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NTAP Leadership Committee

Jaishri Blakeley, MD

Jaishri BlakeleyJaishri Blakeley is an Assistant Professor of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Director of the Johns Hopkins Comprehensive Neurofibromatosis Center. Her research expertise is in clinical trial design and in the development of translational studies to advance new therapies in rare diseases.

Dr. Blakeley has a vision that meaningful therapies for patients with plexiform neurofibromas will come from spirited and sincere collaboration of interested parties coupled with appropriate resources. This vision, her expertise in clinic trial design and her successful experiences in leading multi-institutional cooperative studies led to her selection as director of NTAP.

In her role as director, Dr. Blakeley will work to identify opportunities for new plexiform neurofibroma therapies and provide infrastructure that will allow rapid advancement of the most promising projects. She will also serve as a resource to investigators developing therapeutic trials and be an active member of the community working toward successful treatment of plexiform neurofibromas. Dr. Blakeley will recruit and organize the advising committees; seek collaborations across academic, industry and government scientists; and oversee the research portfolio supported by NTAP as well as all of NTAP's activities to ensure that the NTAP mission is achieved.


Amanda Bergner, MS CGC
Director of Operations

Amanda BerengerAmanda Bergner is an Assistant Professor of Genetics and Neurology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and is the senior genetic counselor and research program manager of the Johns Hopkins Comprehensive Neurofibromatosis Center, which she co-founded in 2003. Her formal training is in Genetic Counseling with an emphasis on individual and family adaptation to chronic disease, as well as family systems counseling. She was selected as the director of operations of NTAP due in large part to her experience effectively coordinating and managing both multi-site and international collaborative research studies.

In her role as Director of Operations, Ms. Bergner will ensure that all of the scientific goals and administrative requirements are met efficiently. Ms. Bergner will direct the operations of NTAP, including the successful coordination and implementation of all research meetings and project proposal reviews. She will lead the efforts to complete and keep current a knowledgebase of the literature and tools pertinent to therapeutics for plexiform neurofibromas that will be a resource for scientists interested in plexiform neurofibromas.


Bruce Korf, MD PhD
Scientific Advisor

Bruce KorfDr. Bruce Korf is the Wayne H. and Sara Crews Finley Chair in Medical Genetics and Professor and Chair, Department of Genetics and Director, Heflin Center for Genomic Sciences at University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr. Korf has extensive expertise in all aspects of Neurofibromatosis Type 1, in particular plexiform neurofibromas, and is a world thought leader in the field of Neurofibromatosis.

Dr. Korf will serve as a scientific advisor to the NTAP team about all NF1 related topics. He will assist in the identification of experts in the field that may assist in meeting NTAP’s mission and in the oversight of NTAP funded projects and the overall NTAP research strategy.




Barbara Slusher, PhD
Scientific Advisor

Barbara SlusherDr. Slusher is an Associate Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry and the Director of the Brain Science Institute (BSI) NeuroTranslational Drug Discovery Program at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Before joining Hopkins in September 2009, Dr. Barbara Slusher spent 18 years in the pharmaceutical industry, including 10 years at the level of Senior Vice President of Research and Translational Development. At Johns Hopkins, Dr. Slusher leads an integrated drug discovery program consisting of 20 veteran drug discovery scientists and is the expert for developing drug therapies for neurological and psychiatric disorders.

Dr. Slusher will serve as a scientific advisor to the NTAP team to identify drug opportunities for plexiform neurofibroma with a high likelihood of success. She will also create connections between NTAP and her extensive network of contacts in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. Finally, Dr. Slusher will provide access to the BSi NeuroTranslational Drug Discovery Program to develop or test new compounds for plexiform neurofibromas.


NTAP Scientific Advisory Board - 2013

Jaishri Blakeley, MD  
Karen Cichowski, PhD  
Brigham and Women’s Hospital        Associate Geneticist
Harvard Medical School  Associate Professor in Medicine
Dana Farber/Harvard Cancer Center Associate Director, Planning and Evaluation, Executive Committee, Chair of the Center of Scientific Council, Ludwig Investigator
John P. Clancy, MD  
University of Cincinnati    Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics
  Research Director, Division of Pulmonary Medicine    
David Loeb, MD PhD  
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Associate Professor of Pediatric Oncology
Barbara Slusher, PhD  
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Associate Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry,
  Director of the Brain Science Institute (BSI) NeuroTranslational Drug Discovery Program
Charlotte Sumner, MD  
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Associate Professor of Neurology and Neuroscience
Brigitte Widemann, MD  
National Cancer Institute  Senior Investigator, Head Pharmacology &  Experimental Therapeutics (Pet) Section


Contact Info

600 North Wolfe Street
Phipps 117
Baltimore, MD 21287
Tel 410-955-8016 or 410-955-8010
Email: info@n-tap.org