JB Ashtin is a thriving collection of impassioned scientists, creatives, communicators, strategizers, and scientific storytellers, driven to enhance the way science and the patient condition is communicated to healthcare providers.

Our Team

Science Nerds | Service Freaks | Creative Gurus

Our carefully curated team works tirelessly to define solutions that connect healthcare providers with their patients,
improving care and enhancing treatment options through HCP education.

Joan K. Bradley, PharmD

CEO | President and Founder

Joni founded JB Ashtin in 1999 to be a medical communications company that focuses on building strong relationships with clients, healthcare providers, and employees. For nearly 30 years she has poured her heart into the medcomms industry, with the goal of bridging the communication gap between healthcare providers and patients. As a 2-time PharmaVOICE Top 100 honoree, Joni believes that actions speak louder. She is JB Ashtin’s biggest fan and continually pushes her team to new heights. With a breadth of scientific knowledge and a commitment to white-glove service, Joni and the JB Ashtin team strive to exceed client and industry standards, operating under the mindset of “We can do it better!”

Jeanne Nickoloff

Chief Operating Officer

Jeanne is the engine of the JB Ashtin machine. Her vast experience in business, training, and communications helps her ensure that our company is right sized and profitable. She has been with the company before it even had a name, overseeing everything from recruiting thought leaders to building publication databases. She keeps a close watch on JB Ashtin’s growth, always ensuring it is disciplined and controlled.

Lamara D. Shrode, PhD, CMPP

Vice President | Scientific Strategy and Education

Lamara leads our scientific team. She has a doctorate in biomedical sciences, 10 years’ experience as a research scientist, and 17 years’ medical communications experience. She has a keen understanding of our clients’ objectives and needs, and can lead compelling discussions regarding strategic tactical planning. If she wasn’t at JB Ashtin, she would most likely be at her alma mater, West Virginia University, cheering on the Mountaineers.

Peter Luongo, MD

Vice President | Account Services

For more than 15 years, Pete has been translating basic science and extensive clinical data into successful marketing and educational messages to bridge the communication gap between patients, healthcare providers, and the pharmaceutical industry. According to Pete, “While the story of medicine can be complicated, telling it doesn’t have to be.” Pete enjoys spending time with his family and performing with his barbershop harmony ensemble, the Southern Gateway Chorus.

Rod Julian

Senior Director | Business Development

As Senior Director of Business Development, Rod is the newest addition to the JB Ashtin family. He brings to the team more than 15 years of pharma and medical communications expertise, with experience in many disease states including metabolic disorders, rare disease, oncology and men’s health. A natural motivator, Rod’s passion for building and developing others is prevalent both in and outside of the office. When he’s not leading medical education and marketing initiatives, you can find Rod training for his next race, coaching and mentoring athletes, and keeping up with his two sons, Austin and Tyler.

Melissa Kraft, SHRM-CP

Director | Operations

Melissa is our finance and talent acquisition expert. She brings more than 20 years of finance experience, which is great considering she holds JB Ashtin’s purse strings. As a kayaking and marathon enthusiast, she always goes the distance for every employee.

Kersten Reich, MPH, CMPP

Senior Scientific Director

Kersten is one of our senior scientific directors. She has a master of public health in public health practice, has a concentration in epidemiological biostatistics, and is committed to global public health. She has 17 years’ medical communications experience and a broad fund of knowledge across multiple therapeutic areas. She enjoys strategic planning and customizing evidence-based solutions for our clients’ medical affairs and publication needs. If she wasn’t at JB Ashtin, she would be hiking, kayaking, rock climbing, or spending time with family outdoors.

Jennifer C. Jaworski, MS

Senior Scientific Director

Bio coming soon!

Caroline W. Cazares, PhD

Senior Scientific Writer

Caroline is a key player in our scientific services team, so much so that we occasionally refer to her as our “swiss army knife” - she does it all. Hailing from the University of Michigan, Caroline earned her PhD in neuroscience. Following graduation, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the university’s Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program. When not working, Caroline enjoys basically anything outdoors (we can’t blame her, we'd rather be kayaking too).

Alicia Salinero, PhD

Senior Scientific Writer

Alicia is the newest member of our scientific team. She completed her PhD in Biomedical Science, concentrating in Molecular Genetics at the University of Albany School of Public Health. Alicia has worked in medical communications for 2 years and has a passion for communicating data. In her free time, you can find her exploring new places, or out on the ski slopes.

Lisa M. Pitchford, PhD

Senior Scientific Writer

Lisa has a PhD in exercise physiology – the perfect blend of her passions for science and all things exercise – and 10+ years of experience as a physiology researcher. She loves learning new things and translating complicated scientific information into actionable information for healthcare providers and patients. In her free time, she enjoys running, yoga, and being bad at golf.

Callie Corsa, PhD

Scientific Writer

Callie joined JB Ashtin in May 2020, after receiving a PhD in Molecular Cell Biology from Washington University in St. Louis and completing a postdoc at the University of Michigan. Her passion for communicating scientific advances towards improving patient care makes her a great addition to our team. In her spare time, Callie enjoys playing outdoors with her family, traveling, painting, and calligraphy.

Richard T. Porter

Senior Manuscript Editor

Rich is the gatekeeper of any content that departs from JB Ashtin. No document leaves the premises without his watchful eye to catch any grammar mistakes, missing commas, or uncited sources. We place a lot of trust in Rich and for good reason – he has 20 years’ experience in manuscript editing and his commitment to ensuring that JB Ashtin content is always of the highest quality.

Justin Loughrey

Data Technology Lead

Justin is the winner of the JB Ashtin Core Value award for “Proactivity”. He is responsible for assisting, coordinating and executing project deliverables for both publications and healthcare engagement.

Ashley Minear

Visual Content Lead

Ashley is a true embodiment of operations. From handling our project management systems to financial tracking tools, we could not function without her. Her background in interior architecture, design, and photography allows her to view technical problems in a different light, allowing us to overcome challenges that wouldn’t be possible otherwise.

Sue Baydoun, MA, HMCC

Executive Account Director

Sue is a visionary at JB Ashtin who is always trying to discover innovative technologies to spice up thought leader engagements, education solutions, and advisory boards. When a client needs to find the optimal thought leaders for their programs, Sue finds the right experts. The only thing she has ever struggled with is her son attending Michigan State University, while she is a die-hard University of Michigan fan.

Lauren Rautiola, CMPP

Account Director

Lauren is the publication queen at JB Ashtin with complete oversight on multiple publication plans across many different client accounts. It is not an exaggeration to say that nobody can do what she does. She works hard to find the best solutions to overcome any problem the client might face. She is also secretly an Excel master.

Marion France, PhD

Associate Account Director

As an Associate Account Director, Marion works alongside our Account Manager to ensure seamless project delivery and exceptional attention to our clients’ needs. Prior to joining JB Ashtin, Marion worked as a project manager in the pharmaceutical industry and as a research scientist in the biotech space with concentrations in neuroscience and gastrointestinal research. She enjoys tackling challenges head-on, enriching human interactions, and helping others. When not in the office, you can find Marion running with teammates in rain or shine. She also likes to exercise her creative side through art and portraits!

Melanie “Mel” Apsey, HMCC

Associate Account Director

Mel brings organization and efficiency to the client services team. She thrives on understanding the small details in order to ensure quality and accuracy, delivering both in a timely manner for all of our client’s needs.

Alexa Clark, HMCC

Account Manager

Alexa is the “veteran” among our speakers’ bureau team and is responsible for the coordination and execution of hundreds of programs each year. She puts clients first and works to facilitate open communication throughout the duration of each project.

Samara Attalla, MS

Account Manager

As an Account Manager, Samara astutely manages the day-to-day coordination and execution of multiple publication and other project deliverables. Prior to joining the JB Ashtin team, Samara worked as a research associate in the University of Michigan’s Pediatric Nephrology Clinical Translational Research Program where she assisted in the establishment of a clinical care and clinical trials network, patient quality initiatives, and clinical trial design. Samara earned a Master’s in Pharmacology from the University of Michigan.

Katherine Fitzpatrick

Account Manager

Katherine brings organization, collaboration, creative problem solving, and interpersonal skills to all of the work that she does and pride herself on her ability provide an excellent customer experience. She lives in the Metro Detroit area with her dog, Tigger, and is a Disney enthusiast. In her free time she enjoys exercising, reading, and exploring new restaurants!

Autumn Lesniak


Autumn has worn many hats at JB Ashtin over the years. Currently, she is responsible for ensuring all speakers bureau reporting is timely, financials are accurate, and compliance guidelines are met.

Rachel Smith

Office Coordinator

Rachel is our newest Operations team member. With a focus on creative problem solving and organization, Rachel works behind the scenes to ensure our team is equipped with everything they need. From spreadsheets to strategizing new ideas on how to enhance health and wellness in the workplace, she does it all! Operations expert by day, however outside of the office Rachel is a novelist. She’s frequently spotted at her local coffee shop, cinnamon roll and latte in hand, working on the next Great American Novel.

Ashlee Hartger

Marketing Consultant

Ashlee has a knack for communication and teamwork. She loves collaborating with clients and speakers’ bureau faculty. All she needs to get the job done well is her laptop, a good cup of coffee, and the right Pandora station.

Sarah Love

Meeting Management and Planning Consultant

Patience, expediency, and client commitment describes Sarah to a “T. She effectively manages daily operations of our meeting planning activities and has proven expertise in overseeing all aspects of venue selection, registration, lodging, meals, A/V, and travel. She establishes, develops, and maintains relationships with meeting industry suppliers at a national and global level, ensuring quality support, cost competitiveness, and responsiveness.

Our Blogs

Holiday Cookbook – Quarantine Edition 2020

Okay, be honest. How many times in the last 8 months have you heard or said the following…

Making Client Experiences Better Every Day

Contributed by Joni Bradley  Providing a high-quality, relevant deliverable isn’t enough when it comes to building strong and lasting agency-client partnerships. Top-notch work…

Medical Communications: Blending Art and Science to Tell a Patient-Centered Story

Contributed by Pete Luongo, MD   People often ask me what’s an MD doing in medical communications. The…

The Evolution of HCP Connections

  Contributed by Rod Julian   Have you ever thought to yourself, “Man, if I could just connect…

Rare Disease Day: What the World Needs Now

Contributed by Ashlee Hartger, Marketing Manager Compassion It’s difficult to comprehend what living with a rare disease feels…

Scientists…Who Happen to be Women

Mae Jemison, engineer, physician, former NASA astronaut, and the first African American woman to travel into space said,…


 What does it mean to be LIMITLESS? Our society is full of dreamers—people who choose to ignore limits…

Saving Grace: A Lesson in Storytelling from Peloton

Contributed by Ashlee Hartger, Marketing Manager   Twas the Night Before Christmas… The year is 2019 and a…

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Rooted in Science. Driven to Inspire.