Meet Our Scientific Advisory Board

Meet Our Scientific Advisory Board

Vence Bonham, J.D.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. Mr. 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.

Photo of Amy GravinoAmy 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.

Photo of Dr. LuriaAnne 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.

Megan O’Boyle is the parent of a 17-year-old daughter with Phelan-McDermid Syndrome (PMS). This diagnosis includes autism, intellectual disabilities, epilepsy, ADHD, and other medical conditions. She is the principal investigator for the Phelan-McDermid Syndrome Data Network (PMS_DN, PCORnet) and the Phelan-McDermid Syndrome International Registry (PMSIR). O’Boyle is passionate about the value of the patient’s voice in research, drug development, clinical trial design, development of related legislation, and quality of life decisions. She advocates for data sharing, collaborating with other advocacy groups, sharing resources, and streamlining institutional review board practices and policies.

Ruth Ottman, Ph.D.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.

Kevin Sanders, M.D., is the Global Lead for the Autism Program for Roche Product Development in Basel, Switzerland. Before Roche, he was an associate clinical professor of psychiatry and the director of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Division at Vanderbilt University. He also served as the director of the Child Psychiatry Consult Service at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, attending inpatient physician at the Vanderbilt Psychiatry Hospital, co-site principal investigator of the Autism Treatment Network, director of the Medical Exploration of Neurodevelopmental Disorders (MEND) research program and medical director of the Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders (TRIAD) at Vanderbilt Kennedy Center. He has had extensive experience in clinical research in autism, including participation either as a principal investigator or sub-investigator in most trials for new molecular entities targeting autism.

Scott Sutherland, B.F.A., is a Software Engineer and Staff Scientist at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Sutherland became a founding faculty member in the Indiana University School of Informatics where he taught in their M.S. in New Media program (now M.S. in Human-Computer Interaction). Over the last two decades, he managed software development projects in biotechnology, clinical care, and for biomedical research institutions, including the Broad Institute and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. At the Broad Institute, Sutherland serves as the Director of the Portals vertical in the Data Sciences Platform. He is the program manager for the institute’s involvement in the All of Us Research Program, and serves as a principal investigator for projects that involve development of scientific portals or patient-facing disease registries.

Amy Wetherby, Ph.D.,  is a distinguished research professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences and director of the Autism Institute in the Florida State University College of Medicine and the Laurel Schendel Professor of Communication Disorders. The overarching goal of her research is to build the capacity of healthcare systems to improve early detection and provide access to cost-efficient early interventions that are feasible for far-reaching community implementation. Wetherby brings unique research and clinical expertise in early detection, parent-implemented interventions for infants and toddlers with ASD, community-based screening and interventions, and experience directing multisite studies.

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