Dr. Harding Joins NPKUA Advisory Board

NPKUA LogoThe National PKU Alliance (NPKUA) is pleased to announce the addition of Dr. Cary Harding, Dr. Desiree White and Dr. Jessica Cohen to our Scientific Advisory Board (SAB).  The SAB reviews and recommends funding each year to the Board of Directors for the most promising PKU research projects aimed at promoting advancements in the treatment of PKU and research for a cure. 

Dr. Cary Harding, M.D., F.A.C.M.G. 
Dr. Harding is an Associate professor in the Departments of Molecular and Medical Genetics and Pediatrics at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). He is board certified in pediatrics, clinical genetics, and biochemical genetics. He received his medical degree from the University of Washington followed by pediatric and medical genetics training at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Harding is a founding fellow of the American College of Medical Genetics. He is an attending physician on the OHSU clinical genetics service, the clinical genetics clinic, and the metabolic clinic at Doernbecher Children's Hospital and the medical director of the biochemical genetics laboratory in the Knight Diagnostic Laboratories at OHSU. He is also a clinical consultant to the Northwest Regional Newborn Screening Program and to the State of Idaho Genetics Program. Dr. Harding's basic and clinical research programs are focused upon the development of novel therapies, including gene and cell therapies, for inborn errors of metabolism. Dr. Harding has received the NPKUA Research Grant and renewal in 2011 and 2012.  

Dr. Desiree White, PhD 
Dr. White is a Professor of Psychology at Washington University in St.Louis. Dr. White's Developmental Neuropsychology Laboratory research focuses on cognitive development in typically-developing children and children with damage to frontal brain regions. Primary emphasis is on executive abilities such as working memory, inhibitory control, response monitoring, and strategic processing. Neuroimaging correlates of cognition are examined using methods such as diffusion tensor imaging. Studies of pharmacological effects on brain and cognition are also ongoing. Pediatric populations of particular interest include phenylketonuria, stroke related to sickle cell disease, traumatic brain injury, and prematurity. 

Dr. Jessica Cohen, M.D.
Dr. Cohen recently joined BioMarin as an Associate Medical Director in Medical Affairs. She is the Medical Monitor responsible for the PKUDOS Registry as well as the medical director for clinical research being conducted on sapropterin. Dr. Cohen received her Medical Degree at the Universidad Central de Venezuela in 2001, she continued on with her training in the U.S. pursuing a residency in Pediatrics at Miami Children's Hospital and sub-specializing in Medical Genetics at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York where she went on to stay as an attending physician. In her last couple of years as an Assistant Professor at Mount Sinai, Dr. Cohen was an attending physician for the Program for Inherited Metabolic Diseases at Mount Sinai Medical Center taking care of patients with a wide range of disorders including patients with phenylketonuria at all stages of life, including late treated patients. This program is one of the largest metabolic disease treatment programs in the country and is also a New York State Newborn Screening designated referral center for infants with inherited metabolic diseases, and the leading referral center in the region for the evaluation of patients with suspected inborn errors of metabolism. 

The NPKUA's Scientific Advisory Board reviews and vets the proposals each year that the organization receives through a structured RFP process. The overall funding strategy of the NPKUA is to support research projects that promote advances in the treatment and management of PKU, with the long-term goal of facilitating the development of a cure and to facilitate the growth and expansion of young, innovative researchers working in the inherited metabolic disease field.  The NPKUA Scientific Advisory Board ensures that funds received from local events held throughout the country by families and our local organizations support the most promising, rigorous research in the field. 

About the National PKU Alliance Established in 2008, the National PKU Alliance is a coalition of the many local, state and regional organizations that support PKU families. The NPKUA is dedicated to improving the lives of individuals affected by PKU and pursuing a cure though its signature programs in research, education, support and advocacy.   Visit www.npkua.org to learn more.