The Clearity Foundation Leadership

Hillary Theakston

Executive Director

Hillary Theakston has over 15 years of experience leading communications programs for healthcare companies as both an employee and a consultant. In addition to her responsibilities at Clearity, she provides communications consulting to healthcare companies including Trius Therapeutics, Medipacs and Sorrento Therapeutics. Previously as ResMed’s director of communications, Ms. Theakston managed internal teams and external agencies to develop an optimal mix of public relations and marketing programs to support key business objectives. Prior to joining ResMed, Ms. Theakston led investor relations and public relations for Diversa Corporation, a genomic discovery company.

Laura K. Shawver, Ph.D.


Dr. Shawver is a biotechnology entrepreneur with 25 years of scientific experience. Her primary focus is in cancer research and drug development. Currently, Dr. Shawver is Chief Executive Officer of Cleave Biosciences which is focused on developing novel drugs for difficult to treat cancers. Prior to joining Cleave, she was Executive-in-Residence at 5AM Ventures, a venture capital firm dedicated to building and actively creating value in early-stage life science companies. Previously, Dr. Shawver was Chief Executive Officer of Phenomix Corp, a company developing drugs in areas of unmet medical needs including diabetes and HCV infection. Prior to joining Phenomix, she was President of SUGEN, Inc which was focused on identifying molecular pathways of cancer cells. The emphasis on kinases and their role in cancer led to the development of SutentT for the treatment of kidney cancer and gastrointestinal tumors as well as PalladiaT for the treatment of mast cell tumors in dogs. In addition, Dr. Shawver serves as an advisor to the biotech industry in the area of drug development. Her research career focused on oncogenes, growth factors and signal transduction pathways and she has published a number of research articles and book chapters in scientific journals. Dr. Shawver is Deputy Editor of "Molecular Cancer Therapeutics" and serves on other editorial boards. She is an active member in the American Association for Cancer Research currently serving on the Science Policy and Legislative Affairs committee and on the Scientific Advisory Committee for Hollywood's Stand Up 2 Cancer campaign.

Brian Baker, C.P.A.

Chief Financial Officer

Brian Baker is an experienced life science financial and accounting executive, and serves as Clearity's Chief Financial Officer on a volunteer basis. Mr. Baker is a licensed CPA with 17 years of progressive senior accounting and finance experience, primarily with biotech / drug discovery and development companies. He has “Big Four” public accounting experience with Price Waterhouse, and significant fundraising experience primarily from venture sources. Mr. Baker has held senior financial positions with Cengent Therapeutics, Sequenom, Phenomix Corporation, and Cleave Biosciences. He has a Master’s of Science degree in Business Administration – Information Systems from San Diego State University, and a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Business Administration – Accounting, also from San Diego State University.

Deborah Zajchowski, PhD

Scientific Director

Deborah Zajchowski, PhD is a cancer biologist with over 20 years experience in cancer research and drug discovery in the biopharmaceutical industry. Her involvement with the Clearity Foundation began in November, 2007 and since that time she has guided the selection of the biomarkers and technologies that comprise the molecular profiling panel, ensuring the consistency with the most recent knowledge in the area of drug response prediction markers. Under her direction, the foundation has developed a database to track patient histories and testing results to enable an ovarian cancer-centric interpretation of molecular profiles and established an ovarian cancer biomarker knowledgebase to fuel the foundation's patient and physician education program. She is also president of Oncology Consulting Services and provides clients with cancer biology/ functional genomics guidance for biomarker, target, and drug discovery efforts. Prior to this, she was a Senior Project Leader in the Cancer Research department at Berlex Biosciences, Inc (a subsidiary of Schering AG, Germany), where she led cross-functional teams in cancer drug target identification and validation as well as in preclinical drug development. She led the pre-clinical development efforts for a novel chemotherapeutic agent for ovarian and pancreatic cancer treatment and the breast cancer genomics drug discovery efforts. She is an active member of the American Association for Cancer Research, serves as a reviewer for several scientific journals, and has published many scientific research articles in the areas of cancer genomics, estrogen action, and transcriptional control. Dr. Zajchowski received her PhD from the University of Chicago and had post-doctoral research fellowships at the L.G.M.E. in Strasbourg, France and at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Mass.