Keynote Speakers

Vivian Riefberg, MBA - Senior Partner, McKinsey&Company

In her role as leader of McKinsey's Public Sector Practice in the Americas, Vivian works closely with state and federal government agencies to improve their performance and help them better fulfill their missions. She also serves on the leadership team of the McKinsey Center for Government and our Healthcare Systems & Services Practice. She has more than two decades of experience advising institutions in both the public and private sectors on strategy, organization, and operations.

An expert on health economics, Vivian also helps direct McKinsey's work on the impact of government reforms on the US healthcare system, in collaboration with the McKinsey Center for US Health System Reform.

Since joining McKinsey in 1987, Vivian has led major performance-improvement programs for public, private, and nonprofit clients. She is a regular keynote speaker at public-sector and healthcare conferences. She serves on the board of directors of the Partnership for a Healthier America, a nonpartisan organization that mobilizes broad-based support for efforts to solve child obesity.

Vivian is a former member of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center Board of Governors and the NIH Advisory Board for Clinical Research. She is also a former board member of Mentors, Inc., a program for Washington, DC-area public-high-school students.

Urs Wyss, Ph.D., P.E. - Professor of Mechanical Engineering at University of Manitoba and former VP of R&D for Sulzer Orthopaedics, Centerpulse Orthopeadics and Zimmer

As a former VP or R&D for Sulzer Orthopaedics, Centerpuls Orthopaedics and Zimmer, Professor Wyss has had an exciting career at the interface of academics and industry. He has actively participated and led computational modeling projects, from ideation through post market surveillance including recall of orthopaedic devices.


Gary An, M.D. - Professor of Surgery, Senior Fellow Biophysics Institute, University of Chicago

Prof. Gary An has over 10 years experience in the computational modeling of inflammation as it relates to sepsis, being the first researcher to publish on the use of agent-based modeling, a computer simulation method, in the area of acute inflammation and sepsis. He has partnered with collaborators at the University of Pittsburgh to expand and extend the use of mathematical modeling in the area of sepsis and acute inflammation and wound healing. More recently he worked with John Alverdy at the University of Chicago on the role of host-pathogen interactions in the gut with respect to surgical diseases, such as gut-derived sepsis, necrotizing enterocolotis and anastomotic healing. He actively develops means of integrating regulatory network models with metabolic flux balance models. He is a co-Founder of the Society for Complexity in Acute Illness (, a scientific society designed to bring together laboratory scientists, clinical investigators and computational researchers to study systemic inflammation and acute disease. He serves as an external collaborator at the National Center for Biomedical Ontology (, aiming to extend agent-based modeling to link to bioinformatic knowledge representation as seen in bio-ontolgies with the goal of facilitating the use of dynamic computational modeling as a means of biomedical knowledge representation and communication. He developed and directs the Fellowship in Translational Systems Biology at the University of Chicago, a 1-2 year program intended to train biomedical researchers in computational methods of dynamic knowledge representation and agent-based modeling in conjunction with a basic science lab. He also works on the use of artificial intelligence systems to aid in the semi-automation of model development. He is also involved in the application of evolutionary and ecological perspectives on the dynamics of the host-pathogen interactome, and, more basically, on foundational questions of biology.