Ella Balasa

Patient Advocate, Speaker, Writer, and Microbiology Lab Manager

Ella Balasa is a patient advocate and a person living with cystic fibrosis. She was diagnosed at 18 months old. She holds a degree in biology from Virginia Commonwealth University and has worked in an environmental microbiology lab. She is an advocate for the development of novel therapies for the treatment of antibiotic-resistant infections. She has spoken publicly about the value of patient voice in research as well as her experience with phage therapy to treat the devastating infections she has faced. She is deeply involved in the CF community through being a director of the US Adult CF Association, serving as a member of research committees for the CF Foundation, and through her passion for writing. She writes about her research experiences and introspectively about the hardships yet triumph that comes with living with a chronic illness. Through these opportunities, she provides a scientific voice and hopes to encourage empowerment in patient communities. In her free time, Ella enjoys cooking, drawing, spending time with friends, and traveling when she can.

Other speakers in 2020


Dr. Evgeni Evgeniev

Research Attaché
Permanent Representation of Bulgaria to the European Union

United Kingdom

Andrew Fried

Healthcare and Life Sciences, Industry Leader
IBM Europe


Colin McGuckin, Prof. Dr.

Founding Director, Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer
CTI-Biotech Cell Therapy Research Institute, Lyon, France