PHILADELPHIA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Three individuals have been elected to the board of directors of Philadelphia-based National Disease Research Interchange (NDRI). Lending their experience and insight to the nation’s leading source of human organs, cells and tissues for research are Shawn Blackburn, CEO, YPrime, Malvern, PA; Sulayman Dib-Hajj, PhD, Senior Research Scientist, Yale School of Medicine and VA Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven, CT; and Megan Kasimatis Singleton, JD, MBE, CIP, Assistant Dean and Director of the Human Research Protection Program, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD.
Blackburn, Dib-Hajj and Singleton were elected on May 16 to three-year terms on the NDRI board. Mary J.C. Hendrix, PhD, Chair of the NDRI Board and President of Shepherd University shared that, “Shawn Blackburn’s expertise in technology to support research, Dr. Dib-Hajj’s research accomplishments and experience utilizing human tissue for research and Megan Singleton’s knowledge and experience in law, bioethics and human subject protections will be invaluable to advancing the mission of NDRI.”
Bill Leinweber, NDRI’s President and Chief Executive Officer, adds, “The caliber of our new board members speaks to the significant transformative work being advanced by our organization. We are honored to have these highly respected professionals commit their time and talents to the mission of NDRI.”
Blackburn is a co-founder of YPrime, a clinical trial software company focused on creating innovative solutions for researchers running global clinical trials in all therapeutic areas. Under Blackburn’s leadership, YPrime has experienced exponential growth with offices in Pennsylvania and North Carolina and additional staff based in five countries.
Dib-Hajj’s research has centered on the molecular basis of excitability disorders in humans including pain, with a focus on the role of voltage-gated sodium channels in the pathophysiology of these disorders, and as targets for new therapeutics. He has published more than 160 primary papers and reviews, and has established national and international collaborations with both academic and pharmaceutical groups. Dib-Hajj received his undergraduate educated from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon and his PhD from The Ohio State University.
In her current role, Singleton is responsible for oversight and direction of the staff that support the seven Johns Hopkins Medicine Institutional Review Boards (IRBs). She earned her law degree from Temple University and Masters in bioethics from the University of Pennsylvania. She is a frequent presenter on a range of human research protection issues.
The National Disease Research Interchange (NDRI) is the nation’s leading source of human tissues, cells and organs for scientific research. A not-for-profit 501 (c)(3) organization founded in 1980, NDRI is funded in part by the National Institutes of Health, public and private foundations and organizations, pharmaceutical and biotechnology corporations. NDRI is a 24/7 operation that partners with a nationwide network of over 130 tissue source sites (TSS), including organ procurement organizations (OPO), tissue banks, eye banks, and hospitals. The TSS, are distributed throughout the USA, in 45 states, with concentrations in major metropolitan areas on both the east and west coasts. Their wide geographic distribution allows NDRI to provide biospecimens from donor populations with diverse demographics and also facilitates the timely and efficient provision of fresh tissues directly to researchers across the country. By serving as the liaison between procurement sources and the research community, NDRI is uniquely positioned to support breakthrough advances and discoveries that can affect advances in the treatment and cure of human diseases.