Ellen L. Cohen Cert.Ed., Dip.Ed., CHCP

Ellen has 40 years of continuing medical education, special education, program development and strategic planning experience in the United States and the United Kingdom. She is an active member of the Alliance for Continuing Education in the Health Professions (ACEHP), the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) and is a Certified Healthcare CPD Professional (CHCP).

She has previously served as Director of Continuing Medical Education at MedStar Washington Hospital Center and the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals. Currently, she serves as Director of Continuing Medical Education at the American College of Cardiology in Washington DC.   Ellen received her undergraduate and graduate degrees in Special Education, Educational Psychology and Sociology from the University of London, Institute of Education

Lynne Callea CHCP

Vice President, Director of CME Program Development and Management, at Haymarket Medical Education (HME).   HME is a joint provider of continuing education for Physicians, Nurses, and Pharmacists, among other professions.  Ms. Callea has worked in medical education for the last 20+ years. Her career and expertise in working with faculty and producing programs ranges from small, live focus groups to large symposia at national medical meetings as well as multimedia educational programs reaching all audiences, in a multitude of therapeutic areas.   Prior to working at HME, she was employed by Medical Economics – publisher of the PDR -- and played a key role as part of the project and editorial team ofthe print publication Contemporary Pediatrics where she engaged on an ongoing basis with pediatric thought leaders across the globe and worked directly with the editor-in-chief in producing educational activities under that publication’s banner.   In her private life she is married with children and grandchildren and throughout that “role” has chaired and/or engaged in fund raising efforts for grammar and high schools alike and is no stranger to those types of live events as well.

Zelda C. Gilliam

Zeldalyn C. Gilliam serves as the director of accreditation and activity management for the American College of Cardiology (ACC). More than 25 years in continuing medical education have allowed her to provide structure, accountability, and advancement in educational programming, quality control, data management, compliance, and strategic planning for the organizations she has served.

In addition to her professional passion, Zelda has long been a proponent for political and social justice missions, most recently as the lead for the employee resource groups (ERGs) within ACC’s newly-developed diversity and inclusion corps. The ERGs support and embolden employees who identify as women, people of color, LGBTQ+, working parents, and young professionals; Zelda facilitates the progress of each group’s mission in this role.

Personally, Zelda has been an active supporter of the Down syndrome community for the past four years after the birth of her granddaughter, who has the condition. Zelda participates in the annual Buddy Walk and has helped raise thousands of dollars supporting the Chesapeake Down syndrome Parent Group.

Laura J. Niedernhofer M.D., Ph.D.

Director, Institute of the Biology of Aging and Metabolism
Medical Discovery Team Biology of Aging
Professor Biochemistry, Molecular Biology & Biophysics     
University of Minnesota, School of Medicine

Nikki Herson Cohen

Nikki is a mother of four children, one of whom suffers from Cockayne Syndrome. Previously, she has held a senior management position in the automotive industry in Maryland. Her current passion is educating and advocating for children and families living with Cockayne Syndrome. Nikki works tirelessly to bring CS into the mainstream, fundraising and raising awareness of Cockayne Syndrome in the medical community.

Nikki holds a triple BA in political science, sociology and psychology as well as an MBA from the George Washington University in Washington, DC.


Robyn Hyer

Robyn Hyer is from New Orleans, Louisiana where she attended Isidore Newman School. It was at Newman that Robyn developed her passion for philanthropy, growing up helping her mother stuff envelopes for charity and buying food the day before Thanksgiving to bring to local shelters. She holds a BA in Elementary Education and MA in Special Education from American University. Robyn has taught both regular education and special education in Montgomery County, Maryland since 2000, taking a break for several years to say home with her two amazing daughters. While sitting on the Parent Board for her oldest daughter’s nursery school, Robyn realized her New Orleans personality was a benefit when soliciting gifts for the schools fundraiser and there her passion was reignited. Robyn has since run several successful fundraisers all centered around children.



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National Initiative for Cockayne Syndrome, incorporated in the State of Maryland, is a not-for-profit charity under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and has full tax exempt status. Maryland Sales and Use Tax Exemption Number 31208646.

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