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Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses


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Committee Members and Staff

Lawrence Steinman, M.D., Chairman
Dr. Lawrence Steinman attended public schools in Culver City California. He then attended Dartmouth College, receiving a BA in physics, graduating Magna Cum Laude in 1968. He then attended Harvard Medical School graduating in 1973. Steinman did an internship and residency in neurology at Stanford University Hospital. From 1974 to 1977 he was a post-doctoral fellow with Professor Michael Sela in the Department of Chemical Immunology at the Weizmann Institute and received an NIH post-doctoral Fellowship. He is Board Certified in Neurology and Psychiatry. He is Senior Attending Physician at Stanford and is the Zimmerman Professor of Pediatrics and Neurology. From 2002 to 2011 he served as the Chairman of the Interdepartmental Immunology Program. He received numerous teaching awards during this time, particularly for his course on the Brain and the Immune System. Steinman served in 2014 and 2015 on the IOM-NAS panel on Considerations for Designing an Epidemiologic Study for Multiple Sclerosis and Other Neurologic Disorders in Pre and Post 9/11 Gulf War Veterans. Steinman has received numerous honors: From 1988 to 2002 he received two Senator Jacob Javits Awards from NINDS. In 1994 he won the Fredrich Sasse Prize from the Free University of Berlin. In 2004 he won the Dystel Prize from the National MS Society. In 2008 he received an Honorary Doctorate from Hasselt University. In 2009 he was elected to the Institute of Medicine, now called the National Academy of Medicine. In 2011 he won the Charcot Prize for Lifetime Achievement in MS research from the International Federation of MS Societies. In 2015 he received the Cerami Prize in Translational Medicine. In 2017 he was elected a Fellow of the American Association for Advancement of Science. In 2015 he became the first neuroimmunologist elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Steinman served on the Board of Directors at Centocor from 1989 until its sale to Johnson and Johnson. Steinman co-founded several biotech companies including Neurocrine Biosciences, Atreca, Tolerion, and Katexco Pharma.

Kimberly M. Adams, JD
Ms. Adams is an Air Force Veteran, former health care provider and staunch legal advocate for veterans and their families. She became a Certified Respiratory Therapist in 2005 and worked in a number of hospitals. Ms. Adams then earned her B.S. in Women and Gender Studies (Summa Cum Laude) from the State University of New York, College at Brockport in 2008 and J.D. from Wayne State University Law School in 2013. She was selected as an Equal Justice Works Legal Fellow in 2013 and developed the “Boots on the Ground” Veterans Justice Project for Community Legal Aid Services in Akron, OH. After her fellowship ended in 2015, she had the opportunity to continue her veterans legal and support work as a Veterans Legal Advocate with the same organization. Our Veterans Legal Team advocates for and empowers Central NE Ohio veterans to build stable and productive lives. She also works with Veterans Support agencies, Veterans Service Organizations as well as Veterans Treatment Courts in Central NE Ohio to collaborate and arrange access to legal services for Veterans and their families.

James N. Baraniuk, M.D.
Dr. Baraniuk is a board-certified physician and Professor of Rheumatology, Immunology, and Allergy and the Director, Bioassay Core, Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center at Georgetown University. He is a National and International leader of Gulf War illness, chronic fatigue syndrome, and fibromyalgia with emphasis on pain and neuropathological dysfunction as displayed, in part, by over 170 peer-reviewed manuscripts, solid federal funding, and expert panels he serves, including the high-level distinct panel of Gulf War Illness, Desert Storm after 25 years, co-hosted by the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence Brookings. Dr. Baraniuk has established large clinical research databases and biorepositories using multiple big data approaches. Together, his laboratory and collaborative team are using these tools to dissect clinical phenotypes and pathophysiological mechanisms of chronic fatigue syndrome in Veterans with Gulf War illness distinct from control subjects.

Brent L. Casey.
Mr. Casey served as a combat medic with the 82nd Airborne Division in the Persian Gulf in 1990-1991. As a Gulf War Veteran, he has spent many years contributing personal experience, diverse perspectives, and expertise to several organizations. Mr. Casey has participated as an invited speaker for several venues, served as a Consumer Reviewer with the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program, and sits, or has sat, on the board of directors for Dogs Helping Heroes, the National Gulf War Resource Center, National Desert Storm War Memorial, and Student Veterans of America, Chapter 227 at Sullivan University. Mr. Casey graduated summa cum laude from Sullivan University with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Business Management and is continuing his education as a graduate student pursuing a doctoral degree in Strategic Management at Sullivan University.

Marylyn R. Harris, RN
Ms. Harris is a Gulf War Veteran, a former Army Nurse, and a longtime advocate of Veterans and Military Families. Ms. Harris is an Adjunct Clinical Faculty in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing at the University of St. Thomas Peavy School of Nursing. Ms. Harris was the 2014 University of Texas - Houston School of Nursing "Distinguished Nurse Alumni." 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 and Chief Consultant of the Gulf War Veterans’ Clinic and Deployment Health 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. 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 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.

Katherine A. McGlynn, PhD
Dr. McGlynn is a Senior Investigator in the Metabolic Epidemiology Branch of the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland. Her research focuses on 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 Division) as an armor crewman in 1990-1991 and is a cancer survivor (service-connected lymphoma) and an ill Gulf War Veteran. He completed a BA in Communications and Social Sciences at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California in 1995 his Juris Doctor at Villanova University in 1999. After clerking for Judges in the Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas and the 3rd Circuit, Middle District of Pennsylvania, he moved to the US Environmental Protection Agency where he now serves as a Senior Assistant Regional Counsel, in the Hazardous Waste and Chemical Law Branch, Philadelphia, PA. His primary duties include national historic preservation and enforcing chemical and hazardous waste statues, including the Toxic Substances Control Act. The latter is related to the kinds of exposures encountered by Mr. Nast and other Gulf War Veterans. Mr. Nast is a life member of the First Cavalry Division Association, DAV, and VFW.

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.

Carey Nat Pope, Ph.D.
Dr. Pope has a Ph.D. in Pharmacology/Toxicology, is Regents Professor and Sitlington Endowed Chair in Toxicology, and is Director of the Interdisciplinary Toxicology Program at Oklahoma State University–Stillwater. He has served as past President for the International Neurotoxicology Association, the South Central Chapter of the Society of Toxicology, and the Neurotoxicology Section of the Society of Toxicology. Dr. Pope is a current member of a number of scientific societies and is an associate editor or board member for nine toxicology and pharmacology journals. Dr. Pope’s research interests focus on the effects of xenobiotics, in particular organophosphorus chemicals, on neurological function using biochemical, neurobehavioral, and analytical chemistry approaches. These efforts have led to over 230 published peer-reviewed abstracts, manuscripts, and book chapters in addition to invited speaker requests and participation on advisory panels both nationally and internationally.

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 and the neurobiology of mood and anxiety disorders, as well as the use of modern technology to enhance care delivery in psychiatry. 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.

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 S. 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.

Committe Staff Members

Jon VanLeeuwen, PhD (Managing Director)
Dr. VanLeeuwen is a neuroscientist who also has experience working at the intersection of science and policy. He is an Adjunct Instructor at the University of California, San Francisco and in his role at the VA he oversees the committee office. Dr. VanLeeuwen previously served in the civil service at the U.S. Department of State, most recently as Special Advisor on Data and Analytics. 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.

John Rukkila, BS, BA, ELS (Technical Writer-Editor)
John is a communication technologist with experience as a journalist, institutional medical editor, and clinical service administrative and editorial assistant. He has dual-major technical writing-editing and journalism degrees from Arizona State University as well as medical technology training and experience in U.S. Navy Regional Medical Center clinical laboratories and U.S. Army Area Reference Laboratory microbiology-serology services. He was the medical editor at-large for Letterman Army Medical Center and technical publications editor for the LAMC Clinical Investigation Service in San Francisco. John is certified as an Editor in the Life Sciences through the Board of Editors in the Life Sciences.

Stan Corpus, BA (Program Coordinator)
Stan Corpus is the Program Coordinator for the Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses. In this role, Mr. Corpus provides planning, coordinating, logistics, and administrative support for RAC staff, and Committee members. He received a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Organizational Leadership from Brandman/Chapman University, Orange CA and a graduate of the United States Army Sergeants Major Academy Ft. Bliss, Texas. Mr. Corpus is no stranger to coordinating, having served as an Operations Non-Commissioned Officer in the U.S. Army, and was responsible for coordinating successful major deployments during his time in the military.