Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome Hires Internationally Renowned Cancer Scientist Joaquín M. Espinosa, PH.D.

Global Down Syndrome Foundation Will Help Fund Espinosa’s Vision as the Newly Appointed Associate Director of Science

SEPTEMBER 16, 2015 (Denver, CO) — The Global Down Syndrome Foundation (“Global”) announced today acclaimed cancer medical researcher, professor and scientist Joaquín Espinosa, Ph.D., has been appointed to the newly created position of Associate Director for Science at the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome at the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine (UCD-SOM) in the Anschutz Medical Campus.

Tom Blumenthal, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Crnic Institute commented, “There were other departments and centers vying to hire Joaquín but in the end it was the allure and potential of Down syndrome research that convinced him to join us. In this position, he knows he has the chance of helping millions of people. Joaquín is not only a cancer expert he is a brilliant and big idea scientist. He is an expert in the basic molecular biology of gene expression, and an accomplished genomicist. We are lucky to have him.”

Espinosa’s team (The Espinosa Lab) has moved from the University of Colorado Boulder to the Department of Pharmacology at UCD-SOM in Aurora, where Espinosa will hold a full professorship. His team will continue investigating diverse cancer genes, while also focusing on the remarkable fact that the population with Down syndrome has a much lower risk of developing solid tumors.

In his new position overseeing science at the Crnic Institute, Espinosa is tasked with expanding  beyond the existing Crnic Grand Challenge Grants program that has stimulated 28 labs and nearly 100 scientists to work on Down syndrome research at the University of Colorado. He will foster growth in key areas such as Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, autoimmune disorders and clinical research in association with the Sie Center for Down Syndrome at Children’s Hospital Colorado. He will also work on establishing public-private-university alliances to stimulate research that benefits people with Down syndrome.

Global Down Syndrome Foundation, the fundraising, education and outreach arm of the Crnic Institute, helped raised funds to enable the recruitment of Espinosa and will make fundraising for his scientific vision a priority.

“The Global Down Syndrome Foundation is proud to have Dr. Joaquín Espinosa join our prestigious group of scientists at the Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome,” said Michelle Sie Whitten, President and CEO of the Global Down Syndrome Foundation. “The combination of his scientific achievements and his passion for helping people with Down syndrome makes Dr. Espinosa a perfect fit for our Global family.”

“I am very excited to join the Crnic Institute and work in collaboration with the teams at the Sie Center and Global Down Syndrome Foundation,” said Espinosa. “It is rare to find this perfect combination of a research institute, a clinical care operation and a powerful non-profit agency working in close coordination toward a common goal. I am confident that we will advance biomedical research in the area of Down syndrome and the associated co-morbidities in major ways.”

Previously Espinosa held the position of Associate Professor of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biologyat the University of Colorado Boulder, where he will continue as a Visiting Associate Professor. He will also continue as the University of Colorado’s Director of The Functional Genomics Facility and as the Co-Leader of the Molecular Oncology Program at the University of Colorado Cancer Center.

Espinosa obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina and did post-doctoral training at The Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California. In 2009, he was appointed as an Early Career Scientist of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, a nonprofit medical research organization that plays a powerful role in advancing biomedical research and science education in the United States.

In addition to being an advocate for people with Down syndrome, Espinosa is also a contributor to The Huffington Post, an avid rock climber, skier and outdoorsman.

Global Down Syndrome Foundation is a public non-profit dedicated to significantly improving the lives of people with Down syndrome through research, medical care, education and advocacy. Formally established in 2009, Global’s primary focus is to support the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome, the first academic home in the United States committed solely to research and medical care for people with Down syndrome. Headquartered at the University of Colorado School of Medicine on the Anschutz Medical Campus, the Crnic Institute includes the Anna and John J. Sie Center for Down Syndrome at the Children’s Hospital Colorado.

Follow Global Down Syndrome Foundation on Facebook & Twitter @GDSFoundation.

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