Dr. Richard Auchus
Endocrinologist, Professor of Internal Medicine at University of Michigan Health
Chief of Endocrinology and Metabolism at Ann Arbor VA Medical Center, Ann Arbor, MI
Dr. Richard Auchus is a professor of Internal Medicine, Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology & Diabetes at the University of Michigan and Chief of the Endocrinology & Metabolism Section at the Ann Arbor VA Medical Center. He’s a steroid biologist with expertise both in basic science and clinical/translational science. His work has included translational research into: molecular and genetic mechanisms of human hypertension, improved diagnostic studies and management in primary aldosteronism and Cushing syndromes, modifier genes in 21-hydroxylase deficiency, cardiovascular disease in polycystic ovary syndrome, and the endocrinology of traumatic brain injury.
Dr. Irina Bancos
Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
Dr. Irina Bancos is Associate Professor in the Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism, Diabetes and Nutrition and works in the Pituitary-Adrenal-Gonadal subdivision of Endocrinology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. Dr. Bancos received her M.D. from the Iuliu Hatieganu Medical University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. She completed her Internal Medicine Residency at Danbury Hospital in CT and Endocrinology Fellowship at Mayo Clinic, Rochester. In addition, she completed a two-year research fellowship at the University of Birmingham, UK where she received training in steroid profiling and adrenal disorders. In 2015 she returned to Mayo Clinic, where her clinical and research interests include adrenal and pituitary tumors, pheochromocytoma/paraganglioma, primary aldosteronism, adrenal insufficiency, congenital adrenal hyperplasia, Cushing syndrome, and mechanisms of steroid regulation of health and disease.
Dr. Bancos is currently leading a longitudinal observational study at Mayo Clinic with the goals to characterize clinical course, glucocorticoid withdrawal, quality of life, and metabolic outcomes in patients with mild and overt hypercortisolism. She is passionate about translating research findings into actionable interventions for patients with adrenal disorders and mentoring the future generation of adrenal endocrinologists.
Dr. Kamal Bharucha
Executive Physician – Scientist
Adrenas / BridgeBio, San Francisco, CA
Dr. Kamal Bharucha is a pediatric endocrinologist and currently the Vice President of Clinical Development at Adrenas Therapeutics. He has both academic and industry research experience in the areas of pediatrics, endocrinology, and rare diseases.
Panel and Group Facilitator
Adrenal Insufficiency United, New Albany, IN
Dr. Craig Cooley
UT Health, San Antonio, TX
Dr. Cooley has worked in EMS for nearly 30 years and practiced emergency medicine for over 20 years. He is currently an Associate Clinical Professor of Emergency Medicine and the Program Director for the EMS Fellowship Program in the Department of Emergency Medicine at UT Health San Antonio. He is also one of the Deputy Medical Directors for the San Antonio Fire Department and is active in disaster response as a Medical Director for the Emergency Medical Task Force of Texas and has responded to events throughout the state, including providing medical care during Hurricane Harvey and the delta surge of COVID-19.
Student, Patient Advocate
Illinois College, Jacksonville, IL
Ali Daoud is currently a freshman at Illinois College majoring in Biochemistry with minors in Physics and Psychology (with a 4.0 GPA!). He graduated from Albemarle High School in 2022 with a 4.5 GPA and Excellence Awards from the County. Ali was diagnosed with Cushing’s Disease in January 2020, had two unsuccessful surgeries in Lebanon, and flew all the way from the Middle East to Stanford Medical Center in order to have a third surgery with Dr. Juan Carlos Fernandez Miranda. Thankfully, it was successful. Ali manages Secondary Adrenal Insufficiency and takes cortisol replacement but stays focused on living a healthy, successful life.
Dr. Georgiana Dobri
Weill Cornell Medicine, New York City, NY
Dr. Georgiana Dobri is a Neuroendocrinologist who specializes in pituitary and adrenal disorders at the Pituitary and Neuroendocrine Program of the Weill Cornell Medicine Brain and Spine Center in New York City. Before joining Weill Cornell Medicine, Dr. Dobri served as Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, and Associate Staff in the Cleveland Clinic Department of Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases.
Dr. Dobri received her medical degree from Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Bucharest, Romania, and spent three years of endocrinology residency in Romania before completing her internal medicine residency at Cook County Hospital in Chicago. She completed an endocrinology fellowship in pituitary and adrenal disorders at the Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Dobri’s research, publications, and invited talks are concentrated on pituitary and neuroendocrine pathology.
Cushing’s Patient Advocate, President
Cushing’s Support & Research Foundation
Leslie was diagnosed with Cushing’s Disease in 2012 and endured two unsuccessful surgeries including removal of the pituitary gland. A couple of months after a third surgery to repair a CSRF leak she experienced a spontaneous remission with partially lowered cortisol and some symptom resolution, but recurrence came a few years later and Leslie chose radiation and medication. Today she manages panhypopituitarism but oddly still does not need daily HC replacement. Leslie experiences many of the common long-term effects of Cushing’s like exhaustion, joint pain, and executive function impairment.
During recovery, Leslie sought support and found CSRF online. After talking with Founder Louise Pace on the phone for two hours, she began volunteering in 2014. In 2018 Leslie became President when Louise stepped down after actively running CSRF for almost 25 years.
Board Member – Parent Representative
Adrenal Insufficiency United
Dr. Rafael Escandon
Senior Vice President, Medical Affairs, Policy, and Patient Engagement
Bainbridge Island, WA
Dr. Escandon (“Rafa”) is currently a consultant to the biotechnology industry and most recently was the Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs, Policy, and Patient Engagement at BridgeBio Gene Therapy. He has worked in global clinical research and development and patient advocacy in the biotechnology industry for nearly 30 years. His approach is to be highly considerate of the ethical implications of conducting and participating in clinical research, especially in rare diseases and in vulnerable and developing-world populations. He has served as adjunct faculty at the University of California Berkeley’s Clinical Research Management Program and as an educator in human rights and justice.
Dr. Juan Fernandez-Miranda
Neurosurgeon and Professor of Neurosurgery
Stanford Medicine Health Care, Palo Alto, CA
Dr. Juan Fernandez-Miranda is Professor of Neurosurgery and Surgical Director of the Stanford Brain Tumor, Skull Base, and Pituitary Centers. His expertise is in minimally invasive brain surgery, endoscopic skull base and pituitary surgery, open skull base surgery, and complex brain tumor surgery. He has performed nearly 3,000 cranial operations including over 1,500 endoscopic endonasal operations for pituitary tumors and other skull base lesions.
Dr. Fernandez-Miranda completed neurosurgery residency at La Paz University Hospital in Madrid, Spain. From 2005 to 2007, he underwent fellowship training in microsurgical neuroanatomy at the University of Florida, and from 2007 to 2010 he continued subspecialty clinical training at the University of Virginia and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), where he remained for a 10-year tenure. In 2018 Dr. Fernandez-Miranda was recruited to bring to Stanford his unique technical expertise and to collaborate with colleagues across multiple disciplines, leading the establishment of one of the most preeminent centers worldwide for comprehensive treatment of complex lesions in the brain, skull base, and pituitary regions. His top priority is to provide gentle, accurate, and safe surgery, in a team-based and compassionate approach to patient care.
Dr. Maria Fleseriu
Professor and Director, OHSU Pituitary Center
Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR
Dr. Maria Fleseriu is a Professor of Medicine and Neurological Surgery, Director of the Pituitary Center at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Oregon, USA, and Past President of the Pituitary Society.
Dr. Fleseriu has a long-standing clinical and research interest in the pathophysiology and treatment of pituitary and adrenal disorders. She has received many national and international awards, including title of “Doctor Honors Causa” by the University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Carol Davila” and the Clinical Endocrinology Trust Award from the U.K Society of Endocrinology. Dr. Fleseriu has been global principal investigator in many pituitary disorders clinical trials and has authored over 250 manuscripts on topics related to novel treatments, international guidelines and consensus papers for Cushing’s, acromegaly and hypopituitarism. She has been elected as a member of the Executive Board of Pituitary Society and of the Board of Directors of Endocrine Society.
Dr. Eliza Geer
Endocrinologist, Medical Director, Pituitary & Skull Base Tumor Center
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York City, NY
Dr. Geer specializes in caring for people with pituitary, neuroendocrine, and adrenal diseases as the Medical Director of Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Multidisciplinary Pituitary & Skull Base Tumor Center in New York City. Her research interests focus on achieving a better understanding of the pathogenesis of pituitary tumors, developing new treatments for aggressive pituitary tumors, and characterizing long-term outcomes in patients with Cushing’s disease.
Dr. Geer completed her internship and residency at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital / Columbia Medical Center and was a fellow in endocrinology and metabolism at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center. She is currently an associate professor of medicine and neurosurgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, an active member of the Endocrine Society, and on the Board of Directors of the Pituitary Society.
Dr. Mitchell Geffner
Pediatric Endocrinologist at Children’s Hospital
Professor of Pediatrics, Keck School of Medicine at USC
Los Angeles, CA
Dr. Geffner is Professor of Pediatrics at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, the Ron Burkle Chair in the Center for Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA), Co-director of the Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia Center of Medical and Surgical Excellence at CHLA, and former Chief of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism at CHLA. He is also a Past-President of the Pediatric Endocrine Society. Dr. Geffner is a pediatric endocrinology co-editor for UpToDate and co-editor of the textbook, “Pediatric Endocrinology: Principles and Practice” (McGraw-Hill).
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, San Diego CA
Dawn has been working with Marine Corps families at Camp Pendleton since 2007 and has family counseling and crisis intervention experience prior to that. Dawn uses her personal experience with Cushing’s to connect with other patients to offer support and coping tools. She has been a writer and presenter with CSRF for almost a decade and encourages honest, candid dialogue even with sensitive subjects we don’t often see featured in typical offerings.
Dr. Sabrina Hickle
Emory University Hospital, Atlanta, GA
Dr. Hickle is a clinical neuropsychologist and assistant professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at Emory University. She completed her undergraduate degree in Neuroscience, her Ph.D. in joint Clinical Psychology and Neuropsychology & Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience programs, where her work focused on investigation of long-term outcomes in adult survivors of pediatric brain tumors. Her research and clinical work shaped her passion for exploring the long-term effects of neurological injury and medical conditions, investigating what factors may explain the variability that exists in cognitive, emotional, adaptive, and functional outcomes, and understanding the brain-based mechanisms that explain that variability. During Dr. Hickle’s postdoctoral fellowship in neuropsychology at the Emory University Department of Rehabilitation Medicine and in her work with Dr. Suzanne Penna, she conducted neuropsychological assessments in patients with Cushing’s syndrome including long term outcomes and other medical conditions that fall outside of the “traditional” neurological field. Her work emphasizes the need for clinical attention, cognitive evaluation, and cognitive intervention.
Dr. LaTasha Holt
University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Lafayette, LA
Dr. Holt is the mother of three daughters, one with adrenal insufficiency. After their family faced many difficult years without a diagnosis, Dr. Holt made it her mission to share their story and continually advocate for others who face this rare condition. Besides being a mom, Dr. Holt is an Assistant Professor of Curriculum and Instruction, and the Assessment Coordinator for the College of Education & Human Development at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She received her Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from Texas Tech University. She holds an M.S in reading, special education, and English as a second language as well as a B.S. in early childhood education. For the past sixteen years, she has worked with children and families, teachers, preservice teachers, and other members of the educational community to promote education. In this role, Dr. Holt works to bridge parents, children with exceptional needs, and education. Dr. Holt’s mission is to teach, research, and serve in the field of education bridging theory and practice, promoting culturally responsive teaching, and advocating for the whole child.
Dr. David Katz
Chief Scientific Officer
Sparrow Pharmaceuticals, Portland, OR
David is Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Sparrow Pharmaceuticals, which has experimental drugs in clinical trials to treat Cushing’s syndrome and autonomous cortisol secretion, and to reduce the side effects of steroid drugs such as prednisone. He has over 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical / biotechnology industry, including as a leader in personalized medicine, drug discovery, and clinical trials. David’s interest in combatting the unwanted effects of excess cortisol go back to 2002, when he became involved in the discovery of drugs that reduce cortisol as potential treatments for depression. Before industry, he was a student for a Very Long Time at Pomona College, Yale University, and the Universities of Michigan and Chicago. David lives in Portland with his spouse and two dogs. In his copious spare time he’s actively involved in new play development and is a glass artist.
Adrenal Insufficiency Patient Advocate
Coeur D’Alene, ID
Mark was born in Seattle, WA, and was diagnosed with Salt-Wasting Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (SWCAH) a couple of weeks after his birth. Mark is now in his mid 50’s and has lived a full life with two children. He’s been involved with two different drug studies and remains active in many medical research platforms regarding CAH, working with the medical field in promoting new treatments. Mark currently lives in Coeur D’Alene, ID.
Dr. Mimi Kim
Pediatric Endocrinologist, Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles
Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, Keck School of Medicine at USC, Los Angeles, CA
Dr. Mimi Kim is an Assistant Professor in the Center for Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) and the Keck School of Medicine of USC. Her research interest is in the area of congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), with two ongoing clinical studies at CHLA. She is working with a multidisciplinary team to examine cardiovascular disease risk in teenagers and young adults with CAH. Dr Kim is certified with the Pediatrics and Pediatric Endocrinology: American Board of Pediatrics. She is a member of the Endocrine Society, Pediatric Endocrine Society, Donnell Society for Pediatric Scientists, Androgen Excess and PCOS Society, Association for Patient-Oriented Research. She has been awarded with the CARES Foundation Pioneer Award (2018), Top Doctors Los Angeles (2018), The James H. Zumberge Research and Innovation Fund Individual Research Award (2015-2016), The Saban Research Institute Innovative Pilot Award (2012-2013) SC-CTSI KL2 Scholar (2011-2014), The Saban Research Institute & CHLA CRACDA Awardee (2009-2011), and Women in Endocrinology Young Investigator Award (2009).
State Organizing Director
Stand for Children, Eugene, OR
Joy Marshall is the State Organizing Director of Stand for Children (https://stand.org/oregon/), a citizens’ organization that advocates for excellent public education and equity for every Oregon child. Joy has been with Stand for Children for 21 years and has lead numerous successful efforts for better school funding, racial justice, Career and Technical Education, and more.
Before Stand for Children, Joy was a community organizer for 15 years and a middle school teacher for two years. She has helped run over 25 political campaigns. She lives in Eugene with her husband who is a teaching assistant in Special Education. They have two grown daughters.
Dr. Jon Pede
Hillsboro School District, Portland, OR
Dr. Pede has spent most of his life in education. He comes from a teaching family – his mother was a middle school teacher and his father was a teacher for a brief time. He has been a student for all of his adult life. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in social studies from Humboldt State University, Master of Arts degree in Special Education from California State University Dominguez Hills, a Masters of Education Degree in Educational Leadership from California State University Northridge, and a Doctorate of Educational Leadership degree from Lewis and Clark College. Dr. Pede taught for 11 years in California as a special education teacher. He has been an administrator for 16 years as an Assistant Principal, Principal, Director, and now Principal of Poynter Middle School in Portland, OR.
Department of Nutrition and Public Health, North Andover, MA
Deanna teaches full-time for the Department of Nutrition and Public Health in the School of Nursing and Health Sciences at Merrimack College in North Andover, MA. Her area of expertise is public health education with a primary focus on food and nutrition and physical activity. Deanna also volunteers in the local sports and medical communities. She is a presenter at Harvard University Medical School for their endocrine clinics and homeostasis lectures. She also presents for clubs, hospitals and symposiums on the science and art of coaching specifically in the areas of nutrition and fitness. Before becoming a teacher Deanna created Athletic Pursuits LLC, a company that promoted endurance sports and the great outdoors. Since 2005 Deanna has helped adults with personalized coaching and training for general fitness and for special events like triathlons. Deanna has Primary Adrenal Insufficiency and enjoys being a resource for others with similar challenges.
Disability Inclusion Speaker, Trainer, Consultant, and Advocate
Founder and CEO, AllAbility Recruiting, Charlotte, NC
Anessa Powell began her career as an Event Planner with Marriott International after graduating from Auburn University. Since being diagnosed in 2013 with Addison’s Disease (Primary Adrenal Insufficiency), she has been dedicated to raising awareness that disabilities come in many forms. Anessa began sharing her experiences in 2016 and launched her social media outreach through the former pages of Addison’s Disease with Grace.
In 2019, her speaking platform was launched and anessapowell.com was formed. As the pandemic changed lives in so many ways and employers began to recognize jobs can be done from home (and done well!), Anessa along with her husband, Bill, created AllAbility Recruiting where they strive to Leave No Ability Behind through disability employment and training. Anessa lives in Charlotte, NC with her husband and two kids. She is a huge Auburn fan (War Eagle!) and wishes daily she was at the beach.
Dr. Elizabeth Regan
Physician Researcher, Professor of Medicine
National Jewish Health, Denver, CO
Dr. Elizabeth Regan is a physician, clinical researcher and Professor of Medicine at National Jewish Health in Denver. Her research interests include smoking-related diseases, health disparities in COPD, as well as osteoporosis and other musculoskeletal conditions in lung disease. She is also the principal investigator for the MyAI patient registry and longitudinal cohort.
Dr. Regan is a member of the National Adrenal Diseases Foundation (NADF) Board of Directors and has a strong interest in patient-centered outcomes research for Adrenal insufficiency and other adrenal diseases. As a person with adrenal insufficiency, she has been shocked and dismayed at the limited understanding of adrenal insufficiency within the health care community, and the ongoing carnage of deaths, poor quality of life and misinformation that results from less-than-optimal treatment and the absence of patient voices in the adrenal research world. She would like to adopt a slogan for adrenal insufficiency research from the world of disability advocacy, “Nothing About Us, Without Us”, to emphasize the critical importance of patient input in defining care guidelines, treatment regimens and all aspects of AI care.
Thomas Coon Newton and Frost, Portland, OR
Scott Sell is a disability attorney who helps disabled people obtain benefits from the Social Security Administration and private insurers. He is a partner at Thomas Coon Newton and Frost, a law firm that exclusively represents sick and injured people. In addition to his work at TCNF, Scott serves a Special Assistant Attorney General representing disabled foster children on behalf of the Oregon Department of Justice.
Scott also served as the Senior Clerk for the Honorable James C. Egan, former Chief Judge of the Oregon Court of Appeals. He is a co-author the Oregon State Bar’s legal treatise Insurance Law in Oregon. He is a member of the Oregon State Bar, the Federal Bar for the District of Oregon, and he is admitted to practice before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. He represents disabled people throughout the pacific northwest.
President and Founder
Danny’s Dose Alliance, Dexter, MO
Darlene Shelton and her family created the Danny’s Dose Alliance after her first grandson was unexpectedly diagnosed with severe Hemophilia B and it was discovered that there are protocols that prohibit paramedics and ER doctors from administering patient-carried specialty medications. Realizing the danger, they stepped into action. Starting in Missouri working with the EMS Association, they identified that the problem affects all people with special medical needs and comes from conflicting protocols, fear of liability, and lack of education. These became the 3 main goals: change outdated protocols, create disease-specific treatment guidelines, and educate families on emergency preparedness.
Darlene works closely with several rare and chronic disease organizations as well as state and national EMS Associations. She’s on the Board for Missouri EMS for Children and is participating in the newly developed Pediatric Pandemic and Disaster Preparedness Network established by the Health Resources and Services Administration to remain a constant voice for the people living with specialized emergency care needs.
Kim Sherman, JD, PhD
Education, Environmental, and State Law Group, Eugene, OR
Kim brings nearly 35 years of experience as a mom and a 30 year career in all levels of special education to her law practice. She has been a respite care provider, a volunteer/intern in Hawai’i’s state institutions for persons with disabilities, a special education teacher in Pre-K through 8th grades, and was the architect of the first fully inclusive middle school in Hawai’i.
Kim and her family moved to Oregon on Christmas Day, 1996; since then, she has worked as an education specialist at the Oregon Department of Education, as a school district special education administrator, and as an instructor in a university teacher preparation program. She earned her PhD from the University of Oregon in 2007 and her JD from Willamette University College of Law in 2017.
Kim’s law practice focuses on supporting parents and families as they advocate for their children with disabilities. Kim’s focus is on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Pituitary Research Nurse
Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR
Jessica Williams, BS, LPN, CCRP, is a clinical research nurse at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Oregon. Working closely with Professor Maria Fleseriu, MD, Jessica has been involved in clinical care, and diagnostic and dynamic testing for patients with pituitary diseases for more than 10 years. As a Therapeutic Senior Clinical Research Associate Jessica has a wealth of clinical knowledge and experience treating patients with Cushing’s, acromegaly, and growth hormone deficiency. A member of the Endocrine Nurses Society, Jessica occasionally serves as a scientific consultant and has been an invited speaker at international clinical trial meetings. Passionate about advocacy and support for individuals with rare pituitary diseases, Jessica has been instrumental in initiating, and leading patient-centered support groups, by partnering with patients and their caregivers.
Dr. Chris Yedinak
Family Nurse Practitioner, Associate Professor
Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR
Dr. Chris Yedinak is a Doctor of Nursing Practice and a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner. She is an Associate Professor at the Northwest Pituitary Center, Oregon Health & Sciences University in Portland, where she has provided clinical diagnosis and management of patients with pituitary and adrenal dysfunction for the last 20 years.
Dr. Yedinak completed her undergraduate training in Australia and a Post Graduate Diploma in Tertiary Education at University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba. She completed her BSN post graduate and Doctoral Studies at Oregon Health & Sciences University. Her research and publications are focused on the quality of life and clinical outcomes in the management of patients with pituitary and adrenal disorders. Dr. Yedinak has authored multiple textbook chapters and is co-editor of the first Advanced Practice in Endocrinology Nursing textbook. She has presented her research at multiple scientific meetings worldwide and collaborates globally with patient advocacy organizations. Dr. Yedinak is President of the Endocrine Nurses Association (USA), the Federation of International Nurses in Endocrinology (FINE), a past board member of the European Society of Endocrinology Nurse Committee and a medical advisor for the World Association of Pituitary Organizations (WAPO).
Dr. Kevin Yuen
Neuroendocrinologist, Medical Director
Barrow Pituitary Center and Neuroendocrinology Clinic
Dr. Kevin Yuen is a Neuroendocrinologist and Medical Director of the Barrow Pituitary Center, and professor of Medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine and Creighton School of Medicine. His clinical expertise includes the diagnosis and treatment of all forms of pituitary disorders.
Dr. Yuen earned his medical degree from the University of Sheffield, completed his residency at the University of Southampton and fellowship at the University of Cambridge. Dr. Yuen is nationally and internationally known in the field of pituitary research, particularly for his work in growth hormone and cortisol studies.