Simons Searchlight is an initiative of the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI) that aims to better understand genetic neurodevelopmental conditions, specifically those associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). To better understand the work and current research of Simons Searchlight we speak to Jennifer Tjernagel, senior project manager.
Jennifer Tjernagel is senior project manager for Simons Searchlight. She is responsible for managing study progress from initiation through data analysis. Previously, she was project manager for the Simons Simplex Collection, working through the University of Michigan. Before her work with the foundation, Tjernagel spent ten years in the pharmaceutical industry as an associate director of statistical analysis and reporting at Pfizer Global Research and Development, and also worked as a biostatistician for the University of Michigan Cardiology Department.
Ms Kris Pierce RN MHSc MWellness, is a rare disease advocate and mother to Will who has SCN2A. Kris has held a range of board, project management, advocate and consumer representative roles and has been instrumental in working with local, state and federal governments to secure funding for multi-million dollar projects. Kris is highly skilled in building teams to work together collaboratively and is a co-founder of Genetic Epilepsy Team Australia (GETA) and SCN2A Australia, and a RARE Global Advocacy Leadership Council member.