Scientific Advisory Board

Identifying the Most Promising Research

The Scleroderma Research Foundation is committed to funding the most promising research aimed at better therapies and finding a cure for scleroderma. Members of the Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) play an integral role in fulfilling our mission. As internationally acclaimed experts in their respective fields, SAB members are responsible for evaluating research proposals and making funding recommendations that will increase our understanding of scleroderma and advance science toward a cure. SAB members participate in the SRF Annual Scientific Workshop and monitor selection and progress of all grants awarded by the SRF. The SAB members are essential in directing us to new areas of investigation. The diverse knowledge of SAB members, their deep personal commitment, their ability to foster high-level scientific investigation and their independent judgment are what make the SRF research program highly effective. Every member of the SAB serves on a voluntary basis. The SRF thanks each of them for their time, energy and the critical expertise they provide.


Bruce Alberts, PhD (Chair)

University of California, San Francisco;
President Emeritus, National Academy of Sciences

Dr. Alberts is recognized around the world as a scientist and educator. He served two terms as President of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) (1993-2005), where he focused on promoting science-based decision making throughout the world. Dr. Alberts was also Chairman of the National Research Council at the NAS. Prior to his tenure at the Academy, Dr. Alberts was Chairman of the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco, where his research focused on the characterization of the protein complexes involved in DNA replication. He is committed to the improvement of science education, dedicating much of his time to programs that enhance collaboration among teachers, scientists and school systems. Dr. Alberts is one of the original authors of The Molecular Biology of the Cell, considered the leading textbook of its kind. He served as Editor-in-Chief of one of the research community’s leading journals Science from 2009-2013. He continues in his third decade of educating future scientists as Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco. Beginning in 2000 and through 2009, he served as the co-chair of the InterAcademy Council, a novel organization in Amsterdam governed by the presidents of 15 national academies of sciences and established to provide scientific counsel to the world. In 2009, Dr. Alberts was appointed to serve as the nation’s first scientific envoy by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, an honor he shares with two other esteemed colleagues. In September 2016, he received the 2016 Lasker~Koshland Special Achievement Award in Medical Science, one of the highest honors in biomedicine. The award, bestowed every two years by the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation, honors Alberts for his “fundamental discoveries in DNA replication and protein biochemistry; for visionary leadership in directing national and international scientific organizations to better people’s lives; and for passionate dedication to improving education in science and mathematics.”Dr. Alberts is a Member of the National Academy of Sciences.


Jeffrey A. Bluestone, PhD

University of California, San Francisco

Dr. Bluestone holds the A.W. and Mary Margaret Clausen Distinguished Professorship in Metabolism and Endocrinology and is current Director of the Hormone Research Institute. He joined the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) faculty in 2000. In March 2010 he was appointed Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost (EVCP), to serve as chief academic officer guiding the research and academic enterprise at UCSF, advancing the campus priorities in collaboration with the Chancellor and campus leadership. Prior to his appointment as EVCP, Dr. Bluestone served as the Director of the UCSF Diabetes Center where he emphasized translating basic research in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes into improved therapies for patients. Dr. Bluestone founded and directed the Immune Tolerance Network, a consortium of more than 1,000 of the world’s leading scientific researchers and clinical specialists from nearly 50 institutions, with the mission of testing new therapies to promote immune tolerance in transplantation, autoimmune diseases, asthma and allergic diseases. As an international scientist and leader in the field of immunotherapy, his expertise has helped to clarify the body’s immune response on a molecular level, and has catalyzed recent progress in stem cell research, islet cell transplantation and immune tolerance therapies – studies that have been translated into drugs to treat human disease. Dr. Bluestone is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and holds numerous accolades for his achievements.


David Botstein, PhD

Princeton University

Dr. Botstein is a renowned geneticist, educator and pioneer of the Human Genome Project. He currently serves as the Chief Scientific Officer of Calico, a research and development biotech company established in 2013 by Google Inc. whose goal is to tackle the process of aging. Dr. Botstein served as the Director of the Lewis – Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics at Princeton University from 2003-2013, where he remains an Anthony B. Evnin Professor of Genomics. He was an esteemed professor and research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for two decades. He then served as Vice President for Science at Genentech, Inc. for two years before joining the faculty at the Stanford School of Medicine, where he chaired the Department of Genetics. Dr. Botstein is renowned for his use of genetic methods to understand biological functions and systems. His insights into human gene mapping 25 years ago helped lay the foundation for the Human Genome Project. Among his many accolades for his work on the Human Genome Project, in March 2013, Dr. Botstein received the Breakthrough Prize given by the Life Sciences Foundation as well in April 2010 he was awarded the Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research, often lauded as "America's Nobel" this is one of science's most prestigious awards. Dr. Botstein is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine.


Shaun R. Coughlin, MD, PhD

University of California, San Francisco

Dr. Coughlin directs the Cardiovascular Research Institute (CVRI) at the University of California, San Francisco, where he also holds professorships in Medicine and Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology. He is an expert in the field of vascular biology and has led the burgeoning field of thrombogenesis. Among his contributions, Dr. Coughlin has identified a new family of protease-activated receptors that are involved in a number of biological processes and have important implications for the development of novel treatments for atherosclerosis and pathologic events, including heart attacks and many strokes. His discoveries have led to a greater understanding of how platelets and clot formation are regulated, and how signals that control inflammation of blood vessels are transmitted. Dr. Coughlin is a member of the National Academy of Sciences.


Dan Kastner, MD, PhD

National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) of NIH

Dr. Kastner is Scientific Director of the NHGRI, where he oversees clinical studies conducted by faculty-level investigators and some 500 other professional staff members. He continues the quest for genes underlying human disease by the development and application of advanced gene mapping and sequencing technologies. The Program aims to use this information to deepen our understanding of basic biology, and to develop therapies based on new molecular targets. Prior to his appointment at the NHGRI, Dr. Kastner was Chief of the Laboratory of Clinical Investigation and Clinical Director of NIAMS, and Deputy Director for Intramural Clinical Research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). His laboratory had a longstanding interest in human genetic disorders of inflammation. He led an international consortium that identified the gene causing familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) in 1997. And in 1999, Dr. Kastner’s lab discovered mutations in a TNF-receptor responsible for causing a dominantly inherited periodic fever syndrome similar to FMF, a discovery that has led to the successful use of anti-TNF agents in the disorder. Dr. Kastner’s team also established the association of STAT4 polymorphisms with several autoimmune diseases and is currently studying the genetics of Behçet’s disease. He is a member of the American College of Rheumatology, the American Society of Human Genetics and the American Society for Clinical Investigation. He is the recipient of the NIH Director's Award, the Paul Klemperer Award of the New York Academy of Medicine, the Lee C. Howley Prize for Research in Arthritis from the National Arthritis Foundation and the NIAMS Mentoring Award. Dr. Kastner is a member of the National Academy of Sciences.


Regis B. Kelly, PhD*

University of California, San Francisco

Dr. Kelly is a distinguished neuroscientist and Director of the California Institute for Quantitative Biomedical Research (QB3). QB3 is a cooperative effort among three University of California campuses, the State of California and industry which includes more than 100 life science researchers working at the interface of the physical and biological sciences. He is former Executive Vice Chancellor of the University of California, San Francisco, where he oversaw the University’s entire research enterprise. From 1995 to 2000, Dr. Kelly served as Chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at UCSF. He is Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco, where his research has focused on the molecular mechanisms of peptide hormone and neurotransmitter release in endocrine cells and at synapses.


Henry Metzger, MD*

National Institutes of Health

Dr. Metzger is a renowned immunologist and senior advisor at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He was formerly Chief of Chemical Immunology and Director of Intramural Research for the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS). Dr. Metzger joined the NIH to pursue basic research in structural aspects of the immune system, research that he pursued for over 43 years before retiring in 2002. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and was twice awarded the Distinguished Service Medal of the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service. Dr. Metzger has extensive research expertise in the area of molecular mechanisms of signal transduction by immunoreceptors. His research continues to serve as a foundation for immunological discovery. Dr. Metzger is a member of the National Academy of Sciences.


Antony Rosen, MD

Johns Hopkins University

Dr. Rosen is the Vice Dean of Research and also directs the Division of Rheumatology at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he is also Deputy Director of Medicine and the Mary Betty Stevens Professor of Medicine and a Professor of Cell Biology and Pathology. His expertise and research focuses on the mechanisms of autoimmune diseases, with particular emphasis on defining the role of autoantigens in rheumatic diseases such as scleroderma, lupus and arthritis. He has overseen a significant expansion to the Division of Rheumatology at Johns Hopkins University, nearly doubling the faculty size. Dr. Rosen continues to be highly successful in recruiting and mentoring the next generation of clinical and translational investigators who are dedicating their careers to research that will provide new treatment options for patients living with rheumatic diseases. In addition to his substantial research efforts, Dr. Rosen is a skilled clinician who is deeply committed to caring for his patients.


William J. Rutter, PhD*

Synergenics, LLC

Dr. Rutter is Chief Executive Officer of Synergenics, LLC. Synergenics provides facilities, finance, legal, science and business services to startup companies in the biotechnology industry. He was co-founder of Chiron Corporation and served as the Chairman of the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco. During his tenure at UCSF, Dr. Rutter and his lab made key contributions to the field of genetic engineering. Dr. Rutter is a recipient of the Heinz Award in Technology, the Economy and Employment for his role in helping to create the biotechnology industry and for his commitment to shaping this industry to serve society. He is a leader in the development of recombinant DNA technology and in gene expression technologies for human vaccines. Dr. Rutter is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


Bruce U. Wintroub, MD

University of California, San Francisco

Dr. Wintroub is a distinguished dermatologist and Vice Dean of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, where he also serves as Chair of Dermatology and has a professorship in dermatology. Dr. Wintroub was formerly Assistant Professor of Dermatology at Harvard Medical School. His research projects have included pathogenesis of bullous (blistering) diseases, characterization of human mast cell enzymes and use of photopheresis in cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, atopic dermatitis and scleroderma. Dr. Wintroub is Chairman, Board of Trustees of the Dermatology Foundation and is very active in the area of health care delivery and management.


George Yancopoulos, MD, PhD

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Dr. Yancopoulos is Founding Scientist, President of Regeneron Laboratories and Chief Scientific Officer for Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. His scientific efforts have focused on growth factors, their mechanisms of action and their role in a wide variety of diseases. His research group discovered the angiopoietins and the ephrins, new families of growth factors that help mediate growth of blood vessels and other cell types. Many of the discoveries of Dr. Yancopoulos and his research group have resulted in therapeutic candidates now in clinical trials such as the VEGF-Trap for cancer and blinding eye diseases, including AMD, and the IL-1 Trap for inflammatory diseases. His research group has also developed an innovative set of technology platforms that will greatly speed drug development. He has been recently listed among 11 most highly cited scientists in a survey by the Institute for Scientific Information. Dr. Yancopoulos is a member of the National Academy of Sciences.



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