BU’s BEST Leadership Team

BU’s BEST Staff

Deborah Fournier, Ph.D., M.S.
Assistant Provost of BUMC Institutional Research & Evaluation

Dr. Fournier performs the evaluation and assessment for BU’s BEST. She works to help innovate and improve programming for BU’s BEST.

Dr. Fournier received her Master’s and doctoral degree from Syracuse University.


Jean L. Spencer, Ph.D.
Instructor of Biochemistry

Dr. Spencer performs the data analysis for BU’s BEST. She generates the trends in biomedical workforce needs using software from Burning Glass Technologies, and she tracks the career outcomes for GMS graduates.

Dr. Spencer received her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Pennsylvania State University and her doctoral degree in chemical engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University. Before joining the Department of Biochemistry at Boston University, she worked in industrial research for 4 years at General Motors Research Laboratories and for 16 years at The Gillette Company.


BU’s BEST employs a multi-PI leadership team with each PI bringing unique talents and perspectives to the table.

Linda E. Hyman, Ph.D.
Associate Provost, Division of Graduate Medical Sciences
Professor of Microbiology

Dr. Hyman is responsible for the administrative elements of the program including managing the budget, serving as the point of contact for the NIH, supervising support personnel, and representing the program to stakeholders outside of BU’s BEST program. Dr. Hyman earned her undergraduate degree at the State University of New York at Albany, followed by a master’s and doctoral degree at Brandeis University. She also completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Tufts University School of Medicine. She began her professional career at Tulane University School of Medicine, where she became a tenured associate professor in 2003. Dr. Hyman assumed the position of Associate Provost for the Division of Graduate Medical Sciences in 2009.


BMS_150Barbara M. Schreiber, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biochemistry
Director of Graduate Studies

Dr. Schreiber serves as the contact for all curricular activities, coordinates all efforts on the development of software with Burning Glass Technologies, and aides in managing and coordinating all workshops and seminars. A longtime member of the Boston University School of Medicine, Dr. Schreiber is well positioned to serve as the face of the alumni mentoring network. Dr. Schreiber earned her bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo in Buffalo, NY followed by her doctorate at Boston University in the department of Microbiology.

BU’s BEST Past Directors

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Amanda Bolgioni-Smith, Ph.D.
Director, Professional and Career Development, Graduate Medical Sciences
Assistant Professor, Medical Sciences & Education


Chelsea Barbercheck, Ph.D.
Program Director, BU’s BEST



BU’s BEST Steering Committee

The Steering Committee guides operational and strategic decision-making for BU’s BEST. The steering committee provides administrative oversight and integrates all resources needed to make BU’s BEST impactful, transferable, and sustainable for Boston University biomedical trainees.

  • Lauren Celano, M.B.A., Co-founder and CEO, Propel Careers, Boston, MA
  • Deborah M. Fournier, Ph.D., M.S., Assistant Provost for Institutional Research and Evaluation, Director BU-CTSI Evaluation, Boston University School of Medicine
  • Sarah Hokanson, Ph.D., Assistant Provost, Professional Development & Postdoctoral Affairs, Boston University
  • Farrah A. Belizaire, M.S., Manager of Diversity and Inclusion, Boston University School of Medicine
  • Kimberly A. McCall, Ph.D., Professor of Biology, Boston University
  • M. Isabel Dominguez, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine

BU’s BEST Internal Advisory Committee

The Internal Advisory Committee guides strategic decision-making by assessing the overall effectiveness of ongoing and emerging opportunities that may arise during program implementation.

  • Beverly Brown, Ph.D., Director of Development, Industry, School of Public Health,  Boston University
  • David Center, M.D., Professor of Pulmonary Medicine, Medicine, and Biochemistry; Chief of Allergy, Pulmonary, and Critical Care Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine
  • Jennifer Grodsky, Vice President, Federal Relations, Boston University
  • David A. Harris, Ph.D., Professor and Chair, Department of Biochemistry, Boston University School of Medicine
  • Sarah Hokanson, Ph.D., Assistant Provost, Office of Professional Development and Postdoctoral Affairs
  • Elissa Everton, Doctoral Student Representative, Boston University
  • Daniel Kleinman, Ph.D., Associate Provost for Graduate Affairs, Professor of Sociology, Boston University
  • Kristyna Kotynkova, Ph.D.,  Postdoctoral Representative, Boston University
  • Julie H. Sandell, Ph.D., Professor of Anatomy & Neurobiology, Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs, Office of the Provost, Boston University
  • Marc Scatamacchia, MBA, Associate Vice President, Industry Engagement, Boston University
  • Tom Tullius, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Chemistry, Boston University
  • Joyce Y. Wong, Ph.D., Professor of Bio-medical Engineering, Boston University
  • Alex Bloom, Ph.D., Past Doctoral Student Representative, Boston University
  • Sarah Mazzilli, Past Postdoctoral Representative, Boston University

BU’s BEST External Advisory Committee

The External Advisory Committee helps steer the direction of BU’s BEST program by providing insight to program end users, those who represent the areas of the workforce that our trainees hope to enter.

  • Susan Doctrow, Ph.D., Research and Development Consultant to Biotech/Pharma Companies
  • Amy Donner, PhD, Associate Director, Strategic Scientific Publications at Wave Life Sciences
  • Erika Ebbel Angle, Ph.D., CEO and Co-founder of Ixcela and founder of Science from Scientists
  • Eric Furfine, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Ohana Biosciences, Inc.
  • Anne Granger, Ph.D., Head, Postdoctoral Program at Novartis Institues for BioMedical Research (NIBR)
  • Magdalena James-Pederson, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Biology, Associate Professor of Biochemistry, Stonehill College
  • Daniel J. Pomeroy, Ph.D., Program Manager, International Policy Lab, Center for International Studies, MIT, Cambridge, MA
  • Dominic Yee, Ph.D., J.D., Corporate Counsel, Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, Boston, MA
  • Karla Talanian, MS, MBA, Manager of Labor Market Research Development, MassBioEd
  • Kathy Williams, PhD, JD, Partner, Co-Chair Life Sciences, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP