Leadership team

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors has general oversight, fiduciary, program development and ambassadorial responsibilities. The board develops and approves strategic plans that define the framework that guides the leadership team in daily activities ensuring the organization is closer to achieving its mission.

Bina Maniar Shah

Founder & CEO

In 2018, Bina founded Project 8p Foundation to accelerate research with the goal of treatment for chromosome 8p heroes like her daughter Karina. Since then, she has fully committed herself to the advancement of clinical and research understanding of rare disorders, in particular neurodevelopmental chromosomal disorders such as the 8p rearrangements. Shifting perspectives from disease specific efforts to innovative approaches that are gene-agnostic and cross disorder is a long term scalable vision of hers. As a result, she is the founding partner of the Commission on Novel Technologies for Neurodevelopmental Copy Number Variants (CNVs).

Her family resides in New York City where Bina earned her B.S. in Finance & Marketing from NYU Stern Business School.

Jahn Marie Surette

Jahn Marie Surette

Jahn Marie Surette is a C-level executive and consultant, who has served as executive leader for business and operations for more than 25 years in the healthcare, insurance and private equity industries, at such companies as Cigna, Travelers, The Hartford and Third Bridge, LTD. She is a global leader and has led multi-year strategy development,
expense management initiatives, sales and revenue growth operations across multiple disciplines, including customer service, account management procurement, real estate and research services. She has overseen corporate social responsibility and worked in tandem with human resources talent development and change management at large and mid-cap companies.

Jahn Marie is on the Advisory Board of The Hang Out Spot, a for-profit business providing clinical-based and data driven strategies to improve the social skills of children. 

Wissam Nesr

Wissam and his wife Hiba are very dedicated to the prosperity of Project 8p. They are parents of an 8p hero, Ayla. Wissam brings 20 years of executive expertise and board leadership as CEO of Webcor Group. Webcor Group is an agro industrial food distribution and production company. Hiba S Nesr CSR and Communication Director Webcor group. Founder and president of the Nesr Art foundation, a foundation that aims to support Artists from Angola and the Region. Both Wissam and Hiba are Belgium Lebanese nationals and travel between Geneva, Beirut and Belgium. They currently live in Dubai. They have four children, Petra,Julia,Ali and Ayla.

David Jackson

Dr. David M Jackson is an experienced executive specializing in the development and commercialization of innovative healthcare technologies with a career of over 30 years with healthcare technology companies and investment firms with an emphasis on paradigm changing products addressing unmet medical needs. David received his Doctorate in the medical sciences from the Boston University School of Medicine and served as a Fellow in the Boston Medical Center’s General Clinical Research Center. He is also trained as a Patent Agent. From roles in the banking industry he is also trained in corporate finance and has held several SEC licenses. David has authored several peer-reviewed papers and holds several patents and patents pending. Several products from his work have reached market or are currently undergoing clinical trials.

Since 2020 David has been CEO of Ceria Therapeutics Inc, a platform biopharma drug company developing multiple assets directed to life-threatening and debilitating conditions related to excessive cytokine production. He has previously served as CEO of Neuraptive Therapeutics Inc, Darwin Bio LLC, and Spinomix SA. Other notable professional experiences include several other senior management and Board positions; multiple engagements with regulatory agencies leading product development efforts; the raising of >$100M in capital from investors and non-dilutive funding sources; and key roles in several exits.

Why Project 8p?

A significant portion of my background has involved the connection between genetic information and the value of that data relating to targeted therapeutics. My experience has resulted in several genetic tests that have been co-developed with drugs targeted to patients with those genetic aberrations. I see the need to incorporate genetic information into the development of new strategies to help our 8p Heroes. I believe that I can add the value of those experiences as well as the perspectives of industry, knowledge of regulatory bodies, and familiarity with access to much-needed capital to fund Project 8p’s efforts. Note also that I am affected by an inheritable genetic condition that gives me additional perspective.

Erica Seaborne

Erica Seaborne is a strategic advisor focused on serving tax-exempt organizations. As the Philanthropy Services Director at Holland & Knight, Erica provides guidance to clients on qualifying for tax-exempt status, governance best practices, and structuring philanthropic programs to meet donors’ goals and advance their mission. She has extensive experience establishing and running a variety of nonprofit entities, including public charities, private foundations, and donor-advised funds. Erica’s background in program development, fundraising, finance, and operations specifically for nonprofits serves her well in developing sustainable solutions to clients’ challenges. Committed to mission-driven work, Erica helps philanthropic and mission-driven organizations and individuals maximize their potential for impact.

Prior to joining Holland & Knight, Erica held various fundraising and nonprofit management positions for several organizations in the women’s health and higher education fields. In 2018, she joined Andrew Grumet’s practice group at a national law firm in its New York office.

Why Project 8p?

My mission in life is to find places where I can add value and dig in. Anyone that meets an 8p parent cannot help but be inspired to action by their fierce love and advocacy. I believe wholeheartedly that Project 8p Foundation will change the lives of many 8p heroes, and if I can add value to that work I am honored to play a part.

Nancy Dominguez

Nancy Dominguez is a trusted advisor to C-level executives and senior leaders with extensive experience in the financial services industry, private sector and non-profits. With high personal accountability and exceptional emotional intelligence, she has excelled in guiding global organizations through transformations, program management, optimizing process performance, and achieving strategic goals. Nancy’s prior experience includes underwriting, risk assessments and mitigation, enterprise risk management and operational leadership.

Why Project 8p?

Immediately upon meeting Bina and Karina Shah I knew I wanted to be part of this patient led organization and the Project 8p family. As a mom to two daughters, I am drawn to the foundation’s mission of helping children live healthy meaningful lives, especially by accelerating the discovery of treatments for chromosome 8p disorders. I’m energized by being able to leverage my skills and experiences for this mission driven foundation and look forward everyday to serving our 8p heroes.

The Project 8p Foundation (Project 8p) was created in 2018 to:

  • Accelerate future treatments, not only for 8p, but potentially for other chromosome-wide diseases as well.
  • Lead with knowledge from patients. Currently, there is no cure for 8p disorders, nor is there a standard course of treatment.

The Project 8p Foundation (Project 8p) was created in 2018 to:

  • Raise transformative funding for pioneering scientific research into treatments for a complex, rare disease involving 250+ affected genes on the short arm of the 8 th chromosome (8p). Rearrangements of these genes causes significant abnormalities to the entire neurological system, thus all organs and functions of the body– with variance in cognitive functions, gross motor skills, social development and other challenges during infancy, and throughout life;
  • Empower a unified community of 8p patients and their families so they can have meaningful lives today; and
  • Accelerate future treatments, not only for 8p, but potentially for other chromosome-wide diseases as well.