Colleague Profiles

Georgios Karamanlidis

Principal Scientist

Additional Information

I am Greek in origin and I was trained in animal science at the technological educational institute of Thessaloniki. I then moved to UK to obtain my PhD in molecular biology, studying brown adipose tissue development, where I developed an interest in mitochondrial biology. For my postdoc, I joined Dr. Rong Tian’s lab at Harvard University where I was given the opportunity to explore further my mitochondrial interest studying the role of mitochondrial dysfunction in heart failure. In CVMED my primary interest is focused in understanding the pathogenesis of heart failure at the molecular level, in order to develop novel therapeutic interventions. I also maintain a strong interest in mitochondrial biology and its implication in the development of different diseases.

When I am not at work, I enjoy hiking, sailing and experimenting in the kitchen, all in the company of my friends and family.

Education:
B.S. in Animal Science, Technological Educational Institute of Thessaloniki, Greece
Ph.D. in Molecular biology in obesity, University of Aberdeen, Scotland, UK
Postdoctoral Fellowship in heart failure at Harvard University, Boston, MA and University of Washington, Seattle, WA.

Years at Pfizer: 1 Year, Hired in December, 2012

Why did you choose Pfizer?
Joining Pfizer was an exciting opportunity to transition into translational biology, learn about drug discovery from the leaders in the pharmaceutical industry and hopefully to make an impact in fighting cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.

What are some accomplishments you are most proud of?
I am proud that I was able to join this outstanding scientific community at Pfizer and be given the chance to play an important role in developing novel therapeutic interventions that can impact the lives of millions of people.

Athanasia (Nancy) Skoura

Principal Scientist

Additional Information

I was born and raised in Greece and studied biology at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. I moved to the United States to obtain my Ph.D at the University of Connecticut Health Center (UCHC) with Dr. Timothy Hla where I focused on understanding the role of Sphingosine-1 Phosphate in vascular homeostasis and major vascular diseases such as Atherosclerosis and Ischemic Retinopathy. During my postdoctoral training with Dr. William Sessa at Yale University, I studied the role of miRNAs and endocytic pathways in smooth muscle physiology and endothelial function, respectively.

When I’m not at work, I enjoy spending quality time with my family and dancing.

Education:
B.S. in Biology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece
Ph.D. in Biological Sciences, Department of Cell Biology, University of Connecticut Health Center, CT
Post-doctorate, Department of Pharmacology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT

Years at Pfizer: 1

Why did you choose Pfizer?
Pfizer was an excellent opportunity to start my career in drug discovery and development. More importantly, I had the chance to work and collaborate with brilliant and highly motivated scientists that lead therapeutic innovation.

What are some accomplishments you are most proud of?
I am proud of the work I have been doing since I joined Pfizer. I had the privilege and opportunity to work on many different, interesting projects involving target identification and validation. More importantly, I have been a member of a highly productive team responsible for progressing exciting targets from the preclinical level to clinical development.

Albert Kim

Senior Director, Clinical Lead

Additional Information

I’m originally from the California, but have been back and forth between east and west coasts for the last 20 years. I studied biomedical engineering as an undergraduate at Harvard, and went on to medical school at UCLA where I enrolled in the medical scientist training program. There, I studied excitation-contraction coupling with biophysical tools (confocal calcium imaging, flash photolysis) and earned a Ph.D. in physiology. After completing my clinical clerkships and graduating with an M.D., I pursued further training at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital (internal medicine), the FDA (Division of Cardiac Devices), the Massachusetts General Hospital (cardiovascular medicine), and finally UCSF (clinical cardiac electrophysiology). After joining the faculty at UCSF, I decided to follow my interest in developing new therapies for cardiovascular diseases and transitioned to the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research. After almost 4 years there leading projects as a translational medicine expert, I joined the Pfizer CVMED RU for the people, culture, and opportunities here. I continue to see patients part time, as I very much enjoy the interactions and feel that clinical care lends important context to drug discovery and development. Outside of work, I enjoy chasing after my two young children and playing any sport with a ball.

Education:
A.B. in Biomedical Engineering, Harvard College, Cambridge, MA
M.D., UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA
Ph.D. in Physiology, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA
Internship and Residency in Internal Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA
Fellowship in Cardiovascular Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA
Fellowship in Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology, UCSF, San Francisco, CA

Years at Pfizer: 1

Why did you choose Pfizer?
Because of the people - CVMED has a tangibly positive culture that rewards good science and teamwork, and this made the opportunity to work with the talented colleagues here uniquely compelling. Also, Pfizer has a rich heritage developing cardiovascular medicines and has reaffirmed its commitment to discovering new ones.

What are some accomplishments you are most proud of?
Although I’ve been here only a short time, it’s been energizing to contribute to the interdisciplinary CVMED/Neuroscience stroke team, the cardiovascular safety council, and to projects targeting the major unmet needs in cardiovascular and metabolic medicine.

Cecile Vernochet

Principal Scientist

Additional Information

I was born in France and completed my PhD program in Biology and Pharmacology at the University of Sciences in Nice, France. I came to Boston in 2004 to complete my postdoctoral training at Boston University and at the Joslin Diabetes Center. My career was focused on white and brown adipocytes biology from head to toe. I initially worked on stem cells development into adipocyte lineage as well as the impact of HIV drugs on adipocyte biology during my PhD. My postdoctoral research focused on adipocyte transcriptional control, bioenergetics and physiological impact of mitochondria in Obesity/Type 2 Diabetes. Outside work, I’m a busy mom who enjoys horse riding, running and pretty much everything that includes speed.

Education:
B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Nice (France)
Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Physiology, University of Nice (France).
Postdoctoral Fellowship in Molecular Biology at Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA
Postdoctoral Fellowship in Obesity and Insulin resistance Physiology at Joslin Diabetes Center, Boston, MA

Years at Pfizer: 1

Why did you choose Pfizer?
Joining Pfizer represented the best opportunity to learn drug discovery and I’m proud to be part of an outstanding scientific community that is dedicated to lead in therapeutic innovation.

What are some accomplishments you are most proud of?
I’m more interested in the next one.