Leadership Team

Board of Directors

{caption} Dave McDowell Chair

Dave McDowell is a 20-year consumer technology veteran who most recently led a portfolio of media, communication and subscription businesses as well as global customer support at AOL and Verizon Media Group. Previously, Dave spent a decade at Yahoo in product management and marketing roles in the US, UK and Switzerland.

Dave’s daughter, Colette, was born with pulmonary lymphangiectasia in 2016. He has been the Chairman of the LE&RN Leadership Council since 2017 and became a Board Member in 2018. Dave holds a MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a BS in Business Administration from Miami University. He lives with his wife and three children in San Francisco, CA.
 

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{caption} Melissa Aldrich Secretary

Melissa B. Aldrich holds degrees from The University of Texas-Austin (BA, Biochemistry), The University of Houston (MBA), and The MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (PhD, Immunology).  Since 2008, she has worked with teams comprised of biomedical engineers, biologists, lymphedema therapists, and clinicians to study lymphatic anomalies and lipedema using near-infrared fluorescence lymphatic imaging (NIRF-LI).  She currently serves as PI on an NIH-funded longitudinal study of breast cancer-related lymphedema and a CPRIT (Texas)-funded longitudinal surveillance of lymphatic microsurgeries. Melissa investigates cytokine/chemokine and other immunological characteristics of lymphedema, and her previous work includes research in lentiviral- and adenoviral-directed dendritic cell cancer and HIV vaccines, inherited immunodeficiency, and protein and polymer chemistry.

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{caption} Deborah Glass Miles Treasurer

Debbie Miles has been a CPA since 1992. She worked in public accounting but has predominantly worked in private industry in South Carolina. Having served on several non-profit boards, Debbie is now devoting all her energies to the Lymphatic Research Foundation.  Her passion for the organization is very personal, as her son, Will, was diagnosed with primary lymphedema at 6 years of age. In addition to her son, she also has a daughter, Abby and husband, Bill.

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Director
{caption} Doron Illan Director

Doron Ilan, MD is an Orthopaedic Surgeon specializing in disorders of the Hand and Upper Extremity. He is a managing partner of Premier Orthopaedics of Westchester and Rockland is affiliated with Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City.    Dr. Ilan is a fellow/member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, American Society for Surgery of the Hand and the New York State Medical Society. He is the Director of Hand Surgery at the Dobbs Ferry Pavilion of St Johns Riverside Hospital Center. He has been elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha and Phi Beta Kappa honor societies and is a former contributing editor of the “Year Book of Hand Surgery." Dr Ilan is an avid endurance athlete and is the founder of TeamLE&RN, a group that raises funding for LE&RN while participating in endurance events (running, triathlon, swimming, biking, adventure races). Dr. Ilan has a family member with Lymphatic disease.

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{caption} Joseph Dayan Director

Specializing in reconstructive microsurgery, Dr. Dayan is fellowship-trained in breast and head & neck cancer reconstruction, facial reanimation, and surgical treatment for lymphedema. Dr. Dayan is also an expert in all aspects of plastic surgery including sophisticated reconstructive surgery and the full range of cosmetic operations.  Dr. Dayan completed his residency in plastic surgery at Georgetown University Hospital where he trained under leaders in the field of both implant and microsurgical breast reconstruction. He completed his fellowship in microsurgery at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Taiwan, recognized as the premier center for reconstructive microsurgery in the world.  Dr. Dayan’s research interests are focused on lymph node transfer in the treatment of lymphedema, microsurgical and oncoplastic breast reconstruction, and facial reanimation for facial paralysis.  He is collaborating with numerous physicians and scientists across disciplines on novel and important clinical research dedicated to substantially improving patient care and quality of life.

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{caption} Rick Petty

Rick Petty is Chief Investment Officer and responsible for the investment oversight of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. Prior to his involvement with the Niarchos Foundation, Mr. Petty was employed in the asset management division of Deutsche Bank, where he assisted institutional clients with investment strategy and product development. Mr. Petty was engaged with Bankers Trust until the merger with Deutsche Bank. During his period of employment with Bankers Trust, Mr. Petty served in a number of capacities, including establishing the named fiduciary business and as head of the investment consulting business.  Mr. Petty also contributed to the development of the risk measurement product offered to external clients based upon the BT’s proprietary Value-At-Risk methodology. Before joining Bankers Trust, Mr. Petty was employed by Chase Manhattan Bank, where he served as an investment consultant and trust officer for large institutional clients. Mr. Petty also serves on the investment committees of the Ball Brothers Foundation and The Harvey School. He earned a BA in Economics from Western Washington University.

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Scientific & Medical Advisory Council

Founding Chair
{caption} Stanley Rockson Founding Chair

Dr. Rockson is the Allan and Tina Neill Professor of Lymphatic Research and Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine. After earning his medical degree from Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, North Carolina, Dr Rockson completed his internship and residency training in internal medicine at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital of Harvard Medical School, in Boston, Massachusetts, and fellowship training in the cardiac unit of Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School. He is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology, American College of Angiology, and American College of Physicians, as well as a member of the International Society of Lymphology, American Society of Internal Medicine, the Society of Vascular Medicine and Biology, and the Paul Dudley White Society, among others.

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{caption} Melissa Aldrich, MBA, PhD Secretary

Melissa B. Aldrich holds degrees from The University of Texas-Austin (BA, Biochemistry), The University of Houston (MBA), and The MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (PhD, Immunology).  Since 2008, she has worked with teams comprised of biomedical engineers, biologists, lymphedema therapists, and clinicians to study lymphatic anomalies and lipedema using near-infrared fluorescence lymphatic imaging (NIRF-LI).  She currently serves as PI on an NIH-funded longitudinal study of breast cancer-related lymphedema and a CPRIT (Texas)-funded longitudinal surveillance of lymphatic microsurgeries. Melissa investigates cytokine/chemokine and other immunological characteristics of lymphedema, and her previous work includes research in lentiviral- and adenoviral-directed dendritic cell cancer and HIV vaccines, inherited immunodeficiency, and protein and polymer chemistry.

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{caption} Kari K. Alitalo Emeritus

Dr. Kari Alitalo is a tenured Research Professor of the Finnish Academy of Sciences and Scientific Director of the Molecular/Cancer Biology Program and Centre of Excellence in the Biomedicum Helsinki research institute of the University of Helsinki. He obtained his M.D. and Ph.D. from the University of Helsinki in Finland.

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{caption} Michael Detmar

Professor Michael Detmar has been Full Professor of Pharmacogenomics in the Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences at ETH Zurich since September 2004. He studied medicine in Freiburg and Vienna and obtained a M.D. degree in 1984 from the University of Freiburg. From 1993 to 1997, he was appointed visiting professor of pathology and dermatology at Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA, USA. Since 1998, he holds an appointment as associate professor at Harvard Medical School, and he also served as an associate director of research at the Department of Dermatology, Massachusetts General Hospital. His research program focuses on cancer biology, in particular the role of angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis towards tumor metastasis, as well as on the molecular control of chronic inflammation. A major focus of the group is the genetic disposition for disease and for the response to specific therapies, with the aim to develop new individualized therapies for human diseases.

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{caption} Donald McDonald Emeritus

Professor Donald M. McDonald is a Member of the Comprehensive Cancer Center, Senior Staff Member of the Cardiovascular Research Institute, and Professor of Anatomy at the University of California, San Francisco, where he has been on the faculty since 1973. His research focuses on cellular mechanisms of angiogenesis, lymphangiogenesis, vascular remodeling, and plasma leakage, with the goal of using blood vessels and lymphatics as targets for treatments of cancer and chronic inflammatory disease and of understanding how inhibitors of angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis can reduce tumor growth and metastasis and prolong life of patients with cancer.

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{caption} James Moore

Prof. Moore received his Ph.D. from the Georgia Institute of Technology, followed by postdoctoral training at the Swiss Institute of Technology at Lausanne.  He joined Imperial College in 2013 as the Bagrit and Royal Academy of Engineering Chair in Medical Device Design in the Department of Bioengineering.  Prof. Moore’s research interests include Cardiovascular Biomechanics, Medical Devices, and the Lymphatic System. His research focuses on the role of biomechanics in the formation and treatment of diseases such as atherosclerosis and cancer. His research on lymphatic system biomechanics includes the pumping characteristics of the system, as well as the transport of nitric oxide, antigens, and chemokines in lymphatic tissues. Along with his funding from government, charity, and industry sources, Prof. Moore has received multiple patents for medical devices and testing equipment.  Prof. Moore has also co-founded two startup companies.

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{caption} Peter Mortimer

Professor Mortimer is Professor of Dermatological Medicine to St George’s Hospital and the University of London. He has developed the emerging area of Lymphovascular Medicine and has over 280 publications cited on PubMed. His group has been instrumental in discovering causal genes for primary lymphoedema and his current £2.5 million Medical Research Council programme grant investigates known genotypes of primary lymphoedema to better understand mechanisms of pathophysiology.

He sits on the medical advisory committee for the Lymphatic Education & Research Network (USA) and chairs their global oversight committee for the establishment of Centres of Excellence. He is founder of, and Chief Medical Officer to, the Lymphoedema Support Network, the UK patients' national charity. He is founder and Patron of the national body for health care professionals, the British Lymphology Society.

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{caption} Timothy Padera

Dr. Padera is Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology at Harvard Medical School, a Principal Investigator in the Edwin L. Steele Laboratories, Department of Radiation Oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital and a Member of the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences & Technology Faculty. Dr. Padera’s laboratory studies how lymphatic vessels grow, mature and function, with a particular emphasis on how these processes are affected by disease conditions, such as lymphedema. In addition, the Padera Lab studies how cancer uses the lymphatic system to drive disease progression. Dr. Padera earned dual Bachelor’s Degrees in Chemical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering from Northwestern University. He earned his PhD in Medical Engineering from the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology program.

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{caption} Nancy Ruddle Emeritus

Nancy H. Ruddle, Ph.D., is professor emerita and senior research associate in the Division of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases in the School of Public Health. Dr. Ruddle’s research, which began during her years as a graduate student in microbiology at Yale, focuses on lymphotoxin and other cytokines involved in autoimmune diseases and lymphoid organ development.

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{caption} Mihaela Skobe

Mihaela Skobe, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Oncological Sciences at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. Her laboratory's main research interest is in understanding the mechanisms of cancer metastasis via the lymphatic system and the function of lymphatic vessels in the regulation of immune response.

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{caption} Melody Swartz

Melody Swartz is Professor of Bioengineering at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Swizerland (EPFL). She holds joint appointments in the Institutes for Cancer Research and Chemical Engineering. She and her research group aim to elucidate the functional biology of the lymphatic system and its roles in cancer and immunity by integrating the approaches of bioengineering, physiology, and cell biology. They are also developing therapeutic strategies to manipulate lymphatic function. Swartz received her PhD in Chemical Engineering from MIT in 1998 and her BS in Chemical Engineering from Johns Hopkins in 1991. Following postdoctoral research at Harvard, she started her own lab at Northwestern University in 1999 and moved to the EPFL in 2003.

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{caption} Miikka Vikkula

Professor Vikkula obtained his M.D. at the University of Helsinki and his Ph.D. in molecular genetics, with a thesis on collagens and cartilage disorders. He was a Research Associate at the Department of Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School. With his wife, Prof Laurence Boon, MD PhD, Plastic Surgeon, the couple discovered the gene for familial venous malformation in 1996. He obtained a "docentship Ph.D." in human molecular genetics at the Université catholique de Louvain in 2000, and was thereafter nominated Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Medicine in UCL. He has been a Full Member of the de Duve Institute and a member of the Directorat since 2004. He was nominated Professor of Human Genetics at the Université catholique de Louvain on 1/10/2008. Prof Vikkula is well known internationally as a major contributor to the understanding of molecular basis of lymphatic and vascular anomalies and lymphedema with many high impact publications.

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{caption} David Zawieja, Emeritus Emeritus

Dr. Zawieja received his Ph.D. in Physiology from the Medical College of Wisconsin, and conducted his post-doctorate work in Medical Physiology at Texas A&M University, where he is currently a Professor in the Department of Medical Physiology. The focus of his research is the generation and regulation of lymph flow, investigating the mechanisms by which physical and humoral factors alter lymph pumping.

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Leadership

President and CEO
{caption} William Repicci President and CEO

William Repicci has over 25 years of experience leading nonprofit organizations and businesses. Leadership positions have included being director of humanitarian programs in Northern Kenya, managing director of the National Theatre of the Deaf, CEO of the Fairbanks Resource Agency serving persons with developmental disabilities in Alaska, executive director of the Pasos Peace Museum in NYC and CEO of a dramatic publishing company. In 2013, he was awarded the ANCOR Legacy Leadership Award for his career accomplishments in advocacy efforts. Under his own management company, he has produced or managed over 35 plays and musicals in NYC, London and on tour.  He has graduate degrees in Global Affairs (NYU); Behavioral Psychology (University of Wisconsin-Madison); Administration (Seattle University); Psychology (Catholic University of America); and a BA in Philosophy (Le Moyne College).

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Colleen McGuire
Chief Operating Officer
{caption} Colleen McGuire Chief Operating Officer
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Cam Ayala
Director of Development & Marketing
{caption} Cam Ayala Director of Development & Marketing
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Jennifer Czeisel
Operations Director
{caption} Jennifer Czeisel Operations Director
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Phyllis Fried
Research and Program Director
{caption} Phyllis Fried Research and Program Director
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Michael D. Minichiello
Design Director
{caption} Michael Minichiello D. Design Director
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Steve Palmer
Media Director
{caption} Steve Palmer Media Director
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Veronica Seneriz
Patient Services Director
{caption} Veronica Seneriz Patient Services Director
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Kimberley Steele, MD, PhD
Patient Registry Director
{caption} Kimberley Steele, MD, PhD Patient Registry Director
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Paul Yonkers, MD
Centers of Excellence Coordinator
{caption} Paul Yonkers, MD Centers of Excellence Coordinator
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Support Team

Tracey Brooks
NYS Legislative Consultant: Shenker Russo & Clark LLP
{caption} Tracey Brooks NYS Legislative Consultant: Shenker Russo & Clark LLP
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Anna Brown
Website Developer: MediaGirl, Inc.
{caption} Anna Brown Website Developer: MediaGirl, Inc.
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Donna Clyne
NYS Legislative Consultant: Shenker Russo & Clark LLP
{caption} Donna Clyne NYS Legislative Consultant: Shenker Russo & Clark LLP
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David Cumpton
LE&RN-CDC Campaign Strategic & Account Management: Citizen Group
{caption} David Cumpton LE&RN-CDC Campaign Strategic & Account Management: Citizen Group
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Federal Legislative Consultant: Health & Medicine Council of Washington
Robin Raj
LE&RN-CDC Executive Campaign Creative Director: Citizen Group
{caption} Robin Raj LE&RN-CDC Executive Campaign Creative Director: Citizen Group
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{caption} Aaron Rome Grants Writer: Aaron Rome Consulting ×
Cerini & Associates
Accountants: Website
{caption} Cerini & Associates Accountants: Website
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Craig, Fitzsimmons & Meyer
Auditors: Website
{caption} Craig, Fitzsimmons & Meyer Auditors: Website
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Technical Support: Gaiacom
{caption} Peter Zangrilli Technical Support: Gaiacom ×