Who: Greg Simon, 64
New role: Executive director of the Cancer Moonshot Task Force, an initiative President Barack Obama announced during this year's State of the Union address, and led by Vice President Joe Biden, aiming to accelerate gains in cancer prevention and treatment.
Background: Most recently, Simon served as CEO of Poliwogg, a company that provides investment opportunities in healthcare startups. Previously, he co-founded the charity FasterCures, which aims to speed up the medical research system. He was also formerly senior VP of patient engagement at Pfizer.
Fighting data hoarding: Simon said one of his goals is to encourage data sharing. Data repositories have been established at universities and cancer centers across the country, he said, but their information often isn't shared. With the surge in electronic health records, it's now easier to harmonize data and search them. “The technology for sharing has increased exponentially, but the willingness to share has not,”
Focus on the patient: Simon, who was diagnosed with leukemia in 2014, said the treatments can take an immense toll on patients, and caregivers need to keep that experience in mind. “You are waking patients at 4 in the morning to stick a needle in them, because that's the schedule the hospitals are on.”