Scientific Advisory Board

SAB members provide unique perspectives to help guide the Hope Center in its mission. Read More

Dan Geschwind, MD, PhD

University of California Los Angeles

Dan Geschwind is the Gordon and Virginia MacDonald Distinguished Professor of Human Genetics, at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine.  He is director of the Neurogenetics Program and the Center for Autism Research and Treatment (CART) and co-director of the Center for Neurobehavioral Genetics at UCLA.  His laboratory is working to improve understanding of human neuropsychiatric diseases such as autism and neurodegenerative diseases, and their relationship to the range of normal human higher cognitive function.

Jeffery Kelly, PhD

The Scripps Research Institute

Jeffery Kelly is the Lita Annenberg Hazen Professor of Chemistry and Chair, Department of Molecular and Experimental Medicine at the Scripps Research Institute.  The central theme of research in his laboratory is to understand the chemistry and biology of protein folding and the competition between protein folding, misfolding and aggregation, the latter two processes being associated with a spectrum of human diseases.

Laura Ranum, PhD

University of Florida

Laura Ranum is Professor of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, and Director of the Center for NeuroGenetics.  Her laboratory uses human genetics to define the molecular causes of neurological disorders (such as ataxia) and mouse models to understand how these mutations cause neurons in the brain to die.


Marc Tessier-Lavigne, PhD

The Rockefeller University

Marc Tessier-Lavigne is President and the Carson Family Professor of the Rockefeller University.  His laboratory investigates nerve cell responses to injury and the mechanisms underlying nerve cell death with the goal of developing therapies for brain injury and neurodegenerative disease.

Ryan Watts, PhD


Ryan Watts is Director of Neuroscience at Genentech.  His group is pursuing two broad areas of translational and basic research: establishment and maintenance of the blood-brain barrier, with a focus on the ability of large molecules to transverse this physiological barrier; and developing potential therapeutics for Alzheimer’s disease and elucidating the nature of this disease by pursing a molecular understanding of genetic discoveries.