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FARAFARA Cure FA

Featured Scientists

Every few months, FARA will introduce one of our researchers to you.

Feature articles include their area of research, the focus of their work and how they are helping us to achieve our goal- an effective therapy, and eventually a cure for FA.


 

Featured Scientist: Dec. 2014

DrIanBlair

Dr. Ian Blair

By David Woods, PhD.

Acclaimed British Pharmacologist Dr. Ian Blair Brings His Wealth of International Experience to FA Research.

An article on the front page of the Philadelphia Inquirer on October 19 described asbestos-related mesothelioma and the work being done by the University of Pennsylvania’s Center of Excellence in Environmental Toxicology under the direction of Ian A. Blair, PhD.

What’s asbestos got to do with Friedreich’s ataxia, you might ask. Two things: both the asbestos and the Friedreich’s research are like looking for a molecular needle in a haystack — a biomarker, says Blair, who is hunting for that needle in both cases.

Read more: Featured Scientist: Dec. 2014

Featured Scientist: Jul. 2014

Profile

Dr. Christophe Lenglet

By David Woods, PhD.

“What’s the point of doing research if you can’t share or communicate what you’ve learned?”

Armed with master’s degrees in applied mathematics, computer science and engineering from colleges in his native France, Christophe Lenglet, 34, went on to secure a doctorate in biomedical imaging and neuroscience at Sophia Antipolis, located in a technology park situated between Antibes and Nice.

Read more: Featured Scientist: Jul. 2014

Featured Scientist: Apr. 2014

Profile

Dr. Rob Wilson

By David Woods, PhD.

Nikolaus Friedreich (1825-1882) who gave his name to Friedreich’s Ataxia became a tenured professor of pathology at the age of 33; had, according to his biography, tremendous drive and enthusiasm… and as a teacher he was known for his ability to transmit that enthusiasm to his students.

Funny. Sounds a bit like scientific adviser to the Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance, (FARA) Dr. Robert. B. Wilson. Rob, as he likes to be called, became an assistant professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at Penn in 1993 when he was 35; is possessed of bubbling energy and enthusiasm; and clearly loves to teach residents and to make them feel comfortable asking questions.

Read more: Featured Scientist: Apr. 2014

Featured Scientist: Feb. 2014

Profile

Dr. Mark Pook

By David Woods PhD

Brings passion and hope to a career in research and teaching.

As an Associate Professor at Brunel University London, Mark Pook has influenced a generation of students. But what influenced him to devote a career to unraveling a solution to Friedreich’s Ataxia? It started in 1993, he says, when he joined the laboratory of Dr. Susan Chamberlain, a genetic researcher who first localized the FA disease locus to chromosome 9 and who helped to set up the UK patient support group in FA. “She was a mentor who inspired me,” he says, and when the FA gene was identified in 1996, Mark was intrigued by the expanded GAA repeat molecular basis of the disease and he became determined to understand more about the disease by developing cell and mouse models as a means to finding FA treatments.

Read more: Featured Scientist: Feb. 2014

Featured Scientist: Dec. 2013

Profile

Sanjay Bidichandani

By Marilyn Downing

Sanjay Bidichandani is the newest member of our FARA Board of Directors. Dr. Bidichandani earned his MBBS from the University of Pune, India and his PhD from the University of Glasgow, Scotland, UK. He completed his post-doc and assistant professorship in Neurology at Baylor College before becoming Professor of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Pediatrics at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, and served as Vice-President for Research at the Muscular Dystrophy Association. He returned recently to the University of Oklahoma to become head of the Section of Genetics, Department of Pediatrics.

Read more: Featured Scientist: Dec. 2013
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