Scientific Advisory Board

Kevin Campbell, PhD

Kevin P. Campbell, PhD, is an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Roy J. Carver Biomedical Research Chair in Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, Executive Officer of the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, and Director of the Senator Paul D. Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Cooperative Research Center at the Carver College of Medicine, University of Iowa. Dr. Campbell is internationally recognized for his discovery of dystroglycan, and for elucidation of its function as an extracellular matrix receptor. His work established that dystroglycan is involved in a variety of physiological and developmental processes, including maintenance of skeletal muscle function as well as formation and function of the central nervous system. He showed that complex post-translational processing of dystroglycan, including extensive glycosylation, is required for its ability to function as an extracellular matrix receptor and that abnormal glycosylation results in a variety of congenital and limb-girdle muscular dystrophies with or without associated defects in brain development and function.

Dr. Campbell is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine, the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2009, Dr. Campbell received the March of Dimes Prize in Developmental Biology for his pioneering research on cell mechanisms involved in muscular dystrophy. Dr. Campbell will receive the Society for Glycobiology President’s Innovator Award in the fall of 2017.

Beth McNally, MD, PhD

Elizabeth M. McNally, MD, PhD, is the Ward Professor of Genetic Medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine where she directs the Center for Genetic Medicine. As a cardiologist and geneticist, Dr. McNally’s work spans preclinical models to patients and families with genetic risks for inherited cardiovascular disorders, including those with neuromuscular disease. She serves on advisory boards for the Muscular Dystrophy Association and Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy. A previous American Heart Association Established Investigator award winner, Dr. McNally is a member of the Association of American Physicians and past president of the American Society for Clinical Investigation.

Jerry Mendell, MD

Jerry R. Mendell, MD, is the Curran-Peters Chair of Pediatric Research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital (formerly Ohio State University and Children’s Hospital) in Columbus, Ohio. Dr. Mendell holds joint appointments in Pediatrics, Neurology, Pathology, and Physiology and Cell Biology at The Ohio State University. An expert in Duchenne, his work at the Mendell lab focuses on correcting the gene defects in the muscular dystrophies, resulting in seminal studies including myoblast transfer in Duchenne, the first Duchenne gene therapy clinical trial, and the first gene therapy trial showing efficacy in muscular dystrophy. Dr. Mendell has published more than 340 articles with a focus on neuromuscular disease, and authored books on both muscle and nerve disease. He received his Medical Doctorate from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School and completed his neurology residency at Columbia University’s New York Neurological Institute and a post-doctoral fellowship in the Medical Neurology Branch of the National Institutes of Health.

Eric Olson, PhD Founder and Chairman, SAB

Eric Olson, PhD, is Professor and Chair of the Department of Molecular Biology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, where he also holds the Robert A. Welch Distinguished Chair in Science, the Annie and Willie Nelson Professorship in Stem Cell Research, and the Pogue Distinguished Chair in Research on Cardiac Birth Defects. Dr. Olson has dedicated his career to deciphering the mechanisms that control development and disease of the heart, cardiovascular system and skeletal muscle tissue. Dr. Olson has co-founded multiple biotechnology companies to translate basic discoveries into new therapeutics for muscle disease, and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Volker Straub, MD

Volker Straub, MD, is the Harold Macmillan Professor of Medicine and Professor for Neuromuscular Genetics at the Newcastle University Institute of Genetic Medicine’s Newcastle Muscle Center, and director of Newcastle University’s John Walton Muscular Dystrophy Research Centre, in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. One of Dr. Straub’s interests is translational research. He was a founder of the European Union-funded network of excellence, TREAT-NMD (, the now global TREAT-NMD Alliance, which aims to accelerate the development and delivery of treatments for patients with neuromuscular diseases. Dr. Straub has a long-standing interest in the pathogenesis of genetic muscle diseases, with research using zebrafish and mouse models, applying muscle imaging, next generation sequencing and other –omics technologies. Dr. Straub was trained as a pediatric neurologist at the University of Düsseldorf and the University of Essen in Germany. In 2003, Dr. Straub joined Newcastle University in the United Kingdom, where he also serves as deputy director of the Institute of Genetic Medicine.