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Five Questions with CdLS Expert Rich Haaland, Ph.D.

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Dr. Haaland is currently the President of the CdLS Foundation Board of Directors

What is something about CdLS or the Foundation that people might not know, but should?
Many families recognize the Foundation for one or two things, since that's what they call the Foundation for. However, I've had families who have been associated for years come up to me and say, "I had no idea how much the Foundation really does." Don't underestimate what we can do for you!

How did you work up to your position as President of the Board of Directors?
I began serving on the Research Committee, since my area of expertise is scientific research. When I was asked to be on the Board of Director I thought I could provide some insight in that regard. The more discussions I attended, the more people wanted me to be involved, so I served as a Vice President for two years and now as President.

Why do you want to provide leadership for the CdLS Foundation?
The CdLS Foundation is an amazing organization, and the more I learn about its impact on families affected by CdLS, the more I want to lead discussions that will help share the future of the Foundation. I see my role primarily as someone who inspires the Board of Directors and the Foundation to improve the way we provide services for those affected by CdLS.

Are you involved in any current CdLS research?
My "day job" actually involves HIV research, which I think is a good thing because it allows me to see the broad scope of research done on CdLS, rather than focusing on my area of expertise. I love that CdLS research originates from asking about things such as diet and nutrition, to how genes are expressed differently in the syndrome. It showcases how our medical community is using their personal expertise to truly improve the lives of people with CdLS.

What is your favorite Foundation event to attend? Why?
I absolutely love attending the family gatherings! Families will travel far and wide just to spend a few hours with others affected by CdLS. You see children that have never met playing together, and parents and grandparents sharing their experiences. It's not many families gathering, it's one united CdLS family gathering.


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