We would like to introduce the most recent member of the Chion Foundation team. Laura Berlin, PhD joined our board this summer and has worked with us as we have embraced that exciting news that Harmony Biosciences will be bringing pitolisant to the United States.
Dr. Hartwell Berlin earned her Ph.D in molecular biology while studying in an immunology laboratory at Loyola University of Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine. She thus becomes the third immunologist on the Chion Foundation board. We feel this is appropriate since Chion Foundation was created with the hope that an immunological molecule (histamine) may be the key to relieving disease burden for several rare diseases.
She currently teaches immunology as an adjunct professor at Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois. Dr. Hartwell Berlin is thus actively reviewing and teaching immunology and makes valuable contributions to our many conversations on the role of the innate immune system in the maintenance of organismal homeostasis. Like Dr. Pullen and Dr. Tan, Dr. Hartwell Berlin earned her PhD in the 1980’s at a time when much of the research focus was on the adaptive immune system. She thus shares our fascination as we learn about the implications of the innate immune system in the nervous system, gut, and endocrine system.
Dr. Hartwell Berlin also brings to Chion Foundation extensive experience serving on a not-for profit board. We, at Chion Foundation, are entering a new phase of activity. We are now in regular communication with universities, the Food and Drug Administration, and, of course Harmony Biosciences. We want to continue to be good stewards of your donations (thank you!) and Dr. Hartwell Berlin will help us to make decisions about how best to use your donations in a way that will benefit the rare disease community as rapidly as possible.
Which brings us to the last reason that we welcome Dr. Hartwell Berlin. She understands the sense of urgency that is felt by the rare disease community. We need solutions and we needed them yesterday. She has spent many hours holding babies with Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS), considering their challenges, and suggesting solutions. She knows that our children’s lives and futures are precious and fragile and she will match our efforts to relieve their disease burden now.
We are very lucky to have her on the board of the Chion Foundation.