Rebecca Cook is our Programs Coordinator for Research & Engagement. She is excited to rejoin the NephCure team and hop back into planning Symposia! Rebecca grew up in Maryland and graduated from Bryn Mawr College in 2015, with a double major in Sociology and International Studies. She loves most the parts of her job that enable patient families to participate in research education. In her free time, she can be found cooking up a storm of international vegetarian cuisine with local produce and taking pictures of her goofy tabby cat, Roland.
Savannah Dauster is our Office Administrator. She joined the NephCure team in 2018 after graduating from Boyce College with a bachelor’s degree in humanities. Even though she went to college in Kentucky, Savannah was born and raised in Queens, New York and is a city girl at heart! She and her husband, Drew, were married in July 2017, and have made Philadelphia their home. In her free time, you can catch her reading Harry Potter, watching the West Wing, scanning CVS for expired goods (coupons galore!), or attending her church. Savannah loves NephCure’s mission, and is excited to play a part in making a difference in the lives of those affected by Nephrotic Syndrome.
Lauren Eva is our Associate Director of Communications and Development. Affectionately known in the office as “Leva”, Lauren loves creating quality, concise pieces for NephCure and relishes every opportunity she gets to spend with NephCure families. Her favorite experience has to be Advocacy Day, where staff and patients from around the country speak directly with lawmakers about issues that are important to us—like increased research funding for FSGS and other kidney diseases. Lauren is a news junkie who just moved back to her beloved city of Detroit with her husband and their hound mix, Buster.
Chelsey Fix is our Manager of Research Engagement. Chelsey came to NKI in 2014 as an intern after earning a biology degree from Temple University. She quickly worked her way to full time employment and loves working with the patient community and learning about people. In 2018, Chelsey earned her Master’s Degree in Public Health with a concentration on Epidemiology. She spends her free time being walked by her bulldog, Moose.
Kelly Helm is our Patient Engagement Manager, also known as “she who knows all about Nephrotic Syndrome.” Kelly started with NephCure as a volunteer walk leader 7 years ago. After working as a regional coordinator, she was promoted to a full time employee in 2014. Kelly’s favorite thing is to help patients and their families feel less isolated and alone in their journey and to provide hope. Kelly is also known as “Macy’s mom.” Macy is 11 and has had FSGS since 2009.
Allison Kostiuk returns to NephCure as the Manager of Volunteer Programs after previously serving as a Regional Director, working with volunteers to plan local events and raise funds. Allison lives in NJ with her husband Jack and their four children. When she’s not working, you will find her on a field or in a gym cheering on her sporty children. Allison has recently acquired a love for running and ran her first half marathon in Walt Disney World, the day after turning 40. She has since completed 8 half marathons, 6 Broad Street Runs and handful of charity 5k’s. Allison is happy to be back at NephCure to work alongside our community because “there is more work to be done.”
Lauren Lee is the National Director of Research and Engagement. She has spent her career in a variety of corporate and nonprofit settings including a historic library, a university health system, political campaign and international credit card company. The one common theme in all of these roles is a shared sense of purpose that permeated the workplace. Working at NKI has taken this feeling of camaraderie and passion to a new level. From day one, Lauren has been inspired and touched by the families we serve – their strength, bravery and kindness is unmatched. The doctors and researchers in this field are equally invested and genuinely motivated by the patients impacted by Nephrotic Syndrome. Lauren travels frequently to meet with patients and doctors and we are sure she has lived in, or has relatives in, every state in the country! In her downtime, Lauren enjoys yoga, long walks and spending time with her husband and two kids, Mick (15) and Paige (12).
Jessica Martin is our Chief Operating Officer and has been with NephCure since 2013 in various roles. She has previously worked in a range of managerial positions in the IT industry with a focus in Project and Program Management. She holds a bachelor’s degree in technical theatre from West Chester University, where she specialized in Stage Management. Jessica and her husband have 3 girls under 10 and her whole life is very similar to herding cats.
Deb Pollock is our National Director of Advancement. Deb is so excited to join NephCure and work with such a positive team, working to find a treatments and a cure. Deb has over 22 years in fundraising and development with organizations including The American Red Cross, The March of Dimes, The American Diabetes Association and The National MS Society. Deb is passionate about building relationships with individuals, families, corporate partners and bridging relationships through events and partnerships. Deb enjoys spending time with her family, hiking and traveling.
Brad Smith is our Relationship Manager for Signature Events. Brad has been working in the non-profit sector for the last 20 years. He has experience fundraising and relationship building for both national and local nonprofits in the Philadelphia region. Brad is excited for the opportunity to work with passionate people across the country for such an important mission. If he wasn’t working to make a difference for NephCure, Brad’s dream job is to be a game show host. When not dreaming, he enjoys running, fishing, and watching sporting events.
Josh Tarnoff is our Chief Executive Officer. He came to NephCure in early 2018 when he fulfilled a long-held desire to more closely serve the rare disease patient community. Josh spent over 30 years working in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology community moving new therapies closer to reality. Personal contact with NephCure families drives his passion to achieve the goals of our mission and he always appreciates directly speaking with our community. Likely due to a snake bite, he also has personal insights into renal disease having been a patient. Josh lives in PA where he enjoys backpacking while also trying to avoid further contact with venomous snakes.
Ciara Trainor is our Operations Manager. Ciara has previously worked with different nonprofits in the Philadelphia area. She is inspired by the sense of purpose and passion of everyone at NKI. Ciara’s motto is “Cheese = Joy” and believes there’s nothing like a little cheddar to make any day grate. Sorry….that was a little cheesy.
Meredith Wilson is the National Events Manager. Meredith started at NKI in 2014 as an intern and it wasn’t long before we hired her full time. Meredith takes care of the massive logistics involved with running 40+ events throughout the year. Additionally, she is our resident skee ball pro and wedding coordinator.