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Sharon Terry

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Sharon Terry, MA
President and Chief Executive Officer
Biographical Sketch


Sharon F. Terry is President and CEO of Genetic Alliance, a large network engaging individuals, families and communities to transform health. Genetic Alliance works to provide programs, products and tools for ordinary people to take charge of their health.

As ‘just a Mom’ with a master’s degree in Theology, she cofounded PXE International, a research advocacy organization for the genetic condition pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE), in response to the diagnosis of PXE in her two children in 1994.  With her husband, she co-discovered the ABCC6 gene, patented it to ensure ethical stewardship in 2000, and assigned their rights to the foundation.  She subsequently developed a diagnostic test and conducts clinical trials.  She is the author of 140 peer-reviewed papers, of which 30 are clinical PXE studies.

In her focus at the forefront of consumer participation in genetics research, services and policy, she serves in a leadership role on many of the major international and national organizations, including the Precision Medicine Initiative Cohort Advisory Panel, Accelerating Medicines Partnership, Institute of Medicine (IOM) Science and Policy Board, the IOM Roundtable on Translating Genomic-Based Research for Health, the PubMed Central National Advisory Committee, the PhenX scientific advisory board, the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health, the International Rare Disease Research Consortium Executive Committee and as Founding President of EspeRare Foundation of Geneva, Switzerland. Terry is co-founder of the Genetic Alliance Registry and Biobank.  She is on the editorial boards of several journals. She led the coalition that was instrumental in the passage of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act.  She received an honorary doctorate from Iona College for her community engagement work in 2006; the Research!America Distinguished Organization Advocacy Award in 2009; and the Clinical Research Forum and Foundation’s Annual Award for Leadership in Public Advocacy in 2011. She was named one of FDA’s “30 Heroes for the Thirtieth Anniversary of the Orphan Drug Act” in 2013. She is co-inventor of the Platform for Engaging Everyone Responsibly (PEER).  PEER received $500,000 from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 2014.  PEER undergirds the Community Engaged Network for All (CENA), a PCORnet member funded in 2013 for Phase I and in 2015 for Phase II. She is Co-PI of the PCORnet Coordinating Center and Chair of the PCORnet Engagement Committee.

Terry is an Ashoka Fellow.  With her husband Patrick, she is an avid paragliding pilot, rock climber and weekend farmer.

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