Year 2000 Speakers

6th Annual Conference
Velo-Cardio-Facial Syndrome Educational
Best Western Hotel and Conference Center
Baltimore, Maryland
July 21-23, 2000

Featured Speakers

Below, find brief biographies for the featured speakers for the 6th Annual conference of the Velo-Cardio-Facial Syndrome Educational Foundation, Inc.  Addition biographies will be added or updated as they are received from the respective individual(s).

Ahmad Al-Khattat

Ahmad Al-Khattat is a Doctor of Podiatry in Northampton, England at the Nene Research University. Dr. Al-Khattat first attended the Educational Foundation meeting in 1996 and since that time he has attended every meeting and held leg pain clinics for attendees. His efforts have culminated in significant research findings and publications that have documented the nature and treatment of leg pains in VCFS. Dr. Al-Khattat became the first member of the Board of Directors of the Educational Foundation from outside of the U.S. in 1998. He is currently in the process of arranging the first meeting of the Foundation to be held outside of the U.S. in 2002 in Northampton, England.

Dr. Stephan Eliez
Dr. Stephan Eliez met his first patient with Velo-cardio-facial syndrome while doing his residency in Child Psychiatry and Medical Genetics at the Geneva University School of Medicine in Switzerland. He took immediate interest in this syndrome and began studying it by meeting and assessing all of the children with VCFS in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. After receiving funding through two awards from the Swiss Research Fund, Dr. Eliez decided to continue his study of VCFS in the United States. Looking for a research center that takes a multidisciplinary approach while studying neuro-behavioral phenotypes, Dr. Eliez chose to continue his research at Stanford University under Dr. Allan Reiss. Today Dr. Eliez is directing the Stanford Psychiatry Structural Neuroimaging Lab and working on brain imaging in patients with VCFS. The Stanford University Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences has shared Dr. Eliez’s interest in Velo-cardio-facial syndrome, and has devoted resources that have made Stanford University the primary research center in Velo-cardio-facial syndrome on the west coast.

Dr. Golding-Kushner

Dr. Golding-Kushner is a speech pathologist with over 20 years of
experience working with children with VCFS. Her 1985 publication in the
Journal of Craniofacial Genetics and Developmental Biology was the first
research to document the speech, language, and behavioral disorders in
VCFS. Dr. Golding- Kushner’s doctoral research involved an analysis of
velo-cardio-facial syndrome. She wrote a chapter in the textbook Cleft Palate
Speech Management: A Multidisciplinary Approach that has become the primary
resource for clinicians treating the speech disorders in children with cleft
palate or hypernasal speech. Dr. Golding Kushner is in private practice in
Central New Jersey. In September, she will join the faculty of Kean
University in Union, NJ as Assistant Professor of Speech-Language Pathology.

Doron Gothelf, M.D.
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Doron Gothelf, M.D., is adult and child psychiatrist at Geha Psychiatric Hospital and assistant professor at the Department of Psychiatry at
the Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv. His research work focuses on molecular
biology of schizophrenia and the association between schizophrenia and

Natalie Havkin, M.S., CCC, SLP

Natalie Havkin, M.S. is currently a staff speech pathologist at the Communication Disorder Unit of Upstate Medical University and the Chief Speech Pathologist for The Center for the Diagnosis, Treatment, and Study of Velo-Cardio-Facial Syndrome. She has utilized her considerable clinical experience with VCFS to establish a clinical research program resulting in the publication of important data related to factors that affect speech production in children with VCFS. She has presented at national and international meetings and her discussion at last year’s VCFS Educational Foundation meeting in Milwaukee has become the most ordered audio tape from any session in the 5 year history of the conference. Her expertise has allowed her to guide many clinicians and families through the process of speech development and therapy both nationally and internationally.

Donna Landsman, M.A.

Donna Landsman, M.A., has been a teacher with the Middleton Cross Plains School District for 25
years. She has a BS in Elementary/Middle School Education from the University of Wisconsin, and an MS in Psychology and Guidance Counseling from the University of Wisconsin. She has taught middle school math and is currently teaching fifth grade at Elm Lawn Elementary School in Middleton, Wisconsin. She is married to Jeff Landsman, and has two boys ( Andrew
who is eighteen and a freshman at UW-Madison and Michael, 16, a high school
student with VCFS). She has participated in several training sessions regarding
the IDEA law, worked with the Madison School district to write guidelines
for testing students with disabilities, and is trained in educating
special needs populations. She is past President of the VCFS Educational
Foundation and has spoken at several other VCFS conferences regarding
educational issues.

Susan M. Marks, MS, CCC, SLP
( Photo Not Available )

Manager of the Masters Family Speech and Hearing Center
Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.
Experience with the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Cleft Palate and Craniofacial Center Team for 30 years. Extensive experience with evaluating children with velopharyngeal closure problems and a variety of other speech and language disorders. Experience with

velocardio facial syndrome since its identification as a syndrome by Bob Shprintzen in 1978. Co-authored article “The Speech-Language Pathologist: Key role in the Diagnosis of Velocardiofacial Syndrome” American Journal Of Speech-Language Pathology, Vol. 8, February 1999.

Eileen Marrinan, M.S.
(Photo Not Available)

Speech Pathologist, Boston, MA

Bernice Morrow, Ph.D.

Bernice Morrow, Ph.D. is currently Assistant Professor of Molecular Genetics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY. She has been devoting much of her career to the study of velo-cardio-facial syndrome since 1993 and her work has resulted in numerous scientific publications. Her laboratory has been in the forefront of defining the nature of the deletion of 22q11.2, its genetic composition, and the reason for the spontaneous occurrence of the deletion in children with VCFS. She has been the recipient of many awards and grants, including the Basil O’Connor Award from the March of Dimes, and grants from the National Institutes of Health , the American Heart Association, and NARSAD (National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression). She is currently a Liaison to the National Advisory Council for Human Genome Research. In 1999, Dr. Morrow was elected to the Board of Directors of The Velo-Cardio-Facial Syndrome Educational Foundation, Inc.

Demitri Papolos, M.D.

Demitri Papolos is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, where he is the Director of the Program in Behavioral Genetics. He is a recipient of an NIMH Physician/ Scientist Award and a recipient of the NARSAD Independent Investigator Award. He is co-author of The Bipolar Child: The Definitive and Reassuring Guide to Childhood’s Most Misunderstood Disorder (Broadway Books). His primary research interest is the genetic basis of manic-depressive illness. Dr. Papolos has been studying the behavior in VCFS and has published a number of scientific papers on his work. Dr. Papolos is also the co-author of Overcoming Depression, Third Edition (HarperCollins, 1997) a comprehensive book written for the lay person on depression and manic-depression. He has a private practice in New York and in Westport, CT.

Robert J. Shprintzen, Ph.D.

Dr. Robert J. Shprintzen is currently Director of the Center for the Diagnosis, Treatment and Study of Velo-Cardio-Facial Syndrome, the Center for Genetic Communicative Disorders, the Communication Disorder Unit, and Professor of Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences, Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY. Dr. Shprintzen has had an active research career in many areas, including clinical genetics, speech physiology, feeding disorders, radiology, fiber optic endoscopy, cleft palate, and research methodology. He is author or coauthor of over 160 peer reviewed papers in more than 25 health care journals, 30 chapters in scholarly books, four text books. He has served as President of the Society of Craniofacial Genetics from 1983 through 1984, President of the Society of Ear, Nose, and Throat Advances in Children (SENTAC) from 1986 through 1987, and he was Editor of The Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal from 1988 until 1991. He is an Honorary Fellow of the American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology and is a Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. He has won awards for clinical and scientific excellence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, the New York State Speech-Language-Hearing Association, and the New York City Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Dr. Shprintzen has traveled extensively at the invitation of foreign hospitals and governments in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Egypt, England, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Mexico, The Netherlands, South Africa, Sweden and Switzerland. In July, 2000 he will be a guest speaker at the World Health Organization Cleft 2000 Meeting in Zurich. He has made over 800 presentations at the annual meetings of more than 40 professional societies. He has been an invited speaker at over 200 hospitals around the world. In September of 1990, Dr. Shprintzen appeared as an expert witness before Congress to provide testimony on the care of children with cleft palate and craniofacial disorders.

Dr. Scott Tatum

Dr. Scott Tatum of the Upstate Medical University will present data on his extensive experience with the surgical correction of hypernasal speech in VCFS (Surgery for Speech: Special Considerations and Outcomes in VCFS).  Dr. Tatum is an Otolaryngologist-Head and Neck Surgeon with a sub-specialty
in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. He has completed Fellowships in both craniomaxillofacial surgery and facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, for which he is Board Certified. He is also Co-Director of the Central New York Center for Cleft and Craniofacial Anomalies and the Director of the Division of Facial Plastic Surgery for the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Upstate Medical University.

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