Welcome Ethan Perlstein, Ph.D., our first-ever Chief Scientific Officer - Blog - Reeve Foundation

The month of September is an important one for the Reeve Foundation and the people we serve. It’s Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month and September 25th marks Christopher Reeve’s birthday. I truly believe it’s no coincidence that Christopher’s birthday falls during SCI Awareness Month as it further fuels us to stay focused on our ultimate pursuit, curing spinal cord injury.

Over the past year, the Reeve Foundation has audited the field and studied fellow nonprofits who are leaders in their respective areas of research. While it’s clear we are approaching a new era of innovation that will bring us closer to achieving our mission, we must proceed into the next decade with the best leaders and collaborators who are committed to fulfilling Christopher’s vision in the here and now.

As of today, Dr. Ethan Perlstein is joining the Reeve Foundation ranks as our first-ever Chief Scientific Officer (CSO). In this role, Dr. Perlstein will manage the Reeve Foundation’s research portfolio to build a pipeline of promising therapies and usher breakthroughs from the lab to the clinic. By appointing a CSO of Dr. Perlstein’s background and caliber, we will be poised to leverage the advances being made in the field and accelerate the discovery and development of life-changing treatments.

Dr. Perlstein brings a wealth of experience in both biomedical and biotech research. He holds a doctorate in molecular and cell biology from Harvard University and was a Lewis-Sigler Fellow at Princeton University. In 2014, Dr. Perlstein founded Perlara PBC, the first biotech public benefit corporation to co-develop drugs in collaboration with families and communities affected by genetic diseases. Throughout his tenure at the bench, Dr. Perlstein conducted research in genetics, cell biology, neuroscience, pharmacology, and drug discovery.

The Reeve Foundation has been a driving force behind some of the earliest discoveries in the field and has invested over $140 million in labs around the world. Dr. Perlstein joins us at a pivotal time as we restructure our approach to research to be more assertive in bringing the latest scientific discoveries to our community. Additionally, Dr. Perlstein will work to galvanize key stakeholders by forming strategic partnerships across researchers, foundations, government and industry to optimize resources and streamline the clinical trials process.

What impressed us most about Dr. Perlstein is his experience working directly with patients and their families. He does not conform to how research has been conducted in the past because he recognizes the urgency of our mission and the community relying on our efforts. It’s not enough to uncover breakthroughs in the lab. Our greatest metric for success must be bringing those discoveries to the millions of people who are counting on the Reeve Foundation to change their lives and Dr. Perlstein will play a key role in helping us fulfill our promise.

We look forward to sharing more information on our new direction for research. In the meantime, please join us in welcoming Dr. Perlstein to the Reeve Foundation community and connect with him on Twitter @eperlste.

Peter Wilderotter
President & CEO
Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation

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About the Author - Peter T. Wilderotter

Peter T. Wilderotter

The opinions expressed in these blogs are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation.