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Core Team

Maria Picone headshot.

Maria Picone

Founder/CEO

Maria brings over ten years of experience managing operational and strategic ventures in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries. As a self-taught programmer, she founded Formed, Inc, a digital health web technology company. After their daughter was born with a rare genetic disorder called Prader Willi-Syndrome, she and her husband committed to creating solutions for rare disease; this was the inspiration for TREND Community. As Founder and CEO, Maria oversees all aspects of TREND Community.

Christopher DeFelice headshot.

Christopher DeFelice

Founder/CTO

Chris remains current on the latest software technologies and trends, always striving to find the perfect balance between cutting-edge and clear, concise content delivery. As Partner at Formed, Inc, a digital health web technology company, he brings 10 years of experience building disruptive technologies. Chris founded TREND Community with his wife, Maria, after their daughter was born with Prader-Willi Syndrome. He manages the software design & development team.

Blair Van Brunt headshot.

Blair Van Brunt

Director of Community Development

As a parent of a daughter with a rare disease, Shwachman Diamond Syndrome, Blair became actively engaged in the rare disease space. She served as President and Executive Director for the Shwachman Diamond Syndrome Foundation for 9 years where she led the development of its patient registry. As Founder of Rare Disease Perspectives, LLC, she strived to give all patients a voice, creating patient-centered communications for the rare disease industry and the patient communities that they serve. Blair manages TREND Community communications and relationships.

Christopher Klamm headshot.

Christopher Klamm

Creative Director

With over 15 years of experience in 3D visualization & design and former Senior Artist for Zynga (leading developer of the world's most popular social games), Chris joined TREND Community to lead the design team and create something meaningful and impactful. Drawing upon his video game design experience, he aspires to create a highly engaging and interactive space where rare disease patients and caregivers can find community and share their experiences.

Advisors

Wendy White headshot.

Wendy White

Advisor

Wendy White is an innovative leader working for over 20 years in Rare Disease at the intersection of advocacy, technology and business. She currently works as a consultant to biopharma companies developing patient centered strategy and innovation commercialization plans. Prior to that, she founded, grew and transitioned Siren Interactive Corporation to Dohmen Life Science Services as part of a long-term vision to integrate patient-level insights into the drug delivery continuum. She is the mother of a child with a rare disorder and publisher and co-author of Uncommon Challenges; Shared Journeys—Stories of Love, Hope, and Community by Rare Disease Caregivers.

E. Robert Wassman, M.D. headshot.

E. Robert Wassman, M.D.

Advisor

Dr. Wassman has pioneered the introduction of genetic testing and personalized medicine for over 30-years. His focus has been on the translation and delivery of cutting-edge diagnostic technology to clinical service in the areas of reproductive medicine, rare cell/non-invasive diagnostics, and Next Generation DNA sequencing spanning clinical disciplines of reproductive genetics, cancer and companion diagnostics, and neurodevelopmental disabilities including autism. He has served as Chief Medical Officer for multiple companies in this space including Genzyme Genetics and Lineagen. He has co-founded several successful ventures.