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Growth at MDF








MDF is excited to announce the expansion of our team! In the past six months, both our staff and Scientific Advisory Committee have grown in order to better serve our community with relevant programs, cutting-edge research, and increased visibility for DM. If you will be attending the upcoming 2015 MDF Annual Conference, be sure to say hello!

New Staff

Abraham Aldrete, Operations Director

Abraham joined the team in June 2015 to lead the Foundation's day-to-day operations and provide administrative capacity to our programs. "I have been inspired by the commitment of the patient community to get involved," he says. "It is motivating to know that the DM community is committed to finding Care and a Cure." Learn more about Abraham.


Elizabeth Habeeb-Louks, Grants Manager

Elizabeth is the Foundation's first dedicated Grants Manager, and works closely with Chief Science Officer Sharon Hesterlee to oversee incoming grant applications and research projects. She has worked with several patient advocacy groups before, including the Muscular Dystrophy Association and Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy. Learn more about Elizabeth.


Pam Lewis, Project Development Manager

Pam joined the Foundation in 2015 as Project Development Manager, after working with the Houston-based Myotonic Dystrophy Fund's Agape Initiative dedicated to efforts to further patient care. Her focus is on several mutually beneficial strategy items/programs centered both locally and nationally. Learn more about Pam.


Jessica Powers, Director of Development

The newest member of the MDF team is Jessica, who started at the beginning of September as the organization's first Director of Development. "The MDF staff and Board of Directors have such depth of experience and talent, and I am honored to be part of this movement to help patients and families living with DM," she says. Learn more about Jessica.


New Scientific Advisory Committee Members

Dr. Kathie Bishop, Ph.D.

Dr. Bishop has over 20 years of experience in drug development and research, having led the department of novel therapeutics in a variety of disease areas. She currently serves as the Chief Scientific Officer at Tioga Pharmaceuticals; prior to that, Dr. Bishop was Vice President of Clinical Development at Isis Pharmaceuticals. Learn more about Dr. Bishop.


Dr. Thomas A. Cooper, M.D.

Dr. Cooper is a Professor in the Departments of Pathology & Immunology, Molecular & Cell Biology and Molecular Physiology & Biophysics at Baylor College of Medicine. His lab contributed to identification of the RNA gain of function mechanism responsible for the molecular mechanism of myotonic dystrophy pathogenesis. Learn more about Dr. Cooper.


Dr. Laura Ranum, Ph.D.

Dr. Ranum is a Professor of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology and Director of the Center for Neurogenetics at the University of Florida. She uses gene discovery and mouse models to understand neuromuscular diseases. Her lab identified the DM2 expansion mutation, and developed a mouse model of the disease. Learn more about Dr. Ranum.





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