Scientific Advisory Board

Dr. Sumit Parikh, M.D.

Dr. Parikh currently holds several positions at the Cleveland Clinic including: co-director of Neurogenetics, metabolic and mitochondrial disease clinic, co-director of Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome Clinic, staff physician of Cleveland Clinic Neuroscience and Pediatric Institutes, Staff Physician at Fairview Hospital, and eCleveland Clinic Consultant. Dr. Parikh holds many board certifications including certifications in pediatrics, child neurology, medical genetics and metabolic disease. He has contributed to a number of publications. Dr. Parikh has had the opportunity to diagnose many of our CDKL5 children.


Alysson R. Muotri, Ph.D

University of California San Diego, School of Medicine

Professor of Pediatrics

Professor of Cellular & Molecular Medicine

Director of the UCSD Stem Cell Program

Dr. Muotri earned a BSc in Biological Sciences from the State University of Campinas in 1995 and a Ph.D. in Genetics in 2001 from University of Sao Paulo, in Brazil. He moved to the Salk Institute as Pew Latin America Fellow in 2002 for a postdoctoral training in the fields of neuroscience and stem cell biology. He has been a Professor at the School of Medicine, University of California in San Diego since late 2008. His research focuses on modeling neurological diseases, such as Autism Spectrum Disorders, using human induced pluripotent stem cells. His lab has developed several techniques to culture human neurons and glia for basic research and drug-screening platforms. He has received several awards, including the prestigious NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, NARSAD, Emerald Foundation Young Investigator Award, Surugadai Award from Tokyo University, Rock Star of Innovation from CONNECT, NIH EUREKA Award among others.

Zhaolan (Joe) Zhou, Ph.D.

Dr. Zhou is an Associate Professor of Genetics at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, and Director of the Preclinical Models Core at the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center (IDDRC) at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. After receiving a B.S. in bioengineering from Nankai University and a Ph.D. in molecular and cellular biology from Harvard University, he carried out his postdoctoral training in neuroscience at Harvard Medical School and Children’s Hospital of Boston. His research focuses on understanding the pathophysiology of genetic disorders that impact brain development and function. These include Rett Syndrome and CDKL5 Deficiency with monogenic causes, Asperger Syndrome with complex genetics, and Major Depressive Disorder with environmental insults. As a recipient of the NIH BRAINS award and a Pew Scholar in biomedical sciences, Dr. Zhou has led a research team that developed the first lines of mouse models recapitulating human genetic mutations in Rett Syndrome and CDKL5 Deficiency, and engineered genetically modified mice to interrogate the genetic basis of Asperger Syndrome and environmental stress-related epigenetics in the brain. Through a combination of genetic, genomic, physiological, and behavioral approaches, the Zhou laboratory aims to gain pathophysiological insights into genetic disorders of interest, identify robust and quantitative biomarkers, and uncover new therapeutic avenues to improve treatment for patients.


Walter Erwin Kaufmann, M.D.

Dr. Kaufmann is an active medical staff member and professor at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, where he is head of the Rett Syndrome Clinic. He has a vast collection of publications covering a wide range of neurological conditions including Rett Syndrome, Fragile X and autism. Dr. Kaufmann brings with him more than 30 years of experience, research and education to IFCR.