Photo via SweetIris
Christine Waggoner

Christine Waggoner

Co-founder & President

Cure GM Foundation


Co-founder & President


Cure GM Foundation




Sweet Iris








What makes Christine Waggoner a Global Shaker?

Christine Waggoner and her husband Douglas Dooley founded the California Based Cure GM1 Foundation in April 2015 in honour of their daughter Iris and all those affected by GM1 Gangliosidosis.

GM1 gangliosidosis is an inherited lysosomal storage disorder that damages nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. Researchers have classified this condition into three major types depending on the age the symptoms start appearing. These major types differ in severity; however, their features considerably overlap. Some researchers believe that because of the overlapping features of the disease, it represents a continuous spectrum instead of just three types. Type I, or the infantile form, becomes evident at the age of six months and is the most severe. Affected infants generally appear to be normal until their development slows down and muscles used for movement weaken. They eventually lose previously acquired skills and develop an eye abnormality called “cherry-red spot,” as well as having distinctive “coarse” facial features, enlarged gums, and an enlarged and weakened heart muscle. Affected children usually do not live past early childhood.

Founding and running Cure GM1 is a true labour of love to help bring about treatment to all those affected by GM1 Gangliosidosis.

Aside from her patient advocacy work, Christine is a Software Developer, Cloth and Simulation Supervisor, Technical Director at Pixar Animation Studios — she is one of the people responsible for giving Pixar animated characters their incredible lifelike hair or fur and their clothing that texture that you can almost feel. Her IMDB credits include RatatouilleIncredibles 2, Monsters, Inc. 

Christine graduated from Brown University where she studied Visual Art and Computer Science. The combination of studies in art and technology served as a basis for her career in computer graphics and 3D feature film animation.
Tags: patient advocacy, rare diseases

Last updated: February 29, 2020