President: Serge Przedborski, MD, PhD
Vice President: A. Jon Stoessl, CM, MD, FRCPC
Secretary: Patricia Davies
Treasurer: Robert Burke, MD
Directors: Marie-Francoise Chesselet, MD, PhD
Etienne Hirsch, PhD
Executive Director: Elizabeth Pollard
Past President: Stanley Fahn, MD (2004 - 2013)
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
Dr. Przedborski is the current President of the World Parkinson Coalition and will be co-chairing the WPC 2016 with Dr. Jon Stoessl.
A. Jon Stoessl, CM, MD, FRCPC, 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 the third 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 has worked closely with the Parkinson Society Canada as their past Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board for and is well respected among his peers and the community of people living with Parkinson's across Canada. When she learned of Dr. Stoessl's co-chair position, Joyce Gordon, President and CEO of Parkinson Society Canada said, "Dr. Stoessl is a recognized leader in the Canadian and International Parkinson community and Parkinson Society Canada is delighted to have him at the helm with Dr. Fahn for WPC 2013."
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-chairs the WPC 2013 in Montreal, Canada with Dr. Stanley Fahn.
Robert Burke, MD received his Bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College, in New
Hampshire and his Medical Degree at Cornell University Medical College in New
York. He did his residency at Neurological Institute, Columbia University and
he is Board Certified by the American Board of Neurology and Psychiatry
Dr. Burke's research focus is on basic
neuroscience related to the cause and pathogenesis of movement disorders,
particularly Parkinson's Disease. He demonstrated that a genetically programmed
form of cell death, called apoptosis, occurs in dopaminergic neurons of the
substantia nigra. This form of cell death can be induced in models of injury to
explain the pathogenesis of parkinsonism and other movement disorders,
including Huntington's Disease. Ongoing efforts are aimed towards understanding
this form of cell death at the molecular level, and preventing it with growth
factors. Dr. Burke's clinical research includes important work in dystonia and
the tardive dyskinesias, and has led to the first descriptions of the
delayed-onset dystonias and tardive dystonia. Dr. Burke's publications have
appeared in The Journal of Neuroscience, The Journal of Comparative Neurology,
The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA), Nature Neuroscience
and other leading neuroscience journals Dr. Burke's laboratory website can be
Dr. Burke has been involved with
the World Parkinson Coalition from its inception as an active Board member as
well as a presenter at the first two World Parkinson Congresses.
MD, PhD received her
M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Paris VI, in France. She
completed her internship at the Hopital de l'Hotel Dieu in Paris and her PhD
thesis in the laboratory of Jacques Glowinski at the College of France. After
obtaining a position at the CNRS, she joined the laboratory of Ann Graybiel at
MIT and the laboratory of Michael Bronstein at the NIH as a Visiting Scientist.
She held faculty appointments at the Medical College of Pennsylvania and the
University of Pennsylvania before joining UCLA as the Charles H. Markham
Professor of Neurology in 1996. She is currently Chair of the Department of
Neurobiology in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. She is also
Director of the APDA Advanced Center for Parkinson's Disease Research, Morris
K. Udall Center of Excellence for Parkinson's Disease Research and the Center
for Gene Environment Studies in Parkinson's Disease at UCLA.
Patricia Davies has been a professional conference
organizer for about 35 years. She originally worked in the private sector
in London, and before moving to the US in 1991 was managing director of
Conference Associates and Services Ltd., a company which specialized in the
organization of large international conferences, primarily medical. In 1991 she
moved to Washington DC to take up a position with the World Bank Group and the
International Monetary Fund as manager of the office which organizes the
organizations’ Annual and Spring meetings. She retired from this position in
2007 and was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease early in 2009.
On the assumption that
keeping as active as possible keeps the disease at bay, or at the very least is
a distraction, Pat is now involved with many different non profit
organizations. Until recently she was Chair of Children of Uganda, which
supports several hundred orphans and vulnerable children in Uganda. She is
currently helping to organize the Tour of Light, when a group of the children
will travel to the US in January/February 2012 for a fundraising tour featuring
African song and dance. She is on the board of Georgetown Ministry Center which
provides services for homeless people in DC, and she leads a knitting group for
the homeless, prepares lunch for them at least once a week, and is organizing a
three week winter shelter. With the dog that she adopted to ensure she
gets out and walks several times a day, she (and the dog) volunteer at People
Animals Love (PAL) in the Reading with Dogs program, designed to help children
improve their reading skills. Soon after her diagnosis Pat joined a Parkinson’s
Support Group and participated in a couple of clinical studies at UMD. She
organized a team to participate in the recent National Parkinson Foundation
Moving Day, and the "Movers and Shakers” raised over $8,000. She attended
the WPC 2010 in Glasgow and offered her services to assist. She was thrilled to
be invited to join the Steering Committee of the WPC 2013, and is equally
delighted to be invited to join the Board of Directors. She looks forward to
working with other members of the Parkinson’s Community, and has a particular
interest in resources for individuals who are coping with the disease alone.
Etienne Hirsch, PhD (France) is a neurobiologist involved in research on Parkinson's disease and related disorders. He obtained his PhD in 1988 from the University of Paris VI (Pierre et Marie Curie). He is currently the associate director of CRICM and head of "Experimental therapeutics of Neurodegeneration” at the CRICM at Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital in Paris. His work is aimed at understanding the cause of neuronal degeneration in Parkinson's disease and is focused on the role of the glial cells, the inflammatory cytokines and apoptosis but also on the consequences of neuronal degeneration in the circuitries downstream to the lesions. He is member of several advisory boards including, French Society for Neuroscience (past-President), Scientific Advisory board at INSERM. He obtained several prizes including Tourette Syndrome Association Award in1986, Young researcher Award, European Society for Neurochemistry in 1990, Grand Prix de l'Académie de Sciences, Prix de la Fondation pour la recherche biomédicale « Prix François Lhermitte » in 1999, Chevalier de l'ordre des palmes académiques in 2009. He is author of more than 200 peer reviewed articles.
Elizabeth "Eli" Pollard has been with the World Parkinson Coalition from its inception and helped steer the organization from it's sole purpose, of hosting a triennial global Congress on Parkinson's disease, to it's more meaningful place in the community today, one which acts as a hub for many of the global PD organizations to connect and intersect online, on teleconferences, or in person at the Congresses. Eli is thrilled with the opportunity to meet the members of the community, to help build the WPC Legacy, and to watch as leading researchers, clinicians, and people with Parkinson's bring us closer to finding the cause(s) of Parkinson's and a cure for the disease.
Eli graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor's degree, and the School for International Training with a Master's degree in International & Intercultural Management. She spent most of her 20s living outside the US in Zimbabwe, Switzerland, and Japan with lengthy stays for research and/or travel in India, China, and Thailand. She lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and two rambunctious children who keep her on her toes when she's not already knee deep in WPC work.
Stanley Fahn, MD, is the founder and President of the World Parkinson Coalition, and co-chair of the first three World Parkinson Congresses in 2006, 2010, and 2013. He handed over the reigns of the WPC at the WPC 2013 after nine years of leading the WPC community.
Dr. Fahn is the H. Houston Merritt Professor of Neurology and Director of the Center for Parkinson's Disease and Other Movement Disorders at Columbia University Medical Center . He is the Past-President of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN). He founded the Movement Disorder Society and served as the Chairman of its Steering Committee and was elected its first president. He was the founding co editor of the journal Movement Disorders, and also served as Associate Editor of Neurology for 10 years.
Dr. Fahn has twice served as Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Peripheral and Central Nervous System Drugs for the Food and Drug Administration. He currently serves on an NIH Oversight Committee to review and give advice on clinical trials on neuroprotection for PD. Dr. Fahn and his scientific colleagues at Columbia University were awarded a Morris K. Udall Parkinson's Disease Research Center of Excellence by the National Institutes of Health in 1999, and it is currently ongoing. Dr. Fahn organized and executed the development of the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) and modified and popularized the use of the Schwab England ADL score for global severity of this disease. Both of these rating scores are used worldwide, the former to determine the severity of PD, and the latter as a measure of quality of life. He has participated in many clinical trials of a variety of pharmacotherapeutic agents for PD.
Along with Dr. Ira Shoulson; Dr. Fahn was a co founder of the Parkinson Study Group (PSG), a consortium of clinical investigators dedicated to conduct controlled clinical trials on the prevention and treatment of Parkinson's disease. He has received numerous honors and delivered many titled lectures at a variety of universities around the world.