Mentor: Deborah Collyar
Deborah Collyar has been a leader in patient engagement and advocacy since her first cancer diagnosis. She utilizes her business leadership, IT, and communication skills to bridge research gaps between scientists, medical providers, and patients. Deborah founded the Patient Advocates in Research (PAIR) international network in 1996, “where research meets reality” and consults with the health and medical research communities.
Deborah has infused hundreds of patient advocates into research programs while creating a variety of trainings and delivering innovative ways to gather input from thousands of patients. Her work encompasses many diseases, programs and policies at grassroots, national and international levels, and emphasizes patient issues throughout early development and protocols, recruitment, retention, and results reporting. Deborah also serves as a consultant to Health Literacy Media (HLM) in their Clearly Communicating Clinical Trials (C3T) program. Deborah encourages innovation in clinical trials and healthcare delivery. She has been a key member in several pivotal projects, academic institutions, companies, and international consortia.
Scientist: Eliza Barragan, Ph.D.
Eliza Barragan is a scientist with a diverse background in molecular biology, genetics, neurobiology, and aging. She transitioned to cancer research when she was recruited to start a tissue and body donation program, aimed to accelerate research in the metastatic setting. As a translational scientist, Eliza strives to bring scientists and clinicians together to answer critical questions that impact the care and treatment strategies for patients in the clinic. She is passionate about making science accessible and easy-to-understand for patients.