Leadership Committees

The following people are involved at various levels with the Atlanta BEST program. Leadership spans Emory University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and external organizations and companies. Also, a variety of stakeholders are involved to provide broad perspectives and solutions, ranging from graduate students and faculty to alumni and practicing professionals.  

BEST Executive Committee

Nael McCarty, PhD (Program Director, BEST)
Marcus Professor of Cystic Fibrosis
Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine
Molecular and Systems Pharmacology
Graduate Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Emory University

Cora MacBeth, PhD (Associate Director, BEST)
Assistant Dean, Student Affairs
Laney Graduate School
Professor of Chemistry
Emory University

Wendy Newstetter, PhD
(Associate Director, BEST)
Director, Educational Research and Innovation
Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering
Georgia Tech

Mary DeLong, PhD
Director, Office of Postdoctoral Education
Emory University

Lisa Tedesco, PhD
Dean, Laney Graduate School
Vice Provost for Academic Affairs—Graduate Studies
Professor of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education
Emory University

Keith Wilkinson, PhD
Professor of Biochemistry
Director, Graduate Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Emory University

Tamara Hutto, MSPP (Program Manager, BEST)
Emory University and Georgia Tech

BEST Steering Committee

Career Track Leaders

Atlanta BEST track leaders are engaged in specific career-track mentoring and program development

K. P. Reddy (Track 1, Consulting and Entrepreneurship)
Managing Partner, AMPIRIX; CEO, SoftWear Automation; Past General Manager of
Venture Catalysts, ATDC, Georgia Tech

Cora MacBeth, PhD (BEST Associate Director, Track 2, Communication)
Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, Laney Graduate School; Professor of Chemistry, Emory University

Wendy Newstetter, PhD (BEST Associate Director, Track 3, Education)
Director, Educational Research and Innovation, Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Tech

Pat Marsteller, PhD (Track 3, Education)
Director of the Emory College Center for Science Education; Professor of Practice in Biology, Emory University

Cliff Michaels, PhD (Track 4, Law)
Senior Licensing Associate, Office of Technology Transfer, Emory University

Huw Davies, PhD (Track 5, Lab)
Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Chemistry; Director of Graduate Studies, Chemistry, Emory University

Dan Morton, PhD (Track 5, Lab)
Managing Director, Center for Selective C–H Functionalization, Emory University

Gisele Bennett, PhD (Track 6, Non-Lab)
Regents’ Researcher and Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering; Director of the Electro-Optical Systems Lab, Georgia Tech Research Institute

Julie Gazmararian, PhD, MPH (Track 6, Non-Lab)
Associate Professor; Director of Graduate Studies, Epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University

Nael McCarty, PhD (Director, Track 6, Non-Lab)
Marcus Professor of Cystic Fibrosis; Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, Emory University

Faculty Development

Keith Wilkinson, PhD
Director of the Graduate Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences; Professor of Biochemistry, Emory University

Steve DeWeerth, PhD
Associate Dean for Research and Innovation, College of Engineering, Georgia Tech; Professor in Biomedical Engineering, Emory University

Julia Kubanek, PhD
Professor, School of Biology and School of Chemistry and Biochemistry;
Associate Dean for Research, College of Sciences, Georgia Tech

Leadership Development

Michael Sacks, PhD
Associate Professor in the Practice of Organization and Management; Director, Woodruff Leadership Academy, Emory University

Wes Wynens
Director of the Leadership Education and Development Program for Student Affairs;
Adjunct Professor, School of Public Policy, Georgia Tech

Representatives for Postdocs

Mary DeLong, PhD
Director, Office of Postdoctoral Education, Emory University

Jana Stone, PhD
Director, Office of Postdoctoral Services, Georgia Tech

Representatives for Graduate Students

Lisa Tedesco, PhD
Dean, Laney Graduate School; Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, Emory University

Trainee Representatives

Trainees from the Atlanta BEST program will be selected on a rotating basis

BEST Advisory Committee

  • Kim Davis, PhD, JD: IP Attorney, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
  • Greg Hulburt, PhD: Scientist, Genzyme
  • Chris Gunter, PhD: Associate Director, Marcus Autism Center
  • Shelia Tefft: Professor of Journalism, Emory University
  • Karen Ventii, PhD: Medical Writer; Owner, Gold Star Communications
  • Hans Utz: Partner, The Combine
  • Tonya Sherer, PhD: Owner, Discover Science Center
  • Stacey Heilman, PhD: Research Program Director, Dept of Pediatrics, Emory University
  • Asim Jani, MD: Preventive Medicine Residency and Fellowship; Director, CDC
  • James Siano, PhD, MBA: Director, Global Medical Affairs Solutions & Excellence, UCB
  • Jan Pohl, PhD: Chief of the Biotechnology Core Facility, CDC
  • Rupal Cutting PhD, Genomics Instrument Specialist, Roche Applied Science
  • Kornelius Bankston: Director of BioScience, Atlanta Metro Chamber of Commerce 
  • Shawn Alter, PhD: Associate Consultant, C1 Consulting  (BEST Trainee Cohort 1, MSP 15)
  • Douglas White, PhD: Mathematical Modeling Consultant and Project Leader, Takeda Pharmaceutical, (BEST Trainee Cohort 1, Georgia Tech/Emory BME 15)
  • Barbara Schlingmann, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Emory University (BEST Trainee Cohort 2)
  • MaKendra Umstead, PhD Student, Emory University (BEST Trainee Cohort 2)