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Staff Bios

Ben Arnold
Ben Arnold, MA 
Ben Arnold, MA is the Director of FACITtrans. He and his team have been responsible for coordinating and managing the translation and linguistic validation of over 50 FACIT questionnaires into over 60 languages and delivering high quality translations of other Patient Reported Outcomes (PRO) measures used in multilingual clinical trials. This group is also the principal translation resource for several large federally-sponsored NIH research initiatives, including PROMIS, Toolbox, NeuroQol, PROCTCAE and peds PROCTCAE. Mr. Arnold is a member of the American Translators Association (ATA), the International Society for Quality of Life Research (ISOQOL) and the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR). He has conducted workshops in multiple languages on translation and cross-cultural issues at conferences worldwide and is the Latin American presence for FACITtrans, residing in Fortaleza, Brazil. Mr. Arnold holds an MA in Multicultural and Corporate Communication from DePaul University, Chicago and a BA in Spanish (Linguistics) with a minor in Portuguese from the University of Arizona.
 Abigail Boucher  Abigail Boucher began her work with Dr. Cella's group in in 2003. As a project manager, she has been responsible for coordinating translation projects from inception to completion on a language-specific basis, working closely with translation vendors and medical professionals worldwide and ensuring quality on an individual language level. Born and raised in France, Abigail came to the United States to attend university, where she earned a dual-degree in theatre and government from Smith College, MA, and has been splitting her time between France and the USA ever since. Her time in France is spent in Paris where she serves as another resource to our European colleagues and pharmaceutical clients. Abigail is also a professional stage and film actress.

Jason Bredle, MFA
Jason Bredle, MFA coordinates the translation and formatting operations for FACITtrans and manages the licensing and distribution of the FACIT measurement system for He's a member of the American Translators Association (ATA) and has co-presented three times at ATA conferences. He is principal author of an article on translation equivalence published in the ATA Chronicle, a summary paper on the FACIT-Sp in the journal Religions, and has co-authored poster presentations for both the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) and the Oncology Nursing Society Conference on Cancer Nursing Research. In addition to studying Mexican literature and history at the Universidad de Guanajuato in Mexico, he has a certificate in producing multilingual documentation from the Localization Industry Standards Association (LISA), and earned an MFA in creative writing from the University of Michigan and a BA in English literature and Spanish from Indiana University.

Scott Debb, Ed.D

Scott Debb, Ed.D. has been working with the translation team since September 2006, with the primary responsibility of drafting validation study reports for pharmaceutical clients for submission to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as part of international clinical trials. He continues to work in this capacity, but also engages in scholarly research activities and has collaborated with Dr. Cella (Department Chair & Professor), Dr. Richard Gershon, (Vice Chair & Research Associate Professor) and other health care experts in Northwestern University's Department of Medical Social Sciences at the Feinberg School of Medicine. He has presented research at major psychological conferences including the American Psychological Association (APA), and publishes theoretical and research articles in interdisciplinary academic journals. Scott has experience in academic, business, health care, and research settings, and has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, a Master's in Counseling Psychology, and an Education Doctorate in Counseling Psychology. He also has three young children, and during his free time, enjoys anything having to do with hockey.

Jayeeta Dhar, PHD 
Jayeeta Dhar, PHD joined our group in 2007 and coordinates the development of multilingual versions of the FACIT Measurement System and other non-FACIT questionnaires. She finished her doctoral work in Biochemistry from the Institute of Microbial Technology in India, followed by post-doctoral training and a course in clinical research from Northwestern University. The theoretical and practical application of a body of skills during her training has helped her better understand the nuances of clinical testing and Patient Reported Outcome (PRO) data analysis. She enjoys meeting people from multi-cultural backgrounds and loves to stay in touch with old friends, as well as spending time in her home country of India where she serves as the local presence for FACITtrans.
Bob Guillen Bob Guillen joined the translation team in 2007 as a project manager, working with translators and international healthcare professionals for linguistic validation projects. His previous work experience includes two and a half years at a translation agency in Chicago and four years in the field of neurology in a clinical environment at a neurological testing facility. He was glad to be able to apply his prior experience and knowledge gained in both of these fields to his position at FACITtrans. Bob earned a BA in Spanish from John Carroll University. He spent a semester studying Spanish language and literature at the University of Valencia, in Valencia, Spain. In his free time, he enjoys being a volunteer tutor for Chicago public school students and also works in real estate. In addition to Spanish, he has studied Portuguese and Arabic.

Tamara Herzberg, MBA

Tamara Herzberg, MBA began her work with Dr. Cella's group in January 2003 as a translation project manager and is currently lead linguistic validation site recruiter, business development and account manager. Tamara has written and presented two posters at ISPOR conferences, has co-presented two times at American Translators Association (ATA) conferences, and was co-author of an article on translation equivalence published in the ATA Chronicle. She earned a BA in French Language and Literature and an MBA in International Business. Tamara speaks French, Spanish, German and Bambara fluently. When not working at FACIT she is caring for her two children and running a small social enterprise that specializes in fairly traded lotions and soaps.

 Lauren Lent, DHA, MS Lauren Lent, DHA, MS, serves as the Executive Director of and the President of FACITtrans. Both roles are based on scientific and business relationships established during Lauren’s longstanding role as Dr. Cella’s senior administrator while in academia. In 2009, in order to provide clientele a faster, leaner business process, Lauren left academia and established FACITtrans with Ben Arnold. FACITtrans continues to work closely with our scientific colleagues at Northwestern University, permitting clients immediate access to a wide array of interdisciplinary expertise in cutting-edge health status research services. She feels privileged to serve as a business and strategic partner to Dr. Cella and Ben, and in a leadership role to this amazing team as we build and FACITtrans to be responsive to the needs of patients, clients, the field of health outcomes research, and our employees.Lauren holds a Bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Florida, with a minor in French. She also holds a Master’s degree in Health Systems Management from Rush Medical University in Chicago and a Doctorate of Health Administration from the Medical University of South Carolina. Lauren is a passionate fan of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, SEC sports, and spending time at the beach where she grew up near St. Augustine, Florida.
Neil Ludwig
Neil Ludwig
Neil Ludwig brings with him a unique skill set and a variety of education and experience. With a degree in Psychology from the University of Montana, he began his career working with teenagers in an experimental education therapeutic setting, serving as a head instructor for a program geared towards working with at-risk teens. The nature of the schedule allowed for a great deal of travel throughout the word. He later combined his communication and organizational skills with the language and cross-cultural life experience that he had already developed into the business arena of corporate international relocation. With strong writing skills and a keen eye for detail, Neil began working with Dr. Cella’s group in 2007 to serve as a principal writer for client translation reporting and key involvement in the formatting and layout of questionnaires. He continues to bring his language knowledge and organized understanding of cultural nuances into his daily work. In addition to an interest in process improvement through technology within the work place, he likes to improve himself through activities in the great outdoors and within the artistic realm.
 Hara Marks, MS Hara Marks, MS began working with Dr. Cella's group in 2004, writing reports summarizing the linguistic validation of projects carried out to submit to clients. She has written validation reports on nearly every type of questionnaire translated by FACITtrans and now proofreads and performs quality control on all the reports written by the group. She has also helped develop report templates and standardized the report writing process. She graduated from Oberlin College with a BA in English and Latin American Studies, and later earned an MS in Journalism from Northwestern University. She has traveled extensively throughout Europe, knows several languages at a basic level and a few more at an advanced level, and has taught English as a Foreign Language to students of all ages in three countries.

Emily Parks-Vernizzi
Emily Parks-Vernizzi, senior project manager, serves as a primary pharmaceutical industry contact for FACITtrans. She is responsible for leading complex multi-language translation projects from start-up to completion ensuring quality across languages and on-time, under-budget deliverables. As a member of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) she has co-authored several poster presentations for its conferences. Emily joined the translation team in 2007 specializing in Italian and French. She lived in Paris for five years during which she worked as a freelance translator for scientific publications and earned an MFA equivalent from the Jacques Lecoq School. She holds a BFA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
 Bárbara Pérez
Born and raised in Spain, Bárbara Pérez moved to Chicago in 2002, where she worked as a freelance translator and as a medical interpreter and project coordinator at Rush University Medical Center before joining the translation team in 2006. Bárbara received her Master’s in Translation and Interpretation in Spain and traveled around Europe to complete her studies at the Institut Supérieur de Traducteurs et Interprètes (Brussels) and Middlesex University (London). She is passionate about her native tongue, Spanish, and enjoys learning about the peculiarities of its syntax, grammar and typography. She has worked with FACITtrans as a project manager, managing the translation of health related questionnaires in over 60 languages for pharmaceutical industry, clinical trials, and independent researchers. She is also involved as a Spanish Quality Specialist in many NIH projects. Her knowledge of the translation industry and the use of CAT tools in the translation process make her a unique asset to FACITtrans. Bárbara also serves as a European presence for FACITtrans, residing since 2012 in Málaga, Spain. In her free time, she enjoys reading, running or spending the day at the beach with her family. 

Luke Pickard
Luke Pickard joined the translation team in November of 2006, helping to integrate and support multiple software products. He continues to serve as the System Administrator for FACITtrans and maintains our current technological configuration. In addition to his technical certifications, Luke earned his B.B.A. in Management Information Systems from the University of Mississippi. In his free time, he enjoys photography, SEC football, playing softball, flag football, guitar and piano.

Shannon Romo
Shannon Romo has managed the bookkeeping and client/vendor tracking for FACITtrans and since the fall of 2011. Her previous work experience includes working as an accounting specialist with a high volume commodities trading group at New Edge USA and Prudential Securities. Shannon has an extensive background in international corporate client relations and compliance. In her spare time she enjoys travel, cooking, making cocktails and trying new restaurants.

Lillian Savic

In her role as senior project manager, Lillian Savic is responsible for the execution of an entire translation project consisting of multiple languages and test sites. She coordinates tasks between team members, and facilitates team meetings, keeping assignments on track and within deadlines, ensuring quality across FACIT’s projects. She acts as a liaison to the pharmaceutical industry, and is responsible for performing quality reviews of multilingual translation projects to ensure the accuracy of translation and the appropriate methodology and procedures are adhered to. She has also co-authored poster presentations for both the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) and International Society for Quality of Life Research (ISOQOL) conferences. Lillian joined Dr. Cella's translation team in 2005 as a project manager, where she was responsible for coordinating translation projects from their inception to completion on a language-specific basis working closely with translation vendors and medical professionals worldwide ensuring the quality of individual languages within a given project. Native of Montenegro, she holds a BA in English Language and Literature from the University of Novi Sad, Serbia. In her spare time, Lillian enjoys yoga, skydiving, traveling, reading, and exploring different languages and cultures.