Co-chair: Serge Przedborski, MD, PhD
Serge Przedborski, MD, PhD is the Page and William Black Professor of Neurology. He holds a joint appointment in the Departments of Neurology, Pathology and Cell Biology and is the Co-Director of the Center for Motor Neuron Biology and Disease and a faculty member of the Center for Parkinson's disease (PD) and Other Movement Disorders at Columbia University. Dr. Przedborski attended medical school at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Belgium, and did his internship and residency in Neurology and Psychiatry at the ULB-Erasme Academic Medical Center, Belgium. He then did a fellowship in movement disorders with Dr. Stanley Fahn at Columbia University, where he became Assistant Professor of Neurology in 1991.
The research conducted in Dr. Przedborski's laboratory is geared toward unraveling the molecular basis of neurodegeneration and devising therapeutic strategies to hamper the processes that cause neuronal death, the source of many debilitating disorders. In keeping with this goal, to what extent and by which mechanisms do cell-autonomous and non-cell autonomous deleterious processes contribute to the demise of specific subpopulation of neurons in neurodegenerative disorders, such as PD represent a main line of research in his laboratory. These research efforts are supported by federal grants from both NIH and the DoD and by private agencies including the Parkinson's Disease Foundation, the Thomas Hartman Foundation, and MDA's Wings Over Wall Street. Dr. Przedborski is a Senior Editor for the Journal of Neuroscience and an Associate Editor of Movement Disorders.
Dr. Przedborski is the current President of the World Parkinson Coalition and founding member of the Coalition. He will co-chair the WPC 2016 with Dr. Jon Stoessl.
A. Jon Stoessl, CM, MD, FRCPC is the Professor and Head of Neurology and Director of the Pacific Parkinson's Research Centre and National Parkinson Foundation Centre of Excellence at UBC and Vancouver Coastal Health, and been tapped to co-chair both the third and fourth World Parkinson Congress. He holds a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Parkinson's Disease and directs the CIHR Team in Parkinson's and a Pacific Alzheimer Research Foundation Centre grant on Overlap Syndromes Resulting in Dementia.
Dr. Stoessl sits on the editorial boards of numerous journal and has served on a number of scientific advisory boards, including Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Ontario Mental Health Foundation (Chair), Huntington Society of Canada, Tourette Syndrome Association and National Parkinson Foundation. and currently chairs the Interdisciplinary Adjudication Committee of the Canada Research Chairs program. In 2007, he was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada . Dr. Stoessl's research involves the use of positron emission tomography to study Parkinson's disease and related disorders, including the use of imaging as a biomarker, the basis for complications of treatment and mechanisms of the placebo effect. He has published more than 220 papers and book chapters.
Dr. Stoessl is the current Vice President of the World Parkinson Coalition and will co-chair the WPC 2016 with Dr. Serge Przedborski. He co-chaired the WPC 2013 in Montreal, Canada with Dr. Stanley Fahn.
Ken Aidekman is Vice President and co-founder of Highview Capital Corp., a private investment firm founded in 1987. Before that he co-founded Amio, Inc., a fine jewelry design company.
Maria Barretto, PhD has a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Mumbai, India. She has over three decades of experience in the field of psychology, education and mental health and has designed, developed and conducted numerous programs for individuals with special needs. Dr Barretto is the CEO of the Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorder Society, (PDMDS) India. As CEO of the PDMDS, she has developed a multipronged approach to improving the quality of life with people with Parkinson’s Disease, encompassing raising awareness amongst the medical and allied health professionals and general public, developing training programs for all levels of stake holders, research and evidence - based interventions. In India, where Parkinson’s care is limited to a diagnosis and a medical prescription she has developed a ‘multidisciplinary community based’ model of care through which people with Parkinson’s are educated, treated, rehabilitated and brought back into the mainstream of society. The program is delivered through a group therapeutic approach which increases its reach and makes it cost effective given resource limitations. Her mission is to ‘Empower’ people living with Parkinson’s to improve the quality of their lives’.
Matthew Brodsky, MD has been working to help improve the lives of people with Parkinson’s disease since his residency and fellowship training at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City over 15 years ago. Since moving to Portland and joining the faculty at OHSU in 2002, Matt has been fortunate to develop wonderful longstanding relationships with many people with PD and their families, friends and other caregivers. He remains active in PD research, with a particular interest in developing methods to diagnose PD earlier than is currently possible - with the hope that this will lead to a cure for PD. In collaboration with other PD researchers around North America (such as the Parkinson Study Group) Matt continues efforts to evaluate possible neuroprotective treatments for PD, and at OHSU he serves as the medical director of the deep brain stimulation program. Along with his colleagues in the movement disorder group, Matt plays an integral role in our fellowship training program, teaching other physicians to become experts in the care of people with PD. He has enjoyed organizing regional educational meetings such as the annual Pacific Northwest Basal Ganglia Coterie and an annual course on deep brain stimulation, and look forward to helping make the 2016 World Parkinson Congress the best one yet!
Jean Burns is a former web developer and software trainer. She was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2003 and soon after became an active Parkinson’s advocate. She has received both the Alan Bonander Humanitarian Award and the Milly Kondracke Award for her service to the Parkinson’s community. Jean speaks to college students and community groups about the importance of participating in clinical trials.
She is human participant #3 in the NIH AAV2-GDNF Gene Therapy clinical trial. Jean is the co-founder of pdplan4life.com (with Sheryl Jedlinski) with Jean as web developer and graphic designer. Jean has recently spoken at an NIH Bioethics Grand Round about the lack of a "Safety Net" in case human volunteers of brain surgery clinical trials are injured during surgery and require long term care. She is working to make this lack of care known to the broader medical community.
Angela Cenci-Nilsson, MD is a Professor of Experimental Medical Research at Lund University (Lund, Sweden), where she heads the Basal Ganglia Pathophysiology Unit. Her research activities address the pathophysiology of Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders originating from the basal ganglia (L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia, graft-induced dyskinesia, and Huntington´s disease). Several ongoing projects aim at developing new symptomatic or neurorestorative/neuroprotective treatments for the above conditions. The Basal Ganglia Pathophysiology Unit is a partner in several EU-funded project consortia, and in centres of excellence for PD research that are supported by the Swedish National Research Council (Multipark, www.med.lu.se/multipark; BAGADILICO, www.med.lu.se/bagadilico; and the Neuronano Research Centre, www.med.lu.se/nrc). Cenci has advisory appointments at several national and international research organizations, including the Swedish Movement Disorder Society (from 2003); NECTAR (Network of European CNS Transplantation and Restoration) (from 2005); The International Movement Disorders Society (from 2009); The Swedish Parkinson Research Network (from 2010); The M.J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (from 2010); The International Brain Research Organisation (IBRO, from 2012).
Holly Chaimov is the Executive Director of the Parkinson's Resources of Oregon since August 1999. She has a BS in Psychology, minor in Gerontology, and a Masters degree in Business Administration. In her tenure with Parkinson's Resources, Holly has played a key role in the positive growth and development of services for the Parkinson's community here in the Northwest. Recently, Holly has joined the Steering Committee and Local Planning Committee for the World Parkinson’s Congress, 2016 – furthering her work to bring quality programs to our NW community.
Marie-Francoise Chesselet, MD, PhD is the Charles H. Markham Professor of Neurology and distinguished Professor in the Department of Neurology and the Department of Neurobiology at UCLA. After receiving her M.D. and Ph.D. degrees in Paris, France, she held research positions in France and faculty positions at the Medical College of Pennsylvania and the University of Pennsylvania, before joining UCLA in 1996. At UCLA, Chesselet chaired the Department of Neurobiology from 2002 to 2013 and is currently the Director of the Integrative Center for Neural Repair, which includes the Center for the Study of Parkinson’s Disease at UCLA she created in 1998. She has directed the NIH-funded UCLA UDALL Center for Parkinson’s disease research (NINDS; 1998-2013) and UCLA Center for Gene Environment in Parkinson’s Disease (NIEHS; 2002-2014), and the UCLA Advanced Center for Parkinson’s Disease Research of the American Parkinson Disease Association since 1998. Chesselet has directed graduate programs at the University of Pennsylvania and UCLA and has directed the NINDS-funded Training Program in Neural Repair since 1998. Her laboratory conducts research on the molecular mechanisms of disorders of the basal ganglia and new treatments for Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases. Currently, her work is supported by, the Department of Defense, the Michael J. Fox Foundation, CIRM, and biopharmaceutical companies. Chesselet is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Chair-elect of its section on Neuroscience. She serves on the National Advisory Environmental Health Sciences Council (NIEHS Council).
Pat Davies has organized large international conferences for over 35 years. In 1991 she was recruited from her home country, the UK, for a position with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in Washington DC, where for 16 years she managed the joint Bank/Fund Annual and Spring Meetings.
Pat retired in 2007, and in 2009 she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. In 2010 she attended the World Parkinson Congress in Glasgow and was inspired to offer her services to assist. She is now a member of the WPC Steering Committee, and Advocates for Parkinson Committee, and is also Secretary of the Board of the World Parkinson Coalition.
Pat believes that staying as busy as possible is, for her, the best way of dealing with Parkinson’s Disease, and, among other things, she is very involved in working with homeless people in Washington DC. She is currently President of the Board of Georgetown Ministry Center, a day center for the homeless which is open 365 days a year and provides shower and laundry facilities, computers and medical and psychiatric help, as well as food and other kinds of support. She also helps to organize a winter shelter for the homeless, as well as a year-round Saturday night supper program.
Pat is a PDF Parkinson's Research Advocate, and a member of a Parkinson's support group. She is interested in working with the newly diagnosed, as well as people with Parkinson's who live alone.
Pat is the current Secretary of the World Parkinson Coalition.
Robin Elliott has led the Parkinson's Disease Foundation, Inc. (PDF) since October 1996. In the last 17 years, Mr. Elliott’s vision has ushered in a new age for PDF, fortifying PDF’s programs of research, education and advocacy for the Parkinson’s community. Under his leadership, the professional staff has grown from just four full-time employees to more than 20 and the PDF budget has more than tripled, rising from $2.7 million in 1996 to over $10 million in fiscal year 2014.
He has been active in fostering collaborations amongst Parkinson’s organizations, including negotiating a merger with the Chicago-based United Parkinson’s Foundation in 1998. He also played an instrumental role in the creation and organization of the World Parkinson Congress in 2006 and in the conception of the PDtrials campaign, an initiative of the major Parkinson's patient voluntary groups to accelerate the development of new treatments for the disease.
Active in development, communications and nonprofit management in New York City for more than 30 years, Mr. Elliott has served as vice president for development and external affairs at Teachers College, Columbia University (1988-95) and (with the same title) at Hunter College, The City University of New York (1982-88); as deputy to the Chancellor for University Relations at the City University of New York (1979-82); and as director of information and education at the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (1971-79).
Mr. Elliott currently serves as Chairman of the board for the Community Health Charities of New York, Treasurer of the board for the American Society for Experimental NeuroTherapeutics (ASENT), Chair of the board for the American Brain Coalition (ABC) and board member of the Empire State Stem Cell Board (ESSCB). He was formerly Chair of New Yorkers for the Advancement of Medical Research, a pro-stem-cell research coalition of disease advocacy groups, scientists and universities, and citizens’ groups.
Mr. Elliott grew up in southern England and received his formal education at Bradfield (a preparatory school; 1954-59); Magdalen College, Oxford University (B.A. in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, 1962); and Columbia University (M.A. in American Government and Politics, 1965).
Marian Emr is the Director of the Office of Communications and Public Liaison at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. As the NINDS' senior manager for public communications, she plans and directs the Institute's program of media relations, community relations, public education, and scientific information. Before joining the NINDS in 1990, Ms. Emr served as the Deputy Information Officer for the National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes of Health. Prior to that, she was a medical and science writer specializing in the areas of mental health and aging.
Ms. Emr received her bachelor of arts degree summa cum laude in journalism and political science from Syracuse University in 1976. She is a member of the Executive Committee of the Brain Attack Coalition; the NIH MEDLINEplus Advisory Group: the National Stroke Association Professional Advisory Committee and Prevention Advisory Board; the PDTrials Steering Committee and she is a founder of the Alzheimer's Association, a national voluntary health organization with more than 200 chapters worldwide. She was on the Steering Committee for the inaugural WPC in 2006 and chaired the Communications Committee for that event. She has received numerous awards for public service and is active in community affairs.
Howard Federoff, MD, PhD as Executive Vice President for Health Sciences at Georgetown University and Executive Dean of the School of Medicine, Dr. Federoff is responsible for Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC). He is a professor of Neurology and Neuroscience Prior to Georgetown, he held appointments as Senior Associate Dean for Basic Research; Professor of Neurology, Medicine Microbiology and Immunology; and Professor of Oncology and Genetics at the University of Rochester School of Medicine, and as Founding Director of the Center for Aging and Development Biology at the Aab Institute of Biomedical Sciences and Founding Division Chief of Molecular Medicine and Gene Therapy. After joining the Rochester faculty in 1995, he also served as Director of the University of Rochester’s Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program. Dr. Federoff’s research interests include gene therapy and neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s. His research has received support from the NSF, the NIH, and the DOD. He has published widely in peer-reviewed journals and served as a reviewer for many journals, and currently serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease, Open Genomics Journal and Journal Experimental Neurology. Dr. Federoff served as Chair of the NIH Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee from 2007-2010. He is a Fellow of the AAAS and National Academy of Inventors. Before joining the Rochester community, he was Associate Professor of Medicine and Neuroscience at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, from which he received MS, PhD, and MD degrees. He did his internship, residency, and clinical and research fellowships at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, and practiced medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and University of Rochester. He resides in Washington with his wife, Wendy Solovay, Esq. His two daughters, Allison and Monica, are currently pursuing graduate studies in law and medicine, respectively.
Steve Ford has been the Chief Executive of Parkinson’s UK for the last 8 years, the UK’s Parkinson’s support and research charity working to find a cure and improve life for everyone affected by Parkinson’s.
Oscar Gershanik, MD, PhD is a Professor and Scientific Director of the Institute of Neuroscience at the Favaloro Foundation University Hospital in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He is also the Director of the Movement Disorder Unit at the same institution and Director of the Laboratory of Experimental Parkinsonism, a basic research laboratory, at the Institute of Pharmacological Research under the jurisdiction of the National Council for Scientific Research and Technology and the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Dr. Gershanik received medical training at the University of Buenos Aires where he graduated "Magna Cum Laude”, and did his post-graduate neurology training at the French Hospital in Buenos Aires, under the mentorship of Prof. Alfred Thomson. He completed a Parkinson’s Disease and movement disorders fellowship, at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York under Prof. Melvin Yahr, and later on was invited as Associate Professor of Neurology and Pharmacology, in the Neurology Department of the University of New Jersey Rutgers Medical School under Prof. Roger Duvoisin. His research interests have been focused early on, on the study of dopamine receptors interactions, on trophic mechanisms induced by levodopa therapy in animal models of Parkinson’s disease, and lately on plastic and molecular changes underlying the development of levodopa-induced dyskinesias, and has published extensively on those topics. Dr. Gershanik is and has always been actively involved in clinical practice in the field of movement disorders; and teaching, both at the undergraduate and post-graduate level, having trained numerous young neurologists, both from Argentina and abroad, in the field of movement disorders. He has lectured extensively both locally and abroad and actively participates at the international level; he has been an officer of The International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society and a member of different committees within that society. He has recently been elected “President-Elect” of that society. He was the Chair of the Clinical Science Subcommittee of the Program Committee of WPC 2013.
Nancy Y. Ip, PhD is currently the Dean of Science, The Morningside Professor of Life Science, and Director of the State Key Laboratory of Molecular Neuroscience at The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). She received her PhD degree in Pharmacology from Harvard Medical School, and was Senior Staff Scientist at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc., New York. Since joining HKUST in 1993, she has served as Associate Dean of Science (1998-2005), Director of the Biotechnology Research Institute (1996-2008), and Head of the Department of Biochemistry (2000-2009).
Yoshikuni Mizuno, MD is the former Chairman of the Department of Neurology at Juntendo University School of Medicine and currently Professor emeritus of the same University. Having received his MD from the University of Tokyo School of Medicine in 1965, he completed the residency at the Department of Neurology, Northwestern University Medical Center, Chicago, USA in 1973. He returned to Japan in the same year as Assistant Professor of Neurology at the Jichi Medical School, Tochigi, and served as Professor of Neurology at the Juntendo University School of Medicine from 1989 to 2006. After stepping down the chairmanship, he sees patients with Parkinson’s disease and related disorders at different clinics in Tokyo area. Dr. Mizuno has published more than 300 original articles. He is interested in the pathogenesis and treatment of Parkinson’s disease. With his collaborators, he identified the gene (parkin) for the autosomal recessive form of young onset familial Parkinson’s disease. He received many awards for these activities.
John Nutt, MD has provided care for people with PD since his fellowship in 1976 -1978 and have been learning from patients and their families ever since. John's research interests are in experimental therapeutics of Parkinson’s disease and in gait and balance disorders, particularly in Parkinson’s disease. He is the Emeritus Director of the OHSU Parkinson Center of Oregon.
Rajesh Pahwa, MD is Professor in the Department of Neurology and Director of the Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorder Center at the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Kansas City.
Upon attainment of his MBBS (MD) degree at Seth G.S. Medical College, University of Bombay, India, Dr Pahwa completed an internship in medicine at Baylor College of Medicine followed by a residency in Neurology at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas. He then completed a one year fellowship in movement disorders at the University of Kansas Medical Center before joining the faculty of the Department of Neurology as an Instructor in 1992.
Dr Pahwa is a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. His research interests are centered around the various aspects of Parkinson’s disease and essential tremor. He is currently involved in various studies related to medical and surgical forms of therapies for Parkinson’s disease and essential tremor. Dr Pahwa has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles. In addition he has published numerous chapters and abstracts in leading neurology and movement disorder journals.
He has conducted over 50 clinical trials related to Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders. He is the co-editor of "Handbook of Parkinson’s Disease,” 3rd , 4th and 5th editions, "Therapy of Parkinson's Disease," 3rd edition, "Handbook of Essential Tremor and other Tremor Disorders,” 1st edition, and co-author of the book "Parkinson’s Disease: Questions and Answers,” 4th edition. He is also the Co-Editor in Chief of the International Journal of Neuroscience.
He is also an active member of American Academy of Neurology, American Neurological Association, Movement Disorder Society, Kansas City Neurology Neurosurgery Society, Parkinson Study Group, and Tremor Research Group.
Michael Schwarzschild, MD, PhD serves as Chair of the Parkinson Study Group (PSG) Executive Committee. The PSG is a consortium of clinical investigators, coordinators and allied professionals dedicated to improving the lives of people with Parkinson's through the conduct clinical trials and research of the highest quality. It comprises over 130 credentialed clinical sites in the US and Canada, and is working with counterparts worldwide to develop a highly trained, flexible global network for PD trials.
Dr. Schwarzschild, a Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, also directs the Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory at the Mass General Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease, focusing on the role of purines -- including adenosine, inosine, caffeine and urate — in mouse models of Parkinson's disease. Benefitting from interdisciplinary collaborations across basic, epidemiological and clinical neurosciences he is working to advance neurobiological insights to disease-modifying therapies for people with Parkinson's disease.
Mark Stacy, MD was appointed Vice Dean for Clinical Research in November of 2011.
Dr. Stacy is a highly respected clinical investigator and a talented administrator who served as Associate Dean for Clinical Research since 2009. He has been a key driver in improving Duke's clinical research practice and in developing the site-based research director community. Dr. Stacy serves as a liaison between the Dean’s office and the Clinical Department Chairs and faculty. His duties include implementation of programs to support the clinical research mission, and oversight of the Institutional Review Board (IRB), conflict of interest (COI), and clinical research administration activities.
As Vice Dean for Clinical Research, Dr. Stacy works in partnership with the Vice Dean for Basic Science to provide support and guidance for translational research.
Dr. Stacy joined Duke in 2003, and is a professor of medicine in the Division of Neurology, and director of the Duke Movement Disorders Center. He served as director of the Neurology Clinical Research Organization prior to moving to the Dean's Office. His clinical and research interests are concentrated on signs, symptoms and treatment of Parkinson’s disease, specifically: motor and non-motor symptoms of wearing off, pathological gambling and other impulse-control disorders, and placebo effect in clinical trials. He has served as an advisor to a number of pharmaceutical and device manufacturers that lead to the approval of products to better treat this condition, and has participated in more than 100 clinical trials. He also serves as advisor and consultant on numerous national and community committees, including WE MOVE, the Parkinson Study Group, the Dystonia Study Group, the National Parkinson Foundation, and the American Academy of Neurology. Prior to his arrival at Duke he served as the director of the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Research Center in Phoenix, Arizona. He is the co-editor of Moving Along, the newsletter of the Movement Disorders Society.
Dr. Stacy has published numerous peer-reviewed manuscripts, book chapters, and review articles on the topics of Parkinson’s disease, dystonia, tremor, and other movement disorders. He is also the editor of The Handbook of Dystonia.
Matthew Stern, MD
Alice Templin was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease about 10 years ago when she was 50 years old at the time. Alice was just transitioning into a new career, teaching English as a Second Language, so she had to take stock again. Having worked as a physiotherapist for many years, mostly in the area of neuro rehab, she was familiar with PD on a professional level. The journey of living with Parkinson's now became a personal one - for her husband, her son and herself.
Although Alice have been fortunate in that the progression has been slow, the decision to keep her professional life mostly at the volunteer level has been a good one for her. Alice regularly volunteers, and occasionally supplies, in an ESL classroom where the multicultural and multi-linguistic environment is stimulating, challenging, and rewarding.
While Alice feels that Parkinson's does not define who she is, it has definitely provided the context for many of her activities. She has been a Support Group member (called the Young and Active group) for many years now. Also, over the past several years, she has been an active volunteer at Parkinson Society Ottawa, as a member of both the Program Committee and the Planning Committee for PSO's annual Perspectives on Parkinson's Symposium. In addition, Alice has been the lead volunteer in managing the Resource Centre/Library in the PSO office. She has enjoyed perusing research briefs, articles and biographies for the Symposium and reading book synopses for the library, all of which help to keep me aware of what is happening in the world of Parkinson's and keep her hopeful for the future.
A personal highlight for Alice was to walk the 800-kilometer (500-mile) Camino de Santiago with a friend. It was both gratifying and humbling to be able to meet the physical challenge of walking for 40 days along this ancient pilgrimage route in Northern Spain and to raise over $13,000.00 for PSO.
Over the past 10 years so many doors have opened, providing opportunities and challenges encouraging her to do things she never thought she could. So much can be done when we do it in partnership and hope.