MBA Helped Stephen Combat Infant Son’s Rare Disease

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The Melbourne Business School has marked the achievements of the MBA Class of 2016 at this year’s graduation with an Occasional  Address by Stephen Damiani,  Chairman of the Mission Massimo Foundation.

Stephen had completed his MBA at the School in 2000 and Master of Marketing in 2007.  His infant son Massimo developed a rare genetic condition as a one-year old that arrested his developmental milestones.

The boy went into regression, losing the ability to stand or speak. In 2009, there was no test to find the genetic cause or course of treatment for the condition so rare that it did not even have a name.

Stephen, who has a background in construction economics and risk management, then taught himself genomics. He then contacted  neurologists across the globe, including Queensland scientist Ryan Taft,  to analyse the genomes or DNA blueprints of not only of  Massimo but himself and his wife.

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Massimo was found to be having a previously unclassified condition now known as HBSL caused by a mutation in the DARS gene. During the research, they also developed a tool with the potential to diagnose and treat diseases as widespread as diabetes and cardiovascular conditions.

“Wherever your journey in life takes you from today, you will remain connected to the School – and wherever you go in your professional life, you will find fellow Melbourne Business School alumni.

Stephen spoke about how he drew upon the knowledge gained through MBA to spearhead this international collaboration of clinicians and scientists.

Stephen, along with his wife Sally and family doctor Leah Kaminsky, went on to write a book titled “Cracking the Code” about their experiences.

Stephen spoke about how he drew upon the knowledge gained through MBA to spearhead this international collaboration of clinicians and scientists.

The graduating class, their families and friends, along with MBS academics, filled the University of Melbourne’s Wilson Hall on 8 October for the occasion before returning to the Carlton campus for a celebration.

Speaking at the ceremony, Dean of Melbourne Business School Prof Zeger Degraeve congratulated the 325 members of the graduating class at the event on their achievements, while also reflecting on their MBS journey.

“It is one of my great joys to witness the growth of our graduates – to meet them again, a few years later, and hear the stories of how they have remained connected with their classmates, and how this connection and the knowledge, gained studying with us, has supported their journey through life.”

In one final lesson for the graduating class, Prof Degraeve noted that they now belonged to a cohort that was now far larger than their group of classmates.

“You are now a member of Australia’s oldest and strongest business school network, with more than 16,000 alumni in 95 countries,” Prof Degraeve said.

admin-ajax“Wherever your journey in life takes you from today, you will remain connected to the School – and wherever you go in your professional life, you will find fellow Melbourne Business School alumni.

“Your alumni network is a truly global group of leaders who can open doors, give you sage advice and provide you with the support you need to overcome challenges and make a difference,” he added.(Image Source:Google.com)

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