoring in biochemistry and biophysics. She is a pre-med student, and is currently exploring going into MD/PhD as well. She is interested in biomedical research and has worked in various labs during her summers, including experience last summer at the Whitehead Institute doing breast cancer research in the Gupta Lab. She was also a Michael Kauffman Fellow biomedical research recipient for 2015. She also has been working in Professor Jaswal’s lab here at Amherst College. Currently, she is the co-president of the Amherst College Public Health Collaborative, and the vice president of Amherst’s Association of Women in Science. She is also a big sister in the Big Brother Big Sister program and a chemistry teaching assistant. She has been a peer mentor for two years in the pre-health peer mentor program here at Amherst.


Barbara J. McNeil
2016 Bioscience Speaker Information
Barbara McNeil MD
Department of Healthcare Policy
Harvard Medical School

Dr. McNeil is the Ridley Watts Professor and the founding head of the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School in 1988. She is also a professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School and at Brigham and Women's Hospital. She was interim dean of Harvard Medical School in summer, 2007.

Dr. McNeil received her A.B. degree from Emmanuel College, her M.D. from Harvard Medical School, and her Ph.D. from Harvard University. She is a member of the National Academy of Medicine (formerly Institute of Medicine) as well as of the Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board (NRSB), both of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). She is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and is a member of the Board of Governors of the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).

Dr. McNeil is also a member of the Blue Cross Technology Evaluation Commission; she formerly chaired the Medicare Evidence Development Coverage Advisory Committee (MedCAC). She is a member of the Board of Directors of Edwards Lifesciences (EW), Irvine CA. She also serves as an advisor for several other federal and private organizations. 

Dr. McNeil’s research interests span work in decision analysis, technology assessment, quality of care and cost-effectiveness analysis.  

Cuthbert Simpkins II MD
3060  Nottingham Drive
Shreveport, Louisiana 71115
Tel: 318/771-1294

Dr. Cuthbert O. Simpkins, II ’69 majored in chemistry at Amherst. He is a physician, biographer and inventor, best known for his work on shock and violence prevention, and for his 1975 biography of the jazz musician John Coltrane. He completed his surgical training in 1980 at St. Luke's Hospital in New York City and Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn. After his surgical training he did research fellowships at the Boston University School of Medicine and the Naval Medical Research Institute in Bethesda, Maryland.

In 1993, he designed and established the Violence Intervention Program (VIP) which continues at the R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, Maryland. He returned to his hometown, Shreveport, Louisiana in 2004 as the chief of trauma and surgical critical care at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center. While at LSU his leadership resulted in the restoration of the institution’s certification by the American College of Surgeons as an adult level one trauma center and the granting of a new designation to LSU Health Sciences Center as a pediatric level one-trauma center.

On November 22, 2011 Simpkins was granted his first patent. Vivacelle, is designed to safely restore the intravascular volume and to reduce the effect of toxic mediators that are produced after blood loss, burns, massive infection or neurological injury. In 2013 he and his wife Diane Simpkins, founded Vivacelle Bio, a biotechnology start up that is focused on commercialization of Vivacelle and derivative products. Currently, he has six US patents and numerous patents in other countries and jurisdictions. 

Harold E. Varmus, '61
2016 Bioscience Speaker Information
Harold Varmus MD

Harold Varmus, M.D., co-recipient of the Nobel Prize for studies of the genetic basis of cancer, has been the Lewis Thomas University Professor of Medicine at the Meyer Cancer Center of Weill Cornell Medicine since April, 2015. Previously, Dr. Varmus was the director of the National Cancer Institute for five years, the president of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center for 10 years, and the director of the National Institutes of Health for six years. A graduate of Amherst College and Harvard University in English literature and Columbia University in Medicine, he trained at Columbia University Medical Center, the National Institutes of Health, and the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), before becoming a member of the UCSF basic science faculty for over two decades. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine and is involved in several initiatives to promote science and health in developing countries. The author of over 350 scientific papers and five books, including a memoir titled "The Art and Politics of Science", he was a co-chair of President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, a co-founder and Chairman of the Board of the Public Library of Science, and chair of the Scientific Board of the Gates Foundation Grand Challenges in Global Health. His memoir is available online.