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MSBase Foundation Directors

 

Helmut Butzkueven, MD

Prof. Butzkueven was born in Germany and immigrated to Australia in 1984. He completed his undergraduate medical and neurology training through the University of Melbourne and was granted membership of the Royal Australian College of Physicians (Neurology) in 1999.

A Prof Butzkueven is currently working as a multiple sclerosis neurologist at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and is completing a PhD in the Neurobiology Group of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, also in Melbourne. His research interests include the neurobiology of MS, particularly the mechanisms that determine oligodendrocyte survival and progenitor activation; and MS genetics, in particular the genetic determinants of disease severity.

Francois Grand'Maison, MD, FRCP(C)

Dr Francois Grand'Maison, studied neurophysiology at McGill University, gradutating in 1979. He completed medical school at the Facultee de medecine de l'Universite de Sherbrooke in 1983 and his post-doctoral studies at the University of Western Ontario in 1990. Dr Grand'Maison is chief of the Department of Neurology at Charles-LeMoyne Hospital on the south shore of Montreal and director of the Neuro Rive-Sud MS Clinic.

Lily Habib, BBus, MBA

Lily Habib has extensive experience in business planning, sale and acquisitions, portfolio management, sustainability strategy, risk management, business development and change management. Lily has almost two decades of experience in the energy sector. She currently leads Pacific Hydro’s Australian Generation business, with operations in wind and hydro, as the company pursues new opportunities in solar, wind and storage; and has led the addition of 1.5GW large-scale solar development to the company’s current project pipeline. Lily holds an MBA, a Graduate Diploma in Finance and Investment, and a Bachelor of Business (Applied Economics).

Thomas P Leist, MD, PhD (Chair)

Prof Thomas P Leist MD PhD is Director of the Comprehensive Multiple Sclerosis Center at Jefferson University. He is involved in basic and clinical research into multiple sclerosis and the Neurology of autoimmune disorders and infections of the central nervous system. He has also conducted research on the Neurobiology and pathology of retroviral, herpetic, and bacterial infections and the role of lymphokines at the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke, the University of Miami, the University of California at Los Angeles, and the University of Zurich. A Prof Leist is the author of many research articles and is board-certified in Neurology.

 

Paarami Udugama, LLB/BCom

Ms Paarami Udugama is currently a Senior Corporate Lawyer at AGL Energy Limited. Prior to holding this role Paarami spent a number of years in private practice working at global professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers and at top-tier Australian law firms Freehills (now Herbert Smith Freehills) and Mallesons Stephen Jaques (now King and Wood Mallesons).Her extensive experience includes advising major ASX listed companies in the areas of corporate and commercial law, corporate governance, competition and trade practices.
Paarami graduated from Monash University with a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Laws. She holds a Graduate Diploma in Applied Corporate Governance from the Governance Institute of Australia and is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Orla Gray, MD

Dr Orla Gray graduated in Medicine from Queens University Belfast in 1997. She became a member of the Royal College of Physicians in 2001. She completed her post-graduate neurology training in Northern Ireland. In 2006 she gained an MD for her research on the epidemiology, genetica and quality of life in MS. She perfomed a one year clinical and research fellowship in MS and Neurorehabilitation in the Royal Melbourne Hospital in 2008.

Dr Orla Gray currently works in the Ulster Hospital in Belfast as a Consultant Neurologist with a specialist interest in MS.

Scientific Leadership Group (SLG)

The MSBase Foundation has delegated responsibility for the oversight of the MSBase Registry research activities to a Scientific Leadership Group (SLG). All members, including the chairperson of the SLG, are chosen among neurologists, scientists and nurses with senior experience in the field of multiple sclerosis. 

According to the MSBase Constitution of 2013 the role of the SLG is as follows:

  • Provide scientific assistance to the Foundation with respect to the Foundation's database and website
  • Make recommendations to the Foundation with respect to financing of projects
  • Act as custodians of the data on the Foundation's database

The SLG is led by the Chair, Dr Dana Horakova. The SLG Regulations can be accessed here.

 

MSBase SLG Members 

 
 

  

Raed Alroughani, MD, FRCPC

Dr. Alroughani studied the medical school at Charles University, Czech Republic. He completed his neurology residency at the University of British Columbia (UBC), Canada. This was followed by a 2‐year fellowship in Multiple Sclerosis at UBC MS Clinic. He is a Canadian board certified neurologist and a fellow of the royal college of physicians of Canada. He is a certified MS specialist by Consortium of MS Centers (CMSC).

Dr Alroughani works as a consultant neurologist at Al-Amiri Hospital in Kuwait. He is the head of MS Clinic at Dasman Research Institute. His main research interests include MS epidemiology and therapeutic. He is involved in patients` education and awareness and he established the MS chapter in Kuwait Neurological Society.

 

Ayse Altintas, MD

Prof. Ayse Altintas graduated from Aegean University Medical School. She also completed her residency in Neurology Department of the same university in 1992. She worked as a “research trainee” in Mayo Clinic neurology and neuroimmunology department in 1991. After her obligatory service for the government, she has started to work in Istanbul University, Cerrahpasa Medical School Neurology Department since 1995 and she became a Professor in 2003.

Professor Altintas is currently a coordinator of the Turkish Neuroimmunology Study Group, board member and lecturer in Istanbul University Aziz Sancar Experimental Medicine Research Institute, Neuroscience Department, board Member of European Society of Neuroimmunology (ESNI-ISNI), member of The BioMS-eu Study Group and a member of Guthy-Jackson Charitable Foundation International Clinical Consortium.

 

 

 

 

Helmut Butzkueven, MD

Prof. Butzkueven was born in Germany and immigrated to Australia in 1984. He completed his undergraduate medical and neurology training through the University of Melbourne and was granted membership of the Royal Australian College of Physicians (Neurology) in 1999.

A Prof Butzkueven is currently working as a multiple sclerosis neurologist at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and is completing a PhD in the Neurobiology Group of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, also in Melbourne. His research interests include the neurobiology of MS, particularly the mechanisms that determine oligodendrocyte survival and progenitor activation; and MS genetics, in particular the genetic determinants of disease severity.

 

Edgardo Cristiano, MD

Board certified as a neurologist in 1995, Edgardo Cristiano earned his MD from the University of Buenos Aires, School of Medicine, where he now teaches. He is also currently Assistant Chief of the Neurology Department, and Chief of the Multiple Sclerosis Section at the Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires.

He is a member of both the executive board and scientific committee of the Latin-American Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (LACTRIMS), and Director of Esclerosis Multiple Argentina (the national MS society). He represents Latin America on the Immunosuppressive Committee of the European Charcot Foundation. He is a member of Sociedad Neurologica Argentina (SNA) and of the World Federation of Neurology (WFN), and a corresponding fellow of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN).

Dr Cristiano was principal investigator of the Cop-1500 Study (1995-1996), the Coral Study GA 7023 (2000-2001), and the IM 101200 Study (ongoing).

 

 

 

Francois Grand'Maison, MD, FRCP(C)

Dr Francois Grand'Maison, studied neurophysiology at McGill University, gradutating in 1979. He completed medical school at the Facultee de medecine de l'Universite de Sherbrooke in 1983 and his post-doctoral studies at the University of Western Ontario in 1990. Dr Grand'Maison is chief of the Department of Neurology at Charles-LeMoyne Hospital on the south shore of Montreal and director of the Neuro Rive-Sud MS Clinic.

 

 

Orla Gray, MD

Dr Orla Gray graduated in Medicine from Queens University Belfast in 1997. She became a member of the Royal College of Physicians in 2001. She completed her post-graduate neurology training in Northern Ireland. In 2006 she gained an MD for her research on the epidemiology, genetica and quality of life in MS. She perfomed a one year clinical and research fellowship in MS and Neurorehabilitation in the Royal Melbourne Hospital in 2008.

Dr Orla Gray currently works in the Ulster Hospital in Belfast as a Consultant Neurologist with a specialist interest in MS.

 

 

 

 Jodi Haartsen, Master in Nursing

Ms Jodi Haartsen has worked in Australian nursing in the neuroscience field for over 20 years. She has extensive experience as a clinical nurse consultant, educator, research coordinator and in management roles and is currently the MS nurse consultant/manager at Box Hill Hospital, working with Assoc Prof Helmut Butzkueven.

Ms Jodi Haartsen's vision is that MS Nurses understand and collaboratively undertake nursing research to inform, evaluate and develop evidenced based nursing practice, as well as contribute to the overall knowledge of MS.

 

Dana Horakova, MD, PhD

Dana attended Charles University, Hradec Kralove and completed her MD in 1992 and Neurology training in 2000. She was awarded a PhD in 2010 for her thesis entitled "Predictive markers for clinical development in patients with multiple sclerosis". Dana holds the position of assistant 1st Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, Prague, and teaches postgraduate medical and PhD students. She is also an MSBase Investigator and practices at the General Teaching Hospital in Prague, Czech Republic. She is the head of the Immunological Committee of the Czech Neurological Society.

 

 

 

     Raymond Hupperts, MD

Raymond Hupperts is since 2007 director of the Academic MS Center Sittard/Maastricht the Netherlands. He does MS research at the Maastricht University, Netherlands. He is trained in the MS Centers of Vancouver, Canada and Cambridge, England. Moreover he is coordinator of the MS Trial Center of the Zuyderland Hospital Sittard, Netherlands.

 

 

Guillermo Izquierdo, MD

Dr Izquierdo was born in Madrid, Spain. He became a medical doctor in 1975, and completed his residency in neurology in Melaga, Spain in 1982. After working in the fields of neurology & neuropsychology; and neuropathology at the Hopital de la Salpetriere in Paris, France from 1982 to 1985, Dr Izquierdo retuned to Spain to take his present post of Professor of Medicine of the University of Seville and Head of the Multiple Sclerosis Unit, Neurology Service, of the University Hospital of Seville, Spain.

Dr Izquierdo's research interests lie in the fields of CSF, genetics and neuropsychology, and these have taken him to the CSF research unit of WW Tourtellotte in Los Angeles, USA (1989). Dr Izquierdo has published over 30 articles in various peer-reviewed journals, and chapters on multiple sclerosis in several books in Spanish for medical students, family doctors, nurses and neurology residents.

Dr Izquierdo has been a member of ECTRIMS since 1999, and is ex-coordinator of the Spanish Multiple Sclerosis Group of the National Spanish Neurological Society (2000-2001).

 

 

 

 

 

  Tomas Kalincik, MD, PhD

Tomas Kalincik is a neurologist and statistician at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, and a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne. He holds a degree in medicine/surgery from Charles University in Prague, and has trained as an neurologist in the Czech Republic. He completed a PhD in neuroscience at the University of New South Wales and a Postgraduate Certificate of Biostatistics at the University of Melbourne. 

Tomas is a member of the MSBase Scientific Leadership Group and the chair of the MSBase Data Quality Committee. Together with his research team, he is an active participant in the global MSBase collaboration. Tomas has led a number of MSBase publications and leads several collaborative projects within as well as outside the MSBase network. His main research interests span treatment outcomes in MS, individualised therapy, prognostics, epidemiology and the utility of volumetric MRI in MS.

 

Ilya Kister, MD

Ilya Kister, a graduate Mount Sinai School of Medicine, received neurologic training at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York and neuro-imminologic training at NYU Multiple Sclerosis Care Center under mentorship of Prof. Joseph Herbert. Dr Kister divides his time between clinical responsibilities at the NYU and Barnabas MS Centers in the greater New York area and clinical research. He has special interest in improving ways to prognosticate disease course in MS, optimizing use of MS therapies, and clinical and radiologic course of Neuromyelitis Optica. He is the group leader for NMOBase, an online registry of NMO Spectrum disorders, a substudy of MSBase.

 

 

 

 

 

Jens Kuhle, MD, PhD

Dr Jens Kuhle obtained his MD from the Eberhard-Karls University in Tübingen, Germany and went on to specialise in neurology and neuroimmunology at the University Hospital Basel. He has completed a PhD entitled “Towards quantifying neuronal damage in blood samples from patients with neurological diseases” in Neuroimmunology at Queen Mary University London, UK. He is a Swiss board certified neurologist, the Vice Head of the Outpatient Clinic and MS Centre at the University Hospital Basel and the Principal Investigator of the Swiss MS Cohort Study. His main research interests include bodyfluid biomarkers and observational clinical cohort studies in MS.

Thomas P Leist, MD, PhD

A Prof Thomas P Leist MD PhD is Director of the Comprehensive Multiple Sclerosis Center at Jefferson University. He is involved in basic and clinical research into multiple sclerosis and the Neurology of autoimmune disorders and infections of the central nervous system. He has also conducted research on the Neurobiology and pathology of retroviral, herpetic, and bacterial infections and the role of lymphokines at the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke, the University of Miami, the University of California at Los Angeles, and the University of Zurich. A Prof Leist is the author of many research articles and is board-certified in Neurology.

 

 

Sara Eichau Madueno, MD

Sara Eichau was born in Seville, Spain in 1984. She completed her degree in Medicine and Surgery in 2008 at the University of Seville and her residency in Neurology also in Seville at Virgen Macarena Hospital in 2013.
She is currently working as a Neurologist focusing on Multiple Sclerosis at the MS Unit at Virgen Macarena Hospital (Dr. Izquierdo´s site), and as a Treating Neurologist in more than 30 clinical trials in MS. Sara is interested in familial and progressive forms of MS, new biological and stem cell therapies for MS and she is involved in several projects analyzing the efficacy, tolerability and safety of MS treatments.

 

 

Liliana Patrucco, MD

Dr Patrucco received her medical degree in 1989 from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and her neurological certification in 2000, when she also joined the Department of Neurology as a staff physician at Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires. Liliana is now Co-Director of the Multiple Sclerosis Centre and the Neurology Residence Tutor at the same hospital, as well as Assistant Professor of Neurology at the University of Buenos Aires, and a member of LACTRIMS. Dr Patrucco’s interests lie in the fields of epidemiology, genetics and clinical aspects of multiple sclerosis, which have been the subject of several published papers by Liliana.

 

 

     

 

Maria Pia Sormani, PhD

Dr. Maria Pia Sormani is a Professor of Biostatistics at the University of Genoa in Italy and Visiting Professor at the Imperial College of London.

Her research focuses on statistical analysis of medical data, methodological problems in the study of multiple sclerosis using MRI, design of MS clinical trials, surrogate endpoints validation in MS, validation of new clinical outcomes in MS, and collaboration on projects of the USMS National Society and the Italian MS Society.

Dr. Sormani earned her PhD in Medical Physics from the University of Pisa and another PhD in Statistics in Medicine from the University of Milan, where she focused on methodological problems in the study of MS.

At the National Institute for Cancer Research, Dr. Sormani completed a fellowship at the Unit of Clinical Epidemiology, conducting clinical trials in oncology. She subsequently was a consultant performing clinical research in MS at the Neuroimaging Research Unit, Ospedale San Raffaele in Milan, Italy. Dr. Sormani is the author of more than 240 publications.

 

Maria Trojano, MD

Maria Trojano is Professor of Neurology at the University of Bari, Italy and is currently Head of the Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Neurosciences and Sense Organs and Director of the Neurophysiopathology Unit.

Professor Trojano was Executive Member (from 2006 to 2009), Vice President (from 2009 to 2012) and currently serves as President of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS). She was Member of Medical and Scientific Advisory Board of Multiple Sclerosis International Federation (MSIF), Member of the Cerebrospinal Fluid Committee of the European Concerted Action for Multiple Sclerosis of the Charcot Foundation and Member of the Cerebrospinal Fluid Research Group of the World Federation of Neurology. She is currently Member of the International Advisory Committee on Clinical Trials in MS, under the sponsorship of the US National MS Society and ECTRIMS. Since 2000 she is Chair of the Italian Multiple Sclerosis Database Network (Imed-Web) and since 2002 she is member of the International Advisory Board of MSbase Foundation, Melbourne, Australia. She is involved in a number of Advisory Committees on clinical trials of new agents in MS.

She is active in the design, implementation and analysis of phase III and phase IV clinical trials in MS and conducts basic and applied research in Neuroepidemiology (studies on natural history, pathogenesis and prognosis in MS, design and implementation of disease registries for pharmacovigilance and monitoring drug effectiveness in MS, cognitive impairment assessment in adult, childhood and juvenile MS) and Neurochemistry/ Neuroimmunology (evaluation of biomarkers of inflammation and neurodegeneration in demyelinating diseases, in vivo and in vitro studies on molecular mechanisms of action of immunomodulant and imunosuppressive treatments in MS).

She has published over 200 original contributions in the MS field on international journals and has authored a large number of book chapters. She is currently co-Editor for Multiple Sclerosis Journal, member of the editorial Board of the Journal of Neurological Sciences and peer-reviewer of several international journals.

 

 

   

Freek Verheul, MD

Dr Verheul was born in Utrecht, the Netherlands. He received his medical degree from the University of Utrecht in 1985; and completed his neurological specialization at the Elisabeth Hospital in Tilburg, the Netherlands in 1994.

Since 1995, Dr Verheul has worked as a neurologist at the Groene Hart Hospital in Gouda. As one of five physicians in a general neurology practice, Dr Verheul is the one focussing on MS.

Since 1997, Dr Verheul has served on the Internet committee of the Dutch Neurology Association (NvvN).