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2011 MS Forum & Expo Panelists

Nancy Davis Foundation for Multiple Sclerosis Presents


Saturday, April 30, 2011

10:30 am

Hyatt Century Plaza Hotel

Center Without Walls Doctors and Researchers:

Dennis Bourdette, M.D.

Dr. Dennis Bourdette is the Director of the MS Center of Oregon at OHSU and the founder of the Jungers Center. Dr. Bourdette’s work has benefited thousands of people suffering from neurological disorders, especially those with multiple sclerosis. He holds a special place in his heart for those with this disease, a passion since his residency in medical school. Recently, he and his colleagues at the MS Center of Oregon have been researching a new therapy for MS that would protect nerve fibers from degeneration. For patients suffering from this debilitating disease, such a therapy would be tremendously beneficial, perhaps delaying or preventing the onset of the paralysis, memory loss, dizziness, fatigue, pain and imbalance associated with MS.
Dr. Bourdette is confident that the years ahead will lead to breakthroughs in all areas of brain science. “Over the coming decade, we’re going to see tremendous advances in our ability to treat and prevent a variety of neurological diseases,” he said. “I have more hope than ever for MS patients.”

Stephen L. Hauser, M.D.

Dr. Stephen Hauser, Neurologist, immunologist and chair of Neurology, is a leader in the international effort to identify genetic causes of multiple sclerosis (MS). He is the first physician-researcher to demonstrate a promising weapon in the battle against progressive MS. He identified the benefit of immunosuppression that prevents the body’s immune system from attacking the myelin sheath, the insulation that surrounds the nerves in the brain and spinal cord.
Dr. Hauser, who joined the University of California, San Francisco in 1992 as chair of Neurology, is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard Medical School. He trained in internal medicine at New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, in neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital and in immunology at Harvard Medical School and the Institute Pasteur in Paris. He is a fellow of the American Academy of the Arts and Sciences and American Association of Physicians. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, a former president of the American Neurological Association and an editor of the medical textbook, “Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine.” Hauser is the Robert A. Fishman Distinguished Professor of Neurology in the UCSF School of Medicine

Adam Kaplin, M.D.

Dr. Kaplin is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Kaplin focuses on the psychiatric complications of neurological diseases. He researches the immune-mediated mechanisms of depression and cognitive impairment in transverse myelitis, multiple sclerosis and related autoimmune neurologic disorders, and the role of cytokines in these processes.
Dr. Kaplin is on the board of medical advisors to the Transverse Myelitis Association (TMA) and the Montel Williams MS Foundation.

Daniel Pelletier, MD

Dr. Pelletier is an Associate Professor of Neurology and Diagnostic Radiology Chief, Neuro-Immunology Division and Yale Multiple Sclerosis Center Director, Advanced Imaging in Multiple Sclerosis LaboratoryYale University School of Medicine.
Dr. Pelletier is a clinician-scientist born and educated in the Province of Quebec, Canada. He is a recipient of a National Multiple Sclerosis Physician Fellowship Award Grant for his work in molecular imaging. Dr. Pelletier joined Yale University in January 2011 to lead the MS Program as Chief of the Neuro-Immunology Division and Yale Multiple Sclerosis Center. He holds dual appointment in the Neurology and Diagnostic Radiology Departments.

Emmanuelle L. Waubant, M.D., Ph.D

Dr. Emmanuelle Waubant is a neurologist and specialist in the treatment of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). A native of France, she earned her medical degree at the University of Medicine in Lille, France, and completed her residency and chief residency at Toulouse University Hospital. Waubant completed fellowships in neuroimmunology at UCSF Medical Center and in clinical neuroimmunology at UCSF‘s Multiple Sclerosis Center at Mount Zion. She then returned to France to head a clinical research center at the Pitie-Salpetriere University Hospital. After returning to UCSF, she joined the staff of UCSF‘s Multiple Sclerosis Center and is an assistant professor in neurology. Dr. Waubant is one of the leading Neurologist in Pediatric MS.

Howard L. Weiner, M.D.

Dr. Weiner is Director of the Multiple Sclerosis Program and Co-Director of the Center for Neurological Diseases at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He holds the Robert L. Kroc Chair in Neurological Diseases at the Harvard Medical School for his work in multiple sclerosis. His major research interests include the immunology and immunotherapy of multiple sclerosis,
Dr. Howard Weiner has spent nearly three decades trying to find answers to the mysteries of multiple sclerosis, a disease that afflicts almost half a million Americans. Curing MS is his moving, personal account of the long-term scientific quest to pinpoint the origins of the disease and to find a breakthrough treatment for its victims.

Leslie Weiner, MD

Dr. Leslie Weiner is Chairman of the Department of neurology at USC and former Visiting Associate of Biology at California Institute of Technology. He has been involved in many areas of MS research. Newer work has been concentrated on the molecular and genetic mechanisms of degenerative disease of the nervous system. His most recent effort is in restoring tolerance to myelin antigens in human and mouse models. We are administering a USC T cell vaccine to multiple sclerosis patients and studying the induction of tolerance by gene therapy.

Panelists with MS:

Nancy Davis

Nancy Davis, one of five children, was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. In 1987 she moved to California and now resides in Los Angeles. Nancy is an active individual with an incredible zest for life. She skis, plays tennis, has a black belt in karate, exercises, and travels – living her life to the fullest. She is an extremely dedicated philanthropist, author of Lean On Me and most importantly, she is a full-time mother who is devoted to her five children. Nancy was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at the young age of 33. She decided that she was too young and too busy to let the disease slow her down. After being told by doctors that she was “lucky” that she could afford live-in assistance when the disease progressed and she became homebound – she was determined to devote her time, relationships and resources to finding a cure. Nancy’s hope, courage and strength continue to inspire her to maintain a vibrant quality of life despite this chronic disease, but most of all, she remains positive, continues to live her life to the fullest and is tireless in her efforts to finding the cure for MS.

Claudia Curry Hill (Moderator)

Claudia Curry Hill was diagnosed with chronic progressive MS 23 years ago. She is very active in founding and serving on non- profit boards, including the Nancy Davis Foundation for MS and the Colorado, Wyoming Chapter of the MS Society and is a spokesperson for Breast Cancer, MS and Bioness. Claudia is the owner of CCH Connections, a non profit and event consulting group in Colorado. She believes that exercise, a positive attitude and empowering yourself with all the information you can find will improve your quality of life until a cure is found.

David Osmond

David Osmond has music running through his veins, literally. The 4th son of Alan Osmond, oldest of the performing Osmond Brothers, David began performing as the lead singer with his own brothers when he was only four years old. Known in the early years as The Osmond Boys, David and his brothers Michael, Nathan, and Douglas were discovered by the late Bob Hope and appeared on his 1986 Christmas show in their national television debut, singing a barbershop novelty number. By the 1980s, The Osmond Boys evolved into The Osmonds: 2nd Generation, signed with both Curb Records in the U.S. and Epic/Sony in Europe, had three songs in the Top 40 in the U.K., and played to sold-out stadiums and arenas in the U.S., Europe and Asia.
Forced to put music on hold for several years due to a physical battle with the West Nile Virus which in turn triggered Multiple Sclerosis, David has dedicated himself to raising awareness and resources for non-profit charities over the last several years.

Katie Mattingly Brass

Katie Mattingly Brass is a philanthropist, an active leader in her community and a forerunner in supporting research to find a cure for Multiple Sclerosis. Katie is the mother of two beautiful young daughters and loving wife. Katie has been a longtime advocate for special needs children and is on the board of Camp Aranzazu in Rockport, Texas. She is also the President of her family foundation, The Brass Family Foundation. Katie has been a civic leader, volunteering and fundraising for many years to benefit numerous Houston area non-profits. Diagnosed with MS in 2006, Katie immediately became a strong advocate of MS related medical research projects to help make the future brighter for those diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. During 2009 and 2010 the Brass Family Foundation, together with Bill Perkins and Small Ventures USA, underwrote a genetic research study in conjunction with Dr. Stephen Hauser, Chairman of UCSF Neurology Department. The study, resulting from the most advanced genomic analysis ever conducted on identical twins with MS, suggests a key role of environment factors in the disease. The study received worldwide attention from the science and medical fields and was featured on the cover of Nature Magazine. Katie has been an active board member of the Nancy Davis Foundation for Multiple Sclerosis for over 3 years and is proud to be a leader in their “Race to Erase MS”.

Teri Garr

One of Hollywood’s most popular players of the ‘70s and early ‘80s, Garr brought effervescence, crackerjack timing and an air of daffy neurosis to the girlfriends and working moms that she played. Garr had MS symptoms as early as 1983, when she started to trip while jogging, her case was so unusual that she wasn’t diagnosed until 1999. Indefatigably upbeat, Teri Garr keeps busy as a lecturer for MS LifeLines, an educational support service funded by drug companies Serono and Pfizer. Serono and Pfizer are manufacturers of Rebif, a form of interferon designed to slow the progress of MS that Garr injects three times weekly. Author, mother, actress and MS activist, Teri still finds the humor in everyday life.

Clay Walker

In 1996 at the age of 26, Clay was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. The diagnosis came at a pivotal time in his life; his career in country music was exploding, he had recently finished recording his fourth album and his oldest daughter had just been born. After the first MS episode Clay worried how it would affect his career. Ultimately, Clay set his mind to doing everything he could to overcome the obstacles MS set before him. Today, Clay works to control his MS through diet, exercise and a daily injection of COPAXONE®.
Clay is well-known for his high-energy concerts and performance style. Knowing that others with MS have not been so lucky led him to the decision to form Band Against MS, a not-for-profit charity organization dedicated to providing educational information for those living with MS and funding important research that may one day lead to a cure.

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