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BrightFocus Foundation
Board of Directors

BrightFocus is governed by a Board of Directors composed of ten members and two honorary members with a broad range of experience and expertise. The members work collaboratively to ensure good stewardship of donor contributions to fund the highest quality research worldwide, and to help the organization meet its goal of educating the public about diseases of mind and sight. To carry out these responsibilities, the board formulates plans, defines goals and objectives, and evaluates the success of BrightFocus in achieving its mission. Board members approve BrightFocus' financial performance and review expenditures. They accept recommendations from the Scientific Review Committees on research applications and make final grant selections. The board meets a minimum of three times each year.

Members of the BrightFocus Board of Directors

Paul Greengard, Ph.D. - Photo provided courtesy of the Rockefeller University

Honorary Member
Paul Greengard, Ph.D.

In 2010, Nobel laureate Dr. Paul Greengard accepted BrightFocus' offer to become an honorary member of our Board of Directors. Greengard won the 2000 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his scientific contributions to our understanding of “signal transduction in the nervous system.” He shares this prize with his colleagues, Drs. Arvid Carlsson and Eric R. Kandel. Greengard's groundbreaking research demonstrated that a chemical “chain reaction” sequentially “turns on” a series of proteins by a process called phosphorylation when nerve transmitters (like dopamine and noradrenaline) arrive at their intended destinations. In Alzheimer's disease, this chain reaction becomes disturbed in memory-forming parts of the brain, contributing to development of the disease. Greengard's prolific research career continues at the Rockefeller University, where he has held the Vincent Astor Professorship since 1983. Recently, Greengard's exciting work has highlighted an existing anti-cancer drug that might be leveraged to fight Alzheimer's disease as well as cancer. BrightFocus is both grateful for and honored by the time and effort that Greengard, a world-renowned researcher and former BrightFocus grantee, contributes to the BrightFocus mission.

Read more about Dr. Greengard and his work.

Stanley B. Prusiner, M.D.

Honorary Member
Stanley B. Prusiner, M.D.

In 2007, Dr. Stanley B. Prusiner accepted BrightFocus' offer to become an honorary member of our Board of Directors. Prusiner won the 1997 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discovery of prions, infectious proteins in the brain that cause bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow” disease) and in humans, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. There are similarities between the loss of brain function in prion diseases and in Alzheimer's disease. Both prions and beta-amyloid, respectively, are natural human proteins that, under certain conditions, can form harmful deposits in the brain. Prusiner's dedication to understanding how prion disease begins and develops may one day lead to a treatment and cure for Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative and aging conditions. Prusiner continues his work as the Director of the Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases and Professor of Neurology at the University of California, San Francisco where he has worked since 1972. In October 2010, he was named by the President to receive the National Medal of Science, the United States of America's highest honor for science and technology. BrightFocus is extremely proud that Prusiner, a world-renowned researcher and former BrightFocus grantee, has committed his time and efforts to our mission.

Read more about Dr. Prusiner and his work.

Grace Frisone

Chair
Grace Frisone

Grace Frisone, a six year veteran of the BrightFocus Board, is a financial services executive with 30 years of experience in business development, strategy and e-commerce. She spent the bulk of her career with JP Morgan in New York and Milan where she developed business with Fortune 100 companies, banks and government agencies and high net worth individuals. From 2002 until 2006 she was the Director of Trust and Asset Management at Capital One Bank. She was a member of the board of Capital One Asset Management and responsible for $4 billion in personal and institutional assets, including the bank's mutual funds. Previously she held positions with ING Furman Selz Asset Management in New York and at FOLIO[fn], a e-commerce company. Frisone holds a B.A. from Long Island University, and an M.I.A and M.B.A. from Columbia University.


"My mother died of Alzheimer's disease and a close friend has macular degeneration. I know what my mother went through, how my friend lives, and how their friends and family have been affected. We urgently need to find cures for these diseases. BrightFocus funds basic research to do this. Serving on the BrightFocus Board is my small way of contributing to this necessary work."

Michael H. Barnett, Esq.

Vice Chair
Michael H. Barnett, Esq.

Mr. Michael Barnett is Of Counsel to the law firm of Lieber & Associates, LLC, a firm specializing in healthcare law. He serves on the Board of Directors of several not-for-profit organizations including the Fiver Children's Foundation and the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health Alumni Association. Barnett served as the New York State gubernatorial appointee to the New York State Hospital Review and Planning Council, serving on the Council's Executive Committee and as chairman of the Project Review Committee. He has received numerous awards including two for alumni of Columbia University. Barnett holds a B.A. from Colgate University, and an M.S. in Hospital Administration and a J.D., both from Columbia University.


"With more and more people living longer, I became increasingly concerned about the quality of life for the aging population, including myself. The impact that neurodegenerative diseases have on the individual and his or her loved ones can be devastating–emotionally, physically, and financially. Through service on the BrightFocus Board of Directors, I felt this was an exceptional opportunity to devote my time and energy to BrightFocus' mission to support scientific research aimed at finding effective treatments, and eventually cures, for the diseases that BrightFocus has dedicated itself to–Alzheimer's, macular degeneration, and glaucoma."

Nicholas W. Raymond

Treasurer
Nicholas W. Raymond

Treasurer Nicholas Raymond is a retired retail banker with experience in lending, investments, and insurance. Raymond, a U.S. Army combat veteran of five wars, worked in special operations command and was a Green Beret. He retired in 2009 after 39 years of active and reserve duty. A resident of Silver Spring, Md., Raymond received a B.A. from the Virginia Military Institute and an M.B.A. from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.


"It is not often in this day and age that one can be part of something that can really make a difference in people's lives. We all have jobs and try to get through life as best we can but rarely can we influence something as important as finding a cure for diseases. I have found it tremendously rewarding to be part of an organization so involved in that process. I am positive the time and effort we put into this is very well spent, and I am looking forward to continuing the effort."

Scott Rodgville, CPA

Secretary
Scott Rodgville, CPA

In 2007 Mr. Scott Rodgville joined the firm of Gorfine, Schiller & Gardyn, P.A., as an Officer, leading the firm's Not-for-profit/Employee Benefit Plans service area. He specializes in the needs of not-for-profit organizations performing financial statement audits, quality control reviews and assisting clients in streamlining and strengthening their internal controls and operating efficiencies. In 2011 he was named one of Baltimore's Top 50 Accountants in Smart CEO Magazine. Rodgville serves as treasurer of Paul's Place, Inc. located in Baltimore, Maryland, an outreach center providing quality of life programs and resources for the community. Rodgville received his CPA certification in 1998 and earned a MS degree in Taxation from the University of Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland and a Bachelor in Accounting degree from Towson State University, Towson, Maryland.


"My grandmother was an active woman who worked well into her 70s. At that point macular degeneration had taken enough of her vision that she could no longer work or drive. Witnessing the loss of her vision was heartbreaking for me. So when the opportunity to be a part of an organization with a mission like BrightFocus was presented to me, it was a calling that I simply could not resist."

Brian K. Regan, Ph.D.

Brian K. Regan, Ph.D.

Dr. Regan has been the Vice President of Quality and Patient Safety for New York-Presbyterian Hospital and New York-Presbyterian Healthcare System since November of 2010. From 2003-2010, he was the Director of Administration at New York-Presbyterian Healthcare System where he led system development and management. From 1991-2003, he was the Vice President of Professional Services at the Brooklyn Hospital Center in New York, where he was responsible for 14 departments, including risk management and quality improvement. From 1983-1991, Regan was engaged in risk management at Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, New York, eventually becoming an Associate Vice President and Director of Risk Management. He began his career at St. Francis Hospital in Roslyn, New York, and then worked for several years as a researcher, consultant and program evaluation specialist. Regan holds a Ph.D. in Psychology from Hofstra University.


"I believe we all have an essential responsibility to fight these devastating diseases and to help those at risk. As a board member, I'm proud to play a part in supporting the best science and providing valuable resources for affected individuals, their families, and friends."

Dr. Henry Pownall

Henry J. Pownall, Ph.D.

Dr. Henry Pownall is a senior member of The Methodist Hospital Research Institute, Houston, Texas. He serves on numerous editorial boards, scientific review panels, and professional societies, and has published more than 200 peer-reviewed research papers. Pownall has served on the boards of several national public service organizations and is a past president of the Houston Homeowners Association. He has received several service and scientific awards and was named Person of the Year by the Southwest Chamber of Commerce. Pownall holds several degrees in chemistry: a B.S. from Elizabethtown College, an M.S. from Wilkes College, and a Ph.D. from Northeastern University. He was also a research fellow in chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Houston and Baylor College of Medicine respectively. He maintains an active research program that focuses on new therapies for heart disease and stroke and on the identification of mechanistic links between obesity-linked diabetes and disorders of cholesterol and fat metabolism.


"Being part of the BrightFocus board has been a rewarding experience. After caring for and then losing my mother to Alzheimer's disease it was easy to hear the clarion call to BrightFocus service. I like being part of the BrightFocus mission, which supports basic research in the fight against age-related diseases. As an active research scientist, I also enjoy seeing the other essential dimensions of biomedical research-selection of the most promising scientific projects, dissemination of the latest research findings by our dedicated BrightFocus investigators, and importantly, raising funds for research support."

Diane I. Marcello

Diane I. Marcello

Since 1999, Ms. Diane Marcello has been the administrator at Sunnyside Nursing Home and Assisted Living in Sarasota, Florida. Prior to this, she was the director of rehabilitation services at Sunnyside Village Retirement Community. She is currently a member of the executive committee and chair-elect for LeadingAge Florida, a not-for-profit advocacy organization for senior housing and services. Marcello is also the past chair of public policy for this nonprofit. As a speech language pathologist, Marcello has worked in rehabilitation hospitals, home health agencies, long-term care facilities, and schools. Since 1992, she has been a speaker, sharing her experiences and expertise in professional and community education on topics ranging from dementia and Parkinson's disease to leadership and best practices. Marcello has been involved in education since 1972 and has taught at the elementary, middle school, and university levels. She holds a B.A., an M.S. and an M.Ed. from the University of South Florida.


"Having worked in the geriatric field for over twenty years, I have become acutely aware of the devastation Alzheimer's disease, macular degeneration, and glaucoma have on the elderly and their families. Being part of a Board whose mission is to fund research to cure these debilitating diseases is very rewarding. It is energizing to imagine a world without memory and vision problems. I believe by volunteering on the Board and financially supporting BrightFocus, I am actively doing something to make a difference for future generations."

Eltjo (Ed) R. Schoonveld

Eltjo (Ed) R. Schoonveld

Eltjo Schoonveld is a Principal with ZS Associates in New York, NY and Leader of their Market Access and Pricing Practice. He has extensive experience in pharmaceutical marketing and pricing from both the corporate pharma and consultancy & research perspective. He has gained extensive experience in the pharmaceutical industry through various sales, marketing and general management positions for Lederle, Wyeth, Eli Lilly and BMS in the United States and Europe. Schoonveld has gained deep expertise in Global Drug Pricing and Reimbursement as the responsible leader for global pricing and health economics groups in Wyeth, Eli Lilly and BMS. Prior to his recent leadership position at BMS, He has been leading Pricing and Reimbursement consulting practices in Cambridge Pharma/IMS, Analytica International and his own consultancy firm. During this time he has advised many large drug companies on product pricing & market access strategy, global pricing policy and internal organizational and process challenges. Schoonveld is the author of "The Price of Global Health," a recent book about global drug pricing and market access related topics, written for both professionals and others interested in the field. He holds an M.S. from the Delft University of Technology and an M.B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles.


"Through my professional experience I have found that devastating diseases such as Alzheimer's disease are under recognized as a source of human suffering. In that context, it has been a tremendously rewarding experience to work with such a professional and motivated BrightFocus staff, fellow board members and the scientific community to encourage scientists to seek solutions to these diseases. In addition, I have very much enjoyed the global reach of the programs and the warm collaboration with partner organizations in Germany, France, Belgium and The Netherlands. I have high hopes that through our collective grant programs, we can help scientific talent to find breakthrough solutions and “cures” in these disease areas."

June Kinoshita

June Kinoshita

Science journalist, editor, web site and social media strategic consultant, Ms. June Kinoshita joined the BrightFocus board in 2011. She is the Executive Director of the FacioScapuloHumeral (FSH) Muscular Dystrophy Society in Watertown, MA., co-founder of Hanoa Productions, and co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer of SociaLife. Kinoshita was the co-founder and Executive Editor of the Alzheimer Research Forum ("Alzforum") and continues to serve there as a senior advisor. She was co-principal investigator with the Massachusetts General Hospital center for interdisciplinary informatics on SWAN (Semantic Web Applications in Neuromedicine). She previously co-founded and served as Chief Information Officer of N-of-One, Inc.

Kinoshita consults to companies and foundations on neurodegenerative disease and molecular oncology. She is a member of the advisory council of the M.I.T.-Harvard Medical School Division of Health Sciences and Technology and participates in numerous scientific advisory boards. As a journalist, Kinoshita has published hundreds of articles for national publications and contributed to several television programs. She served on the editorial board of Scientific American magazine and is a consulting editor to the journal Science.

June graduated from Harvard College, where she concentrated in physics.


"I'm excited to be joining the BrightFocus team. It's a forward-thinking organization in every way, from its focus on funding trailblazing research to its ability to evolve to meet the challenges of changing demographics and new technology."

Judith F. Lee

Judith F. Lee

Joining the BrightFocus board in 2011, Ms. Judith Lee brings corporate and nonprofit experience to the organization. She served as vice president of J.P. Morgan & Co., Inc. from 1973 to 1997, managing corporate finance relationships and product development for corporations and government entities in the United States and Venezuela. She managed the company's Caracas office from 1981 to 1984 and later served as product manager for employee stock ownership plans. From 1993 to 1997, she managed products for high net worth investors.

Lee was a board member of the Maria Mitchell Association, a science education and research organization, from 1998 to 2007, serving as board president during her final six years there. She has volunteered with the Nantucket Public School system, serving on its strategic planning committee and chairing the search committee for the new superintendent of schools. Lee graduated from Vassar College with a BA in Economics. She earned an MBA from the University of Michigan.


"While my own background is financial, I have always had an interest in furthering the interests of science education and research. BrightFocus' mission supports excellent science and fosters the continuing development of young medical researchers. I jumped at the chance to work with the team at BrightFocus. They do what interests me while curing some of the most difficult scourges of my generation."

Last Review: 02/05/14


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