Meet Our Scientific Advisory Board
Federico Bolognani, M.D., Ph.D., is Vice President, Head of Clinical Science at Axial Therapeutics developing drugs for neuroscience indications, including autism. Bolognani has published more than 50 neuroscience papers in journals such as Nature Medicine, Science Translational Medicine, Journal of Neuroscience, Autism, Autism Research, Molecular Psychiatry, and Biological Psychiatry. He obtained his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the National University of La Plata, Argentina, and later worked at the Molecular Medicine Unit at the University of Manchester, England, the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, and at the Department of Neurosurgery in the Methodist Hospital at the Texas Medical Center where he developed translational programs in neuroscience. In 2009, at the Novartis Safety Genomic group at the Novartis Institutes of Biomedical Research, he led a global group involved in translational drug development with a focus on safety. In 2013, he joined the Neuroscience Disease Area at Roche where he led different clinical programs to develop new drugs for neurodevelopmental disorders, especially autism.
Vence Bonham, J.D., is an associate investigator in the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) within the Division of Intramural Research’s Social and Behavioral Research Branch. He leads the Health Disparities Unit, which investigates the equitable integration of new genomic knowledge and precision medicine into clinical settings. His research focuses primarily on the social implications of new genomic knowledge, including the role of genomics in exacerbating or ameliorating racial and ethnic health inequities. His research group studies sickle cell disease, a condition that has faced significant health disparity and could be further impacted by disparity in access to emerging curative genomic technologies. Bonham serves as the Senior Advisor to the NHGRI Director on Genomics and Health Disparities, which complements his research, as it allows contemporary genomic science and policy issues to inform his research program.
Amy Gravino, M.A., is a Relationship Coach in the Center for Adult Autism Services at Rutgers University. She is also the founder and president of A.S.C.O.T Consulting, which offers autism consulting, college coaching, and mentoring services for organizations, schools, and individuals on the autism spectrum and their families. Amy is an international speaker who has given TED talks, spoken at the United Nations, and presented worldwide to audiences on a variety of topics. Amy obtained her master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from Caldwell University. She serves on the Board of Directors of Specialisterne USA, Yes She Can, Inc., and the Golden Door International Film Festival of Jersey City. She is now authoring a memoir.
Mitchell R. Lunn, M.D., MAS, FACP, FASN, is an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology and Population Health at Stanford University School of Medicine. His research characterizes the health and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) communities. Using existing and emerging technologies, Lunn focuses on improving the understanding of the factors that positively and negatively influence LGBTQ health, including research on LGBTQ health disparities, societal experiences (in and out of health care), provider education about LGBTQ health, and institutional climate. He co-directs The PRIDE (Population Research in Identity and Disparities for Equality) Study – a national, online, prospective, longitudinal, general health cohort study of over 21,000 LGBTQ individuals that employs innovative technologies to bridge research gaps in the health of these medically underserved and vulnerable populations. He also co-directs PRIDEnet, a national, participant-powered, community-engaged research network of LGBTQ people that engages LGBTQ communities at all stages of the biomedical research process. PRIDEnet conducts national community engagement for the National Institutes of Health’s All of Us Research Program, a national, federal cohort study aiming to enroll more than 1 million people.
Anne O’Donnell Luria, M.D., Ph.D., is a researcher at Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School and an associate member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Her research focuses on improving our understanding of the impact of rare variants in monogenic phenotypes to improve rare disease diagnosis, gene discovery and understand the mechanisms of incomplete penetrance. She is the co-director of the Broad Institute Center for Mendelian Genomics where she works with an international group of collaborators and team of genomic analysts to discover novel disease-gene relationships. She is a clinical geneticist who founded the EpiChroma Clinic, focused on caring for children with neurodevelopmental conditions involving genes important for chromatin formation and regulation.
Ruth Ottman, Ph.D., is Professor of Epidemiology (in Neurology and the Sergievsky Center) and Deputy Director for Research, Sergievsky Center, Columbia University. She is also Research Scientist, Division of Translational Epidemiology, New York State Psychiatric Institute, and Deputy Director, Columbia Center for Research on Ethical, Legal, & Social Implications of Psychiatric, Neurologic, and Behavioral Genetics. Ottman is a genetic epidemiologist whose research addresses the role of inherited factors in susceptibility to neurologic disorders, primarily focusing on epilepsy. Her current research is aimed at understanding the psychosocial impacts of receiving genomic information, among people affected with or at risk for neurologic disorders.
Jeremy Veenstra-VanderWeele, M.D., is a child and adolescent psychiatrist who uses molecular and translational neuroscience research tools to pursue new treatments for ASD and pediatric obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). His molecular neuroscience laboratory at Columbia University and the New York State Psychiatric Institute focuses on genetic mouse models with abnormal social or repetitive behavior. His clinical/translational research program at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital Center for Autism and the Developing Brain studies potential treatments for ASD and related genetic syndromes. Veenstra-VanderWeele serves as an Associate Editor of Autism Research, the Journal of the International Society for Autism Research. He also co-chairs the Autism and Intellectual Disability Committee of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. His work has garnered multiple awards, including the Blanche Ittelson Award for Research in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry from the American Psychiatric Association.
Rico Winston is the single parent of Isra’El Winston, an amazing eleven-year-old who has ASD. Winston is a member of the SPARK Community Advisory Council, a board member at The Arc Baltimore, a committee member of The Friends of C.A.R.D at the Center for Autism and Related Disorders at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, a member of The Little Lobbyist, an alumnus of Partners in Policymaking, Director of Community Engagement and Outreach at the City Ranch, and the Director and Founder of The Israel Winston Family Empowerment Corp.