Janet M. Dean, MS, RN, CRRN, CRNP
Pediatric Nurse Practitioner at the Kennedy Krieger Institute and Johns Hopkins Department of Rehabilitation, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Baltimore, MD
Ms. Janet Dean is a board certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore Maryland. She is also a Certified Rehabilitation Registered Nurse. She attended nursing school at the University of Michigan, completing a Master’s Degree in Parent-Child Nursing. Ms. Dean has over thirty years of experience in the specialty of pediatric rehabilitation. As a nurse practitioner, Ms. Dean specializes in the prevention and treatment of the common health consequences of neuroimmunologic conditions. The focus of her practice is on health promotion and health maintenance throughout the child’s life span. The development and implementation of a home, activity based rehabilitation program is important for achieving this goal. Ms. Dean has special interest and expertise in the evaluation and treatment of very young children with neuroimmunologic conditions and children requiring ventilator assistance. She is also interested in the assisting adolescents with neuroimmunologic condition transition to adulthood.
Department of Neurology at Carolinas HealthCare System Neurosciences Institute-Neurology, Charlotte, North Carolina
Dr. Allen DeSena attended medical school at Loyola-Stritch School of Medicine in Maywood, IL, located in the greater Chicago area. From there, he went on to complete a residency in general pediatrics in New Orleans, LA at the Tulane-Ochsner pediatric program, and he earned his board certification in general pediatrics in 2009. Following his general pediatrics training, he moved to Dallas, TX, where he completed a residency in pediatric neurology at UT-Southwestern Medical Center in conjunction with Children’s Medical Center-Dallas and Parkland Memorial Hospital. During that time, his interest in transverse myelitis and other neuro-immunologic disorders blossomed, and he pursued further training in those areas. In 2012, he was the recipient of the first James T. Lubin fellowship award from the TMA to pursue a clinical and research career in transverse myelitis and other related disorders mentored by Dr. Benjamin Greenberg, Director of the TM and NMO Centers at UTSW in Dallas. He was the first pediatric neurology fellow to study the rare spectrum of neuro-immunological disorders, with a particular focus on Transverse Myelitis. Prior to his current position, he was an Assistant Professor in the University of Cincinnati Department of Neurology and Rehabilitation Medicine in Ohio. Currently, Dr. DeSena practices in Charlotte, NC at Atrium Health.
Lecturer in Immunology at Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
Denise completed her B.Sc. in Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics at University College Dublin (1996-2000) where she then went on to pursue her PhD in Immunology under the mentorship of Prof. Alan Baird. During this time Denise developed a keen interest in demyelinating diseases of the CNS (as a result of being diagnosed with acute Transverse Myelitis in 2001!) and in 2004 she moved to Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia to pursue postdoctoral training in MS research. During that time, Denise was awarded a 3-year postdoctoral fellowship from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (USA) which supported her commitment to researching CNS demyelination. In 2009, Denise moved to Queen’s University Belfast to start her own independent research group within the Centre for Infection and Immunity where she is currently a Lecturer in Immunology. Her group runs two programs of research focusing mechanisms of myelin damage (demyelination) and repair (remyelination) in the CNS. Further details can be found here: http://go.qub.ac.uk/FitzgeraldGroup
Assistant Professor, Neurology and Neurotherapeutics, Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte, NC
Dr. Donna Graves recently joined the Department of Neurology at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, North Carolina where she cares for adults and pediatric patients with demyelinating diseases, including multiple sclerosis, transverse myelitis, and neuromyelitis optica as well as other rare neuroimmunologic diseases. She attended medical school at Mercer University School of Medicine in Macon, Georgia. She completed her neurology residency training at Saint Louis University. Following residency, she moved to Dallas Texas where she completed fellowship training in neuroimmunology focusing on both adult and pediatric demyelinating diseases.
Dr. Graves has a clinical practice at Carolinas Medical Center where she focuses on patient care but also is active is clinical research. She serves as investigator for several clinical trials. She also serves as chair of the Neurology Research Committee at CMC.
Dr. Graves is a member of the American Academy of Neurology and Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers. She serves as reviewer for several peer-reviewed journals. Her clinical interests focus on rare neuroimmunologic diseases and pediatric demyelinating diseases.
Associate Professor at UT Southwestern Medical Center | Director, Perot Foundation Neurosciences Translational Research Center | Vice Chair of Translational Research and Strategic Initiatives, Department of Neurology and Neurotherapeutics | Director, Transverse Myelitis, Neuromyelitis Optica Programs | Director, Pediatric Demyelinating Disease Program
Dr. Benjamin Greenberg received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Johns Hopkins University and his Masters Degree in Molecular Microbiology and Immunology from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland. He attended medical school at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. Then, he completed an internship in medicine at Rush Presbyterian-St. Lukes Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois before going on to his residency in neurology at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD. He then joined the faculty within the division of neuroimmunology at Hopkins and became the co-director of the Transverse Myelitis Center and director of the Encephalitis Center. In January of 2009 he was recruited to the faculty at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center where he was named Director of the new Transverse Myelitis and Neuromyelitis Optica Program. That same year he founded the Pediatric Demyelinating Disease Program at Children’s Medical Center Dallas.
Dr. Greenberg is recognized internationally as an expert in rare autoimmune disorders of the central nervous system (e.g. transverse myelitis, neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder, ADEM and autoimmune encephalitis). He splits his clinical time between seeing both adult and pediatric patients. He routinely consults on the inpatient units of University Hospital, Zale Lipshy, Parkland and Children’s. His research interests are in both the diagnosis and treatment of transverse myelitis, neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder, encephalitis, multiples sclerosis and infections of the nervous system. He is actively involved in developing better ways to diagnose and prognosticate for patients with these disorders. He has led an effort to improve biorepository development and has created uniform protocols for sample handling and analysis. As part of this initiative his research has identified novel biomarkers that may be able to distinguish between patients with various neurologic disorders. He also coordinates trials that study new treatments to prevent neurologic damage and restore function to those who have already been affected. He currently serves as the Director of the Neurosciences Clinical Research Center and is a Cain Denius Foundation Scholar.
Associate Professor at UT Southwestern Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry, Department of Neurology and Neurotherapeutics, Dallas, TX
Dr. Lana Harder is a Pediatric Neuropsychologist at Children’s Medical Center of Dallas (CMCD) and Associate Professor with joint faculty appointments in Psychiatry and Neurology at the University of Texas Southwestern (UTSW) Medical Center. Dr. Harder completed her doctoral training at the University of Texas at Austin, pre-doctoral internship at the Kennedy Krieger Institute and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and post-doctoral fellowship in Pediatric Neuropsychology at Texas Children’s Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine. She is board certified in Clinical Neuropsychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology with subspecialty certification in Pediatric Neuropsychology. Dr. Harder was a founding member and is the Co-Director of the CMCD Pediatric Demyelinating Diseases Program. Dr. Harder specializes in the neuropsychological evaluation of pediatric patients, from infancy to young adults, with disorders of the central nervous system. Research interests include cognitive and psychosocial outcomes for pediatric multiple sclerosis (MS), transverse myelitis (TM), acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM), optic neuritis (ON), and neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD).
Anu Jacob, MBBS, MD, MRCP, DM
Consultant Neurologist at Walton Centre for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Liverpool, UK
Dr. Anu Jacob is a Consultant Neurologist at the Walton Centre in Liverpool and at the Glan Clwyd Hospital in North Wales. He is also the Clinical Lead at Buxton Neuroimmunological Laboratory and the National Lead for the UK NMO Service. He graduated in 1995 and obtained his MD degree soon thereafter. He specialized in Neurology in important centers in the UK, India and USA and has worked with the world’s most eminent neurologists. His clinical interests include MS and other demyelinating disorders including neuromyelitis optica, transverse myelitis, acute disseminated encephalomyelitis and optic neuritis. Dr. Jacob is a member of the Association of British Neurologists, Royal College of Physicians, London and American Academy of Neurologists.
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology and Chief Psychiatric Consultant at the Johns Hopkins Multiple Sclerosis and Transverse Myelitis Centers at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD
Adam Kaplin, MD, PhD is the Principle Psychiatric Consultant to the Johns Hopkins Multiple Sclerosis and Transverse Myelitis Centers of Excellence. He is a Yale Undergraduate and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine trained Neuropsychiatrist who runs the MS and TM Neuropsychiatric Consultation Clinic, does research on the biological basis of mood disorders and cognitive impairment in CNS autoimmune disorders, and investigates novel therapies for patients suffering from CNS autoimmune diseases. He also works at Johns Hopkins to develop and improve technological innovations to enhance psychiatric care and decrease stigma surrounding mental illness.
Douglas A. Kerr, MD, PhD
Director, Experimental Neurology at Biogen Idec, Boston, MA
Doug is a neurologist and neuroscientist with over 120 publications in medical journals. He has led the development of several therapies for neurologic and rare genetic diseases while working in the biotechnology industry. He has participated on the boards and SABs of several non-profit organizations, including the Transverse Myelitis Association, CureSMA and the ALS Association. Doug has been actively involved in gene therapy programs and now is a founding Chief Scientific Officer of an Atlas Venture backed gene therapy start-up company called Torus Therapeutics in Cambridge MA.
From 2015-2017, Doug ran the development activities of all the rare neuroscience programs at Shire, including the intrathecal programs designed to halt the CNS manifestations of lysosomal storage disorders as well as a series of programs in neurodegenerative disorders and gene therapy candidates.
From 2009-2015, Doug was at Biogen. Doug was the global lead for a series of programs in Alzheimer’s disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). Doug led the team that developed the drug Spinraza, now approved for SMA.
From 1999-2009, Doug was on faculty at The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD. He served on the faculty there an Associate Professor of Neurology with joint appointments in the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology and Cellular and Molecular Medicine. Doug ran a lab that investigated fundamental aspects of motor neuron/axon biology, provided direct patient care and ran clinical trials, mainly spinal cord and neuromuscular disorders. Dr. Kerr also worked on stem cells as a therapeutic tool for functional recovery in patients with TM and motor neuron diseases. Dr. Kerr established the Johns Hopkins Transverse Myelitis Center which was the only such center at the time, and also founded and directed the Johns Hopkins Project RESTORE, a multidisciplinary effort dedicated to advancement of treatments for autoimmune neurologic disorders. In 2006, Dr. Kerr was awarded the Derek Denny-Brown Young Neurological Scholar Award from the American Neurological Association as one who “has achieved a significant stature in neurological research and whose promise of continuing major contributions to the field of neurology is anticipated.”
Doug received his MD degree from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, and his PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular biology also from Jefferson Medical College. Doug obtained his M.B.A. with a specialization in entrepreneurship and finance and graduated from Princeton with a degree in molecular biology.
Chief, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Service, North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health Service Associate Professor, Occupational Therapy, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Charles E. Levy, MD is the Chief of the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Service, and Associate Director of the Rehabilitation Outcomes Research Center at North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System (NF/SG VHS) and is an adjunct Associate Professor, Dept. of Occupational Therapy, College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida. In addition, Dr. Levy is the Principal Investigator of Virtual Environments for Therapeutic Solutions (VETS) MTBI/PTSD Phase II. Ongoing interests include wheeled mobility, and the use of interactive virtual world environments and virtual humans to treat cognitive and affective impairments in returning combat veterans. Dr. Levy is also active as Chairman of the Advisory Board for the Center for Arts in Healthcare, Research and Education at the University of Florida, and a Charter Member of the Advisory Board for the College of Orthotics and Prosthetics at St. Petersburg College.
Michael Levy, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA
Dr. Levy specializes in taking care of patients with neuroimmunologic diseases including multiple sclerosis, transverse myelitis, optic neuritis and neuromyelitis optica. In the laboratory, Dr. Levy’s research focus is on the development of neural stems for regenerative therapy in these diseases. He uses rat and mouse models to test the survival, differentiation and functional capacity of human neural stem cells to improve neurologic function in post-inflammatory conditions. The goal of his laboratory and clinical effort is to translate the basic science stem cell work to a human trial in transverse myelitis and other neuroimmunologic diseases.
Associate Professor of Neurology and a staff neurologist in the Neuroimmunology division at The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus, OH
Dr. Joanne Lynn is currently Associate Professor of Neurology and a staff neurologist in the Neuroimmunology division. She received her undergraduate degree at Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts. She graduated from The Ohio State University College of Medicine in 1984, and completed residencies in internal medicine and neurology at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, New York. She returned to The Ohio State University for two years of neuromuscular fellowship and has been on the medical staff at The Ohio State University since 1992. Dr. Lynn, named one of the “Best Doctors in America” in 2005, is board certified in Internal Medicine and Neurology. Dr. Lynn’s primary clinical and research interest is multiple sclerosis and she has participated in studies of disease modifying and symptomatic therapies for MS.
Maureen A. Mealy, PhD, RN, BSN, MSCN
Medical Affairs Manager, Viela Bio, Gaithersburg, MD
Maureen A. Mealy, PhD, has longstanding clinical and research expertise in rare immune-mediated diseases of the central nervous system, including neuromyelitis optica (NMO) and transverse myelitis (TM), having worked at Johns Hopkins for most of her career with Drs. Michael Levy, Carlos Pardo and Benjamin Greenberg. She acted as the Program Manager, Clinical Research Director, and Senior Nurse of the Johns Hopkins TM Center and NMO Clinic. Dr. Mealy has been involved in collaborative research investigations and data dissemination in over 30 peer-reviewed manuscripts. This sparked her passion and commitment to research and led to her decision to pursue her doctorate degree through the Johns Hopkins University. She recently completed her PhD under the mentorship of Dr. Levy, which focused on treatment of neuropathic pain in patients with NMO through a sham-controlled trial testing a novel type of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation call Scrambler Therapy. Neuropathic pain has been identified as a significant contributor to disability and poor quality of life in patients with NMO, and the pain associated with this disease is often intractable to treatment. Dr. Mealy is committed to developing a deeper understanding of and making a significant contribution toward alleviating the physical and emotional suffering of patients, thus enabling them to engage more fully in their lives.
Recently, she joined the team at Viela Bio, a biotech company which shares in her passion for advancing the treatment of NMO by selectively targeting critical pathways that are the root cause of the disease. As the Medical Affairs Manager, she is deeply committed to sharing her clinical expertise in NMO with the medical team, and is also dedicated to patient, family and community engagement and education.
Dr. Mealy is a Certified Rare Neuroimmunologic Disorder Specialist through the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers and serves on the Transverse Myelitis Association Medical and Scientific Council and the Guthy Jackson Charitable Foundation International Clinical Consortium.
Associate Professor of Neurology (Division of Neuroimmunology and Neuroinfectious Disorders) and Pathology (Neuropathology) and Director of the Johns Hopkins Myelitis and Myelopathy Center at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland.
Dr. Pardo is an Associate Professor of Neurology (Division of Neuroimmunology and Neuroinfectious Disorders) and Pathology (Neuropathology) and Director of the Johns Hopkins Myelitis and Myelopathy Center at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland. He is the principal investigator of the Neuroimmunopathology Laboratory, member of the HIV Neurosciences Research Group and clinical neurologist at the Multiple Sclerosis and Transverse Myelitis Centers at Johns Hopkins Hospital. His clinical specialization is on neuroimmunological and Infectious disorders of the nervous system, with particular focus on multiple sclerosis, transverse myelitis, neurosarcoidosis, and neurological complications of autoimmune disorders.
Associate Professor of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Associate Director of Rehabilitation at Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, MD
Dr. Pidcock is a graduate of Hahnemann Medical College (1977). He earned his undergraduate degree in Natural Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University (1973).
His clinical interests include the use of botulinum toxin injections to treat children with spasticity and the development of constraint induced therapies to improve the use of hemiparetic upper limbs. Other areas of interest for Dr. Pidcock include the rehabilitation of children with pediatric transverse myelitis and chronic graft vs. host disease.
Jerome de Seze, PhD
Professor, Neurology and Head of the neuroimmunological department, Strasbourg hospital, France.
Dr. de Seze has a PhD in Immunology and specializes in MS, NMO, transverse myelitis and neuro-ophtalmology. He is also the head of the clinical research center (CIC) of the Strasbourg hospital, and a co-leader of the research team of biopathology of the myelin in the LINC (laboratory of imaging and neurocognitive sciences from the CNRS, national center of scientific research). Dr. deSeze’s main research interest is in inflammatory and autoimmune diseases of CNS and PNS and Neuro-ophtalmology. He has published more than 200 papers. He is also the vice president of the Club Francophone de la sclerose en plaques (MS French society) and a member of the French neurological society and the French neuro-ophthalmological club (CNOF).
National Multiple Sclerosis Society, New York, NY
Kennedy Krieger Institute and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
Dr. Zackowski is the new Senior Director, Patient Management, Care and Rehabilitation Research at the National MS Society. In this role she manages and is working to grow the Society’s research focused on clinical and rehabilitation care, as well as development of the Society’s Wellness Initiative. Dr. Zackowski has 15 years of experience as an academic scientist and clinician at the Kennedy Krieger Institute and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Zackowski’s studies have investigated the extent that nerve fiber changes in the brain and spinal cord are associated with changes in walking and physical impairments such as strength and sensation. Her research interests are to investigate the mechanisms that underlie sensorimotor impairments and disability resulting from damage to the central nervous system so as to improve disability in people with neurologic conditions. Dr. Zackowski is also an Occupational Therapist with 25 years of clinical experience in adult rehabilitation.