Maryam Fouladi, MD, MSc

Dr. Fouladi is Professor co-executive director of the Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Program at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. She served as Chair of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium (PBTC) and currently chairs the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) Central Nervous System Committee. Dr. Fouladi has extensive experience with the development and conducting of phase I/II trials and preclinical development and pharmacology of new drugs in children with brain tumors. She also serves on the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Best Pharmaceuticals for Children (BPCA) Advisory Board. Dr. Fouladi has a strong vision and passion to find cures for children with brain tumors.

Darren Hargrave, MB, ChB (Hons), MD

Dr. Hargrave is an associate professor and consultant pediatric neuro-oncologist at the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and University College London. Dr. Hargrave’s research focuses on developing ‘better and kinder’ therapies for children with central nervous system tumors. He is one of the most active clinical trial researchers in Europe in the field of pediatric neuro-oncology, and he chairs the UK New agents Group for Childhood Cancer and is a member of the clinical trial committees of both the Innovative therapies for Children with Cancer (ITCC) and the European Society for Pediatric Oncology (SIOPE) Brain groups.

Ralph Salloum, MD

Dr. Salloum is board certified in internal medicine and pediatrics and has a particular interest in adolescent and young adult patients who are undergoing treatment for a brain tumor or who have survived one. He is originally from Lebanon where he attended medical school at the American University of Beirut. His area of expertise is pediatric neuro-oncology with a focus on developmental therapeutics, survivorship and young adult oncology.

Chris Jones, PhD, FRCPath
Pre-Clinical Lead

Dr. Jones is Professor and Leader of the Glioma Team at the Institute of Cancer Research in London. His lab has a long-standing interest in the biology of high grade (HGG) and diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), with a focus on genomics/epigenomics, development of novel tumour models, and pre-clinical therapeutic testing. He was formerly the Chair of the HGG/DIPG Biology Subcommittee of the SIOP Europe Brain Tumour Working Group, and is a Steering Committee member for ITCC-Brain.

Michelle Deutsch, MS, CSSBB
Operations Director

Michelle has been with CONNECT since 2018 and is honored to serve as Operations Director and work with an amazing Operations Team. She transitioned from business director to overall operations director in 2022. She has witnessed the number of sites grow, watched each trial develop from concept to enrolling patients and fostered the operations team as it has doubled in size. Michelle draws on her years of industry experience in project management and process improvement to find ways we can work smarter, not harder. She has a MS in Organizational Leadership and became a Certified Six Sigma Black Belt through the American Society for Quality in 2017. Michelle enjoys every minute of being part of this team where she can use her experience to build and support a solid infrastructure for CONNECT as we continue to develop and grow.

Annemarie McClellan, MS, MBA
Clinical Operations Manager

Annemarie is happy to be part of the CONNECT team, joining in August 2022. She brings extensive experience in managing brain tumor clinical trials. She served as the first Director of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium and managed clinical trials for the Brain Tumor Program at St Jude Children’s Research Hospital for over a decade. Most recently she served as Project Manager for international oncology studies at LabCorp/Covance. Annemarie is gratified to use her organizational experience to support the CONNECT Consortium to bring novel, promising therapies to children and young adults with brain tumors.

Leonie Mikael, MSc, PhD
Senior Scientist

Leonie joined the CONNECT team in November of 2020 from Montreal, Canada. She has a PhD in Microbiology and Immunology and a Fellowship in Medical Genetics from McGill University. A scientist at heart, she has been studying cancer genetics for 18 years. She has published extensively in the field of pediatric brain tumor research and is eager to help CONNECT bring discoveries from bench to bedside. Leonie has a vast experience in various aspects of biobanking and running clinical trials in pediatric neuro-oncology.

Demi Beckford, MHS, ACRP-CP
Project Manager

Demi joined the CONNECT team in September 2021 and brings several years of health care and clinical research experience as a research coordinator, public health supervisor, and project manager. She has a master’s degree in health sciences with a minor in chemistry. Demi has served on the scientific review committee board for perinatal research and has a broad range of experience with investigational drug/devices studies, sample registries and consortiums. Her passion is pediatric research and health equity.

Dorothy Crabtree, CCRP
Site Coordinator

Dorothy joined the CONNECT Operations Team in December of 2019. She brings extensive regulatory experience to the CONNECT team and is an excellent resource to sites. She collaborates with CONNECT institutions throughout the course of a study, from start-up to close-out providing ongoing support for protocol implementation, coordination, and site training. She is responsible for maintaining regulatory documentation and providing oversight for all of CONNECT’s clinical research studies and sites. She will apply her regulatory knowledge to assist in preparing sites for audits and monitoring visits. Dorothy is fully committed to maintaining the integrity of our clinical trials and is excited to be working with our team and sites.

Mythili Murala
Site Coordinator

Mythili joined the CONNECT Operations Team in August 2020. Mythili holds a master’s degree in drug development and has extensive experience as a research associate. Her attention to detail has proven to be a strong asset to the team in her role as data quality coordinator. Mythili will be ensuring the integrity of all data and source documentation provided by study sites in the electronic case report forms, and she will assist in monitoring activities including DLT reviews, SAE reports, and issuing queries. She will assist with preparing study start-and maintenance documents. Mythili will work alongside the team to manage regulatory and site management activities. She is excited and fully committed to collaborating with CONNECT projects and sites.

Anna Harr
Site Coordinator

Anna joined CONNECT in December of 2022. Anna has experience as a Clinical Research Coordinator, conducting patient visits and procedures, maintaining regulatory documents, and communicating with study personnel. She has led numerous phase 1-3 clinical trials from study start-up until closure in a variety of therapeutic areas. She will be a great asset to the operations team and is very much looking forward to working with our CONNECT sites as a site coordinator.

Brooklyn Chaney, MS, CCRP

Brooklyn joined the CONNECT Operations Team as a Senior Research Monitor and is excited to be working with our sites in a monitoring capacity. She brings 7 years of experience in Clinical Research from her time working with the International DIPG/DMG Registry and Repository where she previously worked with study conduct, regulatory compliance, data quality reviews and site management.

Katie Black

Katie will be working with Brooklyn to perform remote and on-site monitoring visits for CONNECT studies. Katie previously worked with the International DIPG/DMG Registry and Repository and has experience with study coordination, data and site management.

Brooke Desserich
Patient Advocate

Mrs. Desserich is a mother of a child diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma. After her daughter’s passing in 2007, she co-founded The Cure Starts Now Foundation, which today has 40 locations worldwide and has funded over $29 million in cancer research and support. Recognized nationally as the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Award for Outstanding Public Service Benefiting Local Communities, one of the highest honors for philanthropic work in the world. She is also an entrepreneur with professional experience in business development for over 25 years.