Founded in 2017, The Silverstein Foundation for Parkinson's with GBA actively pursues and invests in cutting edge research with the goal of discovering new therapies for the treatment of Parkinson's Disease in glucocerebrosidase (GBA) mutation carriers. Our four goals are:
- To raise awareness around Parkinson’s Disease associated with GBA mutations and relevant clinical trials for mutation carriers;
- To aggressively seek out new, cutting-edge therapeutic approaches to treating and preventing Parkinson’s in GBA mutation carriers;
- To engage with clinicians, scientists and biotechnology companies to accelerate research and clinical trials in an effort to rapidly bring new therapeutic options to patients;
- To raise the necessary funds to meet these goals.
Scientific Advisory Board (SAB)
We are assembling a scientific advisory board filled with leading researchers and drug developers, in addition to GBA-mutation experts. This high level of expertise will help us rapidly comb through all GBA-related research and advance our goals expeditiously.
Leonard Bell, M.D.
Dr. Bell was the principal founder of Alexion in 1992 and served as the Chief Executive Officer from the Company’s inception until he retired as CEO on March 31, 2015. Under his leadership Alexion grew to become a global biopharmaceutical company with employees serving patients with severe and life-threatening disorders in 50 countries through fully integrated research, discovery, development, manufacturing, and commercial capabilities.
Prior to founding Alexion, Dr. Bell was an attending physician at Yale-New Haven Hospital and Assistant Professor of Medicine and Pathology at the Yale University School of Medicine, where he also received his M.D. degree. Dr. Bell was a recipient of the numerous awards and honors as an academic scientist prior to founding Alexion.
Dr. Bell received his A.B. from Brown University and M.D. from Yale University School of Medicine. Dr. Bell is currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Medicine and Pathology at the Yale University School of Medicine.
Steve Squinto, Ph.D.
Stephen Squinto, Ph.D., is a Venture Partner with OrbiMed who brings over 25 years of biotechnology industry experience. Dr. Squinto was a co-founder of Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and most recently served as its Executive Vice President and Chief Global Operations Officer. Prior to 2013, he was Alexion's Global Head of Research and Development. From 1988 to 1992, Dr. Squinto held various positions at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Prior to Regeneron, he held a joint academic position at both the Tulane University and LSU Medical Schools. He is a recipient of numerous honors and awards from academic and professional organizations for his scientific work.
Dr. Squinto received his B.A. in Chemistry and Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Biophysics from Loyola University of Chicago.
Asa Abeliovich, M.D., Ph.D.
Asa Abeliovich, M.D., Ph.D., is currently an associate professor of pathology, cell biology and neurology at Columbia University and an attending physician at New York Presbyterian Hospital. He is also a member of the Taub Institute for Alzheimer’s Disease and the Aging Brain. Dr. Abeliovich completed clinical training in neurology at the University of California, San Francisco. At Genentech, Inc., in South San Francisco, he initiated research on molecular mechanisms of Parkinson’s disease in the laboratory of Dr. Arnon Rosenthal. He was awarded the Lamport award for excellence in basic science research at Columbia University in 2005. He is a founder and Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board at Alector, a privatecompany focused on developing therapeutics for neurodegenerative disorders.
Dr. Abeliovich received his bachelor’s degrees in life sciences and humanities from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT),. He subsequently earned MD and PhD degrees from Harvard Medical School and MIT, respectively, through a joint Medical Scholar Training Program Fellowship. At MIT, Dr. Abeliovich undertook thesis research in the laboratory of Dr. Susumu Tonegawa, a Nobel Prize winner, where he pioneered studies on the molecular mechanisms of learning and memory in mammals.
Peter Thompson, M.D.
Peter Thompson, M.D., is currently a Private Equity Partner with OrbiMed who brings over 25 years of industry experience. He held executive positions at Becton-Dickinson and Chiron, co-founded and was CEO of Trubion Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: TRBN), co-founded Cleave BioSciences and Corvus Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: CRVS) and serves as a Director on several public and private company Boards.
Dr. Thompson is an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year awardee, an Affiliate Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Washington, an inventor on numerous patents and a board-certified internist and oncologist.
He was on staff at the National Cancer Institute following his internal medicine training at Yale University.
Carrolee Barlow, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Carrolee Barlow, M.D., Ph.D., B.A., has been Chief Executive Officer of The Parkinson's Institute since March 5, 2013. Dr. Barlow most recently served as the Chief Scientific and Medical Officer of BrainCells, Inc. a company she joined in 2004. She also served as the Director of Molecular Neuroscience and the Therapeutic Area Head for Stroke and Neurodegeneration at Merck Research Laboratories, a company she joined in 2002. Prior to joining Merck, she held a faculty position in the Laboratory of Genetics at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California, where she maintained an adjunct appointment. She served as a Scientific Advisor of Bionomics Ltd. until September 22, 2016. At the Salk Institute, her research laboratory focused on developing animal models of human neurological disease.
Dr. Barlow received her M.D. from the University of Utah followed by a residency at The New York Hospital, Cornell Medical Center in Internal Medicine. She obtained a Ph.D. in molecular and developmental biology at the Karolinska Medical Nobel Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. She completed medical subspecialty training in the field of endocrinology at the NIH and a post-doctoral fellowship in neurogenetics at the National Human Genome Research Institute.
Roy Alcalay, M.D.
Roy Alcalay, M.D., is the Florence Irving Assistant Professor of Neurology at Columbia University Medical Center. He obtained his medical degree from Tel Aviv University, Israel, his neurology training from the Harvard University residency program at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital and his movement disorders training at Columbia University.
He is a graduate of the Patient Oriented Research and earned Master’s in biostatistics from Columbia University. His research focuses on biomarkers and genetics in Parkinson’s disease and cognitive functioning. He is a Brookdale Leadership in Aging fellow, and his research is supported by the NIH, the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, the Michael J Fox Foundation and the Smart Foundation.
Julian Adams, Ph.D.
Dr. Adams has more than 30 years of experience in drug discovery and development with a strong focus on cancer research. Dr Adams, recently joined Gamida Cell as Chairman, and also serves Clal Biotechnology Industries as its Chief Scientific Officer and President. He was previously president of research and development at Infinity Pharmaceuticals. Prior to joining Infinity in 2003, Dr. Adams was the senior vice president of drug discovery and development at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, where he headed multiple global drug discovery and development programs, including the successful Velcade® (bortezomib) program.
Dr. Adams also held senior positions in research and development at LeukoSite (acquired by Millennium) and at ProScript, as well as in medicinal chemistry at Boehringer Ingelheim, where he is credited with discovering Viramune® (nevirapine) for HIV. Dr. Adams has won many awards, holds 40+ patents and has authored more than 100 papers and book chapters in peer-reviewed journals. He earned a B.S. from McGill University and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also received a Doctor of Science, honoris causa, from McGill University in 2012.
Gregory Grabowski, M.D.
Dr. Grabowski is Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics and Genetics at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Research Foundation, and Chief Scientific Officer of Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals. He most recently served as Chief Scientific Officer of Synageva BioPharma, before its acquisition by Alexion in June 2015. Prior to that, Dr. Grabowski spent over 20 years at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, where he was the A. Graeme Mitchell Chair of Human Genetics and Director of Human Genetics at the Children’s Hospital Research Foundation. He was also a Professor in the Departments of Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry, and Pediatrics, at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. Previously, Dr. Grabowski spent 13.5 years at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, where he developed the world’s largest clinic for patients afflicted with Gaucher disease and other lysosomal diseases. He established basic research and diagnostic laboratories for genetic diseases as well as the first treatment center for enzyme therapy in Gaucher disease.
Dr. Grabowski received his M.D. from the University of Minnesota where he also completed his residency in Pediatrics and fellowship training in Human Genetics. During his research career, he has published over 330 scholarly works on the basic and clinical sciences of lysosomal storage and genetic diseases, while maintaining active clinical and treatment programs for genetic diseases.
Richard Hargreaves, Ph.D., FBPhS
Richard Hargreaves, Ph.D., FBPhS, joined Celgene as Corporate VP, to head Neuroscience and Imaging Research and Early Development in January 2017. Previously VP, Head, New Indications Research Unit (NIRU) and Research & Early Development Centers of Excellence (RED-CoEs) at Biogen and VP Global Imaging and VP Discovery Head for Neuroscience in Merck Research Laboratories (MRL). He has led the teams that have advanced numerous novel PET imaging agents and neuroscience drug candidates to the clinic contributing to the successful development and registration of several NCEs. He is published extensively in peer-reviewed scientific journals (>200 peer reviewed papers and 3 books) on neuroscience drug discovery, translational biomarkers and the use of biomedical imaging in drug discovery and development. He received the Gary Neil Award for “Innovation in Drug Development” from the American Society of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics for work on imaging in drug discovery and development and the first Sir James Black Award for Drug Discovery from the British Pharmacological Society. Richard holds a BSc and Ph.D. from Kings College London University UK and is an Honorary Fellow of the British Pharmacological Society.
Dimitri Krainc, M.D., Ph.D.
Dimitri Krainc, M.D., Ph.D. currently serves as the Aaron Montgomery Ward Professor and Chairman of the Department of Neurology and Director of the Center for Rare Neurological Diseases (CRND) at Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. Previously, Dr. Krainc spent 21 years at Harvard Medical School where he completed his research training followed by a neurology residency and fellowship in movement disorders at Massachusetts General Hospital. He then served on the neurology faculty at MGH and Harvard Medical School until 2013 when he relocated to Chicago. Dr.Krainc is the founder of Lysosomal Therapeutics, Inc (LTI), a biotech company in Cambridge, Massachusetts where he also serves as the chair of Scientific Advisory Board. He also serves as an Advisor of Intellia Therapeutics Inc. Dr. Krainc recently received the Javits Award for his achievements in the field of neurological science.
Board of Trustees
Natalie Silverstein, M.P.H.
Natalie Silverstein, M.P.H., is a freelance writer, editor and communications specialist with a particular focus on non-profits, development and healthcare. After a 15-year career in hospital administration and managed care, she was a healthcare consultant in private practice. Most recently, she provided communications support and website content for two cancer-focused non-profits, Michael’s Mission (Colorectal Cancer) and Let’s Win (Pancreatic Cancer). Natalie also has a passion for family volunteerism and philanthropy, and since 2013, has been the New York area Coordinator for Doing Good Together, a Minneapolis-based non-profit aimed at helping parents raise children who care and contribute. She earned an undergraduate degree in Health Policy and Administration from Providence College, and an M.P.H. from Yale University.
Jonathan Silverstein, J.D.
Jonathan T. Silverstein, J.D., is a General Partner and a Co-Head of Global Private Equity at OrbiMed, the world's largest fully dedicated healthcare fund manager with five offices around the globe. Mr. Silverstein joined OrbiMed in 1998 and has been on the board of several dozen biotech companies over the last two decades. During his tenure, OrbiMed has invested in healthcare companies that have led to over 60 FDA approved products. With a particular interest in rare diseases, Mr. Silverstein has been the chairman of several biotechnology companies focused on these "orphan" drugs, including: Enobia (sold to Alexion), Intercept (ICPT), Audentes (BOLD) and a director of Ascendis (ASND) and Rhythm Therapeutics (Private). For the last six years (2012 to 2017), Forbes® Magazine named Mr. Silverstein one of the top 100 venture capitalists in the world when it placed him on the "Forbes Midas List". Mr. Silverstein has a J.D. and an M.B.A. from the University of San Diego, and a B.A. in Economics from Denison University.
Geoffrey Levin is a Partner in Sidley’s New York office. He concentrates his practice on complex business transactions and governance matters for private equity sponsors and their portfolio companies. Geoff has more than 20 years of experience representing clients across a number of industries in a variety of transactional matters, including domestic and cross-border M&A, leveraged buyouts, going private transactions, proxy contests, spin-offs, joint ventures, recapitalizations, venture capital financing, growth equity investments, PIPEs, debt financings, restructurings and workouts. Geoff's representations have covered a broad range of industries including life sciences, financial services, communications, energy, retail, automotive and heavy industrial. Geoff regularly comments on developments in the healthcare industry and speaks at investment conferences. He is the author of “New M&A Concerns and Strategies” that recently appeared in Aspatore Books Inside the Mind series. He is listed by IFLR 1000 as a leading M&A lawyer and has been recognized by Institutional Investor News as one of the “10 Rising Stars of Private Equity and M&A Law” and by Mergermarket as a 2009 “Dealmaker of the Year.”