Physician Co-conveners

The Collaborative is led by three distinguished co-conveners. 

Dennis R. Cryer, MD
Genetics and Metabolism
Washington, DC

An alumnus of Johns Hopkins University and the Medical Scientist Training Program at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, Dr. Dennis R. Cryer has an expansive career: in academia on the research and clinical faculty of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and 20 years in the pharmaceutical industry at Bristol-Myers Squibb, ultimately as vice president of external medical affairs serving as external liaison for advocacy and quality across therapeutic areas. Dr. Cryer played a leadership role in the clinical research, development and launch of two blockbuster drugs in the cardiometabolic space. Dr. Cryer is a member of numerous scientific organizations including American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE), Association of Black Cardiologists (ABC), American Diabetes Association (ADA), American Heart Association (AHA) (former Chair of the Pharmaceutical Roundtable), American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG), American Society of Hypertension (ASH) (former Chair, Corporate Affairs Committee), the Endocrine Society, the International Atherosclerosis Society, the National Lipid Association and the National Medical Association (NMA). He currently serves as Treasurer on the Board of Directors of the Friends of the National Library of Medicine (NIH) and the Boards of Directors of the Association of Black Cardiologists, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, and the Global Liver Institute.

Gregory Schimizzi, MD
Rheumatology
Wilmington, NC

Dr. Gregory Schimizzi is the cofounder of Carolina Arthritis Associates, PA, in Wilmington, NC, and has been a licensed and board certified rheumatologist in private practice for 30 years. He co-founded, and previously served as president, of the Coalition for State Rheumatology Organizations (CSRO). He has also previously served as president, and a member of the executive board, at the North Carolina Rheumatology Association. He is also affiliated with Coalition of State Rheumatology Associations, North Carolina Rheumatology Association, American College of Rheumatology, New Hanover-Pender Medical Society, American College of Physicians and the National Association of Parliamentarians. He completed his undergraduate and medical school studies at Wayne State University in Detroit, in addition to his internship and residency at the Wayne State University Affiliated Hospitals. Dr. Schimizzi completed his Fellowship training at the University of California at Irvine.

David Charles, MD
AfPA National Chairman Neurology
Nashville, TN

Dr. David Charles is Chairman of the Alliance for Patient Access and a practicing neurologist in Nashville, Tennessee.  Dr. Charles is a national leader in movement disorders research and is past chairman of the Public Policy Committee for the American Neurological Association and Legislative Affairs committee of the American Academy of Neurology. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology and American Neurological Association and past Board member of the United Council of Neurologic Subspecialties, and Past-President of the Tennessee Academy of Neurology. He is currently leading the only clinical trial approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration to test deep brain stimulation in people with early stage Parkinson’s disease. Dr. Charles took leave from his practice in 1998 and spent a year on the staff of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee for Public Health and Safety, where he served as a health policy advisor. Following this experience in Washington, Dr. Charles conducted Parkinson’s disease research in France as a Fulbright Senior Scholar.