STAFF

Christine S. Brown, MS
PO Box 1872
Eau Claire, WI 54702
christine.brown@npkua.org
Phone: 715-495-4008
Fax: 715-713-0138

 

Christine Brown is the Executive Director of the National PKU Alliance. She has led the organization since 2009. Christine has more than 20 years of experience in building and leading non-profit organizations at the local, state, national and international level. Her background includes working in health care policy, rural economic development, domestic violence, and human rights. She has extensive experience in management, Board development and strategic planning, advocacy, fundraising, grassroots organizing and public relations. Christine received her BA in Global Peace and Justice Studies from St. Norbert College in DePere, WI and her MS in Organizational Management and Leadership from Springfield College in Springfield, MA.

 

Christine lives in Eau Claire, WI with her husband, Kevin and sons Keagan, Connor (PKU) and Kellen (PKU). She enjoys bilking, camping, reading, and taking walks with her two golden retrievers.

EILEEN BLAKELY, MS RD
PO Box 1872
Eau Claire, WI 54702
eileen.blakely@npkua.org
Phone: 715-495-4008
Fax: 715-713-0138

Eileen Blakely, MS, RD is the Patient Registry Coordinator for the National PKU Alliance. She joined our team in October of 2016. Eileen brings with her over 25 years of experience as a registered dietitian in the field of inherited metabolic disorders at the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York. She coordinated the newborn screening follow up program at the University, served on an Institutional Review Board for Human Subject Safety and also participated in a variety of research activities including coordination of two rare disease registries. 

Eileen is actively involved in the Rochester community as a weekly volunteer at Isaiah House, a hospice home for the dying and through her church as a visitor to shut ins in the community. Eileen has two grown children and lives in the city of Rochester with her husband Joe. During her free time she enjoys visits to the Rochester Public Market, working out at her local YMCA which balances her love of dining out at the many wonderful local restaurants.

LEX M. COWSERT, PhD
PO Box 1872
Eau Claire, WI 54702
lex.cowsert@npkua.org
Phone: 715-495-4008
Fax: 715-713-0138

Lex M. Cowsert joined the NPKUA team as Director of Research Development in June 2018. He received his BS from the University of Florida, Gainesville, his Ph.D. from Georgetown University, Washington DC, and completed his postdoctoral studies at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, MD. Lex has over 20 years experience in the biotech industry where he held positions of increasing responsibility in target selection, drug discovery, preclinical development, and clinical development across a wide array of disease indications including cancer, infectious diseases, and CNS and holds 144 issued US patents. He has served on grant review committees, as lead science liaison to the FDA for active INDs, as editor and reviewer for peer-reviewed scientific journals, and on organizing committees for international scientific meetings.

Lex lives in New Braunfels, TX with his wife, Judy, where they are active in several local service organizations. They have three daughters and 5 grandchildren. Lex and Judy enjoy outdoor activities including the beach, hiking with their golden retriever Tazz, and fly fishing.

 

 


MICHELLE PERNSTEINER
PO Box 1872
Eau Claire, WI 54702
michelle.pernsteiner@npkua.org
Phone: 715-495-4008
Fax: 715-713-0138

 

Michelle Pernsteiner is the Event and Development Coordinator for the National PKU Alliance. She joined the team in October, 2014. Michelle graduated from the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, majoring in Marketing. She brings with her over 10 years of experience in healthcare marketing, communications and event planning, working for a not-for-profit healthcare system and local skilled nursing and assisted living facilities. She has a strong background in fundraising and communications. Most recently, she worked as an Office Manager for an Insurance Agency and is licensed in Property & Casualty Insurance in Wisconsin.

 

Michelle has been very involved in community events throughout her career and has served on several committees and Boards of Directors for non-profit groups such as the American Cancer Society, Alzheimer’s Association, Northern Wisconsin Continuity of Care and Parent Resource Center.  She currently serves on the Board as the Treasurer/Secretary for the Medford Area Youth Hockey Association.

Michelle lives in Medford, WI with her husband, Craig and two sons, Mike and Carter.  In addition to spending time with family and friends, she enjoys supporting her sons in hockey, scrapbooking, camping, fishing, walking and reading.

katrina swenson
PO Box 1872
Eau Claire, WI 54702
katrina.swenson@npkua.org
Phone: 715-495-4008
Fax: 715-713-0138

Katrina Swenson is the Project and Communications Coordinator of the National PKU Alliance. She joined the team in February 28, 2014 which just so happened to be “Rare Disease Day”. Katrina graduated from Metropolitan State College of Denver with a Bachelor of Arts and a Minor in Computer Graphics. Her first job after of college was for the software company Quark, Inc. Four years later she transitioned into web design spending the next 11 years developing and maintaining websites for various companies. Katrina brings with her years of web and internet experience, as well as marketing, public relations, state health care procedures and office management experience. She is excited to be part of NPKUA and helping to make a difference.

Katrina lives in Tomahawk, WI with her husband, daughter.  She enjoys spending time with her family, being outdoors and activities such as fishing (from a boat or on the ice, depending on the weather), kayaking, hiking, camping, biking and snowboarding.


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