LEAP Program Faculty

MDS Leap

LEAP Program Chair

Cynthia Comella, MD, FAAN, FASM, FANA
Professor Emeritus, Neurological Sciences
Rush University Medical Center
Chicago, IL, USA
E-mail: ccomella@rush.edu

Cynthia Comella, MD

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 Chair Elect of the PAS Executive Committee and 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.

LEAP Faculty

Shilpa Chitnis, MD, PhD, FAAN, FANA
Associate Professor, Neurology and Neurotherapeutics
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Dallas, TX, USA
E-mail: shilpa.chitnis@utsouthwestern.edu

Shilpa Chitnis, MD, PhD, FAAN, FANA

Shilpa Chitnis is Professor of Neurology and Neurotherapeutics 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 18 years taking care of patients with various movement disorders including Parkinsonism, tremor, dystonia, chorea, myoclonus, ataxia, functional neurological disorders and gait disorders. She is an expert in the clinical care of patients with Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) devices. 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 and leads 12 fellowship programs in the Dept. of Neurology. She is the medical director of the deep brain stimulation program for movement disorders. She is intricately involved in resident and fellow education and was a recently a coordinator for faculty development.

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 including JAMA Neurology, Movement Disorders, Tremor and other hyperkinetic disorders and Parkinsonism and related disorders to name a few. She serves on the editorial board of Clinical Parkinsonism and Related Disorders (CPRD).

Dr. Chitnis is one of the lead faculty and co-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 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.

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 and doggie, Cookie.

Jennifer G. Goldman, MD, MS, FAAN, FANA
Section Chief, Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders, Shirly Ryan AbilityLab
Professor, Dept Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Neurology
University Feinberg School of Medicine
Chicago, IL, USA
E-mail: drjennifergoldman@gmail.com

Jennifer G. Goldman, MD, MS, FAAN, FANADr. Goldman graduated from Princeton University and received her MD from Northwestern University Medical School.  She 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.  She is board certified by the American Board of Neurology and Psychiatry and has subspecialty certification in Behavioral Neurology and Neuropsychiatry.  Her research lab focuses on understanding and improving treatments for cognitive and behavioral features of Parkinson's disease and movement disorders using advanced neuroimaging MRI scans and other biomarkers. Her work has been funded by NIH, Michael J. Fox Foundation, Parkinson’s Foundation, and private foundations.  She has published over 80 research articles and book chapters on Parkinson’s disease, cognition, and other movement disorders.  Dr. Goldman was on the faculty at Rush University, Section of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders from 2004-2018 and Professor of Neurological Sciences. Dr. Goldman became the Section Chief for Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab (formerly Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago) and Professor at Northwestern University in December 2018.

Dr. Goldman has long been a proponent and developer of innovative, inter-disciplinary, and well-attended programs and events. She is currently the Chair of the international Movement Disorder Society (MDS) Pan-American Section Education Committee, the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Movement Disorders Section, and the Lewy Body Dementia Association Scientific Advisory Committee. She also serves on the MDS Study Groups for PD-MCI Validation and Neuroimaging, MDS and MDS-PAS Congress Planning Committees, and Task Forces on Leadership and Interdisciplinary and Integrated care; the AAN Women in Leadership Committee; and Editorial boards of the Movement Disorders journal and Journal of Clinical Movement Disorders and as an Associate Editor for Frontiers in Neuroscience Neurorehabilitation journal.  

Susanne A, Schneider, MD
Consultant Neurologist
University Hospital München
Munich, Germany
E-mail: susanne.schneider@med.uni-muenchen.de

Susanne A, Schneider, MDSusanne 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 160 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, and the LEAP Steering Committee, as well as the Program Committee of the 2019 World Parkinson Congress and 2020 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
Department of Neurology
University of Sydney
Sydney, Australia
E-mail: csue@med.usyd.edu.au

Carolyn Sue MBBS, PhD, FRACP

Carolyn Sue is 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 and is currently appointed to the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society’s Scientific Program Committee, the Task Force on Genetic Nomenclature in Movement Disorders and the Vice-President for the Movement Disorder Society of Australia and New Zealand.


MDS faculty completed The Leadership Challenge® Workshop and Facilitator Training. 


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