External Advisory Council

Barbara Alving, M.D., MACP

Consultant in Clinical and Translational Science
Director of National Center for Research Resources (2007-11)
Barbara Alving, M.D., who retired from her position as the Director of the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland in September 2011, is an international consultant and a Professor of Medicine at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda. Dr. Alving received her M.D. cum laude from the Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C., completed a residency in internal medicine and a research fellowship in hematology at the Johns Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore, MD, and then became a research investigator at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the Division of Blood and Blood Products on the NIH campus. She continued her research in thrombosis and hemostasis at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research from 1980-1996, leaving the military at the rank of Colonel. She received the Legion of Merit from the U.S. Army for her work on hemostatic agents for soldiers on the battlefield. Dr. Alving then served as the Director of the Medical Oncology/Hematology Section at the Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C. In 1999, she joined the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute at NIH as a Division Director, followed by Institute Deputy Director and then Acting Institute Director before moving to NCRR in 2005. As the Acting Director and then Director of NCRR from 2005-2011, Dr. Alving oversaw an annual investment of more than one billion dollars in academic research institutions for development of new technologies for basic and clinical research, training for researchers in the biomedical sciences, and initiation of programs to provide health and biomedical education for students and the larger public. During this time, the NCRR also established a new initiative in 60 academic health centers known as the Clinical and Translational Science Awards, to increase the efficient translation of discoveries in the laboratory into new treatments and preventive strategies for patients. The institutions are also training investigators to work as interdisciplinary teams. Dr. Alving is a Master in the American College of Physicians and has served as a member of the subcommittee on Hematology of the American Board of Internal Medicine, as well as the FDA Blood Products Advisory Committee and the Institute of Medicine Drug Forum. She is a co-inventor on two patents, has edited three books, and has published more than 100 papers in the area of thrombosis and hemostasis. Her current interests include translating biomedical research into treatments and prevention strategies for improving health, both nationally and internationally, in a cost-effective, efficient manner and in developing a team-based interdisciplinary biomedical research work force.
Barbara Alving profile picture

L. Celeste Bottorff

Vice President of Coca-Cola North America
Celeste Bottorff is responsible for building the strategic corporate reputation framework for Coca-Cola North America. In this capacity, Celeste's work is instrumental in designing and communicating the Company's vision for how it delivers on its promise to consumers all across the country that Coca-Cola can be counted to make a positive difference in their lives. Celeste began her marketing career as a marketing and technology Strategist at McKinsey & Co. in 1983 after earning her Master's degree from the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business. She distinguished herself there by helping clients hone in on strategic imperatives and building game-changing business plans that resulted in successful achievement of business goals. In addition to her Coca-Cola experience, Celeste served as Senior Vice President of AHL Services where she developed strategies resulting in the transformation of the company to a profitable $970 million public company. As Marketing Director at the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Celeste led marketing initiatives that won the paper "Marketer of the Year" honors from the Newspaper Association of America. Prior to joining the Journal-Constitution, Celeste was the Director of Global Planning for Holiday Inn Worldwide/Intercontinental Hotels. In this role, she developed growth strategies for North America, Asia, Latin America and Europe. Celeste did not start out as a marketer. A graduate of Purdue University, Celeste earned her B.S in Physics and spent a few years working in operations at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and at General Electric. This depth of knowledge and appreciation for science, coupled with her intuitive sense for what moves consumers to choose one brand over another, makes Celeste uniquely qualified to lead Coca-Cola North America's corporate reputation initiatives. She is a member of the Board of Advisors for HireDynamics LLC, one of the country's fastest-growing private firms. She also sits on the Purdue University College of Science Dean's Advisory Board and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Cystic Fibrosis Reaching Out Foundation. Celeste served on the Board of Directors at Caraustar Industries for over six years. Celeste was born in Louisville, Kentucky. She currently resides in Decatur, Georgia.
L. Celeste Bottorff profile picture

Rita R. Colwell, D. Sc. (Hon.)

Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland at College Park and at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health
Director of the National Science Foundation (1998-2004)
Dr. Rita Colwell is Distinguished University Professor both at the University of Maryland at College Park and at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Senior Advisor and Chairman Emeritus, Canon US Life Sciences, Inc., and President and Chairman of CosmosID, Inc. Her interests are focused on global infectious diseases, water, and health, and she is currently developing an international network to address emerging infectious diseases and water issues, including safe drinking water for both the developed and developing world. Dr. Colwell served as the 11th Director of the National Science Foundation, 1998-2004. In her capacity as NSF Director, she served as Co-chair of the Committee on Science of the National Science and Technology Council. One of her major interests include K-12 science and mathematics education, graduate science and engineering education and the increased participation of women and minorities in science and engineering. Dr. Colwell has held many advisory positions in the U.S. Government, nonprofit science policy organizations, and private foundations, as well as in the international scientific research community. She is a nationally-respected scientist and educator, and has authored or co-authored 17 books and more than 800 scientific publications. She produced the award-winning film, Invisible Seas, and has served on editorial boards of numerous scientific journals. Before going to NSF, Dr. Colwell was President of the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute and Professor of Microbiology and Biotechnology at the University Maryland. She was also a member of the National Science Board from 1984 to 1990. Dr. Colwell has previously served as Chairman of the Board of Governors of the American Academy of Microbiology and also as President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Washington Academy of Sciences, the American Society for Microbiology, the Sigma Xi National Science Honorary Society, and the International Union of Microbiological Societies. Dr. Colwell is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Stockholm, the Royal Society of Canada, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society. She is Immediate Past-President of the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS). Dr. Colwell has also been awarded 55 honorary degrees from institutions of higher education, including her Alma Mater, Purdue University and is the recipient of the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star, bestowed by the Emperor of Japan, the 2006 National Medal of Science awarded by the President of the United States, and the 2010 Stockholm Water Prize awarded by the King of Sweden. Dr. Colwell is an honorary member of the microbiological societies of the UK, Australia, France, Israel, Bangladesh, Czechoslovakia, Royal Irish Academy, and the U.S. and has held several honorary professorships, including the University of Queensland, Australia. A geological site in Antarctica, Colwell Massif, has been named in recognition of her work in the polar regions. Born in Beverly, Massachusetts, Dr. Colwell holds a B.S. in Bacteriology and an M.S. in Genetics, from Purdue University, and a Ph.D. in Oceanography from the University of Washington.
Rita R. Colwell profile picture

Ann Gerber, RDN, LD

Founder and owner of Wellness On The Run LLC
Ann Gerber’s Purdue education has led her to achievements in research, industry, outpatient and private practice. She is a licensed registered dietitian nutritionist who started her career researching Zinc bioavailability for Bristol Myers nutritional division and then went on to represent their nutritional products to doctors and nursing staffs in the mid-Atlantic and northeast. In the San Francisco Bay area, she worked at an endocrinologist-led obesity outpatient clinic (Sunnyvale Medical Clinic, Sunnyvale, CA) and then she continued her interest in obesity and research while at Children’s National Medical Center (Washington, DC). In the last twelve years she’s has focused on her private practice clients in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Ann has lectured at the National Institutes of Health, Department of Energy and the Federal Aviation Agency, University of Virginia and many schools and sports team. Ann’s private practice specializes in wellness, weight management and sports nutrition as well as coordinated medical nutrition therapies for clients across the lifespan with obesity, disordered eating, cardiovascular disease, hyperlipidemia, gastrointestinal disorders, prediabetes, diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders, food allergies, intolerances and nutritional inadequacies. Ann collaborates with her client’s healthcare team, parents, and school to facilitate best health outcomes. Ann’s holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Dietetics from Purdue University’s Coordinated Undergraduate Dietetics Program. She was selected by MetLife and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in the first class of dietitians to lead their nationwide Kids Eat Right initiative and is certified in Adult Weight Management (Levels 1 and 2) and in Childhood and Adolescent Weight Management by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She has been named Washington’s Top Nutritionist in the Washingtonian Magazine. She maintains her private practice, Wellness On The Run LLC in Chevy Chase, Maryland. Beyond work, Ann has a wonderful husband, Jamie, and two grown children who remain top priority in her life. With her family and friends, Ann loves to travel and spend time outdoors hiking, biking, gardening and playing tennis. Most recently, she republished her Mother’s cooking memoir, Cooking with Carole.”
Ann Gerber profile picture

Jennifer Kerr, MS, CCRA, RAC

President
Cook Research Incorporated
Jennifer L. Kerr is the President of Cook Research Incorporated (a Cook Group Company), in the Purdue Research Park, West Lafayette, Indiana. Jennifer’s role encompasses executive oversight of product development, testing, clinical studies, medical/scientific writing, and regulatory submissions for devices, pharmaceuticals and cell-based therapies. Jennifer holds a bachelor’s degree in Engineering with an emphasis in Biomedical Engineering and a Master’s degree in Physiology from Purdue University. She is dually certified as a Clinical Research Associate (CCRA) from the Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP), and the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society (RAPS). Beginning in 2010, Jennifer has taught Clinical Design strategies to graduate level biomedical engineering students at Purdue University. In addition, she drove the initiative to host the United States FDA medical device reviewers for multiple workshops on the Management of Clinical Studies (from the physician, patient, site, and sponsor perspective). Jennifer is the Co-Chair of AAMI/BE/WG 04, Clinical Investigations representing the U.S. industry. She is the Global Functional Leader for Clinical Affairs for the Cook organization, and collaborates with global leaders, Regulatory Authorities, and experts on Good Clinical Practice (GCP) in revising the international standard ISO 14155 (Clinical standard for conducting medical device studies). Jennifer has worked with the FDA, Japan MHLW, Japan PMDA and Industry representatives as an active participant in the Harmonization by Doing (HBD) initiative through Working Group 4 to address the best practices for conducting global clinical research.
Jennifer Kerr profile picture

William Killian, C.L.P.

Divisional Vice President, Corporate Licensing and Acquisitions
Abbott
Bill Killian is responsible for licensing and acquisitions for the Nutrition, Diagnostics and Diabetes Care Divisions of Abbott, a global, broad-based health care company. As Divisional Vice President in the Corporate Licensing and Acquisitions group, Bill leads a team that works with Commercial, R&D and Operations organizations to identify products, technologies and markets which provide unique products for patients and consumers of all ages throughout the world so they can live healthier lives. After graduating from Purdue with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering, Bill began his career at Abbott as a manufacturing engineer in Abbott’s Pharmaceutical Division. He subsequently held various roles of increasing responsibility in product development and marketing for the Diagnostics Division before he moved into global business development. Bill’s business development experience includes negotiating and executing acquisitions, joint ventures, licenses and other strategic agreements. He has closed over 50 deals in the areas of nutrition, diagnostics and ophthalmology. He holds a Certified Licensing Professional (CLP) designation from the Licensing Executives Society. Bill resides in Wilmette, Illinois with his wife Cindy, also a Purdue engineering graduate (BSEE).
William Killian profile picture

JoAnn A. Suzich, Ph.D

Vice President, Research, Intefectious Disease and Vaccines Research
MedImmune
JoAnn Suzich is a leading scientist and researcher in infectious disease and played a critical role in the advancement and treatment of health issues affecting women and children. Suzich is vice president for research and development at MedImmune, where she is responsible for overseeing the company's research in the development of antibodies and antibody-like molecules for the prevention and treatment of infectious disease. In addition, she recently assumed responsibility for MedImmune's research on novel vaccines. Since joining MedImmune in 1988 as a scientist, she has held several positions of increasing responsibility, most recently as senior director, infectious disease research. She has been involved in many key development programs, including Synagis (palivizumab) which is the only monoclonal antibody approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to help prevent an infectious disease, and the virus-like particle technology that is the basis of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines used to prevent cervical cancer. HPV is thought to be responsible for 70 percent of the instances of cervical cancer. Suzich's leadership has helped build MedImmune - where she is known as "employee number 13" - from a fledgling company with four employees, founded by fellow Purdue alumnus Wayne Hockmeyer, to an international biotechnology company with more than 3,000 employees worldwide. She has worked closely with all aspects of the company, including discovery research, biopharmaceutical development, clinical research, translational sciences, regulatory affairs, business development, and medical affairs. Before joining MedImmune, Suzich was a scientist at Molecular Genetics Inc. from 1986-1988. Suzich is the inventor of multiple patents and has authored more than 30 publications. She is the recipient of the Wallace H. Steinberg Award for Innovation. She holds a bachelor's degree in biology from Susquehanna University, where she graduated magna cum laude. She received her doctorate in biochemistry from Purdue in 1983. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Minnesota in 1986. Suzich received an honorary doctorate of agriculture from Purdue in 2011.
JoAnn A. Suzich profile picture

Elaine Wedral, Ph.D

Board of Directors of three food/chemical companies
Past President of International Life Sciences Institute
Dr. Elaine Wedral is on the Board of Directors of three major food/chemical specialty companies and the Editorial Board of Food Processing magazine. Dr. Wedral was President of International Life Sciences Institute-NA and was president of Nestle's Food & Nutrition R&D center in New Milford, CT while heading R&D strategy and technical development activities for Nestle's International Foodservice business. She spent 34 years with Nestle, in various technical positions including President of of all U.S. R&D laboratory facilities 1988-2007 and was a member of Nestle's global R&D management committee. She began her career at Campbell Soup working in research and development before becoming vice president of development and research for Nestle's Western Hemisphere Research Laboratory. Dr. Wedral also was responsible for the construction of a new world class Pet Food & Nutrition facility as well as a state-of-the-art laboratory for coffee, liquid beverages and confections. Under her leadership, the research and development programs of Libby, Beech-Nut, Carnation, and Nestle were consolidated into one coordinated function for Nestle in North America. At PTC New Milford, Dr. Wedral was responsible for the development of innovative new Foodservice Systems and technologies to provide services and solutions for Nestle's global foodservice customers and operators; one of the food industry's fastest growing markets. Dr. Wedral received her B.S. (with honors) in Biochemistry from Purdue University and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Microbiology and Food Chemistry from Cornell University. She holds over 39 patents in food science, chemistry and foodservice systems. She has served as Chairman of the Industrial Advisory Board of Columbia University's St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital Center for Research and Clinical Nutrition and has been on numerous other university advisory boards including Cornell, Purdue, Rutgers, Teikyo Post University and Penn State. She has also received honorary degrees from University of Guadalajara, University Iberoamericana, Purdue University and Teikyo Post University.
Elaine Wedral profile picture

Nishka Wickramasingha

Director of Ceylon Biscuits Limited, Sri Lanka
Nishka Wickramasingha is Group Director of Ceylon Biscuits Ltd, Sri Lanka, and Director of CBL subsidiers Convenience Foods Lanka and Plenty Foods Pvt ltd. She is the cluster head of these companies which engage in Agricultural backward integration and the manufacture of nutritional supplements and high protein food products to the Sri Lankan and export market. She has 21-year experience with the Group; started her career in R&D and quality assurance. She has held many roles in the company. She is also a Director of Back of Beyond Sri Lanka which is engaged in Eco Tourism in Sri Lanka, and Modern Pack Lanka Pvt Lts which provides packaging solutions. She holds a Bsc. Degree in Food Science from Purdue University USA and Diploma in Professional Marketing (CIM)
Nishka Wickramasingha profile picture

Shea Wickramasingha

Managing Director of Ceylon Biscuits Limited, Sri Lanka
Shea Wickramasingha is the Group Managing Director of Ceylon Biscuits Limited (CBL). CBL has manufacturing operations in confectionery, cereals, Soya, coconuts, and fruits and has strong market leadership in Sri Lanka in several categories with its brands such as Munchee, Ritzbury, Revello, Lanka Soy, Samaposha and Sera. For two consecutive years in 2016 and 2017 Munchee was named the Sri Lankan FMCG Brand of the year by Kantar. CBL are also the Sri Lankan Partner for SPAR International and operational supermarkets in Sri Lanka under license. CBL invests heavily in the agriculture supply chain and has a direct farmer base of over 10,000. The Group has two manufacturing plants in Bangladesh and Myanmar and export their range of products to over 55 countries. Shea joined CBL in 1991 as a Food Technologist and worked in various capacities in the Company and Group. She was invited to join the Board in 1996. She sits on all of the Subsidiary Boards of the Group. She is also the founder and Managing Director of Modern Pack Lanka (Pvt) Ltd. In 2015 Modern Pack Lanka was awarded a World Star Packaging Award from the World Packaging Organization for Design Innovation. She has been a member of the main committee of Ceylon Chamber of Commerce since 2013 and was a Board member of the institution’s first Board from June 2015 to May 2017. She is a member of the Monetary Policy Consultative Committee of Central Bank of Sri Lanka, EDB Advisory Committee on Processed Food and Beverages and Council of the Employer’s Federation of Ceylon. She has also served as an executive Committee member of the Sri Lanka Institute of Packaging. She has a MSc degree in Food Chemistry from Purdue University and a BSc in Food Science & Industry from Kansas State University. She has an interest in Functional and Healing properties of Food and has studied extensively on the subject. She is also an Old girl of Benenden School in the UK and Ladies College in Sri Lanka.
Shea Wickramasingha profile picture