Chief scientific officer and senior vice president,
Hackensack Meridian Health’s Center for Discovery and Innovation
Formally established in 2019, the Center for Discovery and Innovation aims to conduct “science with clinical impact” and bring innovations to patient care using insights from molecular and cellular science. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the center team developed novel diagnostics, improved antiviral therapy and supported several clinical trial efforts, including one of the first molecular tests to get Food and Drug Administration emergency use authorization. The center’s work also extended to new digital tools, such as an online vaccine appointment scheduling system, which saw 80,000 people use it by the first week of February, and the launch of a chatbot to help answer questions, which was used by 50,000 people in 2020.