BOARD & STAFF

2023-2024 Board of Directors

We extend our heartfelt appreciation to the dedicated volunteer members of our Board of Directors. Their tireless
commitment and unwavering leadership are instrumental in ensuring the ongoing success of the
Tumour Foundation of BC.

Jill Taylor (M.Ed, PMP)

President
Jill Taylor manages research infrastructure projects in Victoria. Following her son’s diagnosis with NF, Jill became a member of the Tumour Foundation and has learned a great deal through the symposiums and other resources. She is passionate about improving the quality of care for those affected by NF, especially for those living outside the major centres of BC.

John (Ioannis) M Styliano, Ph.D.

Treasurer
As a scientist, John spent 18 years conducting research to identify the genetic causes of common and rare diseases, starting with his PhD research in Scotland before moving to the US and more recently Canada. He has led research teams in university medical schools, non-profit research organizations, as well as the pharmaceutical industry. Additionally, John was Director of Precision Medicine and Genetics at the Ministry of Health of British Columbia, where he worked closely with his colleagues and stakeholders across the healthcare system and health authorities, to improve health outcomes for almost 5 million British Columbians through the delivery of precision medicine. John is passionate about complex genetic diseases that are difficult to treat and traditionally neglected, like NF, and how modern and complex medicines along with improved care delivery can positively impact patients and their families.

Colette Madsen (M.A.)

Secretary
Colette has over 25 years experience in the non-profit community social service sector in program management and project development. She enjoys working with multidisciplinary teams whose aims are to improve the lives of vulnerable children/youth and families. As a mother of a (now adult) son with NF1, she has for many years benefited from the information and knowledge gained through symposiums; including, the educational resources to advocate in the school system. She is privileged to have this opportunity to assist in fund development, event support, to raising the awareness of NF, and addressing specific needs of children/youth with NF.

Edie Dullaghan, Ph.D.

As a scientist, Edie has worked in numerous roles investigating promising targets for drug development against a host of diseases, including multi-drug resistant bacterial infections, COPD and cancer. Over the course of her career, she has managed several large-scale R&D programs, including leading a global collaboration with the Centre for Drug Research and Development, LifeArc and The Defence Science and Technology Laboratories (DSTL) in the United Kingdom using a novel approach in drug target discovery that capitalises on areas of commonality across pathogens. Dr. Dullaghan obtained her PhD in the U.K. at the National Institute for Medical Research, studying the molecular genetics of the SOS response in Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative agent of TB. Following the diagnosis of her grandson with NF1 Edie has a new goal; to become involved in the NF1 community and to be an advocate for the resources and care this patient community needs.

Mischa Miller

As a Kinesiology student, Mischa believes in using many means to improve people's lives. Her work in clinical environments led to her passion for healthcare and connecting with vulnerable communities. In addition to healthcare, Mischa has leadership experience in community outreach and philanthropy. She currently works as Vice President for a club at the University of British Columbia and worked as the Outreach Coordinator at her high school. She hopes to combine her leadership and clinical experience to create a community through support and events, provide healthcare insight, and raise awareness for NF.

Kirsten Niedtner

Kirsten Niedtner, (Bachelor of Arts, English) was diagnosed with NF1 as a child. Her experiences sparked a need to advocate for those facing rare and often overlooked diseases and challenges and to work towards elimination of the stigmas associated with it. She has been a puppeteer since 2017 and has toured the province as part of a team performing shows at elementary schools. Currently she is working towards making the transition from stage puppetry to doing puppetry for film. Kirsten hopes to use her lifetime of experiences with NF and her creative background to bring new ways of looking at NF as well as more awareness to the disease.

Lauren Yip

Lauren Yip (Bachelor of Science) is a strong advocate for reducing health inequalities. As a passionate individual who mobilizes resources to effect change, over the last 10 years, she has contributed in executive roles in mental health awareness, anti-bullying, and poverty alleviation initiatives. She has also conducted research in the field of antibiotic alternatives. Her experience working alongside the marginalized in local communities has driven her to further the mission and expansion of The Tumour Foundation in empowering individuals with NF through a strong support network, and providing them with necessary medical care. She currently works as a Mental Health and Addictions rehabilitation Outreach Worker in adult outpatient psychiatry, primary working with patients with moderate to severe mental and substance use disorders.

Qi Zhang, Ph.D.

Qi Zhang holds a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering and is a professional engineer in British Columbia and the State of Washington. His dedication to education and research is evident through his positions at the British Columbia Institute of Technology and the University of British Columbia. Qi hopes to use his problem-solving abilities and technical skills to help expand the foundation to enrich the community. His mission is to unite patients, medical practitioners, and researchers, ultimately advancing the field of healthcare for the betterment of the community.

Interested in joining the Board? Please get in touch with our Executive Director by email at info@tumourfoundation.ca for more information.

Staff Members

Desirée Sher

Executive Director
Desirée brings extensive non-profit experience to her role as the Executive Director at the Tumor Foundation. Having worked at NF Canada, the BC Neurofibromatosis Foundation, and the Learning Disabilities Association, she has become a strong advocate for the children and adulates battling NF. Desirée loves inspiring others and works as a coach and mentor for new leaders in the charitable sector.

Delina Squire

Administrative Assistant
Delina has a strong background in administrative processes and has worked as an Executive Assistant in many positions. Delina is an expert at software programs, project management and bookkeeping. Delina enjoys her life in Victoria, BC and her family life outside of work.