Each ACPMP staff member has been directly affected by appendix cancer and/or PMP.

Deborah Shelton
Executive Director

Deborah M. Shelton is grateful for the privilege that she has each and every day to contribute to the ACPMP Research Foundation her deep knowledge and extensive professional experience in drug development with a focus on rare cancers. Deborah has spent over 25 years as an FDA regulatory advisor to a diverse set of stakeholders, including patients and caregivers, researchers, drug and device developers, and legislative bodies. In her professional capacity, Deborah has helped this diverse group of stakeholders to navigate the complex considerations and regulations pertinent to clinical research, and the testing and commercialization of cutting-edge pharmaceuticals and medical devices directed at enhancing the timely diagnosis and effective treatments for cancers and other serious diseases. She is an honors graduate of the University of Maryland School of Law, a frequent presenter at FDA-related conferences and has authored numerous publications on various topics of interest in the regulatory sphere.

As with all of her colleagues at ACPMP, Deborah’s personal journey with appendix cancer inspired her to dedicate her time to ACPMP. Deborah’s spouse is a survivor of appendix cancer. She was diagnosed in August 2018 and underwent CRS/HIPEC that October. For several years prior to her spouse being diagnosed, Deborah had been actively engaged in patient advocacy and issues involving the need to incentivize innovation for the development of therapies to treat cancers and other diseases where there is critical unmet medical need. Her spouse’s subsequent diagnosis with ACPMP and their collective personal experience with the numerous challenges presented following that diagnosis has further fueled Deborah’s zeal for that work, taking the fight now to both a professional and personal level.

Deborah’s primary focus in her work at ACPMP is in further developing the ACPMPs research grant program, clinical trial network, and the organization’s scientific and educational initiatives.

Deborah resides in Silver Spring, Maryland with her spouse (Kate), Deborah's 84-year “young” mother, and their two rescue dogs. In her spare time, she loves exploring salt marshes by kayak with Kate, exploring beaches, and reading Nordic detective novels with a good cup of strong coffee in hand.

Click here to see Deborah's video for Giving Tuesday

Heather Rye-Ronshaugen

Heather Rye-Ronshaugen
Staff Assistant

Heather spent 15 years in healthcare as a Radiologic Technologist and holds a B.S. degree in Radiation Science. She cared for patients in multiple modalities including Diagnostic Radiology, CT, and MRI.

Heather was diagnosed with pseudomyxoma peritonei (PMP) in 2014 and values every opportunity to raise awareness and promote education for ACPMP.

Heather currently lives in Dell Rapids, South Dakota with her husband and three children.

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