Corporate Officers and Staff
Audrey Gordon, ESQ.
President and Executive Director
Working closely with the Board of Directors, committees, staff and volunteers, Ms. Gordon is responsible for ensuring The Progeria Research Foundation’s financial growth, program development and day to day management.
Ms. Gordon is a graduate of Tufts University and Northeastern University School of Law, and is an attorney licensed to practice in Massachusetts since 1988 and Florida since 1990. She has extensive civil litigation experience in both states. Locally, she is a member of the Peabody Chamber of Commerce, Vice President of the Peabody Rotary Club, and has served on the Peabody Board of Registrars since 2006. Nationally, Ms. Gordon serves on the Board of Advisors of Global Genes|RARE Project and the Rare Disease Report. She is the 2004 winner of the North of Boston Business and Professional Women of the Year award for non-profit organizations, and the 2005 recipient of the Mary Upton Ferrin Award for leadership in her community. She was honored as a Community Hero by Jewish Family Services in April 2009. Under her leadership as PRF’s founding President and Executive Director, PRF was first awarded a 4-star Charity Navigator rating (which has endured for the past 8 years), and PRF received Research! America’s 2014 Paul G. Rogers Distinguished Organization Advocacy Award for bringing progeria from obscurity to the forefront of successful translational research.
Leslie Gordon, MD, PhD
Leslie Gordon is a co-founder of The Progeria Research Foundation and serves as the organization’s volunteer Medical Director. Dr. Gordon is the Principal Investigator for ongoing PRF programs for Progeria, including the PRF International Progeria Registry, Medical and Research Database, Cell and Tissue Bank, and the Genetic Diagnostics Program. She has organized 10 National Institutes of Health-funded, international scientific meetings on Progeria. She is Professor of Pediatrics Research at Hasbro Children’s Hospital and the Alpert Medical School of Brown University and Research Scientist at Women & Infants Hospital in Providence, RI; Research Associate in Anesthesia at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital. She was co-author on the 2003 gene discovery for Progeria, lead author of the 2012 Progeria treatment discovery study, and is co-chair of four Progeria clinical drug trials at Boston Children’s Hospital.
She has received the March of Dimes Basil O’Connor Award, the American Heart Association Scientist Development Award, The Gerontological Society of America Award for contributions to Progeria, a National Institutes of Health Bench to Bedside Grant, and the Mother of the Year award from Working Mother Magazine.
Dr. Gordon earned her bachelor’s degree in Zoology from the University of New Hampshire in Durham, New Hampshire. She went on to receive a master’s degree and medical and doctorate degrees from Brown University and the Brown University School of Medicine respectively, where she achieved top honors in the medical program.
Barbara F. Gordon, ESQ.
Barbara F. Gordon earned an Associate’s Degree from Boston University School of Business in 1955. She married Burt in 1958 and they have four daughters and seven grandchildren. In 1979 she earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Boston University and in 1981 a Master’s Degree in Education from Salem State College. In 1995 she earned a Juris Doctor degree from Massachusetts School of Law, and currently has her own practice. She and her husband are long-standing members of Temple Beth Shalom in Peabody, Massachusetts.
Paula L. Kelly, CPA
Paula is an Assistant Professor of Accounting at Dean College, teaching Financial and Managerial Accounting for the past five years. Prior to that she worked for Citrin Cooperman (formerly Kirkland Albrecht & Fredrickson, P.C.) providing accounting and tax services to individuals and small businesses. She also worked as the Director of Corporate Accounting for Dunkin’ Donuts managing financial reporting and the budgeting process. She earned an M.B.A from Providence College and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Director of Operations
Gina works closely with the Executive Director and staff to ensure all financial, human resources, and other operational policies and procedures are followed. All so The Progeria Research Foundation runs as efficiently and effectively as possible. She has held different positions at The Progeria Research Foundation and is enthusiastic about her new role, which began in April 2019! Gina is a graduate of Salem State University.
Patient Programs Coordinator
Kelsey works with newly identified families to introduce them to PRF programs, and helps to enroll interested families in the Managed Access Program for Zokinvy (lonafarnib). She is the main point of contact for families interested in The Progeria Research Foundation’s Cell & Tissue Bank, Diagnostic Testing Program, and Medical & Research Database Program. She also assists the Medical Director with data-keeping for additional, internal research programs. Her favorite part of working at PRF has been interacting with patients and their families. Kelsey joined PRF in June of 2019 as the Clinical Trial Coordinator, and has since transitioned into her new role as Patient Programs Coordinator. Kelsey’s background is in marine biology and anthropology. Previously, she worked for Northeastern University’s Three Seas Program in marine biology, where she helped to coordinate travel, field, and lab work with various international scientific institutions. Kelsey is also a SCUBA Instructor and enjoys traveling, hiking, and gardening in her free time. She holds a Master of Science in marine biology from Northeastern University and is also a 2012 graduate of St. Lawrence University.
Clinical Trial Coordinator
Justine works closely with families to coordinate all travel logistics involved in their trips to Boston from around the world, so they can participate in our clinical trials. She also works with the coordinators from participating Boston hospitals to schedule clinical trial visits. Justine joined the PRF team in March 2021, and is looking forward to meeting the families when they come to Boston. In addition, Justine assists the Patients Programs Coordinator with PRF’s other research-related programs. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from New England College and is currently working towards her Masters. Justine previously worked at Boston Children’s Hospital as an Immunology Technician. In her free time, she volunteers as a coach for a local Pop Warner Youth cheerleading team and also volunteers at the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
Event Director and Development Officer
Michelle manages all PRF in-house events including our signature Night of Wonder Gala, Cure Cup Classic Golf Tournament and International Race for Research 5K road race. She manages a portfolio of enthusiastic donors and works closely with our PRF Chapters. Media contact, Life According to Sam curriculum lead and many other special projects make life exciting at PRF! Michelle is a graduate of Bridgewater State University and has an MBA from Simmons University.
As communications manager for the foundation, Eleanor is responsible for working cross-functionally to develop strategic communications that help advance the foundation’s efforts to maximize awareness and engagement among all of PRF’s key audiences. These strategies include public outreach campaigns, editorial support, content development, social media outreach, website maintenance, and media engagements.
Joining us in April 2019, Eleanor brings a background in marketing communications and brand development to the PRF team, along with 15 years’ experience in the healthcare space. Before joining PRF, she worked for six years in an agency setting, with Porter Novelli and Corinth Group Communications, where she supported clients in a variety of industries, including nonprofit, biotech, pharmaceutical, health tech, and med devices. Prior to that, she was marketing manager for Dynasil Products, where she supported the rebranding and relaunch of the company’s medical devices.
Eleanor earned her BS in business management from Skidmore College, with a minor in studio art.
Communications and Events Specialist
As communications and events specialist, Jennifer works closely with the Communications Manager to research, write and copy-edit a range of materials. Jennifer also oversees all PRF in-house events including the International Race for Research 5K road race, Cure Cup Classic Golf Tournament and Night of Wonder Gala as well as supports 3rd party running events including PRF’s Falmouth Road Race team and Boston Marathon team.
Before joining PRF, she worked for ten years at non-profit organizations including Neurofibromatosis Northeast and the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children where she supported those organizations’ communications, fundraising events and development initiatives. Prior to working at non-profits, she worked for three years in public relations at Schwartz Communications where she supported healthcare and technology clients.
Jennifer has a BA in journalism from the University of Northern Colorado.
Executive Assistant to the ED/Office Manager
Kristine is PRF’s Office Manager and Executive Assistant supporting the daily functions of the President and Executive Director. Her work experience includes ten plus years working in the Treasury and Private Banking divisions of a major bank as well as several years of Real Estate sales experience. Kristine is excited for the opportunity to work in an environment that is making a difference for those who are most vulnerable. Kristine is a Salem State graduate with a BS in Business.
Executive Administrative Assistant
Lynn joined the PRF team to provide administrative support to the Foundation’s Medical Director.
Executive Administrative Assistant to the Medical Director
Christina is the part-time Executive Administrative Assistant to the Medical Director and Co-Founder of Progeria Research Foundation, Dr. Leslie Gordon.
In this position, Christina provides support and manages an extremely active calendar for Dr. Gordon and serves as the primary contact with hospitals, researchers, clinicians, and families throughout the world for scheduling meetings, communications and conference calls.
Christina has earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Northeastern University. She has a varied background as an Executive Administrative Assistant, Marketing Manager, and Product Manager. Her attention to detail and motivation to helping others has made it possible to be successful in her career.
Odette came to Progeria Research in March of 2015 and works closely with the Development Team as the part-time Donor Services Assistant. She is responsible for the day-to-day input of gifts into the database and running the corresponding letters of receipt, as well as monitoring the Match Gifts Program. Before coming to PRF, she worked for 15 years as the Administrative Assistant and Database Manager for the Development Office at Austin Preparatory School. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from Boston University. In her spare time she manages her family summer home in Maine, travels the world with her husband and helps take care of their 5 grandchildren.
Karen Gordon Betournay, CPDT-KA, AABP-CDT
Social Media and Web Site Coordinator
Karen is responsible for updating and maintaining PRF’s social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and more!). Working closely with the PRF Staff, Karen also updates all aspects of PRF’s website. Karen has been the volunteer web site specialist since PRF was founded in 1999. She also has the honor of being Sam’s Aunt, and sister to Executive Director Audrey Gordon and Medical Director Leslie Gordon.
Karen is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts and is certified in Grooming/Kennel Management from Essex Agricultural and Technical College. Karen is the owner of Animal Manners, Inc, providing training and behavior counseling for canines. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband David, twin girls Paige and Skyler, dogs Jazz and Logan, and cat Freddie Mercury.