Newell Belnap, PA-C is a Clinical Research Coordinator for TGen's Center for Rare Childhood Disorders. He joined the clinical staff at TGen in July 2014.
He earned his BS in zoology in 1996 from Brigham Young University. He then attended Quinnipiac University School of Medicine to become a physician assistant (PA) earning his master's degree in 2001 and was awarded the Director's Award. During his graduate studies, he was awarded several academic scholarships and a research stipend for his work on the benefits of fluoride in a rural community.
He has been in clinical practice since 2001 mainly working in primary care. Shortly after joining TGen's research team in 2014, he began clinical practice with Dr. Vinodh Narayanan in child neurology and neurogenetics.
Newell is on the faculty of Northern Arizona University Physician Assistant Program as a clinical instructor. Prior to his clinical work, he participated in various research projects in neuroscience, nutritional supplements, and large population osteoporosis studies.
In his current role at TGen, Newell is involved in several research studies. The largest of these studies uses next-generation sequencing to genetically diagnose rare childhood disorders. Newell screens patients for enrollment, consents families, and performs skin biopsies to collect patient fibroblast cells to perform more detailed experiments. He also communicates with the families and updates them on their progress in the study and assists in returning research results. Newell also communicates with our national and international collaborators. He is also a co-investigator in a pharmaceutical study focused on improving the quality of life in girls and women with Rett syndrome.
He also has a personal reason for joining TGen's C4RCD. He is the father of 2 children with a rare form of mitochondrial disease called Leigh's syndrome. In 2010, TGen identified mutations in the MTFMT gene linked to Leigh's syndrome, finally ending their diagnostic odyssey. In 2013, Newell and his wife Rebecca, co-founded The Belnap Foundation for Mitochondrial Disease, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Its mission is to raise awareness and money for rare genetic childhood disease research.