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Metrodora Foundation Announces New Scientific Advisory Board

Metrodora Foundation Announces New Scientific Advisory Board
Board Will Serve as Strategic Advisors to Accelerate Research for Millions of Patients Living With Chronic, Multisystem Disorders

Metrodora Foundation, a non-profit organization focused on catalyzing scientific collaboration and discovery to find new diagnostics, treatments and cures for chronic, multisystem disorders, today announced the creation of a new Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) that will provide strategic guidance and consult on the Foundation’s research strategy. The SAB brings deep expertise in life sciences, clinical research, technology, and industry to Metrodora, and a commitment to advancing collaborative, data-driven science that improves patient outcomes. 

Steve Gardner, PhD, and CEO at PrecisionLife, and Rohit Gupta, Chief Scientific Officer and Head of R&D at Metrodora Institute, will serve as co-chairs of the SAB. Initial members also include: Oved Amitay, former President and CEO, Solve ME/CFS Initiative; Mark Bouzyk, PhD, President, CSO and co-founder, AllaiHealth Inc.; Steven Hicks, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine; Holden Maecker, PhD, Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, and Director of the Human Immune Monitoring Center, Stanford University; and Peter Rowe, MD, Professor of Pediatrics, Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

"Inherent to Metrodora’s mission is bringing together the most respected leaders from science, technology and business who will help to identify and dismantle the silos and obstacles that slow down progress for patients," said Fidji Simo, President of the Metrodora Foundation. "It will take the brightest minds across diverse fields — from genomics to immunology to artificial intelligence and computational biology — to understand these conditions and develop cures. We couldn’t be more pleased to have this esteemed group of scientific thought leaders collaborating to accelerate critical research for patients living with complex chronic conditions."

By assembling experts with a track record of working across innovative modalities, the SAB will enable Metrodora to develop cutting-edge research programs and improve patient outcomes for patients living with these conditions. Typically triggered by an immune-activating event, such as an infection, surgery, injury or hormone change, these conditions include Long-Covid, ME/CFS, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), Migraine and other pain-related conditions, Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes, Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, Sjögrens Syndrome, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Irritable Bowel Disorder (IBD). 

“Nothing speaks more deeply to me and to each of us at PrecisionLife than pioneering discovery for the complex, chronic disease population. It’s an honor to serve as Scientific Advisory Board Chair for Metrodora Foundation and to partner with other leaders to develop a robust research program to uncover the biological drivers of these underserved conditions which impact millions,“ said Steve Gardner, CEO of PrecisionLife. 

Metrodora Scientific Advisory Board Member Bios 

Oved Amitay is a pharmacologist by training, a drug developer by trade, and a patient advocate by choice. He has over 25 years of extensive drug development experience in the biotech industry. Until recently, Amitay served as President and Chief Executive Officer at the Solve ME/CFS Initiative — a national organization devoted to making Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (also known as chronic fatigue syndrome or ME/CFS) and other infection-associated diseases, such as Long-Covid, understood, diagnosed and treatable. Amitay continues to be an advisor to the organization and is currently focused on advancing point-of-care diagnostic tools for these diseases.   

Mark Bouzyk, PhD, is President, CSO and co-founder of AllaiHealth Inc. Prior to AllaiHealth, Dr. Bouzyk  co-founded and was CSO of AKESOgen, Inc., a genomics and precision medicine company — now part of Tempus Laboratories of Chicago, Illinois. Prior to AKESOgen, Dr. Bouzyk was a faculty member in the Department of Human Genetics at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, where he served as a Director of the Emory Biomarker Service Center (EBSC) and Director, Basic Research Shared Core Resources, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, as well as Director of the Center for Medical Genomics — which he established. During this time, he was instrumental in the Winship Cancer Institute gaining NIH Cancer Center Status — a first for any institute in the state of Georgia.

Steve Gardner, PhD, has over 30 years’ experience building world-class teams, products and companies in precision medicine, drug discovery and computational biology in the UK, EU and USA. Dr. Gardner specializes in AI-enabled drug discovery and precision medicine, semantic data integration and complex data analytics for life science, healthcare, and clinical decision support. He has developed world-leading genomics, digital health, and informatics technologies, including several patented inventions. He was Global Director of Research Informatics for Astra and was heavily involved in developing some of the core informatics systems used by major genomics companies during the initial Human Genome project. He has worked extensively with major pharma companies on over 30 drug discovery and safety projects.

Rohit Gupta is Chief Scientific Officer and Head of R&D at Metrodora Institute. He brings over 20 years of experience in life sciences. Known as one of the world’s foremost biobanking experts, Gupta has pioneered methodology to rethink how we drive scientific discovery using biospecimens and data as the vehicle for novel clinical applications. He was the principal architect behind the institution's clinical trials and biobanking efforts at Stanford. At UCSF, Gupta rolled out a vision for next-generation biobanking, enabling cutting-edge biomedical research and precision medicine. Gupta has spearheaded innovation, R&D, and business development efforts for several industry companies, most recently as Chief Medical Officer of Spectrum Solutions where he drove a vision to improve access to healthcare through novel medical devices and laboratory diagnostics.

Steve Hicks, MD, PhD, is an Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics at the Penn State Neuroscience Institute and Director of Research for the Division of Academic General Pediatrics at Penn State University. He oversees studies that involve patients within the general pediatrics clinics. His goal is to safeguard quality care for clinic patients while supervising novel research with the potential to advance delivery of that care. He is also the physician director of the Pediatric Research Resources Office and diagnostic thrust leader for Penn State's Center for Biodevices.

Holden T. Maecker, PhD, is a Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, and Director of the Human Immune Monitoring Center at Stanford University. His research focuses on measuring immune competence, as well as how specific cellular immune responses correlate with immune protection. Dr. Maecker received a BS in Microbiology from Purdue University and a PhD in Cancer Biology from Stanford University. He did postdoctoral work with Ronald and Shoshana Levy at Stanford, and was an Assistant Professor of Biology at Loyola University Chicago, as well as a Senior Scientist at BD Biosciences, San Jose, California. 

Peter Rowe, MD, is a Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is a graduate of Trinity College, University of Toronto, and the McMaster University School of Medicine, Canada. He completed his residency, fellowship, and Chief Residency in Pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. His clinical and research interests for the last 30 years have focused on medical conditions characterized by chronic fatigue. His work has emphasized the importance of a variety of physiologic risk factors for ME/CFS, including orthostatic intolerance, joint hypermobility, allergic inflammation, and adverse biomechanical strain. Since 1996, he has directed the Chronic Fatigue Clinic at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center where he is the inaugural recipient of the Sunshine Natural Wellbeing Foundation Chair in Chronic Fatigue and Related Disorders. He was a member of the Institute of Medicine Committee on the Diagnostic Criteria for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

About the Metrodora Foundation

The Metrodora Foundation is a patient-founded 501(c)(3) non-profit organization catalyzing scientific collaboration and discovery to find cures for chronic, multisystem disorders. The Foundation prioritizes imperative research areas with the greatest potential impact for patients, including identifying genetic and immune contributions to these conditions, and biomarker discovery and validation. Chronic, multisystem disorders are caused by dysregulated communication between the nervous, immune, endocrine and gastrointestinal systems and simultaneously affect multiple body systems, resulting in complex illnesses that are difficult to diagnose and treat. There are no cures for these conditions and treatment options remain severely limited. 

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Original Source: Metrodora Foundation Announces New Scientific Advisory Board