Jim Himelic Foundation Pod Logo: Eradicate ALS

fundraising $1,000,000 in seed money to eradicate ALS

Board Members and Medical Advisors

Board of Directors

Medical Advisors

Board of Directors

Robert J. Curtis, Esq.Robert J. Curtis, Esq.

Rob has sat on the Jim Himelic Foundation Board since 2003. He graduated from the University of Arizona in 2000 and the University of Arizona's College of Law in 2005. He currently practices law in Tucson.
Rob became friends with Ana Himelic in law school and is greatly inspired by her and the Himelic family's constant work and devotion for the Foundation. Rob strongly believes in the Foundation's mission and, as treasurer, hopes to help the Foundation however he can. To contact Rob, please e-mail him at robertjamescurtis@hotmail.com

Diana G. HimelicDiana Himelic Dawley

Diana served as the President of the Jim Himelic Foundation from 2000 to 2014, during which she successfully lead the foundation in raising one million dollars for ALS research. Currently, Diana serves as an advisory board member.

Diana retired on April 30, 2009 after 38 years of government service, including 23+ years with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office as a project legal specialist in the Consumer Protection and Advocacy Division. In 1993, Diana earned her accreditation as group fitness instructor through American Council on Exercise (ACE) and continues her part-time employment with the Hilton El Conquistador Country Club teaching aqua, step, and yoga classes.

Diana married Honorable Frank Dawley on November 12, 2008 in Maui, Hawaii. Frank was a colleague of Jim’s at the Pima County Juvenile Court. To contact Diana, please email her at dianahimelic@yahoo.com

Frank DawleyFrank Dawley

Frank married Diana Himelic in November 2008. He received his law degree from the Arizona State University College of Law in 1978, and enjoyed a thirty-year legal career that included seventeen years on the bench. Frank and Jim Himelic served together as juvenile court judges from 1997 to 2000, the year that Jim lost his battle with ALS.

Frank is an avid golfer and has assisted the board with the annual Himelic Tournament fundraiser since its inception. Now retired, Frank looks forward to his new role of board member. He can be reached at fdawley2@comcast.net.

Jodi K. DorseyJodi K. Dorsey

Jodi served as Jim's courtroom clerk in the Juvenile Court Division for approximately 3 years. Shortly after Jodi started in this position, Jim was diagnosed with ALS. With great sadness, Jodi admired his courage and strength, as well as that of his family, and was amazed at his perseverance. One year before Jim's passing, Jodi and her husband lost their first child at the age of 3 months. Jim was very supportive during this extremely difficult time despite the fact that he was going through his own very difficult circumstances. During this time, Jodi came to realize what a wonderful man Jim was and what a terrific family he had. Jodi has been involved with the Himelic Tournament since its inception in 2000 and looks forward to many more years with the organization.

Jodi and her husband have been married since 1997. In addition to their daughter in Heaven, they have two beautiful boys and two wonderful canines.

Ana E. Himelic, Esq.Ana E. Himelic, Esq.

Ana is one of the founding members of the Board of Directors. Ana graduated from the University of Arizona College of Law in 2005 and is a member of both the Arizona and California Bar. Ana began her career in San Diego, CA where she worked as an Associate for Klinedinst Law Firm before joining the District Attorney’s Office. In May 2009, Ana accepted a position with the State Department as a Foreign Service Officer and currently resides in Washington D.C. She currently lives in London.
Ana watched her father, Jim Himelic, battle ALS for four years until his death in 2000. Ana is proud of the research being conducted at the University of Arizona and hopes to see ALS eradicated in her lifetime. To contact Ana, please email her at ahimelic@hotmail.com.

Daniel J. HimelicDaniel J Himelic

Dan is the eldest sibling of the Himelic family and is an emergency medicine doctor who resides in the suburbs of Seattle. Dan performed his residency at the University of Oklahoma’s School of Community Medicine satellite location in Tulsa. Ok and went to medical school at the University of Arizona. One of Dan’s goals is to improve the status of ALS research for the general public as well as in the medical community. Deeply touched by the untimely passing of his father, Dan is proud of the work and the continued dedication of all those who have contributed to this Foundation.

James B. HimelicJames B. Himelic, C.F.A.

James (“Jim”) is the youngest son of Jim Himelic. Jim currently resides in the Bay Area of Northern California and works as a financial analyst for Pacific Gas and Electric. Serving as a volunteer at the inception of the foundation, he become an official board member in 2007. From 2007 to 2014, Jim worked closely with his sister, Ana, and mother to help guide the direction of the foundation and ensure its annual fundraiser was successful from an operations and accounting perspective. Jim’s current role on the board is to serve as an advisory board member due to other commitments at this time. Jim has a BS (Arizona 2006) and MS (Colorado 2008) in mechanical engineering. In 20012, Jim graduated with his MBA from the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado Boulder. Jim is also a CFA charter holder and is currently an active member in the CFA Society of San Francisco. Jim’s ultimate goal is to be able to witness the eradication of ALS. He can be reached at james.himelic@gmail.com.

Jennifer D. Himelic

Jennifer Himelic resides in Arvada, Colorado with her partner and newborn son. She teaches pilates and yoga and is passionate about learning how movement affects the human body, mind, and spirit. Jennifer is also a licensed real estate agent in the state of Colorado and enjoys being able to assist people in finding a house that they can call home. Affected at a young age by the loss her father, Jennifer hopes to keep his spirit alive through the work of the Jim Himelic Foundation. 

Michael G. Himelic

Michael Himelic is the middle son of Jim Himelic. Michael resides in Tucson with his wife and two children. Since 2009, Michael has worked as a pre-trial services officer for the US District Court. Michael hopes that one day a cure for ALS is found and he is very thankful for the supporters and volunteers of the JHF charity.

Leo M. Jacques, Ph.D.Leo M. Jacques, Ph.D.

Leo has served on the Board of Directors since 2000. He recently retired as a Criminal Intelligence Analyst Supervisor for the Arizona Department of Public Safety. He received a B.S. in the Humanities from the College of the Holy Cross in 1965; an M.A. in European History from the University of Massachusetts in 1967, and a Ph.D. in Latin American History from the University of Arizona in 1974. He has taught at Merrimack College in Massachusetts, and as adjunct faculty at Pima, Glendale, and Gateway Community Colleges in Arizona. He has taught as adjunct faculty at the University of Phoenix since 1976. Prior to Arizona DPS, Leo was an Analyst for the Arizona Legislative Council, an Analyst for the Arizona Drug Control District, and the Director of the Rocky Mountain Information Network, an-eight state criminal intelligence network. He has also been on the Board of Directors for the International Association of Law Enforcement Intelligence Analysts (IALEIA) since 1996. Leo, who first met Jim Himelic and his family in 1978, attended all the Himelic family events, played softball against Jim’s teams, and played on teams with Diana for many years. He remembers Jim as a soft-spoken, loving family man, an exemplary, compassionate, and fair judge; and, of course, with Diana and family friend Marylin Miller pushing Jim around New York City, Washington, D.C., Gettysburg, and ‘the farm’ on vacations to the east coast.

Jamie N. Kelada, R.N.

Jamie has been a volunteer with the Jim Himelic Foundation since 2000. Jamie graduated from Northern Arizona University with a bachelors degree in nursing in 2011. Jamie’s nursing career began at the University of Arizona Medical center. Jamie currently lives in San Diego, CA with her husband and continues a career in oncology nursing. Jamie has first hand seen the affects of ALS on patients and their families and has a strong commitment to finding a cure. Jamie supports the research being done at U of A for ALS and continues to advocate for this cause.

Donna B. McArthur, PhD, APRN, BC, FAANPDonna B. McArthur, PhD, APRN, BC, FAANP

Donna McArthur has 40 years experience within nursing, including 30 years as a Family Nurse Practitioner, NP educator, and administrator within ambulatory health care settings in the United States and Saudi Arabia. She graduated from Maryland General Hospital School of Nursing in 1967, receiving her BSN from the University of Maryland School of Nursing in 1976, followed by her MSN and FNP from Vanderbilt University School of Nursing in 1977. In 1997 she received her PhD in Nursing from the University of Maryland; her dissertation, Intergenerational Health Promotion in African-Americans, embraced her practice with ethnically diverse and vulnerable populations across the life span.

Donna is currently a Professor of Nursing at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing in Nashville, TN and the Director of their DNP Program. Prior to this, Donna was also a clinical professor at the University of Arizona College of Nursing, and Director of the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program. In recent years Dr. McArthur’s practice has included older adults in community clinic settings. In 2006 she was awarded the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Foundation/Endo Pharmaceuticals Grant for her research study, Pain Perception in Adults with ALS. At present, her community activities are focused on initiatives surrounding this disease, which includes being an ALSA Board Member.

Laine PikeLaine Pike

Laine attended University of Arizona from 1997 – 2001, where she met the Himelic Family. After receiving her degree in Accounting and Finance, Laine attended Loyola Marymount University and earned a Master's in Business Administration. She also holds California certifications in Consumer Finance License and Life & Health Insurance License. Laine currently resides in Redondo Beach, CA with her husband Trent. Together they run their own business, Oceanview Financial Group, a real estate lending company. To contact Laine, you can email her at laine.pike@gmail.com or visit her website, www.OceanviewFG.com.

Libby Shelton, Esq.Libby Shelton, Esq.

Libby graduated from the University of Arizona in 2000 with degrees in History and Political Science. She attended the University of Arizona College of Law and graduated in 2004. Libby lives in Tucson with her husband, Scott, and her son, Derek. Libby works as an Assistant City Prosecutor in the criminal division of the Tucson City Attorney’s Office.


Medical Advisors

Bruce M. Coull, M.D.Bruce M. Coull, M.D.

Professor of Neurology
Professor of Medicine
William M. Feinberg MD Endowed Chair in Stroke Research
Head, Department of Neurology

Please click on the following link to see Dr Coull’s Profile: http://www.neurology.arizona.edu/?l=faculty&b=coull

Dr. Miguel EstevezMiguel Estevez, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor, Neurology - on the Clinical Scholar Track

Dr. Estevez joined the University of Arizona College of Medicine faculty July 1, 2009 from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine where he was an assistant professor. In addition to his busy clinical practice seeing neurology patients, specializing in disorders ranging from ALS to headache, Dr. Estevez oversees an active research program in studying ALS.

In 1987, Dr. Estevez obtained a B.S. in applied biology at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, GA. Studying under Dr. Donald Riddle at the University of Missouri, Columbia MO, he obtained his Ph.D. in biological sciences/molecular biology in 1992. From 1992-93, Dr. Estevez continued postdoctoral training in developmental biology at the University of Missouri. He next earned his M.D. at the same institution in 1997. His postgraduate training continued as an intern in the Department of Internal Medicine, Missouri Medical Center, Columbia, MO from 1997-98. Dr. Estevez did his residency in Neurology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center from 1998-2001, culminating in his appointment as Chief Resident. He earned two Career Development Awards, one from Burroughs-Wellcome (2001-06) and one from the Veterans Administration (2002-05). In 2003, Dr. Estevez acquired an exploratory research grant (R21) from the National Institute of Environmental Health and Safety to study the genetic analysis of selenium toxicity. In 2005, Dr. Estevez became Board-Certified in Neurology from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology; in 2010 he earned Subspecialty Certification for Headache Medicine, from the United Council for Neurologic Subspecialties.

Dr. Estevez is a recent Board appointee at the JHF and he looks forward to applying his ALS research to advance the goals of the Foundation.

For a complete curriculum vitae, please go to link: http://www.neurology.arizona.edu/faculty/estevez.php

Dr. Holli HorakHolli Horak, MD

Associate Professor of Neurology
University of Arizona Department of Neurology

Dr. Horak’s practice is focused on the care of patients with neuromuscular disease, especially ALS. She, along with Dr. Scherer, is the co-director of the MDA/ALS multidisciplinary clinic at UPH hospital.

Please click on the following link to see Dr. Horak's profile:

Katalin Scherer, MDKatalin Scherer, MD

Assistant Professor of Neurology
University of Arizona
Neuromuscular Program and Clinics
Director, MDA/ALS multidisciplinary clinic at UPH Hospital at Kino Campus (coming soon)

Dr. Scherer has been treating patients with ALS at the University of Arizona Neuromuscular Clinics since August 2005 when she joined Dr. Timothy Miller. Since Dr. Timothy Miller’s departure in the summer of 2007, Dr. Scherer has assumed the role of director of the UA Neuromuscular Program.

Dr. Scherer did her neurology residency training at Duke University in Durham, NC, followed by fellowship training in EMG (electromyography) and neuromuscular diseases at Duke University. Dr Scherer’s practice is dedicated to diagnosis and treatment of neuromuscular diseases, including ALS and other motor neuron disorders. Dr. Scherer holds an academic appointment at the University of Arizona, and is active in teaching and research in the area of neuromuscular disorders. Dr. Scherer is board certified in Neurology and in Electrodiagnostic Medicine, and is an active member of the American Association of Neurology and the American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine.

Dr. Scherer sees patients at the MDA supported neuromuscular clinic at University Medical Center, and at the UPH Neurology Clinic at UPH-K.

Dr. Scherer has been working on establishing a true multidisciplinary ALS clinic, which is scheduled to open on the UPH-Kino Campus in early 2008. Such a clinic is pivotal to provide quality healthcare to ALS patients and their families. This clinic will also allow JHF to start clinical research studies and become an ALS clinical and research center in Tucson.

Dr. Scherer will continue to work with JHF and plans to start clinical research studies involving ALS patients in the coming year of 2008.

Link to Dr. Scherer’s faculty website at the UA:

Dr. Daniela C. Zarnescu, PhDDr. Daniela C Zarnescu, PhD

Daniela C. Zarnescu, PhD, is a UA Associate Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Neuroscience and Neurology who is partially funded by JHF and is working in the Jim Himelic Neuromuscular Research Laboratory. Dr. Zarnescu is using the fruit fly (Drosophila) model to study ALS. Because there is a high degree of similarity between Drosophila and human disease genes, the fruit fly is a powerful genetic system to study basic aspects of human neurological and neurodegenerative disorders. Several genes have been linked to familial ALS, which affects about 10% of all patients, yet the majority of ALS cases (sporadic ALS) is due to mutations in several genes, most of which remain to be discovered. Dr. Zarnescu says, “A gene called TDP-43 has emerged as a common denominator for the majority of ALS cases known to date, both inherited and sporadic. We have established a Drosophila model for ALS based on TDP-43, which exhibits remarkable similarities with the human disease. Fruit flies that expressing human TDP-43 that harbors mutations identical to those found in human patients exhibit reduced survival, motor neuron death and locomotor dysfunction.” Dr. Zarnescu believes her research may uncover therapeutic agents that will mitigate the effects of the abnormal TDP-43 in neurons. TDP-43 is linked not only to ALS but also other human neurodegenerative disorders. “We may discover approaches that are applicable to diseases other than ALS such as Alzheimer’s and Fronto-Temporal Lobar Dementia” she says. Dr. Zarnescu’s work is also well positioned to discover novel genes involved in ALS.

2012 Research Update: Dr. Zarnescu’s lab has completed a drug screen using 1,200 FDA approved compounds and identified several candidates that exhibit neuroprotective properties in the Drosophila model. A number of candidate compounds are being further pursued for validation. We have identified a role for glial cells in regulating the neuromuscular synapse and discovered sleep fragmentation defects that are similar to those reported in human patients. We continue to make efforts towards identifying novel genes involved in ALS and the development of additional models based on new genes identified in patients.