The Choroideremia Research Foundation announced the appointment of Kathi Wagner to the position of Executive Director and Chris Moen, MD to the position of Chief Medical Officer.

Kathi Wagner brings 25 years of fundraising and nonprofit management experience to her new role with the CRF.  Most recently she served as Director of Development for the Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation, the largest international non-profit organization in the world dedicated exclusively to serving individuals affected by bile duct cancer.  In this role, she increased the organization’s fundraising from $561K in 2014 to nearly $2M in 2019 by securing sponsorships, grants and other funding from the pharmaceutical industry, the National Institutes of Health/National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences/National Cancer Institute and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. Mrs. Wagner also helped the organization win top prize at the Bayer 6th Annual Patient Advocacy Summit. Kathi and her family currently reside in Darien, IL, located in the western suburbs of Chicago, IL.

Chris Moen is an accomplished advocate on behalf of the Choroideremia community.  Dr. Moen has served in a variety of roles with the CRF since joining the Board of Directors in 2008, including serving as CRF President from 2014-19.  As Chief Medical Officer, he will focus on the acceleration of CRF’s research efforts and collaboration with numerous scientists and pharmaceutical companies to advance toward a treatment for CHM.  Dr. Moen completed his undergraduate studies at Princeton University and then attended Penn State University College of Medicine.  He is a board-certified emergency physician and currently serves as Medical Director for naviHealth, Inc. Chris and his family reside in Wilmington, DE.

“We are very pleased to welcome Kathi to our organization, “says Neal Bench, President of the CRF.  “We are also excited to appoint Chris to his new role as our first Chief Medical Officer.  Our leadership team is thrilled to have Kathi and Chris on board as we continue to grow and expand the reach of the CRF.”

About Choroideremia
Choroideremia (CHM) is a rare inherited form of blindness affecting approximately 1 in 50,000 people. Due to its x-linked inheritance pattern males are most severely affected with females usually experiencing much milder visual impairment. Symptoms begin in early childhood with night blindness and restriction of visual field being the earliest noticeable effects, eventually progressing to complete blindness. An estimated 6,000 people in the United States and 10,000 in the European Union are impacted by Choroideremia. There are currently no approved treatments for Choroideremia.

About the Choroideremia Research Foundation Inc.
The Choroideremia Research Foundation was founded in 2000 as an international fundraising and patient advocacy organization to stimulate research on CHM. Since its inception, the CRF has provided over $2.5 million in research awards and is the largest financial supporter of CHM research worldwide. Research funded by the CRF has led to the development of a CHM animal model, the pre-clinical production of gene therapy vectors currently in clinical trials, and the CRF Biobank which stores tissue and stem cell samples donated by CHM patients.