Executive Team & Staff

The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas’ efforts are guided by an executive team and staff that are committed to fulfilling CPRIT’s mission to find and fund the best cancer research and prevention projects in Texas.

Kristen Doyle

Chief Executive Officer

The CPRIT Oversight Committee unanimously voted to hire Kristen Doyle as CPRIT’s CEO effective July 1, 2024. She joined the agency in 2009, serving as CPRIT’s deputy executive officer and general counsel. Ms. Doyle has played a pivotal role in establishing the policies and legal and regulatory foundations that ensure CPRIT maintains the highest standards in carrying out our mission to accelerate cancer cures, treatments, and prevention activities throughout Texas.

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Heidi McConnell

Deputy Executive Officer / Chief Operating Officer

Ms. McConnell has oversight of CPRIT’s daily operations, including financial administration, grant administration, information technology services, procurement, human resources, facilities, and CPRIT conference planning. She has been with CPRIT since 2009.

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Michelle M. Le Beau, Ph.D.

Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Le Beau leads CPRIT’s academic research program in supporting innovative cancer research and recruiting world-class cancer researchers to Texas institutions. Her distinguished research career has focused on basic and translational research. She is recognized for her work identifying recurring chromosomal abnormalities and defining the clinical and genetic subsets of leukemia, characterizing the genetic pathways that lead to hematological malignancies, and the application of fluorescence in situ hybridization for clinical diagnostics and gene mapping.

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Ramona Magid

Chief Prevention Officer

Ramona Magid heads up CPRIT’s prevention program in supporting evidence-based prevention services in all 254 counties of Texas. Her responsibilities include directing the prevention program and fostering collaboration among the cancer and disease prevention community to maximize CPRIT's impact.

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G. Kenneth “Ken” Smith, Ph.D.

Chief Product Development Officer

Dr. Smith joined CPRIT as its inaugural Chief Due Diligence and Patent Officer in September 2021. He brings more than 30 years of experience in the life science industry across a broad range of business and legal sectors, including cofounding biotech companies and working as patent counsel for major pharmaceutical companies.

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Vince Burgess

Chief Compliance Officer

Mr. Burgess oversees compliance strategy and planning for CPRIT’s grant review, award, and monitoring processes.  As the Chief Compliance Officer, he is also responsible for assessing and ensuring compliance by the Institute’s committee members and employees with applicable laws, rules, and policies, including matters of ethics and standards of conduct, financial reporting, internal accounting controls, and auditing.

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Margaret Akutekha

Grant Compliance Specialist

Demitra Alexander

Grant Accountant

Carlton Allen

Program Manager for Research and Prevention

Bridget Barstow

Technical Writer

Michael Bedford

Systems Support Specialist

Ann Bjorgo

Grant Accountant

Donald Brandy

Contracts, Purchasing & HUB Coordinator

Dr. Myriam Casillas

Program Manager for Academic Research

Donna Cooper

Agency Accountant

Shannon Cusick

Chief Information Officer

Jennifer Dear

Grant Compliance Specialist

Cameron Eckel


Somadina Emenike

Information Security Officer

Cathy Harkness

Grant Accountant

Michelle Huddleston


Melanie Jamison

Grant Compliance Specialist

Dr. Michelle Leeuwon

Program Manager for Product Development

Daniel Limas

Operations Specialist

Mark Loeffler

Communications Director

Dr. Abria Magee

Senior Program Manager for Product Development

Debra McHenry

Grant Accountant

Deborah Mitchell

Grant Compliance Specialist

Tina Molander

Grant Accountant

Dr. Patricia Moore

Director of Academic Research

Stephen Nance

Compliance Program Manager

Lisa Nelson

Operations Manager

Uzoamaka Nwachukwu

Grant Compliance Specialist

Justin Rand

Digital Communications Specialist

Sandra Reyes

Operations Specialist

Martin Rivera

Grant Compliance Specialist

Adela Saenz

Grant Operations Specialist

Kevin Schuller

Systems Support Specialist

Kelli Starbird

Grant Compliance Specialist

Karen Stephenson

Grant Compliance Specialist

Rashonda Thomas

Lead Grant Compliance Specialist

Sherry Thompson

Grant Compliance Specialist

Sharanya Vadiyala

Program Statistician