Education Advisory Panel

Announcing the new Education Advisory Panel

At the PKD Foundation, we believe education is the key to identifying new practices and learning how to implement changes to create better outcomes. In the world of polycystic kidney disease (PKD), it is imperative that patients, caregivers, physicians, and healthcare providers who support individuals with ADPKD and ARPKD share a common language and learning process.

To ensure the education provided by the Foundation is robust, designed with the voice of the patient, and focused on the most appropriate areas for individuals with PKD, we launched an Education Advisory Panel (EAP).

The EAP will act as a body of PKD experts who contribute to the Foundation’s education program with their unique inter-professional and multidisciplinary perspectives, informing and helping guide program and curriculum developments in accordance with the mission and vision of the Foundation.

Read the announcement.


Current EAP roster

ADPKD-focused nephrologist

Dr. Fouad T. Chebib, MD, FASN


Dr. Fouad T. Chebib, MD, FASN is a nephrologist and assistant professor of Medicine at Mayo Clinic. He finished his undergraduate studies at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon then his medical school at the University of Balamand, Lebanon. He joined Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, MA for a postdoctoral research fellowship in molecular nephrology and ion channels at Alper Lab, Harvard University. Afterwards, he trained at Saint Elizabeth Medical Center (Tufts University) for internal medicine then Mayo Clinic for a 3-year nephrology fellowship followed by two years as a Mayo Clinic Scholar to develop his research program under the mentorship of Dr. Vicente Torres. His clinical and research focus is advancing the medical care and preventing kidney failure in patients with Polycystic Kidney Disease. His research examines molecular mechanisms that lead to cyst formation on ADPKD patients and explores targeted treatment options. He established the tolvaptan clinic at Mayo Clinic to ensure a safe and effective administration of the first FDA drug to slow ADPKD. He is currently studying novel targets and molecules with promising therapeutic potential in ADPKD treatment. He is also leading innovative projects in delivering medical care to ADPKD patients globally.
Renal Dietician

Haewook Han, PhD, RD, LDN, FNKF


Haewook Han, PhD, RD, LDN, FNKF is a renal nutrition specialist at Atrius Health’s (Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates) Department of Nephrology as well as at Tufts Medical Center in Boston. She has various experiences in clinical practice among stage 1-5 CKD, post-transplant, and dialysis patients and has participated in research including the Hemodialysis Study. She also has expertise in kidney stones and has published the textbook “Nutritional and Medical Management of Kidney stones” as a co-editor in 2019. She is the program director of the Master of Science/Dietetic Internship program at the Friedman School of Nutrition at Tufts University and is involved in several renal research projects with students. She works with the renal teams at both Atrius and Tufts Medical Center to provide appropriate diet education for all renal patients and teach young dietitians and graduate students. Recently, she has collaborated with Dr. Perrone at Tufts Medical Center to provide appropriate diet recommendations for polycystic kidney disease. She has also been involved in CKD quality assurance projects at Atrius Health. Dr. Han has been a member of the Journal of Renal Nutrition and Nutrition Today editorial boards and has served as a Renalink editor at the NKF CRN Executive Committee and has presented multiple lectures in nutritional management of CKD and kidney stones at U.S and international conferences.
ARPKD Nephrologist

Cynthia Pan, MD


Dr. Cynthia Pan is Professor of Pediatrics with the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and a practicing pediatric nephrologist at the Children’s Wisconsin hospital. Dr. Pan is currently the Division Chief of Nephrology and Associate Chair of Pediatrics. She graduated from the Medical College of Wisconsin and went on to complete her pediatric residency at the Buffalo Children’s Hospital, Buffalo, NY. She then completed her subspecialty training at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in Pediatric Nephrology. She has had the opportunity to provide care of patients with PKD and collaborated with scientists whose career is devoted to research in PKD and chronic kidney disease. Her clinical practice and research have given her insight on families and patients affected by PKD, including those with autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease. Patients with this rare disease, along with those affected by ADPKD, have shown her the life altering effects on young patients that has inspired her to join the PKD Foundation’s Educational Advisory panel. Her work also involves the training and education of the next generation of clinicians and researchers. Through these efforts, she believes that by collaboration with the community, the goal of prevention of the life-threatening kidney disease in patients with PKD can be achieved.

Pardeep Mittal, MD


Dr. Mittal is a Professor of Radiology at the Medical College of Georgia. Prior to MCG, he spent 18 years at Emory University School of Medicine, where he developed his passion for abdominal MRI. He has been recognized by the Radiological Society of North America as an Honorary Educator three times, and received the Hidden Gem award for excellence from Emory University School of Medicine in 2017. His involvement in the HART and CRISP studies as a radiologist helped to instill a significant interest in PKD and its ongoing research.
Pain Specialist

Christine Hunt, MD


Dr. Hunt is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pain Medicine at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. Her areas of clinical and research interest include complex chronic pain particularly neuropathic pain in chronic disease, specializing in interventional procedures including neuromodulation to help patients with chronic pain.
Renal Nurse

Elyssa Noce, MSN, APRN


I am an adult/gerontology primary care nurse practitioner with a passion for all things kidney related! I have degrees in developmental psychology and human biology prior to pursuing a degree in nursing. I spent most of my nursing career in dialysis before going back to school for my masters. As a nurse practitioner, I have worked in both kidney transplant and general nephrology. I specialize in the care of patients with polycystic kidney disease, advanced chronic kidney disease, and those on dialysis. Some of my clinical interests include improved diabetes care in patients with kidney disease, increasing patient education in kidney disease, particularly polycystic kidney disease, and improved education for primary care providers regarding management of patients with kidney disease. I currently serve on the Medical Advisory Board for the ESRD Network, am the president-elect of my alumni association where I also chair the mentoring committee, and recently completed an Executive Leadership Program through the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. I am working towards my doctorate in nursing practice, which I hope to use to further improve the quality of care provided to patients with kidney disease.
ADPKD Patient

Cindy Bestrycki, DMSc, PA-C


Cindy Bestrycki, DMSc, PA-C, received her Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Northern Illinois University, completed her Master of Science in physician assistant studies at Finch University of Health Sciences, and obtained her Doctor of Medical Science degree from Rocky Mountain College. As a Physician Assistant, she has specialized in internal medicine and allergy and asthma. She is a STEM adjunct faculty member at the College of DuPage and Aurora University.
ADPKD Caregiver

Marcia O’Brien


On this panel, Marcia represents caregivers. She has 13 family members with ADPKD, including her spouse and two of three adult children. Marcia has supported her husband through two transplants, a year of hemodialysis, and a variety of secondary complications. Her two children with ADPKD have participated in kidney research studies supported by the PKD Foundation. She donated a kidney in 2011. In addition, Marcia has been an educator for 40 years, serving in public schools as a teacher and administrator, at the state department level, and at a university. Combining her PKD experiences and background in education, Marcia is excited to work with others on this Education Advisory Panel, to serve those needing support through their own personal PKD journeys.
ARPKD Caregiver

Alix Piccirilli


Alix Piccirilli is a Change Management Consultant for the World Bank Group, specializing in training, communication, and relationship management. With over 20 years in the information technology and banking industries, she focuses on the development and delivery of all facets of training & education, business process improvement, operations, and user interface & website design. Her enthusiasm for individual and team skills development, as well as relationship building, is contagious and includes a flair for making learning fun.  Alix is a native of New York and received her bachelor’s degree in Communications from the University of Albany, NY. She is a military spouse and mom of 2 boys and a mini dachshund, they currently live in Northern Virginia. Her oldest son has ARPKD and since his diagnosis in 2017, she has become a relentless advocate for PKD families. 

Page last updated February 2022