Webinar Presenter Biographies


Lisa Ackerman

Lisa Ackerman A native of California, Lisa has worked in the retail and real estate site selection for almost 20 years. Lisa was a co-founder of Integration Technologies and AnySite Software which was sold to MapInfo Corporation in 2003. Working with customers like Wal-Mart, Burger King and Shell Oil, Lisa has consulted and sold large solutions for planning and managing the site selection process.In March 2004, Lisa retired from her real estate career to assume a full-time volunteer role as Executive Director for TACA. Lisa transitioned from volunteer to a full time professional capacity in July, 2008.

Dr. Julie Buckley

Dr Buckley Dr. Buckley is a graduate of the University of Miami School of Medicine and of the Jackson Memorial Hospital/University of Miami Pediatric Residency Program, Dr. Buckley implemented an integrative/functional medicine approach into her pediatric practice after her daughter regressed into the world of autism at four years of age. In October 2009, she added Breast Cancer Survivor to her resume, using this integrative/functional medicine approach. An international speaker on these topics, she has written Healing Our Autistic Children in 2010 and Your Comprehensive Guide to Breast Cancer in 2013, is founder and President of the HealthyUNow Foundation, and is raising two children with the help of a wonderfully supportive family.

Christy Calbos, Esq

calbos Christy Calbos is a special education attorney for Georgia's disabled students. She has 14 years of experience with IEPs and 504 Plans, mediations and due process hearings. After 9 years of representing school districts, she quit in 2011 and opened The Calbos Law Firm to exclusively help children get the services they need. Her prior years of working behind the scenes for schools means that she has unique, direct experience about how schools operate and how special education decisions are made, and this valuable "former insider" perspective is put to use for her clients.

Dr. Suzanne Goh

Goh Dr. Suzanne Goh is a board-certified pediatric neurologist with expertise in the evaluation and treatment of children with developmental brain disorders, including autism, intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, ADHD and others.
Before establishing her practice in San Diego, California in 2013, Dr. Goh served as Co-Director of the Columbia University Developmental Neuropsychiatry Clinic for Autism and Related Disorders in New York City. She is a Rhodes Scholar and a graduate of Harvard Medical School. She completed her Pediatrics internship at Massachusetts General Hospital and her Pediatric Neurology residency at University of California San Francisco.
Dr. Goh's research has focused on brain networks and disturbances to brain biochemistry that underlie cognitive and behavioral disorders of childhood. She has conducted research on mitochondrial and other metabolic disturbances in autism. She has been affiliated as an author or reviewer with several leading neuroscience journals, including Neurology, Annals of Neurology, Pediatric Neurology, & Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology. She has taught at Harvard University, Columbia University, and the University of California San Francisco.
Dr. Goh is co-author of the book Spectacular Bond: Reaching the Child with Autism which outlines a powerful behavioral program for children with autism that is grounded in research in neuroscience, linguistics, and the psychology of parent-child interactions. She is also co-author of the ASD Language Series which is a series of educational programs to teach language and communication to children with autism and other learning disabilities. For more information, go to www.gohmd.com

Dr. Karima Hirani

hirani Dr. Karima Hirani is a Board Certified Family Physician who has been utilizing bio-medical treatments for Autism since 2001. She received her MD from USC Medical School and holds a Master's Degree in Public Health from UCLA with a specialization in Nutrition. She has been practicing Integrative Medicine since 1999 in Los Angeles where she treats both children and adults. In addition she regularly attended DAN! conferences from 2001-2012 and subsequently MAPS physician conferences since 2012. She is a Assistant Clinical Professor of Family Medicine at USC Medical School and is also certified in clinical homeopathy.

Devin Houston, Ph.D.

Houston Dr. Devin Houston, Ph.D., is the founder and CEO of Houston Enzymes. Dr. Houston obtained his doctorate in biochemistry from the University of South Alabama College of Medicine. His graduate work focused on enzyme discovery and subsequent research at University of Virginia and Saint Louis University focused on enzyme mechanisms involved in cellular communication. Dr. Houston followed his academic career with several years of research and development in enzyme manufacturing with special focus on the digestive needs of those with autism. His company, Houston Enzymes, provides a variety of targeted enzyme products for digestive support.

Celeste King

Celeste King Celeste King has a background and degree in Biology and has worked for BrainChild Nutritionals for eight years where she advises parents on the use of BrainChild Nutritionals products and is the company’s principal link to the autism community. She is the mother of two children with autism now age 20 and 21 and has worked extensively with her own children using supplementation to accelerate and improve their health and progress.
Celeste is passionate about educating other parents on how nutritional supplementation may help to promote their own child’s growth and development. Autism often comes with an array of medical conditions such as gastrointestinal issues and metabolic disorders and so when choosing supplements for children on the autism spectrum it can be a confusing and complicated process.
With so many choices regarding supplements these days she wants to empower parents with knowledge that will help them better understand what to look for when choosing a product and what supplements may aid in the health, learning and behavior for their child.

Elizabeth McCoy, Board Member

Elizabeth McCoy has been a licensed Attorney in California since 1997, practicing primarily in the area of special needs trusts, conservatorship, and estate planning for families who have a child with Autism or other special needs. Mrs. McCoy earned her Juris Doctor from Washington University School of Law. During law school, she was the Jan Adam Zuckerman scholarship recipient, and a staff member for the Washington University Journal of Urban and Contemporary Law. Since 1988, Mrs. McCoy has also been a licensed Landscape Architect. Prior to practicing law, she produced landscape architectural plans for Disney theme parks and 5-star Ritz Carlton and Marriott hotels throughout the world. Mrs. McCoy has been a proud supporter of TACA since 2006. She lives in North San Diego County with her husband Mike and two sons Atticus and August.

Dr. Nancy O’Hara

OHara Dr. Nancy O’Hara is a board certified Pediatrician. Prior to her medical career, Dr. O’Hara taught children with autism. She graduated with highest honors from Bryn Mawr College and as a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society from the University of Pennsylvania School Of Medicine. She earned a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Pittsburgh. After residency, chief residency and general pediatric fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. O’ Hara entered general private practice in 1993, and in 1998 began her consultative, integrative practice solely for children with special needs. Since 1999 she has dedicated her practice to the integrative and holistic care of children with neurodevelopment disorders, ADHD, PANDAS/PANS, OCD, Lyme and Autistic Spectrum Disorder. She is a leader in the training of clinicians, both in the US and abroad.

Lanier Rossignol

Lanier Rossignol Lanier Rossignol, BSN FNP-C received her graduate training as a Family Nurse Practitioner and her Master’s in Nursing from the University of Virginia. She also has a Bachelor of Arts in Neurobiochemistry and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Virginia. After her two sons were diagnosed with autism, she sought information from a number of sources including researchers, specialists, the medical literature, and she attended 6-8 autism medical conferences per year to help find answers for her sons. As biomedically-based treatments helped her sons begin speaking, she became more involved in research including 3 studies examining the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in autism. After years of focusing on both her sons and her own medical issues, she has now joined her husband, Dr. Rossignol, and his medical practice as a Nurse Practitioner to try to help families struggling with the underlying medical issues of autism.
Lanier has a special interest in autism spectrum disorders, PANS/PANDAS, chronic fatigue, and health and wellness through diet, supplements and exercise.

Dr. Dan Rossignol

Rossignol Dr. Rossignol received his Doctorate of Medicine at the Medical College of Virginia and completed his residency in family medicine at the University of Virginia. Coming from an academic background, Dr. Rossignol searched the medical literature looking for a solution after both of his children were diagnosed with autism. He has made it his mission to research and publish in autism. In the last 9 years, he has 53 papers, abstracts, editorials, and book chapters (including those in press) concerning autism and related conditions.
Dr. Rossignol has a special interest in autism spectrum disorders, PANS/PANDAS, cerebral palsy, and related neurological and developmental disorders as well as medically complex children and adults. Dr. Rossignol is a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians (FAAFP) and a Fellow of the Medical Academy of Pediatric Special Needs (FMAPS).

Holly Bortfeld

Holly Holly Bortfeld is a single mother of 2 adults with ASD. A long time homeschooler living in PA, Holly has been doing biomedical treatments since 1998. Holly is the Technology and National Parent Support Manager and lead author for TACA.

Theoharis C. Theoharides, BA, MS, MPhil, PhD, MD, FAAAAI

Theoharides Dr. Theoharides is Professor of Pharmacology, Internal Medicine and Psychiatry, as well as Director of Molecular Immunopharmacology and Drug Discovery at Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA. He first showed that mast cells, known for causing allergic reactions, are critical for inflammation, especially in the brain, and most recently in the pathogenesis of autism. He has received 37 patents and trademarks, including three covering brain inflammation and autism.

Richard Boles, MD

boles Dr. Boles completed medical school at UCLA, a pediatric residency at Harbor-UCLA, and a genetics fellowship at Yale. He is board certified in Pediatrics, Clinical Genetics and Clinical Biochemical Genetics. Dr. Boles was a faculty member for 20 years at the Keck School of Medicine at USC and a practicing medical geneticist at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. He has been the Medical Director of Courtagen Life Sciences Inc. since its inception, and is also currently in private practice in Pasadena, California. For over two decades, Dr. Boles' clinical and research focus has been on genetic changes in genes involved in energy metabolism, and more recently ion channels, and their effects on the development of common functional disorders. Examples include pain syndromes, cyclic vomiting, depression, autism and SIDS. Dr. Boles practices the “bedside to bench to bedside” model of a physician-scientist, combining an active clinical practice with basic research into the underlying genetic predispositions leading to the same conditions. He has over 70 published papers, mostly in mitochondrial medicine. Dr. Boles joined Courtagen in order to facilitate the translation of the vast amounts of acquired genetic knowledge into applications that improve routine medical care.
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