Appoints New Board Members

CINCINNATI, OH – July 29 -  The International Rett Syndrome Foundation (doing business as is honored to announce three new, prestigious appointments to their board of directors. David Pass, PharmD, Lisa Monteggia, PhD, and Mitch Bleske, join’s robust board filled with passionate advocates, industry leaders, and acclaimed experts, all serving together to change the course of Rett syndrome. is propelled by its board of directors who serve to advance the organization’s progress in Rett syndrome research and enrich the organization’s ability to connect affected families to the resources and support that can radically change lives for the better.

Rett syndrome is a rare disease caused by a genetic mutation that affects 1 in 10,000 females and even fewer males. There is no current treatment or cure, which is why is committed to supporting unparalleled research and dedicated to equipping families living with the effects of Rett syndrome every day.

Dr. David Pass is the Chief Operating Officer and Head of Commercial at Gelesis, a biotechnology company developing a novel category of therapies for GI-related chronic diseases. Pass’s most notably built and led billion-dollar franchise, Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) for Diabetes and has expertise in the FDA regulatory process to bring compounds to patients. Pass has a niece who currently lives with Rett syndrome, which fuels his passion for serving

Dr. Lisa Monteggia brings her award-winning expertise and robust research in neuroscience to the board. Monteggia’s recognitions include a young investigator award from the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression, the Daniel X. Freedman Award from NARSAD for outstanding research, the Rising Star Award from the International Mental Health Research Organization, and the Daniel H. Efron Award for outstanding basic/translational research by the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology. Monteggia is currently the Director of the Vanderbilt Brain Institute.

Mitch Bleske brings a vital, financial perspective as the current Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Bremer Financial. Bleske oversees and expertly guides all of Bremer Financial’s management activities, covering interest rate risk, liquidity, capital, wholesale funding, and investments—additionally, Bleske directs commercial, agriculture, mortgage, insurance, and wealth management teams. Bleske boasts a history of partnership with the Midwest Rett Syndrome Foundation. He brings a personal source of inspiration to the board of directors as a father whose child is living with Rett syndrome.

With these additions comes even richer history, unique perspectives, powerful research, and life-changing opportunities. “Advancements in science, clinical care, and biotech are changing rapidly, and when I look to the future of, I am confident of the team we have in place,” explained Melissa Kennedy, Executive Director. Kennedy continued, “Our board, which represents families affected by Rett syndrome, scientists, biotech, and pharma can help us aggressively take advantage of these opportunities to provide greater hope for our families.” is pleased to welcome Dr. David Pass, Dr. Lisa Monteggia, and Mitch Bleske to the team working shoulder to shoulder until there is a cure for Rett syndrome.

About (The International Rett Syndrome Foundation) is one of the leading private funders of Rett syndrome research, investing over $49 million to date. The mission of the organization is to accelerate full spectrum research to cure Rett syndrome and empower families with information, knowledge and connectivity. recently earned Charity Navigator’s prestigious 4-star rating for its strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency. Further information about can be found at:

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