Annlouise R. Assaf, Ph.D., M.S., FAHA, FISPE, is a pharmacoepidemiologist who is a senior director and Enterprise Benefit Risk medical director in Pfizer Medical. In this role, she partners to evolve the science and practice of Benefit Risk to inform better drug development, healthcare decisions, and outcomes for patients. A focus of her work is on quality benefit risk communication and improving health literacy and patient-centered medication prescribing so that patients can make informed shared decisions about their treatment with their healthcare providers, use their medications safely and appropriately, and improve value outcomes.
Dr. Assaf joined Pfizer in 2002, after many years in academic medicine and clinical research at Brown Medical School. Her first role at Pfizer was as Epidemiology Therapeutic area head in the Risk Management and Pharmacovigilance group in New London, Connecticut, where she provided oversight for a global team of epidemiologists. Since then, she has held several leadership positions at Pfizer including: senior director/epidemiologist - Global Market Access- Health Economics, Epidemiology, & HTA; Global HEOR Therapeutic area lead for Women’s Health, Pain, CNS/ Depression; Outcomes Research Cox-2 lead; and Therapeutic area group head, Epidemiology -WWD Safety and Risk Management; and senior medical director and Medical Affairs Product lead, working in the area of Women's Health.
Dr. Assaf received her Ph.D. in Experimental Pathology/Epidemiology and her M.S. in Natural Sciences (immunology) from the Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) at the State University of New York at Buffalo. She began her research career in the field of immunology at the Department of Experimental Therapeutics at RPCI. She then focused her research efforts in the field of cancer and cardiovascular disease epidemiology with a particular focus on women’s health and diseases which disproportionately affect women and patients with low health literacy.
Dr. Assaf was the director of evaluation and co-principal investigator of the Pawtucket Heart Health Program, a community-based intervention for prevention of cardiovascular disease, where she specialized in the formative and process evaluation of programs aimed at achieving, maintaining, and evaluating behavior change in low health literacy, low income, and minority populations. While working with this program, Dr. Assaf was selected as an US-FRG scientific exchange fellow and has served as a liaison at the request of both the Federal Republic of Germany’s Cardiovascular Prevention Project and the Canadian government. Dr. Assaf served as deputy director for the Brown Center for Primary Care and Prevention and has been principal or co-principal investigator for numerous National Institutes of Health clinical trials. She was a principal investigator and executive committee member of the NIH-funded Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) Clinical Trial and Observational study and ran the largest of the 40 clinical centers of WHI. She has served in numerous teaching, consulting, and leadership roles, both nationally and internationally. She is currently a professor (adjunct) at The Brown University School of Public Health and is the industry preceptor for a Pfizer-Brown University pre-doctoral fellowship in epidemiology. Dr. Assaf has published over 100 scientific articles, book chapters, and abstracts.