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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: April 2016

VJ PhotoVijayendran Chandran, PhD

FARA Young Investigator Awardee. Dr. Chandran has developed a novel FA mouse model that can be used to study the effects of frataxin-deficiency and model paradigms of frataxin restoration.

By David Woods, PhD

From India to Germany to the US: An internationalist pursuing science, and working for human well-being.

Vijay, as he prefers to be called, grew up in the delightfully named town of Ooty, a tourist venue in the South India region of Tamil Nadu. He went on to acquire a bachelor’s degree in biotechnology and a Masters in bio informatics from Bharathiar University, named for Subramania Bharathiar, one of Vijay’s favorite poets.

From there, it was off to Germany to do his PhD studies at the University of Bielefeld, which he chose because of its eclectic mix of students from Brazil, Japan, Australia, and the UK before crossing the Atlantic to join UCLA's Department of neurology where he is at present a project scientist in neurogenetics. 

Featured Scientist: Dec. 2015

Jordi Magrané Jordi Magrané

By David Woods, PhD.

A Barcelona fan with goals in mind for FA

Barcelona born Jordi Magrané says that his interest in mechanisms of neurodegeneration and the role of mitochondria in neurodegenerative disease led him at first into research on Alzheimer’s and ALS.

But since working with Friedreich’s Ataxia , he has found a greater sense of collaboration and less competitiveness than in the other areas of research he has tried. Research in Friedreich’s Ataxia is an area, he says, in which he’s felt really comfortable. And he credits FARA for much of that. His interest in abnormal mitochondrial axonal transport is especially applicable in FA.

Featured Scientist: Dec. 2015

Yogesh Chutake Yogesh Chutake

By David Woods, PhD.

A love of research; and especially its 'bench to bedside' approach

Yogesh Chutake has always loved research since the time of his being a research scholar at the University of Mumbai in his native India.

Yogesh was offered research opportunities in the UK and Europe but decided on the US, coming to the United States as a PhD student and continuing as a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

Featured Scientist: Sept. 2015

lin kimberlyDr. Kimberly Lin

By David Woods, PhD.

Young Patients Seek Honesty and Trust in Medical Encounters

As an assistant professor of pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), and as the mother of 8-year-old Emily; 5-year-old Katie; and 2-year-old Nate, Dr. Kimberly Lin can stake a strong claim to knowing everything about kids from both a professional and a maternal standpoint.

She is quick to point out, though, that children are pretty smart patients. “They’ll feel you out,” she says. “They’re suspicious at first; they’re not sure when they can trust you.”

Featured Scientist: Mar. 2015


Dr. David Reid Corey

By David Woods, PhD.

A researcher into genetics with his own enviable genes

If there's any truth in the phrase publish or perish, David Corey is hardly in mortal danger: he has served as the author or co-author of some 121 research publications. Not only that, but he comes to his position as a relatively new FA researcher with an impeccable pedigree: His father, Elias James Corey, won the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1990… and still serves as a Harvard professor at the age of 86. So David has some pretty good genes both for scientific attainment and for longevity.

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