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[In-Person] Project/Program Management Elevating Drug Development

Speakers: Shoba Gopalan, Synthekine; Cynthia (Cindy) Shafer, Arcus Biosciences; Han Zhang, Synthekine; Chris Warner, Synthekine; Feng Gu, Novartis; Debjani Dutta, Gilead
Organizers: Shoba Gopalan, PhD (Synthekine)
Date: 2024-03-07
Time: 8:45-17:00 Pacific Time
Registration fee: Regular attendees: $295; Academic/Students/Postdocs: $45; Out-of-Pocket: $45; Major Sponsorship: $3000; Vendor Show: $695, Happy Hour Sponsorship: $975; Lunch Sponsorship: $1250; On-site Registration: $500
Location: Crowne Plaza, Foster City, CA (San Francisco Bay Area)
Major Sponsor:
Vendor show vendors registered to date: (1)Meadowhawk Biolabs
Registration deadline:2024-03-06  (it will close sooner if the seating cap is reached)

About the Topic

1Evolving Role of a Project/Program Manager - A comprehensive overview of a project or program management role from development through commercialization. This presentation encompasses the challenges of managing scope, cost, and timelines in drug development within a resource-constrained setting, highlighting tradeoffs. Additionally, it explores communication strategies throughout the program lifecycle and distinguishes between overarching strategies and tactical approaches- Shoba Gopalan.

2. Chief of Staff as a Strategic Partner in Clinical Development- Career growth opportunities for program managers - Cindy Shafer.

3. Portfolio, program, and project team structure to support drug development-Discuss structures to support high performing, efficient, nimble, and productive teams in Biotech – Han Zhang, Chris Warner.

4. Overview of Global Health Project Management at Novartis BioMedical Research- Discuss structures to support high performing, efficient, nimble, and productive teams in Pharma - Feng Gu.

5. Traits of a Successful Program Manager- Han Zhang-A proficient project manager wears many hats, excelling as a mindful leader, engaging entertainer, effective communicator, skilled negotiator, knowledgeable expert, adept plate-spinner, emotionally intelligent leader, and programmatically proactive executor.

6. Navigating Governance & stakeholder management in Pharma-Debjani Dutta.

7. Case study Cell therapy program – Chris Warner, Han Zhang, Shoba Gopalan.

About the Speakers

Time (PST) 



8:45-9:00 am 

PBSS Welcome and Introduction 

Shichang Miao, PhD, PBSS 

9:00-9:30 am 

Evolving Role of a Project/Program Manager

Shoba Gopalan, PhD, Vice President, Program and Alliance Management, Synthekine

9:30-10:15 am

Chief of Staff as a Strategic Partner in Clinical Development

Cynthia (Cindy) Shafer, PhD, Chief of Staff, Arcus Biosciences

10:15-10:35 am



10:35-11:20 am

Portfolio, Program, and Project Team Structure to Support Drug Development

Han Zhang, PhD, Director, Program management, Synthekine; Chris Warner, PhD, Director, Program Management, Synthekine

11:20 am-12:05 pm

Overview of Global Health Project Management at Novartis BioMedical Research

Feng Gu, PhD, Executive Director, Portfolio and Global Program Management, Biomedical Research at Novartis Global Health

12:05-1:10 pm




1:10-1:40 pm

Traits of a Successful Program Manager

Han Zhang, PhD, Director, Program management, Synthekine

1:40-2:00 pm


2:00-2:45 pm

Navigating Governance & Stakeholder Management in Pharma

Debjani Dutta, Executive Director, Project Management, Oncology, Gilead Sciences

2:45-3.30 pm

Case study Cell therapy program

Chris Warner, PhD, Director, Program Management, Synthekine; Han Zhang, PhD, Director, Program management, Synthekine; Shoba Gopalan, PhD, Vice President, Program and Alliance Management, Synthekine

3:30-4:00 pm

Panel Discussion

All speakers

4:00-5:00 pm

Happy Hour


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