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Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans Illnesses


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Members and Consultants

Stephen L. Hauser, MD, Chairman
Dr. Hauser is the Robert A. Fishman Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurology at the University of California, San Francisco. A neuroimmunologist, Dr. Hauser's research has advanced our understanding of the genetic basis, immune mechanisms, and treatment of multiple sclerosis. Dr. Hauser is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Physicians, and is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences (Chair of Committee on Gulf War and Health Outcomes [2009] and Chair of Committee on Long Term Effects of Blast Exposure [2014]). He is an editor of the textbook Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, and has served as editor-in-chief of Annals of Neurology (2008-2014). He is a former President of the American Neurological Association and President of the Medical Staff at UCSF. He also serves on several scientific advisory boards for nonprofit organizations. Dr. Hauser has received numerous awards and honors for his work, including the Jacob Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award from the NIH, the John Dystel Prize and the Charcot Award for Multiple Sclerosis Research. In April 2010 Dr. Hauser was appointed by President Obama to the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues charged with advising the President on issues that may emerge from advances in biomedicine and related areas of science and technology. He is a graduate of MIT (Phi Beta Kappa) and Harvard Medical School (Magna Cum Laude). He trained in internal medicine at the New York Hospital–Cornell Medical Center, in neurology at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), and in immunology at Harvard Medical School and the Institute Pasteur in Paris, France, and was a faculty member at Harvard Medical School before moving to UCSF.

Kimberly M. Adams, JD
Ms. Adams served in the US Air Force from 1985 to 1990. She became a certified Respiratory Therapist and worked in a number of hospitals. Ms. Adams then earned B.S. and law degrees. She has held a variety of positions as an attorney and currently works for Community Legal Aid Services in Akron, Ohio, in the "Boots on the Ground" Veterans Justice Project. In this capacity she works with Veterans support agencies and Veterans Service Organizations in Ohio to arrange services offered to Veterans and their families and conducts "Right to Know" sessions for Veterans for their dealings with various legal and benefits issues.

James A. Bunker
James A. Bunker is the Executive Director of the National Gulf War Resource Center (NGWRC) and has been on the Board of Directors since 2002. During Operation Desert Shield / Desert Storm, Jim was assigned to the Tactical Operations Center of the 4th Battalion, 5th Field Artillery, commanded by LTC John R. Gingrich. He was EVACed out and later medically discharged due to injuries from his service. Since his discharge, he has worked with grassroots organizations to provide information to Veterans and their supporters regarding health care and claims. He is an advocate for changes in VA policy and legislation to improve quality of life for Veterans. Jim successfully lobbied the Kansas Legislature to create the Kansas Persian Gulf War Veterans Health Initiative. Jim then served as chair of the advisory board. This group sponsored groundbreaking research by Lea Steele, PhD, commonly known as the Kansas Study after its publication, which showed a connection between deployment in the Southwest Asia Theater and Gulf War Illness. Jim received special recognition from both chambers of the Kansas Legislature for his advocacy work on behalf of Kansas Veterans.

Fiona Crawford, PhD
Dr. Crawford is a neuroscientist, the President of the Roskamp Institute, an independent research institute in Sarasota, Florida, and a VA researcher. Her early Alzheimer's disease (AD) research identified disease-causing mutations which enabled the development of cell and animal models of the disease. Through extensive preclinical and clinical research, the Institute's drug discovery program has advanced a novel drug into a Phase III AD clinical trial. In addition to AD, her neuroscience research is focused on military and Veterans' issues, primarily Gulf War Illness (GWI), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and post- traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). She is developing and utilizing novel, clinically relevant, laboratory models coupled with state-of-the-art "omic" technology to identify therapeutic targets and blood biomarkers in these complex conditions. She publishes extensively in peer-reviewed journals on her work, and is funded by the Veterans Administration, the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense.

Marylyn R. Harris, RN
Ms. Harris is a Gulf War Veteran, a former Army Nurse, and a longtime advocate of Veterans and Military Families. She has a clinical background that extends over three decades, has been involved in numerous research studies, clinical trials and Veteran programs and projects, and teaches entrepreneurship in the international Boots to Business Program hosted by the U S Small Business Administration and the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University. Ms. Harris currently serves as Senior Consultant for Harrland Healthcare Consulting and as Executive Director of the Women Veterans Business Center, both in Houston, TX. Ms. Harris was recently honored as a 2014 "Woman Vetrepreneur of the Year (Finalist)" by the National of Veteran Owned Businesses. In 2013, Ms. Harris was recognized by President Obama as a White House "Champion of Change" and by the Small Business Administration (Region VI) as the "Veteran Business Champion of the Year."

Stephen C. Hunt, MD
Dr. Hunt is National Director of VA's Post-Deployment Integrated Care Initiative (PDICI) and has been the Director of the Gulf War Veterans' Clinic at the VA Puget Sound Health Care System since 1994. In his busy clinical practice, Dr. Hunt treats Veterans of any era who have deployment-related health problems, and he was a member of the joint DoD/VA committee that recently updated the Clinical Practice Guidelines for chronic multisymptom illness (CMI). Dr. Hunt has also published over 35 peer-reviewed research articles, many of which involved Gulf War Veterans or other deployed cohorts. He was a member of VA's Gulf War Task Force and has testified before Congress about clinical issues involving Veterans.

Nancy Klimas, MD
Nancy Klimas MD is Director of Clinical Immunology Research at the Miami VAMC and directs the GWI and ME/CFS clinical and research programs at the Miami VA. She is Director of the Nova Southeastern University Institute for Neuro-Immune Medicine; Professor of Medicine and Chair of the Department of Clinical Immunology at Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine; and Professor Emerita, University of Miami School of Medicine. She is a member of the NIH P2P CFS/ME committee, the Institute of Medicine ME/CFS review panel, and has advised three Secretaries of Health and Human Services during her repeated service on the HHS CFS Advisory Committee. She is currently funded by the VA, DoD, and NIH to study these complex disorders using a systems biology approach with a strong focus on illness models that lead to therapeutic targets and clinical trials.

Katherine A. McGlynn, PhD
Dr. McGlynn is Deputy Branch Chief and Senior Investigator in the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland. Her research involves the epidemiology of cancer, primarily testicular and liver cancers, with an emphasis on the environmental and genetic factors that contribute to increased incidence of these conditions. She serves as Editor or Associate Editor of three professional journals and has published over 200 journal articles and 25 book chapters. She serves on numerous national committees that focus on epidemiology and public health. Dr. McGlynn belongs to many professional societies and is a Fellow of the American College of Epidemiology.

Jeffrey S. Nast, JD
Mr. Nast served in the US Army (First Cavalry) in 1990-1991 and is an ill Gulf War Veteran. He completed B.A. and law degrees upon returning. After working for a number of law firms specializing in environmental law, he moved to the US Environmental Protection Agency as Senior Assistant Regional Counsel, in the Waste and Chemical Law Branch, Philadelphia, PA. His primary duties include national historic preservation and enforcing chemical and hazardous waste statues. The latter is related to the kinds of exposures encountered by Mr. Nast and other Gulf War Veterans.

Stephen Ondra, MD
Dr. Stephen Ondra was named Senior Vice President and enterprise Chief Medical Officer at Health Care Service Corporation in February 2013. Previously, he served as Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. In his current role, Dr. Ondra will report directly to the HCSC President and CEO and will be involved in a wide range of corporate activities and strategic policy planning. Dr. Ondra served in the army during the Gulf War. In 2009, he was appointed by President Obama, as the senior advisor for Health Affairs to Secretary Shinseki at the Department of Veterans Affairs. In 2010, he was moved to the Executive Office of the President and served in the Office of Science and Technology Policy. In addition to other duties at the White House, he served as a co-chair of the National Science and Technology Council for Health Information Technology, on the Deputy group for the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and on the Federal Health Information Technology Policy and Standards Committee.

Frances E. Perez-Wilhite
Frances Perez-Wilhite was a Lieutenant in the US Army who served in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Shield and is a member of the American Legion. She has served on the North Carolina Veterans Executive Council and the North Carolina Advisory Commission on Military Affairs, but since 2006, Ms. Perez-Wilhite has been with the North Carolina Military Business Center where she works closely with Veteran-owned businesses. For her efforts, she has received multiple business and community leadership awards. Ms. Perez-Wilhite holds a B.A. degree from Norwich University Military College of Vermont and an M.B.A. from Wake Forest University.

Martin A. Philbert, PhD
Dr. Philbert is the Dean of the University of Michigan School of Public Health. His research focuses on the development of flexible polymer nanoplatforms for optical sensing in tissues and the early detection and treatment of brain tumors. He has authored more than 200 peer-reviewed scholarly manuscripts, abstracts, and book chapters. He is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences (USA), a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (UK) and a Fellow of the Academy of Toxicological Sciences (USA). He is the Chair of the US-EPA Chemical Assessment Advisory Committee that provides peer review of IRIS assessments. Dr. Philbert has served as the Chair of the US-FDA Science Advisory Board, and Co-Chair of the US-EPA Board of Scientific Counselors.

Scott L. Rauch, MD
Dr. Rauch is Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School as well as the Chair of Psychiatry and Mental Health for Partners Healthcare. He is President, Psychiatrist in Chief, and Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo Chair of Psychiatry at McLean Hospital in Massachusetts. His research interests include neuroimaging (using magnetic resonance and PET scans), neurosurgery, and the biology of neurological disorders. Dr. Rauch has won numerous research awards and has published over 400 journal articles, books, and book chapters. He is past president of the Society of Biological Psychiatry and has served on several committees related to military health for the National Academies of Science.

Caroline M. Tanner, MD, PhD
Dr. Tanner is the Director of the Parkinson's Disease Research, Education, and Clinical Center (PADRECC) at the San Francisco VA Medical Center. Her medical background is in neurology and neuropharmacology, and her Ph.D. is in environmental health sciences. Her clinical practice is focused on Parkinson's Disease and other movement disorders, and her research involves environmental epidemiology, genetics, biomarkers, and neurodegenerative diseases. Dr. Tanner's awards include the Parkinson's Disease Foundation Outstanding Woman Researcher (2004) and the American Academy of Neurology Movement Disorders Research Award (2012). She serves on numerous national committees that focus on neurological conditions.

Mitchell T. Wallin, MD
Dr. Wallin is Associate Professor in the Neurology Departments at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and Georgetown University School of Medicine as well as the Multiple Sclerosis Clinic Director at the Washington, DC, VA Medical Center. He is also the Associate Director of Clinical Care and Epidemiology at the VA MS Center of Excellence in Baltimore. Dr. Wallin has helped develop innovative clinical programs and was the primary author of the VA MS Handbook of Care. His research in MS and other neurological problems and in neuroepidemiology has been funded by VA, NIH, and other sources. He has published over 50 articles and book chapters on these topics including articles related to MS in Gulf War Veterans. Dr. Wallin has delivered numerous oral presentations and served on editorial boards and expert panels.

Scott Young, MD
Dr. Young serves as associate executive director for Clinical Care and Innovation at The Permanente Federation. He also serves as the Executive Director of Kaiser Permanente's Care Management Institute. He leads a nationwide team that is integral to Kaiser Permanente's commitment to improve the care and wellness of its 9.3 million members. His work includes commissioning the discovery, development and spread of programs and best practices focused on care delivery, education and member experience. Related to his appointment to the Research Advisory Committee, Dr. Young served as a Navy flight surgeon during the Gulf War.
Dr. Young is former director for Health IT at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Prior to joining that agency, he served as a senior clinical advisor at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Dr. Young's policy experience also includes service as a Robert Wood Johnson health policy fellow in the office of U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico.
He is former executive vice president of the Utah HealthCare Institute, a not-for-profit organization providing clinical care, outreach programs, medical education, research, informatics and health policy services. Dr. Young is a founding member of Intermountain Health Care's Utah Valley Family Practice Residency.
Dr. Young received his medical degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1987 and completed his training at the Fairfax Family Practice Residency. He is board certified in family medicine and a fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians.

Staff Member to the Committee

Jon VanLeeuwen, PhD (Managing Director)
Dr. VanLeeuwen is a neuroscientist who also has experience working at the intersection of science and policy. He was in the civil service at the U.S. Department of State, most recently serving as Special Advisor on Data and Analytics in the Office of U.S. Foreign Assistance Resources. He made his foray into federal policy as an AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow, also at the U.S. Department of State. Dr. VanLeeuwen received his scientific training at Northwestern University where his research focused on the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying synaptic plasticity in aging and disease.