Founders

Missy Longman

Missy Longman is co-founder and President of the SMS Research Foundation. Missy’s oldest child, Sienna, was diagnosed with Smith-Magenis Syndrome at 4 weeks old after having open heart surgery. She became an avid fundraiser for the rare syndrome in 2009 when she realized that there was no funding specifically for SMS research.

Missy earned her Masters Degree in Social Work from Florida Atlantic University and became an Inpatient Hospice Care Social Worker. After a brief hiatus to begin a family, she shifted careers and went on to become a Pharmaceutical Sales Specialist with AstraZeneca and then Watson Pharmaceuticals. Currently, Missy is a full-time mom who splits the rest of her free time between the SMSRF, Priority Lending Corp (her husband’s mortgage company) and running/exercising.

Missy has a strong interest in evidence-based medicine and her sales/marketing background has helped her quickly develop skills in organizing and planning fundraising events. She loves bringing people together to raise awareness and interest in Smith-Magenis Syndrome. She also has a passion for reading and learning—she is always looking to expand her skill set and is willing to work tirelessly to achieve new goals.

Missy believes wholeheartedly that an investment in SMS research will lead to the development of life-changing therapeutics and that the SMS Research Foundation will play a huge role in changing the future prognosis of Smith-Magenis Syndrome.

Missy resides in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida with husband, Dan; children, Sienna, Sean, and Ben; and dog, Brie.

Jennifer M. Iannuzzi

Jennifer M. Iannuzzi is the co-founder and vice president of the SMS Research Foundation. Her daughter Sydney was diagnosed with SMS in 2007 at age 2 when she was found to have global developmental delays. She noted a paucity in the amount of clinical research being performed for SMS and felt that an organization was needed whose sole purpose was to further the progress in SMS.

Jennifer attended Clark University in Worcester, MA. She completed her masters in social work at NYU in 1993 and began working at the Staten Island Mental Health Society. She provided therapy to children and their families. She then worked at a day treatment facility in Westchester, NY. This population better suited her interests as these children had more intense special needs. Jennifer spent the next four years working with a multidisciplinary team to provide individual, group, and family therapy. She left in 2001 after the birth of her first child to devote her time to being a full-time mother.

Jennifer is passionate about re-defining what it means to be a parent of a special needs child. She is an active blogger on her Strength for Sydney site and has written nearly a dozen blogs with brutal honesty and insight sharing her unique perspective with the community. One of her blogs “My days of counting are numbered” was published in the Journal of Genetic Counseling in July 2012.

Jennifer loves to exercise and compete. She has participated in many running events, including half marathons and triathlons and utilizes these races as means of improving her physical and mental endurance. She has managed to combine fitness and fundraising and these events are used to raise money and awareness for SMS.

Jennifer resides in Wilton, CT with her husband, Chris and three children: Ben, Cole, and Sydney.

Board Members

Paul Diamond

Paul Diamond is a Board Member. Paul is President of Skinmint Holdings, LLC, a distributor of contemporary fashion products to Asia, with a focus on China. Previously, Paul was President of Lodis Accessories, a fashion accessory business selling to better department stores, boutiques and specialty chain stores. Paul holds a Bachelors in fine art and art history from Colby College and received his MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.  

Paul’s non-profit experience began with a high school community service project and continued in college where he oversaw all volunteer activity by students on and off campus. While at Colby, Paul was instrumental in founding a community soup kitchen. Since it began in 1990, it has served more than half a million meals.

Paul lives in Los Angeles, CA with his wife, Susan, and their daughter Ella and son Jeremy. Jeremy was diagnosed with SMS at 19 months old.

Susan Diamond

SusanBioSusan Diamond has been involved with SMSRF since she held her first fundraising event in Los Angeles is 2011. Prior to her work with SMSRF, Susan worked as a marketing manager for a variety of high-tech start-up companies in LA and San Francisco. Susan resides in LA with her husband and their two children. Her son, Jeremy, was diagnosed with Smith-Magenis Syndrome at the age of 19 months in 2007.

Susan graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in Political Science. After college, she moved to Washington, DC, where she worked as a planning specialist for the Office of National Security at the Federal Emergency Management Agency. She was hired through their academic excellence program.

Susan has also been a dedicated Girl Scout leader for the past eight years. She is committed to helping girls develop critical leadership skills and empowering the girls to make a difference in their communities.

Christopher  M. Iannuzzi

Iannuzzi_ChristopherChristopher M. Iannuzzi, MD, serves as the Chairperson of the Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) for the SMS Research Foundation. His youngest child, Sydney, was diagnosed with SMS. Chris was inspired by his wife, Jennifer a co-founder of SMSRF, to become more involved in the movement to expand the research base of SMS. Chris attended medical school at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in NY and went on to do an internship at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital at Harvard Medical School, and a residency back at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in Radiation Oncology.

He is currently the Medical Director of Radiation Oncology and the Chairperson of Oncology at the Elizabeth Pfriem SWIM Center for Cancer Care in Bridgeport, CT. Chris feels his medical background places him in a strong position to coordinate and facilitate the scientific review process for potential funding opportunities. Chris is excited about the future research this foundation can offer to the SMS community and will work hard to achieve its mission.

Chris resides in Wilton, CT, with his wife Jennifer, three children Ben, Cole, and Sydney and dog, Ritter.

Dan Longman

Dan Longman is a Board Member and serves as Chief Financial Officer for the SMS Research Foundation. Dan has an extensive background in Finance and Business Management since earning his BA in Finance from Loyola University New Orleans in 1997.

Dan has worked in the mortgage industry for over 17 years and is the owner and President of Priority Lending Corp, a South Florida based mortgage company. He is a Certified Residential Mortgage Specialist and a member of the National Association of Mortgage Brokers.

As one of twelve children in a very close family, Dan has always prioritized and valued family relationships. His wife, Missy, and three children, Sienna, Sean and Ben, are his pride and joy.

Monica Mason

Monica graduated from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. She then worked for the Devereux Foundation as a residential counselor, working closely with adolescents with developmental delays and psychiatric issues. She then went back to school to pursue a nursing degree. After graduation she worked for 8 years as a psych nurse working with children, adolescents and adults in an inpatient setting. In 2008 Monica left her nursing job to devote her time to being a full time mom.

Monica is passionate about spreading SMS awareness and helping raise funds for SMS research. The “unknowns” of SMS are so great, and there is just not enough research being done.

Monica loves to work out for both the health benefits as well as the stress relief. She also enjoys spending time with family and friends. Monica has led the Emily Mason Co-Ed Golf Tournament for the past 4 years, to raise money for SMS. She looks forward to hosting more benefits to raise funds as well as spreading SMS awareness.

Monica resides in Cochranville, PA with her husband Bill, and daughters Emily and Amanda.  Her daughter Emily, age 13, was diagnosed with SMS in 2002 at just 2 weeks of age.

Jessica Rogers

Jessica Rogers is a Commercial Lender and Banking Officer at Southern Bank of Tennessee in Mt. Juliet, TN. Jessica holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Cumberland University with a minor in general business. She is also a 2013 graduate of The Southeastern School of Commercial Lending. Jessica resides in Lebanon, TN with her husband, Eric and their 2 year old son, Wyatt. Jessica became involved with SMSRF shortly after her son, Wyatt was diagnosed with SMS in October of 2014. Since that time, finding answers on this rare and complex syndrome has become something she is extremely passionate about.  Jessica has experienced first-hand the hope that SMSRF can instill in young families that receive this diagnosis. Her hope is that the work that is being done by this organization can continue to be a light and bring hope to future generations of families that are faced with this diagnosis. She truly believes that this foundation and the research that they are funding will change the prognosis of Smith Magenis Syndrome long term.

Jessica has a heart for serving others and for serving her local community. In addition to serving on the board of SMSRF, Jessica also serves as a board member of United Way of Wilson County which is an organization that provides funding to a pool of local nonprofit organizations.

Jessica believes that her involvement in her local community and her background as a community banker is a tool that she can utilize to raise awareness about SMS and to raise funds for SMS research in her local community.


 

Scientific Advisory Panel

This panel is comprised of 2 PhD level scientists and one physician board member from SMSRF. The purpose of the panel is to direct and supervise the scientific endeavors of the SMSRF. An RFP or request for proposal grant is distributed on an annual basis worth at least $50,000.00 to prospective scientists interested in conducting research to further the understanding of SMS. The panel reviews the prospective/completed applications and makes a recommendation for funding to the Board.


Chair:
Christopher M. Iannuzzi, MD
Chairman, Department of Oncology
Saint Vincent’s Medical Center
Bridgeport, CT 06606
Radiation Oncologist and SMSRF Board Member

bioMember:
Gianluca Pirozzi, M.D., Ph.D.

Global Project Head (GPH) for dupilumab, anti-IL4R mAb, SANOFI United States (U.S.)

Gianluca Pirozzi, M.D., Ph.D., is the global project head for the dupilumab (anti-IL4R mAb) program in the Immunology and Inflammation Development Franchise at Sanofi, a global health care leader. Since 2012 he has been responsible for leading the clinical and research activities for the development of dupilumab, from proof-of-concept to ph3 for multiple indications of the drug, primarily atopic dermatitis and asthma.

Gianluca has more than 15-years of diversified, global experience in research, drug development and project direction. He began his career at Sanofi in 2005 holding a position as a Global Safety Officer working in Europe and the U.S, responsible for pre- and post-marketing surveillance in several therapeutic areas. Between 2007 and 2009, Gianluca had a pivotal role in the submission and advisory committee preparation for the cardiovascular drug Multaq®, leading up to its approval.

He was then responsible for early clinical development of projects in Rheumatology and IBD, leading to two successful IND applications.

Originally from Italy, Gianluca achieved his Degree in Medicine and Surgery from the University “Istituto Universitario Campus Biomedico”, Rome, Italy and completed his Ph.D. followed by post-doctoral research in clinical immunology at the Institut Pasteur in Paris, France. During this time, he worked in the lab of Professor Françoise Barré-Sinoussi whom in 2008 was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine for her work in the identification of HIV as the cause of AIDS.

Prior to joining Sanofi, Gianluca served as medical advisor at the Italian affiliate of Laboratories Servier for 4 years.

Member:
Weimin Zhong, PhD

http://www.yale.edu/mcdb/facultystaff/zhong.html

Dr. Zhong is an associate professor of molecular, cellular, and developmental biology at Yale University.  He earned his PhD at Rockefeller University.  His current interests are in the molecular and cellular mechanisms that govern the behavior of stem cells, in particular how they balance the needs for self-renewal and differentiation during mammalian organogenesis and tissue maintenance.  For further information regarding Dr. Zhong or to learn more about his lab please visit his website.

Member:
Liqun Luo, PhD

http://web.stanford.edu/group/luolab/

Dr. Luo is a full professor of Biology in the School o Humanities and Sciences at the Stanford School of Medicine.  He received his PhD from Brandeis University.  He is a lead investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) and is interested. In how neural circuits assemble during development and contribute to sensory perception.  He has personally developed genetic tools to track neurons in the brains of fruit flies and mice to investigate these problems.  For further information regarding Dr. Luo or to learn more about his lab please visit his website.

The SMSRF is confident the panel can provide the guidance and leadership necessary to promote meaningful research for SMS.