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Annette Bakker, Ph.D. Appointed Senior Vice President of Research and Drug Development

By December 20, 2011December 5th, 2023Awareness

The Children’s Tumor Foundation has appointed Annette Bakker, Ph.D., to the newly-created position of Senior Vice President of Research and Drug Development.  The Foundation is dedicated to improving the health of those affected by neurofibromatosis, more commonly referred to as NF, and is the largest non-governmental funder of NF research nationally.

Dr. Bakker is originally from Belgium and holds a Ph.D. in cell biology from the University of Antwerp.  After more than a decade practicing basic research at University of Antwerp, Yale Medical School, and the Salpetriere Hospital in Paris, she was appointed assistant professor at University of Paris. Since 1998, Dr. Bakker has applied her basic research skills in drug discovery. Most recently she created and headed the oncology research and development unit at Siena Biotech in Italy, where she focused on drug discovery and development. Dr. Bakker’s research was internationally recognized by more than 30 peer-reviewed papers, patents, and innovation awards.

Dr. Bakker was hired after an exhaustive, international search and her appointment is part of the Foundation’s ongoing effort to expand its NF-related medical and research programs, notably in preclinical drug testing and clinical trials.  As well as having a broad background in neuroscience and cancer research, Dr. Bakker brings her research and pharmaceutical industry expertise of liaising and negotiating with biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies.
“Annette has proven experience building relationships with pharmaceutical companies and scientists across the globe, which can accelerate the development of promising treatments for patients with NF,” said George Orfanakos, past President of the Children’s Tumor Foundation.

Since 2005, the Children’s Tumor Foundation’s research efforts have been led by Dr. Kim Hunter-Schaedle, Chief Scientific Officer. Earlier this month, Dr. Hunter-Schaedle resigned from her position as of yearend.  During her tenure, Dr. Hunter-Schaedle directed a major expansion of the funding and scope of Foundation-sponsored scientific and medical activities, and coordinated activities with 44 partnering treatment facilities nationwide that are part of the NF Clinic Network.

Bruce Korf, M.D., Ph.D., a respected NF researcher at the University of Alabama Birmingham, and the Chairperson of the Children’s Tumor Foundation’s Medical Advisory Committee, said, “As the Foundation’s first Chief Scientific Officer, Kim was the architect of the CTF research program, which is now recognized as the leading privately-funded NF research program in the world.”

In addition to her drug development responsibilities, Dr. Bakker will ensure a seamless transition until a new scientific officer can be hired.