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MDS-Pan American Section Leadership Positions

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  Alberto Espay - Chair-Elect 2021-2023, Chair 2023-2025

Personal Bio

Dr. Alberto Espay trained in Neurology at Indiana University (1998-2001) and in clinical and electrophysiology of Movement Disorders at the University of Toronto (2001-2005). Dr. Espay has published over 270 research articles as well as 7 textbooks, including Common Movement Disorders Pitfalls (Highly Commended BMA Medical Book Award of 2013), and a general readership book, Brain Fables, recently published by Cambridge. Dr. Espay has served the Society in many roles, most recently as Chair of the MDS Task Force on Technology and as MDS- PAS Secretary. Dr. Espay’s research efforts have focused on the nosological reappraisal of movement disorders and the understanding and management of functional disorders. With colleagues at the University of Cincinnati and several other international institutions, Dr. Espay launched, just before COVID, the first phenotype-agnostic biomarker study of neurodegenerative disorders ( to match available therapies with those most suitable to benefit, regardless of their clinicopathologic classification. 

Vision Statement

I hope to encourage intellectual partnerships with foundations and pharmaceutical/technology industries to add synergy to the global research agenda for the MDS PAS. Additionally, I will initiate and consolidate fund-raising strategies to bulk the financial muscle MDS needs to extend its role into funding and helping develop original ideas. Finally, I would like to help increase the number and quality of fellowship and research training opportunities for the next generation of clinical researchers through collaborations between MDS and other institutions, most especially the PSG, harnessing their existent mentoring and logistical infrastructures. Through developing and nurturing partnerships, we can help shape the global agenda for research in PD and other movement disorders. 

  Mayela Rodríguez-Violante - Secretary-Elect 2021-2023, Secretary 2023-2025

Personal Bio

Dr. Rodriguez-Violante earned her neurology degree in 2006, followed by a Movement Disorders Fellowship and a Masters in Science. She has been actively involved in research, teaching and clinical service within the Department of Neurology at the Instituto Nacional de Neurologia y Neurocirugia in Mexico City. 

She is Full Professor of the Movement Disorders Fellowship at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Dr. Rodriguez-Violante is a Level III (highest level) at the Mexican National Researcher System. She has authored over 90 papers cited in the JCR. 

She is currently the treasurer for the Mexican Board of Neurology for the 2020-2022 period, as well as Adjunct Secretary for the Mexican Academy of Medicine 2019-2020. 

Within the IPMDS she has served on the International Executive Committee, Education Committee, MDS- PAS Education Committee, as well as a member of several MDS Study Groups and Task Forces. She has been invited as faculty for over 10 MDS congresses or courses. 

Vision Statement

I have been deeply involved with the IPMDS and very familiarized with its mission and goals. I have had the opportunity to work with high recognized leaders in the field which I consider as mentors. 

I believe I can contribute by broadening the reach of the society within still underrepresented regions sharing similar problems. By doing so, strengthening education and research networks locally but also as a worldwide effort. 

I would also like to keep promoting collaborations with international organizations, small or big, since it is now clear the Movement Disorders require an interdisciplinary effort in order to improve the quality of education leading to better quality of life of our patients and their caregivers. 

Regarding education, I would like to strive for a unified curriculum in movement disorders to standardize, within reason, the education both in neurology residents as in movement disorders fellowship programs. Also, identifying high-risk high-gain opportunities for investment resulting in improved education, as well as collaborative and inclusive research. I believe COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the relevance of telehealth and tele-education and its momentum should be maintained bringing closer the IPMDS with every health-professional related to movement disorders. 

There is still a disparity between countries within the same geographical region that should be addressed with innovative strategies and better understanding of local issues such as regulatory, health system and sociocultural. 

In summary, I believe my experience could add up to accomplish the IPMDS vision which has been shared by the leadership and members of the society. 

  Sarah Camargos - Treasurer-Elect 2021-2023, Treasurer 2023-2025

Personal Bio

Born in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Sarah Camargos graduated from the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) Medical School in 1998. In 2002 she completed the neurology residency at the University of São Paulo (USP), Ribeirão Preto (Brazil). She obtained her master’s degree in Neurology from USP in 2004 and her PhD from UFMG and the Laboratory of Neurogenetics - NIH - Bethesda, MD, USA in 2008. She is an Associate Professor at UFMG and is the current Coordinator of Neurology at the University Hospital and is a former coordinator of the Neurology Residency Program. Dr. Camargos has an interest in movement disorders and neurogenetics. 

She has been affiliated to the Brazilian Academy of Neurology (ABN) as a full member since 2002 and was honored twice with the “Best PhD Thesis” (2004 and 2008). Currently, she is ABN´s Coordinator of 

the Neurogenetics Scientific Department. In the Movement Disorder Society, Dr Camargos has served in the PAS Education Committee and as a PAS Executive Member. 

Dr. Camargos lives in Belo Horizonte (Brazil) with her husband and daughter. 

Vision Statement

When doing my PhD in Bethesda, I attended my first MDS International meeting in New Orleans. Since then, I have been active in the Society playing several roles as attendee, sometimes faculty, and as a Committee Member. As time passes, I become more mature and more interested in the pursuit of learning and development of skills, thus building a constructive leadership as well as bringing potential young neurologists to the MDS. I intend to contribute to the growth of the Society and to provide education opportunities to all interested public (neurologists, general practitioners, biologists, nurses, caregivers and so on). if I have the opportunity to be selected to this endeavor i will have the necessary commitment and hard work. 

  Mario Cornejo-Olivas - Executive Committee Member 2021-2025

Personal Bio

Dr. Cornejo-Olivas earned his MD degree in 2004 and his neurology specialist degree in 2010 at National Institute of Neurological Sciences in Lima Peru. He completed a training program in Movement Disorders, Neurogenetics and Epidemiology at University of Washington in Seattle. He was scholar and research fellow trough UW/FIC-NIH program, where he also served as local mentor for the past 5 years. 

Dr. Cornejo-Olivas completed training on neurogenetic disorders and rare movement disorders under mentorship of Prof. Pilar Mazzetti (UNMSM, Peru) and Thomas Bird (UW, US). Since 2014 he became the chief of the Neurogenetics Research Center, the national reference center for neurological diseases in Peru; and Head of the Neuropathology department since July 2020. 

He is an active MDS member since 2008. He attended most of the International MDS Congresses since 2010, many specialized MDS sponsored courses. He is a Fellow MDS LEAP class 2018. Faculty MDS 3 MDS courses including the 3rd PAS MDS Congress. He is an active member at MDS young members group and MDS gene group. 

Vision Statement

I became member of MDS since I was resident in Neurology back in 2008. I attended more than 20 MDS congresses and sponsored courses over the past decade. MDS is recognized as the largest specialists and scientific community working on Parkinson and other movement disorders across the globe. I am grateful to MDS for giving me a such a great opportunity for training and networking. I am passionate to learn about MDS organization and being part of a leadership committee. I think the very first step from my perspective is to learn from MDS leaders and share innovative ideas for educating and informing about movement disorders. For example, the COVID-19 pandemic gives as an opportunity to incorporate IT approaches for MDS members. Other aspect that I want to put for consideration is being active on supporting patient associations, since they are the reason of MDS work, creating spaces for interaction among patients, families and healthcare providers might revolutionize MDS. In addition, I strongly believe that the perspective of a member coming from a developing country within the Leadership Committee of PAS-MDS will contribute to expand the MDS family integrating novel cultural- based strategies within each country. In conclusion, I want to be considered to leadership position at PAS-MDS because I want to contribute to spread the MDS vision across all regions from the PAS regional section. My growing skills for leadership and management and my current position allow me to invest time and effort on addressing organizational goals of MDS. 

  Stewart Factor - Executive Committee Member 2021-2025

Personal Bio

Dr. Stewart Factor is Professor, Director of Movement Disorders and Vance Lanier Chair of Neurology at Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Factor received his DO Degree in 1982, completed Neurology Residency at Albany Medical Center 1986 and Fellowship at University of Miami 1988. Memberships include: AAN, ANA, MDS (1987), PSG (1994), HSG (1996), and the DSG (1996). Dr. Factor is the Past Chair of the Movement Disorders Section of the AAN. Committee memberships Include: AAN Movement Disorder Section Executive Committee, MDS education committee, Archive committee (Chair), PSG executive committee, nominating committee and budget committee HSG executive committee and nominating committee, DSG executive committee. Textbooks edited: “Parkinson’s Disease: Diagnosis and Clinical Management” first & second editions and “Drug-induced Movement Disorders” and “Therapy in Movement Disorders: A case-based approach”, publications >300 peer reviewed articles. Dr. Factor’s areas of interest include PD biomarkers, freezing of gait in PD, clinical trials (previously site PI for NeuroNext), genetics in PD, and tardive syndrome. Dr. Factor is a fellowship program director in movement disorders and has mentored 20 fellows in the last 15 years. 

Vision Statement

The MDS is the most important educational organization globally for Movement disorders and while the international congress is the cornerstone program many clinicians, specialists, fellows, residents, students are unable to travel to that meeting for many reasons including time, cost, visa's etc. In recent times travel is even more truncated. It is important to provide a program of equal impact and stature in the US. There have been several types of programs including schools for young neurologists, schools for residents, but the MDS-PAS meeting has risen to a higher level and visibility. It is a shortened but impactful version of the big MDS meeting. We can do better, creating opportunities for neurologists to experience the MDS educational experience, allow fellows and young faculty to present their research, interact with other specialists in our field even to find job opportunities, create opportunities to increase resident and student interest in Movement Disorders. I have had the opportunity to participate in the different types of schools as well as MDS-PAS but would like to have the opportunity to do more. Being part of the executive committee would provide that opportunity. 

  Monica Haddad - Executive Committee Member 2021-2025

Personal Bio

Dr Haddad earned her medical degree in 1988, from Sao Paulo University, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The residency training in Neurology was performed at Hospital das Clínicas da Faculdade de Medicina da USP (1989-1991), followed by fellowship and specialization on Movement Disorders on the same service. 

Since 1994, Dr. Haddad is assistant physician on the Neurology Department, Hospital das Clínicas da FMUSP, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where she is member of the Movement Disorders group, with roles on assistance, research and teaching neurology residents and movement disorders fellows. Dr Haddad earned a Master's Degree (MSc) with clinical research on Huntington's Disease in 1995 and is coordinator of HD service, inside Movement Disorders Clinic in HCFMUSP since then. Dr Haddad was coordinator of the Movement Disorders Scientific Department of Brazilian Academy of Neurology (ABN)between 2004-2008, and during that period Brazilian Academy of Neurology Movement Disorders Scientific Department became affiliate member of PAS-MDS. She also served ABN as Executive Director (treasurer) from 2006 to 2014 and Regional Director(2016-2020). 

Vision Statement

The vast field of Movement Disorders is still growing and evolving, with fascinating new opportunities, but new demands also. In my vision, the MDS Regional Sections should reach all professionals interested in this area, to know their needs and challenges and, specially, to understand different local conditions around the region and the world. MDS can offer high-quality continuing education and promote the collaboration between researchers and clinicians and between various groups with shared interests, functioning as a bridge to reduce gaps between the professionals. Besides understanding the mechanisms of underlying diseases and finding significant therapeutic approaches to movement disorders, we also have huge ethical challenges regarding the creation of possibilities to all people to have access to advanced diagnosis and therapeutics. A connected and strong MDS can participate in these efforts, providing to world leaders and health systems good epidemiological and evidence-based medicine material and participating in decision making on researching and assistance of movement disorders patients. This will allow to deliver the best care to Movement Disorders patients, which is our ultimate and shared goal. I also believe that, the more representative our Society is, the stronger will be our voice. 

  Davide Martino - Executive Committee Member 2021-2025

Personal Bio

Dr. Martino trained in Neurology in Italy, then completed a Clinical/Academic Movement Disorders Fellowship at University College London with Professors K.Bhatia and N.Quinn, and a Ph.D. in Clinical Neuroscience at the University of Bari, Italy. After working between 2012 and 2016 as Consultant and Honorary Lecturer at King’s College London, since 2016 Dr. Martino has led the Movement Disorders Clinical Programme at the University of Calgary, and in 2020 the Calgary Parkinson’s Research Initiative (CaPRI), which facilitates multidisciplinary clinical research. He is also the Secretary of the Canadian Movement Disorders Society, representing Canada in the MDS. 

Dr. Martino’s research program investigates non-invasive brain stimulation for movement disorders, and endophenotypes to subtype ‘network’ movement disorders (dystonia, Parkinson’s disease, tic disorders) using neurophysiological, MRI and biological markers (inflammatory, microbiome-related). Dr. Martino obtained funding as PI/Co-PI by the European Commission, NIHR-UK, Italian Ministry of University and Research, CIHR, and different charitable institutions. Dr. Martino has co-authored 177 peer-reviewed articles on international journals, with a Google Scholar h-index of 43 (5,991 citations). His contributions to MDS are listed above. 

Vision Statement

The current experience of the pandemic will highly likely transform our way to organize and deliver care to patients with all movement disorders. Amongst my areas of interest, I view my personal contribution to MDS-PAS as focused on facilitating advances in the definition (or upgrade) of adequate pathways of care for all categories of movement disorders. This could represent the objective of a Committee (similar to the Rating Scales Committee) or a diffuse Task Force within MDS that could develop synergies with already existing Committees, Task Forces or Study Groups, complementing their activity with a focus on Pathways of Care. With my experience of work in this subspecialty already in 3 countries that are quite different in healthcare organization (Italy, UK and Canada), I would be very keen to foster the birth of such a project, that would take advantage of the great diversity within the PanAmerican region. 

Four principles could inform this operative vision: interdisciplinarity, standardization, integration and education. Given the substantial impact of non-motor symptoms on quality of life and disability in fundamentally the whole spectrum of Movement Disorders, pathways of care for our sub-specialty should be based on inter- or multidisciplinary. Creating or improving the quality of pathways of care for movement disorders should follow an internationally standardized process, taking into account geographical differences in resources and health systems organization. Pathways of care for movement disorders should integrate efficiently telemedicine delivery and should represent a key educational objective, for which the MDS should be at the forefront. 

  Sarah Pirio Richardson - Executive Committee Member 2021-2025

Personal Bio

Dr. Pirio Richardson received her MD degree (University of New Mexico), followed by neurology residency at University of California, Davis. Fellowship in Motor Control and Movement Disorders at NINDS with Dr. Mark Hallett was completed in 2007. Dr. Pirio Richardson began at the University of New Mexico as an Assistant Professor in 2007 as the sole Movement Disorders Specialist. She has grown the program with now two additional faculty and a nurse practitioner. Through a patient grass roots effort assisted by Dr. Pirio Richardson’s testifying in front of New Mexico State Legislative Committees, funding for a Comprehensive Parkinson Disease and Movement Disorder Center was secured. Her research portfolio includes NIH funding for Dystonia (as a Project PI for the Dystonia Coalition), DOD funding for non-invasive neurostimulation as well as clinical trials. She has been active in MDS since 2004: first as poster presenter and congress attendee to selected participant in the LEAP program (2017) to active engagement on MDS and MDS-PAS committees to current selection to the MDS-PAS Congress Scientific Program Committee. 

Vision Statement

It is not an understatement that MDS has been an essential bridge in my career as, initially, the sole movement disorders neurologist in a “neurology desert” (both literally and figuratively—as described by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid services) to the vast, interconnected MDS international community. This bridge has been critical in allowing me to deliver care to PD and movement disorders patients locally but grow my academic career at the regional, national and emerging international level. At first, my contacts within the MDS emerged from my fellowship training. With my acceptance to the LEAP program, the world of MDS opened and my networks and contributions multiplied—from the Publication Oversight Committee to the PAS Congress Scientific Program Committee. One of the crucial elements of my involvement in MDS has been the mentoring I have received both formally and informally through MDS. A place on the MDS-PAS Executive Committee would allow me to provide my support of current programs that create the networks and mentoring opportunities for junior members. In addition, I am eager to pursue new opportunities and programs that would grow the capacity of MDS- PAS in this realm. Given the wide distribution of membership within the MDS-PAS, there are many junior MDS members looking for this bridge from their local community where their expertise and skills are badly needed to the wider community of MDS expanding their network of clinical, research and career mentors to ensure another generation of engaged movement disorder providers and researchers. 

Proxy voting is now open for the 2021-2023 elections for MDS Leadership positions.

Please visit this page to submit your proxy ballot by September 10. In order to vote in the election, members must submit a proxy ballot. The ballots will be tallied at the MDS Business Meeting and Regional Assemblies. 

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