The volunteers on our Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) are highly respected experts working within an array of disciplines, including medical research, business entrepreneurship, biopharmaceutical manufacturing, and others. Their efforts have led to notable progress in understanding and treating several rare diseases, particularly CADASIL. The cureCADASIL Board of Trustees is grateful for their valuable guidance as we collaborate towards finding a cure.

If you are interested in joining, please contact us at [email protected] to learn more.

Fanny Elahi, MD, PhD

Fanny Elahi, MD, PhD is a physician-scientist and Assistant Professor in the Departments of Neurology, Neuroscience, and Pathology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. Elahi’s work focuses on examining the link between disease of the brain’s small blood vessels and neurodegeneration. She is passionate about translating laboratory discoveries into clinical applications, and aims to inspire hope for a cure for CADASIL, Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Frontotemporal Dementias, and other neurodegenerative disorders. In 2020, cureCADASIL and Elahi worked to form a collaborative group of investigators (the CADASIL Disease Modeling Group; CDMG) with the goal to share knowledge and resources to move forward drug discovery for CADASIL. For more information about Dr. Elahi, please visit

Chris Hopkins, PhD, MBA

Chris Hopkins, PhD, MBA is biochemist/geneticist turned entrepreneur specializing in the creation of humanized animal models for rare disease biology discovery. Chris has a track record of translational success as an awardee of multiple Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants and he also provides influencer commentary as blogger and regular LinkedIn contributor. Chris is passionate in working with Rare Disease groups to help them progress their therapeutic programs quickly. In his role as a member of the cureCADASIL advisory board, Chris will participate with the CADASIL Disease Modeling Group (CDMG), in taking decisive step towards developing models, finding biomarkers and testing therapeutic approaches to help treat and prevent the symptoms caused by dysfunction in the extracellular domain of NOTCH3.

As a member of the SAB at cureCADASIL, Chris uses his experience in entrepreneurship in biochemistry and genetics to help found the CDMG.  The group brings together leading vascular biology researchers with the bold 5 step mission:

1) Create a USA-based aggregate patient registry within 1 year.
2) Deploy omics technologies to help understand disease mechanisms and reveal biomarkers within 1 year.
3) Get CADASIL-related grant funding within 1 year.
4) To help train and build the community, a research symposium will be held within 2 years,5) Create model systems built so biomarker conservation can be assessed and high-throughput drug screens performed within 3 years.

Michelle A. McGuinness, MS, RAC

Regulatory Affairs, Quality & Compliance Leader, Greater Philadelphia Area

Michelle Mc Guinness is a biopharmaceutical leader with expertise in the quality, regulatory and compliance aspects of pharmaceutical manufacturing & marketing. She is a member of the Regulatory Affairs Professional Society and the American Society for Quality.
Ms. Mc Guinness understands the scientific aspects of CADASIL as well as the impact that a rare disease has on a family. Ms. Mc Guinness’s father had CADASIL, and she is committed to advocacy, awareness & finding a cure for CADASIL.