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Bill Crouch Bill Crouch, Keynote Speaker (Cabinet Secretary West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources) 

Bill J. Crouch was appointed Cabinet Secretary of the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) in January 2017 by Governor Jim Justice. Prior to being named Secretary of DHHR, Bill had retired from the health care consulting company that bears his name, Bill J. Crouch and Associates, Inc. Bill served as President of that company for thirty years, where he provided health care management and consulting services to hospitals, long term care facilities, ambulatory care clinics, physicians, and others. During part of that time, he was also a partner in a long term care company that owned nursing facilities and assisted living communities in West Virginia. 

Public service, however, is not new to Bill. He started his government service in 1978, when he joined the West Virginia Department of Health, now the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources. He quickly moved his way up in the Department from the Division of Maternal and Child Health to the Office of Community Health Services, where he became the Assistant Director. 

In 1983, the West Virginia Legislature passed a bill creating the West Virginia Health Care Authority with the intent of regulating acute care hospital’s rates, operating the Certificate of Need program for the state and writing the State Health Plan for West Virginia. Shortly after passage of that legislation, Bill was asked to be the first Executive Director of that agency where he stayed through 1986. 

Bill is a past associate member of the West Virginia Hospital Association, past member of the board of directors of the West Virginia Health Care Association, and past member of the board of directors of the West Virginia Assisted Living Association/Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA). 

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Mars Hill College and a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Tennessee. He and his wife, Debbie, are the parents of two daughters and have two grandsons.

Dr. Albert Berrebi Dr. Albert Berrebi (Asst. VP for Research and Professor of Otolaryngology; WVU Health Sciences Center) 

Dr. Albert Berrebi is the Assistant Vice President for Research at the Health Sciences Center of West Virginia University and also a Professor of Otolaryngology. Albert grew up in Brooklyn,NY and graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School in 1977. He attended the State University of New York College at Oswego where he double-majored in Zoology andPsychology.Following his graduation in 1981, he entered graduate school at the University ofConnecticut (Storrs) to study Developmental Psychobiology with Dr. Victor Denenberg. Hewent on to receive his Ph.D. in Developmental Psychobiology (1986) and received an NINDS Individual National Research Service Award to support his postdoctoral training at the same institution (1987-1989). His fellowship, completed under the supervision of Professor Enrico Mugnaini, centered on neuronal microcircuits in the auditory brainstem and cerebellum.

In 1992, following a 3 year appointment as a Research Associate in Dr. Mugnaini’s lab, Dr. Berrebi joined the WVU Department of Otolaryngology as an Assistant Professor. He has mentored graduate students, medical students, MD/Ph.D. students, and residents in his home department of Otolaryngology. His research program, funded primarily by the NIDCD, focuses on anatomical and physiological characterization of auditory brainstem and midbrain circuits. For many years he directed the WVU Neuroscience Graduate Program and currently serves asDirector of the NIGMS T32 sponsored Research Training Program in Behavioral andBiomedical Sciences at WVU.

Dr. Anne Bolyward  Anne Bolyard (Director of Research Administration for the West Virginia Clinical and Translational Science Institute)

Dr. Anne Bolyard has specialized in research administration for over 14 years. She began as a grant-funded professional and then became an administrator of several statewide sub-awards to various community organizations. She has also held the title of central sponsored projects administrator. In 2011, Dr. Bolyard was recognized as a Certified Research Administrator (CRA) as well as a Certified Pre-Award Research Administrator (CPRA) by the Research Administrators Certification Council. In 2012, she earned her doctorate in Educational Leadership—Higher Education Administration from Marshall University. 

Currently, Dr. Bolyard is the Director of Research Administration for the West Virginia Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (WVCTSI) as well as the office of the Associate Vice President - Clinical and Translational Research. In this role, she provides administrative oversight related to all extramural actions related to the Assistant Vice President (AVP) for Clinical and Translational Research as well as the West Virginia Clinical Translational Sciences Institute (WVCTSI). In addition, Dr. Bolyard manages the daily operational pre-award, post-award, and financial activities related WVCTSI.

Dr. Laura Gibson Dr. Laura Gibson (Senior Assoc. VP for Research and Graduate Education; WVU Health Sciences Center) 

Dr. Laura F. Gibson is the Senior Associate Vice President for Research and Graduate Education for the West Virginia University (WVU) Health Sciences Center (HSC), the Associate Dean for Research for the WVU School of Medicine and the Deputy Director of the WVU Cancer Institute. She is responsible for development and oversight of laboratory based infrastructure, identification of scientific thematic areas for strategic investment across the WVU HSC, graduate education, and overall leadership of her team’s support of the scientific enterprise across the schools that comprise the HSC. 

Outside of her administrative roles Dr. Gibson has a long standing interest in tumor microenvironment (TME) and specifically tumor-stromal cell interactions in the marrow that impact on progression of disease and response to therapy as well as tumor stem cell biology. These areas have served as focal points in her lab that has been NIH funded for over 20 years, providing the opportunity for training over 30 individuals including undergraduates, graduate students and clinical fellows. Beyond her own research interests she also serves as a core director for the WV-Clinical and Translational Science (CTR)-IDeA grant (PI Dr. Sally Hodder) and as the PI of the Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (CoBRE) in Signal Transduction and Cancer. 

Prior to her current administrative roles, Dr. Gibson served as Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Pediatrics at WVU for 8 years, during which she also participated as a HSTA and INBRE Program faculty mentor providing a wide range of trainee mentoring opportunities and development of faculty mentoring strategies. She frequently interacts with legislative and congressional leaders to discuss the impact of various funding programs on work force development and the economic impact in WV, with emphasis on the IDEA program. She currently holds the Alexander B. Osborn Distinguished Professor of Hematological Diseases.

Dr. Valorie Lemasters Valerie Lemasters (Senior Director for Research and Graduate Education; WVU Health Sciences Center)

Valerie Lemasters has worked at the West Virginia University Health Sciences Center for 47 years with nearly 29 years of expertise in pre-award and grants administration. Her initial role included approval of all School of Medicine extramural grant proposals before submission to the Office of Sponsored Programs-on behalf of both the Dean of the School of Medicine as well as the Health Sciences Vice President’s office. She provided assistance with both Institutional Review Board and Animal Care and Use Committee protocol development, and reviewed both on behalf of the School of Medicine’s Dean prior to submission to their respective review committees. 

When the School of Medicine’s Office of Research and Graduate Education expanded to a Health Sciences Center-wide office, Valerie took on the role of pre-award adviser and approver on behalf of the Dean of the School of Medicine, as well as the for the HSC Vice President for Research on grant submissions from all colleges HSC-wide. 

Her current role is Senior Director for Research and Graduate Education at the Health Sciences Center, to which both the newly centralized pre and post-award support teams report. She manages a variety of research related responsibilities on behalf of Dr. Laura Gibson and the HSC administration.