Dr. Stephen C. Groft
Former Director, Office of Rare Disease Research, NIH, USA
In 2003, Dr. Groft led the effort to establish the Rare Diseases Clinical Research Network (RDCRN), which enables collaborative, trans-NIH clinical research on causes, prevention, outcomes, and treatments of rare diseases. This initiative has led to the development of a number of therapeutic products that have received or are being reviewed for FDA approval.
In 2008, Dr. Groft worked with NHGRI, the NIH Clinical Center, and other NIH Institutes and Centers to create the Undiagnosed Diseases Program (UDP), a multi-disciplinary initiative designed to provide the public with information regarding rare and undiagnosed diseases.
Dr. Groft established the International Rare Diseases Research Consortium (IRDiRC) in 2012 to encourage international collaboration in rare diseases research.
Dr. Dhamija received her MBBS from All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India. She completed her residency training in Child Neurology and fellowship in Medical Genetics at Mayo Clinic, Rochester and is dual boarded in Neurology and Genetics. She is a Diplomat of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) and American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMGG). She then spent 2 years at the University of Virginia where she was an Assistant Professor in Neurology and served as the associate program director for their child neurology training program. Dr. Dhamija was appointed as Senior Associate Consultant in the enterprise Department of Clinical genomics at Mayo Clinic (Arizona) in January, 2017. She is the first medical geneticist at Mayo Arizona and launched a new department. Dr. Dhamija is an academician, a clinical researcher, and a geneticist with a special interest in neurogenetics and neurometabolic diseases. She has given several presentations at regional, national, and international meetings and has over 45 peer-reviewed original papers and articles to her credit.
Professor Meena Upadhyaya
Professor Meena Upadhyaya OBE has worked in medical molecular genetics since the discipline’s infancy. She was recognised as the 1st female British-Indian professor in medical genetics in the UK.
Meena completed a fellowship with the Royal College of Pathologists in 2000, becoming one of the 1st people to do so in the field of medical genetics. Her research career focused on many genetic disorders, especially neurofibromatosis type I (NF1) and facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy. She has authored more than 200 scientific articles and 3 textbooks and received many awards including the Inspire Wales Award (2010) and the European Neurofibromatosis Association Award (2013) for her outstanding contributions to NF1. She has represented Cardiff at many international meetings. She was a professor at Cardiff University’s Institute of Cancer Genetics and directed the All Wales Medical Genetics Service Research and Development Laboratory until her retirement in 2014, thereafter serving as an honorary distinguished professor at Cardiff University and an honorary fellow of the Wales University Trinity Saint David.
Prof Upadhyaya is also a passionate advocate for women of ethnic minorities; she founded the Welsh Asian Women Achievement Awards now known as Ethnic Minority Welsh Women Achievement Association and Ethnic Minority Women in Welsh Healthcare and has served as a Mentor on Dame Rosemary Butler’s Women in Public Life scheme. She is a trustee for Women’s Equality Network for Wales, Race Equality First, Race Council Cymru, governor for India Centre. She was recently given Saint David Award for innovation, science and technology.
Dr. Anita Aggarwal
Oncologist/hematologist Attending physician, Associate Professor of Medicine
I have the expertise, leadership, training, and motivation necessary to successfully fulfill the role of PD/ PI and carry out the proposed research project. I have a broad background in oncology and hematology with specific training and expertise in breast cancer. Breast cancer has been close to my heart. As medical director of Breast Cancer Center from 2004 to 2007, Med star Washington Hospital Center, I was the PI of >10 corporate as well as pharma