Executive Director, Therapeutic Strategy Lead, Rare Disease
Derek has worked in clinical research for more than ten years with a focus almost exclusively in rare and pediatric diseases, including non-malignant hematology, autoimmune diseases, metabolic disorders, movement disorders, and other genetic conditions. At Worldwide, he leads and supports corporate initiatives within rare and pediatric diseases and maintains relationships with over 45 patient-focused advocacy organizations.
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Derek leads corporate initiatives within rare disease, such as building relationships with patient advocacy and patient-friendly vendors that optimize trial recruitment. He educates the Worldwide Rare Disease team on specific rare diseases, including patterns of inheritance, diagnostic odyssey, and relevant clinical trial operational best practices. While he focuses on enrolling trials faster, Derek looks to leverage innovative strategies to reduce the time to diagnosis for patients with an undiagnosed rare disease. Derek’s efforts are largely centered on patient education and empowering patients to make decisions that best fulfill their lives. He speaks at conferences in the United States on the importance of providing adequate education to rare disease patients in clinical trial settings.
Derek is a non-affiliated member of the IRB at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA. Due to inherent complexities of advanced therapies medicinal products and rare disease clinical trials, he is often a primary reviewer of these challenging studies. His expertise was sought for metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer, chronic musculoskeletal pain (osteoarthritis), point of care coagulation, machine learning in radiology, shoulder implants, advanced care for dementia, and neuromyelitis optica/neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder.
Derek holds a master’s degree in pharmacology and toxicology from Michigan State University and is pursuing a master’s degree in Genetic Counseling from Bay Path University. In his spare time, he volunteers with the Castleman Disease Collaborative Network, Cochrane, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Vaccine Education Center, and the International Board at Jefferson University in Philadelphia.