|Tom Blumenthal received his PhD in Genetics from Johns Hopkins University in 1970, where he worked on bacterial viruses. He was a Whitney Foundation postdoctoral fellow with James Watson at Harvard, where he discovered that a viral replication envyme contains proteins evolved to perform completely different roles for their host bacteria: protein synthesis elongation. In 1973, he became an Assistant Professor at Indiana University, where he remained until 1996, rising through the ranks to Professor and Chairman of Biological Sciences. In 1980, as a Guggenheim fellow, he did a sabbatical with Sydney Brenner at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, where he began work on the nematode worm, C. elegans. He studied developmental gene regulation and later began his most well-known work on mechanisms of mRNA processing and chromosomal gene organization. His laboratory is credited with the first discovery of operons in higher organisms. In 1993 he did a sabbatical with Barbara Meyer in Berkeley where he expanded his work on C. elegans mRNA processing. In 1997, he moved to the University of Colorado School of Medicine as Chairman of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics. In 2006, he moved to the University of Colorado Boulder as Chairman of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. He is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He assumed the position of Executive Director of the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome in 2012 but stepped down in July 2017. He holds also remains a Professor in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology at the University of Colorado Boulder.
The Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome was name in honor for Dr. Linda Crnic, who died in a bicycle accident in 2004.
Dr. Crnic was a professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry and director of the Colorado Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Center.
She had an unwavering dedication to people with Down syndrome through translational research.2
Dee Daniels, RN, MSN, CPNP Program Coordinator, Sie Center for Down Syndrome Senior Instructor of Pediatrics, Division of Neurology, University of Colorado School of Medicine
Education: BSN, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH; MSN, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH
Background: Dee worked in neurology with a focus on epilepsy for nine years. She also worked in clinic serving children of international adoption and taught nursing school for 17 years. She coordinated the ketogenic diet program, vagal nerve stimulator and Tuberous Sclerosis Clinic at The Children’s Hospital, Denver. Dee developed and managed the New Onset Seizure Clinic at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. She has published in the areas of gastroesophageal reflux, epilepsy, adoption and medication management. She received the Senior Instructor with Distinction Award in 2009. Dee is the mother of four children, one of which is hearing impaired. 3
Dr. Espinosa assumed the position of Executive Director at the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome in July 2017. He is also a Professor in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine, the co-Leader of the Molecular Oncology program at the University of Colorado Cancer Center, and the founding Director of the Functional Genomics Facility at the University of Colorado.
Dr. Espinosa received his B.S. in Biology from the Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, Argentina, in 1994, and a PhD in Biology from the Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1999. Supported by a fellowship from the PEW Charitable Trusts, Dr. Espinosa completed his post-doctoral training at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California. In 2004, supported by a fellowship from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, he began his independent appointment at the University of Colorado Boulder, in the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology. In 2009 he was appointed to the Howard Hughes Medical Institute as an Early Career Scientist, an appointment that he held until his move from Boulder to the Anschutz Medical Campus in 2015.
Dr. Espinosa directs a diverse research program both at the Department of Pharmacology and the Linda Crnic Institute, with an emphasis on understanding how gene networks control cell behavior and organismal function. Their two main focus areas are cancer biology and Down syndrome. To learn more about the research projects in the Espinosa lab and read their publications, please visit their website here.
In his role as the Associate Director for Science and now as the Executive Director, Dr. Espinosa works in collaboration with all the scientists in the Institute, both in the intramural and extramural programs, to identify research priority areas, promote collaborations within and outside the Institute, facilitate interactions with the clinical care operations at the Sie Center for Down Syndrome, facilitate adoption of new technologies, and advance the research mission of the Institute in the national and international arenas.
Dr. Katheleen Gardiner is a Professor in the Department of Pediatrics. Dr. Gardiner received a B.S. degree in Honors Physics from McGill University in Montreal. She then spent 2 ½ years teaching high school general science and physics in Kanye, Botswana. She received a PhD from the Department of Biophysics and Genetics at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, for studies on RNA processing in bacteria, work which subsequently was awarded a Nobel Prize.
During a postdoctoral fellowship at the Eleanor Roosevelt Institute in Denver Colorado, Dr. Gardiner began working on Down syndrome, initially mapping genes on human chromosome 21 at the start of the human genome project. This work led to her chairing an international committee on genomic sequence annotation when the complete DNA sequence of human chromosome 21 was generated and published in 2000. Dr. Gardiner continued to focus her research on human chromosome 21 and Down syndrome, first at the Eleanor Roosevelt Institute, then at the University of Denver. She moved to the University of Colorado in 2007 and joined the Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome in 2012. Current research focuses on protein expression in mouse and human model systems of Down syndrome, and combines wet bench experimental work with computational approaches. The goal is to identify critical patterns in gene expression that underlie learning and memory deficits and to manipulate these with drug treatments to rescue cognitive deficits.
Dr. Gardiner organized several international conferences on Down syndrome and the biology of human chromosome 21 in Washington DC, and co-organized similar conferences held at the Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, and the Max Planck Institute in Berlin. She recently organized a conference entitled “Cognition in Down syndrome: molecular, cellular and behavioral phenotypes and the promise of pharmacotherapeutics” held in Washington, DC.4
Francis J. Hickey, MD Professor, University of Colorado School of Medicine Clinical Director, Sie Center for Down Syndrome
Medical degree: University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH
Internship and Residency: Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH
Fellowship: Developmental, Behavioral Pediatrics, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA
Research interests: Down syndrome and dual diagnosis-Down syndrome/Autism
Background: Dr. Hickey has spent more than 20 years as a developmental pediatrician in private practice and an adjunct Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. For the past ten years he conducted clinical evaluations and research involving individuals with Down syndrome at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. In addition, Dr. Hickey has published numerous articles on Down syndrome and autism. Dr. Hickey and his wife, also have personal experience on the subject, being the parents of son, James, with Down syndrome and autism.5
An impresario in the broadest and most creative sense of the word, Quincy Jones' career has encompassed the roles of composer, record producer, artist, film producer, arranger, conductor, instrumentalist, TV producer, record company executive, magazine founder, multi-media entrepreneur and humanitarian. As a master inventor of musical hybrids, he has shuffled pop, soul, hip-hop, jazz, classical, African and Brazilian music into many dazzling fusions, traversing virtually every medium, including records, live performance, movies and television.
Celebrating more than 60 years performing and being involved in music, Quincy's creative magic has spanned over six decades, beginning with the music of the post-swing era and continuing through today's high-technology, international multi-media hybrids. In the mid-50's, he was the first popular conductor-arranger to record with a Fender bass. His theme from the hit TV series Ironside was the first synthesizer-based pop theme song. As the first black composer to be embraced by the Hollywood establishment in the 60's, he helped refresh movie music with badly needed infusions of jazz and soul. His landmark 1989 album, Back On The Block--named "Album Of The Year" at the 1990 Grammy Awards-- brought such legends as Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan and Miles Davis together with Ice T, Big Daddy Kane and Melle Mel to create the first fusion of the be bop and hip hop musical traditions; while his 1993 recording of the critically acclaimed Miles and Quincy Live At Montreux, featured Quincy conducting Miles Davis' live performance of the historic Gil Evans arrangements from the Miles Ahead, Porgy and Bess and Sketches of Spain sessions, garnered a Grammy Award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Performance. As producer and conductor of the historic "We Are The World" recording (the best-selling single of all time) and Michael Jackson's multi-platinum solo albums, Off The Wall, Bad and Thriller (the best selling album of all time, with over 50 million copies sold), Quincy Jones stands as one of the most successful and admired creative artist/executives in the entertainment world.
His 1995 recording, Q's Jook Joint, again showcased Quincy's ability to mold the unique talents of an eclectic group of singers and musicians, in what resulted in a retrospective of his broad and diverse career from that of a seasoned Jazz musician, to skilled composer, arranger, and bandleader, to acclaimed record producer.
A reference to the backwoods club houses of rural America in the 1930's, 40's, and 50's, the platinum selling Q's Jook Joint featured performances by artists such as Bono, Brandy, Ray Charles, Phil Collins, Coolio, Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds, Gloria Estefan, Rachelle Ferrell, Aaron Hall, Herbie Hancock, Heavy D., Ron Isley, Chaka Khan, R. Kelly, Queen Latifah, Tone Loc, the Luniz, Brian McKnight, Melle Mel, Shaquille O'Neal, Joshua Redman, the Broadway musical troupe Stomp, SWV, Take 6, newcomer Tamia, Toots Thielemans, Mervyn Warren, Barry White, Warren Wiebe, Charlie Wilson, Nancy Wilson, Stevie Wonder, Mr. X, and Yo-Yo, among others, and garnered seven Grammy nominations. His recording, From Q, With Love, featured a collection of 26 love songs that he recorded over the last 32 years of his more than 50 year career in the music business.
Named by Time Magazine as one of the most influential jazz musicians of the 20th century, Quincy Jones was born on March 14, 1933, in Chicago and brought up in Seattle. While in junior high school, he began studying trumpet and sang in a gospel quartet at age 12. His musical studies continued at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he remained until the opportunity arose to tour with Lionel Hampton's band as a trumpeter, arranger and sometime-pianist. He moved on to New York and the musical "big leagues" in 1951, where his reputation as an arranger grew. By the mid-50's, he was arranging and recording for such diverse artists as Sarah Vaughan, Ray Charles, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Big Maybelle, Dinah Washington, Cannonball Adderly and LeVern Baker.
In 1957, Quincy decided to continue his musical education by studying with Nadia Boulanger, the legendary Parisian tutor to American expatriate composers such as Leonard Bernstein and Aaron Copeland. To subsidize his studies he took a job with Barclay Disques, Mercury's French distributor. Among the artists he recorded in Europe were Charles Aznavour, Jacques Brel and Henri Salvador, as well as such visitors from America as Sarah Vaughan, Billy Eckstine and Andy Williams. Quincy's love affair with European audiences continues through the present: in 1991, he began a continuing association with the Montreux Jazz and World Music Festival, which he serves as co-producer.
Quincy won the first of his many Grammy’s in 1963 for his Count Basie arrangement of "I Can't Stop Loving You." Quincy's three-year musical association as conductor and arranger with Frank Sinatra in the mid-60's also teamed him with Basie for the classic Sinatra At The Sands, containing the famous arrangement of "Fly Me To The Moon," the first recording played by astronaut Buzz Aldrin when he landed upon the moon's surface in 1969.
When he became vice-president at Mercury Records in 1961, Quincy became the first high-level black executive of an established major record company. Toward the end of his association with the label, Quincy turned his attention to another musical area that had been closed to blacks--the world of film scores. In 1963, he started work on the music for Sidney Lumet's The Pawnbroker and it was the first of his 33 major motion picture scores. In 1985, he co-produced Steven Spielberg's adaptation of Alice Walker's The Color Purple, which garnered eleven Oscar nominations, introduced Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey to film audiences, and marked Quincy's debut as a film producer. In 1991 Quincy helped launch NBC-TV's hit series, The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air, for which he served as an executive producer.
In 1990, Quincy Jones formed Quincy Jones Entertainment (QJE), a co-venture with Time Warner, Inc. The new company, which Quincy served as CEO and chairman, had a broad ranging, multi-media agenda which encompassed programming for current and future technologies, including theatrical motion pictures and network, cable and syndicated television. QJE produced NBC Television's Fresh Prince Of Bel Air (now in syndication), and UPN's In The House and Fox Television's Mad TV, among other syndicated shows and television specials. In 1991 Jones founded VIBE Magazine, and with his publishing group VIBE Ventures, would go on to acquire SPIN and Blaze Magazines before divesting his magazine interests.
In January 1992, Quincy Jones executive produced the An American Reunion concert at Lincoln Memorial, an all-star concert and celebration that was the first official event of the presidential inaugural celebration and drew widespread acclaim as an HBO telecast.
On March 25, 1996, Quincy Jones, executive produced the most watched awards show in the world, the 68th Annual Academy Awards. The show received widespread acclaim as one of the most memorable Academy Award shows in recent years.
In 1997, Quincy Jones formed the Quincy Jones Media Group. QJMG’s feature film projects in development include such highly anticipated films as the adaptations of the Ralph Ellison novel Juneteeth, David Halberstam’s The Children for Home Box Office in association with producers Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall, a bio-pic on the 19th century Russian poet Alexander Pushkin, Pimp and Seeds of Peace for Showtime, among others. For television, QJMG is developing the sit-com The White Guy. QJMG is also active in live entertainment, direct response marketing, and cross-media projects for home entertainment and educational applications. Along with Harvard University and MicroSoft, Jones produced the complete encyclopedia of African and African-American culture, Encarta Africana.
As a record company executive, Quincy remained highly active in the recording field throughout the 1990s as the guiding force behind his own Qwest Records, which boasted such important artists as New Order, Tevin Campbell, Andre Crouch, Gregory Jefferson and Justin Warfield. New Order's album, Substance earned Qwest a gold album in 1987. Tevin Campbell's T.E.V.I.N was both a critical sensation and major commercial success, and the label's release of the Boyz N The Hood soundtrack album was among the most successful soundtrack recordings of 1991. Qwest Records has also released soundtrack albums from the major motion pictures Sarafina! and Malcolm X.
In 1994, Quincy Jones led a group of businessmen, including Hall of Fame football player Willie Davis, television producer Don Cornelius, television journalist Geraldo Rivera and businesswoman Sonia Gonsalves Salzman in the formation of Qwest Broadcasting, a minority controlled broadcasting company which purchased television stations in Atlanta and New Orleans for approximately $167 million, establishing it as one of the largest minority owned broadcasting companies in the United States. Quincy served as chairman and CEO of Qwest Broadcasting. In 1999, taking advantage of the rapid escalation of broadcast station values, Jones and his partners sold Qwest Broadcasting for a reported $270 million.
The laurels, awards and accolades have been innumerable: Quincy has won an Emmy Award for his score of the of the opening episode of the landmark TV miniseries, Roots, seven Oscar nominations, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, 27 Grammy Awards, and N.A.R.A.S.' prestigious Trustees' Award and The Grammy Living Legend Award. He is the all-time most nominated Grammy artist with a total of 79 Grammy nominations. In 1990, France recognized Quincy with its most distinguished title, the Legion d' Honneur. He is also the recipient of the French Ministry of Culture's Distinguished Arts and Letters Award. Quincy is the recipient of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music's coveted Polar Music Prize, and the Republic of Italy's Rudolph Valentino Award. He is also the recipient of honorary doctorates from Howard University, the Berklee College of Music, Seattle University, Wesleyan University, Brandeis University, Loyola University (New Orleans), Clark Atlanta University, Claremont University's Graduate School, the University of Connecticut, Harvard University, Tuskegee University, New York University, University of Miami and The American Film Institute, among others. In 2001, Jones was named a Kennedy Center Honoree, for his contributions to the cultural fabric of the United States of America; and most recently was recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts as a Jazz Master, the nation’s highest jazz honor.
In 1990, his life and career were chronicled in the critically acclaimed Warner Bros. film, Listen Up: The Lives of Quincy Jones, produced by Courtney Sale Ross, a film which helped illuminate not only Quincy's life and spirit, but also revealed much about the development of the African American musical tradition. Reflecting on the changes in pop music over the years, Quincy says, "If there are any common denominators, they are spirit and musicality. I go for the music that gives me goose bumps, music that touches my heart and my soul." Over the years, Quincy Jones has reached the essence of music and art: the ability to touch people's feelings and emotions.
In 2001, Quincy Jones added the title “Best Selling Author” to his list of accomplishments when his autobiography “Q: The Autobiography of Quincy Jones” entered the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal Best-Sellers lists. Released by Doubleday Publishing, the critically acclaimed biography retells Jones’ life story from his days as an impoverished youth on the Southside of Chicago through a massively impressive career in music, film and television where he worked beside legends such as Billie Holiday, Ray Charles, Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald and Michael Jackson, among many others. In conjunction with the autobiography, Rhino Records released a 4-cd boxed set of Jones’ music, spanning his more than 5 decade career in the music business, entitled “Q: The Musical Biography of Quincy Jones.”
The audio recording of “Q: The Autobiography of Quincy Jones,” (Simon & Schuster) earned Jones his 27th Grammy Award, in the Best Spoken Word Category, while “Q: The Musical Biography of Quincy Jones” garnered him a 15th NAACP Image Award, in the category of Outstanding Jazz Artist.
With a long history of humanitarian work which began in the 1960’s and 70’s, Jones was one of the key supporters of Jesse Jackson’s Operation P.U.S.H. In 1985, he pioneered the model of using celebrity to raise money and awareness for a cause with “We Are the World.” The song remains the best-selling single of all-time, and raised more than $63 Million for Ethiopian famine relief. More importantly, however, it shined a spotlight on the Ethiopian drought and U.S. Government responded with over $800 million in aid.
In 1999 Quincy Jones joined Bono and Bob Geldof during a meeting with Pope John Paul II as a part of the Jubilee 2000 delegation to end third world debt. The delegation’s visit resulted in $27 billion in third world debt relief for Bolivia, Mozambique, and the Ivory Coast.
In 2004, in front of a live audience of more than a half-million spectators, Jones launched the We Are the Future initiative with a concert featuring Carlos Santana, Alicia Keyes, Josh Groban, Oprah Winfrey, Norah Jones and a host of other entertainers from around the world. The initiative has established Municipal Child Centers in the cities of Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Asmara (Eritrea), Freetown (Sierra Leone), Kigali (Rwanda) and Nablus (Palestine) where youth are being trained to run child-based programs in health, nutrition, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Sports and Arts.
In 2007, Jones and the Harvard School of Public Health joined forces to advance the health and well-being of children worldwide through Project Q, a strategic initiative of School’s Center for Health Communication. Through the strategic use of media, Project Q challenges leaders and citizens of the world to provide essential resources to enable young people to achieve their full potential.
A centerpiece of Project Q is the Q Prize, which recognizes extraordinary leadership by public figures and social entrepreneurs who are championing the needs of children. The inaugural Q Prize was awarded in January 2007 to Scott Neeson, founder of the Cambodian Children’s Fund, and over $600,000 was raised in support of Neeson’s work. The 2008 Q Prize will be awarded on October 23 in New York City.
Through his personal foundation, The Quincy Jones Foundation, Jones raises awareness and financial resources for initiatives that support global children’s issues in areas of conflict, malaria eradication, clean water and efforts to restore the Gulf Coast (post-Katrina). Philanthropic partners include Malaria No More, Millennium Promise, and R&B singer Usher’s New Look Foundation.6
Dr. Huntington Potter is Professor of Neurology and Director of Alzheimer's Disease Research in the Department of Neurology and the Linda Crnic Center for Down Syndrome at the University of Colorado, Denver. He discovered and is devoted to studying the mechanistic relationship between Alzheimer’s Disease and Downs syndrome. Recognizing that these disorders are two sides of the same coin and studying them together will best hasten the development of new treatments for both.
Prior to joining UC Denver, Dr. Potter studied, researched and taught for 30 years at Harvard University. He received his AB Cum Laude in Physics and Chemistry and his MA and PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology before spending 13 years on the faculty of the Neurobiology Department. In 1998, he joined the Faculty at the University of South Florida as the Eric Pfeiffer Chair for Research on Alzheimer’s Disease. He designed and directed the NIA-designated Florida Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at USF and was elected President of the Faculty at the College of Medicine, and President of the USF Tampa Faculty Senate. From 2004-2008, he was CEO and Scientific Director of the Johnnie B. Byrd Sr. Alzheimer’s Center & Research Institute, during which time the Institute built the largest free-standing Alzheimer’s disease research institute in the world and developed 7 new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease in preparation for human trials, before joining USF.
Dr. Potter is credited with the first demonstration of the Holliday intermediate in genetic recombination, the perfection of electroporation for gene transfer, and the discovery of the essential role of inflammation and the amyloid-promoting activity of the apoE-4 protein in Alzheimer's disease. He also discovered that Alzheimer's disease and Down syndrome, which invariably leads to Alzheimer's by age 30-40, are mechanistically related to each other and to cancer through the development of cells with abnormal numbers of chromosomes, which will be the focus of his research at UC Denver. He is author of over 100 scientific articles and books, is the holder of 15 U.S. and foreign patents, has sat on scientific advisory and review committees in academia, industry and government, and has received numerous awards for his work. In 2010, Dr. Potter was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His electron micrographs of DNA are on permanent exhibit in the National American History Museum of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C..7
Anna M. Sie, co-founder of the Anna and John J. Sie Foundation, is active in serving the needs of people with Down syndrome, neglected and abused children and other members of the community who are at risk, including the elderly and women.
Anna, a native of Italy, immigrated to the United States in the 1950s and grew up in New Jersey. Her passion for the welfare of children was forged through her own experience of coming to America. As a young child who did not speak English, she was abruptly thrown into the role of caring for her father and two older brothers, while her mother, sister and two younger brothers remained in Italy, until enough money was earned to send for them.
As a result, Anna is also involved in many Italian-related endeavors in Colorado.
Anna and her husband, John, moved to Colorado in 1984 when he took a position with Tele-Communications, Inc. Together they raised five children and enjoy four grandchildren.8
John J. Sie is founder and former Chairman of Starz Entertainment Group LLC (SEG). Founded in 1991, the Colorado-based company is owned by Liberty Media Corporation and is the parent of 13 premium movie networks, including Starz and Encore. Sie is one of the television industry’s leading figures and is consulted regularly by the media on programming, marketing and technology issues. He has spoken on numerous panels and offered keynote addresses to satellite and cable trade audiences. In 2003, Sie was inducted into the Cable Television Hall of Fame. In January 2005, Sie stepped down as CEO of SEG, a post he had held since the company was founded, in order to devote more time to his family and philanthropic activities as the co-founder of the Anna and John J. Sie Foundation.
Sie, a native of China, came to the United States at the age of 14 in 1950. He stayed at a Catholic orphanage on Staten Island, N.Y. until he graduated from high school in 1953. He received B.E.E. and M.E.E. degrees from Manhattan College and Polytechnic Institute in Brooklyn in 1957 and 1958, respectively. Sie began his professional career in 1958 when he joined the RCA Defense Electronics Division on advanced microwave solid state devices. In 1960, he co-founded Micro State Electronics Corp., and later served as president when it became a subsidiary of Raytheon Co. In 1972, Sie joined Jerrold Electronics Corp, a subsidiary of General Instrument Co, as Sr. Vice President of the CATV division. In 1977, he joined Showtime Entertainment as Sr. Vice President of sales and marketing.
In 1984, Sie and his family moved to Colorado to join Tele-Communications Inc. as Sr. Vice President in charge of strategic planning, programming, marketing, technology, and government relations. In the last three decades, Sie participated and witnessed the transformation of the cable television industry from a passive re-transmission of over-the-air TV broadcasts to rural America to the medium of choice for a wired nation today.
Many people consider Sie the father of digital television – in 1989 he submitted the first white paper on digital compression to Congress and the FCC that would dramatically change the landscape of television in the United States.
Michelle Sie Whitten is the executive director of the Anna and John J. Sie Foundation (Foundation). The Foundation provides grants to charitable organizations that make a difference in various sectors from arts and culture to ill or abused children. The Foundation’s two main fields of interest are: (1) Down syndrome related issues, and (2) international security and diplomacy.
Since Ms. Whitten became executive director of the Foundation, she has dedicated a portion of her time to improving the lives of families and individuals who are affected by Down syndrome. In 2006, the Foundation provided a matching grant to help establish The Rocky Mountain Down Syndrome Educational Fund that underwrites much needed Down syndrome-related educational programs. In the same year, the Fund succeeded in reaching its goal of raising $1 million, and Ms. Whitten initiated the creation of the Down Syndrome Educational Symposium Series that brings world-class Down syndrome experts to Colorado several times a year to meet with and educate professionals and parents who touch the lives of people with Down syndrome.
The Foundation is also one of the largest sources of grant money for Down syndrome-related scientific research. To date, the Foundation has helped to provide $1 million underwriting 13 scientific research grants with the aim of eradicating the ill effects of the third 21st chromosome. In 2006, Ms. Whitten received the Arcthrift Community Leadership Award for her Down syndrome-related work.
Prior to joining the Foundation Ms. Whitten was president and CEO of Encore International, Inc. (EI), the then China arm of Liberty Media Corporation. She worked in the cable industry from 1993 until 2005 and is considered a pioneer in the China media industry. For her work during that time she received the 40 Under 40 Achievements Award, the Real Women: Outstanding Entrepreneur Award and the Women in Cable & Telecommunications (WICT) Walk of Fame Award. In 2005 EI was sold to a UK-based company and EI continues to be a leader in foreign media investment in China.
Ms. Whitten sits on the board of The Denver Foundation and ARC Thrift.
She holds a Master of Arts degree in Regional Studies – East Asia and a Graduate Certificate in Business Administration, both from Harvard University. She studied Mandarin Chinese at Peking University and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Asian Studies from Tufts University.10
Patricia C. Winders, PTSenior Physical TherapistSie Center for Down SyndromeChildren’s Hospital Colorado, Aurora, CO
- Pat received her B.S. in Physical Therapy from the University of Florida in 1975.
- She is NDT certified.
- She is the first hired for the Sie Center for Down Syndrome at Children’s Hospital Colorado in Aurora, CO.
- She worked at the Kennedy Krieger Institute from1984-2007 and with the Down Syndrome Clinic program since it began in 1989.
- Since 1981, she has specialized in providing physical therapy to children with Down syndrome and has authored the book Gross Motor Skills in Children with Down Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals, published by Woodbine House in 1997.
- She has provided 35 two-day training conferences for therapists on gross motor development and treatment strategies for children with Down syndrome.
- She has presented workshops to parents and professionals at the annual conventions of the National Down Syndrome Congress and National Down Syndrome Society since 1994.
- She has provided consultation and training at the Al-Nahda School for Down Syndrome in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (2000-2001, 2008).
- She serves on the Clinical Advisory Board of the National Down Syndrome Society, on the Professional Advisory Board of the National Down Syndrome Congress, and is a member of the Down Syndrome Medical Interest Group.
- She is a Certified Rolfer.
Children with Down syndrome want to do what all children want to do. They want to learn to sit, crawl, walk, explore the environment, and interact with the people around them. To do that, they need to develop gross motor skills. Because their physical make-up is different (for example, hypotonia, ligamentous laxity, decreased strength), they do not develop motor skills in the same way that the typical child does. They find ways to compensate for the differences in their physical make-up. The problem is that some of the compensations can lead to long term problems (for example, painful feet or an inefficient gait pattern). My goal is to help them learn skills in a way that they develop the most functional body possible for the long term. I want to provide them with compensations that will be the most adaptive for life. The long term focus is optimal postural and foot alignment (for function), efficient gait pattern for community ambulation, and the ability to exercise.
Over the years, I have studied:
- the movement patterns that children with Down syndrome spontaneously use as they learn gross motor skills and what components of movement they need to learn;
- the timing of when they are ready to learn new skills;
- the best methods to teach motor skills based on the child’s unique learning style and physical make-up;
- how to practice skills to develop a motor plan and increased strength;
- how children with Down syndrome learn, the role of motivation and temperament, and the importance of success when learning new skills;
- the age when children with Down syndrome achieve 46 gross motor skills (longitudinal data of 328 children).
- Winders PC (1997). Gross Motor Skills in Children with Down Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals. Woodbine House.
- Winders PC (2001). The Goal and Opportunity of Physical Therapy for Children with Down Syndrome. Down Syndrome Quarterly 6(2), 1-4.
- Winders PC (2003). Interviewed for Down Syndrome: The First 18 Months. A Video created by Will Schermerhorn, Blueberry Shoes Productions.
- Winders PC (2005). Interviewed for Down Syndrome Update. Questions and Answers about Gross Motor Development. Fall, 2005 (NDSS Publication)
- Winders PC (2007). Interviewed for Pediatric News. “Early Therapy in Down Syndrome.” September, 2007
- Winders PC (2008). How to Treat Flat Feet. Down Syndrome News, Vol. 31, #4.