Paul J. Pockros, MD

President and Founder

Paul J. Pockros, MD is the President and Founder of SC Liver Research Consortium, LLC. Dr. Pockros joined the gastroenterology/hepatology at Scripps Clinic, La Jolla, California, in 1985, where he is currently the Director of the Liver Disease Center and Director of Clinical Research of the Scripps Translational Science Institute. During his tenure at Scripps Clinic, Dr. Pockros has held numerous leadership roles and positions including chief of staff at Scripps Green Hospital (2009-11); Medical Director of the Liver Transplantation Program (1990-97); and Head of the Division of Gastroenterology/Hepatology (1996-2012). While Dr. Pockros is trained to treat the full spectrum of digestive diseases, his area of expertise and research efforts focus on hepatology, including the treatment of chronic hepatitis B and C as well as end-stage liver disease. He has over 300 published manuscripts and abstracts in peer-reviewed journals coverings areas such as chronic viral hepatitis, liver transplantation, complications of cirrhosis, alcoholic, metabolic and fatty liver diseases, and diagnostic tests for liver disorders [H score=54]. He is invited to lecture regularly at universities, medical societies, and regional conferences and he routinely presents his research at national and international congresses where he is recognized for expertise in development of new therapies in chronic hepatitis C. Dr. Pockros has collaborative research studies with a number of investigators at The Scripps Research Institute and has NIH support for his position as Director of Clinical Research of the Scripps Translational Science Institute. He is the principle investigator for a number of investigator-initiated studies at Scripps. Dr. Pockros received his medical degree from the University of Southern California, where he also completed his internship and residency in internal medicine. He then completed a fellowship in gastroenterology at Scripps Clinic, La Jolla, CA, followed by a second fellowship in hepatology at the USC Rancho Los Amigos Medical Center Liver Unit.

Ronda Willis, MBA, CRCP

Director of Operations

Ronda Willis is the Director of Operations for SCLRC, joining the company in 2012. Ms. Willis has over 16 years of experience in healthcare management. Ms. Willis provides oversight for all SCLRC operations and clinical trial management. She assists in protocol design and submissions of grant applications. Prior to joining SCLRC, Ms. Willis was a Research Administrative Liaison Scripps Health, where she was responsible for negotiating clinical trial contracts and budgets. Ms. Willis has also been the Director of Practice Management for a large, integrated medical group in Southern California. Ms. Willis holds a B.S. in Finance from the University of South Florida, and an M.B.A. from University of Phoenix. She received her Clinical Research Contracting Professional (CRCP) certification from Model Agreements and Guidelines International (MAGI) in 2009.

Howard J. Horwitz, MPH

Director of Continuing Medical Education

Howard J. Horwitz serves as the Director of Continuing Medical Education for SCLRC with over 30 years’ experience in continuing education and professional development. In his current capacity, he works with SCLRC leadership, university offices of continuing education, seminar faculty and other stakeholders to help design, develop and deliver our educational programs throughout the county. Prior to joining the Consortium, he was lead the Continuing Medical Education and Conference Services arm of Scripps Health, a large multi-hospital and clinic system in San Diego, California. Howard and the Scripps team developed and managed comprehensive clinical education programs in, Cardiology, Hepatology, Family Medicine, Oncology Diabetes Care and others. Their program drew upwards to 1000 participants and ranged from 3 hour programs to seven- day educational events. Before Scripps, Mr. Horwitz served as the Vice President for Professional Development for the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) in Chicago, IL and held the same position with the American College of Physician Executives (now AAPL) in Tampa, Florida. In these roles he oversaw both continuing education and career services. Mr. Horwitz holds a BA from the University of California, Los Angeles and a Masters of Public Health from the California State University. He serves on the editorial board of the American Journal of Medical Quality, was a surveyor for the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education. He holds the Certified Association Executive (CAE) Designation and is board certified in healthcare management as a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Kim Keelin, CMA

Finance Officer

Kim Keelin serves as the Finance Officer for SCLRC with over 25 years’ experience in the healthcare industry including 16 years specifically in Clinical Research Finance. She has been a member of the SCLRC leadership team since 1999. In her current capacity, she works as a consultant to manage all financials aspects of the business. Ms. Keelin currently holds the position of Chief Operating Officer for the Jaeb Center for Health Research in Tampa, Florida. The JCHR is a not-for-profit, 501 (c)(3) entity that specializes in the design and management of clinical trials in the areas of Diabetic Retinopathy, Pediatric Eye Disease and Artificial Pancreas Projects. She has a B.S. in Finance from the University of South Florida and a B.B.S. in Accounting from Florida Atlantic University. She also received the designation of CMA, Certified Management Accountant in 2001.