Steven R. Haley
Steven R. Haley and his wife Kathleen Haley established the Brain Science Foundation in 2002 following Steven’s treatment for meningioma in 1997. For the last 30 years Steven Haley has served in senior management positions in the high technology industry, including with companies such as Juniper, Cisco Systems, StrataCom, and Bytex. He holds a degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, runs his own diversified asset management company and serves on the boards of several private companies and charitable organizations. Read an interview with Steven Haley.
Kathleen P. Haley
After a successful career in finance and accounting, Kathleen Haley now devotes her time to raising the couple’s three children and serving on several nonprofit boards. Kathleen holds a bachelor’s degree from Boston College and an M.B.A. from Northeastern University.
Peter M. Black M.D., Ph.D, FACS
Dr. Peter Black is a respected clinical neurosurgeon with a busy neurosurgical oncology practice that includes many international referrals. Dr. Black directs the brain tumor program at Dana-Farber Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center. He is consistently listed in Best Doctors in America and Top Doctors with a special interest in surgery for meningiomas, pituitary adenomas, and low-grade gliomas; image-guided minimally invasive neurosurgery; skull base surgery; and brain mapping. Dr. Black helped to develop the first intraoperative MRI and has used this device extensively to improve brain tumor treatment. He also has extensive experience in epilepsy surgery in children and hydrocephalus in adults.
Dr. Black is deeply committed to neurosurgical research, clinical practice, and education. He was recently elected President-Elect of the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies (WFNS). Dr. Black will serve two years as President-Elect, four years as President, and two years as Past-President. As President-Elect, Dr. Black will help to lead the Federation’s efforts to advance neurological surgery and all of its aspects by educating and training neurosurgeons from around the globe. He has previously been involved with the WFNS as the Chair of its Bylaws committee, and also sitting on the Education and Ethics committees.
Dr. Black’s laboratory has had ongoing funding since 1980, including present RO1 funding. It investigates growth and invasion in brain tumors, especially meningiomas. Collaborations with laboratories in France and Israel have led to new models of meningiomas, new therapeutic approaches, and improved surgical planning. His bibliography includes 10 books and 500 papers, most involving brain tumor management, brain imaging and image-guided surgery, medical ethics, and molecular neurosurgery.
Dr. Black was born in Canada and while in high school, became an Associate of the Royal Conservatory of Toronto as a solo performer in piano. He attended Harvard College, graduating with honors. He returned to Canada for medical school at McGill University. He later entered surgical and then neurosurgical residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital. During this period, he served two years in the United States Navy, mostly at the U.S. Capitol as a physician to Congress and the Supreme Court. He earned a Ph.D. in philosophy from Georgetown University. In 1980 he joined the staff at the MGH. In 1987 he became a Professor and Chief of Neurosurgery at the Brigham and Women’s and Children’s Hospitals.
Dr. Black has mentored students, residents, young faculty, and graduate neurosurgeons from more than 30 countries and has given invited lectures in 40. He is very proud of the productivity of his former trainees, many holding prominent academic positions.
CEO/President Prestonwood Associates, Inc.
Diane Coletti is the CEO/President of Prestonwood Associates, Inc., an executive search firm she founded 21 years ago. Prestonwood is dedicated to executive search excellence through its practice areas supporting the following sectors: C-Suite for software and technology companies; healthcare and biotechnology; and technology and innovation for retail and consumer markets. She is an Overseers Board Member for The Boston Children’s Museum; is on the Executive Council for the Boston College Technology Council; a sponsor of MIT’s Enterprise Forum affiliate, The Capital Network; and a selected member on The Council for Women of Boston College.
Outside of working with innovative companies, she pursues her desire to give back. Ms. Coletti has been an active leader in her community through her support of public education with a three-year term as treasurer for a notable 501(c)3 organization supporting public education in her county; is a member of the Superintendent’s Advisory Council, leading a school override that was the largest of its time in her town; School Site Councils; and Principal selection committees.
John Connors founded the Boathouse Group, a marketing and communications agency, in 2001. Connors is the former CEO of Zentropy. More recently, Connors founded SmallCanBeBig.org, an online venture in philanthropy. Recognizing a need for a new philanthropic model, Connors created this new way for people to directly help local families on the edge by using the Internet to harness the power of small donations.
Anne Marie Durkot
Anne Marie served as a Key Account Sales Executive with Puma North America, one of the world’s premiere sporting goods companies. She was responsible for all aspects of the selling and marketing of products to Puma’s largest accounts. Following a successful career as a sales professional, Anne Marie now devotes her time to educational and civic non- profit organizations.
Currently she serves on the Parents’ Leadership Council at Boston College, assisting the BC development team in their fund raising efforts, and in integrating new families into the Boston College community. Anne Marie formerly served on the Parents’ Association Board at the Fay School. She was Vice President of Student Services, with responsibility for cultural arts, community service and other student programs. She also assisted in many fund raising initiatives.
Anne Marie is passionate about increasing Meningioma awareness, and working to advance the mission of the Brain Science Foundation through raising money for research and finding a cure.
Anne Marie graduated Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from the College of the Holy Cross with a degree in Psychology. She lives in Hopkinton, Massachusetts.
Michael I. Grady, M.D.
Dr. Michael I. Grady is a graduate of Boston College and the University of Vermont College of Medicine. He completed his internship and residency in Pediatrics at Boston City Hospital (now Boston Medical Center). Dr. Grady is a diplomat and fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. His military service as a Flight Surgeon in the United States Air Force included time in Vietnam for which he was awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal.
From 1968-1998, Dr. Grady was a practicing Pediatrician in Boston. Also, he was Medical Director of the Boston Public Schools from 1981-1992. During this period he was co-principal investigator of a Center for Disease Control Cooperative Agreement with the Boston Public Schools for HIV/AIDS education. Dr. Grady was honored by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 1992 with its "Lay Education Medical Award". He also served as President of St. Elizabeth's Health Professionals from 1988-1998 and as President of Greater Boston Primary Care Associates from 1994-1998. Also during this time he was a member of the Board of Directors of Tufts Health Plan.
Dr. Grady served as Vice President at Children's Hospital of Boston from 1998-2005 and was President of the Pediatric Physicians Organization at Children's. At the present time he is on the Emeritus Staff at Children's Hospital of Boston and on the faculty at Harvard Medical School.
In January 2006, Dr. Grady was diagnosed with a frontal lobe meningioma and operated on at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. Since that time, he has been involved with and a supporter of the Brain Science Foundation.
Joseph Russell Madsen, M.D.
Dr. Joseph R. Madsen is a neurosurgeon at Children’s Hospital and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He is the Director of the Neurosurgical Clinic at Children’s and specializes in the surgical treatment of epilepsy as well as the pathophysiology and treatment of hydrocephalus. As director of the Neurodynamics Laboratory at the two hospitals, he brings a bioengineering and mathematical approach to the study of the basic science of these entities, as well as innovative devices to advance their treatment.
He has been awarded six U.S. patents, and has been featured in “Best Doctors,” “Top Surgeons,” and “Top Doctors” for multiple years. He has published groundbreaking studies on the functioning of the human brain in Nature, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, the Journal of Neuroscience, and Cerebral Cortex. Current research projects include new methods to diagnose and treat impending shunt malfunction, development of a novel neurosurgical robot, more efficient diagnosis of skull anomalies in infants, and prenatal diagnosis and management of neurosurgical problems.
Dr. Madsen graduated with honors from the Harvard-MIT program in Health Science and Technology in 1981, and trained in neurosurgery at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he first met Dr. Peter Black when Dr. Black was a resident. He has been a part of the clinical neurosurgical staff at the Brigham and Children’s hospitals since 1989. He currently holds the rank of Associate Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School.
Daniel Ponton is the CEO/Proprietor of Classic Cuisine, Inc. and Rhino Real Estate L.L. C. Rhino re-habilitates and then portfolios commercial buildings. Classic Cuisine Inc. is better known as Club Colette. A private dining club re-established in 1982 by collaboration between Mr. Ponton and Italian leather designer Dr. Aldo Gucci. Based in Palm Beach, Florida and previously also in Southampton, New York. The club caters to the top leaders from many aspects of American culture such as Industry, Wall Street, Professional sports, Fashion, Theater, and Television.
Mr. Ponton is currently on the Board of The Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts and heads their Strategic Planning Committee. He serves on the Board of The United Way of Palm Beach – Allocations Committee, and was recently awarded the Alexis DeTocqueville Society Distinguished Citizen Award. Other organizations currently or previously served include the Board of Hospice of Palm Beach County. The nations fifth largest Hospice and a not for profit entity, The Norton Museum of Art Membership Committee, The Preservation Foundation, The Community Foundation of Palm Beach and Martin County, Boys and Girls Club, Autism Speaks, American Cancer Society and The Ryan Licht Sang Bipolar Foundation.
Mr. Ponton founded the Daniel E. Ponton Fund for the Neurosciences at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
A graduate of The George Washington University with a degree in finance, he was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Siobhan Shields Quinn, RN, MSN
Siobhan is a senior marketing representative for The Shields Health Care Group. She received her Masters Degree in Nursing from Pace University in Pleasantville NY. Prior to joining Shields Health Care she was a vascular surgical nurse at MGH and then Director of Nursing at Madalawn Nursing Home in Brockton, MA. She is also currently a member of the Hampstead Academy Advisory Board, located in Hampstead NH.
David Silbersweig, M.D.
- Chairman, Institute for the Neurosciences, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
- Chairman, Department of Psychiatry, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
- Psychiatrist-in-Chief, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
- Stanley Cobb Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
Dr. Silbersweig is nationally recognized as a clinician researcher who is at the forefront of the rapidly advancing field of neuropsychiatry at the interface of brain and mind. He is a pioneer of neuroimaging techniques used to identify brain circuit abnormalities associated with psychiatric disorders. His work is transforming the understanding of psychiatric disorders and opening up new possibilities for medically-based diagnostic and therapeutic strategies in the context of personalized medicine. Dr. Silbersweig has received numerous national awards and played an active role in shaping the field of neuropsychiatric biomedicine through both his publications and his work with international organizations and the National Institutes of Health.
Nancy Conn-Levin is a nationally recognized health educator specializing in brain tumor issues. She received her B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and her M.A. from Goddard College. Prior to her neurosurgery in 1996, Ms. Conn-Levin's work focused on stress management and health promotion for adults.
During more than fifteen years experience as a guest speaker at national and regional conferences across the United States and Canada, she has combined professional expertise with her perspective as a brain tumor survivor. Ms. Conn-Levin is the author of patient education materials and resources for health-care professionals. She has participated in brain tumor awareness activities on a regional basis and also in Washington, DC.
In 2003, she co-founded the Monmouth and Ocean County Brain Tumor Support Group, Inc., in New Jersey, for which she continues to facilitate monthly meetings and also serves as a board member. Ms. Conn-Levin is Program Coordinator for the Brainstorm Dialogue and Education series, where she has developed and presented seminars about brain tumor related topics, and created additional resource materials. She has served as a member of the planning committee for numerous national and regional health conferences, including each Meningioma Awareness Day sponsored by the Brain Science Foundation. In addition to her involvement in the brain tumor community, she has extensive experience as a volunteer for other nonprofit organizations.
As a health educator, Ms. Conn-Levin provides information and support to people affected by any type of brain tumor, as well as those with other conditions. She is especially interested in the challenges faced by people with nonmalignant brain tumors, and also has extensive experience teaching coping techniques for fatigue. Besides offering information and support for patients and long-term survivors, she has developed resources for family caregivers as well.
Ms. Conn-Levin has been involved with the Brain Science Foundation since its inception. In her time off, she enjoys spending time with her husband, daughter, son-in-law and granddog, relaxing with a good book and exploring various creative arts. Her nature photography has been included in several juried art shows.
Eric graduated from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 1997 with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology. He helped to establish the first Asian-American interest fraternity in the Midwest and uncharacteristically joined a co-ed a capella group. He was very active in the Filipino American Student Association and Asian American Association. After undergrad, he worked for two years as a Physical Therapy Aide on the rehab unit at the University of Michigan Medical Center. He returned to school in 2000 and earned his Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from the University of Michigan, Flint, in 2003. The allure of perfect weather and numerous outdoor activities in San Diego drew him to the west coast. Then in the summer of 2005, he started getting episodes of dizziness, headaches, and nausea.
Nothing could have prepared him for the news he was about to receive. Brain cancer/tumors are fairly rare in young active men. On September 10th 2005, he was told he had a huge brain tumor, a meningioma the size of a golf ball, on the tentorial membrane at the base of the brain between the brain stem and cerebellum. In the following months: He had brain surgery to have the tumor removed; radiation therapy to get rid of the remains; Speech, occupational, and physical therapy for all the physical and mental impairments he was left with after the surgery. He was receiving rehab at the hospital where he used to work. His coworkers were now treating him as a patient!
During his recovery, he has led a team that raised over $11,000 for the National Brain Tumor Foundation, wrote/published a ground breaking book about his experiences as a young brain tumor patient and healthcare professional (Reversal: When A Therapist Becomes A Patient), created a support network for young adult survivors, led the development of a website, designed to empower cancer/brain tumor patients, organized two national book tours, and has initiated a few more projects yet to be revealed.
Martha H. Jones
Martha Jones, Founder of SnowHill Strategies, is a consultant in arts, nonprofit & philanthropic management, specializing in organizational assessment, executive leadership, board development, and interim management. She has over 37 years of experience as a leader in the cultural industry.
Prior to forming SnowHill Strategies, Marty served for 25 years at the Celebrity Series of Boston, New England’s premier performing arts presenter, the last 15 as President and Executive Director.
During her tenure at Celebrity Series, Marty led the organization’s separate non-profit incorporation initiative; expanded its artistic programming in the areas of jazz, contemporary music, ballet and modern dance; procured an 18-year corporate title sponsorship; created new educational initiatives, including partnerships with Boston Public Schools, the New England and Boston Conservatories and Harvard’s Office of the Arts; erased a half million dollar deficit; and raised a $7.5 million endowment.
Prior to Celebrity Series, Marty served 13 years in several artistic, arts management and education positions, including as founding Marketing Director of Boston’s Huntington Theatre Company, Director of Development at the Indiana Repertory Theatre (Indianapolis), Associate Director of Walden Theatre (Louisville, KY), and as instructor in arts management at Boston University, Lesley University, and the University of Rhode Island.
Jaime Mason has professional experience in both the nonprofit and public sectors. Building on her experience in both, Jaime works as the Development Manager for FSG Social Impact Advisors, a nonprofit consulting firm that works with foundations and corporations on issues of philanthropic strategy and evaluation. Jaime is responsible for all aspects of grant funding for the organization. Previously, Jaime was employed by the Brain Science Foundation and worked to advance the program and development goals of the organization. As a staff member of the BSF Jaime had the privilege of learning from, and working alongside a talented group of individuals who demonstrated a passion and commitment to research and awareness initiatives for meningioma and other primary brain tumors. Jaime is pleased to contribute to this important work as an advisor. Prior to joining the BSF, Jaime was employed by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation where she worked as Assistant Director of Policy and Analysis of the country’s largest transitional work program.
Jaime received her MPA from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University and her BA from Boston University.
Cynthia Rixey Scott
Cynthia Rixey Scott is a right cavernous sinus meningioma survivor, who had gamma knife radiosurgery in December of 1999. Cindi has been involved with brain tumor advocacy since her diagnosis, visiting with staff members of Colorado members of Congress on issues relevant to the brain tumor community during Brain Tumor Action Month and raising awareness within the brain tumor community of national advocacy opportunities. It was through the advocacy of the brain tumor community that Congress passed the Benign Brain Tumor Cancer Registries Amendment Act, which mandated that that all state registries collect data on benign brain tumors. She is a cofounder of the Brain Tumor Action Network and former Board member of the North American Brain Tumor Coalition.
Cindi is an active member of the online internet support groups THE Brain Trust Meningioma List and braintmr list. She is a long time member of the University of Colorado Hospital Brain Tumor Support Group. Cindi has also been an advocate with the Lance Armstrong Foundation, participating in Livestrong Day on Capitol representing Colorado and also representing LAF in the Washington DC advocacy efforts of One Voice Against Cancer. She is a patient advocate for the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group, a multi-institutional international clinical cooperative group.
Cindi graduated from American University, Washington DC with a degree in political science. She is a former Peace Corps Volunteer, Marshall Islands 1969-1971. Cindi received a JD and a Masters in Law Librarianship from the University of Denver. She is a practicing attorney in the area of Social Security disability and a member of the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives. Cindi resides in Denver, Colorado and is the mother of two grown daughters. An avid contra dancer, she is on the Board of Colorado Friends of Traditional Music and Dance.
Shyla Shrinath, M.D.
Bio to come
Charles D. Stiles, Ph.D
Charles D. Stiles, Ph.D., is a professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at Harvard Medical School and Deputy Director of the Mahoney Center for Neuro Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Dr. Stiles is well-known for his early work that established functional relationships between cancer-causing genes (oncogenes) and the animal cell growth factors. For the past 10 years, his research group has focused on brain cancers. His group is attacking this clinical problem by cloning and characterizing genes that regulate the development of the normal brain. Dr. Stiles has received various awards recognizing his scientific work, including the American Cancer Society Faculty Research Award, the American Association for Cancer Research prize for meritorious achievement by a young investigator and the Cori Award from the Roswell Park Memorial Institute.
Dr. Stiles serves as a consultant for the Dana-Farber/Novartis Program in Drug Discovery. In this advisory capacity, he contributed in substantive ways to development of Gleevec – the first “smart drug” to be registered by the FDA for treatment of human cancers Dr. Stiles is the author of more than 100 scientific articles and 28 book chapters and symposia.
Leslie Wyzga, MS, RD, LDN
Leslie Darcy Wyzga is a Registered Dietitian. She received a Master of Science degree in Food and Nutrition Science from Framingham State University and has worked as a Clinical Dietitian, Instructor of Nutrition, and as a Research Dietitian at the United States Army Development and Engineering Center. Following a successful career as a dietitian Leslie now focuses her time on helping civic nonprofit organizations.
Leslie has been an active leader in her community serving as a Boy Scout leader for 6 years and as the President of the Hopkinton Chapter of the Women’s Club from 1998-2000. She was responsible for initiating, developing, and managing many fund raising events. Leslie also volunteered in many facets of the public education arena serving on the Hopkinton Town Scholarship Selection Committee since 1996. She was a member of the High School Advisory Council, HPTA Vice President, and the Chair of the Post Prom Party.
Leslie is passionate about the mission of the Brain Science Foundation especially since several of her relatives have had primary brain tumors. Leslie joined the Brain Science Foundation in 2009 as an advisor and development committee member.
Liliana C. Goumnerova, M.D.
Dr. Liliana C. Goumnerova is a neurosurgeon at Children’s Hospital and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston as well as a consulting neurosurgeon at Dana Farber Cancer Institute. She is the Director of Clinical Pediatric Neurosurgical Oncology at Children’s Hospital and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston. Her areas of interest and specialization are in the management of children with brain and spinal cord tumors and also in endoscopy in the management of hydrocephalus and brain tumors. She has extensive experience in both of these fields and works in collaboration with specialists in the multidisciplinary field of pediatric neurooncology.
Dr. Goumnerova has also been involved in the basic science research of brain tumors, specifically medulloblastoma and as part of that group has identified the role of a certain molecule, trk C, in outcome prediction for medulloblastoma. That work has resulted in publications in Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science and multiple other publications in neurosurgical and oncologic journals. Her current research projects include analysis of outcomes of survivors from pediatric brain tumors. She is also actively involved in quality improvement at the departmental, hospital and national levels and is actively involved at the national level in the pediatric neurosurgical societies.
Dr. Goumnerova attended medical school at the University of Toronto from where she graduated in 1980 and then finished her neurosurgical training in Canada at the University of Ottawa. She then spent a year as a Pediatric Neurosurgical Fellow at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. She also spent two years as the Dana Fellow in Neuroscience at the David Mahoney Institute at the University of Pennsylvania where she worked on second messenger systems in tyrosine kinase models.
She joined the faculty at Children's Hospital in 1990 and has remained there since. She is currently an Associate Professor of Surgery [Neurosurgery] at Harvard Medical School.
Srinivasan Mukundan, Jr., M.D., Ph.D
Bio to come.
Allan H. Ropper, M.D.
Dr. Allan H. Ropper is Professor of Neurology of Harvard Medical School and Executive Vice Chairman of the Department of Neurology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts. He was born in 1950 in New York, New York. He received his B.A. from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York and his M.D. from Cornell University Medical College in New York in 1974. Dr. Ropper trained in internal medicine at UCSF-Moffit Hospital and in neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital. His work has been mainly in the field of neurological intensive care and related disorders such as Guillain-Barrè Syndrome. His present focus includes studies of gene therapy as a potential treatment for peripheral neuropathy and he is conducting an NIH sponsored study of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) for the treatment of diabetic neuropathy. He has over 150 publications and is an author of the most widely consulted textbook of neurology, Principles of Neurology, which is in its ninth edition. He is a longtime contributor to several major textbooks of medicine including “Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine”. He has received numerous awards for teaching and service. Dr. Ropper is an associate editor of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Dr. Edward Smith
Dr. Edward Smith is interested in the treatment of neurosurgical disease, with a clinical focus on the pediatric population, including brain tumors, neurovascular disorders, and neuro-endoscopy, incorporating conventional, minimally invasive and translational treatment modalities. His research is primarily centered on obtaining an increased understanding of the molecular mechanisms of tumorigenesis and angiogenesis in the central nervous system.
This work has predominantly focused on a group of angiogenic molecules classified as matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). This research is focused on understanding basic mechanisms of disease and utilizing this information to facilitate translational research. In particular, Dr. Smith is interested in the development of tests to better screen for the presence, recurrence and progression of brain tumors and cerebrovascular disease.
Formal teaching responsibilities include instruction of the medical students and residents on the neurosurgical service, lecturing for neuroanatomy courses at Tufts University and Harvard and presenting research at regional and national meetings.
Patrick Y. Wen, M.D.
Center for Neuro-oncology, Dana-Farber/Brigham & Women's Cancer Center
Department of Neurology, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School
Dr. Patrick Wen graduated from St. Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical College, University of London. He completed his internal medicine training at University of London affiliated hospitals. His neurology training was completed at the National Hospitals for Nervous Diseases, London, and in the Harvard-Longwood neurology training program.
Dr. Wen is currently a professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School, director of the Division of Cancer Neurology in the Department of Neurology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the director of the Center for Neuro-Oncology at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center. His research is focused on novel treatments for brain tumors, including targeted molecular therapies and inhibitors of angiogenesis.
Programs and Operations Manager
Sarah Donnelly has spent her entire career in the non-profit sector, specializing in social services and youth development. She has a great deal of experience in general fundraising efforts and a real affinity for special events. Prior to her time at the Brain Science Foundation, Sarah worked in the development office at the Boston Minuteman Council, Boy Scouts of America, and before that as Director with the Tobin School.
In her spare time, Sarah also works as the Head Coach for the Natick High School Speech & Debate Team, and she puts her event planning expertise to good use as the Grand National Tournament Coordinator for the National Catholic Forensic League. She is the Director for the Central New England Forensic League and an officer with the Massachusetts Forensic League board.
As Programs and Operations Manager at the Foundation, Sarah manages project work, including special events, while ensuring the continuation of day-to-day operations.
Communications and Outreach Manager
Michael Paydos brings 15 years of experience in the publishing and nonprofit communications fields to the foundation. As a health nonprofit communications profession, Michael has raised awareness of health issues, organizational missions, and program needs in dozens of countries around the world. With Brain Science Foundation, he will use his expertise to enhance the foundation’s electronic and new media communication, strengthen its messages, and strengthen its mission to find a cure for primary brain tumors.
Tina Young Poussaint, MD
Professor of Radiology, Harvard Medical School and Children’s Hospital Boston
Dr. Poussaint has served on the staff of the CHB Department of Radiology as a neuroradiologist since 1993. In 1998, she was appointed as Director of Neuro-oncologic Imaging. In this important leadership role, she has focused on refining MR imaging methods for diagnosing brain tumors in children. Dr. Poussaint has directed the Pediatric Neuroradiology Fellowship since 1999. At the national level, she currently serves as Chair of the American Society of Pediatric Neuroradiology Board of Directors.
Born in Rochester, New York, Dr. Poussaint received her Bachelor of Arts degree (Mathematics and Biology) from Mount Holyoke College and her medical degree from Yale University School of Medicine. After an internship in pediatrics at Yale-New Haven Hospital, she completed residency training in diagnostic radiology and a fellowship in neuroradiology at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). She served on the neuroradiology faculty at MGH, and then joined the faculty at Children’s Hospital Boston as an attending neuroradiologist.
BSF Trustee and internationally recognized neurosurgeon, Dr. Joseph R. Madsen, first introduced Dr. Poussaint to the Foundation. It quickly became evident that she and the foundation share a dedication to research in the neurosciences. With more than 25 years of clinical and research experience, Dr. Poussaint has special expertise in the imaging of normal brain development and maturation as well as numerous neurologic diseases affecting the fetus, newborn, child, and adolescent. “As neuro-imaging technologies continue to advance at a pace that that actually outstrips their ability to implement them,” Dr. Poussaint noted, “I am continually intrigued by the capacity of neuroradiology to interpret and unlock some of the most perplexing problems associated with understanding, diagnosing, and treating primary brain tumors of childhood.”
A native of Montreal, Mr. Sideridis earned degrees in Ceramic Engineering and Economics from Rutgers University and now serves as the president of Ferro-Ceramic Grinding located just north of Boston. The father of two was diagnosed with an Acromegaly (caused by a pituitary tumor) in June of 2010. Following his treatment and surgery, he wanted to help with both research and support group activities related to primary brain tumors.
The surgeon who treated Mr. Sideridis, Dr. Edward Laws, also introduced him to the work and mission of the Brain Science Foundation during the BSF’s Pituitary Day event. “I like that it’s a grass roots organization with an entrepreneurial approach to research funding. I hope to continue this mission of increasing the funding activities and research initiatives.” Mr Sideridis and Ferro-Ceremic have been active sponsors of the Golf & Tennis Classic.
In 2007, Heather McCarthy’s world changed forever. Her husband Bill, just 35, was diagnosed with an aggressive glioblastoma. The mother of two boys and a girl left her teaching job to help in her husband’s care. From the oncologist to radiologist to surgeon, Heather and her husband learned more than they ever wanted to about brain tumors. They also noted how many of these tumor experts were associated with the Brain Science Foundation. “That’s when I first heard about the BSF,” said Heather. Tragically, Bill passed away in 2009.
Heather wanted to do something more to fight this disease. She hosted a memorial to her husband with the proceeds all going to brain tumor research. The event turned out to be one of the most successful fundraisers the BSF has ever had. Her involvement did not end there—Heather has volunteered at a number of BSF events and currently sits on one of our major fundraising committees. “I like the way the BSF goes about its mission,” she explains. “They operate in such a smart way. It’s an intelligent organization—No fluff!”
The Brain Science Foundation feels incredibly fortunate to have such an energetic and amazing woman join our Advisory Board.
E. Antonio Chiocca, MD, PhD
E. Antonio Chiocca, MD, PhD, joined the BSF Scientific Advisory Committee in August 2012, shortly after being named Brigham & Women's Hospital Chair of Neurosurgery. He also serves as co-director of the hospital’s Institute for the Neurosciences and surgical oncology discipline leader of the Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center and Neuro-oncology Disease Center.
Dr. Chiocca was born in Padua, Italy. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Texas at El Paso, and his medical and postdoctoral degrees at the University of Texas Medical School, Houston. His research interests include biologic advances that enable technical innovations in the treatment of disorders of the central nervous system, functional genomics in brain tumors and gene therapy strategies.
Dr. Chiocca served as chair of the Department of Neurological Surgery and the Dardinger Family Professor of Oncologic Neurosurgery at Ohio State since 2004. His many accomplishments at OSU include revitalizing the department to become a nationally recognized program in care and research. He increased the number of neurosurgical procedures performed annually at OSU from less than 500 to nearly 3,500. Known for his excellence on the research front, under his leadership at OSU, where he focused on gene therapy and bringing neurology orthopedics, neuro-oncology and basic sciences together, NIH funding to the department has grown, placing it in the top 15 in terms of NIH funding in the past three years.
“The BSF board is delighted with the appointment of Dr. Chiocca as BWH Neurosurgery Chairman,” remarked BSF founder Steven Haley. “He is a leader of considerable renown in the world of academics, research, and clinical practice. We are very fortunate that he has chosen to align with the BSF and embrace our mission. We look forward to working with Dr. Chiocca and benefitting directly and immediately from his considerable knowledge and experience at the leading edge of Neurosurgery research and clinical practice.”
Tammy Ballard’s affiliation with the foundation began in 2006 when she began her role as a Project Director in the Brigham & Women’s Department of Neurosurgery, responsible for enhancing collaboration between the foundation and hospital. Today she serves as the Administrative Director for the Center for Surgery and Public Health at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, established in 2005 to bridge the alarming gap that divides public health and surgical quality, safety, and access.
Tammy’s experience in health care and life sciences is broad, including work as a practice manager in a public relations boutique, Greenough Communications, where she managed life sciences client accounts and business development, and at a life sciences research company, Life Science Insights, an IDC subsidiary, where she developed and managed integrated marketing campaigns to support branding and acquisition programs and events. While Tammy has stayed close to the foundation since she took on her new role, we are very excited to invite her back in the fold! Already, she has volunteered to serve on the Meningioma Awareness Day Planning Committee and served as MC for the event.