Ted M. Dawson, M.D., Ph.D.

Director, Institute for Cell Engineering and Professor in the Department of Neuroscience, Neurology and Physiology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Dr. Ted Dawson focuses on movement disorders with many advances in neurobiology of disease that have stemmed from Dr. Dawson’s identification of the mechanisms of neuronal cell death and the elucidation of the molecular mechanisms of neurodegeneration. He pioneered the role of nitric oxide in neuronal injury in stroke and excitotoxicity and elucidated the molecular mechanisms by which nitric oxide and poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase kill neurons. His studies of nitric oxide led to major insights into the neurotransmitter functions of this gaseous messenger molecule. He co-discovered the neurotrophic properties of non-immunosuppressant immunophilin ligands. Dr. Dawson’s discoveries have led to innovative approaches and enhanced the development of new agents to treat neurologic disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease as well as other neurodegenerative disorders. 

Dr. Ted Dawson received his medical degree and Doctor of Philosophy in pharmacology from the University of Utah School of Medicine. He then completed an internship in medicine at the University of Utah Affiliated Hospitals before going to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania for a neurology residency. Next, he came to The Johns Hopkins where he completed a fellowship in neuroscience and senior clinical fellowship in movement disorders.

Valina L. Dawson, Ph.D.

Director, Neuroregeneration and Stem Cell Programs, Institute for Cell Engineering and Professor in theDepartments of Neurology, Pharmacology and Molecular Science and Physiology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Dr. Valina L. Dawson, Ph.D., is a Professor of Neurology, Neuroscience, Physiology, and the Graduate Program in Cellular & Molecular Medicine. She is co-director of the Neuroregeneration and Stem Cell Programs in the Institute for Cell Engineering. Dr. Dawson’s laboratory is actively engaged in discovering and defining cell signaling pathways that lead to either neuronal survival or neuronal death. We have characterized neuronal injury and survival pathways in the cell, fly, and mouse models of Parkinson’s disease and stroke. She explores the role of the monogenic forms of Parkinson’s disease with a focus on parkin, EIF4G1, and LRRK2 to begin to define the biochemical signaling important to Parkinson’s disease. She has developed yeast, cellular, fly and mouse models to explore the Parkinson’s disease-causing mutations as well as studying human neuronal cultures and human postmortem tissue explore survival and disease signaling events relevant to Parkinson’s disease. and stroke as well as to define neuron survival networks.

Dr. Dawson’s laboratory in studying mechanisms of brain cell death in stroke has defined the excitotoxic signaling pathway mediated by nitric oxide, poly (ADP-Ribose) polymerase, and apoptosis-inducing factor and named it Parthanatos, to distinguish it from other distinct forms of cell death including apoptosis, autophagy, and necrosis. She has identified and characterized new survival molecules which include a transcription factor NFIA, a novel E3 ligase Iduna, a novel Notch regulatory protein Botch and a novel AAA+ ATPase Thorase that acts to disassemble the GRIP1/GluR2 complex, thus regulating excitability, plasticity, and behavior, as well as a microRNA, mIR-223 that regulates neuronal survival in part through regulation of glutamate receptor expression. Recently the Dawson laboratory has found an overlap between our investigations in Parthanatos and Parkinson’s disease in that age-dependent loss of dopamine neurons due to expression of the parkin substrate AIMP2 is dependent on Parthanatos. She is currently exploring if Parthanatos generally contributes to DA neurodegeneration and PD and has exciting new preliminary data that Parthantos is a common feature in many PD models as well as in human PD postmortem tissue.

The Dawson laboratory employs advanced technologies in high throughput screening, next-generation sequencing including RNA Seq and ChIP Seq, ribosome footprinting, and high throughput proteomic analysis coupled with advanced computational biology to investigate signaling networks important in stroke, Parkinson’s disease, and other neurodegenerative disorders. The overarching goal of the research is to understand death and survival signaling to identify new targets for therapeutic development.

Robert A. Hauser, M.D., MBA, FAAN

Professor of Neurology, University of South Florida College of Medicine

Dr. Robert Hauser is a Professor of Neurology at the University of South Florida College of Medicine, in Tampa, Florida. He serves as Director of the USF Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center, a Parkinson Foundation Center of Excellence. Dr. Hauser earned a medical degree from Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and completed neurology training at the Eastern Virginia Graduate School of Medicine, in Norfolk, Virginia.

Dr. Hauser completed a fellowship in Movement Disorders at the University of South Florida and became Center Director in 1994. Dr. Hauser has authored or co-authored more than 300 peer-reviewed publications and is one of the world’s most cited Parkinson’s Disease investigators. He is Past Chairman of the Interventional Neurology Section of the American Academy of Neurology, has served on the executive committee of the Parkinson Study Group, and was a member of the steering committee for the NIH-sponsored Neuroprotective Exploratory Trials in Parkinson’s Disease program (NET-PD). Dr. Hauser lectures frequently at scientific meetings and served as Chairman of the 2009 World Federation of Neurology International Congress on Parkinson’s Disease and Related Disorders. 

He has extensive expertise in clinical trial design and execution. The outcome measures that he developed have become the gold standard for use in clinical trials. He maintains an active patient practice and has been voted a Top Doctor by his peers every year since 1993. His primary research interest is the development of new medical and surgical treatments for Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders.

Karl Kieburtz, M.D., MPH

Professor of Neurology, University of Rochester and President, Clintrex Research Corporation

Dr. Karl Kieburtz was the initial Robert J. Joynt Professor in the Department of Neurology and is currently a Professor of Neurology at the University of Rochester. He attended medical school and performed a Neurology Residency at the University of Rochester, and he obtained an MPH degree from the same institution. He was the founding Director of the Center of Human Experimental Therapeutics (CHET) and served as the Director of the Clinical and Translational Science Institute and Senior Associate Dean for Clinical Research at the University of Rochester. He is director of the clinical coordinating center for the PPMI program sponsored by the Michael J Fox Foundation. He has been the President of CLINTREX® since its inception in 2008.

Dr. Kieburtz served as the Chair of the FDA Peripheral and Central Nervous System Advisory Committee. He was the past Chair of the Parkinson Study Group Executive Committee and a past member of the Huntington Study Group Executive Committee. He served as Vice President of the American Neurological Association, was a member of the International Executive Committee of the Movement Disorder Society, and was Associate Editor of the Neurology and Movement Disorder Journals. He has been PI for more than 50 multi-center NIH-, industry-, and foundation-sponsored clinical trials, including the large NIH-sponsored multi-center NET-PD study.

Jeffrey H. Kordower, Ph.D.

Center Director ASU-Banner Neurodegenerative Disease Research Center and the Charlene and J. Orin Distinguished Director at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University

He is an international authority in the area of movement disorders, which special expertise in experimental therapeutics and pathogenesis in movement disorders. Dr. Kordower has been ranked 29th in Parkinson’s disease expertise worldwide. He has performed numerous gene and cell therapy preclinical studies that have been translated into clinical trials. He has published landmark papers in the area of cell replacement strategies, including the first demonstration that fetal dopaminergic grafts can survive, innervate, and form synapses in patients with Parkinson’s disease (NEJM). Furthermore, he demonstrated that long-term grafts in such patients can form Lewy bodies (Nature Medicine). He has co-authored a paper in Nature demonstrating that human dopaminergic stem cells can survive and function in parkinsonian mice, rats, and monkeys. With regard to gene therapy, he published the lead article in Science demonstrating that gene delivery GDNF can prevent the emergence of motor symptoms and prevents nigrostriatal degeneration in nonhuman primate models of Parkinson’s disease. Dr. Kordower was also the first to demonstrate that gene delivery of CNTF can obviate neurodegenerative processes in a nonhuman primate model of Huntington’s disease. Dr. Kordower has published more than 350 manuscripts and chapters, 14 of which are citation classics. He has lectured all over the world and has served on more than 20 journal editorial boards (Sections Head and Associate Editor on two, including Movement Disorders). He has also served on the program committee for the World Parkinson’s Congress, is a Past-President of ASNTR, and is both a founding SAB member and two-time Executive Committee member of The Michael J. Fox Foundation. Dr. Kordower received his Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts, and Doctor of Philosophy from the City University of New York (CUNY). He was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from CUNY in 2004.

Kenneth Marek, M.D.

Distinguished Scientist, The Institute for Neurodegenerative Disorders

Kenneth Marek is President and senior scientist at the Institute for Neurodegenerative Disorders. Dr. Marek’s major research interests include the identification of biomarkers for early detection, assessment of disease progression, and development of new treatments for Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease and related neurodegenerative disorders. His specific interest has been in in vivo neuroreceptor imaging biomarkers. He has authored numerous neurology and neuroscience publications on these topics. Dr. Marek is the principal investigator of several ongoing multi-center international studies, including the Parkinson’s Progression Marker Initiative (PPMI), the Parkinson Associated Risk Syndrome (PARS) study, and Pathways to Prevention (P2P). Dr. Marek serves on the scientific advisory board of The Michael J. Fox Foundation and is a special advisor to the foundation. He also was a co-founder of Molecular NeuroImaging, LLC, a company providing discovery and clinical neuroimaging research services. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Biochemistry from Princeton University and a Doctor of Medicine from Yale University.

C. Warren Olanow, M.D., FRCPC, FRCP (hon)

Former Chairman, Department of Neurology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine; Professor Emeritus, Department of Neurology and Department of Neuroscience, Mount Sinai School of Medicine; Chief Executive Officer, Clintrex and Interim Chief Medical Officer, Inhibikase Therapeutics, Inc.

Dr. Warren Olanow, M.D., FRCPC is the former Henry P. and Georgette Goldschmidt Professor and Chairman of the Department of Neurology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City and is presently Professor Emeritus in the Department of Neurology and the Department of Neuroscience at this institution. He also serves as Chief Executive Officer of Clintrex, a pharmaceutical advisory firm.

Dr. Olanow received his medical degree from the University of Toronto, performed his neurology training at the New York Neurological Institute at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center at Columbia University, and did post-graduate studies in neuroanatomy at Columbia University. He served on the faculties of McGill University, Duke University, and the University of South Florida prior to joining Mount Sinai.

He is Past President of the Movement Disorder Society, Past President of the International Society of Motor Disturbances, and Past Treasurer of the American Neurological Association. He has been named an Honorary Professor at the University of London (Royal Free Hospital), an Honorary Member of the French Neurological Society, and an honorary fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of the United Kingdom (FRCP (hon). He is the recipient of the Presidential Award from the Movement Disorder Society, the Movement Disorder Research Award from the American Academy of Neurology, and the Honorary Membership Award for lifetime achievement from the International Parkinson Disease and Movement Disorder Society. He has served on the Board of Directors of the National Space Biomedical Research Institute, is a past member of the executive committee of the Michael J Fox Foundation Scientific Advisory Board, is the past Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Bachmann-Strauss Parkinson and Dystonia Foundation, and has served on numerous medical and scientific advisory boards. He has served on multiple editorial boards and is the past Co-Editor-in-Chief of the journal Movement Disorders.

Dr. Olanow’s clinical and basic science research efforts are directed toward determining the cause and defining more effective therapies for Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. He has authored more than 400 peer-reviewed articles and 100 books or book chapters. He was ranked #1 in the United States for citations in Parkinson’s disease during the past quarter-century, and he has a current H-Index on the Web of Science of 105. He has lectured at universities and conferences throughout the world.

Pankaj Jay Pasricha, MBBS, M.D.

Vice-Chair and Professor of Medicine and Neuroscience, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Professor of Innovation Management, Johns Hopkins Carey Business School; Director, Johns Hopkins Center for Neurogastroenterology; Director, Amos Food, Body, & Mind Center

Dr. Pankaj Jay Pasricha, MBBS, M.D. is Vice-Chair of the Department of Medicine and Professor of Medicine and Neuroscience at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and Professor of Innovation Management at Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. He is Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Neurogastroenterology and Director of the Amos Food, Body, and Mind Center at Johns Hopkins. Prior to his positions at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Pasricha served as Chief of Gastroenterology at Stanford University School of Medicine from 2007–2012. Prior to that, he led the GI Division at the University of Texas Medical Branch, where he was the Bassel and Frances Blanton Distinguished Professor in Internal Medicine.

Dr. Pasricha is a recipient of continuous federal funding for his research since 1995 and is the principal investigator on several current NIH grants. His laboratory is focused on molecular mechanisms of visceral pain, gastrointestinal motility, the gut-brain axis, microbiota, neuromodulation, and neural control of glycemic control and obesity. His clinical interests include GI motility disorders and abdominal pain as well as the development of novel endoscopic procedures and devices for a variety of gastrointestinal disorders. He has consistently been on Castle Connelly list of America’s “Top Docs” as well as “Best Doctors” and has authored more than 300 manuscripts/book chapters. These diverse accomplishments reflect his interests, which span endoscopic, clinical, and bench research as well as his passion to translate these discoveries for the benefit of patients.

Dr. Pasricha has served on the National Commission on Digestive Diseases, appointed by Congress to provide a “roadmap” for progress in gastrointestinal disorders. He is also the founding Chair of the Center for Gastrointestinal Innovation and Technology, created by the AGA (American Gastroenterological Association). Dr. Pasricha served on the FDA GI Drug Advisory Committee for several years and continues to provide advice to the agency on an ad hoc basis. Dr. Pasricha holds more than 50 patents issued by the USPTO and has co-founded several companies within the Medtech and biotech GI space including Apollo Endosurgery, Enterastim, First Aid Shot Therapeutics (FAST), Neurogastrx, Orphomed, and Glyscend.

Dr. Pasricha received his Doctor of Medicine from the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences and training in New Delhi. Subsequently, he trained in internal medicine and pulmonology at Georgetown University-DC General Hospital and Tufts-New England Medical Center, respectively. Thereafter, he trained in gastroenterology at Johns Hopkins Hospital.