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  • Keynote Speakers

    Mary GrayMary L. Gray, PhD
    November 14 from 8:55 to 9:40 AM
    Senior Researcher, Microsoft Research; Fellow, Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society; Associate Professor of the Media School, with affiliations in American Studies, Anthropology, and Gender Studies, Indiana University
    Mary L. Gray, PhD, is a Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research and Fellow at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. She maintains an appointment as Associate Professor of the Media School, with affiliations in American Studies, Anthropology, and Gender Studies at Indiana University. Dr. Gray’s research looks at how media access and everyday uses of technologies transform people's lives. Her most recent book, Out in the Country: Youth, Media, and Queer Visibility in Rural America (New York University Press, 2009), looked at how young people in the rural United States use media to negotiate their sexual and gender identities, local belonging, and visibility in national LGBT politics, more broadly. Dr. Gray’s current book project, co-authored with computer scientist Siddharth Suri, uses case studies of present day crowdwork on four different crowdsourcing platforms, comparing workers' experiences in the United States and India, to think through the social impact of digital workforces on the future of employment. A third thread of Dr. Gray’s work examines how ethics and research compliance processes produce norms of vulnerability and risk in human subjects research, particularly work at the intersections of computer and social science. Her research has also been published by Critical Studies in Media Communication, Cultural Anthropology, International Journal of Communication, and Social Media + Society.

    Patricia FurlongPatricia Furlong
    November 15 from 8:30 to 9:15 AM
    Founding President and CEO of Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD)
    Patricia Furlong is the founding president and CEO of PPMD, the largest nonprofit organization in the United States solely focused on Duchenne muscular dystrophy (Duchenne). Ms. Furlong, together with other parents of young men with Duchenne, founded PPMD in 1994, and their mission is to end Duchenne. They accelerate research, raise their voices in Washington, demand optimal care for all young men, and educate the global community. Duchenne is the most common fatal, genetic childhood disorder, and it affects approximately one out of every 3,500 boys each year worldwide. It currently has no cure. Today, she continues to lead the organization and is considered one of the foremost authorities on Duchenne in the world. 

    When doctors diagnosed her two sons, Christopher and Patrick, with Duchenne in 1984, Ms. Furlong didn’t accept “there’s no hope and little help” as an answer. She immersed herself in Duchenne, working to understand the pathology of the disorder, the extent of research investment, and the mechanisms for optimal care. Her sons lost their battle with Duchenne in their teenage years, but she continues to fight—in their honor and for all families affected by Duchenne. Ms. Furlong speaks about Duchenne and related topics at conferences each year, is an active board member with the National Organization for Rare Disorders, and has served on the Board of Genetic Alliance and the Muscular Dystrophy Coordinating Committee, US Department of Health and Human Services. She is also a committee member on the Collaboration in Education and Test Translation Program, and she serves on the data safety monitoring board for both the Rare Diseases Clinical Research Network and Cooperative International Neuromuscular Research Group. Ms. Furlong graduated from Mt. St. Joseph College in Cincinnati, OH, with a BS in Nursing, and she attended graduate school at Ohio State University. Ms. Furlong also ran the Renal Dialysis Unit and Patient Education Center at Akron General Hospital, and then continued her career on a part-time basis, teaching patient education classes at Middletown Regional Hospital. Ms. Furlong has two daughters and her perseverance is in honor of her two sons who continue to motivate her efforts.

    Joseph GarnerJoseph Garner, DPhil
    November 16 from 8:30 to 9:15 AM
    Associate Professor, Department of Comparative Medicine; Courtesy Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences; Member, Child Health Research Institute, Stanford University

    Joseph Garner, DPhil, is an associate professor in the department of comparative medicine, a courtesy associate professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, and a member of the Child Health Research Institute at Stanford University. The overarching theme of Dr. Garner’s research is understanding why most drugs (and other basic science findings) fail to translate into human outcomes, the role that animal models and methodology play in these failures, and developing new approaches to improve the translation. Dr. Garner also works extensively as a researcher and an advocate, and his current human health research is focused on animal and human studies in autism, and animal work in trichotillomania and skin-picking. The question driving all of this work is “Why does one sibling become ill and another does not?” and the goal is to identify biomarkers leading to screening, prevention, and personalized treatment options. Dr. Garner’s advocacy work includes serving on scientific advisory boards for the Trichotillomania Learning Center, the Tourette Syndrome Association, and the Beautiful You Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser Foundation. In addition, Dr. Garner is an internationally recognized expert in the behavior and welfare of laboratory mice, and has received awards from the National Center for the 3Rs (refinement, reduction, reuse), the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science, the Swiss Laboratory Animal Science Association, and the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare.