STAR Teams

The foundation of STAR research and alliance efforts is its network of sponsored laboratories.  These sponsored laboratories come together in Disease Project Teams for interdisciplinary work on specific CMT diseases, and are joined in those teams by alliance partners for specific collaborative projects aimed at furthering therapy development.

Sponsored STAR Investigator Laboratories

John Svaren

University of Wisconsin

Dr. John Svaren leads the CMT1A Disease Project Team and is actively involved in projects requiring the development of in vitro screening assays and biomarker identification. Dr. Svaren also leads a project to screen chemical libraries at NCATS (NIH) with the PMP22 reporter assay collaboratively designed by the laboratories of Dr. Svaren and Dr. James Inglese at the NIH.

Jim Inglese

National Institutes of Health

Dr. James Inglese’s laboratory at NCATS is designing cell-based high throughput screening assays that can be used to identify modulators of the molecular defect associated with a CMT disease pathology. He and his staff participate in the activities of CMT Disease Project Teams, contributing assay development.

Lawrence Wrabetz
M. Laura Feltri

University at Buffalo

The laboratory of Dr. Lawrence Wrabetz leads efforts to develop animal models of CMT1B and collaborates to design in vitro assays that represent the molecular pathways involved. He is leader of the CMT1B Disease Project Team.


The laboratory of Dr. Laura Feltri works as part of the CMT1A Disease Project Team to assess drug candidates in myelinating co-culture models of Schwann cell and nerve.

Steven S. Scherer

University of Pennsylvania

The laboratory of Dr. Steven Scherer is contributing to the characterization of new rodent models representing type 2 CMT pathology with expert histology, electrophysiology and electron microscopy.

Michael E. Shy

University of Iowa

Dr. Michael Shy leads the NIH Inherited Neuropathies Consortium. His laboratory banks the CMT patient samples used in the NYSCF alliance, and participates in the work of the CMT1B Disease Project Team.

Gabsang Lee

Johns Hopkins University Medical Center

The laboratory of Dr. Gabsang Lee is pursuing a research effort to define methods by which stem cell lines can be fully differentiated into myelin-producing Schwann cells. As part of the CMT1A Disease Project Team he is also working to incorporate patient-derived CMT1A stem cells in advanced drug testing.

Robert H. Baloh

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

The laboratory of Dr. Robert Baloh is involved in the CMT2A Disease Project Team effort through the characterization of stem cell and animal models of CMT2A.

Rudolph Martini

University of Wurzburg

The laboratory of Dr. Rudolf Martini is working with the CMTA to test strategies of pharmacological intervention in CMTX.

Rounding out the STAR Consortium’s team of investigators are:

Patricia Dranchak
Brittany Wright


Patricia Dranchak, PhD, and Brittany Wright, PhD, who are employed at the NIH in the laboratory of Dr. Inglese as part as part of the CMTA Fellowship Program.

Ronald Liem
Albee Messing


Ronald Liem, PhD, at Columbia University, and Albee Messing VMD, PhD, at the University of Wisconsin, who participate in CMT2E activities via planning of animal model characterization and by guiding a team discussion.

Team Organizaton: How STAR  Works

The STAR Consortium’s work is broken down by Disease Area (CMT1A, CMT1B, CMTX, CMT2A, and CMT2E) and operationalized in Project Teams that encompass a range of approaches, including: assay development; high-throughput screening; animal model development; mechanism of action studies; pharmacology and chemistry; and clinical planning.

Dr. John Svaren—University of Wisconsin
Dr. James Inglese—NIH
Dr. Patricia Dranchak—NIH
Dr. Laura Feltri—University at Buffalo
Dr. Gabsang Lee—Johns Hopkins University Medical Center
Dr. Mark Scheideler—HumanFirst Therapeutics
Dr. Lars Knutsen—Discovery Pharma Consulting
Dr. Lawrence Wrabetz—University at Buffalo
Dr. Michael Shy—University of Iowa
Dr. John Svaren-U of Wisconsin
Dr. James Inglese—NIH
Dr. Brittany Wright—NIH
Dr. Steven Scherer—University of Pennsylvania
Dr. Rudolf Martini—University of Würzburg
Dr. Robert Baloh—Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Dr. James Inglese—NIH
Dr. Brittany Wright—NIH
Dr. Steven Scherer—University of Pennsylvania
Dr. Mark Scheideler—HumanFirst Therapeutics
Horizon Discovery
Dr. Albee Messing—University of Wisconsin
Dr. Ronald Liem—Columbia University
Dr. Steven Scherer—University of Pennsylvania
Jackson Laboratories