Faculty Bios

Course Co-Chair - Lisa Benson, BS, CCRP

Senior Vice President, Research Operations, Quality & Education, Institute for Advanced Clinical Trials for Children (I-ACT)


Lisa Benson is the Sr. Vice President of Clinical Site Network at the Institute for Advance Clinical Trials for Children. Her focus is on external infrastructure development and working to establish best practices and common tools for pediatric clinical trials. In this role she leads educational programs and works to ensure engagement of patients, parents, children or all ages, and research staff in the Institute’s activities. Formerly she comes from the Department of Research at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, Hartford, CT where she was Senior Director of Research Operations and Sponsored Program, including the Clinical Trials Unit, Research Compliance, Research Finance, Contracts, and Grants. She has extensive experience in site management and quality, inter-institutional collaborations, and decision analytics. Ms. Benson is regarded as a highly-respected research administrator and clinical research operations expert. She is a Certified Clinical Research Contract Professional (CRCP) and Certified Clinical Research Professional (CCRP) and has served as board member of the Society of Clinical Research Associates (SOCRA). She has held leadership roles for the Clinical Research Associates of the Children’s Oncology Group. Ms. Benson s a well-known educator in pediatric clinical research operations and administration, serving on the faculty of SOCRA, invited speaker at the National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA) and author of professional publications in the field.


Course Co-Chair - Amanda Galster, MPH, CCRP

Clinical Research Program Director, University of Minnesota


Amanda Galster is the Director of the Clinical Research Program in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Minnesota and the Masonic Children’s Hospital. She has been managing pediatric clinical research programs for the past 17 years, and for the past 8 years has been responsible for building research infrastructure across multiple pediatric specialties.


Opening Plenary Speaker - Dr. Octavio Ramilo, MD

Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases, Nationwide Children's Hospital

Henry G. Cramblett Chair in Medicine & Professor of Pediatrics, The Ohio State University College of Medicine


Octavio Ramilo, MD, is the Henry G. Cramblett Chair in Medicine and Professor of Pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine and Chief of Infectious Diseases at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. He obtained his medical degree from the Universidad Complutense in Madrid, Spain. Professor Ramilo completed his pediatric residency at the Hospital “12 de Octubre” in Madrid and a subsequent Pediatric Infectious Disease Fellowship at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. He has been involved in translational and clinical research related to the role of the host immune response in pathogenesis of infectious diseases for over 20 years. His current research is focused on pathogenesis and treatment of respiratory infections, especially RSV, and the application of genomics technologies for improving diagnosis and understanding of host responses to infectious agents.


Now that we are one year into the COVID-19 global pandemic, Dr. Ramilo will present on the current state of SARC-CoV-2 in pediatrics. He will explain how this virus is different from others, what we know about COVID-19 in children, and what research needs to be done.