Executive Team

CPRIT’s efforts are guided by an executive team that is committed to fulfilling CPRIT’s mission to find and fund the best cancer research and prevention projects in Texas.

Wayne Roberts

Chief Executive Officer

Wayne Roberts was named Chief Executive Officer of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) in November 2013 after serving since December 2012 as the Interim Executive Director.

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James K.V. Willson

Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Willson leads CPRIT’s academic research program in supporting innovation in cancer research and recruiting world-class cancer researchers to Texas institutions. He is nationally renowned for his work in the genetics of colorectal cancer, having spent more than three decades in the field. Dr. Willson’s research led to the development of cell and animal models for human colon cancer that have been key to identifying genetic factors in disease progression.

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Rebecca Garcia

Chief Prevention and Communications Officer

Dr. Rebecca Garcia heads up CPRIT’s prevention and communications efforts. Ten percent of CPRIT's total funding is dedicated to evidence-based prevention services. Her responsibilities include directing the prevention program and fostering collaboration among the cancer and disease prevention community to maximize CPRIT's impact. In addition, she is responsible for overseeing CPRIT’s strategic communications efforts.

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Mike Lang

Chief Product Development Research Officer

Mike Lang leads CPRIT’s product development research program, designed to accelerate the progression of new cancer drugs, diagnostics, and therapies from the laboratory into clinical practice. His multi-state experience includes founding and serving as chief executive officer of a cancer diagnostic company, serial entrepreneurship, and managing a portfolio for an early stage investment.

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Kristen Doyle

Deputy Executive Officer and General Counsel

Ms. Doyle is responsible for overseeing the legal issues that arise as part of CPRIT’s operations, including grant award contract negotiations, intellectual property and revenue sharing agreements, conflicts of interest and confidentiality, and regulatory/compliance issues.  Prior to joining CPRIT, Ms. Doyle was a partner at an Austin-based law firm and served as Vice President of the Board of Directors for the Central Texas Chapter for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

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Heidi McConnell

Chief Operating Officer

Ms. McConnell has oversight for CPRIT’s daily operations, including financial administration, grants management administration, communications, governmental relations, and information technology services. Most recently, she served as Senior Budget Advisor to Governor Rick Perry. In this capacity, she worked on a range of issues addressing the state budget and was the principal advisor on CPRIT.

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Vince Burgess

Chief Compliance Officer

Mr. Burgess oversees compliance strategy and planning for CPRIT’s grant review, award, and monitoring processes.  As the Chief Compliance Officer, he is also responsible for assessing and ensuring compliance by the Institute’s committee members and employees with applicable laws, rules, and policies, including matters of ethics and standards of conduct, financial reporting, internal accounting controls, and auditing.

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