Dr. Ted Dawson focuses on movement disorders with many advances in neurobiology of disease 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 kills 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 Ph.D. 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, PhD, 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 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 in order 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 we have found 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, ribosomal foot printing, 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 in order to identify new targets for therapeutic development.
Dr. Robert Hauser is 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. 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 was the initial Robert J. Joynt Professor in the Department of Neurology and is currently 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, PhD, is the Alla V. and Solomon Jesmer Professor of Aging and Neurological Sciences, Rush University Medical Center. 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 BA, MA, and PhD degrees from the City University of New York (CUNY). He was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from CUNY in 2004.
Kenneth Marek is President and senior scientist at the Institute for Neurodegenerative Disorders. Dr. Marek’s major research interests include 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 an AB in Biochemistry from Princeton University and an MD from Yale University.
Warren Olanow, MD, 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 in 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.