Scientific Program Advisory Committee (SPAC)

Program Chair

Laura Ranum, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
University of Florida

Dr. Ranum’s group uses human genetics to define the molecular causes of neurological disorders (such as ataxia) and mouse models to understand how these mutations cause neurons in the brain to die. Her laboratory identified the myotonic dystrophy type 2 and spinocerebellar ataxia type 8 (SCA8) expansion mutations and developed mouse models of these diseases. In 2006, her group demonstrated the SCA8 expansion produces RNAs in both directions and in 2011 discovered “repeat associated non-AUG (RAN) translation”, a novel form of translation in which expansion mutations express proteins in all three reading frames without the canonical start codon. Additionally her group showed that RAN proteins accumulate in SCA8 and DM1 patient tissues.  Since that time, her group and other groups have shown RAN proteins also accumulate in C9orf72ALS/FTD and FXTAS. Dr. Ranum’s group is now focused on understanding the mechanisms of RAN translation and the impact of RAN proteins in neurological disease. 

Committee Members 

Chair

Laura Ranum, PhD
2016-2018
University of Florida

 

William Dauer, MD
2015-2017
University of Michigan

Alica Goldman, MD, PhD
2015-2017
Baylor University

Rebecca F. Gottesman, MD, PhD
2014-2017
Johns Hopkins University

Leigh R. Hochberg, MD, PhD
2014-2017
Johns Hopkins University

David Holtzman, MD
2015-2017
Washington University in St. Louis

Kevin Kerber, MD, MS
2015-2017
University of Michigan

Timothy Miller, MD, PhD
2016-2019
Washington University in St. Louis

Ellen Mowry, MD, MCR 
2016-2019
Johns Hopkins University

Craig M. Powell, MD, PhD
2014-2017
UT Southwestern Medical Center

Gil Rabinovici, MD
2016-2019
University of California, San Francisco

Michael Racke, MD 
2015-2017
Ohio State University

M. Elizabeth Ross, MD, PhD
2015-2018
Weill Cornell Medical College

Rachel Saunders- Pullman, MD, MPH
2016-2019
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Barbara Vickrey, MD, MPH
2015-2017
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Conrad Weihl, MD, PhD
2016-2019
Washington University in St. Louis