About the speakers

Scroll down to read about our program speakers. Check back often since we are adding speaker bios daily.

Shameen Afif-Rider, BS, LATG, CPIA, RAC, Associate Director – Regulatory Governance, MedImmune

Ms. Afif Rider has over 16 years of experience in the laboratory animal environment, with a substantial focus on animal welfare compliance for the last 10 years.  One of her current responsibilities is assessing external laboratory facilities to ensure they meet the standards for use set forth by her company.

Melinda Brun, BS, CPIA, RLATG, RVT,  Quality Improvement Specialist, The Ohio State University

Ms. Bruns's  focus is in leading and facilitating Post Approval Monitoring (PAM) activities.  She also provides educational outreach and training to the research community.
Prior to her current position, Melinda had developed and led the PAM program at the University of Cincinnati.  Her career began there as a laboratory technician. Then she moved into the role of a protocol and animal colony manager for research laboratories that supported studies related to cardiovascular disease and cancer models. 
Melinda is a registered veterinary technician who graduated from the Veterinary Technology Program at University of Cincinnati and also attained a Bachelor degree in Biological Sciences.  Her diverse background in animal care, both clinical and research experience, has allowed her to serve as a resource to the research community; identify educational needs for improving laboratory animal programs; and foster a positive environment to achieve compliance. 

Jennifer Davis, DVM, DACLAM, Compliance Liaison Veterinarian - Office of Animal Welfare, University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Davis conducts post-approval monitoring (PAM) of IACUC protocols and research laboratory practices, and provides leadership in implementing a strategic and collaborative direction for the PAM process at Penn.  While the Compliance Liaison group works with all Penn investigators, her focus is geared more towards higher risk studies (e.g., USDA covered species, more invasive surgical procedures, etc.).  Jennifer arrived in Philadelphia after completing a residency in laboratory animal medicine at Emory University in Atlanta, GA.  Prior to her residency, Jennifer worked in private practice, primarily in emergency medicine and critical care, as well as worked in a cardiovascular research laboratory at the Medical University of South Carolina.

Alan B. Dittrich, PhD, President, Massachusetts Society for Medical Research 

Alan has been president of The Massachusetts Society for Medical Research since September, 2002. At MSMR he is responsible for tracking legislation that might affect animal research for the six New England states, for outreach to the public and the media on issues regarding animal research, and for presentations to member and non-member groups on a variety of topics pertinent to the animal research community.

Alan is also the treasurer of States United for Biomedical Research, an affiliation of organizations that focus on advocacy for and education about biomedical research

Prior to MSMR, Alan was director of prospect development in the Office of Development at Brown University, and before that he had a nearly two-decade career in marketing, marketing communications and advertising, principally for healthcare and technology companies. In his first career, Alan was a teacher.
He attended the California Institute of Technology and graduated from Williams College with a degree in Mathematics and English. He earned his master’s degree in English literature and his doctorate in American literature from Brandeis University. He has published non-fiction, fiction and editorial. 

Donna Goldsteen, BS, RLATG, CMAR, CPIA, Senior Manager - Laboratory Animal Resources. MedImmune

Ms. Goldsteen has over 30 years of experience in the laboratory animal management field. She has worked in the government, CRO and private pharmaceutical industry. She supports the external animal welfare auditing program using her extensive knowledge of animal welfare regulations and animal facility management.

Pam Huber, Director of Client Services, Marshall BioResources

Ms. Huber has 20 year’s experience in the laboratory animal breeding industry.  Her specific focus has been client services and customer satisfaction, including direct involvement with client audits of our facilities and processes. She also served as a trained ISO internal auditor to ensure compliance with company established goals, processes, and measures.

John J. Sancenito, President, Information Network Associates, Inc. (INA)

INA is an international risk management, investigative and corporate consulting firm headquartered in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.  INA offers a variety of services, including intelligence based risk management, physical security consulting, investigations, digital forensic analysis, forensic accounting.  
Mr. Sancenito’s professional background includes more than 28 years of combined law enforcement and private investigation experience.  He is a former County Detective with the Cumberland County Pennsylvania District Attorney's Office.
Mr. Sancenito has particular expertise in research laboratory security practices and benchmarks.  He has consulted internationally on physical security design, policies and procedures, and security countermeasures.  He has performed physical security assessments at laboratories throughout the United States and Europe.  He has considerable knowledge on the topics of animal rights extremism and considered one of the leading experts on the topic.   

Christopher Scull, PhD, GLP Manager, Preclinical Development, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

 Chris earned an undergraduate degree in Chemistry and a doctorate in Pathology from the University of North Carolina, and completed postdoctoral training at Columbia University.  He holds additional certifications in project management and regulatory affairs.  His biomedical experience includes patient care, research in the laboratory and animal care experience.  Chris also has drug development experience within both academia andbiotech startups, and in his current position he advises and supports investigators in a variety of preclinical development topics in order to help bring new drugs to the clinic.

 At Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Chris is currently establishing a new facility for conducting GLP-compliant preclinical studies, and has designed and secured the required laboratory and animal housing facilities.  As the GLP Manager, he is responsible for validating and maintaining all equipment, conducting staff GLP training, preparing for FDA audits, and serving as the Study Director for all GLP-compliant laboratory and animal studies.  These studies, which are subject to FDA audit, will be submitted to the FDA in support of IND applications for first-in-human clinical trials. 

Emi Yano, PMP, B.Ed, Quality Assurance Analyst, University of Toronto

Emi Yano is a Quality Assurance Analyst in the Research Oversight and Compliance Office at the University of Toronto (UofT), Canada.  She has worked in the field of animal research regulations for eight years.  At UofT, Ms. Yano led the redevelopment and implementation of the university’s Post-Approval Review (PAR) program.  She conducts Quality Assurance Visits as part of the PAR program and manages the development of Standard Operating Procedures.

Previously, Ms. Yano worked at the Toronto Centre for Phenogenomics, where she co-created and coordinated the post-approval monitoring program.   She orchestrated the initial and ongoing development of the training program and managed the animal ethics review process.

Ms. Yano is also a Project Management Professional and is pursuing a Master of Education.  Outside of work, she enjoys going on adventures (both real and imaginary) with her one year old son.