Chordoma Foundation

Board Committees

Board committees provide ongoing oversight and strategic planning for the Foundation’s key functional areas. They include both Chordoma Foundation directors and external advisers who provide expertise and perspective in subjects relevant to the business of the committee.


Finance

Board members

External advisor

Mark Ricca

Mark Ricca

Finance Committee

Mark A. Ricca, CPA is a graduate of Providence College and partner of the Darien, Connecticut accounting firm Walter, Berlingo & Co. Mark works with high net worth individuals providing tax, business, investment, and strategic advice, particularly in the area of family succession planning. Mark has been involved in non-profit endeavors in his local community as a member of finance and audit committees and is active in a number of the leading professional associations including the AICPA, CSCPA, Florida Board of Accountancy, and the Estate Planning Council of Fairfield County. Mark currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Fieldpoint Private, a private bank and trust company headquartered in Greenwich, Connecticut. Mark is a member of Fieldpoint Private’s Audit Committee and is Chair of the Compensation Committee. Mark and his wife Linda live in Wilton, Connecticut and have two grown children; Amanda and Alana. 

Research

Board members

External advisers

Kurt Bachman, PhD

Research Committee

Kurt Bachman leads a group of scientists at Janssen Research & Development (R&D) that supports data collection, integration, and translation across R&D with the goal of identifying novel disease mechanisms to drive early drug development and treatment strategies. After receiving his PhD in Molecular Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of medicine with a focus on cancer epigenetics, he did his postdoctoral training at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center with a focus on cancer genetics. He also spent time as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Radiation Oncology at the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center, and as the Head of Translational Sciences, Molecular Medicine Unit at GlaxoSmithKline. Kurt’s niece, Alli, was diagnosed with chordoma in 2013 and is now living the life of a typical teenage girl with a bright future.

Jeffrey Collins, PhD

Research Committee

Jeffrey Collins is Executive-in-Residence at Pappas Ventures, a life sciences-focused venture capital firm in Research Triangle Park, NC, and Adjunct Associate Professor of Molecular Genetics & Microbiology at Duke University. After an initial career as a viral immunologist in academic research at Duke, focusing on the immunotherapy of virus-induced leukemia, he served as a Project Officer in the National Toxicology Program at NIEHS and then headed up drug development programs with cephalosporin and fluoroquinolone antibiotics at Glaxo and Glaxo-Wellcome. He subsequently held senior-level positions at two global CROs (ClinTrials Research and PAREXEL International) before joining Pappas Ventures.

William Phelps, PhD

Research Committee

Bill Phelps is currently the Director of Preclinical and Translational Cancer Research in the Extramural Department at the National Home Office of the American Cancer Society. He manages peer review committees focused on cell biology, infectious disease, molecular genetics, and cancer drug discovery. Bill earned his PhD in Microbiology from the University of Minnesota in 1985 and was a postdoctoral fellow at the National Cancer Institute for 3 yrs until taking a position with Burroughs Wellcome Co. in 1988. He remained in antiviral and anticancer research for 13 years with GlaxoWellcome and GlaxoSmithKline. Additionally, he held an appointment as Adjunct Professor of Genetics and Microbiology at Duke University Medical Center from 1996-2004, and he spent 2½ yrs with a small startup biotech company as VP, Research and Development until joining the American Cancer Society in 2004.

John Therien, JD

Research Committee

John Therien is a partner with Smith Anderson in Raleigh, NC. He advises a broad range of clients in commercial transactions involving intellectual property, including domestic and international corporate partnering, patent and technology licensing, research and development collaborations, joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, supply chain, distribution, and co-promotion arrangements, and other strategic commercial transactions. John has extensive experience advising companies in the agricultural biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries and also frequently counsels clients in the diagnostics, medical device, software, video game, and technology sectors on transactional matters. Prior to joining Smith Anderson, John practiced at Ropes & Gray LLP in Boston. John is a graduate of Harvard College and received his law degree from Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California at Berkeley.


Patient Services

Board members

External advisers

 

Yen-Lin Chen, MD

Patient Services Committee

Dr. Yen-Lin Chen is a board-certified radiation oncologist at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). She is a graduate of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and completed her internal medicine internship at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and radiation oncology residency at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Chen has cared for many chordoma patients in her more than 10 years with the multidisciplinary Stephan L. Harris Center for Chordoma Care at MGH and more recently as a member of the Cancer Survivorship research team at MGH. She is the principal investigator of the MGH Sarcoma Data Repository of more than 13,500 cases, with a focus on sarcoma outcomes, clinical trials, translational research, and survivorship. She also chairs an NCI/CTEP sponsored National Clinical Trials Network trial in intermediate-high risk sarcomas. Her clinical interests include sarcomas, chordoma, proton therapy, novel combinations of sensitizing agents with radiation therapy, using functional imaging to improve tumor targeting and response monitoring, intraoperative radiation therapy, and brachytherapy.

Karen Cox, PhD, RN, FAAN

Patient Services Committee

Dr. Karen Cox is President of Chamberlain University. Previous to this appointment, she served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Children’s Mercy – Kansas City. Children’s Mercy is an independent, nonprofit 367-bed pediatric health system, providing more than half a million patient encounters yearly with total revenues of $1.25 billion. She holds the inaugural V. Fred Burry, MD, and Sandra Hobart Burry Chair in Nursing Advocacy and Leadership. Dr. Cox’s clinical background was pediatric hematology/oncology/bone marrow transplant. She was one of the first certified pediatric hematology oncology nurses in the US. She recently served as Board Chair of the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City, a $400 million foundation promoting quality healthcare for the underserved. Dr. Cox is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE). She is also a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing where she serves as President Elect (2016–2017) and President (2015–2019). Her nephew was diagnosed with chordoma in 2015.

Al Ferreira, RN

Al Ferreira, RN

Patient Services Committee

After graduating from Northeastern University, Al Ferreira’s 30-year clinical career has included working in critical care, post-anesthesia, perioperative, and orthopedic nursing. In addition, he has worked as a clinical analyst in information systems and as a perioperative informatics consultant for two software firms. After a long career with Massachusetts General Hospital, most recently with the Stephan L. Harris Center for Chordoma Care, Al moved to the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA to support the opening of a chordoma center there.

Sasha E. Knowlton, MD

Sasha Knowlton, MD

Patient Services Committee

Dr. Knowlton is an instructor and the Assistant Director of Cancer Rehabilitation in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Spaulding Rehabilitation Network/Harvard Medical School. She currently sees patients at Massachusetts General Hospital and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and is part of the multidisciplinary chordoma clinic at MGH. She received her medical degree at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. She attended residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Spaulding Rehabilitation Network/Harvard Medical School, where she served as Chief Resident, followed by a fellowship in Cancer Rehabilitation at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Dr. Knowlton is board certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation. Her clinical and research interests are in cancer rehabilitation, with the goal of improving the function and quality of life of cancer patients during all aspects of cancer treatment and survivorship.

Paula Song, PhD

Patient Services Committee

Paula H. Song, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management in the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to joining the faculty at UNC-CH, she was an Associate Professor at the Ohio State University. Dr. Song’s research interests and publications focus on financial aspects in healthcare management and policy and their effects on the delivery and utilization of healthcare services. Dr. Song received her Ph.D. in health services organization and policy from the University of Michigan. She also holds a Master of Health Services Administration as well as a Masters of Arts in Applied Economics, both from the University of Michigan, and a Bachelor of Arts in Biological Basis of Behavior from the University of Pennsylvania.


Development

Board members

External advisers

Joe Villinski

Development Committee

Joe Villinski is a Principal at Xseed Fundraising Solutions where he delivers strategies, programs, and results that create short- and long-term organizational growth opportunities. He also currently works with both national and local nonprofit clients as a Fundraising Expert with DonorPath. As a hands-on fundraising and communications professional, Joe has driven nonprofit organization growth since 2003. Joe is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, has a background in journalism, and holds a Master’s Degree in Education. He is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE), a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and Association of Consultants to Nonprofits, and an award-winning writer. Based in Chicago, he is a married father of two, and is proud and grateful his father-in-law’s battle with clival chordoma in 2013 resulted in a positive outcome.

Anne Noel Dawson

Development Committee

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This