Justin is the Director of External Affairs at OpenBiome, overseeing all outward facing
communications, including to researchers, clinicians, patients, media, and the general
Before joining OpenBiome, Justin completed a PhD in the MIT Department of Biology in
2018 where he used frog embryos to model human face development. At OpenBiome,
Justin is excited to be combining his passions for science and communication, and to be
part of a team accelerating microbiome research to improve heath for all.
Michael is an Executive Director leading Digital Health within the Business Development Innovative Technologies function at Bristol Myers Squibb. Michael is responsible for evaluation and execution of Business Development investments and transactions in support of Digital Innovation priorities at BMS.
During his 28 years at Bristol Myers Squibb, Michael has worked across Europe, Asia Pacific and the US in a variety of roles leading and developing high performing, diverse teams, while growing his responsibility and knowledge of the Biopharmaceutical Industry.
Prior to his current role, Michael had responsibility for Alliance Management with a specific focus on late-stage partnerships including: clinical collaborations, translational medicine and diagnostics partnerships, digital partnerships as well as commercial alliances.
Michael has also held roles at BMS responsible for oversight of IT, Infrastructure, and adjacent services in support of Business Development priorities (M&A, divestitures, strategic alliances, collaborations and licensing) at Bristol Myers Squibb. This involved the full spectrum of the deal lifecycle from pre-deal diligence, operational and synergy reviews, ‘Day-1’ planning and post-deal implementation support.
In addition to his IT/Corporate Services experience in supporting Business Development, Michael has supported Manufacturing Operations Globally, Product & Process Development, Engineering & Quality functions.
Michael began his career in Ireland as Chemist with Bristol Myers Squibb in 1994, after completing his Bachelor of Science Degree in Industrial Chemistry and Business Administration postgraduate studies. Michael currently resides in Princeton, NJ.
Sophie M. Balzora MD, FACG, is a Clinical Associate Professor at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine. Dr. Balzora has focused her academic efforts on improving physician engagement and enhancing the patient experience through objective structured clinical exams (OSCEs).
As Chair of ACG’s Public Relations Committee, Dr. Balzora’s primary goal is to disseminate the College’s message of the importance of colorectal cancer awareness to the general public and arm its members with tools to do the same. She is a member and incoming Vice Chair of ACG’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, and co-founder of ACG’s #DiversityinGI Social Media Campaign. In October 2020, her work in the College has been recognized with the ACG President’s Special Recognition Award.
Dr. Balzora serves on the Patient Education Sub-Committee of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation (CCF)’s National Scientific Advisory Committee, the social media team of the CCF’s Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Journal, and as a member of Fight CRC’s Health Equity Committee. She has also recently been accepted into the inaugural cohort of the Office of Diversity Affairs’ Faculty Leadership Development Program through the NYU Langone Academy.
Dr. Wyborski received his B.S. (Chemistry) from the University of Notre Dame and his doctorate (Biochemistry) from Indiana University (Bloomington). He completed a postdoctoral fellowship focused on neuronal gene expression in the lab of Dr. David Gottlieb in the Department of Neuroscience at Washington University at St. Louis School of Medicine.
Dr. Wyborski is currently the Director of IBD Ventures Investments at the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation where he oversees a growing portfolio of therapeutics, devices, diagnostics, and digital health applications focused on improving IBD patients’ lives. He began his drug development career at Pfizer where he conducted preclinical research in the therapeutic areas of neuroscience, cardiovascular, and inflammation. He led discovery programs in neurotrophic factors, nuclear receptors, and kinases. After his time at Pfizer, he led a research group in the consumer product field by developing products for skin care. Prior to coming to the Foundation, Russ was a Director of Technical Operations at BioMotiv, a start-up company which functioned as a Drug Development Accelerator in Cleveland, OH. In this role, he conducted technical diligence on potential new investments while leading a company (Koutif Therapeutics) through IND filing for an inhibitor of an E3 Ligase for Crohn’s Disease. He has consulted for several academic technology transfer offices at institutions such as the University of Pittsburgh, Cleveland Clinic, Case Western Reserve University and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. He is passionate about accelerating the development of novel therapeutics for patient’s unmet needs.
Tina Aswani-Omprakash is an award-winning Crohn’s advocate and patient leader based out of New York City. Tina maintains a blog and advocacy platform called Own Your Crohn’s (https://ownyourcrohns.com) and co-founded South Asian IBD Alliance (SAIA) (https://www.southasianibd.org/) to form a patient-clinician led non-profit initiative in order to minimize disparities and improve education in the growing South Asian IBD population.
Tina’s overarching aim is to normalize the rhetoric around chronic illnesses and disabilities in order to help diverse groups of patients own their ailments to live fuller, happier lives. Via her writing, lobbying, social media advocacy and speaking engagements, she spearheads public health causes, including those proposing research for and creating awareness for IBD, life-saving ostomy surgery, fistulizing disease and initiatives supporting health equity for women and racial & ethnic minorities.
Tina is pursuing her Master’s degree in Public Health at Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine and will be graduating in 2023. Additionally, she has spoken at many premier GI conferences worldwide and has co-authored several research papers in prominent journals (JAMA, Gastroenterology, Crohn’s & Colitis 360), a guidebook on IBD care and a series of websites on Crohn’s-related ostomy surgery. Tina does consulting work as a patient advisor for non-profits, clinical research organizations as well as ostomy manufacturers, in addition to pharmaceutical and digital health companies. Her aim is to help companies recognize disparities and unmet needs in minority health populations.
Tina has been featured in The New York Times, on the cover of American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) Magazine and in Gastroenterology & Endoscopy News as well as Health Magazine for her trailblazing advocacy work. The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation recognized Tina in 2021 for her phenomenal leadership and powerful impact on the IBD community with the Above & Beyond Volunteer Award. Tina’s blog was also recognized as a 2020 Best Blog by Healthline and she was awarded the 2019 Healio Gastroenterology Disruptive Innovator Award by ACG for moving the needle on GI care for patients.
Tim has 30 years of pharmaceutical and healthcare experience with a diverse background in sales, global and US marketing, commercial operations, strategic planning, and business development. Most recently, Tim was Chief Business Officer at Aprecia Pharmaceuticals, the leader in 3-D printing of pharmaceutical drug products. Prior, Tim helped build Takeda Pharmaceuticals, starting with the company in 1999. He took on increasing roles of responsibility, including leading the US Sales Managed Markets, Marketing, and BD teams. Tim has extensive experience bringing GI drugs to market including Amitiza, Prevacid, Dexilant, and Entyvio