About Our Board Members
Anthony Anzell, Ph.D.
Anthony was 15 years-old when he was diagnosed with HHT and from that point on, he dedicated his life to finding a cure for HHT in every way possible. Over the years, Anthony has attempted several ultra-endurance events to raise money and awareness for HHT. He is currently doing his post-doctorate research at the University of Pittsburgh conducting research under Dr. Beth Roman, trying to understand the genetic and molecular mechanisms that give rise to arteriovenous malformations in HHT with hopes of developing clinically viable therapies for HHT patients. Anthony cannot think of a better way to continue his efforts in fighting for a cure than by serving the HHT community as a Board member.
Scott Boatwright has been a Financial Planner with Starks Financial Group in Asheville, North Carolina, since January 2014. He is an attorney and Certified Financial Planner practitioner. Scott holds the Series 7 and 66 securities licenses and North Carolina life, accident and health, and long-term care insurance licenses.
Scott’s previous experience includes work as a civil litigation attorney at firms in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Greenville, South Carolina; a stint as stay-at-home dad with his two children, Stuart and Harper; and consulting in financial planning through his own practice. He was born and raised in Waynesville, North Carolina, and now lives in south Asheville with his wife, Lisa Nurre, and kids.
Scott holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Juris Doctor degree from the Duke University School of Law. He is an avid runner and considers the trails around Asheville a second home. He recently completed a backpacking skills course and looks forward to spending more time in remote, beautiful places.
Robert Berkman | Emeritus Member
Since 2006, Bob Berkman has worked tirelessly as a volunteer for the HHT Foundation, served as President of the Board of Directors for 6 years, and is Board Emeritus for Cure HHT. Bob stepped into this leadership position and focused on strengthening the Cure HHT organization and its priorities while achieving strong results. He is now retired. Some of Bob’s achievements for the HHT community include: hiring the first organization Medical Director, producing the first awareness video, introducing the HHT Diagnosis and Treatment Act in the U.S. Congress, and expanding patient access to expert care through a commitment of opening two new HHT Centers of Excellence per year.
Professionally, Mr. Berkman is a former Senior Vice President of Computer Sciences Corporation. Prior to being acquired by CSC, he was the founder and managing partner of The DiBianca-Berkman Group, Inc. and was known widely in the business world for his pioneering work in helping organizations reinvent themselves to meet the competitive challenges of the 21st century. His areas of expertise include consulting with senior executives and executive teams regarding the leadership issues for organizations undergoing significant change, developing strategies to enroll and mobilize their employees around change and developing change strategies. Bob continues to lend his vast experience to the Board as a member emeritus. He lives in Bluffton, SC with his wife, Lee.
In recognition of Bob’s exemplary leadership, we honor his legacy through the creation of the Robert E. Berkman Leadership Award, to recognize those members of the Cure HHT community who exhibit the qualities that have made Bob such a valued part of our organization’s mission.
Gabriella Choi (Gabby) recently joined the Board with the motivation to bring more engagement from a new generation of HHT patients. Her mother, Julie, discovered HHT was running in their family and ensured that Gabby and her brother were diagnosed, treated, and educated from a young age. Gabby strives to bring the awareness her mother gave her at such a young age, to more families affected by HHT.
Professionally, Gabby is an operator and advisor for early stage businesses, primarily in software and consumer verticals. She joined two enterprise software companies in the healthcare and supply chain industry as part of the founding teams, and led operations. Gabby has also co-founded a beverage brand called HOP WTR, worked in management consulting and at Spotify, and got her MBA from Harvard Business School.
"I’ve been a part of the HHT community since my definitive diagnosis in 1990 and what a difference 30 years makes. That difference comes in the form of people who care so deeply and work tirelessly day in and day out to find treatments, spread awareness, and advance our steps toward a cure. I have 2 children and 2 grandchildren, all affected by HHT. It’s my commitment to them that I’ll do my part to help make their future HHT free. That’s why I am so grateful to sit on this board."
Scott Olitsky, MD, MBA
Sara Palmer, PhD
Sara Palmer, a retired psychologist and long-time Cure HHT volunteer, joined the Board in 2015. Sara served on the development, marketing, and nominations committees, as Secretary and as Vice President. She is the author of Living with HHT: Understanding and Managing Your Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia. Sara strives to help the HHT patient community of which she is a part, and to support Cure HHT’s mission to find, treat and cure HHT.
Brandon Probst, PhD
Brandon Probst completed his PhD in molecular and cell biology from the University Of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Professionally, he has over 15 years of preclinical small molecule drug discovery experience in multiple therapeutic areas including the last 7 years working on rare disease indications. Dr. Probst is currently a Director of Disease Biology at Recursion Pharmaceuticals Inc. and has spent several years working on a project aimed at identifying novel therapeutics for HHT. He has a strong desire to find and develop game changing medicines for patients. Brandon lives in Lehi, UT wife his wife, Stephanie and their five children.
Karen Silber Weissel, PhD
Karen has been a member of the HHT Foundation International/ Cure HHT since its early beginnings. HHT is very personal to her and her family. “I have always been impressed by Cure HHT’s commitment, patient support, outreach, education, conferences, and funded research. I am honored to be a board member to support the Cure HHT mission.”
Ann Trussell has served as a genetic researcher and as a regulatory auditor in the pharmaceutical industry. Ann has a vested passion and knowledge regarding HHT. Her experience stems from her and her two daughters all being HHT patients at the Center of Excellence at the University of Pennsylvania.
In prior employment, Ann gained familiarity with the FDA, quality assurance and drug availability. She also helped to create an HHT support group and brought attention to HHT being a cause of pediatric strokes, to families and practitioners at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She has advocated for post birth genetic testing when stroke is indicated. Ann is deeply motivated to find a cure to HHT due to both of her daughters having HHT. She would like to believe that she is doing everything she can for them to have better lives. Ann resides in Lewes, DE with her husband, Bill, her youngest daughter, Lauren and her very spirited Weimaraner, Gus.