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Keynotes and Invited Speakers at the 2019 IAC

Zikria Syed

Thursday, 24 October 2019

Zikria Syed is the CEO and cofounder of PatientWing (, a company dedicated to enabling patients to participate in clinical trials.

Zikria, in his role as CEO, provides the company’s vision and strategy and works closely with its customers and partners. He is passionate about patient engagement and frequently writes and speaks on the topic.

He is a serial entrepreneur who has founded and successfully grown and exited multiple life sciences solutions companies. Prior to VitalTrax, he founded and led NextDocs to become a global leader in document management solutions to life sciences companies.  He also founded and exited Broadpeak, a clinical trial collaboration technology company.

Earlier in his career, Zikria worked at Microsoft where he spent over 10 years consulting with Microsoft’s largest enterprise customers advising them on technology and solution development. He started his career at Siemens Medical Systems where he designed and developed a document imaging solution.

Zikria holds a B.Sc. in computer science from Lock Haven University and M.Sc. in computer science from Drexel University. He currently serves on Drexel University College of Engineering Advisory Board.

Thomas Edwards

Friday, 25 October 2019

Tom Edwards pursues organizational effectiveness from the three perspectives of research, practical application, and teaching. His many years of practical experience include design team leadership, general management, and responsibility in the top management team of a NYSE-listed company. This practical experience is augmented by doctoral research into organizational management. Tom has served as an executive with profit and loss responsibility for a strategic business unit of a NYSE listed manufacturing firm and then accepted the challenge of building a culture of innovation at the company. Tom’s current challenge is building a graduate program in leadership for the College of Engineering at Temple University in Philadelphia.

Tom began to apply management principles to the leadership of neurodiverse employees in 2015. The complete lack of research into this question led Tom to develop a workshop for industry practitioners that began to build a body of practical knowledge. Tom has spoke on this topic at numerous organizations including SAP Inc. and the Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania (CHOP). Additionally, Tom has made sure that the graduates of the Engineering Management program at Temple University are equipped to step up this challenge in the workplace. Several of these graduates have become involved in the autism-at-work programs at their organizations.

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