Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation - Northeast Region
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of childhood brain tumors
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Northeast Regional Advisory Board

Daniel Itzkovitz, Chair - Stonehill College
Cambridge, Massachusetts

Daniel is a professor of English at Stonehill College, where he teaches classes on film and American culture. He received his Ph.D. from Duke University’s Program in Literature, and before arriving at Stonehill, he was a lecturer on History and Literature at Harvard University, and a fellow in Law and Literature at Harvard Law School. In 2011, his 8-year-old son was diagnosed with a tectal glioma. Since then, Daniel has been committed to making a difference in the lives of kids with brain tumors, focused especially on supporting the development of less-toxic treatments. He lives in Cambridge, MA with his wife Natasha and their two children.

Evan Hecker, Secretary - Spero Therapeutics
Arlington, Massachusetts

Evan Hecker, Ph.D. is currently the Director of API Development at Spero Therapeutics where he leads all drug substance development and manufacturing for the growing antibiotics pipeline at Spero. Prior to that he was Director of Process Chemistry at Karyopharm Therapeutics where he led the early clinical API development of their oncology portfolio. Evan started his career in drug development at Cubist Pharmaceuticals after completing a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University. He received his B.S. in chemistry from The College of New Jersey and worked briefly in the pharmaceutical industry before returning to school to earn his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. He and his wife Cara have three very active young boys, and Evan has been supporting the mission of A Kids Brain Tumor Cure and now the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation since his eldest son, Nathan, was diagnosed with a low-grade tumor at 4 years old. He is eager to help leverage his drug industry experience and network to accelerate any and all research the Foundation supports and is committed to finding better drugs and outcomes for our kids battling brain tumors.

Kimberly L. Gilman
Chappaqua, New York

Kimberly Gilman earned an undergraduate degree in English from the University of Michigan and a JD from Brooklyn Law School. Kim’s commitment to this disease stems from the medulloblastoma diagnosis of her son, Samson, in 2008. Once Samson was in remission, Kim was instrumental in developing Think Fit for Kids, an annual Family Fitness fundraiser, which has raised nearly $2 million since its inception in 2011, funded multiple promising research projects and clinical trials, and has significantly increased the awareness surrounding pediatric brain cancer. Kim is the mother of 3 boys (ages 16, 20 & 23) and is honored and humbled to support families on the post-brain tumor diagnosis journey through family outreach. Kim’s goal is to have Samson know a world where ALL children diagnosed with brain tumors have a fighting chance at a long, happy and limitless life.

Joel Kaplan - MK3 Creative
Newton Centre, Massachusetts

Joel is the “K” in MK3 Creative and the Founder and Principal. Joel’s vision for MK3 is to build an agency that is as well known for its world-class service as it is for its creative. To do this, MK3 continues to hire and train extremely talented people and create a genuinely open and honest working environment for clients and employees alike.

Joel lives in Newton, MA with his wife Rachel Geller and their two cats. He is also on the Advisory Board of The Cat Connection and Board Vice President of the Temple Emanuel Brotherhood. Joel and Rachel raised funds for over 10 years with The Dana Farber Marathon Challenge. Joel earned his undergrad degree from Northeastern University and his MBA from the University of Massachusetts. Joel looks forward to making an impact with PBTF from a development and marketing perspective.

Regional Staff Directory