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.

Wayne Roberts

Chief Executive Officer

Wayne Roberts was named Chief Executive Officer of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas in November 2013 after nearly one year as the Interim Executive Director.  

Prior to four years with The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston as Associate Vice President for Public Policy, Wayne’s career emphasized public finance and budget, especially related to higher education. 

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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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Kristen Doyle

Deputy Executive Officer, General Counsel

Ms. Doyle is responsible for overseeing the legal issues that arise as part of CPRIT’s operations, including grant award contract negotiations, intellectual property and revenue sharing agreements, conflicts of interest and confidentiality, and regulatory/compliance issues.  Prior to joining CPRIT, Ms. Doyle was a partner at an Austin-based law firm and served as Vice President of the Board of Directors for the Central Texas Chapter for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

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Heidi McConnell

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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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

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


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

Rashonda Thomas

Lead Grant Compliance Specialist

Sharanya Vadiyala

Program Statistician