Visiting Scientist Program

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ImageEach year, The Manton Center will invite and host one or more visiting scientists from prestigious national and international Institutions to visit, teach, and lecture over a several day period. The interests and expertise of Visiting Scientists will be related to the mission and goals of The Manton Center for Orphan Disease research. In brief, The Manton Center has been established to encourage the development of new and innovative research on rare "orphan" conditions that have hitherto been understudied due to a lack of resources and interest on the part of the scientific and medical community. The Visiting Scientist Program will support the travel expenses, honorarium, and planning and meeting expenses for Visiting Scientists to visit The Manton Center and meet with, teach, and learn from, The Manton Center and other Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard faculty and trainees.

Visits typically last one to five days, depending on the interests and availability of the Visiting Scientist and The Manton Center staff. During this time, one major keynote lecture will be scheduled for the Visiting Scientist to present their work of relevance to orphan disease research. This lecture will be publicized throughout the hospital and to the broader Harvard Medical School community and will be open to the general public. In addition, one or more ancillary seminars or teaching conferences may be scheduled in smaller group settings. A schedule of meetings with interested faculty and trainees will be prepared, based in part on stated interests of the visitor. In addition, more intensive visiting time may be made available for the visitor to spend with particular scientists or clinicians, teaching researchers here, and learning and transferring expertise back to their home institution.

The Manton Center Scientists and interested colleagues will nominate potential candidates based on the following criteria:

  • Expertise and current research interest in an area of orphan disease research
  • National or international stature and recognition as an expert in their area
  • Interests that are compatible and complementary to The Manton Center's existing research programs and to the greater Children's community

Past Visiting Scientists

Yosef Shiloh, PhD spoke at the first ever Samuel A. Latt Memorial Lecture on October 17, 2010. Dr. Shiloh's talk, "Ataxia-Telangiectasia: Mining Rare Genetic Disorders for New Insights into Human Biology," showcased his extraordinary advances in the field of DNA repair genes. Ataxia Telangiectasia is a rare disease characterized by movement problems, recurrent infections, and an increased risk for certain cancers. Dr. Shiloh has received many honors for his work including Teva's Founders Prize and fellowships from the Israel Cancer Research Fund and American Cancer Society.


Stephen T. Warren, PhD, FACMG spoke at Boston Children's Hospital on March 3, 2010 as The Manton Center's first Visiting Scientist of 2010. Dr. Warren joined us from Emory where he is the Chairman of the Department of Human Genetics. Dr. Warren is best known for his research on Fragile X syndrome, which affects approximately 2 in every 10,000 males. His work on Fragile X has also lead to the classification of two other related disorders. The Warren Laboratory also specializes in other causes of mental retardation.

Learn More About Dr. Warren

Emil Kakkis, MD, PhD spoke at The Manton Center on September 9, 2009 as the first ever Visiting Scientist. Dr. Kakkis is a recipient of the Bogen Prize and the Vaile Prize in Biology. He is best known for his work developing therapies for rare disorders including PKU, MPS I, and MPS VI. Dr. Kakkis was the Chief Medical Officer of BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. until he left this position to focus his efforts on improving the processes by which treatments are tested and approved. Please visit the Kakkis EveryLife Foundation for more information about Dr. Kakkis' recent endeavors.

Events hosting researchers, physicians, or groups of patients which help to establish or strengthen collaborations within the orphan disease community are eligible for financial support from The Manton Center. We were pleased to sponsor several events which hosted individuals from around the world this year. At this time, we have closed our application process. We hope to reinstate this open application process in the future, however it will depend on the availability of funds. We will be announcing when we are accepting applications via email blasts and through announcements on our webpage. Please check this page periodically to see if applications are available.

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