Leadership Team

 
Benjamin J. Epstein
PharmD, BCPS

President, Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Epstein was trained at the University of Florida (UF) in Gainesville, Florida where he completed his Residency and Fellowship. Subsequently, he was invited to join the faculty at UF where he accepted a joint appointment in the Colleges of Pharmacy and Medicine. While at UF, Dr. Epstein has been a successful researcher and lecturer. He has lectured nationally and internationally on various topics and has authored numerous articles published in New England Journal of Medicine, Drugs, American Family Physician, Current Opinion on Investigational Drugs, Pharmacotherapy, and Annals of Pharmacotherapy. Dr. Epstein serves as a scientific reviewer for several major journals. These successes have lead to opportunities for Dr. Epstein to work as a consultant, advisor, and a steering committee member for several major pharmaceutical companies. It was in this capacity that Dr. Epstein’s medical communications interests where cultivated. He envisioned a new generation of medical communications, with a focus on science and a novel client-vendor-consultant relationship. Dr. Epstein began working closely with ECIR to master this new approach, which is now being employed by several major pharmaceutical companies. Dr. Epstein’s expertise are in the areas of cardiovascular disease and drug therapy, anticoagulation, endocrinology, rheumatology, gastroenterology and drug interactions.

 
Tina Sodha
PharmD

Vice President

Dr. Sodha built her career in medical education over the last 10 years with experience in both promotional and continuing medical education projects. Her latest work focuses on key opinion leader research and identification, advisory forums, and strategic and tactical brand planning. Dr. Sodha is also experienced in the research and development of written materials for publication plans, continuing medical education programs, and clinician advisory councils. She has composed and supervised the work of medical directors and medical writers on peer-review journal articles and supplements, clinical slide presentations, agendas, and moderator/facilitator guides, among other written works. Through her work in medical communications, Dr. Sodha has built relationships with key thought leaders, particularly in the areas of neurology, gastroenterology, nephrology, cardiology (hypertension and heart failure), and hospital medicine. During her years of medical education work, Dr. Sodha has communicated and collaborated with faculty on program implementation to ensure that strategic objectives are met. She has contributed to numerous strategic and tactical plans, aligning with the marketing, medical and clinical brand teams. With her background as a medical director and her insight and understanding of the pharmaceutical industry, Dr. Sodha offers a unique combination of a strategically thinking Director of Client Services. The net result is an unparalleled delivery in client services.

 
Chris Aytug
MBA

Senior Program Manager

Prior to joining ECIR in 2012, Chris was the Director of Marketing / Sales, Project Management and Contracts for a new Phase I/II cGMP biopharmaceutical manufacturing facility, affiliated with the University of Florida. She worked extensively with both large and small biotechnology companies developing novel therapeutics (gene and cell therapies or recombinant proteins) for early stage clinical trials. In addition to developing the organizations branding and marketing strategies, she developed and managed manufacturing timelines for complex multi-million dollar projects. Prior to Florida Biologix, Chris worked with GlaxoSmithKline for 20 years in various areas, including immunology research, oncology market research, managed care market research, brand marketing, hospital sales and specialty sales. During this time, Chris worked with national faculty in several therapeutic areas and ran market research and advisory board programs. She has managed projects in and run territories covering the therapeutic areas of oncology, HIV, respiratory, allergy, migraine, depression, overactive bladder and antivirals. Her market research experience helps Chris to know how to ask the right questions and obtain the most useful information, her marketing experience helps her understand how to translate information into the best story, given pharmaceutical regulatory constraints, and her sales experience allows her to understand the customer perspective and provide the highest level of client service. Her current focus for ECIR is on getting projects completed on time and under budget to create happy clients. Chris has an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business (Durham NC) and a BS in Zoology from Duke University.