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International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society

MDS Leap

LEAP Program Class of 2017

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  Asian Oceanian Section

Movement Disorders Consultant
King Fahad Medical City, National Neuroscience Institute
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Dr. Obaid is a movement disorders Consultant and the adult neurology residency program director at King Fahad Medical City in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. She received her MBBS degree from King Saud University, College of Medicine in 2001. Dr. Obaid started as a Medical Resident in the Department of Medicine, Security Forces Hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in 2001. In mid-2006, she obtained both the Saudi Board in Internal Medicine and the MRCP degree. Following that, she joined the Canadian Neurology Residency Program at the University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton, Canada. She obtained her FRCPC degree in 2010.

From 2010-2012, Dr. Obaid pursued further training as a Movement Disorder Fellow under the supervision of Prof. W. R. W. Martin in the Movement Disorder Program at the University of Alberta, Canada. Later, she joined Prof. Elena Moro in Grenoble, France (April – September 2014) to advance her training in deep brain stimulation for movement disorders.

Dr. Obaid is a member of the Saudi Neurology Society and the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society (MDS). She has served as a scientific committee member and board member for the Saudi Alzheimer’s Society since 2013.

Hee Kyung Park, MD, PhDHee Kyung Park, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor of Neurology
Inje University Ilsan-Paik Hospital
Goyang, Korea

Dr. Park is a neurologist and an international scholar from South Korea. Dr. Park earned her medical degree from Hanyang University School of Medicine located in her home country. She trained as a neurology resident at Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan School of Medicine in Korea and completed her three-year fellowship in movement disorders and dementia at the same institution. She is currently an Associate Professor of Neurology at Inje University, Ilsan-Paik Hospital in Korea. Dr. Park is an active member of the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society, Academic Committee of the Korean Movement Disorder Society, Korean Neurological Association, and is also a member of the Korean Dementia Association.

Dr. Park is involved in clinical research on atypical parkinsonian disorders and Parkinson’s disease with cognitive impairment. Her latest work is focused on new biomarkers for tauopathies such as progressive supranuclear palsy or corticobasal degeneration.

Prashanth L. Kukkle, DMPrashanth L. Kukkle, DM
Movement Disorder Specialist
Apollo Hospitals
Bangalore, India

Dr. Kukkle is a Consultant Movement Disorders Specialist at Apollo Hospitals in Bangalore, India. He has a Bachelor’s degree from Mahadevappa Rampure Medical College, Gulbarga University (1995-2001), and completed his residency in Neurology at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, Deemed University) (2003-2008) in Bangalore, India. Dr. Kukkle pursued a Fellowship in Movement Disorders at Toronto Western Hospital, University of Toronto (2009-2011), under Prof. Anthony Lang. He was trained by Prof. Elena Moro for surgical assessment and management of various movement disorders.

Dr. Kukkle is actively involved in various research activities which are reflected in his publications. He is a member of Parkinson’s Research Alliance of India (PRAI) and he is a PRAI Principal Investigator for Genetics of Parkinson’s in India, Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease (GOPI-YOPD). Dr. Kukkle is a Founding Member of Movement Disorders Society of India (MDSI), Website Editor of the MDSI, and Co-Editor for the MDSI Journal, which is in the conceptual phase. Dr. Kukkle is an active member of MDSI and involved in conducting various events and conferences for the society. He has been giving invited lectures on various topics of Movement Disorders across India.

Shinsuke Fujioka, MDShinsuke Fujioka, MD
Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology
Fukuoka University School of Medicine
Fukuoka, Japan

Dr. Fujioka was born and raised in Hiroshima, Japan. He obtained his medical degree (2003) and completed his residency (2003-2005) at Fukuoka University in Fukuoka, Japan. He then pursued a fellowship in clinical research on movement disorders and dementia at the Mayo Clinic in Florida (2010-2014). Since 2014, he has worked as an Assistant Professor of Neurology at Fukuoka University.

Dr. Fujioka is currently a clinical neurologist in the Movement Disorders Unit of the Neurology Division at Fukuoka University. He has published many peer-reviewed articles in international journals and is also the author of several book chapters. His research interests are in Parkinson’s disease (particularly non-motor symptoms such as dysphagia and sleep problems), atypical parkinsonism, including progressive supranuclear palsy, multiple system atrophy, and corticobasal degeneration, and involuntary movement disorders. 

Outside of academics, Dr. Fujioka enjoys listening to music and traveling.

  European Section

Maria Fiorella Contarino, MD, PhDMaria Fiorella Contarino, MD, PhD
Clinical Neurologist
Haga Teaching Hospital, Leiden University Medical Centre
Den Haag, Netherlands

Dr. Contarino is currently working as clinical neurologist at the Haga Teaching Hospital in The Hague, and as researcher at the Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC), The Netherlands, combining clinical work and research in the field of movement disorders. She received her MD cum laude from the UCSC, in Rome, Italy, and obtained the degree of Neurologist cum laude at the same University. She received the PhD in Neuroscience at the University of Amsterdam, Academic Medical Center, The Netherlands, where she has worked for 10 years as researcher.

Dr. Contarino’s main field of interest is the study of movement disorders, with a focus on neurostimulation approaches. She is principal investigator or co-investigator in clinical trials concerning deep brain stimulation for Parkinson’s disease, dystonia, and tremor, and the development of new technologies in the field of stereotactic surgery. Dr. Contarino has also been involved in studies on new clinical applications of Botulinum toxin and in the development of new medications in the field of movement disorders and she has contributed to the clinical characterization of patients with familial forms of movement disorders.

Dr. Contarino is co-author of more than 60 publications in peer-reviewed journals, has been Guest Editor for the journal Frontiers in Neurology - specialty session “Movement Disorders”, and is a member of the review editorial board of Parkinsonism and Related Disorders, Frontiers in Neurology - specialty session “Movement Disorders”, and Frontiers in Psychiatry - specialty session “Neuroimaging and Stimulation.”

Hana Brozova, MD, PhDHana Brozova, MD, PhD
Assistant professor of Neurology
Dept. of Neurology and Center of Clinical Neuroscience
Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic

Dr. Brozova graduated from the 1st Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Prague in 2001 and simultaneously took her bachelor degree in physiotherapy. In 2002 she entered the doctoral program at the Clinic of Neurology of the 1st Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, and she finished her PhD in 2009 with the thesis: Gait Disorders in Parkinson's Disease. She completed her neurology residence at the same clinic (grade I in 2005 and grade II in 2008).

She participated in the Baltic Summer School, taking a practical course in the gait laboratory at Christian-Albrechts University in Kiel in 2003 and completed a one year research fellowship in the Movement Disorders Division of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, USA (2007-8).

Her main field of interest includes Gait Disorders, especially in Parkinson's disease, atypical parkinsonism and Huntington's disease. She has participated and taught in an annual training course for Movement Disorders in the Czech Republic. She has dedicated her research to gait disorders. Since 2017 she has worked as the head of Movement Disorders Center in Prague.

Roberto Erro, MDRoberto Erro, MD
Assistant Professor
University of Salerno
Napoli, Italy

Dr. Erro completed his medical school and Neurology Residency in Naples, Italy. He then joined UCL, Queen Square, with Prof. Kailash Bhatia for a 3-year fellowship. Dr. Erro later completed a PhD program in Neuroscience at the University of Verona.

Dr. Erro’s research interests have been focused on Parkinson’s disease (particularly on subtypes and non-motor symptoms), dystonia and tremor. He has lectured at national and international scientific meetings including the MDS International Congress and is an Editorial board member of the Movement Disorders Journal. Dr. Erro is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Salerno, Italy.

Álvaro Sánchez-Ferro, MD, MScÁlvaro Sánchez-Ferro, MD, MSc
MCSA Postdoctoral Fellow
HM-CINAC, Movement Disorder Division
Móstoles, Madrid, Spain

A technology enthusiast, Dr. Sánchez-Ferro is also an active developer of solutions that strive to improve the care of people with Parkinson’s disease. He trained as a neurologist at Hospital 12 de Octubre in Madrid, Spain. In this hospital, he also developed a specific research curriculum for neurodegenerative disorders (“Río Hortega” Fellowship).

In 2012, Dr. Sánchez-Ferro moved to Boston (USA) where he was part of the prestigious MIND lab. In this city, he was awarded another competitive fellowship (M+Vision) to enroll in an ambitious biomedical innovation program at one of the most important technological universities, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

After this period, he has been awarded a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellowship to join HM-CINAC. In this center, designed to be an active player in the efforts to find a cure for Parkinson’s, Dr. Sánchez-Ferro has successfully co-invented and translated a solution to speed up the development of therapies for this condition (nQ). With LEAP, he expects to contribute to the MDS society by facilitating new translational ideas that impact the future of the people with Parkinson’s and other frequent movement disorders. 

  Pan American Section

Carlos Juri MD, PhDCarlos Juri MD, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology
Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile
Santiago, Chile

Dr. Juri completed medical school at Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Santiago, Chile. He completed neurology residency and PhD at the same institution. His doctoral thesis and movement disorder fellowship was conducted in Clinica Univesitaria and CIMA at Navarra University, Pamplona, Spain.

Dr. Juri has been Assistant Professor and movement disorders neurologist at Red de Salud Christus UC in Santiago, Chile and Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile. He was awarded with the Junior Basic Research Award at the MDS International Congress in Paris, France, June 2009. He has participated as lecturer in different national and regional meetings in movement disorders. Professional activities include patient care, research and teaching. His research interests are focused in functional neuroimaging of the dopaminergic system and compensatory mechanisms in Parkinson’s disease and also non-motor manifestations of PD.

Sarah Pirio Richardson, MDSarah Pirio Richardson, MD
Associate Professor of Neurology
University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center
Albuquerque, NM, USA

Dr. Pirio Richardson received her MD at the University of New Mexico. She completed neurology residency at the University of California, Davis.  She then trained in Movement Disorders and Human Motor Control at NIH/NINDS with Dr. Mark Hallett.  Since 2007, she has been on faculty at the University of New Mexico, School of Medicine in the Department of Neurology and is currently an Associate Professor with Tenure. Through the Southwest (West Lost Angeles) Parkinson’s Disease Research Education and Clinical Center, she is the regional site director at the Albuquerque Veterans Administration Medical Center.

Dr. Pirio Richardson recently completed a KL2 scholar position through the Clinical Translational Science Center at UNM, which focused on her research aims of identifying therapeutic gaps in the treatment of dystonia, identifying novel therapeutic targets and employing non-invasive neurostimulation as a therapy. In addition, she has developed strong cross-disciplinary collaborations in psychiatry in a current project looking at metaplasticity in the healthy brain and in psychology in a just completed project looking at dopamine-mediated learning in Parkinson disease.

Dr. Pirio Richardson is the Medical Advisory Council Member for the New Mexico Parkinson’s Disease Coalition, active in educational initiatives and community outreach for the Parkinson’s disease community in New Mexico.

Thiago Cardoso Vale, MD, MscThiago Cardoso Vale, MD, Msc
Assistant Professor
Federal University of Juiz de Fora, Department of Internal Medicine
Juiz de For a, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Dr. Vale grew up in Juiz de Fora, a city located at the Minas Gerais state, near Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. He graduated in Medicine at the Federal University of Juiz de Fora (UFJF) in 2007 and then moved to Belo Horizonte to enroll in the neurology residency program at the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG). In 2012, Dr. Vale started a fellowship in Movement Disorders and Cognitive Neurology at the UFMG and enrolled in his Master Degree with Prof. Francisco Cardoso with his work on Vascular Parkinsonism. He staged for a few months as Honorary Observer in the Institute of Neurology of University College of London, under the guidance of Prof. Andrew Lees. He is currently enrolled in his PhD degree at the UFMG and is employed as Assistant Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at the UFJF.

Dr. Vale has a particular interest in Parkinson’s disease and secondary parkinsonism, but other topics of interest encompass hyperkinetic movement disorders, botulinum toxin and ataxias. He is currently studying the impact of vascular risk factors in an elderly cohort of parkinsonian patients from the community. As a teacher, Dr. Vale is also studying medical education. Being a MDS member since his residency course, he now serves as Chair of the MDS Young Members Group, member of the PAS Education Committee, and ad-hoc member of the MDS Education Committee.

Dr. Vale spends his spare time playing with his first child and listening to music and watching movies.

Aparna Wagle Shukla, MD, DNBAparna Wagle Shukla, MD, DNB
Assistant Professor
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL, USA

Dr. Wagle Shukla grew up and spent the initial part of her medical career in India. During medical school training, she was intrigued by the complexities of neuroscience and fascinated by the art of localization used in bedside neurology. She had the opportunity to enroll in neurology residency twice. Her first three years were spent in India and she did a second residency at the University of Arkansas which further consolidated her clinical knowledge.

Dr. Wagle Shukla’s research interests developed during the fellowship training at the University of Toronto, Canada. During the fellowship training, she participated in many transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) based studies that investigated the motor cortex physiology in movement disorders. She joined the University of Florida, Gainesville as a movement disorders faculty six years ago. Although her professional career began as a full time clinician, her passion for research and support through the NIH has led her to pursue many projects in dystonia and tremor.

Dr. Wagle Shukla loves Gainesville, Florida, a beautiful city blessed with lovely weather through most parts of the year. Her workplace is cohesive and in the last six years she has made many friends with people from other departments such as Neuropsychology, Physical therapy, Psychiatry and Applied Physiology and Kinesiology. She has also been able to pursue her hobbies of trekking, biking and taking voice lessons. She am very excited to participate in the LEAP program. In addition to sharpening her leadership skills, she looks forward to this program as a great opportunity to build new friendships and collaborations. 

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