We are excited to introduce Andy Rohrwasser, PhD, MBA, as MDF’s Chief Scientific Officer!
Before joining MDF in November 2023, Andy was the Laboratory Director at the Utah Public Health Laboratory and served as an adjunct associate professor in pediatric neurology at the University of Utah. He honed his expertise of rare diseases, animal models and human genetics at the University of Utah where he completed a PhD in Human Genetics, as well as an MBA. His scientific expertise and proven record of accomplishment in engaging stakeholders to advance research and policy make him an ideal fit for MDF.
Andy has a passion for innovation that positively impacts community health. He started his career in academic research and later gained experience in technology commercialization, co-founding a company and successfully raising venture capital for an innovative mechanism for high blood pressure and genetic testing.
Under his leadership, Andy played a pivotal role in making Utah the first state to implement population wide screening for Spinal Muscular Atrophy. When asked how he accomplished this feat, he shared the importance of being nimble, actively listening to community members, and setting actionable priorities for execution and advocacy. Andy has served as a principal investigator of multi-year research projects funded by HRSA (Health Resources and Services Administration), CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services), APHL (Association of Public Health Laboratories), & CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). He is involved in advisory committees for the CDC and APHL and has previously contributed as a reviewer for NIH (National Institutes of Health) study sections, scientific journals, and as a member of the Utah IRB (Institutional Review Board).
Throughout his career, Andy has worked consistently to bridge the gap between community, discovery science, political science, and care, aiming to translate progress in research and diagnosis into care as quickly as possible. He is eager to apply his enthusiasm and skills in the Myotonic Dystrophy field, sharing that “there is rapid progress in drug development and elucidation of genotype-phenotype relations (how repeat length is related).” The opportunity to advance diagnostics and treatments motivates him daily. Upon attending the 2023 MDF Conference , the intentional connection between researcher, community, & professional assured him that MDF was the perfect fit for him.
When not working, Andy enjoys spending time with his family and dogs in Utah. His favorite activities include skiing, running, gardening, watching soccer, cooking, reading, and traveling.
Please join us in extending a warm welcome to Andy Rohrwasser as Chief Scientific Officer!