Scientific Advisory Board
Wendy Chung, M.D., Ph.D.
Wendy Chung, M.D., Ph.D. is a clinical and molecular geneticist and the Kennedy Family Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine. She received her B.A. in biochemistry and economics from Cornell University, her M.D. from Cornell University Medical College, and her Ph.D. from The Rockefeller University in genetics. Dr. Chung directs NIH funded research programs in human genetics of autism, neurodevelopmental disorders, birth defects, pulmonary hypertension, cardiomyopathy, and breast cancer. A world leader in the diagnosis and treatment of rare diseases, Dr. Chung has identified more than 41 new genes for human diseases. She is experienced in both the molecular and clinical characterization of the disorders associated with these gene mutations, as well as the integration of these discoveries into clinical practice through the development and implementation of clinical genetic testing in medical care. She leads the Precision Medicine Resource in the Irving Institute at Columbia University and serves on the Council for the National Human Genome Research Institute.
Dr. Chung was the recipient of the American Academy of Pediatrics Young Investigator Award, the Medical Achievement Award from Bonei Olam, and the 2018 Academy Medal for Distinguished Contributions in Biomedical Science from the NY Academy of Medicine. She is renowned for her teaching and mentoring and received Columbia University’s highest teaching award, the Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching. She is well known for her TED talks with millions of views. Dr. Chung enjoys the challenges of genetics as a rapidly changing field of medicine and strives to facilitate the integration of genetic medicine into all areas of health care in a medically, scientifically, and ethically sound, accessible, and cost-effective manner.
Kozo Tanaka M.D., Ph.D.
Kozo Tanaka, Professor, Department of Molecular Oncology, Institute of Development, Aging and Cancer, Tohoku University, Japan, characterized and reported CHAMP1 as a protein working for genomic integrity in 2011, and has been studying the molecular and biological functions of CHAMP1.
Davor Lessel, M.D., Ph.D.
“Davor Lessel, M.D., is a trained clinical and molecular geneticist at the Institute of Human Genetics, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf. He received his M.D. from the Medical University of Vienna (Austria), and was trained at the university hospitals in Barcelona (Spain), Cologne, Ulm and Hamburg (Germany).
Dr. Lessel directs funded research programs in neurodevelopmental disorders, cancer and premature aging. He was involved in elucidation of the genetic cause for more than 30 human monogenic diseases, various complex genetic disorders and somatic landscapes of several cancers.
His team was the first to associate the CHAMP1 mutations with the neurodevelopmental delay, and has since been performing analysis of patient-mutations in order to elucidate their molecular consequences with the main aim to identify druggable targets for potential personalized therapy of the CHAMP1-associated disorder.
Dr. Lessel was the recipient of the German Society of Human Genetics Award, Ernst Klenk Symposium in Molecular Medicine Award, and the Pride of Croatia Award.”
Dr. Kristin Grimsrud, D.V.M., Ph.D.
Dr. Kristin Grimsrud is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in the School of Medicine at the University of California Davis (UCD). Additionally, she is the Associate Director of Vivaria and Veterinary Care at the UCD Mouse Biology Program (MBP). Prior to this role she obtained a DVM, PhD in Pharmacology and Toxicology, completed a residency in Laboratory Animal Medicine, a fellowship in clinical pharmacology and a postdoc in cardiothoracic surgery with an emphasis in regenerative medicine in large animal models all at UC Davis. Her current role at the MBP includes serving on a number of NIH consortium grants including the Knockout Mouse Project, the Mutant Mouse Resource and Research Center and the Mouse Phenotyping Program. She has additional research focus of developing and analyzing precision animal models based on human patient variants, with a specific interest in the CHAMP1 gene. Her personal research interests focuses on characterizing individual variation in drug pharmacokinetics in special populations, specifically burn and pediatric
patients. She has a currently funded K01 and Shriner’s Hospital for Children grant to investigate the impact of pharmacogenetics on opioid metabolism and efficacy and developing a precision medicine rat model to further study opioids and pain.
Suma Shankar MD, PhD
Dr. Shankar serves as the director of the precision genomic program and holds the Children’s Miracle Network Endowed Chair in Pediatric Genetics at the MIND Institute. She is a physician-scientist, board-certified in medical genetics and is a PhD molecular biologist from University of Iowa.
She brings her combined expertise with a vision for the UC Davis Precision Genomics program to provide personalized health care and facilitate precision medicine practice. She has initiated using state-of-the-art clinical whole genome sequencing and targeted precision modeling to determine the underlying genetic etiology in patients with complex medical conditions.
She has collaborated with Mutant Mouse Resource and Research Center (MMRRC) and initiated the knockin CHAMP1 mouse model that has already yielded promising results and providing insight to patient care.
She brings her expertise in gene discovery, phenotyping and translational research to individuals with a wide range of clinical manifestations and runs a dedicated clinic focused on individuals with inherited eye disorders, autism spectrum and neurodevelopmental disorders.