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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: 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.

Featured Scientist: Feb. 2014


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.

Featured Scientist: Dec. 2014


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.

Featured Scientist: Jul. 2014


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.

Featured Scientist: Apr. 2014


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.


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