Our Team

The Foundation will not be able to succeed in its objectives without the great team that is working behind it. The Foundation is extremely grateful that all the staff, committee members and advisors are working for it on a pro bono basis.

All of them are deeply motivated by the work that the Foundation does and feel very passionate about its cause. Their goal is very simple: they all hope to be able to help patients in a meaningful way.

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Supervisory Committee

Barbara YU

Barbara YU

Barbara Yu is the co-founder and co-CEO of YH2 Capital, an investment firm that adopts a long-term investment approach. Prior to founding YH2 Capital, Barbara was the Head of Asia of Eton Park Capital Management from 2006 to 2010 and was responsible for Eton Park’s public and private investments in Asia.

In her role, Barbara founded, built and managed the Asia portfolio business of Eton Park since its inception in 2006. ​

Prior to joining Eton Park in 2006, Barbara spent five years at Goldman Sachs in Hong Kong where she rose to the position of the Head of the firm’s Principal Strategies Group in the Asia Pacific region. The Group encompassed the proprietary investing business of the equities division at Goldman. Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, Barbara worked at Morgan Stanley in New York and Hong Kong, where she focused on mergers, acquisitions and restructuring.

Barbara graduated from Cambridge University in 1998 with a BA in Law, double first class honors. Barbara was awarded the N. Diaz Scholarship for Law and Norton Rose Prize for Commercial Law. She was also a Jardine Scholar.

Yen How TAI

Yen How TAI

Yen How Tai is the co-founder and co-CEO of YH2 Capital, an investment firm that adopts a long-term investment approach. Prior to founding YH2 Capital, Yen was an entrepreneur and investor. In 1999, he founded an online real estate company and grew it to be the biggest online property business in Hong Kong. After selling the business, Yen branched out into real estate investment and development in Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong and Singapore. ​

Before becoming an entrepreneur, Yen worked at Investor AB's private equity arm in Asia. Yen started his career as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company's in Greater China office, where he advised governments and leading multinational corporations in China, Japan and Southeast Asia, in the telecommunications, consumer products, information technology, government policies and retail sectors. ​

Yen graduated from Harvard University in 1996 with a BA in Economics. Yen was an ASEAN Scholar.

Dr. Yen Foung TAI

Dr. Yen Foung TAI

Dr. Tai, MBBS MRCP PHD, is a consultant neurologist and Clinical Senior Lecturer at Charing Cross Hospital, Imperial College London. He graduated with first class honours from the University of Sydney medical school.

He underwent clinical neurology training in Cambridge and London, and obtained his PhD at Imperial College London.

He has a research background in using functional imaging to study the pathogenesis and treatment responses of neuroprotective therapy in neurodegenerative diseases. More recently, he is also interested in using technology and neuromodulation, including deep brain stimulation, to improve the treatment of movement disorders. He is also experienced in setting up open access patient registry for clinical trials.

TAN Hee Joek

TAN Hee Joek

Hee Joek studied law at Exeter College, Oxford University on a Singapore Government Overseas Merit Scholarship. He returned to Singapore after graduating in 1994 and served his national service in the Legal Office of the Defence Procurement Division of the Ministry of Defence.

Thereafter, he was deployed to serve his scholarship bond in the Attorney-General’s Chambers, spending more than 8 years in government service in the Civil Division and Criminal Justice Division as a State Counsel and Deputy Public Prosecutor. Hee Joek joined a leading major law firm in the first half of 2005 before joining partnership in the present firm in April 2009. ​

Hee Joek was formerly on the Panel of Lead Counsel on Supreme Court’s Legal Assistance Scheme for Capital Offences and participates in the Law Society’s Criminal Legal Aid Scheme

Sean TAI

Sean TAI

Sean Tai is a corporate lawyer with a focus on mergers and acquisitions, private equity investments, joint ventures, corporate finance, fund raising, technology, intellectual property, personal data privacy, employment and anti-trust matters.

Sean is the Associate General Counsel and Head of Legal, Asia Pacific, of a leading global management consulting company. He leads the regional legal team and is a trusted advisor and business partner to senior management, with primary responsibility for a wide range of legal, contractual, regulatory compliance, corporate governance, risk management and litigation matters for 15 offices and 1,600 staff in the region.

Previously, Sean was a Partner of a leading US law firm and had worked in London, Hong Kong and Shanghai. He represented international clients in closing a long list of complex, high-value, cross-border transactions. His professional accomplishments were recognized with various professional awards.

Sean graduated with an LL.B. degree in 2000 from King’s College London. He is passionate about using his professional knowledge, skills and experience to help those in needs.

Medical Director

Dr. Luzette WONG

Luzette WONG, MD

Luzette Wong joined as a Medical Director of Citrin Foundation. In this role, Luzette is responsible for developing and maintaining the global patient registry and provide the key support in the dissemination of medical and scientific information and updates to the community of patients and their respective families.

Luzette also leads the initiatives and collaborative work with healthcare providers, scientists/medical researchers and nutritionists on establishing diagnostics, treatment and diet plan for citrin deficiency patients. This will involve coordinating various scientific proposals and research projects submitted to the Foundation. In addition, Luzette will liaise with pharmaceutical companies for potential clinical trials and research on developing the appropriate management and treatment for citrin deficiency.

Prior to joining the Citrin Foundation, Luzette worked as the Regional Director for Clinical Development at Pfizer where she had spent 9 years of overseeing clinical trials conducted in North and Southeast Asia. As a trained Dermatologist, Luzette spent 5 years in clinical practice and 12 years as a Clinical Research Physician in the pharmaceutical industry. As a Clinical Research Physician, her main focus was to provide medical oversight and support Phase 1 - 4 clinical trials in the development of new drugs in the fields of oncology, infectious medicine, hematology oncology, adult and paediatric neurology, cardiology, immunology and dermatology.

Luzette received her Bachelor of Science major in Biology and Doctor of Medicine degree from the Philippines and completed a fellowship training in Dermatology in Singapore. Luzette lives in Singapore with her husband, Percy and children, Kevin and Ashley.

Foundation Coordinator

Taeko CHIBA

Taeko CHIBA

Taeko Chiba joined as a Coordinator of Citrin Foundation. In this role, Taeko is responsible for facilitating communication with patients and families, researchers, and universities and also liaising with doctors, scientists and pharmaceutical companies around the world. She also acts an intermediary between the Foundation and Japanese patients and researchers by translating and managing the bilingual website.

Prior to joining the Citrin Foundation, Taeko was in the finance industry for total of six years, trading stocks and administrating. 

Taeko was born and raised in Japan. She moved to the States for higher education when she was 18. She graduated with Bachelor degree from Western Washington University.  She double-majored in Psychology and Communications. She has two daughters and lives in Yokohama, Japan. She is committed to supporting the patients and families around the world.

 

Scientific Committee

Chairman
Takeyori SAHEKI, MD, PhD

Takeyori SAHEKI, MD, PhD

Dr. Takeyori Saheki graduated from Graduate School of Medicine, Tokushima University in 1970, and he got a PhD degree at Tokushima University. In 1980, he was appointed as Professor of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Kagoshima University. At present, he is a Guest Researcher at Department of Hygiene and Health Promotion Medicine, Kagoshima University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences. ​

Dr. Saheki characterized a type of hepatocerebral disease biochemically as adult-onset type II citrullinemia (CTLN2). He discovered the causative gene for CTLN2 and showed that the same gene is the cause of neonatal intrahepatic cholestasis (NICCD). He named the diseases citrin deficiency, and identified the gene encoding mitochondrial aspartate glutamate carrier. Also, Dr Saheki invented a mouse model for citrin deficiency, citrin and mitochondrial glycerol 3-phosphate dehydrogenase double-KO mouse, and by using the model, characterized pathophysiology of citrin deficiency and developed novel therapeutic procedures for the disease. ​

Academic Awards: in 2000, from Japanese Society for Inherited Metabolic Diseases, and in 2003 from the Japan Society of Human Genetics.

Members
Jorgina SATRUSTEGUI, PhD

Jorgina SATRUSTEGUI, PhD

Dr. Jorgina Satrústegui is a Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Centro de Biologia Molecular Severo Ochoa (CBMSO), of the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain.

Dr. Satrustegui obtained her PhD in Madrid, carried out postdoctoral research in Massachusetts General Hospital (Harvard) and the Johnson Foundation (UPenn), and was appointed as Professor at the Autonomous University of Madrid in 1993. She leads a research laboratory which over the years focused on the study of a new system to transduce calcium signals to mitochondria, which relies on the use of calcium regulated mitochondrial carriers. These are:

  1. the aspartate-glutamate carriers, AGC1/Aralar/Slc25a12 and AGC2/Citrin/Slc25a13, components of the malate aspartate NADH shuttle; and
  2. the ATP-Mg/Pi carriers, SCaMC1/APC1/Slc25a24, SCaMC2/APC3/Slc25a25, and SCaMC3/APC2/Slc25a23 which participate in regulating the total adenine nucleotide content of mitochondria.

She is specifically interested in their role in transducing calcium signals to mitochondria in neurons, as compared to the role of the mitochondrial calcium uniporter, and she has addressed these studies with the help of KO mice. Another main concern of her lab is to understand the role of these carriers in human human disease. Particularly, disease related to mutations in these carriers, such as AGC1 deficiency.

Masahide YAZAKI, MD, PhD

Masahide YAZAKI, MD, PhD

Neurologist and Professor, Department of Biological Sciences for Intractable Neurological Diseases, Institute for Biomedical Sciences, Shinshu University, Matsumoto, Japan. ​

Dr. Masahide Yazaki graduated from Shinshu University School of Medicine, Matsumoto, Japan (M.D.) in 1992 and he graduated from the Graduate School of Medicine, Shinshu University in 1998 (Ph.D.). He worked as a neurologist in Shinshu University Hospital. In 1999, he moved to Department of Pathology and Lab Medicine, Indiana University, USA as a postdoctoral fellow to study the pathogenesis of protein-misfolding disease such as amyloidosis. He returned to Shinshu University in 2002, and became Associate Professor, Department of Neurology and Rheumatology, Shinshu University School of Medicine in 2011. In 2014, when the Institute for Biomedical Sciences was established in Shinshu University, he moved to Department of Biological Sciences for Intractable Neurological Diseases, Institute for Biomedical Sciences as an Associate Professor. There, he is continuing basic and clinical research on amyloidosis and citrin deficiency. In 2017, he was promoted to be a Professor at the School of Health Sciences and Institute for Biomedical Sciences, Shinshu University. ​

To date, Dr. Yazaki has performed clinical and pathological studies of CTLN2 patients in Japan to elucidate the clinical pictures of CTLN2 and to establish the therapeutic strategy for CTLN2 patients.

Paul Michael YEN, MD

Paul Michael YEN, MD

Dr. Yen is a Professor at Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School in Singapore and Head of the Laboratory of Hormonal Regulation in the Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disorders Program. He obtained his M.D. from Johns Hopkins, completed his residency in internal medicine at University of Chicago and his endocrinology fellowship at NIH. Prior to Duke-NUS he served on the faculty at Johns Hopkins, Harvard, and as section chief at NIDDK, NIH. He has served on the editorial boards of Endocrinology, Molecular Endocrinology, and Thyroid.

His current research interests are hormonal regulation of hepatic autophagy and lipid metabolism in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease as well as epigenetic regulation of metabolic genes by thyroid hormone.

Citrin Foundation

Citrin Foundation, set up in 2016 to tackle citrin deficiency, aims to provide end-to-end support to all citrin deficiency patients, from funding research that drives effective treatments and eventually cure, and provide support to patients and families. We are a patient-driven, not-for profit organization.

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