- Dr. Christopher Shaw, Chair
- Dr. Romain Gheradi, Vice-Chair
- Dr. Rita Colwell
- Dr. Yehuda Shoenfeld
- Dr. Christopher Exley
- Dr. Beatrice Golomb
- Dr. Jimmy Cheng-Ho Lin
- Dr. Richard Deth
- Dr. Vicky Pebsworth Debold
- Dr. Stephanie Seneff
- Dr. Eva Vanamee
- Dr. Nadine Kabbani, Phd
Dr. Christopher Shaw is a Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of British Columbia and holds cross appointments with the Department of Experimental Medicine and the Graduate Program in Neuroscience. He is the author of more than 100 peer-reviewed articles as well as numerous book chapters and special reviews. Shaw has edited four books on neuroscience themes. The main focus of his research has been on the Guamanian neurological disease spectrum, ALS-parkinsonism dementia complex (ALS-PDC). Recent work in the laboratory has developed animal models of the disease that are able to recapitulate all the essential behavioural and pathological features. The model is also being used to understand gene-toxin interactions, define neurodegeneration pathways involved, and to attempt therapeutic interventions at early, mid and late time points. Work in the laboratory also provided one of the first models of aluminum adjuvant-induced neuropathology and these studies have become a new research direction. He is the founder and a former director of Neurodyn, a biotechnology company based out of Prince Edward Island. Neurodyn’s efforts are directed at early phase detection and treatment for age-related neurological disorders. He has two children. The youngest has not been vaccinated.
Dr. Romain K. Gheradi is a French specialist of neuromuscular diseases. He graduated in clinical Neurology and Pathology and has been a Professor since 1990. He is working at the Henri Mondor hospital, the second largest hospital of Assistance Publique – Hopitaux de Paris, located in Creteil and depending of Paris-Est University. He heads the department of Histology that includes both Neuropathologic and Clinical activities in the setting of Neuromuscular disease reference center. He also heads an experimental research team entitled “Cellular Interactions in the Neuromuscular system” (INSERM U955-E10) at the Institut Mondor de Recherche Biomedicale (IMRB).
From 1983 to 2010, Gherardi has published 290 articles indexed in PubMed, and monitored 14 PhD and 10 MSc students on the topic of biology, pathology and clinics of the nervous and muscular system. He previously studied several immune-inflammatory and toxic neuromuscular disorders (almitrine neuropathy, zidovudine myopathy, statin myopathy, etc). He is currently working on innate immune reactions to myoinjury biodistribution of nanoparticles, and pathophysiology of ‘macrophagic myofasciitis’ a neurologic disease linked to the long term persistence of Alum adjuvant in monocyte/macrophage lineage cells. Gherardi is reviewer for Science, N Engl J Med, Lancet, Ann Neurol, Arthritis Rheum, Stem Cells, Stem Cell Dey, Neuromuscular Disord, Muscle Nerve, etc. On the topic of macrophagic myofasciitis, he was an invited speaker by the Centers for Disease Control, WHO Geneva, French government agencies, the French Parliament committee on Gulf War syndrome, and a variety of national and interactional scientific and medical societies.
Dr. Rita Colwell is Distinguished University Professor both at the University of Maryland at College Park and at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Senior Advisor and Chairman Emeritus, Canon US Life Sciences, Inc., and President and CEO of CosmosID, Inc. Her interests are focused on global infectious diseases, water, and health, and she is currently developing an international network to address emerging infectious diseases and water issues, including safe drinking water for both the developed and developing world.
Dr. Colwell served as the 11th Director of the National Science Foundation, 1998-2004. In her capacity as NSF Director, she served as Co-chair of the Committee on Science of the National Science and Technology Council. One of her major interests include K-12 science and mathematics education, graduate science and engineering education and the increased participation of women and minorities in science and engineering.
Dr. Colwell has held many advisory positions in the U.S. Government, nonprofit science policy organizations, and private foundations, as well as in the international scientific research community. She is a nationally-respected scientist and educator, and has authored or coauthored 17 books and more than 750 scientific publications. She produced the award-winning film, Invisible Seas, and has served on editorial boards of numerous scientific journals. Before going to NSF, Dr. Colwell was President of the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute and Professor of Microbiology and Biotechnology at the University Maryland. She was also a member of the National Science Board from 1984 to 1990.
Dr. Colwell has previously served as Chairman of the Board of Governors of the American Academy of Microbiology and also as President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Washington Academy of Sciences, the American Society for Microbiology, the Sigma Xi National Science Honorary Society, and the International Union of Microbiological Societies. Dr. Colwell is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Stockholm, the Royal Society of Canada, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society. She is Immediate Past- President of the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS).
Dr. Colwell has also been awarded 55 honorary degrees from institutions of higher education, including her Alma Mater, Purdue University and is the recipient of the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star, bestowed by the Emperor of Japan, the 2006 National Medal of Science awarded by the President of the United States, and the 2010 Stockholm Water Prize awarded by the King of Sweden. Dr. Colwell is an honorary member of the microbiological societies of the UK, Australia, France, Israel, Bangladesh, Czechoslovakia, Royal Irish Academy, and the U.S. and has held several honorary professorships, including the University of Queensland, Australia. A geological site in Antarctica, Colwell Massif, has been named in recognition of her work in the polar regions.
Born in Beverly, Massachusetts, Dr. Colwell holds a B.S. in Bacteriology and an M.S. in Genetics, from Purdue University, and a Ph.D. in Oceanography from the University of Washington.
Dr. Yehuda Shoenfeld was the head of a Department of Medicine since 1984, until March 2011, and he has founded in 1985 and is now heading the Zabludowics Center for Autoimmune Diseases, at the largest hospital in Israel- the Sheba Medical Center, which is affiliated to the Sackler Faculty of Medicine in Tel-Aviv University, in Israel. Dr. Shoenfeld is the Incumbent of the Laura Schwarz-Kipp Chair for Research of Autoimmune Diseases in Tel-Aviv University.
His clinical and scientific works focus on autoimmune /rheumatic diseases, and he has published more than 1600 papers in journals such as New Eng J Med, Nature, Lancet, Proc Nat Acad Scie, J Clin Invest, J Immunol, Blood, FASEB, J Exp Med, Circulation, Cancer and others. His articles had over 31,000 citations (H index upper 1%) . He has written more than three hundreds and fifty chapters in books, and has authored and edited 25 books, some of which became cornerstones in science and clinical practice, such as “The Mosaic of Autoimmunity”, “Infections and Autoimmunity” and the textbook “Autoantibodies” and “Diagnostic criteria of autoimmune diseases”, all of which were published by Elsevier and sold by the thousands.
He is on the editorial board of 43 journals in the field of rheumatology and autoimmunity and is the founder and the editor of the IMAJ (Israel Medical Association Journal) the representative journal of science and medicine in the English language in Israel, and also is the founder and Editor of the “Autoimmunity Reviews” (Elsevier) (Impact factor 6.4) and Co-Editor of “Journal of Autoimmunity” (IF=9.2). For the last 20 years Prof. Shoenfeld is the Editor of “Harefuah” – The Israel journal in medicine (Hebrew) and edited the Israel Medical Encyclopedia (10 volumes, 5000 items). He had organized over 20 international congresses in autoimmunity.
Dr. Shoenfeld received in Vienna, Austria, the EULAR prize 2005: “The infectious etiology of anti-phospholipid syndrome”. He has received a gold medal from the Slovak Society of Physicians for his contribution to Israel – Slovakia collaboration (March 2006), and is honorary member of the Hungarian Association of Rheumatology. In UC Davis, USA, Dr. Shoenfeld received the Nelson’s Prize for Humanity and Science for 2008. In 2009 he was honored as Doctoris Honoris Causa, from Debrecen University (Hungary), and from 2009 he is honorary member of the Slovenian National Academy of Sciences.
Dr. Shoenfeld has educated a long list of students (>25) being heads of departments and institutes.
Dr. Christopher Exley is a Professor in Bioinorganic Chemistry at The Birchall Centre, Keele University in Staffordshire, England and Honorary Professor at the University of the Highland and Islands in Scotland. Exley is a biologist (University of Stirling) with a PhD in the ecotoxicology of aluminium (University of Stirling). His research career (1984-present) has focused upon an intriguing paradox; ‘how the third most abundant element of the Earth’s crust (aluminium) is non-essential and largely inimical to life’. Investigating this mystery has required research in myriad fields from the basic inorganic chemistry of the reaction of aluminium and silicon to the potentially complex biological availability of aluminium in humans. Exley is also fascinated by the element silicon in relation to living things which, as the second most abundant element of the Earth’s crust, is also almost devoid of biological function. One possible function of silicon is to keep aluminium out of biology (biota) and this area of study forms a large part of Exley’s research.
Beatrice Alexandra Golomb, MD, PhD is a Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego with a joint appointment in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine. She graduated summa cum laude (4.0 GPA) in physics at age 19 and received physics graduate fellowship offers from Harvard and Cal Tech, but opted to instead pursue an MD-PhD program (her PhD focused on neurobiology), following which she did a postdoctoral fellowship at the Salk Institute in the Computational Neurobiology Laboratory. She did her residency and chief residency in internal medicine, followed by a stint as a RAND/UCLA Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar before coming to UCSD to commence her academic career. She has been lead investigator on a number of studies and clinical trials with research interests under two broad themes: medical reasoning; and the impact of oxidative stress and cell energetics in health, aging, and disease. Offshoots of the interest in research methodology include (among others) treatment/exposure risk-benefit balance; impact of conflict of interest on medical findings and information purveyal, placebos, and how to enhance the science of adverse effect detection. Branches of the interest in oxidative stress/energetics include cholesterol, statin and other medications; metabolic syndrome, aging, ALS, autism, and Gulf War illness, as well as antioxidant and prooxidant foods/ nutrients/ exposures — such as coenzyme Q10, trans fats, pesticides – and, of course, chocolate.
Her work on Gulf War illness has led to changes in US and Israeli policy regarding use of pyridostigmine bromide as a nerve agent pretreatment adjunct. She authored or coauthored 4 RAND reports on the relation of exposure to illness in Gulf War veterans, was the sole civilian to accompany a high level mission to the Middle East, testified before Congress, gave a press briefing from the Pentagon, and served as the first Scientific Director for the Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans Illnesses (she received a call from the White House asking if she would serve on this Commitee). Her work on statins has been similarly influential, and work in both domains converged to form her focus on oxidative stress and cell energetics.
A number of her studies have been featured in national and international print, radio and television media, from the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, the Economist — to Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show.
Dr. Jimmy Cheng-Ho Lin, MD, PhD, MHS, is a medical school faculty member at Washington University in St. Louis – with appointments to the departments of Genetics and Pathology. He is also the founder and president of Rare Genomics Institute, the world’s first platform to enable any community to leverage cutting- edge biotechnology to advance understanding of any rare disease. Dr. Lin trained initially at Yale doing research in bioinformatics and computational linguistics. He later got his MD/PhD at Johns Hopkins, leading the computational analysis of the first ever exome sequenching studies for any human disease, including breast, colorectal, pancreatic and brain cancers. He has numerous publications in Science, Nature, Cell, Nature Genetics, and Nature Biotechnology, and has been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and the Huffington Post.
Dr. Richard Deth is Professor of Pharmacology in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Northeastern University where he has held a faculty appointment since 1976 and where he has previously served as Department Chairman and Director of the Pharmacy Program Director. He received his BSc degree in Pharmacy from State University of New York at Buffalo and his doctoral degree in Pharmacology from the University of Miami. His research interests are focused on the role of impaired methylation reactions in neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders, including the important influence of oxidative stress.
His earlier research involved studies of receptor-initiated G-protein activation and second messenger formation. Subsequently he identified the unique ability of the D4 dopamine receptor to carry out phospholipid methylation and showed that numerous environmentally-derived toxins, including heavy metals, potently impair this process. In recent years his work has focused specifically on autism, helping to understand the causes contributing to the current “autism epidemic”, and identifying novel diagnostic tests and treatments. He has testified before Congress and in vaccine court proceedings about how mercury-containing vaccine preservatives might contribute to rising autism rates. Deth is the author of Molecular Origins of Human Attention: The Dopamine-Folate Connection, a book that provides a useful framework for understanding the role of D4 receptor-mediated methylation in neuropsychiatric disorders.
Dr. Vicky Pebsworth Debold is an NVIC board member and volunteer Director of Research and Patient Safety. She has worked with NVIC since 2006 on vaccine safety analytical education projects. Debold has been employed in the health care field for more than 30 years as an ICU nurse, health care administrator and heath policy analyst primarily focusing on pediatrics and patient safety. Currently, she is a Research Scientist and Affiliate Faculty member at George Mason University in the Heath Administration and Policy Development where she teaches Health Services Research Methods.
Since 2008, she has served as the consumer voting member of the Food and Drug Administration’s Vaccine and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC). Additionally, she has worked for the Vaccine Safety Working Group (Epidemiology and Implementation Subcommittees) of the National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC). She also serves as the consumer representative to the independent H1N1 Vaccine Safety Risk Assessment Working Group and has been a consultant to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Board of Scientific Counselors.
In 2009, she provided testimony to the Institute of Medicine’s committee on the Review of National Vaccine Plan Priorities addressing two topics: informed vaccine decision making and enhancing the safety of vaccines and vaccination practices.
Debold previously worked as a health policy analyst for the U.S. Congress’s Physician Payment Review Commission; for the Michigan Health and Safety Coalition; and for the Michigan State Commission on Patient Safety. Additionally, she was an Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan and an Associate Professor and Director of the Health Systems Management Program at the University of Detroit, Mercy.
She has successfully competed for research funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the University of Michigan Health Systems Health Services Research Initiative, and the Health Care Financing Administration. Her analyses and papers have been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Advances in Patient Safety: New Directions and Alternative Approaches, Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, and Critical Care Nursing Clinics of North America.
She received her doctoral degree from the University of Michigan (1999) — School of Public Health (Health Services Organization and Policy) and School of Nursing (Health Systems Administration). She was a University of Michigan Regent’s Fellow and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in health systems research.
Stephanie Seneff, PhD, is a Senior Research Scientist at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. She has a Bachelor’s degree from MIT in biology with a minor in food and nutrition, and a PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, also from MIT. Throughout her career, Dr. Seneff has conducted research in diverse areas, including human auditory modeling, spoken dialogue systems, natural language processing, information retrieval and summarization, and computational biology. She has published over 200 refereed articles in technical journals and conferences on these subjects, and has been invited to give several keynote speeches. Dr. Seneff has recently become interested in the effect of drugs and diet on health and nutrition, and she has presented talks on these subjects at various workshops and written several essays on the web articulating her view. She is currently developing spoken dialogue systems to support intelligent search and summarization of user-provided reviews in the medical domain. She is the first author of several recently published papers on theories proposing that a low-micronutrient, high- carbohydrate diet contributes to the metabolic syndrome and to Alzheimer’s disease, and that sulfur deficiency, environmental toxins, and insufficient sunlight exposure to the skin play an important role in many modern conditions and diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, gastrointestinal problems, and autism.
Eva Vanamee, PhD, has a broad background in organic and protein chemistry, structural biology and bioinformatics. Dr. Vanamee received her M.Sc. degree in Chemistry from Loránd Eötvös University in Budapest, Hungary. She completed postgraduate studies at Georgetown University and at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where she received her Ph.D. in Biophysics. She is currently a research consultant and an adjunct assistant professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Her research interests include metalloprotein structure-function, protein-DNA interactions and TNF signaling.
Nadine Kabbani, PhD is a scientific group leader at the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study and an Assistant Professor of Molecular Neuroscience at George Mason University. Her research focuses on the cellular and molecular mechanisms of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor signaling in the developing brain. Her laboratory explores the role of acetylcholine in synapse formation and maturation in developing hippocampus and cortex during the early stages of life using cutting edge live cell imaging and proteomic tools. She is a member of the Society for Neuroscience, the Protein Society, the Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, and the VA Youth Tobacco Program. She serves on the editorial board for Amino Acids and Proteomics Insights and is a book editor in the Springer series Methods in Molecular Biology. She has been the recipient of the Pre-doctoral Intramural Research and Training Award from the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the Philip Morris Award, the Foundation for Medical Research Award, the International Brain Research Organization World Congress Award, and the Philippe Foundation Scholar Award. In 2014 she was presented the Emerging Research Scholar Creator Award by George Mason University. She is funded by the VA Youth Tobacco Program, the National Institutes of Health, the Wings for Life Spinal Cord Research Foundation, and the Jeffress Memorial Trust. She is an author on numerous peer-reviewed published scientific works in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Journal of Neuroscience, and Molecular Pharmacology. Her findings have featured in U.S. News & World Report, Los Angeles Times, and The Week. She pursued her postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Professor Patricia Goldman-Rakic (Yale University) and Professor Jean-Pierre Changeux (Pasteur Institute). She received her doctorate in Pharmacology from the Penn State College of Medicine in 2003 under the tutelage of Professor Robert Levenson.