About

Our Story

MiraKind was founded as a nonprofit research organization in 2013 by Joanne Weidhaas, MD, PhD., following her discovery of the KRAS-variant, an inherited genetic mutation associated with an increased risk of cancer.  The KRAS-variant was the first inherited mutation of its kind, as cancer risk can be modified for people with the KRAS-variant by lifestyle decisions.  Every year scientists like Dr. Weidhaas discover hundreds of novel genetic markers that could benefit millions of patients.  Unfortunately, very few of these discoveries make it beyond the research laboratory for validation.  Dr. Weidhaas founded MiraKind to change this by breaking down the barriers between doctors, scientists, and patients to validate these novel findings, and to ask the questions that will lead to actionable strategies to reduce cancer risk and suffering.  MiraKind’s research is patient-centered from start to finish, with the ultimate goal of empowering patients so that, together with their doctors, they can make the best decisions for their health and lifestyle.  Our research is guided by one question: How can we enhance health and longevity for all individuals?

The key to helping us achieve our goals is YOU:

Our work can save thousands of lives.
Join us and help humankind!

Joanne Weidhaas, M.D., Ph.D.

Founder

In 2006, Joanne Weidhaas, MD, PhD, physician-scientist and former Head of Breast Radiation Oncology Service at Yale University, co-discovered the KRAS-variant, a genetic marker that has significant implications for women’s health. It predicts endometriosis and associated infertility, breast, ovarian and lung cancer, and unique response to treatments for these conditions.

Despite her discovery’s significance, Joanne foresaw the difficulty in translating its benefits from the lab bench to her and other doctors’ patients. Still, she committed to the arduous process of development and validation to ensure her research became commercially viable.  Joanne found little support, resources or guidance available for navigating this complex process and no room in the financially motivated commercial lab business to develop tests that could advance patient-centered outcomes like disease prevention.

Now, after more than 10 years as a research scientist and radiation oncologist at Yale University, Joanne is passionate about ensuring genetic discoveries reach the doctors and patients they can help.  That’s why she founded MiraKind, a research institute that allows individuals to directly participate in studies to validate important genetic markers and discover patient-centered applications of them.

Team

Sara Rosenthal

Director, women's health

Sara is a strategic advisor for MiraKind, assisting with strategic planning, finance and fundraising.

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Hans Galland

Treasurer

Hans is an investment professional with ten years experience in transaction, asset management and corporate finance advice. Hans serves as treasurer of the board for MiraKind.

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Tina Kelly

Patient Advisor

Tina is a patient advisor to MiraKind and an advocate for women with the KRAS-variant. As a breast cancer survivor, she is passionate about empowering women to protect their health.

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