Lito Ramirez is an accidental advocate who illustrates how an extra chromosome can change the course of one person’s life. Locked in the daily grind for accomplishment and success, he found a truer, better self in 2007 through the birth of his youngest son, who has Down syndrome. Lito now spends his days as CEO of DownSyndrome Achieves, a charitable research advocacy group that champions the development of critical research capabilities needed to better understand Down syndrome and to accelerate scientific discovery.
Lito is chief architect for the development of the first national biobank for Down syndrome research in the U.S. Launched in December 2015 in partnership with Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, OH, the DownSyndrome Achieves DS Biobank now includes researchers from Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Case Western Reserve University, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and other top-tier research institutes.