SENIOR STAFF

STEPHEN DOUTHWAITE

Stephen Douthwaite, a  pharmaceutical and global communications executive, leverages more than 30 years of international experience as the founder of AlphaBioCom, and co-founder and partner of AlphaScientia, AlphaQsci and AlphaGroup. His pillars for success are based on three principles – precision, integrity, and passion to deliver a best-in-industry quality of service for his clients. His industry prowess is a critical component of the cultural foundation for AlphaGroup’s full-service medical, science, and outcomes research communications agencies

Stephen has held senior-level management positions in both the UK and the US for some of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies including Merck, SmithKline Beecham, and GlaxoSmithKline, where he directed global communications activities for various cardiovascular, antibiotic, and vaccine franchises. He has managed multibillion-dollar pharmaceutical assets and launched numerous chemical and biological entities. He has led both client and agency teams throughout the world.

Stephen sets the culture and brand vision for the AlphaGroup. Most importantly, he works to create a positive corporate culture. His intention has always been to create a professional environment where every team member can thrive in a culture based on excellence, trust, and personal responsibility.

Born and raised in Luton, UK, Stephen received his BA (HONS) in Business Management and International Marketing at London South Bank University. He has completed many marathons, half Ironman triathlons, and a full Ironman triathlon. Stephen is married to Dawn Wolfrom, a successful family movie producer, and together they are raising their five children. His passions include skiing and equestrian events and he hopes one day to have the time to return to riding. 

ED SHIFFLETT, PHD

Ed Shifflett, PhD, is a tenured scientific communications executive with more than 20 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device industries, for which he has developed and implemented hundreds of strategic programs. He is co-owner of the AlphaGroup of medical communications companies, which encompasses the full-service medical communications companies AlphaBioCom, AlphaScientia, and AlphaQSci, headquartered in the Philadelphia suburbs.

As an executive leader at AlphaGroup, Ed is responsible for overseeing company operations and has helped to grow AlphaBioCom from a startup to a multimillion-dollar company. He is well-versed in identifying and establishing relationships with key thought leader physicians and has worked alongside pharmaceutical medical affairs teams and served in a medical affairs capacity throughout his career.

Specifically, Ed operates as AlphaGroup’s scientific expert and strategic business developer. He oversees company financials, forecasts, operations, and overall business and provides strategic input and direction for clients. His precision, integrity, and passion are seamlessly executed through all of the company’s strategic scientific communication plans. He is acutely aware of the challenges faced by clients and is adept at being proactive in order to exceed the expectations of clients ranging from small biotechs to large Fortune 500 pharma companies.

Ed received a Master’s degree in Exercise Physiology from Virginia Tech and a PhD in Physiology at North Carolina State University. He completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Gastroenterology at the University of Illinois-Chicago Medical School. A member of ISMPP and MAPS, Ed has authored nearly a dozen scientific research publications spanning topics from gastroenterology and enteropathogenic E. coli to exercise and sleep apnea.

Ed is a 6-time Ironman Triathlon finisher. He is dedicated to raising awareness and funds for Childhelp® and Philadelphia Children’s Alliance, organizations dedicated to helping victims of child abuse and neglect. His other philanthropic endeavors support the Ironman Foundation and annual local community events such as bicycle drives for the holidays and gathering sports equipment for donation. Ed has served as a board member of the Suburban Seahawks Swim Club and the Lock Haven University (LHU) Foundation Alumni. He is currently on the LHU Business Advisory Board and was the invited commencement speaker for LHU’s Winter Graduation ceremony in 2016.

Senior Vice President, Head of Scientific Services

MERYL GERSH, PHD

Meryl H. Gersh, PhD, is a scientific communications leader with more than 30 years of experience in genetics and biotechnology. She is Senior Vice President, Head of Scientific Services for AlphaGroup and its full-service medical, science, and outcomes research communications agencies including AlphaBioCom, AlphaScientia, and AlphaQsci. Her academic roots combined with an innate acumen for organizational management ensures excellence in business, scientific and staff leadership for the group.

She has been a faculty member of many renowned academic institutions in Philadelphia and its surrounding suburbs including St. Joseph’s University, Rosemont College, and Cabrini University, where she has taught biology, molecular biology, genetics, human heredity, and life sciences for undergraduate students. She also schooled sixth graders enrolled in a privately funded summer enrichment program for underprivileged children called Project Forward Leap at Bryn Mawr College.

Meryl joined AlphaBioCom in January 2007 as a medical writer. She now oversees all aspects of content development including strategy, writing, editorial, and graphics for the AlphaGroup agencies. She guides the development of highly functioning teams by working closely with her scientific directors. She ensures the development of high-quality deliverables within a timely manner and provides guidance on strategy and oversees compliance with company processes and industry guidelines. While as AlphaGroup, she has written about cervical cancer, prostate cancer, hematologic oncology, new technologies in Papanicolaou (Pap) testing, genetics, vaccines, health disparities, health economics, travelers’ health, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, malaria, benign prostatic hyperplasia, gout, hypertriglyceridemia, atrial fibrillation, cardiovascular disease, anticoagulation, respiratory health, gout, and gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Meryl received her Bachelor of Science in Biology with a concentration in biotechnology, cum laude, at University of Delaware. She earned her PhD in Genetics at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA. She was certified in Editing and Proofreading at Temple University, Ambler, PA; and received her Certified Medical Publications Professional (CMPP) distinction from the International Society of Medical Publication Professionals (ISMPP).

Committed to community and charities, Meryl leads many of the company’s service projects supporting American Heart Association and Philabundance. She has served as vice president of her synagogue, Beth Tikvah-B’nai Jeshurun in Erdenheim, PA, and was a member of the congregation’s board, PTO, and Sisterhood women’s group. She is an avid gym enthusiast with a passion for spinning, weight training, and kickboxing. Her Peloton bike, culinary skills, and love of fictional literature maintain her peace of mind and body. She is most proud of her children: Meryl’s daughter is a University of Pittsburgh graduate and flight controls engineer at Boeing in Seattle, WA; and her son recently graduated from Penn State University and is slated to work at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Manhattan in the fall.

Managing Director

MIKE SMITH

As Managing Director, Mike leads the team at AlphaBioCom with the intent of building upon the success the company has enjoyed over the last 15 years and establishing a more powerful presence in the global medical communications industry.

Mike earned a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering from the University of Manchester—Institute of Science and Technology.

He has more than 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and medical communications world. Mike has been the leader of several large scientific communication agencies and has experience leading organizations both in the US and EU. Mike began his career as a medical representative and brand manager for Forest Laboratories.

Mike has held a number of senior and leadership roles in large publication planning agencies. He is recognized for his ability to deliver communication solutions and effectively manage the accounts of both domestic and international clients.

His core skills include team leadership, strategic publication planning, client liaison, and issue and conflict resolution.

Mike came to AlphaBioCom in March 2012, serving as the Vice President of Strategic Communication Services.

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