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About Us
Patrik Brundin, M.D., Ph.D.

Van Andel Research Institute (VARI) Associate Director of Research, Professor and Director of the Center for Neurodegenerative Science, Jay Van Andel Endowed Chair in Parkinson’s Research

Dr. Patrik Brundin is the director of Van Andel Research Institute’s Center for Neurodegenerative Science. He earned his Ph.D. in 1988 and M.D. in 1992, both from Lund University, and is one of the top cited researchers in the field of neuroscience with more than 350 publications on Parkinson’s disease and related topics. His research focuses on pathogenic mechanisms of Parkinson’s as well as the development of therapies that slow or stop disease progression or that repair damaged brain circuits. He is a member of the World Parkinson Coalition Board of Directors and the Advisory Council to Aligning Science Across Parkinson’s (an initiative from the Sergey Brin Family Foundation). He also serves as co-editor-in-chief of the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease and chair of the Linked Clinical Trials scientific committee.

Marie-Francoise Chesselet, M.D., Ph.D.

Distinguished Professor of Neurology and of Neurobiology Emerita, UCLA

Marie-Françoise Chesselet is Emeritus Distinguished Professor in the Departments of Neurology and Neurobiology and Emeritus Charles H. Markham Professor of Neurology, in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. After receiving her M.D. and Ph.D. degrees in Paris, France, she held research positions in France and faculty positions at the Medical College of Pennsylvania and the University of Pennsylvania, before joining UCLA in 1996. At UCLA, Dr. Chesselet chaired the Department of Neurobiology from 2002 to 2013 and was Interim Chair of the Department of Neurology (2015-2016). At UCLA, she created the Center for the Study of Parkinson’s Disease and directed the NINDS-funded UCLA UDALL Center for Parkinson’s disease research, the NIEHS-funded UCLA Center for Gene Environment in Parkinson’s Disease, and the UCLA Advanced Center for Parkinson’s Disease Research of the American Parkinson Disease Association. Dr. Chesselet has directed graduate programs at the University of Pennsylvania and UCLA and the NINDS-funded Training Program in Neural Repair from 1998 to 2014. Until her retirement in 2016, her laboratory conducted research on the molecular mechanisms of disorders of the basal ganglia and new treatments for Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases. Her work has been extensively supported by the NIH, the Department of Defense, the Michael J. Fox Foundation, Cure HD Initiative, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, and several biopharmaceutical companies. Dr. Chesselet is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, retiring chair and incoming secretary of its section on Neuroscience, a former member of the National Advisory Environmental Health Sciences Council and serves on the Science Advisory Boards of the Hereditary Disease Foundation, the APDA, and the Michael J. Fox Foundation. Chesselet consults for several biotech companies and currently chairs the Research Grant Committee of the Restless Leg Syndrome Foundation, is the Vice-President of the World Parkinson Coalition, President of the Comité d’Evaluation Scientifique CES 37 of the Agence Nationale de Recherche (French government funding agency), and a member of the Scientific Committees for the Canadian Weston Brain Institute, Canadian Vanier Fellowships, and the Italian Telethon.

Lode Dewulf, M.D., DPM, FFPM

Chief Patient Affairs Officer, Servier

A Belgian national, Lode Dewulf holds a medical degree (Leuven, Belgium) and a diploma in pharmaceutical medicine (Leiden, Netherlands). He practiced medicine for two years before joining the pharmaceutical industry in 1989. He co-founded Planet Medica, the first European health care website, and collaborated from 2007 to 2017 with UCB where he served as Chief Patient Affairs Officer for 5 years.

In addition to these activities, Lode Dewulf continues to practice medicine pro bono.

Peter Hutt II

Senior Counsel, Covington & Burling LLP

Peter Baron Hutt is a Senior Counsel in the Washington, D.C. law firm of Covington & Burling LLP, specializing in Food and Drug Law and a Lecturer on Food and Drug Law at Harvard Law School.  He graduated from Yale College and Harvard Law School and obtained a Master of Laws degree in Food and Drug Law from NYU Law School.  Mr. Hutt served as Chief Counsel for the Food and Drug Administration during 1971-1975.  He is the co-author of the casebook used to teach Food and Drug Law throughout the country, and has published more than 175 book chapters and articles on Food and Drug Law and health policy.  Beginning in 1994, he has taught a full course on this subject each year during Winter Term at Harvard Law School.  The Dean of Harvard Law School celebrated Mr. Hutt’s 20th year of teaching this course by organizing and chairing a symposium in his honor in January 2013.  In 1998, he taught the same course during Spring Term at Stanford Law School.  Mr. Hutt has been a member of the Institute of Medicine since it was founded in 1971.  He serves on academic, philanthropic, and venture capital advisory boards, and the boards of startup biotechnology companies.  He is a member of the Board of Directors of the AERAS Global TB Vaccine Foundation.  He has served on the original Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 1976, the Advisory Committee to the NIH Director, the Panel on the Administrative Restructuring of NIH, and the Working Group to Review Regulatory Activities Within the Division of AIDS of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.  Mr. Hutt was a consultant in 2007 to the FDA Science Board Subcommittee to review the agency’s science needs in order to perform its regulatory mission, and his report resulted in Congress doubling the FDA appropriations over the next five years.  He has testified before Congress as a witness or accompanying a witness more than a hundred times.  Mr. Hutt was named by The Washingtonian magazine as one of the Washington’s 50 best lawyers (out of more than 40,000) and as one of Washington’s 100 most influential people; by the National Law Journal as one of the 40 best health care lawyers in the United States; and by European Counsel as the best FDA regulatory specialist in Washington, D.C.  In June 2003, Business Week referred to Mr. Hutt as the “unofficial dean of Washington food and drug lawyers.”  In naming Mr. Hutt in September 2005 as one of the eleven best food and drug lawyers, the Legal Times also referred to him as “the dean of the food-and-drug bar.”  In April 2005, Mr. Hutt was presented the FDA Distinguished Alumni Award by the agency.  In May 2005, the Foundation for Biomedical Research gave him the Lifetime Achievement Award for research advocacy.  The FDA Alumni Association gave him the Harvey W. Wiley Award in April 2007 for significant lifetime contribution to the mission of FDA.  He was the subject of a profile in the October 30, 2007 edition of The Hill, entitled “A food and drug super-lawyer, Hutt had auspicious beginnings.”

Marty Jefson, Ph.D.

CEO, Pinteon Therapeutics

Martin Jefson, Ph.D., received his degree in Chemistry from Cornell University, and began his career at Pfizer Central Research in 1982, where he spent 27 years, ultimately becoming head of CNS Research. Between 1994 and 2009, teams led or managed by Dr. Jefson discovered more than 40 development candidates, including many prototype molecules with novel mechanisms of action. One of these candidates, the nicotinic receptor partial agonist varenicline (Chantix™), is approved worldwide as an aid to smoking cessation. Since leaving Pfizer in 2009, he has worked as a pharmaceutical research consultant, supporting the efforts of several venture capital partnerships and more than 20 biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Dr. Jefson was the founding CSO of two Atlas Ventures portfolio companies, Rodin and Ataxion (now Cadent), focused on the discovery and development of novel therapeutics for neurological disorders. He served in those roles through March 2016. Dr. Jefson is currently the CEO of Pinteon Therapeutics, a Morningside Venture backed company focused on the treatment of neurological disorders such as AD, TBI and CTE.

Torsten Madsen, M.D., Ph.D.

Chief Medical Officer, Aptinyx

Torsten M. Madsen, M.D., Ph.D., has served as Chief Medical Officer at Aptinyx, Inc, since July 2015. He previously served as Vice President and an observer on the board of directors of Naurex Inc. and was prior to that  Chief Medical Officer and Vice President of U.S. drug development at Lundbeck from January 2014 to April 2015. Prior to this, Dr. Madsen served in different roles at H. Lundbeck A/S between 2006 and 2013, including as Division Director of international clinical research in mood and anxiety disorders, directing the clinical development program and registration of vortioxetine. Before joining Lundbeck, Dr. Madsen was a resident physician in psychiatry at Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark. Dr. Madsen received an M.D. and a Ph.D. from Copenhagen University and worked as a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Molecular Psychiatry at Yale University

Steven M. Opal, M.D.

Professor, Alpert Medical School, Brown University

Dr. Opal received his Bachelor of Science in microbiology from Cornell and his medical degree from Albany Medical School in New York. He did his training in Internal Medicine at Fitzsimons Army Medical Center in Denver, Colorado. He did his infectious Disease fellowship at Walter Reed Institute of Research in Washington D.C. before beginning his research career at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University in Providence, RI. Dr. Opal’s laboratory interests are in septic shock research, molecular signaling pathways, microbial toxins and mediators, and antibiotic resistance. Clinical trial design and analyses in phase I to phase III trials are his primary clinical research focus. He has published over 250 peer-reviewed, research papers, over 100 editorials and authored over 90 book chapters in infectious diseases and critical care medicine. He is a member of the editorial staff of numerous academic research journals and is senior editor of Cohen, Powderly and Opal’s, Infectious Diseases textbook, now in its 4th edition. He is past chair of the International Sepsis Forum and is a fellow of the Infectious Disease Society of America.

Kathleen M. Shannon, M.D., FAAN, FANA

Chief of Neurology, Detling Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurology at University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health

Kathleen Shannon received her undergraduate degree from Northwestern University and attended Rush Medical College.  She completed Internship, Residency and Movement Disorders Fellowship at Rush.  After nearly 4 years at Vanderbilt University, she returned to Rush where she spent the next 25 years in in Movement Disorders.  Her clinical interests include the broad range of movement disorders and her research focus is in clinical trials as well as in gastrointestinal biomarkers of Parkinson’s disease.  Since July 1, 2016 she has been Detling Professor and Chair in the Department of Neurology at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

Steven Opal
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