Scientific Advisory Board

Aaron DiAntonio, M.D., Ph.D., is the Alan A and Edith L Wolff Professor of Developmental Biology at Washington University School of Medicine. Dr. DiAntonio obtained his M.D. and Ph.D. training at the Stanford University School of Medicine, where he studied the molecular mechanisms of synaptic transmission. He completed postdoctoral training at the University of California, Berkeley in the area of neural development. His laboratory combines genetic, molecular, neuroanatomical, and electrophysiological studies in model organisms to identify pathways required for the development, maintenance, and regeneration of axons and synapses. His studies have demonstrated that shared molecular pathways control neural development and neurodegeneration. Dr. DiAntonio has received multiple awards, including the McKnight Scholar Award, the Keck Distinguished Young Scholar, and the Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award from Washington University. He is also currently a chair of the NIH Synapses, Cytoskeleton and Trafficking study section.

Michael J. Bamshad, M.D., is the Allan and Phyllis Treuer Endowed Chair in Genetics and Development at Seattle Children's Hospital, and Professor of Pediatrics and Neurology at the University of Washington School Of Medicine. He is also the Division Chief of Genetic Medicine in the Department of Pediatrics. Dr. Bamshad’s research interests are focused on understanding how evolutionary processes and demographic history have shaped patterns of genetic variation among humans, and how such variation influences differences in physical features and disease susceptibility. Current studies include those focused on birth defects, chronic diseases of childhood, and chemosensory perception. Dr. Bamshad received training in medicine and population genetics at the University of Missouri in Kansas City and the University of Kansas. He completed his residency in pediatrics and a fellowship in clinical genetics at the University of Utah. Dr. Bamshad is a co-author of the textbook "Medical Genetics" and is recipient of Young Investigator Award from the Society for Pediatric Research. In 2011, he was awarded the Bea Fowlow Award in Medical Genetics from the University of Calgary.

Mario Castro, MD, MPH is the Alan A. and Edith L. Wolff Professor of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine. He is a noted authority on asthma and other respiratory diseases. Dr. Castro is involved in more than 20 ongoing studies focusing on the genetic, biological and immunological origins of asthma and how to reduce the suffering and death associated with the disease. One such project involves following children from very early in life and looking at how their genetic, biologic and immune responses, as well as their environment are coming together to cause some of them to develop asthma. In addition, Dr. Castro leads the NIH Severe Asthma Research Program. He also holds leaderships roles on a national level, serving as principal investigator for two major asthma networks. Born in Matanzas, Cuba, Dr. Castro attended medical school at the University of Missouri – Kansas City. He completed residency and fellowship training at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. After joining Washington University faculty, he earned his master’s degree in Public Health from Saint Louis University in 1998.

Susan K. Dutcher, Ph.D., Professor of Genetics and of Cell Biology and Physiology, Washington University School of Medicine. Dr. Dutcher is interested in the basic biology of cilia and uses Chlamydomonas reinhardtii as a model system to study these organelles. Cilia are required for many developmental processes including left-right asymmetry, heart development, maintenance of the renal epithelium, respiratory function, electrolyte balance in the cerebrospinal fluid, and reproductive fecundity. 

Jay Kolls, M.D. is a Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics, Director of the Center for Translational Research in Infection and Inflammation and the John W. Deming Endowed Chair in Internal Medicine at the Tulane University School of Medicine.  Dr. Kolls is a leader in studying mechanisms of lung host defenses in normal and immunocompromised hosts. Dr. Kolls also has a long standing interest to determine if Th17 cells and their cytokine products contribute to airway destruction in cystic fibrosis.  He earned his medical degree at the University of Maryland and completed his residency training in Internal Medicine/Pediatrics at Charity Hospital in New Orleans. After pulmonary sub-specialty training at Louisiana State University and Tulane Health Sciences Center, he completed a research fellowship with Bruce Beutler, MD, at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas. Dr. Kolls is a member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation and serves on multiple editorial boards and study sections. In addition to his current appointment at Tulane University, Dr. Kolls holds an adjunct appointment as a Professor of Pediatrics and Immunology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and was previously the Director of the Richard King Mellon Foundation Institute for Pediatric Research.  He has also been faculty at Louisiana State University Medical Center, where he served as chair of the Department of Genetics.

Jeanne Nerbonne, Ph.D. is the Alumni Endowed Professor of Molecular Biology and Pharmacology in the departments of Developmental Biology and Medicine and the Director for the Center for Cardiovascular Research at Washington University School of Medicine.  She earned her Ph.D. in Physical and Organic Chemistry from Georgetown University and completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the California Institute of Technology. Her research is focused on delineating the molecular, cellular and systemic mechanisms involved in the dynamic regulation of cardiac and neuronal membrane excitability. Dr. Nerbonne has made seminal contributions to the understanding of the regulation of voltage-gated ion channels in the cardiovascular and nervous system. She also developed a tissue core for human heart samples, which will benefit the entire cardiovascular research community at Washington University. She has served on multiple review boards and study sections. In 2015 she received the Shining Star Award, Academic Women’s Network, Washington University School of Medicine and in 2007 she received Washington University’s Distinguished Investigator Award.

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