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International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society

MDS Leap

LEAP Program Class of 2019

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  Asian Oceanian Section

Roopa RajanRoopa Rajan, MD, DM
All India Institute of Medical Sciences

Roopa Rajan grew up in Kerala, India and did most of her early schooling there. After a brief stint in Singapore as an international scholar, she returned to India to pursue medical school. She completed her residencies in Internal Medicine, Neurology and a postdoctoral fellowship in movement disorders in India. She then joined as Assistant Professor Neurology at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi where continues to work to-date. She has been working to expand the already established movement disorders services at her workplace including botulinum toxin clinic and functional neurosurgery program. Her research interests include the genetics and electrophysiology of dystonia and tremor, as well as the effect of deep brain stimulation on non-motor symptoms in Parkinson’s disease. She is an active member of the Movement Disorders Society of India and MDS, engaged in the Task Force on Interdisciplinary/Integrated Care for Parkinson’s disease and as steering committee member of the Young Members Group. In her spare time, she loves to read and has a keen interest in history and historical fiction. 

Hanan KahlilHanan Khalil, PhD
Jordan University of Science and Technology

Hanan Khalil’s research interests include neurological rehabilitation and related outcome measures in people with PD and other movement disorders. As part of her PhD degree at Cardiff University-UK and for the past 6 years as a faculty member at Jordan University of Science and Technology - Jordan, she has been actively involved in this area of research. She successfully obtained seed funding (as a principal investigator) and led several studies (both observational and interventional). She also led several MDS educational courses in the area of rehabilitation for PD. As a result of these experiences, she is aware of the importance of frequent communication among team members and of constructing a realistic work plan, timeline, and budget. The current application builds logically on her prior work by fostering future initiatives in which realistic plans can be built and launched in the region to enhance the PD care. In 2016, she became a member of the MDS Task Force for the Middle East. As such, she is in a unique position to draw together a range of experiences to facilitate further collaborative efforts in this area around the Middle East countries.

Cholpon ShambetovaCholpon Shambetova, MD
Clinical Hospital of the Administrative Department of Presidential and Government Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic

Dr. Shambetova is a neurologist from Kyrgyzstan. She obtained her MD degree and neurology training at the Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University. Receiving a diploma with distinction, she was invited to work as a neurologist at the National Hospital of Kyrgyzstan. Since her residency, she was interested in Parkinson’s disease (PD) and joined MDS in 2016. In 2017 she received an MDS-AOS Visiting Trainee Grant and was trained in movement disorders by Professor Lim Shen-Yang at University Malaya, Malaysia. On her return as a first neurologist in the region, trained in movement disorders, she started working on the development of PD and movement disorder service in Kyrgyzstan and neighboring Kazakhstan, focusing on DBS treatment.  Together with colleagues from neighboring countries, she founded the Movement Disorders and Parkinson’s disease Alliance of CIS countries, focused on raising awareness, education, and improvement of health and social care for patients. In June 2019 she organized and successfully conducted the first movement disorders teaching course in Kyrgyzstan, funded by MDS DWEP. Her current research interests are epidemiology and clinical features of PD in Central Asia.  In addition, she is a social activist promoting change and equality, and an author of educational materials for UNICEF program for the young generation.

Woong-Woo LeeWoong-Woo Lee, MD
Nowon Eulji Medical Center, Eulji University

Woong-Woo was born and now lives in Seoul, South Korea. He received his medical degree from Seoul National University in 2005 and completed neurology resident training at Seoul National University Hospital between 2006 and 2010. After three years of military service, he come back to Seoul National University Hospital and completed a movement disorders fellowship in 2015. Now he is working as an assistant professor in the department of neurology, Nowon Eulji Medical Center, Eulji University. He is also serving as a scientific program committee member of the Korean Movement Disorder Society and the Korean Society for Clinical Neurophysiology.  He has academic interests in neuro-imaging, big-data analysis, and ocular movement in movement disorders. He also likes multidisciplinary projects because he believes this approach can provide new insights and solutions to each other. Woody enjoys playing table tennis with friends and loves singing songs in his free time.

  European Section

Gesine RespondekGesine Respondek, MD
Technical University Munich

Gesine works as a neurologist and clinical scientist at the Technical University of Munich in Germany. She is devoted to research on PSP and other tauopathies and have helped to create a strong international research network in this field. She was born in Maryland, USA. When she was 3 years old, her parents moved back to Germany, and she spent her childhood and adolescence in Hamburg, where she graduated from high school in 2002. Dr. Respondek developed an interest in neurology during medical school in Marburg. In the course of her doctoral thesis, she further established the role of the complex-I-inhibitor annonacin as the primary cause of a tauopathy prevalent in Guadeloupe. She spent 2 months of clinical rotations at the stroke and pediatric neurology service at the University of Texas in Houston, TX, USA. Simultaneously, she completed the educational commission for foreign medical graduates certification program. In 2009 she started neurology training as a resident in Marburg and completed her training in Munich. Very recently she was appointed to attend Hannover University Hospital and looks forward to taking up this next challenge in her career by January 2020. Dr. Respondek enjoys sports (skiing, biking, bouldering), studying Spanish, dancing, and cooking.

Aurélie MéneretAurélie Méneret, MD, PhD
Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital

Aurélie Méneret was born in France near Bordeaux, before moving to the Paris region. She completed her medical training at the Paris Descartes University and obtained a PhD in neurosciences from Sorbonne Universities. She also held a post-doctoral position in neurogenetics in the lab of Prof. Laurie Ozelius at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, NY, USA. She then specialized in movement disorders as an Assistant Professor in the Movement Disorders Unit of Professor Marie Vidailhet in the Department of Neurology at the Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris. She is now an attending and has recently been appointed as the head of a ward in the same Department, while pursuing research projects in the lab of Profs Marie Vidailhet and Stéphane Lehéricy at the Brain and Spine Institute (ICM) in Paris. She has a special interest in neurogenetics and would like to develop knowledge on rare genetic movement disorders, particularly dystonia and paroxysmal dyskinesia. Prof. Méneret has published numerous journal articles and book chapters and reviews for various journals and has also given talks at past MDS Congresses. Her personal interests include traveling, running, and reading.

Antonella MacerolloAntonella Macerollo, MD, MRCP (London), FEBN, PhD
The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust, University of Liverpool

Dr. Macerollo qualified at University of Bari (Italy) in 2008 and completed post-graduate specialist clinical and research training in Neurology at University of Bari (Italy) and at University College of London in 2015. During her training, she shaped her clinical and research skills in Neurophysiology. She was keen to use neurophysiological techniques to investigate the pathophysiology of movement disorders.

In 2015, she joined the Deep Brain Stimulation Unit at the National Hospital of Neurology and Neurosurgery, London, UK. She has worked under the supervision of Prof. Limousin until 2018. She awarded her PhD in Neuroscience entitled "The role of sensory afference in Parkinson's disease" at University College of London in 2018. Antonella has achieved several awards including the prestigious International Scholarship Award of the American Academy of Neurology (2015) and the Investigator Award of the European Academy of Neurology (2016). Antonella has been the co-founder of the Residents and Research Fellows Section of the European Academy of Neurology under the supervision of Prof. Deuschl and Prof. Cock in 2015. Dr. Macerollo has been the junior delegate of the EAN Education Committee for two years (2015-2016) and is currently co-editor of the EAN website.
Her main hobbies are travelling, swimming and dancing. 

David BreenDavid Breen MRCP (Neurol) PhD
University of Edinburgh

Dr. Breen is a Senior Clinical Research Fellow and Honorary Consultant Neurologist at the University of Edinburgh, funded by a Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Career Development Award. He completed neurology and research training in Cambridge and London, before moving to Toronto as an Edmond J. Safra Movement Disorders Fellow under the mentorship of Prof. Tony Lang. He returned to Edinburgh in 2018, where he specializes in the assessment and treatment of people with all types of movement disorders. He is particularly interested in Parkinson’s disease; his research focuses on identifying genetic and environmental risk factors for this condition. He is particularly interested in the influence of sleep and circadian disruption on brain health, particularly the development of age-related brain diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s. He is a Lead Clinical Investigator for the Dundee-Edinburgh Parkinson’s Research Initiative. Dr. Breen enjoys tennis and trail running and is married with two children.

  Pan American Section

Catalina Cerquera-Cleves, MD, MScCatalina Cerquera-Cleves, MD, MSc
Javeriana University - San Ignacio University Hospital

Catalina Cerquera-Cleves is a colombian neurologist, consultant and professor of Neurology at Javeriana University School of Medicine and coordinator of the Movement Disorders' section at San Ignacio University Hospital in Bogota, Colombia.   She obtained her medical degree from National University of Colombia and then completed her residency training in Neurology at San Ignacio University Hospital where she served as Chief Resident. She then went on to complete a two-year fellowship in Movement Disorders at Clinic Hospital in Barcelona, and received her Master’s degree at Barcelona University. Since 2018, she was elected as the co-chair of the Movement Disorders Committee of the Colombian Association of Neurology and became Associate Editor of Acta Neurológica Colombiana, the most important journal of neurology in Colombia. She has been involved in the organization of different local academic meetings, including the annual Colombian Movement Disorders Symposium and the last MDS Pan American Botulinum Toxin Workshop held at Cartagena, Colombia, where she served as Course Director. Her professional and research interests are in the field of Parkinson’s disease, Lewy Body Disorders, Functional Surgery for Movement Disorders and genetics in movement disorders in Colombia.

Christopher Stephen, Mb ChB, MRCP (UK)Christopher Stephen, Mb ChB, MRCP (UK)
Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School

Dr. Stephen grew up in Scotland, United Kingdom, where he obtained his medical degree at the University of Aberdeen in 2005. He completed internal medicine residency training at the Edinburgh and Nottingham programs and was a specialist registrar in neurology at the University of Edinburgh and Cambridge. He then emigrated to the USA, where he completed his internship and neurology residency at the Beth-Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH) Harvard Neurology Program, followed by a fellowship in movement disorders and ataxia at the Partners Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) program, with pediatric experience at BCH. He is an attending neurologist at MGH, specializing in movement disorders and treats musician patients at the BWH Performing Arts Clinic. His clinical and research interests are broad and involve rare, complex mixed movement disorders, particularly in the intersection between ataxia and dystonia. He performs collaborative clinical and epidemiological research in rare neurogenetic movement disorders and in musician’s dystonia. He is a member of the MGH Center for Rare Neurological Disorders and the MGH Functional Neurological Disorders Research Group. He has a passion for music, as a pianist and former choral scholar and devoted to helping fellow musicians.

Malco Rossi, MD, PhDMalco Rossi, MD, PhD
Raul Carrea Institute for Neurological Research (FLENI)

Malco Rossi graduated from the Universidad de Buenos Aires Medical School in 2009. As a medical student, he received scientific initiation scholarships for the study of non-motor symptoms in Parkinson's disease from the Universidad de Buenos Aires Ministry of Science and Technology and the Raul Carrea Institute for Neurological Research (FLENI) in Buenos Aires. He completed residency training in neurology and specialization in movement disorders as clinical and research fellow to Prof. Marcelo Merello at FLENI, where he currently serves as coordinator of the Movement Disorders Section. He also works as a Clinical Researcher for the National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET) in Argentina. In 2017, he obtained a Ph.D. on Medical Sciences at the Universidad Catolica Argentina for the study of the spinocerebellar ataxias. His main clinical and research areas of interest are Parkinson's disease and rare genetic movement disorders, like ataxias for which he was granted by the Asociacion Medica Argentina, the Florencio Fiorini Foundation, and the Universidad Catolica Argentina. He is currently participating in the Task Force on Genetic Nomenclature in Movement Disorders and the Movement Disorder Society Genetic mutation database (MDSGene). His personal interests include photography, travelling, playing tennis and improving his German language skills.

Michelle Hyczy de Siqueira Tosin, RN, MSN, PhD StudentMichelle Hyczy de Siqueira Tosin, RN, MSN, PhD Student
Federal Fluminense University

Michelle was born in Curitiba, a city located in the south of Brazil, but grew up in Mato Grosso (a rural state). Michelle lived in Brasilia (the capital of Brazil), in Rio de Janeiro (land of samba and Bossa Nova), in Santos (the city of Pelé) and is now living in Chicago, IL, USA (apprehensive of the freezing winter). She graduated as a Nurse at the Pontifical Catholic University of Paraná and earned her master's degree and now her doctorate at the Fluminense Federal University in Rio de Janeiro. Part of the doctoral research is being held at Rush University in Chicago. Since the beginning of her professional career she has worked in an interdisciplinary team in the care of adults and elderly people with neurodegenerative diseases. In the last 11 years she has provided nursing care in the context of neurorehabilitation and has fallen in love with the area of movement disorders. She became aware of the work that nurses around the world are doing in this context and this motivated her to study and develop nursing research in her country. Michelle’s hobbies are traveling and being with my family on the beach or watching movies and TV series.

  African Section

Oluwadamilola Ojo, MBBSOluwadamilola Ojo, MBBS
College of Medicine University of Lagos & Lagos University Teaching Hospital

Oluwadamilola Ojo is a senior lecturer at the University of Lagos and a consultant neurologist at the Lagos University Teaching hospital in Lagos, Nigeria. She received her MBBS from University of Ilorin, Nigeria and completed training in internal medicine with sub-specialization in neurology at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital and the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, respectively. She completed a clinical research fellowship in movement disorders at the Center For Neurologic Restoration, Cleveland Clinic.  In addition to clinical research, she is passionate about the care of Nigerians living with neurologic disorders, specifically Parkinson's disease and dystonia.  Her areas of research include movement disorders, stroke, and sleep disorders.  Current research focus includes genetics of Parkinson's disease and dystonia in Nigerians and non-motor features of Parkinson's disease in Nigerians. She is also a medical educator who has a passion for teaching, curriculum evolution, and implementation and also being a role model for the next generation of Nigerian clinicians. She believes in the saying that “caring for the patient is the purpose of medicine”.  An avid sports fan, she enjoys watching motor sports, tennis and football (soccer depending on where you live).  She is married with kids and can be reached at

Biniyam Ayele, MDBiniyam Ayele, MD
Addis Ababa University

Biniyam Alemayehu is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Neurology, College of Health Sciences, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Biniyam Alemayehu grew up in Mega, Ethiopia and earned his medical degree from Jimma University. Following his graduation, he was assigned as a general practitioner at Bule Hora general hospital, where he served as a clinician and medical director for three years. Following this he joined neurology residency training at Black Lion Specialized Hospital and become a faculty member of Department of Neurology and completed his neurology residency in 2017 with distinction. He then held a clinical neurophysiology fellowship in Cairo, Egypt, which he completed before returning home. His future plan is to study his sub-specialty training in movement disorders and be able to improve the current care that patients with movement disorders are receiving here in Ethiopia. He is also interested in the area of clinical research related to movement disorders in Ethiopia. He is currently studying the epidemiology of non-motor symptoms among Ethiopian Parkinson’s disease patients.   In addition, his future research priorities understand the genetic makeup of patients with Parkinson’s disease in Ethiopia. He enjoys occasional trips out of the city and visiting historical sites in Ethiopia and around the world.

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