About Pentara


Suzanne Hendrix, Ph.D.
CEO

Suzanne Hendrix, Ph.D.
CEO


Suzanne Hendrix graduated from Boston University with a Ph.D. in mathematics. Dr. Hendrix has worked as a clinical trials statistician, and has now accumulated over 30 years of experience with time spent at CROs and pharmaceutical companies, including projects across many disease areas. Since becoming CEO of Pentara in 2008, Dr. Hendrix has maintained a central focus on analysis of clinical trials for degenerative diseases, especially Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Suzanne has first authored or co-authored over 150 peer-reviewed publications related to both clinical trial results and statistical approaches for clinical trials, many of which include significant contributions to statistical methodology for Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Hendrix also played an important role in the development of ADCOMS, an AD composite score to measure cognitive function in individuals with mild cognitive impairment due to AD. Overall, Suzanne’s main goal for Pentara is to “give studies and clients the best chance of success for effective treatments” by implementing better standards and methods for statistical analysis and study design that guarantee accurate results with clinical data.
When asked about what she loves most about her company, Dr. Hendrix emphatically responded, “the people! We have the smartest, nicest people, and I like that we’ve found so many creative thinkers.” In her free time, Suzanne participates in Crossfit, and especially enjoys working out with her kids.


Kent Hendrix, B.S.
Vice President of Data Management

Kent Hendrix, B.S.
Vice President of Data Management


Kent Hendrix has 32 years experience in the Pharmaceutical industry, including all aspects of statistical programming in SAS, and has handled a broad variety of clinical trials and data analysis projects. He has worked on many NDAs and managed multiple groups of SAS programmers. Mr. Hendrix has taught SAS programming at Brigham Young University and AP Statistics and Computer Science at the high school level. Mr. Hendrix also developed a SAS program Log File Analysis tool that helps SAS programmers debug their code faster. Additionally, Kent developed a web-based clinical trial management software that handles the enrollment and randomization of subjects, drug distribution to sites, and allocation to subjects. This software has managed global phases I, II, and III clinical trials. As one of the founders of Pentara, Kent has loved watching the company grow. He loves that Pentara makes a “disproportionately large splash in the field compared to our size. We really change the world.”
When he isn’t working, Mr. Hendrix can be found teaching Bushikai Kishindo Martial Arts, in which he holds a 10th degree black belt. He also enjoys reading and fishing in the beautiful Utah mountains.


Sam Dickson, Ph.D.
Vice President of Statistics

Sam Dickson, Ph.D.
Vice President of Statistics


Sam Dickson has a Ph.D. in statistics and bioinformatics and has been working in clinical trials since 2003. As Vice President of Statistics at Pentara Corporation, he consults with clients on study design and analysis of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and ALS. One area of particular interest to Dr. Dickson is finding or developing appropriate and meaningful outcomes to be able to detect treatment effects in progressive diseases, which are generally heterogeneous and difficult to measure with precision. He is an expert in clinical trial design for phase 2 and phase 3 clinical trials, including group sequential designs, sample size re-estimation, and Bayesian adaptive studies. His background includes experience working with research and clinical data at GlaxoSmithKline, Duke University, the United States Army, Pfizer, and a public health company. Dr. Dickson has worked on treatments for a wide range of conditions including the Ebola virus, malaria, dengue, macular degeneration, pain, schizophrenia, laser hair removal, and other cosmetic devices. He also has experience with whole genome and exome sequencing data and helped to develop a polygenic risk score for Alzheimer's disease. Dr. Dickson believes everyone was born Bayesian.


Jessie Nicodemus Johnson, Ph.D.
Senior Director of Statistics

Jessie Nicodemus Johnson, Ph.D.
Senior Director of Statistics


Jessie Nicodemus Johnson is the Senior Director of Statistics at Pentara Corporation. She joined Pentara Corporation in 2020, bringing over 15 years of experience in statistics, study design, and integrative physiology. Jessie and her team manage a diverse array of client needs including clinical trial design, CDISC dataset generation, Ad Hoc analyses supportive of study design, and post hoc analyses of study outcomes. Jessie specializes in incorporating the clinical and underlying molecular aspects of treatment efficacy with statistical methodology resulting in a more thorough understanding of associations with outcomes of interest. Jessie received her PhD in Molecular and Integrative Physiology from the University of Illinois: Urbana-Champaign in 2010 and continued to cultivate her understanding and love of systems biology and statistics during her postdoc at the University of Chicago in the Department of Human Genetics. When not working, Jessie enjoys spending time with her kids in the mountains surrounding Salt Lake City.


Sean Hennessey, M.S.
Manager of Statistics

Sean Hennessey, M.S.
Manager of Statistics


Sean Hennessey is a Statistical Team Lead at Pentara. Sean has a Masters in Biostatistics (MSTAT), which he earned from the University of Utah. Since joining Pentara in 2013, Mr. Hennessey has used CDISC STDM and ADaM datasets to create and maintain phase I, phase II, and phase III clinical trials data and analysis. Mr. Hennessey has worked with both large companies and smaller studies, and he has consulted on compliant database setup and design, as well as various statistical methods and survival analysis. Among his impressive list of accomplishments, Hennessey was a consulting statistician on predictive modeling for a medical device manufacturer, and has dedicated a large amount of time to documenting methods and treatments that are not working in the field of Alzheimer disease because “it is, after all, very scientific, to document well the things that do not work.”
Reflecting on his experience with Pentara, Sean Hennessey has enjoyed being a part of a team of experts in a fast-moving and ever-growing company. Outside of work, Sean enjoys watching soccer (especially Real Salt Lake), card-counting blackjack, and raising dachshunds.


Newman Knowlton, M.S.
Director of Operations

Newman Knowlton, M.S.
Director of Operations


Director of Operations Newman Knowlton received his Master’s degree in Quantitative Psychology from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec in 2017. Mr. Knowlton started working at Pentara in January of 2018 as Pentara’s fifth employee. While at Pentara, he has presented at several conferences, contributed to several papers, and was the lead on an NDA for an ALS drug (AMX0035). Since he was one of the first to join the Pentara team, Newman’s favorite thing about the company is seeing it grow. He takes pride in Pentara’s work and is happy to see the team getting bigger and receiving more recognition. Outside of the office, Newman enjoys yoga, D&D, civil engineering, as well as playing tennis and renovating houses. Among all of his hobbies and talents, Newman is the most proud of his 1996 Honda Civic.


Craig Mallinckrodt Ph.D.
Distinguished Biostatistician

Craig Mallinckrodt Ph.D.
Distinguished Biostatistician


Craig is a Distinguished Biostatistician at Pentara where he contributes broadly to support client’s research in Alzheimer’s and other diseases. Craig joined Pentara in 2022 after 30 years of clinical trial experience in academia and at large and small pharma companies. He is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association and won the Royal Statistical Society’s award for Outstanding Contribution to the Pharmaceutical Industry. Dr. Mallinckrodt led the statistical work that resulted in global regulatory approvals for drugs in 10 indications. Craig also led industry working groups on methodology topics, including placebo response, missing data, and estimands and sensitivity analyses. He has authored four books and 200 manuscripts on various statistical and clinical topics. Dr. Mallinckrodt led much of the early research into the MMRM analytic approach that resulted in this method’s widespread use in longitudinal clinical trials. A native of Missouri and long-time resident of Colorado, where he got his BS, MS, and PhD (1993) at Colorado State University, Craig now resides with his wife Donna in Indianapolis, IN. Donna is a licensed Medicare Insurance Specialist with a passion for helping the elderly. Their daughter, Marissa, is a nurse in Chicago where she continues Donna’s passion for helping others. Craig enjoys running, having logged over 100,000 miles lifetime, and winning a bronze medal at the 1996 Paralympics. He also enjoys cycling, skiing and wildlife photography.


Cassandra Rickertsen, B.A.
Director of Business Operations

Cassandra Rickertsen, B.A.
Director of Business Operations


Cassandra currently holds the position as Director of Business Operations at Pentara. She joined Pentara in late 2021 as a Project Manager and quickly took on more business responsibilities. Cassandra works with clients on all things contracts, invoicing, project management, and much more. She works diligently in this role leaning on her scientific background while creating efficient and effective operations. She has been able to bring years of experience across industries to support Pentara's services during its time of rapid growth.
Cassandra received her B.A. in Chemistry from St. Olaf College (yes it's a real place, not just referenced in Golden Girls or the snowman from Frozen!) After graduation she served a term as an AmeriCorp member in education, provided office support to a financial advisory firm, and has helped with program management for various organizations, including healthcare SaaS.
She has a passion for education that can be found in many places beyond the traditional K12 system, which included coaching CrossFit for many years and being involved in programs to increase diversity in medicine. Since moving to Utah, Cassandra has become a self-described “Utahn” now owning a Subaru, mountain bike, skis, and Chacos.

Galasko DR, Graff-Radford N, May S, Hendrix S, Cottrell BA, Sagi SA, Mather G, Laughlin M, Zavitz KH, Swabb E, Golde TE, Murphy MP, Koo EH (2007) Safety, Tolerability, Pharmacokinetics, and Abeta Levels After Short-term Administration of R-flurbiprofen in Healthy Elderly Individuals. Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord. 21 (4):292-299.


Vellas B, Andrieu S, Sampaio C, Coley N, Wilcock G; European Task Force Group (incl. Hendrix S). Endpoints for trials in Alzheimer's disease: a European task force consensus. Lancet Neurol. 2008 May;7(5):436-50.


Wilcock GK, Black SE, Hendrix SB, Zavitz KH, Swabb EA, Laughlin MA; Tarenflurbil Phase II Study investigators (2008) Efficacy and safety of tarenflurbil in mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease: a randomised phase II trial. Lancet Neurol. 2008 Jun;7(6):483-93. Epub 2008 Apr 29.


Hendrix SB, Wilcock GK; What We Have Learned from the Myriad Trials. Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging. 2009 Apr: 13(4):362-364.


Vellas B, Aisen P, Sampaio C, Carrillo M, Scheltens P, Scherrer B, Frisoni B, Weiner M, Schneider L, Gauthier S, Gispen-Wied C, Hendrix S, Feldman H, Cedarbaum J, Petersen R, Siemers E, Andrieu S, Prvulovic D, Touchon J, Hampel H; Prevention Trials in Alzheimer’s Disease: AN EU-US task Force report. From the Toulouse Task Force 2010


Shankle R, Atri A, Hendrix S: Improving measurement methodology to detect treatment effect in clinical trials [abstract]. The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging© Volume 15, Supplement 1, 2011, s3.


Hendrix SB: Requiring an amyloid-β1–42 biomarker may improve the efficiency of a study, and simulations may help in planning studies. Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy 2011, 3:X.


Hendrix SB: Measuring clinical progression in MCI and pre-MCI populations: Time as the Gold Standard. Commisioned review article currently under review, Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy 2012


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