Content Review and Evaluation Committee (CREC)

The purpose of the COPD Foundation Content Review and Evaluation Committee (CREC) is to develop or solicit high-quality content for publication on the COPD Foundation website and to coordinate review to ensure accuracy, timeliness and quality. The COPD Foundation Website content aims to provide valuable information on topics relevant to anyone affected by COPD, including patients, caregivers, healthcare providers, and friends or family members of those affected.

  • Jean Wright, MD, MBA
    Chief Executive Officer
    COPD Foundation

    Jean Wright, MD, MBA

    Jean Wright, MD, MBA, COPD Foundation Chief Executive Officer (CEO), is an enthusiastic leader of innovation and change management and an experienced clinician and educator with a passion for communicating novel ideas.

    Dr. Wright joined the COPD Foundation several years ago to follow her passion for driving change in the delivery of care to improve the health care for 30 million Americans with COPD and served on the COPD Foundation board of directors as Secretary. Additionally, she served on the Executive Committee, Advocacy and Public Policy Committee, and Strategy Planning Committee and Chaired the Board Governance Committee.

    Her accomplishments include leading strategic partnerships in human-centered design and business model innovation focused on accelerating health care transformation. She was recognized as one of the Top 30 Chief Innovation Officers in America and nominated for the 25 Most Powerful Women in Health IT in the United States.

    Dr. Wright received her medical degree from Wayne State University, her master's in business administration degree from Emory Goizueta School of Business, and her bachelor's in science degree from the University of Michigan. She previously held positions as a physician executive at Emory, Chair of Pediatrics for Mercer, Executive Director for Memorial Health's Children's and Women's Hospital in Savannah, and a chief medical officer for Atrium, now known as Advocate.

    She was appointed CEO of the Foundation in December 2022.

    The Invisible Epidemic of COPD | Jean Wright | TEDxCharlotte

  • Crystal Rothhaar, BS
    Senior Director of Marketing & Communications
    COPD Foundation

    Crystal Rothhaar, BS

    As Senior Director of Marketing and Communications, Crystal Rothhaar is responsible for creating and accelerating the company’s marketing strategy and brand recognition across the globe. She is focused on driving the COPD Foundation’s mission to help millions of people live longer and healthier lives by advancing research, advocacy, and awareness to stop COPD, bronchiectasis, and NTM lung disease.

    Crystal drives strategic marketing development initiatives and is responsible for brand leadership and development, digital and traditional marketing, communications, and public relations. She leads a team of innovative and creative professionals who focus on media relations, integrated marketing campaigns, content development, and social media.

    Crystal has more than 20 years of experience in nonprofit marketing and a personal passion for empowering people to live well. Prior to joining the COPD Foundation, Crystal championed aging services across Florida as the Chief Marketing Officer at Senior Friendship Centers, and has worked with the YMCA, school districts, universities, and other nonprofits as an executive leader. She is currently a member of the board of directors for the CWC Florida Public Relations Association.

  • R. Graham Barr, MD, DrPH
    Hamilton Southworth Professor Epidemiology and Medicine
    Columbia University
    New York, NY
  • Surya Bhatt, MD
    Associate Professor
    University of Alabama, Birmingham
  • Vincent Malanga, BS, MCP
    Chief Digital Information Officer
    COPD Foundation

    Vincent Malanga, BS, MCP

    Vincent M. Malanga is the Chief Digital Information Officer for the COPD Foundation. In this role Vincent serves as the senior technology strategist providing guidance and vision on emerging technologies, technology innovation, digital trends and infrastructure advances as well as defining, implementing, and evolving the technology solutions and procedures that comprise the COPD360 technology platform of which he is the chief architect.

    Vincent has over 25 years of experience in software architecture and development, database design, data and systems integration and enterprise architecture, and 15 years of experience in search engine optimization. Prior to joining the COPD Foundation, Vincent ran a successful technology consulting company and developed custom business solutions for many Fortune 500 companies including Ralph Lauren, Omnicom Group and Elsevier. He is a Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) in numerous Microsoft programming languages and development tools, Azure Cloud Services, and Azure AI. He has been a guest blogger on the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) and has spoken at industry conferences. Vincent is also a co-author on numerous abstracts and publications from various research studies. Vincent has a Bachelor of Science from Hofstra University, continuing education credits from MIT Professional Education, and has a Series 7 broker’s license.

  • Cathy Gray Carlomagno, BS
    Managing Editor
    Journal of the COPD Foundation

    Cathy Gray Carlomagno, BS

    Cathy Carlomagno is the Managing Editor of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases: Journal of the COPD Foundation. In this role she is responsible for both the daily operations and long- range planning of this quarterly, peer reviewed medical/scientific journal. This includes management of production, marketing, communications, strategic planning, and business operations of the Journal.

    Prior to joining the COPD Foundation, Cathy served as Director of Communications and Marketing for the American Thoracic Society where her responsibilities included promoting the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine and the American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology within medical, trade, and popular press. Cathy also has experience as a primary spokesperson, publications editor, and Director of Communications for a regional pediatric medical center and as a medical communications consultant for various national health care organizations including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Cathy has a Bachelor of Science in communications from the University of Tennessee. She received the American Thoracic Society Presidential Commendation award in 2005.

  • Richard Casaburi, MD, PhD
    Associate Chief of Research, Professor, Division of Respiratory and Critical Care Physiology & Medicine
    Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center
    Torrance, CA
  • Keira A. Cohen, MD
    Assistant Professor of Medicine
    Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine
    Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
    Baltimore, MD
  • Min Joo, MD
    Associate Professor of Medicine
    University of Illinois at Chicago
    Chicago, IL
  • Barry Make, MD
    Department of Medicine
    Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine
    National Jewish Health
    Denver, CO
  • Elisha Malanga, BS
    Chief Corporate Relations Officer
    COPD Foundation

    Elisha Malanga, BS

    In her role as Chief Corporate Relations Officer, Elisha works to define the corporate strategy of the Foundation, including expanding funding opportunities for the COPD Foundation. Elisha works closely with the Foundation's Executive team as well as corporate partners and collaborators. She also leads the Foundation's retail support and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts. Elisha continues to identify, nurture and expand Foundation partnerships with like-minded organizations. She is staff liaison to the Corporate Council and has extensive experience with Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute-funded and other specialty grant submissions.

    Prior to joining the Foundation, Elisha helped to establish the American Thoracic Society (ATS) Research Program and in 2007, she received the ATS Presidential Commendation award. Elisha has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Richmond.

  • David Mannino, MD
    Professor of Medicine
    University of Kentucky
    Lexington, KY
  • Byron Thomashow, MD
    Professor of Medicine Columbia University Medical Center
    Columbia University Medical Center
    New York, NY

    Byron Thomashow, MD

    Byron Thomashow, MD, is a Professor of Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center and an Attending Physician at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital. He helped found the COPD Foundation in 2004 and served as Chairman of the Board of Directors for ten years. In July 2018, he took on the role of Chief Medical Officer of the Foundation. He is the medical co-director of the Jo-Ann Le Buhn Center for Chest Disease on the Columbia campus and is medical director of the New York-Presbyterian Lung Volume Reduction program. He chaired the Respiratory Disease Council of the New York-Presbyterian Healthcare Network for many years and co-chaired the New York-Presbyterian smoking cessation initiative leading to the campus going smoke free. He has served as co-chair for the NY State COPD Coalition, co-chaired the New York State COPD Summit in 2010, co-chaired COPD7USA in 2011, COPD8USA in 2013, COPD 9USA in 2015, COPD10USA in 2017, and co-chaired the COPD Foundation COPD Readmission Summits in October 2013 and March 2015.

    The Byron M. Thomashow Professorship of Medicine Columbia University was established in 2006. Byron was awarded the 2013 American Thoracic Society Public Advisory Roundtable Excellence Award. In 2016, he received the Columbia University Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award sponsored by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation. In 2017 he received the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2018 he received the JW Walsh Visionary Award from the COPD Foundation. He was a member of the steering committee and the co-primary investigator at the Columbia site for the National Emphysema Treatment Trial and has been and remains actively involved in multiple national clinical research projects.

    View Columbia Profile

  • Gerard Turino, MD
    John H. Keating Professor Emeritus Columbia University
    St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital
    New York, NY
  • Barbara Yawn, MD
    University of Minnesota
    Rochester, MN

About The Authors

About the authors of articles posted in the COPD Foundation blog (The COPD Digest) and The PRAXIS NEXUS.

  • Amanda Atkinson, MSN, RN
    Manager of Patient and Professional Education
    COPD Foundation
  • Bailey McCrary, BS
    Manager, Advocacy and Public Policy
    COPD Foundation
  • Tara Shedor, MA
    Marketing and Communications Manager
    COPD Foundation
  • Jamie Jarrard, BA
    Senior Advancement and Communications Specialist
    COPD Foundation
  • Jane Martin, BA, CRT
    Respiratory Therapist
  • Jamie Sullivan, MPH
    COPD Foundation Consultant

Christina Hunt, BS, RRT-NPS

Christina Hunt is the Director of Bronchiectasis and NTM Research and Education for the Foundation. In this role, Christina creates patient educational resources and assists with research projects that are part of the Bronchiectasis and Nontuberculous Mycobacterial (NTM) initiative, a program started by the Foundation several years ago because of the significant overlap between COPD and these two chronic lung diseases.

She is a registered respiratory therapist and has worked in the field of respiratory care for more than 20 years including in adult, pediatric, and neonatal intensive care units; critical care transport teams; and most recently, pulmonary rehabilitation. Christina has worked as a respiratory department clinical educator at a local hospital, and as both adjunct faculty and a clinical instructor for respiratory care students at a local community college. In 2018, she developed a successful blog,, to help people with chronic lung conditions live happier, healthier lives. She also serves on the board of directors for Breath Matters Support Group of Virginia.

Christina holds a Bachelor of Science in human food, nutrition, and exercise degree from Virginia Tech.


Amanda Atkinson, MSN, RN

Amanda Atkinson, MSN, RN is the Manager of Patient and Professional Education for the COPD Foundation. In this role she designs educational resources for health care professionals, patients, and caregivers, improving awareness of and accessibility to the latest evidence-based research, innovation, and information.

Amanda comes from a diverse clinical background where she provided care to patients with a variety of health conditions. She has held educational roles over the course of her career in both the health care and corporate sectors, including serving as adjunct faculty for the community and technical college system. She also co-authored a curriculum for use in non-profit recovery homes. Amanda has a passion for empowering patients, caregivers, and providers by creating educational tools to improve quality of care, enabling patients to live their best lives.

Amanda is a registered nurse and holds a Master of Science with concentration in Nursing Education from Northern Kentucky University.


Bailey McCrary, BS

Bailey McCrary is the Manager of Advocacy and Public Policy at the COPD Foundation. She assists with the progress of the COPD Foundation’s strategy for government affairs and public policy by strengthening the organization’s public policy presence, legislative relationships, and community and advocacy partnerships. Bailey also serves as the Captains Program Coordinator, where she recruits, trains, and manages a dynamic and passionate team of volunteer advocates.

Before joining the COPD Foundation, Bailey served as a legislative aide in the Florida Senate and House of Representatives, where she focused on policy analysis and constituent support. She has also served as the executive assistant of a community-based nonprofit, delivering comprehensive support to the organization’s leadership, focusing on support for community health, education, and housing.

Bailey graduated from Florida State University with a bachelor's degree in International Affairs and a concentration in Political Science. Bailey also has a US National Intelligence Studies certificate.


Tara Shedor, MA

As Marketing and Communications Manager at the COPD Foundation, Tara leads content management and dissemination of COPD Foundation e-newsletters and social media channels, including the PRAXIS and Faces of COPD newsletters, reaching an audience of more than 125,000. Through assisting in initiatives such as World Oxygen Day and Lace Up for Lungs, her goals include increasing global reach and helping to educate and inspire the COPD Foundation network toward advocacy and community engagement.

Tara has more than 10 years of experience working in communications in the non-profit and education sectors including serving as Director of Communications for It Takes a Village Family of Schools in Chicago and as an Administrative Assistant for quality improvement in health care initiatives at the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.

Before graduating with her master's in communication, media, and theatre from Northeastern Illinois University in 2018, Tara served as Station Manager at the university radio station, Social Justice and Diversity Coordinator for the Northeastern Programming Board, and as a Graduate Assistant for Marketing and Recruitment for Northeastern Nontraditional Degree Programs.


Jamie Jarrard, BA

As the Senior Advancement and Communications Specialist, Jamie is responsible for furthering the COPD Foundation's mission by developing relationships and marketing plans for corporate partners, enhancing support from donors, coordinating events, and managing marketing campaigns including COPD Foundation 20th Anniversary, COPD Awareness Month, and Lace up for Lungs.

Jamie has an extensive background in nonprofit marketing and communications, including serving as the Program Coordinator and Social Media Manager at Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Marketing and Communications Manager at Worldwide Friends Foundation, and Training Coordinator at VAVRS.

Jamie graduated from Liberty University with a bachelor's degree in English, concentration in Spanish and Education, and spent several years working overseas teaching English and bringing humanitarian aid to underserved communities. As her father lives with COPD, bronchiectasis, and NTM, and she is passionate about advancing COPD Foundation's mission to find a cure and help millions of people live longer and healthier lives.


COPD360social Moderation

COPD360social posts are monitored by the COPD Foundation's Vice President of Patient Experience and COPD360social Community Manager, as well as certified staff Respiratory Therapists and nurses.

  • Bill Clark
    Vice President of Patient Experience
    COPD360social Community Manager
    COPD Foundation

    Bill Clark

    Bill Clark is the Foundation’s Vice President of Patient Experience. Recruited by Foundation founder John W. Walsh and with the Foundation since its inception, Bill serves as Community Manager of COPD360social, a social network for patients, caregivers, and professionals. Bill leads Foundation staff in monitoring members’ posts, answering questions, finding resources, and bringing in medical experts, as necessary, to ensure that members of the network have the most accurate and current information available. As a COPD patient himself, Bill is uniquely qualified to ensure that COPD360social members feel supported, comforted, and heard by the larger COPD community. He was instrumental in COPD360social recently reaching an impressive milestone of having 50,000 registered members. Bill also contributes to many of the Foundation’s educational publications, has been extensively interviewed by national media outlets, and is involved in numerous research initiatives. Prior to joining the Foundation in 2004, Bill was a retired special education teacher in Ohio for 28 years. Bill has a Bachelor of Science in education degree from Western Illinois University.
  • Stephanie Williams, BS, RRT
    Vice President, Education and Engagement
    COPD Foundation

    Stephanie Williams, BS, RRT

    Stephanie Williams is the Vice President, Education and Engagement for the COPD Foundation. In this role she works to make the COPD Foundation programs accessible to those in the COPD community. This includes managing the COPD Readmissions Institutes for health care professionals, designing programs such as virtual Harmonicas for Health, and engaging the COPD community through educational webinars, social media events, blog posts, and more. Over the course of her career, Stephanie has designed and implemented pulmonary rehabilitation and respiratory programs in a variety of patient care settings. Prior to joining the Foundation, Stephanie was the Director of Clinical Education and Clinical Effectiveness at Alana HealthCare in Nashville, Tennessee where she ensured staff respiratory therapists’ education was current while also developing educational programs for patients enrolled in both the home and facility-based non-invasive ventilation program. Stephanie was also the Director of Cardiopulmonary for White County Community Hospital where she started a pulmonary rehab program, a support group for COPD patients in the community, and a smoking cessation program. She is a registered respiratory therapist and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in education from Tennessee Technological University.

The COPD Coach

The COPD Coach is aimed at providing information for individuals with COPD to take to their doctor, and is not in any way intended to be medical advice.

  • Bill Clark
    Vice President of Patient Experience
    COPD360social Community Manager
    COPD Foundation

COPD Education and PRAXIS

The COPD Foundation provides education and awareness for people affected by Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). PRAXIS is an initiative for healthcare providers, health systems administrators and policy makers created to improve COPD care across the continuum and reduce preventable hospital readmissions.

  • Stephanie Williams, BS, RRT
    Vice President, Education and Engagement
    COPD Foundation
  • Michael W. Hess MPH, RRT, RPFT
    Senior Director of Public Outreach and Education
    COPD Foundation

    Michael W. Hess MPH, RRT, RPFT

    Michael W. Hess is the Senior Director of Public Outreach and Education and leads the Oxygen360 project for the Foundation. The goal of the project is to facilitate oxygen equipment innovation and research, promote policy improvements surrounding oxygen reimbursement, and enhance clinician education on the appropriate use of this critical therapy. The Foundation aims to redesign the oxygen infrastructure into a robust, resilient system that works for all stakeholders, from manufacturers to equipment distributors to the patients at the heart of our mission. Prior to joining the Foundation, Mike served in a unique position at WMed Health in Kalamazoo, Michigan. As Chronic Lung Disease Coordinator, he provided patient education, diagnostic testing, care coordination, and other respiratory care services as part of a primary care clinic while also designing and implementing community outreach programs to enhance respiratory health. Mike is a registered respiratory therapist and has a Master of Public Health degree from Western Michigan University. In 2019 he received the Ambulatory and Post-Acute Care Specialty Practitioner of the Year from the American Association for Respiratory Care.

  • Jonnie Korinko, MSRC, RRT, RRT-ACCS
    Manager of Public and Professional Education
    COPD Foundation

    Jonnie Korinko, MSRC, RRT, RRT-ACCS

    Jonnie Korinko is the Manager of Public and Professional Education at the Foundation. Her work involves creating educational content for individuals living with COPD, their caregivers, and healthcare providers. She also works towards improving access to the latest evidence-based research and information available to the public.

    Jonnie is a registered respiratory therapist with a clinical background including COPD navigation, durable medical equipment, and college instruction. She has experience in caring for individuals with various chronic illnesses and enjoys helping them understand and manage their disease. As a COPD navigator, she ensured individuals with COPD had access to the necessary resources to be successful after discharge from the hospital. Jonnie maintained a relationship with the COPD community within this role, as well as working in the pulmonary rehab. Before her role at the Foundation, Jonnie worked as the Director of Clinical Education for an Entry to Practice associate-degree program. In this role, she developed and implemented a clinical curriculum and preceptor program for students training to become newly credentialed respiratory therapists.

    Jonnie holds a Master of Science degree in respiratory care from Boise State University.


Guides for Better Living Reviewer Team

The Guides for Better Living are designed to inform and empower people with COPD to live fuller, more active, and healthier lives. Each guide undergoes detailed expert review to ensure clarity and accuracy of the content.

  • Karin Hoff, PhD, ABPP
    Associate Professor
    Department of Psychiatry, University of Iowa
  • Patricia Jellen, MSN, RN
    Columbia University Irving Medical Center

    Patricia Jellen, MSN, RN

    Patricia Jellen’s nursing career at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center site of the New York Presbyterian Hospital has spanned from the bedside as a new graduate, to nursing management and program development. For the past 20 years, Pat has focused her clinical and professional efforts on the development and management of the Lung Volume Reduction program at NYPH. Currently, Pat is the Practice Administrator for the NYPH/CUIMC Adult and Pediatric Pulmonary Diagnostic Labs. Because of her clinical background and interest in COPD, she was the Administrative lead for the development and implementation of the Clinical pathway for COPD at NYPH/CUIMC.

    Beyond the hospital, Pat was an active member of the ERWG committee of the COPD Foundation; NY ALA planning committee for Lung Force in NYC; and an active member of the COPD 9 & 10 planning committee. She has been an invited speaker at COPD 9-Chicago; NY Lung Force 2015-2019; group leader at the 2016 NIH COPD Call to Action meeting; and COPD 16 Birmingham 2016. She serves as a Board Member for the US COPD Coalition. Ms. Jellen holds a BSN degree from the College of New Rochelle and a MSN degree from Columbia University.


  • David Mannino, MD
    Co-Founder and Medical Director
    COPD Foundation

    David Mannino, MD

    David Mannino, MD, is the Medical Director and Co-Founder of the COPD Foundation. In 2004, at an airport meeting room in Denver, he was also part of the original team that launched the COPD Foundation and has served the Foundation in multiple roles, including chair of the Medical and Scientific Advisory Committee, Chief Scientific Officer, and as an Associate Editor of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases: Journal of the COPDF Foundation.

    David is a Philadelphia native who went to Penn State and Jefferson Medical College before completing his medical residency (Lankenau Hospital, Philadelphia) and pulmonary fellowship (West Virginia University, Morgantown). After his fellowship, he took a position at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention where he helped to launch the National Asthma Program and worked on the epidemiology of COPD. In 2004, he retired from the U.S. Public Health Service and started his academic career at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, where he was part of the international Burden of Lung Disease (BOLD) team, with the only U.S. site. Following a three-year stint as a U.S. Medical Expert at GlaxoSmithKline, with a focus on COPD, he returned to the Foundation as a Medical Director in November 2020.

  • Xavier Soler, MD
  • Kristen Szymonik, BS, RRT, AE-C
    Assistant Director of Education
    COPD Foundation

    Kristen Szymonik, BS, RRT, AE-C

    Kristen Szymonik is the Assistant Director of Education for the Foundation. In this role she develops and edits educational materials for patients and community outreach projects.

    Kristen is a registered respiratory therapist, certified asthma educator, and medical writer. Prior to joining the Foundation, she designed and implemented one of the first comprehensive asthma education programs in the Chicago suburbs, providing inpatient, outpatient, and community-based education for patients and families. Kristen served a term on the National Asthma Educator Certification Board, where she collaborated with medical professionals from all disciplines and backgrounds. As a medical writer, she developed numerous continuing education classes for health care providers, wrote study guides for national level board exams, and has presented lectures for health care providers on the management of asthma and allergies. Kristen also serves as an author and faculty member on a web-based nursing education forum.

    Kristen has Bachelor of Science degree in respiratory care from National-Louis University.


Policy and Advocacy

COPD advocates across the country are spreading information at health fairs, calling and writing elected officials, inspiring fellow community members, speaking at support groups, hosting fundraisers, and much, much more. The COPD community works with local, state, and federal policy makers to increase research funding, improve care delivery, protect access to treatments, and create policy that improves the lives of those with COPD.

  • Linda Walsh, BS, TTS
    Chief Community Engagement Officer, COPD360coach
    COPD Foundation

    Linda Walsh, BS, TTS

    Linda Walsh is the Foundation's Chief Community Engagement Officer and is currently leading the rebuilding of COPD360coach, the peer health coaching support arm of COPD360Net. Linda directed the C.O.P.D. Information Line from 2011 until 2019 and under her leadership the Information Line Associates were rigorously trained as peer health coaches providing integral support for many Foundation research initiatives. These included the CAPTURE Study, the COPD and Pneumonia Study, the iPArTNER Study, the O2Verlap Study, the PELICAN Study, the Patient-Powered Research Network, and the Pulmonary Education Program. Linda is passionate about educating, empowering, and engaging all stakeholders of the COPD community as many of Linda's family members are directly impacted by the disease. Linda has over 25 years of experience in both the profit and not-for-profit sectors in strategic and financial planning, securing corporate funding and sponsorships, and enhancing operations and customer service. Linda received a Bachelor of Science in accounting from the University of Maryland, College Park and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Lung Transplant Foundation. In addition, she is certified as a Tobacco Treatment Specialist.
  • Michael W. Hess MPH, RRT, RPFT
    Senior Director of Public Outreach and Education
    COPD Foundation


The COPD Foundation research mission is to ensure a central role for the patient/caregiver in all stages of research including project feasibility, study design, implementation, and dissemination of results.

  • Bruce E. Miller, PhD
    Chief Scientific Officer
    COPD Foundation

    Bruce E. Miller, PhD

    Bruce Miller, PhD, is the Chief Scientific Officer for the COPD Foundation. He also is Scientific Lead for COPD360Net, the Foundation's Digital Health and Therapeutics Development Accelerator and represents the Foundation on committees that oversee the COPDGene and SPIROMICS studies.

    Prior to joining the Foundation, Bruce held senior scientific roles at several pharmaceutical firms including Sterling Winthrop Pharmaceuticals, Rhone-Poulenc Rorer, Johnson & Johnson, and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). During his 15 years at GSK, Bruce led several COPD drug development projects and was a key participant in numerous public-private collaborations that significantly contributed to disease understanding in COPD. He was the industry co-chair for the CBQC's Fibrinogen Working Group, an effort that resulted in the first regulatory qualification with the Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency for a biomarker as a drug development tool to support COPD clinical trials.

    Bruce has authored or co-authored over 180 peer-reviewed publications in the areas of respiratory research and inflammation/immunology.

    Bruce has a Ph.D. degree in Pharmacology and Toxicology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and completed post-doctoral training at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and Glaxo.

  • Delia Prieto, BSEd, MSEd
    Vice President, Bronchiectasis and NTM 360
    COPD Foundation

    Delia Prieto, BSEd, MSEd

    Delia P. Oliver is Vice President Bronchiectasis and NTM Initiative at the COPD Foundation. She has been involved with the Foundation since 2009 and joined the team full-time in 2011. In her role at the Foundation, she manages several of the Foundation’s research programs including the Bronchiectasis and NTM Research Registry and BronchandNTM360social. Delia also serves as the primary staff liaison to the Medical and Scientific Advisory Committee, the COPDGene Industry Advisory Consortium, and the SPIROMICS Industry Advisory Consortium.

    Delia has extensive experience managing patient registries and research consortia, and serves a critical role in connecting patients, health care providers, researchers, and industry partners to work collaboratively in an effort to advance research in the fields of COPD, bronchiectasis, and nontuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) lung disease.

    She has a Master of Science in education degree from the University of Miami.

  • Alan Hamilton, PhD
    Senior Scientific Director, PIVOT Project Lead
    COPD Foundation

    Alan Hamilton, PhD

    Alan Hamilton, PhD, joined the Foundation in January 2022 as Senior Director of Research. He provides strategic leadership for the Chronic Lung Disease Biomarker and Clinical Outcomes Assessment Qualification Consortium (CBQC) and contributes to activities related to the development and evaluation of pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions for COPD and other chronic lung diseases.

    Alan is a clinical scientist by training with extensive experience as a clinical program leader. Prior to joining the Foundation, he held several senior scientific positions with Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) (1997 - 2021), highlighted by his role as Global Clinical Program Lead for the once daily long-acting beta2-agonist (LABA) olodaterol (Striverdi), and the once daily long-acting muscarinic antagonist /lABA fixed-dose combination, tiotropium/olodaterol (Stiolto) (2004 - 2015). Throughout his academic and industry career, Alan has shown a particular passion for the development and evaluation of interventions that target the alleviation of breathlessness and associated activity limitation in COPD. Between 2013-2021, Alan represented BI in the CBQC as Industry Co-Chair for the Constant Work Rate Exercise Working Group. In 2020, Alan succeeded Ruth Tal-Singer as the Industry Co-Chair for the CBQC Steering Committee (2020/2021). Alan has authored or co-authored over 50 peer-reviewed publications in the area of respiratory research.

    He has a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Nottingham University in the United Kingdom, a Master of Science degree in sports science from Loughborough University in the United Kingdom and a PhD in physiology/pharmacology from McMaster University in Canada.

  • Timothy R. Aksamit, MD
    Medical Director Bronchiectasis and NTM360
    COPD Foundation

    Timothy R. Aksamit, MD

    Timothy R. Aksamit, MD serves as the Bronchiectasis and NTM Medical Director of the COPD Foundation. He oversees bronchiectasis and NTM projects and studies from a clinical perspective, serves as principal investigator, and advises on research strategy, partnership integration, and the development of grant proposals. He serves as author and subject matter expert to educate patients, health care professionals, caregivers, and media on the Foundation’s work and research findings on chronic lung conditions.

    Dr. Aksamit is also a Consultant and Associate Professor in the Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine division of Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, where he serves as the Mayo Mycobacterial and Bronchiectasis Clinic Director. Prior to accepting his position as Bronchiectasis and NTM Medical Director at the COPD Foundation, Dr. Aksamit served in a voluntary capacity as Chair of the U.S. Bronchiectasis and NTM Research Registry Consortium for several years. His service as Chair of the Consortium was critical to expanding the Registry and leveraging it to further research in the field, resulting in several published manuscripts and abstracts.

    Dr. Aksamit received his undergraduate degree in chemistry from the University of Illinois in Urbana, IL and his medical degree from Northwestern University in Chicago, IL. He received his medical training in internal medicine, pulmonary, and critical care medicine at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, where he also served as Chief Resident. Before joining the staff at Mayo Clinic in 1998, Dr. Aksamit completed research at Hammersmith Hospital in London, U.K. He will continue his work with the Mayo Clinic while supporting the mission of the COPD Foundation and the Bronchiectasis and NTM Initiative.