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FAST Welcomes New Members to the Advisory Team

The FAST Advisory Council provides additional support to the mission through scientific writing, participation in endpoint development and many additional areas of translational research

Downers Grove, Ill. (March 24, 2021) — FAST, the Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics, announces new members to the FAST Advisory Council. The FAST Advisory Council (FAC) is a collaborative group of volunteers, each personally touched by Angelman syndrome, that contribute to the overall mission of FAST by bringing their expertise in science and medicine to help support various different initiatives of the organization. FAST is pleased to welcome the following individuals to the FAC:

  • Dr. Jim Daley is a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio. He attended the University of Michigan for his Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology, and performed postdoctoral work at the University of Montreal and Yale University. He studies DNA damage, genome instability and cancer. Dr. Daley has a younger sister, Jennie, with Angelman syndrome.  
  • Dr. Joe D'Orazio is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University. Dr. D’Orazio serves as a medical toxicology consultant for the Poison Control Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. He brings extensive experience in emergency medicine, medical toxicology, addiction medicine and has been involved in various clinical trials. His son, Gabriel, has Angelman syndrome.
  • Dr. Terry Jo V. Bichell has a Ph.D. in Neuroscience. She is the founder and director of COMBINEDBrain, which is devoted to speeding the path to clinical treatments for people with severe rare genetic non-verbal neurodevelopmental disorders. While working as a documentary filmmaker, Dr. Bichell’s youngest child, Lou, was diagnosed with Angelman syndrome. She quickly switched focus to help move bench science into the first clinical trials for Angelman syndrome. Dr. Bichell is a highly-published, experienced researcher with a history of working in neuroscience and women's health.
  • Dr. Derek Matheson is the director of hospitalists at Jane Phillips Medical Center. He's a graduate of Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine and has over two decades of internal medicine experience. Dr. Matheson’s youngest child, Remi, was diagnosed with Angelman syndrome in June 2018.

Drs. Jim Daley, Joe D'Orazio, Terry Jo V. Bichell and Derek Matheson are familiar faces to the Angelman community – each of them have loved ones living with Angelman syndrome. The FAC volunteers their time to support the day-to-day of FAST through scientific writing, participation in endpoint development and assisting with new research programs. The FAC is designed to provide additional support to the Angelman syndrome community through communication and scientific writing, while furnishing additional resources for FAST’s translational research agenda.

“The role of the FAST Advisory Council is to further champion the overall mission of FAST, providing additional expertise in many important areas,” said John Schlueter, chairperson for the FAST Board of Directors. “We continue to work tirelessly to bring effective therapeutics to our loved ones with Angelman syndrome. The Advisory Council’s medical and scientific experience continue to support our amazing community through their efforts in some of our research initiatives. The advancements in Angelman syndrome, as well as FAST's mission, would not be possible without the continued support of our community members."

Dr. Allyson Berent, chief science officer for the FAST Board of Directors adds, “This incredible team of clinicians and researchers, being intimately touched by loved ones with Angelman syndrome, are an amazing addition to the FAST team. The FAST Advisory Council works to translate FAST’s research initiatives to our community through scientific writing and committee participation. Combining the expertise and collaboration of the brightest minds from a variety of fields in science and research continues to push us closer to reaching our goal. We are thrilled to welcome new members to the Advisory Council to help support the mission of FAST.”

About Angelman Syndrome

Angelman syndrome is a rare, neurogenetic disorder caused by loss-of-function of the maternally inherited allele of the UBE3A gene. It is estimated to affect 1 in 12,000 to 1 in 20,000 people globally. Individuals with Angelman syndrome have developmental delays, balance issues, motor impairment, and debilitating seizures. Some are unable to walk and most do not speak. While individuals with Angelman syndrome have a normal lifespan, they require continuous care and are unable to live independently. There are currently no approved therapies for Angelman syndrome; however, several symptoms of this disorder can be reversed in adult animal models of Angelman syndrome, suggesting that improvement of symptoms can potentially be achieved at any age.

About FAST

FAST (Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics) is a Section 501(c)(3) nonprofit research organization singularly focused on funding research that holds the greatest promise of treating Angelman syndrome. FAST is the largest, nongovernmental funder of Angelman-specific research. Paula Evans, mother of a girl with Angelman syndrome, founded FAST in 2008. In 2017, FAST formed GeneTx Biotherapeutics to develop GTX-102, and antisense oligonucleotide, for human clinical trials. More information can be found at

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