The Hydrocephalus Association (HA) would like to warmly welcome new board member Michael (Mike) Siegel, Ph.D. He is the Executive Director of the Pediatric Dermatology Research Alliance (PeDRA) and serves on our Scientific Advisory Board & Research Committee. He has been living with hydrocephalus since 1986 and is one of the first two Hydrocephalus Association board members to have the condition.
Mike holds a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis, an M.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Northwestern University, and a Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the University of Washington. Following two years as a postdoctoral researcher at Oregon Health & Science University, Mike joined the National Psoriasis Foundation where he oversaw research and medical programs until joining the Pediatric Dermatology Research Alliance (PeDRA) in 2018. PeDRA is a nonprofit research organization pursuing the mission to create, inspire, and sustain research to prevent, treat, and cure childhood skin disease.
Since being diagnosed with hydrocephalus, Mike has been living a happy, and some might venture to say productive life ever since. While his experience with hydrocephalus has influenced his life trajectory, he’s chosen to focus elsewhere professionally while harnessing his translatable experiences for the benefit of other patient populations in need.
“In many ways, I feel lucky for the experiences I’ve had as a hydrocephalus patient and the perspective it’s given me for my current efforts through PeDRA,” Mike says. “When I was suffering as a child there was a treatment that could make me feel better and, once treated, my condition was mostly invisible, which meant that I could lead a mostly normal life. Sadly, many children with visible skin diseases don’t have either of these luxuries. However, just because hydrocephalus is treatable and often invisible does not mean there isn’t a burden or much work to be done to improve treatment options and patient lives. That’s far from the truth. I’m grateful to have been able to apply my patient perspective to my work at PeDRA and cannot wait to apply my mixed patient and professional perspective to address the unique burdens on hydrocephalus patients and families through work on the HA board.”
As a member of HA’s board of directors, Mike looks forwards to contributing his experience with nonprofit management, research programs, science, and engineering to the hydrocephalus community. He also hopes to responsibly represent the voice of adults who don’t know what it’s like to live without hydrocephalus, with an understanding of the transition to adulthood, and the impact of hydrocephalus on a person’s parents, partners, and children.
Originally from Chicago, Mike left for the Pacific Northwest in 2005 and now lives outside of Portland, Oregon with his wife, daughter, and an evolving lineup of pets. He used to consider himself an avid hiker and trail runner but now spends more time tinkering with wood in the garage and planning his family’s next adventure in their pop-up camper van.
Meet our entire board of directors here.