YooRi Kim, MS — Scientific Officer
YooRi Kim is Scientific Officer of the Gilbert Family Foundation, where she is on a mission to find effective treatments for neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1). She develops and oversees the Foundation’s research portfolio, which is focused on vision restoration for individuals with NF1 optic pathway glioma, treatment of NF1 brain tumors, and NF1 gene therapies. Previously, she served as a medical philanthropy advisor at the Milken Institute, helping philanthropists strategically invest in biomedical research in various fields, including neurology, oncology, psychiatry, genetics, and precision wellness. YooRi graduated from the University of Virginia with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and a minor in Spanish. She received her master’s degree in physiology and biophysics from Virginia Commonwealth University.
James Goss, PhD — Project Manager, Gene Therapy Initiative
James Goss manages the grants funded by the Gilbert Family Foundation's Gene Therapy Initiative. Dr. Goss is a neuroscientist with over 25 years of experience in academia, industry, and NPOs. As an academic scientist he conducted basic and applied research on neurodegenerative disorders and collaborated with a team of scientists and engineers to develop a novel gene therapy platform with the goal of treating neurological disorders. He helped shepherd these therapies from their basic research origins at the University of Pittsburgh to first-in-human clinical trials as he moved from academia to biotech. Most recently he was involved in anti-HIV drug development for an NPO.
Kalyan Vinnakota, PhD — Project Manager, Vision Restoration Initiative
Kalyan Vinnakota manages the grants funded by the Gilbert Family Foundation’s Vision Restoration Initiative. Dr. Vinnakota is a bioengineer with over a decade of post-PhD experience in academia, military medical research, and the biomedical research industry. His major scientific contributions are in the areas of computational modeling of biochemical pathways and cellular transport processes. He has developed computational and experimental approaches to study a wide range of problems including regulation of mitochondrial metabolism, localization and mobility of Ras proteins, and pharmacokinetics of small molecule therapeutics in translational animal models. He is passionate about applying his interdisciplinary research experience towards advancing therapeutics for patients with unmet needs.
Caroline Morin — Scientific Analyst
Caroline Morin is a Scientific Analyst for the Gilbert Family Foundation. She supports the Scientific Officer with programmatic and research activities, as well as new project and initiative development. She is also a fellow with Venture for America, a program that supports economic growth in American cities and communities through entrepreneurship. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University in Chemical Engineering with an additional major in Biomedical Engineering.