Researcher Bios

James Adams, PhD is a President’s Professor at Arizona State University, where he directs the autism/Asperger’s research program, though he originally taught chemical and materials engineering there. He is also the president of the Autism Society of Greater Phoenix, the co-chair of the Autism Research Institute’s scientific advisory committee, and has received the Autism Service Award from the Greater Phoenix chapter of the Autism Society of America. He has been featured on Dateline NBC and received a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award from President George Bush.

David Amaral, PhD is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at UC Davis. He is also the Beneto Foundation Chair and Research Director of the MIND Institute which is dedicated to studying autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders.  As Research Director, he coordinates a multidisciplinary analysis of children with autism called the Autism Phenome Project to define clinically significant subtypes of autism. More recently, Dr. Amaral has become Director of Autism Brain Net, a collaborative effort to solicit post-mortem brain tissue to facilitate autism research. In April of 2015, Amaral became Editor-in-Chief of Autism Research, the journal of the International Society for Autism Research. In 2016, he was appointed to the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee by the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Paul Ashwood, PhD is a Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the MIND Institute, University of California, Davis. Fifteen years ago autism was considered a rare condition and was rarely diagnosed before the age of 3 years. However, the last decade has seen a dramatic rise in the number of children diagnosed with autism. The etiology of autism is unknown in the majority of cases and most likely involves a complex interplay of both genetic and environmental factors. Among these factors, differences in immune genetics and immune function have consistently been reported in autism. Dr Ashwood’s laboratory has developed a primary focus on understanding the immunological underpinnings of neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism, Fragile X syndrome, Tourette’s syndrome, schizophrenia and mood disorders. Much of his current work is directed at characterizing the role of the immune system in autism and attempting to unravel the highly complex interconnections between the immune and central nervous systems. Ashwood is interested in exploring whether the health of one system is integral to the healthy development of the other. Ashwood’s original research in his native England involved identification of a new variant of inflammatory bowel disease found in some cases of autism.

Chris Bartley, MD, PhD is a Clinical and Postdoctoral Fellow in Immunopsychiatry at UC San Francisco.

David Bick, MD is the chief medical officer and a faculty investigator at the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, the medical director of The Smith Family Clinic for Genomic Medicine, LLC., and a laboratory director in the HudsonAlpha Clinical Services Laboratory, LLC. He comes to HudsonAlpha from the Medical College of Wisconsin where he was a professor in the department of pediatrics and the department of obstetrics and gynecology. At the Medical College of Wisconsin, he was the director of the Clinical Sequencing Laboratory at Medical College of Wisconsin; director of the Advanced Genomics Laboratory at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin; medical director of the Genetics Clinic at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin; and chief of the division of genetics in the department of pediatrics at Medical College of Wisconsin.  Bick received his medical degree from George Washington University School of Medicine in 1981 and completed his residency in pediatrics at Yale-New Haven Hospital in New Haven, Conn. At the Yale University School of Medicine, Bick completed a fellowship in human genetics and pediatrics in 1986, followed by a postdoctoral research fellowship in human genetics in 1987. Bick is board-certified in pediatrics, clinical genetics and clinical molecular genetics.As a leader in the field of genomic medicine, Bick has published numerous peer-reviewed articles, chapters and reviews. Bick’s laboratories at the Medical College of Wisconsin and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin were the first in the world to offer whole genome sequencing as a clinical test.

Richard Boles, MD is a Medical Geneticist with expertise in mitochondrial and other metabolic disorders. He completed medical school at UCLA, a pediatric residency at Harbor-UCLA, and a genetics fellowship at Yale. He received board certifications in Pediatrics, Clinical Genetics and Clinical Biochemical Genetics. For over two decades, Dr. Boles’ clinical and research focus has been on sequence changes in genes involved in energy metabolism, and more recently ion channels, and their effects on the development of common functional disorders. Examples include autism, pain syndromes, cyclic vomiting, bowel dysmotility, dysautonomia, depression, and SIDS. Dr. Boles practices the “bedside to bench to bedside” model of a physician-scientist, combining an active clinical practice with basic research into the underlying genetic predispositions leading to the same conditions. He has over 70 published papers, mostly in mitochondrial medicine. Dr. Boles was a faculty member for 20 years at the Keck School of Medicine at USC and a practicing medical geneticist at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Dr. Boles has been a pioneer in the new field of genomics in order to facilitate the translation of the vast amounts of acquired genetic knowledge into applications that improve routine medical care. He has consulted for four different genetics diagnostics companies as a Medical Director, including 5 years at Courtagen. At present, he consults for Lineagen, which focuses on DNA diagnoses for children with neurodevelopmental disorders. In addition, Dr. Boles currently is in private practice in Pasadena, California, and at the Rossignol Medical Center in Aliso Viejo, California. About one-half of his patients have neurodevelopmental disorders. Dr. Boles has joined The Center for Neurological and Neurodevelopmental Health (CNNH) in New Jersey in order to provide telemedicine services to help physicians and families how to translate modern genetics testing into practice treatment options. He also does legal consulting. Although he generally tries to really listen to what his patients and families are saying, for at least 20 years many of them have been asking for a comprehensive nutritional product based on his clinical practices. He has (finally) done this with Spectrum Needs.

Madeleine Cunningham, PhD is the George Lynn Cross Research Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, and the Presbyterian Health Foundation Presidential Professor and Microbiology and Immunology Director, Immunology Training Program University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. Dr. Cunningham is Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Moleculera Labs. Dr. Cunningham’s laboratory has studied molecular mimicry, autoimmunity and infection related to inflammatory heart disease for the past 30 years. She has pioneered the development of human mAbs in understanding the pathogenesis of human diseases. Currently her laboratory is focused on translational studies of human diseases, to improve their diagnosis and treatment and determine how infections play a role in autoimmune diseases of the heart and brain. Dr. Cunningham is the director of an NIAID supported Immunology Training Program at the University of Oklahoma for the past 10 years. She has been the recipient of NHLBI Career Development and MERIT Awards and has been funded by NIH for the past 25 years. She is author of over 100 publications in peer- reviewed journals and speaks internationally on the findings of her research. Dr. Cunningham’s laboratory studies the role of autoimmunity and infection in the pathogenesis of movement and behavioral disorders associated with streptococci, including Sydenham chorea, the neurologic manifestation of rheumatic fever, and pediatric autoimmune neurologic disorder associated with streptococci (PANDAS). Her laboratory identified antibody mediated neuronal cell signaling as the potential basis for choreic movement disorders. Other related movement and neuropsychiatric disorders such as obsessive compulsive disorder, Tourette’s Syndrome and Tics are under investigation to determine the presence and role of autoantibodies which may signal in the brain for these diseases.

Ronald W. Davis, PhD, is a professor of Biochemistry and Genetics. He is also the director of the Stanford Genome Technology Center. Dr. Davis’s current mission is to discover the cause(s) of, a molecular-based diagnostic test for, and a cure for ME/CFS.By developing new technologies, Dr. Davis does cutting-edge and interdisciplinary research into cancer, immunology, genetics, infectious disease, novel drug development, and nano-fabrication of diagnostic instrumentation. Most notably, in 2013, he was named one of the top 9 of today’s greatest inventors in The Atlantic magazine.

Dennis Dixon, PhD, is the Chief Clinical Officer at the Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD). He received a PhD in clinical psychology from Louisiana State University with a focus on developmental disabilities and completed his postdoctoral fellowship at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine where he specialized in the treatment of severe challenging behaviors. He has authored over 40 peer-reviewed studies and is an associate editor of the Review Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. His research focuses on the use of technology and big data analytics to improve treatment outcomes and the quality of life for individuals with ASD.

 Lynn Durham, MSc is the Founder and CEO of STALICLA, a near clinical Swiss Biotech Company developing a unique approach to bringing personalized medicine to people living with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Driven by her lifelong involvement with the autism community, Lynn has instituted a paradigm shift in the field of neurodevelopmental disorder drug discovery and pioneered the creation of a unique AI [or algorithm-based] discovery platform – Databased Endophenotyping  Patient Identification (DEPI). * Applicability of the DEPI platform goes beyond ASD and has major potential for drug discovery in other complex diseases with a high level of heterogeneity.  To date, Lynn has assembled a 15 FTE world-class cross functional team of drug developers, clinicians and data scientists in STALICLA’s Geneva (STALICLA Drug Development) and Barcelona (STALICLA R&D) units as well as a unique collaborative network of 18 academic leading research centers & hospitals and CROs.In just over 2 years since inception, STALICLA has proven successful in expediting and derisking drug development for a first biologically-validated sub-group of patients with Autism. The corresponding drug products for this group – STP1- will be entering clinical trials in the US in early 2020.

Jennifer Frankovich, MD is an Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Allergy, Immunology Rheumatology (AIR) at Stanford University/Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital (LPCH). Her clinical expertise is in systemic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases that co-occur with psychiatric symptoms. She completed her training in pediatrics, pediatric rheumatology, and clinical epidemiology at Stanford University/LPCH. She directs the Stanford PANS Program (2012- present) where she and her collaborators have created a longitudinal clinical database and large biorepository of patient and control biospecimens. In addition to generating clinical data to better understand the PANS illness, she is collaborating with 10 basic science labs who aim to understand the immunological underpinnings of the illness.

Richard Frye, MD, PhD is a Child Neurologist with expertise in neurodevelopmental and neurometabolic disorders. He received an MD and PhD in Physiology and Biophysics from Georgetown University and completed his Child Neurology Residency and Fellowship in Behavioral Neurology and Learning Disabilities at Harvard University/ Children’s Hospital Boston. He has authored over 150 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters, and serves on several editorial boards. He has conducted several clinical trials demonstrating the efficacy of safe and novel treatments that target underlying physiological abnormalities in children with ASD. He is the Chief of Neurodevelopmental Disorders at the Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

Harumi Jyonouchi, MD received her medical training at the Yokohama City University School of Medicine, Yokohama, Japan and then completed training in Pediatrics at Fujigaoka Hospital, Showa University, Japan. She then served as a research fellow at Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research in New York and then as a Senior Research Scientist at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. She completed a fellowship in Pediatric Immunology at Oklahoma Children’s Memorial Hospital, and did additional training in Allergy/ Immunology at All Children’s Hospital, St. Petersburg, Florida, where she joined the faculty as an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and the Assistant Director of the Immune Parameter Laboratory. She went on to become an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Minnesota and served as the co-director for the Allergy/ Immunology fellowship. She has been in the Department of Pediatrics at NJMS since 2002. She is the recipient of a number of honors and awards, and has served on NIH grant review committees and Editorial Boards. She is currently the Chief Editor of Pediatrics Section of eMedicine. She has had continuous grant support since 1989 and is the author of over 100 published peer- reviewed articles and chapters. Her research interests include: neuro-immune interactions and epigenetic regulation in children with autism spectrum disorders, innate immune abnormalities in patients with mucosal inflammation of the airway (asthma) and the GI tract, and non-IgE mediated food allergy.

Ritika Kapoor, MD, PhD is a consultant Pediatric Endocrinologist at King’s College, London. She graduated in Medicine from Mumbai University and gained a PhD from UCL in the topic of congenital hyperinsulinism. She has worked as a Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Fellow and was granted a NIHR-BRC Clinical Research Award in 2009.

Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown, PhD is a professor at the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment and the Swette Center for Environmental Biotechnology at Arizona State University. She has a Ph.D in Environmental Engineering from Georgia Tech. She was awarded an NSF CAREER award, was selected as one of 40 under 40 leaders in Phoenix, and has funding for her research from many federal agencies including NIH, DoE, DoD and NSF. She is a pioneer in research on gut microbiome and autism. She is author of 3 patents and more than 90 peer-reviewed publications. She specializes on molecular microbial ecology for bioremediation, the use of microbial systems for bioenergy production, and the human intestinal microbial ecology and its relationship to obesity, bariatic surgery and autism.

Arthur Krigsman, MD is a pediatrician and pediatric gastroenterologist with expertise in the evaluation and treatment of autism associated gastrointestinal problems. His interest in this unique patient population began in 2001 and during the ensuing 17 years he has treated over 1900 children from across the globe suffering from autism and a variety of gastrointestinal problems. His research interest lies in the characterization of the unique cellular, molecular, and clinical features of ASD-associated inflammatory bowel disease and his original findings appear in numerous peer-reviewed journals. In addition to serving as an invited reviewer for peer-reviewed medical journal author submissions in his area of expertise, Dr. Krigsman has served as a guest lecturer on the topic of gastrointestinal disease and autism at national and international scientific meetings, hospital Grand Rounds both here and abroad, Nurse Association meetings, philanthropic organizations, and at numerous lay medical conferences. He has also presented his findings before the U.S. Congress. His greatest satisfaction though derives from the clinical care he provides his patients and in the improved quality of life that results from diagnosing and treating gastrointestinal disease in this vulnerable population. He maintains offices in both New York City and Austin, Texas.

Ruth Ann Luna, PhD is the Director of Medical Metagenomics of the Texas Children’s Microbiome Center (TCMC) at Texas Children’s Hospital and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology & Immunology at Baylor College of Medicine.  Dr. Luna’s primary research focus is the microbiome-gut-brain axis in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and is currently presiding over the largest pediatric autism microbiome study in the country.  In addition to being a leading microbiome researcher, Dr. Luna also has the added perspective of being an autism parent herself. Dr. Luna has extensive experience in the latest molecular and clinical techniques used to study the composition and function of the microbiome.  She pioneered new clinical diagnostic sequencing applications and leads the 16s rRNA gene-based next-generation sequencing for microbiome characterization efforts of the hospital. In addition to autism she has recently completed microbiome-based projects in a variety of research areas including gastrointestinal (IBS, ulcerative colitis, Clostridium difficile infection) and pulmonary (cystic fibrosis, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, lung transplantation) disorders.  Dr. Luna emphasizes taking a multi-omic approach to research- combining the microbiome, metabolome, and a variety of clinical data to better understand the underlying biology.

Elyssa Marco, MD is a cognitive and behavioral child neurologist. She cares for children with all types of neurologic concerns; however, she specializes in the evaluation and treatment of children with cognitive, sensory, and behavioral challenges. Dr. Marco participates in the care of children at the UCSF Medical Center Pediatric Neurology Clinic and the UCSF Marin-based practice in Greenbrae. In addition to her general child neurology and cognitive behavior focused clinics, she co-directs the monthly Autism NeuroGenetics Clinic where children on the autism spectrum can receive coordinated evaluation and treatment from specialists in neurology and genetics. Dr. Marco also has an active neuroscience laboratory at UCSF that focuses on understanding and finding treatments for individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders. Her research is based on a thorough cognition and sensory evaluation of each child combined with innovative functional imaging to better understand how children’s brains process sound, touch, and visual information. Her current research involves individuals with autism disorders, sensory processing disorders, neuroanatomic disorders (such as agenesis of the corpus callosum) and specific genetic disorders (such as 16p11.2 copy number variations). In addition, she is an active collaborator with investigators studying the effects of autism on maternal health and the neural underpinnings of Tourette’s Syndrome. Dr. Marco’s lab is also combining structural and functional brain imaging with computer based training interventions to determine if computer games can help children resist distracting information and improve visual motor planning. The overarching goal of Dr. Marco’s research is to use basic science findings to create beneficial treatments for children. Dr. Marco received her BA in psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and then obtained her MD at the University of California, San Francisco. She continued her residency training at UCSF in pediatrics, neurology, and child neurology. In addition, she completed a cognitive and behavioral fellowship with an emphasis on the genetics of cognitive impairment. She joined the faculty of UCSF in 2005 and is an active clinician, researcher, and educator.

Benjamin Marlow, MSc, MD is a Consultant Pediatrician with the NHS, specialized in Neurodisability. He trained at UCL London and spent the majority of his career in Luton which has the second largest population of children with additional needs in the UK. He also has a background in Biochemistry through a previous degree that saw him work in the pharmaceutical industry for GSK and at research institutions within the US.

Michael Merzenich, PhD is the brain behind BrainHQ and the author of Soft-Wired: How the New Science of Brain Plasticity Can Change Your Life. For nearly five decades, he has been a leading pioneer in brain plasticity research. As co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Posit Science, Dr. Merzenich heads the company’s science team.

He has published more than 150 articles in leading peer-reviewed journals (such as Science and Nature), and received numerous awards and prizes (including the Russ Prize, Ipsen Prize, Zülch Prize, Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award and Purkinje Medal). He has been granted nearly 100 patents, and he and his work have been highlighted in hundreds of books about the brain, learning, rehabilitation, and plasticity. In 2016, Dr. Merzenich was awarded one of the world’s top neuroscience prizes, the Kavli Prize, for his achievements in the field of brain plasticity. He was the scientific consultant and provided the brain assessments and brain training exercises for the Discovery Channel show “Hack My Brain” (which aired in Australia as “Redesign My Brain.”) His work has also been featured on four PBS specials: “The Brain Fitness Program,” “Brain Fitness 2: Sight and Sound,” “The New Science of Learning,” and “Brain Fitness Frontiers.”

Dr. Merzenich earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Portland and his PhD at Johns Hopkins. He completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Wisconsin in Madison before becoming a professor at the University of California, San Francisco. In 2007, he retired from his long career at UCSF as Francis A. Sooy Professor and Co-Director of the Keck Center for Integrative Neuroscience. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1999 and the Institute of Medicine in 2008. In the late 1980s, Dr. Merzenich was on the team that invented the cochlear implant, now distributed by market leader Advanced Bionics. In 1996, Dr. Merzenich was the founding CEO of Scientific Learning Corporation (Nasdaq: SCIL), which markets and distributes software that applies principles of brain plasticity to assist children with language learning and reading.

Sarkis K Mazmanian, PhD is the Luis & Nelly Soux Professor of Microbiology in the Division of Biology & Biological Engineering at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate from the University of California, Los Angeles, where Dr. Mazmanian also received his PhD training in microbiology and immunology. He was a Helen Hay Whitney Postdoctoral Fellow and subsequently appointed assistant professor at Harvard Medical School in 2006, and later that year moved to Caltech. Dr. Mazmanian has won numerous awards including a Searle Scholar, Young Investigator of the Year at Harvard Medical School, Damon Runyon Innovation Award, was named by Discover Magazine as one of the “Best Brains in Science under 40”, “Life Science Superstar” by Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News, and recently received the MacArthur Foundation “Genius” award. His laboratory focuses on the study of beneficial bacterial molecules from the human gut microbiome as novel therapies for immunologic and neurologic disorders, with a specific focus on developing probiotic treatments for autism. He is a founder of 2 biotech companies, and has or currently serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of over a dozen companies, academic centers and not-for-profit foundations.

Andrew McKeon, MB, BCh, MD is originally from Dublin. He obtained his medical degree from University College Dublin (2000). He undertook internal medicine and neurology training in Ireland, which he completed at Mayo Clinic as a fellow in movement disorders and then autoimmune neurology. He became a consultant at Mayo Clinic in 2009, as a joint appointee in the Department of Neurology and the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology. He is co-director of the Neuroimmunology Laboratory. He is a professor of neurology and associate professor of laboratory medicine and pathology in Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science. He is certified by the American Board of Medical Laboratory Immunology. Dr. McKeon’s research and clinical interests pertain to the evaluation and treatment of patients with autoimmune CNS disorders.

Naveen Nagarajan, PhD is a Postdoctoral Fellow, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Utah, in the lab of Professor Mario Capecchi, 2007 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine. He is currently investigating how microglia, the brain’s resident immune cells and neurons communicate with each other at cellular and circuit level and modulate behavioral functions. His goal is to map and manipulate glia-neuronal interaction in healthy and disease brain states using novel neurotechnology and immune engineering principles in order to correct the glia mediated neural circuit defects in transgenic and humanized mouse models and provide insights into how the brain generates complex behavioral output, essential to understanding the neuropsychiatric conditions in humans. He has completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Cellular Neuroscience, at The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, MIT where he investigated the role of the Fragile X Protein in Metabotropic Glutamate Receptor Mediated Long Term Depression (mGluR-LTD) and Protein Synthesis. As a Post-doctoral researcher at the Keck Center for Integrative Neuroscience, UCSF ahe investigated synaptic plasticity. He received a PhD in Biophysics and Neuroscience from the Max- Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, University of Goettingen.

Robert Naviaux MD, PhD is a Professor of Genetics, in the Departments of Medicine, Pediatrics, and Pathology. He directs a core laboratory for metabolomics at UCSD. He is the co-founder and a former president of the Mitochondrial Medicine Society (MMS), and a founding associate editor of the journal Mitochondrion. He is an internationally known expert in human genetics, inborn errors of metabolism, metabolomics, and mitochondrial medicine. He is the discoverer of the cause of Alpers syndrome—the oldest Mendelian form of mitochondrial disease – and the developer of the first DNA test to diagnose it. Dr.Naviaux’s lab has developed a number of advanced technologies like biocavity laser spectroscopy and mtDNA mutation detection by mass spectrometry. He is a Salk-trained virologist, and molecular and cell biologist, the inventor of the popular pCL retroviral gene transfer vectors, and was trained at NIH in tumor immunology and natural killer cell biology. He studied biochemistry at Georg-August University in Göttingen, Germany. He has been the PI for over 20 IRB-approved human subjects protocols at UCSD since 1995. In 2010, Dr. Naviaux was a member of the Cal-Echoes oceanographic expedition to collect environmental and ecosystem data along the California coast. His work in ecosystem dynamics has guided new work in microbiome ecology and metabolism in autism spectrum disorders. In 2011, he received a Trailblazer Award from Autism Speaks. He is currently the director of the first FDA-approved clinical trial to study the safety and test the effects of suramin on behavior and language in children with autism.

Padma Parthasarathy, MD is a doctor primarily located in San Leandro, CA, with another office in San Leandro, CA. She has 19 years of experience. Her specialties include Internal Medicine. Dr. Parthasarathy is affiliated with Kaiser Permanente Medical Center-San Leandro.

Sam Pleasure, MD, PhD is the Glenn W. Johnson, Jr. Memorial Endowed Chair in Neurology at UCSF. Pleasure is a neurologist who specializes in caring for patients with multiple sclerosis. He also has expertise in caring for patients with epilepsy as well as years of experience in managing a variety of neurological conditions in both clinic and hospital settings. Pleasure has two main areas of inquiry for his research. He studies processes that regulate early brain development in both normal and diseased situations. He also studies autoimmune forms of meningoencephalitis, where inflammation in specific brain areas causes severe neurologic dysfunction. Pleasure received his medical degree and a doctorate in neuroscience from the University of Pennsylvania. He was chief resident during his neurology residency at UCSF, where he then completed a research fellowship in neuroscience Pleasure is a fellow of the American Neurological Association and a member of the American Academy of Neurology, American Epilepsy Society, Society for Neuroscience, Society for Developmental Biology and Cajal Club. He has won numerous awards for his research and has received research funding from a wide variety of private, state and federal sources. He has served in leadership roles in national organizations and in the UCSF Department of Neurology.

Edward Quadros, PhD is a Research Professor at SUNY – Downstate in the Departments of Medicine and Cell Biology. His research interests include biochemical and molecular aspects of vitamin B12 / folate absorption, transport and metabolism; Genetic abnormalities of vitamin B12 / folate dependent pathways; Cellular and metabolic consequences of vitamin B12 and folate deficiencies; Vitamin B12, folate and homocysteine metabolism in the elderly population with cardiovascular disease and cognitive disorders including Alzheimer’s dementia; Neuropathology of vitamin B12 and folate deficiency; B12, folate status and DNA methylation in the brain. Another area of research actively being pursued in Dr. Quadros’ laboratory is the association of folate receptor autoimmunity with neural tube defect pregnancy and cerebral folate deficiency. Current research is focused on fetal and neonatal brain development and the role of folate and B12 in this process. Dr. Quadros has established a strong link between an autoimmune disorder that produces autoantibodies against the folate receptor alpha, a membrane receptor involved in folate transport to the fetus and to the brain. Extensive research in Dr. Quadros’ laboratory is aimed at understanding the cause and effects of this autoimmune disorder and how best to prevent and treat the pathologic consequences. Another aspect of Dr. Quadros’ research is focused on cancer therapeutics based on vitamin B12 and folate analogs that are anti-metabolites, drug-conjugates and pro-drugs; selective targeting of drugs via the B12 and folate transport proteins and their receptors; vitamin B12 and folate depletion strategies to inhibit cell replication in malignancies utilizing monoclonal antibodies to block cellular uptake of these vitamins and to deliver drugs. Dr. Edward Quadros holds a B.Sc. in Chemistry from the University of Poona, a M.Sc. in Applied Biology from the University of Bombay and a Ph.D in Biochemistry from the University of London.

Deborah Renaud, MD is a neurometabolic specialist focusing on neurologic manifestations of inherited metabolic disorders, with a particular interest in inherited leukoencephalopathies. She is the Director of the Neurometabolic Clinic and Leukodystrophy Program at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, which provide comprehensive evaluation and care for adults and children with neurometabolic disorders and inherited leukoencephalopathy. She also co-directs the
Mayo Clinic Peroxisomal Disorders Program, a multidisciplinary program for patients with peroxisomal disorders with special emphasis on boys with X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy (X-ALD) as well as men and women with adrenomyeloneuropathy (AMN).

Dr. Renaud is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in both Pediatrics and Neurology. She is a Diplomat of the American Board of Pediatrics and is certified in Neurology with Special Qualifications in Child Neurology by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. More recently, she became certified in Medical Biochemical Genetics by the American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics. Dr. Renaud is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario where she studied Biology and received her M.D. degree. She completed residency training in Pediatrics and Pediatric Neurology at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa and Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. As a Clinical and Research Fellow in Genetic Metabolic Disorders at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, she completed a research fellowship in the Neurometabolics Laboratory.

Daniel Rossignol, MD, FAAFP is a board-certified family physician. He received his Doctorate of Medicine at the Medical College of Virginia and completed his residency in family medicine at the University of Virginia. Coming from an academic background, Dr. Rossignol searched the medical literature looking for a solution after both of his children were diagnosed with autism. He has made it his mission to research and publish in autism. Since 2006, he has 55 papers, abstracts, editorials, and book chapters (including those in press) concerning autism and related conditions. Dr. Rossignol has a special interest in autism spectrum disorders, PANS/PANDAS, cerebral palsy, and related neurological and developmental disorders as well as medically complex children and adults. Dr. Rossignol is a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians (FAAFP) and a Fellow of the Medical Academy of Pediatric Special Needs (FMAPS).

Mike Snyder, PhD received his Ph.D. training at the California Institute of Technology and carried out postdoctoral training at Stanford University. He is a leader in the field of functional genomics and proteomics, and one of the major participants of the ENCODE project.

His laboratory study was the first to perform a large-scale functional genomics project in any organism, and has developed many technologies in genomics and proteomics. These including the development of proteome chips, high resolution tiling arrays for the entire human genome, methods for global mapping of transcription factor binding sites (ChIP-chip now replaced by ChIP-seq), paired end sequencing for mapping of structural variation in eukaryotes, de novo genome sequencing of genomes using high throughput technologies and RNA-Seq. These technologies have been used for characterizing genomes, proteomes and regulatory networks. Seminal findings from the Snyder laboratory include the discovery that much more of the human genome is transcribed and contains regulatory information than was previously appreciated, and a high diversity of transcription factor binding occurs both between and within species.

He has also combined different state-of-the-art “omics” technologies to perform the first longitudinal detailed integrative personal omics profile (iPOP) of person and used this to assess disease risk and monitor disease states for personalized medicine. Snyder is a cofounder of several biotechnology companies, including Protometrix (now part of Life Tehcnologies), Affomix (now part of Illumina), Excelix, Personalis and founder of Qbio, and he presently serves on the board of a number of companies.

Kevin Shapiro, MD, PhD is Director of Research and Therapeutic Technologies, Cortica. With an overarching goal of understanding cognition and cortical plasticity in children with neurologic disorders, Kevin brings the frontiers of neuroscience and cognitive neuropsychology to Cortica. His focus is on the development of speech and language, and he has extensive experience using advanced imaging techniques and neuromodulation tools, such as transcranial magnetic stimulation. He also has subspecialty training in vascular neurology, making him one of only a handful of board-certified pediatric stroke neurologists in the United States. Kevin earned his BA, PhD, and MD from Harvard University. He completed his residency at Boston’s Harvard-affiliated hospitals and held a faculty position at UCSF, where he directed the Pediatric Language Clinic.

Margo Thienemann, MD clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford.  Thienemann co-directs Packard Children’s PANS clinic, the first in the country exclusively devoted to PANS  disease. 

Vijay Tiwari, MD, FACP, Senior Partner at TPMG, Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at UC Davis, Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Touro University. Dr. Vijay Tiwari is a Senior Partner and practicing Attending Physician and Hospitalist at The Permanente Medical Group, Greater Southern Alameda Area, and Fellow of the American College of Physicians. The youngest Physician to be honored with the Donald Kaufman Physician of the Year 2013, Dr. Tiwari is a thought-leader in bringing technology to medical practice, focused on “establishing affordable world-class health care for all”. Along with distinguished leaders, he has been involved in establishing protocol-based medical practice in many countries including USA, Grand Cayman Island, Qatar, Ghana, and Nigeria. He runs multiple super-specialty free medical camps in impoverished regions in India, and a free school that educates over 560 students in a village where children have no access to basic education and nutritious food. 17 kids are special need kids who need dedicated IEP. The school serves as a training center for teachers’ training for the entire region.

Stephen Walker, PhD is a Professor of Molecular Biology and Functional Genomics at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Winston- Salem, NC. He is currently working in the area of biomarker discovery and model development research with the goal to facilitate diagnosis and treatment of complex disease. A primary research focus has been characterization of the molecular basis for gastrointestinal inflammation in children with an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis and understanding how chronic GI problems early in childhood may impact neurodevelopment. His group is currently developing a blood test for the rapid detection of gastrointestinal inflammation in children with ASD.

Michael Wilson, MD is a neurologist specializing in infectious and autoimmune diseases of the central nervous system. He sees patients with autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis as well as patients with a wide array of infectious diseases that impact the nervous system like HIV, neurocysticercosis, neurosyphilis, viral encephalitis and fungal infections like coccidiomycosis (valley fever). In collaboration with the DeRisi Lab in the Dept. of Biochemistry and Biophysics, his laboratory applies cutting edge metagenomic and immune repertoire sequencing techniques as well as phage display technologies to enhance understanding of the causes and immunopathogenesis of multiple sclerosis as well as autoimmune and infectious causes of meningoencephalitis. 

Agnieszka Wroczyńska, MD, PhD is a board-certified internal medicine specialist. She works as a physician and academic teacher in a National Centre of Tropical Medicine, Medical University of Gdansk and is a member of Polish Institute of Evidence Based Medicine. Dr Wroczyńska has published over 50 articles in peer reviewed journals, conference presentations and book chapters. 

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