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Directors & Scientific Advisors

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Directors & Advisory Board

Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors is a geographically diverse group of directors, with varying backgrounds and expertise. The Board works together at achieving the common goal of improving the diagnosis and treatment of children with PANDAS and PANS.
Andrew Weinstein

Andrew Weinstein

Director
Bio

Andrew Weinstein is a Senior Software Engineer at Altvia Solutions, a software company in Broomfield, CO, providing a Salesforce-based customer relationship management solution for private equity firms. He previously worked as a web developer at White Goose Technology and as an analyst at Princeton Asset Management Group. He has experience with all levels of full-stack web application development, cloud-based infrastructure, and database management.

 

Andrew grew up outside of Boston, first in Sudbury, MA, and later in Hampton, NH. He received a Classical Diploma from Phillips Exeter Academy, where he was an early inductee to the Cum Laude Society and served as co-captain of the cross-country and crew teams. He received his bachelor’s degree in molecular biology with a certificate in neuroscience from Princeton University, where he completed the intensive, two-year Integrated Science curriculum and competed on the lightweight crew and cycling teams. His undergraduate senior thesis at Princeton, which investigated the relationship between auditory processing and behavior in fruit flies, received a departmental prize and contributed to a paper his lab later published in Nature.

 

Although Andrew transitioned to a career in software after college, he retains a deep interest in biology and neuroscience. He first learned about PANDAS when his close friend Alex, who was a classmate at both Exeter and Princeton, died from complications of the illness in 2018. He knew that she had hoped to educate people about the disease, and he joined the PANDAS Network board to help make that happen.

 

Andrew currently resides in Boulder, CO, where he spends as much time as he can outdoors and in the mountains. He is an accomplished amateur triathlete who also enjoys hiking and skiing, and when at home, he can often be found playing the guitar or doing a crossword puzzle.

Angelique LeDoux

Angelique LeDoux

Director
Bio

Angelique LeDoux is a writer and picture editor turned education advocate based in New York City. She is the founder and executive director of Parents of Accelerated Learners, NYC (PALNYC), a non-profit that supports the cognitive, social and emotional needs of high potential youth by helping parents navigate quality programs, mentoring opportunities, and educational technologies that support them as learners. PALNYC is the founding organizer of the NYC Gifted & Talented Symposium, the NYC Ed Tech Family Day Event and the NYC
Gifted & Talented Youth Week.

In addition to her passion for supporting education and ed tech innovation through her own work, LeDoux has been a supporter and investor in numerous IMPACT endeavors including the female-focused angel group Golden Seeds and socially responsible Investors Circle. She remains an active investor particularly interested in individualized medicine and brain research that focuses on the origins of, potential treatments for, and common threads among neurodegenerative disorders, immune-mediated disease and autoimmunity that effects those with movement disorders, PANDAS/PANS, TS, ET, Autism, Parkinsons, Alzheimers, MS, ALS, mental illness and rare disease.

In 2018, as a Board Member for the California-based, pediatric non-profit PANDAS Network, LeDoux co-convened more than 800 clinicians, researchers and parents for an inaugural 2-day Common Threads: Post-Infectious Autoimmune Diseases of the Brain Conference at Columbia University. The international, interdisciplinary conference sought to create awareness for pediatric brain disease and break down the silos in medicine by bringing together clinical and research experts in the areas of neurology, immunology, psychology, psychiatry, infectious
disease, genetics by exploring the commonalities among post-infectious autoimmune disease models and best practices for treatment.

Prior to her non-profit focus, LeDoux launched Jade’s ToyBox, an educational and eco-friendly children’s toy company and pop-up concept with collections that were named to Dr. Toy’s 100 Best Children’s Products of 2010 and listed on Dr. Toy’s Socially Responsible Products for 2010. Before following the path of her entrepreneurial father, LeDoux was an editor and writer at TIME for Kids Magazine, the Associated Press and a writer and photographer at numerous publications. She taught one of the country’s first university courses on digital photography at Southern Methodist University in the early 1990s and remains a supporter of technology and
innovation in education.

LeDoux received an MA in both Journalism and Fine Art Photography from New York University and went on to pursue a Graduate Certificate in Gifted Education from Rutgers University to better support her own advanced learner. That journey led her to launch PALNYC in 2011 to help other parents support their child’s strengths and talents.

LeDoux resides in New York City with her now 13-year-old daughter, Jade, and spends every chance she can in Austin, Texas or on a bicycle heading downhill.

Angelique may be reached at: angeliqueledoux@mac.com

Chris Walters

Chris Walters

Director
Bio
Chris Walters is a registered patent attorney and father of three. He is familiar with a wide range of cutting edge technologies. He is also passionate about advancing medical research into the connections between the immune system and mental health. Having seen PANDAS first hand, he has committed to working with PANDAS Network to support research into the biological mechanisms of PANDAS/PANS and effective treatments, as well as to promote wider access to expert medical care.
Christy Jagdfeld

Christy Jagdfeld

Treasurer
Bio

Christy Jagdfeld is a CPA that resides in the Lake Country area of Wisconsin. She became a fierce patient advocate after her youngest child was diagnosed with several chronic illnesses in 2012.

Jagdfeld worked for six years as a volunteer and eventual Board Member/Treasurer, of Dysautonomia International (2014-2020). During that time, she organized a local 300 person annual awareness event, a 5K, and a successful 300 patient and clinician seminar on POTS & Dysautonomia held at St. Luke’s in Milwaukee. She was co-chair of the Dysautonomia International Wisconsin Support group with 1000+ members and helped organize monthly in-person meetings, many with speakers. She attended local conferences and also spoke at local events. On a national level, she helped with fundraising, networking, attended professional conferences, and many business aspects of the organization. She credits that experience to learning many of the ins and outs of volunteering with a non-profit and hopes to bring that experience to PANDAS Network as the organization continues to grow.

In addition to her passion for patient advocacy, she shares a love for competitive swimming with 2 of her 3 children. She continues to serve on the Board of Directors for Waukesha Express Swim Team for 8+ years and has traveled the country to hundreds of state and national events for the past 16 years. Both girls swam club, high school, and collegiately. She credits swimming and wonderful coaches with helping her youngest through some of the hardest times of her life battling chronic illness. She also has a son who continues to share his musical talents with the Wisconsin Singers at the University of Wisconsin Madison.

Jagdfeld also enjoys boating, biking, spending time with her husband and is an avid knitter. She looks forward to the day when families no longer have to search years for a diagnosis and treatment for chronic illnesses such as PANDAS, POTS, and EDS.

Diana Pohlman

Diana Pohlman

Executive Director
Bio
Video: Thoughts on PANDAS and Autoimmune Encephalitis

Founded in 2009, Diana has built PANDAS Network (PN) from the ground up by developing stakeholder outreach, marketing, and collaborating with healthcare experts.  PN has grown from the story of her one child and the outstretched hand of another mother from Illinois that has traveled this path as well.  Together they discussed their paths from treatment to healing, which has now grown to many 1000’s of families worldwide.  In 2013, PN was honored to be chosen as a National Institute of Mental Health Outreach Partner. PN continues to be the leader in driving awareness of this emerging, encephalitic illness (PANDAS/PANS).

 

The primary initiative of PN has been to lead investigation in early research of the PANDAS-PANS diseases with seed-money grants funded by families.  This has proven to be a critical step in the growing recognition of this illness. Research from each Center of Excellence in the U.S. indicates that the blood brain barrier is impacted by the autoimmune system in PANDAS-PANS—and this promises to open, forever, new pathways into brain science.

 

Secondly, as Executive Director, Diana has driven growth of awareness through the organization and support of national & international conferences (beginning in 2011 in California) to the latest conference, “Common Threads Among Post Infectious Autoimmune Diseases of the Brain” (Columbia Univ. 2018) that was attended by 800 persons and received national media attention (NBC News).  Building community is the driving force of PN leadership in the field. PN will continue to lead in the expansion of interdisciplinary dialogue and partnerships with medical associations and nonprofit organizations worldwide.

 

Diana’s long-term goal is to wipe out the devastation of encephalitic illnesses like PANDAS-PANS, autoimmune encephalitis and Sydenham Chorea, and, tie our community’s cutting edge research into the growing revelations surrounding the crosstalk of the immune system and the brain.

Heather Korbmacher

Heather Korbmacher

Secretary
Bio
Heather Korbmacher’s passion is to ensure that marginalized children’s needs are met. An Author, Educator, Speaker, Coach, and Advocate, she earned a Master’s degree in Exceptional Children, is a National Board Certified Teacher, and founder of Courageous Educational Services, LLC. With over 20 years of experience working with children with challenging behaviors, Heather utilizes her practical skills, training, and expertise to raise awareness about PANDAS/PANS/PAE and to empower parents and professionals alike to support the children they care for. She resides in Bellingham, WA with her loving husband and two tenacious children.
Sarah Lemley

Sarah Lemley

Director
Bio

Sarah Lemley, MPA, HA is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Northwest PANDAS/PANS Network and the mother of a 12 year old daughter.  In her role as ED for NWPPN she has hosted the first Northwest PANDAS/PANS Provider roundtable, coordinated 5 Grand Rounds, introduced legislation in Oregon and Washington, created the first Northwest Walk 4 Research, and supported over 400 families in the Northwest. Prior to her work establishing NWPPN she has worked in healthcare for two decades. As a healthcare administrator she has been responsible for managing multiple medical clinics at once, overseeing a Primary Care/Behavioral Health Clinic for medical students at an Academic Medical Institution and launching a new line of service across the state for a national healthcare provider.  As a healthcare social worker she has provided support to hospital patients, long-term care residents and the homebound. She received her graduate degree in Public Administration; Health Administration from Portland State University and her undergraduate degree from University of Oregon. She is proud to have volunteered for many years as a rape victim advocate with the District Attorney’s office in Multnomah, Clackamas and Lane county.  This past state election, she was elected to be a Precinct Committee Person for Oregon District 35. She also serves on the OCD Oregon Board as Secretary.

She is passionate about elevating PANDAS/PANS as a disease model with the guiding belief that the research will get us there. An advocate at heart, she is not afraid to use her voice and is committed to easing the road for families to come.

William “Towny” Manfull

William “Towny” Manfull

Director
Bio

William “Towny” Manfull began his professional career in the printing industry.  He began, fresh out of college, working for a leading printing press manufacturer, and quickly moved up to several senior executive roles with some of the largest global printing companies.  As the printing industry declined, he successfully transitioned to media technology sales and is currently a Sales Director for Brightcove, a Boston-based video technology company.

Towny (short for Townsend, his middle name) has long sought to serve his community in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.  For nine years, he served on the Board of Director–four years of which he was President–of the Wentworth-Gardner and Tobias Lear Houses Association, two 18th-century historic properties near his own 18th-century home.  For three years, he was a member of the Board of Directors of Maine’s renowned Ogunquit Playhouse.

Towny, in 2005, joined the Board of Directors of the Seacoast African American Cultural Center, an organization, founded by his daughter’s second-grade teacher, that is devoted to celebrating the lives and achievements of black people with emphasis on the unique story of African Americans in the New Hampshire Seacoast region. Perhaps because Towny spent his formative years in the Central African Republic and then Liberia where, in both countries, his father served as U.S. Ambassador, he recognizes the value of building and living in multi-cultural communities. He currently serves as Vice-President of the Board.

In 2018, after his only daughter Alexandra died due to PANDAS, he joined the Pandas Network Board to actively work toward fulfilling the Board’s mission of improving the diagnosis and treatment of PANDAS and PANS.  Towny and Susan established the Alex Manfull Memorial Fund supporting Research, Education, and Treatment of PANDAS in Adolescents and Young Adults in the hope that no other life will be cut short due to PANDAS.

Towny continues to live in Portsmouth, New Hampshire where you might find him working on his 250-year-old home, taking photographs, tasting wine for Provence WineZine, an online magazine he and his wife founded, or off leading small-group tours to Provence.

Scientific Advisors

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Dr. Dritan Agalliu

Dr. Dritan Agalliu

Columbia University Medical Center, Neuroscience & Chair, PANDAS Network SAB
Bio
Departments of Neurology, Pathology and Cell Biology, Pharmacology
Research in my laboratory is focused on understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate formation of the blood-brain barrier in the central nervous system ( CNS) and the mechanisms of barrier breakdown in a variety of CNS diseases such as stroke and autoimmune diseases having symptoms that include blood-brain barrier failure, using a variety of genetic, molecular, cellular and imaging approaches. We have developed novel mouse strains that allow us to visualize changes in structural components of the blood-brain barrier, namely tight junctions and caveolae, in living animals for several CNS diseases (e.g. stroke and multiple sclerosis) in order to understand the cellular mechanisms underlying barrier impairment in these neurological disorders. In addition, we are investigating the role of Wnt/β-catenin signaling in development of the CNS vasculature and formation of the blood-brain barrier, and we are exploring the role of this pathway in repairing the barrier in diseases where its function is compromised (e.g. stroke and autoimmune disorders). Finally, we are investigating the mechanisms of immune cells entry into the CNS in a novel animal model for a neuropsychiatric disorder caused by multiple Streptococcus pyogenes infections, in order to understand how immune cells induce neurovascular, synaptic and behavioral deficits in the brain

http://columbiaagalliulab.org/

Dr. Elizabeth Latimer

Dr. Elizabeth Latimer

Neurology (Georgetown Univ. faculty)
Bio

M. Elizabeth Latimer, MD received her medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston Massachusetts. She completed her residencies in Pediatrics and Neurology at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC, with special certification in Child Neurology. She served as chief of the Child Neurology Division at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, DC for five years, prior to practicing at Fairfax Hospital in Virginia.

In 2000, Dr. Latimer opened her practice of Child and Adolescent Neurology in Bethesda, MD, where she provided treatment for autism, ADHD, migraines, and other neurological conditions. She’s currently practicing out of her office in Washington DC conveniently located in the heart of Georgetown. In addition to her general neurology and headache practice, Dr. Latimer specializes in caring for PANDAS patients, and cerebral palsy patients who require spasticity management.

To view Dr. Latimer’s complete resume CLICK HERE (pdf file).

Throughout her years of working in the field of Child and Adolescent Neurology, Dr. Latimer has been involved with several health and non-profit organizations. She was a founding Board Member of the Catholic Coalition for Special Education, and served on the Board between 2004 and 2009. Additionally, Dr. Latimer is currently a member of:

Dr. Latimer has also had the honor of presenting at several events for the Child Neurology Society, the American Academy of Neurology, and has appeared in national news media as an expert in Child and Adolescent Neurology topics. Recently she was invited as a speaker for NIH, Pandas Working Group, International OCD foundation, New England Pandas Association, and Pandas d’italia.

For her commitment to her patients, and excellent service, Dr. Latimer has received recognition such as being named as a Top Doctor by the Washingtonian Magazine from 1994-2012, and also received the Compassionate Doctor Award.

While the Latimer Neurology Center works with a wide variety of neurological disorders, many of the patients we receive are for PANS and PANDAS. We are proud to be able to help children with these conditions get treatment and improve their quality of life.

In addition to PANS and PANDAS, other conditions we commonly treat include:

  • Early childhood developmental concerns
  • Autism
  • Migraine and headache management – all ages
  • ADHD
Dr. Madeleine  Cunningham, Ph.D.

Dr. Madeleine Cunningham, Ph.D.

University of Oklahoma College of Medicine
Bio
Microbiology and Immunology

George Lynn Cross Research Professor of Autoimmunity and Infection

https://www.oumedicine.com/mi/faculty/madeleine-w-cunningham-phd

Kyle Williams, MD, PhD

Kyle Williams, MD, PhD

Director, Pediatric Neuropsychiatry and Immunology Program at Mass. General
Bio
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Dr. Kyle Williams completed his residency, fellowship (in child psychiatry), and PhD (in Investigative Medicine/Neuroimmunology) at the Yale School of Medicine and Yale School of Graduate Studies.  In 2013 he joined the faculty of Harvard Medical School and founded the Pediatric Neuropsychiatry and Immunology Program at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he treats children with PANDAS/PANS and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and conduct research on the role of the immune system in shaping behavior.  

He’s authored multiple peer-reviewed journal articles and book-chapters on PANDAS, OCD, and Tourette Syndrome, and recognition throughout the years in the form of awards from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Outstanding Resident Award from the National Institute of Mental Health, and recently the Early Career Award in OCD Studies from the University of Toronto.  He has conducted research on OCD/PANDAS and Tourette Syndrome, and have evaluated and treated hundreds of children and adults with these conditions.

Most importantly, he greatly enjoys helping people manage and overcome the challenges that OCD, PANDAS, and anxiety disorders can present in their lives and the lives of their children.

Robert S. Fujinami, PhD

Robert S. Fujinami, PhD

University of Utah School of Medicine
Bio
Departments of Neurology (Adjunct Professor) and Pathology (Professor)

Robert Fujinami received his B.A. from the University of Utah through the then Honor Program in Microbiology. He completed his Ph.D. at Northwestern University and received post-doctoral training and Assistant Professorship at The Scripps Research Institute. Prior to coming to the University of Utah as Professor, he was an Associate Professor at University of California, San Diego. He was the first Harry M. Weaver Neuroscience Scholar of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, an AAAS fellow, recipient of Javits Neuroscience Scholar Award (NIH), and Vice President for the International Society for NeuroVirology. He has served as a member on 5 different NIH study sections and a recipient of NIH funding for over 30 years. His lab studies preclinical models for the understanding and treatment of multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. His University service includes Chair of the Promotion, Retention and Tenure and Tenure Faculty Review Committees in the Department of Neurology, University of Utah Biosafety Committee and SOM Faculty Appointment Review Advancement Committee. He has served as member on the University Promotions and Tenure Advisory Committee, Academic Senate Task Force on Retention Promotion Tenure Procedures, University Research Committee, IACUC, Personnel & Elections Committee, the Academic Senate (twice) and President of the Academic Senate.