Announces New Chief Science Officer with Rett Syndrome Connection Announces New Chief Science Officer with Rett Syndrome Connection

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The International Rett Syndrome Foundation (doing business as has officially welcomed Dominique Pichard, MD to the organization as their new Chief Science Officer.

A highly accomplished clinician and researcher, Dr. Dominique Pichard brings years of hands-on experience conducting critical work in clinical trials with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), pharmaceutical companies, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). But it is Pichard’s personal connection to Rett syndrome that most uniquely propels her work. Pichard’s eldest child was diagnosed with Rett syndrome during her medical residency training. It was this diagnosis that honed Pichard’s career focus on research. During her time with NIH, Pichard studied rare diseases, working collaboratively with researchers and pharmaceutical organizations to design early phase clinical trials aimed at bringing cutting-edge treatments to patients.

This professional experience, paired with Dr. Dominque Pichard’s firsthand knowledge of Rett syndrome and her passion for progress, positions her to bring about profound change for those living with Rett syndrome. “Dr. Pichard is a highly accomplished professional who will continue to sharpen our focus on potentially curative therapies during a time of rapid scientific change, while simultaneously building upon our robust portfolio of existing research investments,” said’s Executive Director, Melissa Kennedy. “We are excited to welcome her and believe that she will be an invaluable asset to the entire Rett community,” Kennedy continued.

“Dr. Pichard is an intelligent, energetic, highly-respected colleague with an outstanding track record of scientific and therapeutic accomplishments,” said Dr. Joe Horrigan, Board member. “She is well connected at key levels throughout our community and brings an intimate understanding of the crucial role organizations such as play in driving the best science forward.” Dr. Alysson Moutri, Director of the Stem Cell Program at USCD and RSO funded researcher, shares in the excitement surrounding Dr. Pichard’s appointment, “Dr. Pichard has a great combination and balance of clinical and basic science background… important skills to lead novel translational opportunities for Rett syndrome. She has the ability to effectively communicate and engage the community with scientists, something I found particularly important as the science is progressing fast with recent new technologies.” Christian McMahan, Vice Chairman, “As a parent, I am thrilled to welcome Dr. Pichard.  To have someone with her scientific background combined with the passion she brings as a mother with a daughter with Rett syndrome is an incredible addition to the entire Rett community.  I look forward to seeing the immediate impact she will make for in continuing to advance our research agenda.”

Dr. Pichard shares in anticipation of this powerful collaboration, “In the Chief Science Officer role, my goal is to focus all of my energy on identifying promising research breakthroughs for Rett syndrome.” She added, “I strive to ultimately create a scientific path towards our goal of treating this devastating disorder so our children with Rett syndrome can one day do more and struggle less with the challenges of Rett.”

Appointing Dr. Dominique Pichard to this key position within uniquely propels the organization to bring the best in scientific research paired with the compassion of an understanding Rett syndrome parent. The entire Rett syndrome community will undoubtedly benefit deeply from Pichard’s expertise, professional strength, and her understanding heart toward all of those living with Rett syndrome.

About (The International Rett Syndrome Foundation) is one of the leading private funders of Rett syndrome research, investing over $49 million to date. The mission of the organization is to accelerate full spectrum research to cure Rett syndrome and empower families with information, knowledge and connectivity. has earned Charity Navigator’s prestigious 4-star rating for its strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency. Further information about can be found at: