Harsha K Rajasimha, Ph.D., Co-Founder and Executive Chair of the Board of Directors
Dr. Harsha Karur Rajasimha is a healthcare and life sciences Data scientist, social entrepreneur and co-founder of the Organization for Rare Diseases India in USA (ORDIUSA). At ORDIUSA, Dr. Rajasimha is responsible for the overall vision, research, strategy, international collaborations, content development and governing the board of directors.
“After losing a child to a rare congenital disease in 2012, I got determined to apply his years of post-doctoral clinical genomics research at National Institutes of Health and patient advocacy organizational innovation to help accelerate clinical trials by connecting patients and stakeholders between India, USA and globally.”
Dr. Rajasimha co-directs the rare diseases systems biology initiative at George Mason University where he directs MS and PhD research programs in rare diseases database integration, systems biology modeling of diseases, policy frameworks, best practices guidelines for diagnosis and screening of rare diseases and how they can be adapted to countries such as India. He is also founder president of Jeeva informatics solutions, a genomics bigdata analytics company that received the ‘Bioscience Company of the Year 2014’ award from Montgomery County, MD, USA and serves on the executive advisory board of numerous companies. In collaboration with Rare Genomics Institute, Dr. Rajasimha received the Sanofi Genzyme’s rare diseases Patient Advocacy Leadership award in 2016 and a Silver Award from NTT DATA for exceptional quality delivery of projects to life science clients in 2017.
An accomplished scientist, Dr. Rajasimha has over 16 years work experience and 15 peer-reviewed publications, book chapters, and is often invited speaker including keynote address at international conferences. He has contributed to global standards initiatives such as BioPAX, DELSAGlobal, personalized medicine coalition, and the global alliance for genomics and health. His work has spanned companies such as Dell Services, Strand Genomics, National Institutes of Health, US FDA, Genome International Corporation and Virginia Bioinformatics Institute. His contributions to the next-generation sequencing program at NIH were recognized by NEI director’s innovation award in 2012. He earned his baccalaureate degree in computer science engineering from Bangalore University, MS in Computer Science (2004) and PhD in Genetics, Bioinformatics and Computational Biology at Virginia Tech (2007).
Frank J. Sasinowski, M.S., M.P.H., J.D., Board Director
Frank Sasinowski assists sponsors and patient organizations in developing new medicines and has helped secure FDA approval for hundreds of new drugs, including more than 65 new molecular entities, often for serious and/or rare diseases. Frank joined FDA in 1983 as regulatory counsel in the Center for Drugs and Biologics, where he was key to implementing both the 1983 Orphan Drug law and the 1984 Hatch-Waxman law. In 1987, he left the FDA as Deputy Director of the health policy staff in the Commissioner’s office and joined this firm.
In its March 2012 issue, the Drug Information Journal published Frank’s seminal analysis on therapies for rare disorders: “Quantum of Effectiveness Evidence in FDA’s Approval of Orphan Drugs: Cataloguing FDA’s Flexibility in Regulating Therapies for Persons with Rare Disorders.”
Other papers on Accelerated Approval and Orphan Drugs are cited by FDA officials as well.
Since December 2014, Frank has been an Adjunct Professor of Neurology at the University of Rochester Medical Center.
Frank’s work has been widely recognized by industry and political leaders, as well as notable organizations. For example, Frank was asked by both political parties to testify at the May 2014 inaugural hearing of Congress 21st Century Cures Initiative. In August 2018 Frank was appointed to the Board of Directors for the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine Foundation for Cell and Gene Medicine. In May 2013, the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD), which represents the 30 million Americans with rare diseases, awarded Frank its first ever NORD Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2000, Frank was elected to NORD’s Board of Directors, where he served as Chair and as Vice Chair, and where he remained on the Board until 2016. In October 2012, President Obama recognized Frank’s contributions to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) report, “Propelling Innovation in Drug Discovery, Development and Evaluation.” Based on his extensive experience with FDA, from both the agency and client side, Frank possesses a detailed understanding of the regulatory process. He regularly shares his insight on drug development issues with physicians, scientists, and regulators, and has served on the boards of several biotechnology companies. Frank has been Chair of the Food and Nutrition Section of the American Public Health Association (APHA) and has taught health law at American University. Frank has also served on the Board of Directors of the United States Pharmacopeia (USP).
Frank was in the first cohort of the CAC’s Living School, has been on the Board of the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation, is on the Board of Sr. Ilia Delio’s Omega Center, was Vice Chair of the Catholic Medical Mission Board, helped organize and lead a spiritual nourishment program for Sr. Simon Campbell’s Network/Nuns on the Bus, started a weekly centering prayer program at his Reston, VA church, and led a non-denominational meditation program at the Northern Virginia Mental Health Institute.
Nara Govindarajan, Board Member, Community Outreach and Operations, Herndon, VA LinkedIn Profile
“I care towards serving for rare diseases because I believe that serving hands are holier than praying lips” – Nara Govindarajan is an experienced leader in Software Development, Engineering Management & Consulting. His expertise includes Search, Big Data Aggregation and Analytics in Financial data aggregation, Personal Finance management, and Enterprise Search. He has 2 published patents and a certified Scrum Master.
Nara Govindarajan holds a Master’s degree in Computer Science from Virginia Tech (2002) and a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Engineering from PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore, India (1999).
Sangeeta Barde, Board Member nominated by ORDIndia, Contribution towards logo design, Racefor7 event branding and creative design
As a cofounder and board director of ORDIndia since its inception in 2014, Sangeeta has served as a selfless leader for the cause of #Rarediseases. In the spirit of maintaining financial transparency between ORDIUSA and ORDIndia, Sangeeta serves to liaise between the two organizations.
Professionally, Sangeeta has been a pathfinder of Sorento with ever-futuristic vision, ability to think beyond, inquisitive mind and deep commitment to healthcare. Over 22 years’ experience in Pharmaceutical Marketing and Healthcare Communications. Formerly headed category teams and market research in big Indian pharmaceutical Companies. Trained as a Microbiologist and with a Master’s in Marketing Management Sangeeta has crafted strategies for more than 100 healthcare brands.
Spearheaded new divisions of Sorento viz. Xrays Biocom – Scientific Communication, AXess – Patient Management and treatment adherence. With an ability to conceptualize and execute complex solution architects has devised new products and services for Sorento.
US Team Members
Srinivas Seshadri, Fundraising Event Leader, Fremont, CA LinkedIn Profile
Currently senior software engineering manager at Juniper Networks with 18 years of professional experience in computer networking software industry. I am an active volunteer and support numerous social causes including Chaitanya Sinchana Trust and independent editor of a Kannada language magazine in the northern California chapter.
Vij Senthilnathan, Director of Partnerships and Collaboration, SF Bay Area, CA, LinkedIn Profile
Ashok Krishnamoorthy, Webmaster ORDIUSA.org & Racefor7USA.com
“Service to mankind is service to God”
Ashok Krishnamoorthy holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Madras. He has over 17 years of experience encompassing Software Development, Project Management, Test Delivery Management, and Test Program Management. He has proven expertise in Delivery excellence, Test Consulting, stakeholder management, Multi-Vendor engagement, and Recruitment.
His hobbies are watching and playing sports like Cricket, Tennis & Snooker.
Former ORDIUSA Board Members
Monica Weldon, Former Board Member, Secretary, 2017-2018
Founder and CEO, SYNGAP1 Foundation.
Shashi Nadig, Former Board Member, Treasurer, 2017-2019
Shashi is an IT leader in leading automotive company in the world.