Scientific Advisory Board

Ted Dawson, MD, PhD - Chair

Dr. Dawson is the Leonard and Madlyn Abramson Professor in Neurodegenerative Diseases, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and served as director of the Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorder Center. He founded the Neuroregeneration Program in the Institute for Cell Engineering, and became the director of the Institute for Cell Engineering, and on the Medical Advisory Board of the Society for Progressive Supranuclear Palsy.  Dr. Dawson is a member of the Faculty of 1000 Biology Neurobiology of Disease and Regeneration Section of the Neuroscience. He is world-renowned for his novel contributions on the role of nitric oxide in neuronal injury, and has published over 400 publications.

Charles Adler, MD, PhD

Since 1994, Dr. Adler has served as Professor of Neurology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, and Co-director, Mayo Clinic's Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center. He is also a consultant in neurology, Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, Arizona, and Adjunct Senior Clinical Scientist, Thomas Christopher Center for Parkinson’s Research, Sun Health Research Institute, Sun City, Arizona, as well as a principal investigator at the Arizona Parkinson’s Disease Consortium.

Kailash Bhatia, MD, DM, FRCP

Dr. Kailash Bhatia is a Professor of Clinical Neurology in the Sobell Department of Movement Neuroscience at the Institute of Neurology, University College London, and an Honorary Consultant Neurologist, National Hospital for Neurology, London. Dr. Bhatia obtained his medical degree and neurology training in Mumbai, India. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and corresponding Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology and American Neurological Association.  Dr. Bhatia has over 500 publications, including 380 peer-reviewed papers.  He is the current chairman of the Movement Disorders subcommittee of the European Neurological Society and member of European Federation of Neurological Societies Education Committee.

David Borchelt, PhD

Dr. Borchelt serves as Professor, Department of Neuroscience, McKnight Brain Institute, and Associate Chair, Department of Neuroscience, College of Medicine, University of Florida, and is Director of the Santa Fe Health Care Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. With a long track record in studies to generate and use transgenic mice that model aspects of human neurodegenerative disease, Dr. Borchelt's laboratory has generated models of Alzheimer’s Disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Dentato-Rubral Luysian Atrophy, and Huntington’s Disease. These models have been used primarily in studies to probe basic mechanisms of disease pathogenesis. The recipient of several honors, Dr. Borchelt has been published in numerous peer-reviewed publications.

Susan B. Bressman, MD

Susan Bressman is Chairperson of the Mirken Department of Neurology, Beth Israel Medical Center, New York, and Professor of Neurology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Dr. Bressman's research has focused on identifying genes for dystonia and parkinsonism.  She is a member of multiple professional organizations, has served as a director of the American Academy of Neurology, and currently serves on the scientific advisory boards of the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, and Dystonia Medical Research Foundation.  A nationally and internationally lecturer, Dr. Bressman has published more than 150 articles and is a co-editor of two books.

Mitchell F. Brin, MD

Dr. Brin is a physician neurologist with extensive patient care and clinical development experience with 28 years of pharmacology, experimental therapeutics, small molecule and neurotoxin (including Oculinum® / BOTOX® / Myobloc® / Dysport®) research on a background of extensive patient care. In 2007, he became Senior Vice President, Global Drug Development and Chief Scientific Officer BOTOX®, Allergan, LLC. In this capacity, he provides strategic cross-functional support of the neurotoxin and next generation biologics program. This includes global scientific support and clinical expertise across the continuum of all BOTOX® therapy (cosmetic and therapeutic) product research, development, regulatory, drug safety, safety pharmacology, formulation, medical affairs and corporate strategy.

Nicole Calakos, MD, PhD

Dr. Calakos is an Assistant Professor of Neurology and Neurobiology at Duke University Medical Center. In addition to clinical activities, she maintains an active research program at Duke University's Center for Translational Neuroscience. Her laboratory focuses on the role of abnormal synaptic plasticity in disease, with an emphasis on dystonia and basal ganglia disorders, and it has generated several novel genetic mouse models to facilitate the study of disorders. Using cell-based protein expression assays to compare the mutant protein to normal TorsinA and the DYT1-causing form of TorsinA, Dr. Calakos’ group found that this novel mutation caused abnormalities more akin to the DYT1 mutant protein. 

Marie-Francoise Chesselet, MD, PhD

Dr. Chesselet is the Charles H. Markham Professor of Neurology and Distinguished Professor and Chair, Department of Neurobiology, in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and Director, UCLA Center for Gene Environment in Parkinson’s Disease.  She has held research positions in France and faculty positions at the Medical College of Pennsylvania and the University of Pennsylvania. In 1997, she established UCLA's Center for the Study of Parkinson’s Disease (CSPD), and directed the UCLA Morris K. Udall Center of Excellence for Parkinson’s Disease Research. Her laboratory conducts research on the molecular mechanisms of disorders of the basal ganglia and new treatments for Parkinson’s and Huntington’s Diseases. 

William Dauer, MD

An Associate Professor of Neurology and Cell and Developmental Biology, and the Elinor Levine Professor of Dementia Research in the University of Michigan Medical School, Dr. Dauer is a recognized physician-scientist in both basic science and translational discoveries in the molecular mechanisms of movement disorders. Dr. Dauer was awarded a Howard Hughes Postdoctoral Fellowship and discovered that synuclein knockout mice are resistant to the Parkinsonian neurotoxin MPTP. His bibliography reflects numerous peer-reviewed papers, with several reviews, chapters and editorials.  Dr. Dauer has received many awards, including the Fahn Award for excellence in dystonia research and the Harold and Golden Lamport Award for excellence in clinical science research.

Mahlon R. DeLong, MD

Dr. DeLong is Professor of Neurology, Emory University School of Medicine. He has played a major role in clarifying the functional organization of the basal ganglia and the role of these structures in movement and the pathophysiology of movement disorders.  Dr. DeLong’s research contributed significantly to the revival of and development of new and more effective surgical targets and approaches for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders. He has served as the scientific director of the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation since 1994.

Phyllis Hanson, MD, PhD

Dr. Hanson trained at Stanford and Yale Universities and is currently a Professor of Cell Biology and Physiology, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Dr. Hanson's research focuses on intracellular membrane organization and trafficking and includes a strong interest in the cellular function of torsinA and pathogenesis of dystonia. 

John Hardy, PhD

Dr. Hardy serves as Professor of Neuroscience, Department of Molecular Neuroscience and Reta Lila Weston Laboratories, University College London, Institute of Neurology.

He found the first mutation in the amyloid gene, which causes Alzheimer’s Disease.  In 1996, he joined the Mayo Clinic, where he became Chair, Department of Neuroscience, in 2000.  He has won the Allied Signal, Potamkin, MetLife  and Kaul Prizes for his work on Alzheimer’s Disease and the Anna Marie Opprecht Prize for his work on Parkinson’s Disease.   He was awarded the 2011 Khalid Iqbal Lifetime Achievement Award in Alzheimer’s Disease Research and the IFRAD 2011 European Grand Prize for Alzheimer's Research.

Ellen Hess, PhD

Ellen J. Hess is a Professor in the Departments of Pharmacology and Neurology at Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Hess’ research uses molecular, genetic, pharmacological and behavioral approaches to understand the roles of the basal ganglia and cerebellum in movement disorders, particularly dystonia. She has published many scientific papers, and chaired numerous scientific review panels. Her work on dystonia has contributed to our understanding of the brain regions involved in dystonia, and pioneered the development and use of many animal models of dystonia to better understand how to treat dystonia, which forms the basis of a newly developed Antidystonia Drug Discovery Program.

Christine Klein, MD

Dr. Christine Klein, a native of Hamburg, Germany, serves as Schilling Professor of Neurogenetics, Head of the Section of Clinical and Molecular Neurogenetics, University of Luebeck. She was appointed a Lichtenberg Professor at the Department of Neurology, University of Luebeck in 2005, where her research focuses on the clinical and molecular genetics of movement disorders. She has published over 250 scientific papers and is the 2008 recipient of the Derek Denny-Brown Award of the American Neurological Association.  She is a member of the editorial boards of Neurology and Movement

Disorders, and is of the Neurogenetics Work Group of the German Neurological Society.

Eric Nestler, MD

Dr. Nestler is the Nash Family Professor of Neuroscience, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, where he serves as Chair of the Department of Neuroscience and Director, Friedman Brain Institute. Dr. Nestler’s research focuses on better understanding the molecular mechanisms of addiction and depression based on work in animal models, and using this information to develop improved treatments for these disorders.  His prior positions include, Elizabeth Mears and House Jameson Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobiology, and Director, Division of Molecular Psychiatry, Yale University; and Lou and Ellen McGinley Distinguished Professor and Chair, Department of Psychiatry, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. 

Henry Paulson, MD, PhD

Dr. Paulson is the Lucile Groff Professor of Neurology for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders, Department of Neurology, University of Michigan, where he directs programs in neurodegenerative diseases. Dr. Paulson’s research and clinical interests concern the causes and treatment of age-related neurodegenerative diseases. Dr. Paulson serves on the scientific advisory boards of various disease-related national organizations, and currently chairs the Board of Scientific Counselors, National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke at the National Institutes of Health. An Ellison Medical Foundation New Scholar in Aging, he received the Paul Beeson Physician Faculty Scholar in Aging Award from the American Federation for Aging Research.

David Standaert, MD, PhD

Dr. Standaert joined the University of Alabama, Birmingham, in 2006, and is the John N. Whitaker Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurology. He serves as Director, Division of Movement Disorders; Director, APDA Advanced Center for Parkinson Research at UAB; and is the Director, Center for Neurodegeneration and Experimental Therapeutics. Dr. Standaert’s laboratory works on understanding both the root causes of Parkinson’s Disease as well as the origin of the disabling symptoms that appear after long-term treatment of the disease.

D. James Surmeier, PhD

Dr. Surmeier is the Nathan Smith Davis Professor and Chair, Department of Physiology, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, and Director, Morris K. Udall Research Center of Research Excellence for Parkinson’s Disease, Northwestern University.  Dr. Surmeier’s research focuses on the basal ganglia, neural structures controlling movement and intimately involved in the pathophysiology of Parkinson’s and Huntington’s Diseases. He has authored over 150 peer-reviewed articles and has served in several advisory capacities to the National Institutes of Health, including chairing study sections for the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and acting as a Councilor for NIAAA. 

Thomas Wichmann, MD

Dr. Wichmann, Professor of Neurology, Emory University, received his medical degree from the University of Freiburg. After postdoctoral fellowships in pharmacology and electrophysiology, as well as clinical training in neurology, he became a faculty member at Emory’s movement disorder division, combining clinical responsibilities with movement disorder research.  His scientific contributions have focused on basal ganglia electrophysiology, investigating activity changes in these brain areas in parkinsonism, dystonia, and other movement disorders. Since 2010, Dr. Wichmann has been a principal investigator at Emory’s Udall Center of Excellence in Parkinson Disease.  He is a reviewer for NIH and foundation review boards.