Families and Friends of KIF1A.ORG:

We are thrilled to announce Dr. Dominique Lessard has joined KIF1A.ORG’s Leadership Team as the organization’s Science Communication Director!

Dr. Lessard has been an active member of the KIF1A.ORG community since we began collaborating with her and Berger Lab at the University of Vermont in 2018. At Berger Lab, Dr. Lessard focused her studies on understanding the basics of KIF1A function and regulation at the small-scale, molecular level. She successfully defended her dissertation and became Dr. Dominique Lessard on March 9, 2020.

Beyond her scientific expertise, Dr. Lessard has a clear passion for empowering KAND families to be active partners in research and discovery. One of her most significant contributions to KIF1A.ORG has been collaborating on the launch of our “Research Simplified” initiative and family-friendly educational resources to help the community develop a basic understanding of the science behind KIF1A. Dr. Lessard also joined us at the 2019 KAND Conference in New York City, where she presented her research and connected with KAND families from around the world. When asked about the impact of her experience, she said:

“I left the 2019 KAND Conference feeling inspired, honored, and motivated by your relentless passion and drive. You all welcomed me with open arms into the KAND community and I am truly at a loss for words to describe how much your acceptance and trust has impacted both my professional and personal life.”

Dr. Lessard: We truly appreciate your dedication to the KIF1A.ORG community and are honored to have you working relentlessly by our side.

As Science Communication Director, Dr. Lessard is primarily responsible for driving the organization’s efforts to build a global, collaborative research network, and leading our research engagement and science communication strategy. This newly created position is made possible by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s Rare As One grant, which you can read more about here. The entire community will benefit from KIF1A.ORG’s added capacity to strengthen collaboration and engagement between the scientific and patient community under Dr. Lessard’s leadership.

Dr. Lessard starts her position at KIF1A.ORG on April 1, 2020. You can connect with her via email at dvlessard@kif1a.org, or on Twitter and LinkedIn. With Dr. Lessard on board, KIF1A.ORG is even better positioned to fuel efficient and impactful collaboration toward treatment for this generation of KAND patients. Please help me welcome Dr. Lessard to the team!

Kathryn Atchley
President, KIF1A.ORG


  1. 1
    Melissa Butcher on March 12, 2020

    We love this so much!! Welcome aboard!! Can’t see where this takes our organization❤️💙

  2. 2
    Anthony Gogel on March 12, 2020

    Welcome aboard Doctor! We are beyond thankful that you have taken a position with our organization, and excited to see what we will accomplish together.

  3. 3

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    […] Meet Dr. Lessard […]

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