As the aspirations and goals of our community grows, so too does our board.  We are excited to announce the expansion of our board of directors to include three new members: Dr. Pushpa Rao, Julia Richardson and Dr. Laura Rivard.  We are grateful for their support, collaboration and passion.

Dr. Pushpa Rao is the proud mom of three children, two daughters, Amrita and Neisha, and a son, Rajiv. Both Amrita and Neisha were diagnosed with APS Type 1 in 1992.  It is to honor their lives and memory that she joins the board to help support research, outreach and patient support. Pushpa is a Diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology and Head of Global Regulatory Affairs and Product Safety at a privately held company in New York.

Julia Richardson is an adult with APS Type 1, wife to Roscoe Richardson, and mother of two children, Micah (14) and Hope (10) Richardson. She was diagnosed in 2002, at age 22, but manifested many disease components prior to diagnosis. She is excited to support the efforts of the APS Type 1 Foundation to raise awareness of the disease and promote fundraising for research to better understand autoimmunity and more effectively treat this population of patients. Julia holds a master’s degree in Medical Nutrition Therapy from The Ohio State University and is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. She has worked as a research coordinator and lecturer at The Ohio State University and is passionate about research and advocacy for those with rare disorders. Currently, she homeschools her children and manages her home and health.

Dr. Laura Rivard is a Teaching Professor and Outreach Coordinator for the Sciences at the University of San Diego. Her work in the Biology Department over the last 20 years has focused on genetics, leading to an interest in the ethical issues surrounding the rapidly advancing field. Her current efforts also include creating community engagement events and K-12 curricula to boost science literacy and interest and achieve more diversity in STEM fields. Dr. Rivard earned a B.S. in Biology from UCLA and a Ph.D. from UC San Diego based on her research in molecular neurobiology.  She joined the APS Type 1 Foundation Board in support of her remarkable niece, Samantha Finch. 

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