IBD Qorus: Leadership Team

CCFA has the distinct privilege of working with the finest experts in the field of IBD in order to fulfill our mission of curing Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, and improving the quality of life of children and adults affected by inflammatory bowel diseases.


Chief Scientific Officer, Crohn's & Colitis Foundation
Caren Heller, MD, MBA

Dr. Heller received her medical degree from Columbia University and a Masters of Business Administration from The University of Chicago. She has extensive professional experience within the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries and academic medical centers. As the Foundation's Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Heller is responsible for all mission-related activities, including research efforts and patient and provider support and education programs.

She previously worked for Weill Cornell Medical College, where she was Associate Dean of Intercampus and Industry Initiatives. In that role, Dr. Heller implemented plans to promote interdisciplinary collaborations between the medical school and Cornell University faculties, facilitated the development of an NIH-funded intercampus center, promoted collaborative research projects with industry partners, and managed the intercampus pilot grant program. Prior to Weill Cornell Medical College, she was at Athena Healthcare Consulting, working with industry and academic centers regarding new product opportunities, new drug development, and clinical and translational research. While there, she developed Models of Care, a health care information series that identified and described best practices in disease management.

In addition, Dr. Heller has experience in pharmaceutical drug development, including design and implementation of clinical development plans and involvement in new drug applications resulting in drug approvals. She has been published in more than 20 publications and is the recipient of the "Best Journal Article on Disease Management" honor.


Co-Chair of IBD Qorus
Gil Melmed, MD, MS

Dr. Melmed is Director of Clinical Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and Associate Professor at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. His main clinical and research interests are clinical outcomes in inflammatory bowel disease, including health-related quality of life, post-operative outcomes, vaccination and health maintenance issues, and quality of care. He has authored or co-authored over 90 publications and serves as the IBD Associate Editor for the American Journal of Gastroenterology. He is an active member of CCFA and co-chairs CCFA's national Quality of Care Committee, and is a past chair of the IBD section of the American Gastroenterology Association's Quality Measures Committee.

Dr. Melmed received his medical degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He completed his residency at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and his gastroenterology fellowship at UCLA, where he also received a master's of science in clinical research. He is board-certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in gastroenterology.


Co-Chair of IBD Qorus
Corey Siegel, MD

Dr. Siegel is the Director of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Center at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire, an Associate Professor of Medicine at The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, and Co-Chair of IBD Qorus. His research interests include understanding risk/benefit tradeoffs in IBD, developing models to predict outcomes in Crohn's disease, creating tools to facilitate shared decision making, and improving the quality of care delivered to patients with IBD. He has been funded by the NIH, AHRQ and CCFA for this work. He has lectured nationally and internationally, and published numerous journal articles and book chapters on this and other topics in IBD. Dr. Siegel is the founder of the BRIDGe group, an international research collaborative of IBD investigators. Dr. Siegel was inducted into the International Organization for the Study of IBD (IOIBD) in 2013. He is on the Editorial Board for Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology and Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, and serves as a reviewer for The American Journal of Gastroenterology, Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Journal of Crohn's and Colitis, Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, The Cochrane Collaboration, and Gastroenterology.

Dr. Siegel received his medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, Massachusetts in 1998. He completed his residency in internal medicine at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire. Dr. Siegel served as chief medical resident at Dartmouth from 2001-2002, where he also completed a fellowship in gastroenterology. From 2004-2005, he completed a fellowship in Inflammatory Bowel Disease at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.


Director, IBD Qorus and Clinical Research Programs
Alandra Weaver, MPH

Alandra Weaver joined the Foundation in November 2014 as Director of IBD Qorus and Clinical Research Programs. Prior to joining the Foundation, Alandra spent eight years at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center working in various roles including directing the Office of the Physician-in-Chief, supporting hospital-wide projects, and leading various disease groups in the Clinical Trials Department. In addition to her work on IBD Qorus, Alandra is also overseeing the Foundation's Adult and Pediatric clinical research networks.

Alandra holds a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a Masters of Public Health in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from the Hunter College School of Urban Public Health in New York City.


Chief Scientist, IBD Plexus®
James Lewis, MD, MSCE

James Lewis, MD, MSCE, is Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology and Senior Scholar in the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia, PA. Dr. Lewis has been actively involved in clinical research related to inflammatory bowel diseases, medication safety, and optimizing medical therapies for more than 15 years. During the last five years, he has additionally focused on the impact of diet on the gut microbiome and the course of inflammatory bowel disease. He has employed a various research methods to address these questions, ranging from mathematical modeling to placebo-controlled randomized trials. His work has been funded by the NIH, AHRQ, PCORI, and numerous foundations and corporate sponsors. Dr. Lewis previously served as the Chair of the Foundation's National Scientific Advisory Committee and as associate editor for Gastroenterology and Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety.