Cure SMA Welcomes Aboard New Board and Committee Members

Recently, Cure SMA confirmed three new board members and one new committee member. These new members will provide additional leadership in the areas of advocacy, FDA/regulation, and research. We extend a warm welcome to new board members Kelly Cole; Doug Kerr, MD, PhD, MBA; and Thomas Murray, PhD.

We also extend a warm welcome to new committee member Sierra Kulas. Ms. Kulas will serve on our Nominating and Governance Committee.

The last several years in particular have seen great progress for our community, in multiple areas. Six drugs are now in clinical trials, and one is currently being prepared for FDA submission. Initiatives are underway to improve the standard of care for SMA, and we’ve been given multiple opportunities to share our community’s voice with the FDA as part of the Patient-Focused Drug Development Initiative.

These new appointments will support the board’s ongoing strategic work in all these areas, providing necessary expertise and leadership as we move closer to our goal of approved treatments for SMA.

About Our New Board Members

Kelly Cole is the Senior Vice President for Government Affairs at CTIA, the Washington, DC-based trade association representing the wireless industry. Kelly has deep Capitol Hill relationships and has spent over 15 years working on federal policy and national politics. Kelly has been actively involved in raising funds for the annual Cure SMA dinner in Washington, DC since its inception.

Doug Kerr is the Global Development Team Lead and vice president for neurodegeneration at Shire. In this capacity, Doug is responsible for the lysosomal storage diseases and other neurology programs in adults and children. Doug joined Shire from Biogen, where he spent 7 years with most of his time in Neurology R&D. Doug is a neurologist and neuroscientist with over 120 publications in medical journals. Doug completed his neurology residency training at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and then served on the faculty there an Associate Professor of Neurology with joint appointments in the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology and Cellular and Molecular Medicine. Doug received his MD degree from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, his PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular biology also from Jefferson Medical College, and his MBA with a specialization in entrepreneurship and finance from Northeastern University.

Thomas H. Murray is President Emeritus of The Hastings Center. He served as President and CEO of Hastings from 1999 until 2012. Prior to returning to Hastings, he was Director of the Center for Biomedical Ethics at Case Western University School of Medicine and Susan E. Watson Professor of Bioethics (1987-1999) From 2014-2016 he held the Chen Su Lan Centennial Chair (Visiting) at the National University of Singapore School of Medicine. From 1996 through 2001 he served as Presidential appointee on the National Bioethics Advisory Commission and as chair of its Genetics subcommittee. He serves on many editorial boards and has been president of the Society for Health and Human Values and the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities. In 2004 he received an honorary Doctor of Medicine degree from Uppsala University, the Henry Knowles Beecher Award from The Hastings Center in 2012, and the Patricia Price Browne Prize in 2013.

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