Chief Executive Officer
Oved Amitay is a pharmacologist by training, a drug-developer by trade, and a patient-advocate by choice.
Oved is has dedicated most of his professional career to the development of life-changing therapeutic options for people affected by rare genetic diseases, that resulted in eight Orphan Drugs approved by the FDA. While not rare, infection-associated diseases are also poorly understood, are often missed or misdiagnosed, and suffer from lack of research funding and interest. Oved is using his extensive biotech experience to help bring a change to this space.
Oved and his organization were early to recognize the emerging concern that some people with COVID who were infected by SARS-CoV-2 may continue to struggle and develop a post infection condition, that we now call Long COVID. In the summer of 2020 Oved co-authored an op-ed calling for an immediate research effort to be initiated, and later co-founded the Long Covid Alliance, building a network of patient-advocates, scientists and disease experts to collaborate and share their collective knowledge to transform our understanding and treatment of Long COVID and associated diseases. Together, their advocacy led to Congress directing $1.15B to the NIH for funding of Long Covid research. As the pandemic continues, Solve is pushing for more comprehensive solutions to address this mass-disabling disease, and its report on the economic, social and workplace impact of Long Covid was recently featured in the Milken institute’s Review.
Throughout his career, Oved has had extensive engagements with healthcare systems and patient advocacy organizations around the world, forging collaborations for patient registries and natural history studies for drug development. One of Solve M.E.’s flagship programs is the You+ME Registry and Biobank, an online clinical study of individuals living with ME/CFS, people with long COVID, and control volunteers. Oved uses his extensive background to advance research initiatives, and foster public-private partnerships. Oved’s leadership and expertise are recognized by government agencies, researchers and the community, and he is invited often to speak about these topics.
Prior to joining Solve M.E., Oved served as Chief Business Officer at CENTOGENE (NASDAQ: CNTG), a global leader in the diagnostics of rare hereditary disorders. He held the position of President and Chief Operating Officer at Arrett Neuroscience, where he led the company’s efforts to develop therapies for Rett syndrome. Prior to that, Oved had senior executive positions at top-tier biotech companies- Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ALNY) and Genzyme Corporation (now Sanofi Genzyme).
Major Gifts Officer
Ilise Friedman has worked in development for over two decades, most recently in the independent school sector: at Turning Point School, where she served for 5 years as Director of Advancement, and previously at Campbell Hall School, where she spent 10 years as Associate Director of Advancement.
She received her BA in Sociology from UC Santa Cruz, graduating with honors. After working as an Executive Assistant after college, she found her calling to help others by serving as the Director of Development for Gateway Center of Monterey County, an adult residential and vocational facility. At Gateway, Ms. Friedman was responsible for the organization’s grant writing, foundation relations, and fundraising events.
Ms. Friedman has managed numerous volunteer committees and finds great joy in working with community members from a diverse range of backgrounds. From 2001-2005, Ms. Friedman worked as the Gala Director for the International Tennis Hall of Fame in New York and Rhode Island. She also served as a volunteer manager for the Salvation Army immediately following the 2001 terror attacks.
She has also worked as a Development Officer for the Starlight Children’s Foundation; an Outreach Volunteer post-hurricane Sandy via SeabrightRising.org and Habitat for Humanity. She also served on the scholarship panel for the Nordstrom Foundation, granting $10,000 scholarships to high school juniors in Los Angeles County who exhibited exemplary community service.
In her spare time, you can find Ms. Friedman on the beach collecting seashells with her daughter, and on new adventures, either in a book or on a plane, traveling near and far.
Dr. Hardy is an infectious disease specialist, and in addition to caring for patients for over 30 years, his work has focused on developing novel treatments, vaccines, cures, and remission strategies for human viral diseases.
Since 1984, Dr. Hardy has amassed expertise as an HIV/AIDS care provider, researcher and advocate. His research has focused on treatment and prevention of opportunistic infections, immune therapies, as well as cellular and gene therapies as strategies for cure of HIV infection and other viral diseases.
Dr. Hardy has taught at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and most recently at USC’s Keck School of Medicine. He received his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX and completed his residency in internal medicine at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, California as well as clinical and laboratory fellowships at UCLA School of Medicine.
Associate Director of Communication
Karman has a master’s degree in American Studies from the University of New Mexico and a bachelor’s degree in English from Virginia Tech. Before joining Solve M.E, she was the editor in chief of an MTV-owned LGBTQ news site.
Research Senior Manager
Kate’s responsibilities include coordination of the You + ME Registry and Biobank, oversight of data and analyses, and management of the Ramsay Grant Program. With an academic background as a Research Fellow in Epidemiology, Kate brings with her expertise in various aspects of research including study design and analyses, data harmonization, and biobank operation coordination. Kate has worked in ME/CFS research since 2018, assisting with ongoing studies and guiding the development of new studies in collaboration with experts from various fields.
Consulting Director of Product Management and Operation
An epidemiologist specializing in clinical epidemiology, research study design and analysis, and best practices for data collection, Leslie is accomplished in helping organizations navigate complex epidemiologic questions, providing insight and support to better understanding the ME/CFS landscape. Leslie holds a Master’s Degree in Public Health from Harvard University and a Doctorate in Epidemiology from the University of Washington. She has served in a variety of analytic and leadership capacities in research and public health and, in addition to epidemiology, has expertise in survey research, health equity, population health, and Lean Startup methodologies.
At Solve, Leslie is focused on “getting under the hood” to identify data insights that can be translated into actionable next steps. As a Seattle resident through many a grey, wet winter, Leslie has developed an excessive addiction to coffee and an impressive collection of GORE-TEX.
Vice President of Advocacy and Engagement
Emily brings to the organization over fifteen years of policy, organization, and advocacy experience in both the non-profit and government sectors. With five years’ experience on Capitol Hill, Emily contributes a keen understanding of both state and federal policy processes while cultivating strong grassroots organization and patient representation.
Prior to joining the Solve M.E., Emily served as the director of policy and advocacy for an award-winning autism organization. There she spearheaded major overhauls in disability, early intervention, and education policies. She is also a veteran of several successful electoral campaigns, where she trained others in effective social media and online organization. She received a B.A. with honors in politics and international relations from Scripps College in Claremont and earned her M.A. in American politics from Claremont Graduate University. Emily draws inspiration from her mother who has battled ME/CFS as well as chronic autoimmune and thyroid conditions since 1999.
Social Media and Marketing Manager
Ani has a master’s degree in Public Relations from Boston University and a bachelor’s degree in media studies from the University of California, Berkeley, where she also studied journalism. Prior to joining Solve M.E., Ani held various writing and editorial positions at on-campus publications.
As part of her work in communications, Ani strives to inform and inspire Solve’s ME/CFS and Long Covid communities through ongoing engagement via email, social media, and print publications, among other efforts. She brings with her an innate passion for storytelling.
Jason’s background is in operations (starting in for-profit organizations and later transitioning to the nonprofit world). His focus is in social-service programming and data optimization. He streamlines.
His work at Solve includes donation management and data analysis to inform development strategy.
Chief Operating Officer
TaKeisha S. Walker’s leadership career has included work in the disability, environmental, and education communities. Her influence and strategic direction have helped young people with disabilities obtain their first meaningful work experience through summer internship positions in Washington, D.C., reduced the gap in STEM readiness for middle and high school students, and protected children from asthma attacks by training healthcare providers to adopt guidelines-based care practices to minimize environmental triggers.
TaKeisha holds a Master of Science in Management and Marketing from the University of Maryland University College, a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from the University of Missouri Kansas City, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Communications from the University of Tulsa. She is also a certified professional development facilitator.
Monique brings to the organization experience in corporate, non-profit, and political campaign sectors, with a focus on volunteer coordination, human resources, and program management. She is motivated by the amplified impact that individual stories can make when people come together to advocate, and loves being a part of and supporting communities in sharing those stories. She is dedicated to ensuring that everyone feels a sense of belonging and connectedness as they engage in their advocacy journey.
Prior to joining Solve M.E. Monique focused on planning and implementing processes and programs to allow communities to fight collectively. She received her B.A in Psychology at Azusa Pacific University and is currently working towards her M.A. in Counseling at Amberton University in Texas. Monique draws motivation from her experiences as an immigrant and navigating Fibromyalgia and Long Covid in her own life.