LEAP Program Chair
Shilpa Chitnis, MD, PhD, FAAN, FANA
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Dallas, TX, USA
Shilpa Chitnis is Professor of Neurology at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas.
Dr. Chitnis graduated from medical school from Grant Medical College in Mumbai, India. She then completed a Ph.D., graduate school program in Pharmacology from Tulane University medical center in New Orleans, Louisiana. She completed a residency program in Neurology also at Tulane University and finally completed a fellowship in Movement Disorders at Louisiana State University in New Orleans. She has been a practicing movement disorders neurologist for the past 20 years taking care of patients with various movement. She is an expert in the clinical care of patients with Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) devices and has a recent interest in functional movement disorders. She is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN).
Dr. Chitnis served as associate residency program director for the Neurology residency program for 10 years. She serves as fellowship director for movement disorders. She is the medical director of the deep brain stimulation program for movement disorders. She is intricately involved in resident and fellow education and mentorship. She is the director of the faculty mentoring program for the department of Neurology.
Dr. Chitnis is a co-editor of two handbooks in the movement disorders field. She has authored many publications in the field of movement disorders and serves as an ad-hoc reviewer for numerous Neurology journals. She serves on the editorial board of Clinical Parkinsonism and Related Disorders (CPRD) and is the associate editor for neuromodulation for the TOHM journal.
Dr. Chitnis is one of the lead faculty and current chair of the MDS-LEAP program, an international program developed by the movement disorders society (MDS) to engage young neurologists to train and take on leadership roles within MDS. She is a current member of the leadership steering committee for the MDS-LEAP program. She was recently the Chair of the membership and public relations committee (2017-2019). She is the Co-Chair of the San Francisco Match Committee for Movement Disorders (2018-2023). She serves on both the education committee and CME committee for the international MDS (2021-2023).
Dr. Chitnis is a member and fellow of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN). She was vice-chair of the AAN movement disorders section (2015-2017) and is an active member of the AAN graduate education subcommittee (GES) and the AAN sections and subspecialties committee. She lives in Plano, Texas with her husband, teenage daughter, doggie, Cookie and cat, Lulu.
LEAP Program Past Chair
Cynthia Comella, MD, FAAN, FASM, FANA
Professor Emeritus, Neurological Sciences
Rush University Medical Center
Chicago, IL, USA
Dr. Comella graduated from Smith College and the University of Cincinnati Medical College. She completed her training in neurology, Movement Disorders and sleep disorders at Rush University Medical Center. She is an active member of the International Parkinson and Movement Disorders Society, previously serving on the Executive Committee, the Congress Scientific Programming Committee, the Continuing Medical Education Committee, Chair of the Education Committee, Secretary of the Society and currently as Past Chair of the PAS Executive Committee and Past Chair of the LEAP Steering Committee.
She has been active in the American Academy of Neurology, serving on the Science Committee, Chair of the Education Committee, the Annual Meeting subcommittee, editorial board of Continuum and the Board of Directors of the AAN institute. Her research in Parkinson’s disease includes evaluating new therapies for Parkinson’s disease, and the effects of exercise in Parkinson’s disease. She has been active in dystonia research, working to develop new rating scales for dystonia and new applications for botulinum toxins. She chairs the Dystonia Study Group and serves on the steering committee of the Dystonia Coalition. Dr. Comella is the author or co-author of more than 165 articles, reviews, research papers, books, and book chapters about various topics including Parkinson’s disease, dystonia, sleep-related movement disorders, restless legs syndrome, and botulinum toxin. She completed leadership training in the Sonoma Systems’ The Leadership Challenge® and Leadership Challenge facilitator training.
Jennifer G. Goldman, MD, MS, FAAN, FANA
Section Chief, Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab
Professor, Departments of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Chicago, IL, USA
Dr. Goldman is a fellowship-trained movement disorder neurologist with specialty board certification in behavioral neurology and neuropsychiatry. Dr. Goldman graduated from Princeton University, received her MD from Northwestern University Medical School, and completed her neurology residency training at Washington University in St. Louis, followed by a movement disorder fellowship and a Master of Science degree in clinical research at Rush University in Chicago. Dr. Goldman is a clinician-researcher who has been a pioneer in the cognitive and behavioral aspects of Parkinson's, Lewy body disorders and other movement disorders and a longstanding champion and leader in interdisciplinary care. Her work focuses on understanding the cognitive, behavioral and motor aspects of Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders, improving treatments and outcomes for these features, and developing interdisciplinary care models.
Dr. Goldman has been funded by the American Parkinson's Disease Association, NIH, Michael J. Fox Foundation, Parkinson’s foundation, and others, and has published over 100 scholarly articles and book chapters. She directs the Lewy Body Dementia Association (LBDA) Research Center of Excellence at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab and chairs the LBDA Scientific Advisory Committee. She is also the Fellowship director for the first-ever PD and Movement Disorders Neurorehabilitation fellowship for physiatrists at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab. Dr. Goldman is the co-chair of the Parkinson’s Foundation Rehabilitation Task Force, co-chair of the International Parkinson Disease and Movement Disorder Society (MDS) PD-MCI Validation study group, and Secretary of the International Parkinson Disease and Movement Disorder Society (MDS) Pan-American Section. Dr. Goldman serves on the MDS Task Forces on Leadership and Interdisciplinary and Integrated care and several journal Editorial boards including the Movement Disorders journal. Dr. Goldman has been part of the LEAP program since its inception serving as LEAP faculty, Steering Committee member, and a mentor in the LEAP program. She is the past chair of the AAN Movement Disorders Section, MDS Pan-American Section Education Committee, and Parkinson Study Group Biomarkers Working Group.
Alastair J Noyce MBBS, MRCP, PhD, FHEA
Bart Health NHS Trust and Wolfson Institute of Population Health, Queen Mary University of London
Dr Alastair Noyce is a Reader in Neurology and Neuroepidemiology at the Wolfson Institute of Population Health, Queen Mary University of London, and a Consultant Neurologist at Barts Health NHS Trust. He is the Lead of the Preventive Neurology Unit (PNU) at the Wolfson Institute.
Alastair graduated from Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry in London in 2007. He pursued integrated training via the Foundation Academic Programme and an NIHR Academic Clinical Fellowship at UCL. Between 2012-2016 he undertook a PhD in Neuroscience at UCL under the supervision of Professor Andrew Lees and Professor Anette Schrag. Between 2014-2016 he undertook an MSc in Epidemiology at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
In 2017, he was appointed as the first member of staff at the new PNU. He has overseen its growth since then. His research group at the PNU focuses on Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders, particularly early identification and epidemiology, which includes environmental, clinical and genetic determinants. His group receives funding from Parkinson’s UK, Cure Parkinson’s, Barts Charity, Michael J Fox Foundation, Aligning Science Across Parkinson’s, Innovate UK, and National Institute of Health Research.
He leads the PREDICT-PD study, along with Professor Schrag, and he is the Principal Investigator on the East London Parkinson’s disease project. He is steering committee member of the Global Parkinson’s Genetics Program and leads the Training, Networking and Communication working group. He is an active member of the International Parkinson’s Disease Genomics Consortium. He is a member of the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society Epidemiology Study Group, a member of the MDS prodromal sub-committee, and he was recently invited to join the MDS LEAP faculty.
Susanne A. Schneider, MD
University Hospital München
Susanne Schneider is a consultant neurologist with broad clinical and academic experience and with a great passion for research into the pathophysiology of Movement Disorders. Following her PhD in movement disorders at the UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology in London, UK. she continued her keen research interest in clinically-applied genetics. She is the author of more than 180 papers and chapters and the Editor of four books (amongst others, of the book "Leadership in Movement Disorders", published together with Cynthia Comella in 2019). She is an active member of the International Parkinson and Movement Disorders Society, currently serving on the Scientific and Ethical Issues Committee, the Web Editorial Board committee (Co-Chair), the Infection Related Movement Disorder Study Group (Co-Chair) and the LEAP Steering Committee, as well as the Program Committee of the World Parkinson Congress and IAPRD. She is on the Editorial Board of several journals and is Associate Editor of the new journal, Clinical Parkinsonism Related Disorders. She was among the first graduates of the MDS LEAP program and has recently joined the LEAP faculty.
Carolyn Sue MBBS, PhD, FRACP, FAAHMS
Department of Neurology
University of Sydney
Carolyn Sue is a movement disorder specialist and clinical scientist, currently appointed as Executive Director of the Kolling Institute and the Head of the Department of Neurogenetics at Royal North Shore Hospital, University of Sydney. She was the first female adult neurologist to be promoted to Professor in Australia and is the inaugural Professor in Neurology at Royal North Shore Hospital. Dr. Sue trained in the study of movement disorders with Professor John Morris and continued her post-doctoral studies at Columbia University, New York, USA. Dr. Sue’s research interests are focused on two main areas: the role of mitochondrial function in neurodegenerative disease and the genetics of movement disorders. Dr. Sue founded the Familial Parkinson’s Disease Research Clinic at Royal North Shore Hospital and has coordinated national collaborative genetic studies in Parkinson’s disease. Most recently, her research group has established the use of patient derived stem cell models to investigate the pathophysiology underlying Parkinson’s disease.
Dr. Sue is a Founding Director of the Australian Mitochondrial Disease Foundation, the Australian Mitochondrial Disease Medical Network and is currently the Vice-President for the Movement Disorder Society of Australia and New Zealand. She has published more than 180 papers and reviews and in 2017, undertook leadership training to become a certified facilitator for The Leadership Challenge®. Dr Sue is also appointed to the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society’s Scientific Program Committee, the Task Force on Genetic Nomenclature in Movement Disorders, the Task Force on Clinical Genetic Testing and is the current Chair of the MDS Education Committee.