Featured Speakers of the 2021 Constellation Forum

Portrait of Chris Austin

Chris Austin

Founding Director of NCATS at the NIH (former); CEO-Partner
Flagship Pioneering

Christopher Austin, M.D., joined Flagship Pioneering in 2021 as a CEO Partner. Chris is part of the broader Flagship senior leadership team, participating in Flagship leadership meetings, serving on selected Flagship company boards, and providing his experience across the ecosystem. Chris will also serve as Chief Executive Officer of a Flagship-founded company currently in stealth and to be announced at a later date.

Chris is a trained clinician and geneticist, with more than 20 years of experience in translational research in both the public and private sectors. He joins Flagship from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) where he served as the founding Director of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS). In this role, he led the Center’s work to transform translation – the process by which interventions that benefit patients are developed and deployed – from an empirical process into a predictive science.

Chris previously served as Senior Advisor to the Director for translational research at the NIH National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) implementing research programs to derive scientific insights and therapeutic benefits from the results of the Human Genome Project. He also founded and directed the NIH Chemical Genomics Center, Therapeutics for Rare and Neglected Diseases program, Toxicology in the 21st Century initiative, and NIH Center for Translational Therapeutics.

Before joining NIH, Chris worked at Merck, where he directed programs on genome-based discovery of novel targets and drugs, with a particular focus on treatments for schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Chris is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and earned his M.D. from Harvard Medical School and his A.B. in Biology from Princeton University. He completed a research fellowship in developmental neurogenetics at Harvard and trained in internal medicine and neurology at the Massachusetts General Hospital.

Portrait of David Battinelli

David Battinelli

Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer
Northwell Health

David Battinelli, MD, is responsible for the overall professional management of clinical, education, research and operational issues related to medical and clinical affairs.

Previously, he served as the health system’s chief academic officer and senior vice president of academic affairs, in charge of all undergraduate and graduate educational programs, all continuing medical education, and academic affairs and institutional relationships.

Dr. Battinelli is vice dean and the Betsey Cushing Whitney Professor of Medicine at the Zucker School of Medicine.

A board-certified internist, Dr. Battinelli came to Northwell Health from Boston Medical Center (BMC), where he served as vice chair for education, program director, internal medicine residency program and professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine. He was also an active staff physician at BMC and the Boston Veterans Administration.

Dr. Battinelli is a past-president of the Association of Program Directors in Internal Medicine. He has worked closely with and served on numerous committees for a variety of national medical organizations including the Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine, American Board of Internal Medicine, American College of Physicians, and the Accreditation Committee on Graduate Medical Education, among others. In addition, he has lectured extensively on clinical education, faculty development of teaching skills and internal medicine, and is a noted workshop leader and author on these subjects.

Dr. Battinelli earned his medical degree from the University of Medicine and Dentistry, Newark, NJ, and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Scranton.

Portrait of Bertha Coombs

Bertha Coombs


Bertha Coombs is a reporter for CNBC, covering financial markets, business news stories and health care throughout the business day. She is based at the Nasdaq Marketsite in Times Square.

Her health care coverage at CNBC has ranged from covering the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the failed launch of the Obamacare health insurance exchanges, to how cancer researchers are using IBM’s Watson to improve cancer care, and how doctors are using mobile technology to treat patients in their own homes. She also covered the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, the impact of the financial crisis of 2008, and reported on the oil markets from the floor of the New York Mercantile exchange.

Before joining CNBC, Coombs was a reporter and anchor for the pioneering online business network, Yahoo Finance Vision, and served as a freelance reporter for the former CNNfn financial network. Prior, she served as a reporter for ABC News One, and a substitute anchor for “World News Now” and “World News This Morning.”

She began her career in general news, with previous reporting and anchoring positions at WABC-TV in New York, WPLG-TV in Miami and WFSB-TV in Hartford, Connecticut.

Coombs is a graduate of Yale University and was awarded the Leo Beranek Reporter Training Fellowship at WCVB-TV in Boston. Born in Havana, Cuba, she speaks fluent Spanish.

Portrait of Everett Cunningham

Everett Cunningham

President and CEO for US and Canada
GE Healthcare

A highly respected and strategic global leader, Everett is the President & CEO of GE Healthcare’s $6 billion U.S. & Canada region.  Providing the industry’s leading medical imaging, patient monitoring, and life science technologies, GE Healthcare enables precision health in diagnostics, therapeutics and monitoring through intelligent devices, data analytics, applications and services. Everett and his team of nearly 6,600 industry experts leverage the capabilities across GE Healthcare to partner with providers and governments to help improve healthcare quality, access and affordability.


Prior to joining GE Healthcare, Mr. Cunningham served as the Senior Vice President, Commercial for Quest Diagnostics, responsible for global commercial sales, marketing, and commercial operations. At Quest Diagnostics, Everett led over 1,500 employees and successfully managed $7.6 billions dollars in top line revenue. 

Prior to his role at Quest Diagnostics, Mr. Cunningham spent 21 years with Pfizer, Inc., where he served most recently as Regional President, Established Products for Asia Pacific. Beginning his career as a Sales Representative, Mr. Cunningham served in roles of increasing responsibility including Senior Director of Worldwide Learning and Development, Senior Director of Business Operations and Vice President Sales for U.S. Pharmaceuticals, and Vice President of Global Corporate Human Resources.

With 25+ years of progressive responsibility in pharmaceuticals and medical services, Everett is committed to leadership excellence with a diligent focus on methodical results, demonstrated change agility, building organizational capability, and cross functional matrix teams.

Mr. Cunningham earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from Northwestern University.

Portrait of Michael Dowling

Michael Dowling

President and Chief Executive Officer
Northwell Health

Michael J. Dowling is president and chief executive officer of Northwell Health, which delivers world-class clinical care throughout the New York metropolitan area, pioneering research at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research and a visionary approach to medical education highlighted by the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell and the School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies.

Northwell Health is the largest integrated health care system in New York State with a total workforce of more than 66,000 employees — the state’s largest private employer. With 23 hospitals, 6,675 hospital and long-term care beds, more than 665 outpatient physician practices and a full complement of long-term care services, Northwell is one of the nation’s largest health systems, with $11 billion in annual revenue.

Prior to becoming president and CEO in 2002, Mr. Dowling was the health system’s executive vice president and chief operating officer. Before joining Northwell Health in 1995, he was a senior vice president at Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield. Mr. Dowling served in New York State government for 12 years, including seven years as state director of Health, Education and Human Services and deputy secretary to the governor. He was also commissioner of the New York State Department of Social Services.

Before his public service career, Mr. Dowling was a professor of social policy and assistant dean at the Fordham University Graduate School of Social Services, and director of the Fordham campus in Westchester County.

Mr. Dowling has been honored with many awards over the years. They include: his selection as the Grand Marshal of the 2017 St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City; induction into the Irish America Hall of Fame; the 2012 B’nai B’rith National Healthcare Award, the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, the 2011 Gail L. Warden Leadership Excellence Award from the National Center for Healthcare Leadership, the 2011 CEO Information Technology Award from Modern Healthcare magazine and the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, the National Human Relations Award from the American Jewish Committee, the Distinguished Public Service Award from the State University of New York’s Nelson A. Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, an Outstanding Public Service Award from the Mental Health Association of New York State, an Outstanding Public Service Award from the Mental Health Association of Nassau County, the Alfred E. Smith Award from the American Society for Public Administration, and the Gold Medal from the American Irish Historical Society. For 11 consecutive years, Modern Healthcare has ranked Mr. Dowling on its annual list of the “100 Most Powerful People in Healthcare.” In March 2016, Mr. Dowling was also listed No. 1 on Long Island Press’ 2015 “Power List” recognizing the 50 most-influential Long Islanders.

Mr. Dowling is chair of the Healthcare Institute and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). He is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Sciences and the North American Board of the Smurfit School of Business at University College, Dublin, Ireland. He also serves as a board member of the Long Island Association. He is past chair and a current board member of the National Center for Healthcare Leadership (NCHL), the Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA), the Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS) and the League of Voluntary Hospitals of New York. Mr. Dowling was an instructor at the Center for Continuing Professional Education at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Mr. Dowling grew up in Limerick, Ireland. He earned his undergraduate degree from University College Cork (UCC), Ireland, and his master’s degree from Fordham University. He also has honorary doctorates from Queen’s University Belfast, University College Dublin, Hofstra University, Dowling College and Fordham University

Portrait of David Feinberg

David Feinberg

Vice President, Google Health

David Feinberg currently leads Google Health, a team employing Google’s expertise in AI, product innovation, and hardware to take on big healthcare challenges. Previously, David was president and CEO of Geisinger, one of the nation’s most innovative health services organizations. While at Geisinger, David oversaw 13 hospital campuses, a 600,000-member health plan, research centers, and various initiatives aimed at better engaging patients around their health and wellbeing. Prior to Geisinger, David served as CEO of UCLA’s hospitals and associate vice chancellor of UCLA Health Sciences, as well as president of UCLA Health System. David graduated with distinction from the University of Health Sciences/Chicago Medical School and holds an MBA from Pepperdine University.

Portrait of Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, MD MPH FAAP

Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, MD MPH FAAP

Surgeon General
State of California

Dr. Nadine Burke Harris is an award-winning physician, researcher and advocate dedicated to changing the way our society responds to one of the most serious, expensive and widespread public health crises of our time: childhood trauma.  She was appointed as California’s first-ever Surgeon General by Governor Gavin Newsom in January 2019 and quickly became a trusted leader in the state’s COVID-19 pandemic response.  Her career has been dedicated to serving vulnerable communities and combating the root causes of health disparities.  She is the Founder of the Center for Youth Wellness, an organization leading the effort to advance pediatric medicine, raise public awareness, and transform the way society responds to children exposed to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and toxic stress.  Dr. Burke Harris’ TED Talk, “How Childhood Trauma Affects Health Across the Lifetime” has been viewed more than 7 million times. Her book “The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity” was called “indispensable” by The New York Times.  She is the recipient of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism in Medicine Award presented by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Heinz Award for the Human Condition. 

Portrait of Jeff Immelt

Jeff Immelt

Venture Partner
New Enterprise Associates

Jeff Immelt joined NEA in 2018 as a Venture Partner on both the technology and healthcare investing teams. He is the author of HOT SEAT, a memoir of leadership in times of crisis. 


Jeff served as chairman and CEO of GE for 16 years where he revamped the company’s strategy, global footprint, workforce and culture. During his tenure, he led several innovative transformations that doubled industrial earnings, reshaped the portfolio, re-established market leadership, grew a strong share position in essential industries, and quadrupled emerging market revenue.

Jeff has been named one of the “World’s Best CEOs” three times by Barron’s. During his tenure as CEO, GE was named “America’s Most Admired Company” by Fortune magazine and one of “The World’s Most Respected Companies” in polls by Barron’s and the Financial Times. He has received fifteen honorary degrees and numerous awards for business leadership and chaired the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness under the Obama administration. 

Jeff earned a B.A. degree in applied mathematics from Dartmouth College and an M.B.A. from Harvard University. He currently serves on the board for NEA portfolio companies Bloom Energy, Bright Health, Cleo, Collective Health, Desktop Metal, Formlabs, Radiology Partners, Tri Alpha Energy, and Tuya. In addition, he is on the board of Sila Nanotechnologies, Hennessy Capital, and Twilio. Jeff is a member of The American Academy of Arts & Sciences. He and his wife have one daughter.

Portrait of Geoffrey Ling

Geoffrey Ling

Founding Director of DARPA Biological Technologies Office (former); CEO
On Demand Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Dr. Geoffrey Ling is presently co-founder and CEO of On Demand Pharmaceuticals. Clinically, he is a professor of neurology at both Johns Hopkins University and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, and an attending neuro critical care physician at Johns Hopkins Hospital.  He serves as the Chair of the Veterans Administration’s National Research Advisory Council.

Dr. Ling is a retired U.S. Army colonel after 21 years on active duty.  He served with the 452nd CSH in OEF (2003) and 86th CSH and 10th CSH in OIF (2005).   Also, COL Ling has had four in-theater missions as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff “Gray Team” to assess traumatic brain injury (TBI) care in the combat theater (2009, 2011).  The 10th CSH named him their first “Physician of the Month.”  Dr. Ling was also a “requested by name” consultant to Congresswoman Gabby Gifford’s trauma team following her tragic attack.

He was the Founding Director of the Biological Technologies Office at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), where he was a program manager and Deputy Director of the Defense Sciences Office.  He served as the Assistant Director for Medical Innovation in President Obama’s White House Office of Science, Technology and Policy (OSTP).  His BA cum laude is from Washington University in St. Louis, MD from Georgetown University (elected to AOA) and his PhD in neuropharmacology is from Cornell University.  He completed his neurology residency at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, neuro critical care fellowship at Johns Hopkins and research fellowship in neuropharmacology at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.   He is board certified in both neurology and neuro critical care.  He has published more than 200 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters.

Portrait of Michael F. Mahoney

Michael F. Mahoney

Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
Boston Scientific Corporation

Michael “Mike” Mahoney is Chief Executive Officer of Boston Scientific Corporation and Chairman of the company’s Board of Directors. Boston Scientific is a global medical technology leader with approximately $11 billion in annual revenue and commercial representation in approximately 130 countries. Under Mike’s leadership, Boston Scientific is delivering on its mission to transform lives through innovative medical solutions that improve the health of patients around the world. The company’s team of more than 35,000 global employees reaches over 30 million patients each year, providing a range of technologies and solutions that span cardiovascular interventions, structural heart, electrophysiology, endoscopy, neuromodulation and urology, and women’s health. 

Since joining Boston Scientific, Mike has focused the company on addressing the needs of the evolving healthcare landscape by driving improvements to patient outcomes and increasing healthcare economic efficiency and access. Under his leadership, Boston Scientific has brought many transformational medical devices to market while creating significant value to its shareholders. 

Mike’s career spans more than 25 years of success building market-leading medical device, capital equipment and healthcare IT businesses. Prior to Boston Scientific, he served as Worldwide Chairman of the Medical Devices and Diagnostics (MD&D) division of Johnson & Johnson.

Prior to joining Johnson & Johnson, Mike was President and Chief Executive Officer of Global Healthcare Exchange (GHX).  For the first 12 years of his career, Mike advanced through a series of leadership roles at General Electric Medical Systems, including General Manager of the company’s Healthcare Information Technology business.   

Mike serves on the Board of Directors of Baxter International, the Board of Boys & Girls Club of Boston and as the chair of the Board of Governors of Boston College CEO Club. He earned his B.B.A. in Finance from University of Iowa and his M.B.A. from Wake Forest University. He is married and has three children.   

Portrait of Tyler Mathisen

Tyler Mathisen

Managing Editor
CNBC Business News

Tyler Mathisen co-anchors CNBC’s “Power Lunch,” one of the network’s longest running program franchises. He is also Vice President, Events Strategy for CNBC, working closely with the network’s events team to grow the rapidly expanding business.

Previously, Mathisen was co-anchor of “Nightly Business Report,” an award-winning evening business news program produced by CNBC for U.S. public television. In 2014, NBR was named best radio/TV show by the Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW). Since joining CNBC in 1997, Mathisen has held a number of positions including managing editor of CNBC Business News, responsible for directing the network’s daily content and coverage. He was also co-anchor of CNBC’s “Closing Bell.”

Mathisen has reported one-hour documentaries for the network including “Best Buy: The Big Box Fights Back,” “Supermarkets Inc: Inside a $500 Billion Money Machine” and “Death: It’s a Living.” Mathisen was also host of the CNBC series “How I Made My Millions.”

Prior to CNBC, Mathisen spent 15 years as a writer, senior editor and top editor for Money magazine. Among other duties, he supervised the magazine’s mutual funds coverage, its annual investment forecast issue and its expansion into electronic journalism, for which it won the first-ever National Magazine Award for New Media in 1997.

In 1993, Mathisen won the American University-Investment Company Institute Award for Personal Finance Journalism for a televised series on “Caring for Aging Parents,” which aired on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” Mathisen served as money editor of “GMA” from 1991 to 1997. He also won an Emmy Award for a report on the 1987 stock market crash that aired on New York’s WCBS-TV.

A native of Arlington,Va., Mathisen graduated with distinction from the University of Virginia.

Portrait of Deena Shakir

Deena Shakir

Lux Capital

Deena Shakir is a Partner at Lux Capital (a multi-stage venture capital firm with $4B under management), where she invests in transformative technologies improving lives and livelihoods. She is particularly interested in contrarian and underdog founders building ambitious companies in digital health and sits on the boards of companies including H1, Adyn, AllStripes, Alife Health, SteadyMD, and Shiru. The daughter of Iraqi immigrants, Deena had a very non-linear journey into venture capital, always orienting around tech and entrepreneurship for impact. Prior to joining Lux, she was a Partner at Google Ventures, led partnerships for moonshot products at Google and directed social impact investments at Google.org. She was also a Presidential Management Fellow in the Obama administration, where she worked in Secretary Clinton’s office and at USAID on programs supporting global entrepreneurship. The first-generation daughter of Iraqi immigrants, Deena self-funded her way through college at Harvard (where she delivered the commencement address!) and Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service. A passionate advocate for diversity, inclusion, and equity, Deena is also on the boards of several nonprofits, a Forbes contributor, Kauffman Fellow, and Council on Foreign Relations Term Member. She lives with her husband and two young children in the SF Bay Area.

Portrait of Kevin Tracey

Kevin Tracey

President and CEO
Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research

Kevin J. Tracey, is President and CEO and the Karches Family Distinguished Chair in Medical Research at The Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research; Professor of Neurosurgery and Molecular Medicine at the Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra-Northwell; and Executive Vice President, Research, at Northwell Health, in New York. A leader in the scientific fields of inflammation and bioelectronic medicine, his contributions include discovery and molecular mapping neural circuits controlling immunity and identifying the therapeutic action of monoclonal anti-TNF antibodies.


Professor Tracey received his B.S. (Chemistry, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) from Boston College in 1979, and his M.D. from Boston University in 1983.  He trained in neurosurgery from 1983 to 1992 at the New York Hospital-Cornell University Medical Center and was a guest investigator at the Rockefeller University before moving in 1992 to The Feinstein Institutes.

An inventor with more than 75 United States patents, author of more than 400 scientific publications, he cofounded the Global Sepsis Alliance, a non-profit organization supporting the efforts of >1 million sepsis caregivers in more than 70 countries. His honors and awards include a Doctorates honoris causa from the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden, the University of Fribourg, Switzerland and Hofstra University, New York; the Boston University Distinguished Alumni Award; Fellow of the AIMBE Class (2020), the Harvey Society lecture, New York; and lectureships from Harvard, Yale, Rockefeller University, the NIH, and elsewhere. His memberships include the American Society of Clinical Investigation (2001), the American Association of Physicians (2009), the Long Island Technology Hall of Fame (2012), Alpha Omega Alpha (2014), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2014), and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (2020). Professor Tracey is author of Fatal Sequence (Dana Press), and delivers lectures nationally and internationally on inflammation, sepsis, the neuroscience of immunity, and bioelectronic medicine.