Faculty

  • Thomas Berger (editor)

    Medical University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria

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    Prof. Thomas Berger, MD, MSc, is Head of the Neuroimmunology and Multiple Sclerosis Clinic (serving approximately 2800 multiple sclerosis [MS] patients) and of the Neuroimmunology Research Unit at the Clinical Dept. of Neurology, Innsbruck Medical University, Austria, since 1996. He was also Head of the General Neurological Outpatient Clinic from 2000 to 2009. 

    He graduated in 1991 at the Medical University of Vienna, Austria, and post-graduated in 2002 in “Hospital Management and Health Economics“. He started his career at the Dept. of Exp. Neuropathology and Neuroimmunology (Prof. Hans Lassmann), Neurological Institute, University of Vienna, and also held positions in the Dept. of Neurology (Prof. Eduard Auff), Univ. of Vienna; Dept. of Neurology (Prof. Werner Poewe), Dept. of Psychiatry (Prof. H. Hinterhuber) and in the Dept. of Immunobiology & Bone Marrow Transplantation (Prof. D. Niederwieser) at the University of Innsbruck. 

    His main research areas are immunopathogenetic heterogeneity, immunology, pathogenetic, prognostic and clinical relevance of autoantibodies and innate immunity in MS and neuromyelitis optica. 

    Prof. Berger was several times awarded, amongst others by ECTRIMS and the Charcot Foundation and was/is principal investigator of more than 40 academic and multicentre clinical treatment trials. Prof. Berger is MS Coordinator of the Austrian Society of Neurology, Board Member of the Austrian MS Society, Chairman of the Tyrolean MS Society, Austrian Representative for the EFNS Expert Panel “Demyelinating diseases“, Chair of the EFNS Subcommittee on eLearning and member of several MS specific international and national advisory boards. 

    Prof. Berger has published more than 150 peer-reviewed papers/research letters/invited reviews and several books/book chapters. 

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    Participated in meetings sponsored by and received honoraria (lectures, advisory boards, consultations) from pharmaceutical companies marketing treatments for multiple sclerosis: Allergan, Almirall, Astra Medica, AOP, Baxter, Bayer (Schering), Biogen Idec, Biotest, CSL Behring, Genzyme, KED Pharma, Merck (Serono), Novartis, Octapharma, ratiopharm, Sanofi Aventis, TEVA.
    His institution has received financial support by unrestricted research grants (Allergan, AOP, Biogen Idec, Berlex, Bayer, Biotest, CSL Behring, Merck, ratiopharm, Sanofi Aventis) and for participation in clinical trials in multiple sclerosis sponsored by Bayer (Schering), Biogen Idec, Merck (Serono), Novartis, Octapharma, Roche, Sanofi Aventis, TEVA.

  • Diego Centonze (editor)

    Tor Vergata University, Rome, Italy

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    Diego Centonze is Associate Professor of Neurology and Head of the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Clinical and Research Center at the Department of Systems Medicine of the University of Tor Vergata in Rome, Italy. At the Tor Vergata Hospital in Rome, he is Head of the Laboratory for non-invasive brain stimulation. He is also Head of the Neuroimmunology and Synaptic Plasticity Laboratory at Fondazione Santa Lucia/Centro Europeo per la Ricerca sul Cervello (CERC), Rome.

    His major clinical interest involves the evaluation of new drugs for the treatment of MS. His research interests are related to the role of synaptic transmission and plasticity in the pathophysiology of MS and of its experimental model, and to the physiology of the endocannabinoid system and its involvement in inflammatory neurodegenerative diseases.

    Prof. Centonze graduated in Medicine at the University La Sapienza of Rome in 1994 and specialised in Neurology in 1999 and in Psychiatry in 2006 at the University of Tor Vergata. He obtained his PhD in Rehabilitation Medicine in 2012.

    He is Principal Investigator of many phase II, III and IV national and international trials with new therapeutic agents for MS. He is also an Expert Consultant of the European Medicine Agency for MS. He is Member of the Society for Neuroscience, the Italian Neurological Society (SIN) and the Italian Neuroscience Society (SINS).

    Prof. Centonze is author of around 250 peer-reviewed papers published in international journals of Neuroscience, Neurology and Psychiatry.

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    Dr. Diego Centonze is an Advisory Board member of Merck (Serono), TEVA, Bayer (Schering), and received honoraria for speaking or consultation fees from Merck (Serono), TEVA, Novartis, Bayer (Schering), Sanofi Aventis, Biogen Idec. He is also an external expert consultant of the European Medicine Agency (EMA), and the principal investigator in clinical trials for Merck (Serono), TEVA, Novartis, Bayer (Schering), Sanofi Aventis, Biogen Idec.

  • Rainer Ehling (reporter)

    Reha Zentrum Münster, Münster, Austria

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    Rainer Ehling, MD, is a specialist in neurology and works currently at the Department of Neurology at Reha Zentrum Münster, Austria.

    His major research interests involve biomarkers, outcome measures for mobility and rehabilitative aspects in multiple sclerosis (MS).

    Rainer Ehling received his MD from the Leopold-Franzens University Innsbruck and completed his fellowship “biomarkers in multiple sclerosis” and residency in Neurology at the Department of Neurology, Medical University of Innsbruck, Austria. Since 2012, he holds a position as senior consultant at the Department of Neurology at Reha Zentrum Münster, Austria.

    Rainer Ehling participated as study initiator and investigator in several clinical trials on MS, including phase II-III clinical trials, has published more than 30 original papers and reviews regularly papers in peer-reviewed journals.

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    Participated in meetings sponsored by and received honoraria (for lectures and consultations) from Biogen, Merck Serono and Teva Ratiopharm.
    Received grants for educational purposes from Biogen, Boehringer Ingelheim, Merck Serono, Novartis Pharma GmbH, Ottobock and Teva Ratiopharm.

  • Ricardo C. Ginestal (reporter)

    Fundación Jiménez Díaz Hospital, Madrid, Spain

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    Ricardo C. Ginestal, MD, is a Consultant Neurologist at Fundación Jiménez Díaz Hospital in Madrid, Spain.

    His major clinical and research interests are Demyelinating Diseases, in particular the evaluation of the safety and efficacy of new drugs for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS).

    He received his MD from Universidad de Alcalá Medical School in Alcalá de Henares, Madrid, Spain and completed his residency in Neurology at the Ramón y Cajal Hospital in Madrid, Spain. He completed his training at the New England Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. As a visiting scientist at Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA, he evaluated the role of vitamins and vascular risk factors in the evolution of Alzheimer´s disease. In 2004, he moved to Lisbon, Portugal, where he set up the Multiple Sclerosis Unit. Dr. Ginestal joined the Fundación Jiménez Díaz Hospital in 2009 where he became the Director of the Demyelinating Diseases Unit in 2010.

    Dr. Ginestal is currently the Fundación Jiménez Díaz site Principal Investigator of three multi-centre, multi-national phase III studies in Relapsing Remitting (EARLIMS and LIBRETTO) and Secondary Progressive MS (EXPAND). He is involved in more than 10 phase IV studies and is the National Coordinator of two of them. In collaboration with the Surgery Department of the Universidad of Alcalá Medical School, he also works with animal models to evaluate the safety profile of new drugs for MS.

    Dr. Ginestal has written more than 70 peer-reviewed scientific articles, book chapters and more than 50 abstracts on General Neurology and Demyelinating Diseases.

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    Served as an advisor or consultant for: Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, Biogen Idec, Merck (Serono), Novartis, TEVA.

    Served as a speaker for: Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, Biogen Idec, Merck (Serono), Novartis, TEVA. 

    Received grants for educational purposes and clinical research from: Almirall, Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, Biogen Idec, Merck (Serono), Novartis, TEVA.

  • Pedro Oliva Nacarino (reporter)

    Hospital Universitario Central de Asturias, Oviedo, Spain

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    Pedro Oliva Nacarino is an Associate in Neurology at the Hospital Universitario Central de Asturias in Oviedo, Asturias, Spain. He was born in Cáceres on the 6th of July 1979. He obtained his Medicine and Surgery degree at the University of Salamanca in 2003 and completed his residency in Neurology at the Hospital Universitario Central de Asturias, Oviedo, Spain, where he serves as an attending physician since 2008.

    His daily work focuses on the care of patients with demyelinating diseases and other autoimmune diseases of the nervous system. He teaches at the School Enrique de Osso, being responsible for the subject of Neurology and Neuropsychology on the Occupational Therapy Degree. He is currently involved in several clinical trials and in research to identify biomarkers in multiple sclerosis.

  • Jana Preiningerova (reporter)

    Charles University, MS Center, Prague, Czech Republic

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    Dr. Jana Lizrova Preiningerova is a clinician scientist in the field of multiple sclerosis (MS) with focus on development of new biomarkers and new treatment options for MS. 

    She graduated from the First School of Medicine at Charles University in Prague in 1994, where she also completed her board certification in neurology and started her career. She then joined Dr. Timothy L. Vollmer at Yale University for a MS fellowship, followed by a research faculty appointment and a clinical appointment as an Assistant Professor at the Department of Neurology at Yale School of Medicine. She directed the Yale Multiple Sclerosis Center (2003-2009), where she developed a comprehensive MS care program and a clinical research team and started her projects on the use of optical coherence tomography (OCT) in MS.
    In 2009, she relocated with her family to Prague and joined a large MS Center led by Prof. Eva Havrdova. She has teaching responsibilities at the Department of Neurology, School of Medicine at Charles University and is clinically active at the MS Center. She founded the first Neuro-OCT lab in the Czech Republic, introduced imaging of the visual system in MS at the clinic and works on validation of the OCT technology as an outcome measure in MS. Her investigator-initiated research is focused on bringing new technology to clinical practice and advancing our understanding of MS subtypes.  She has led numerous Phase I-III clinical trials and investigator-initiated projects. 

    Dr. Jana Lizrova Preiningerova is a member of the American Academy of Neurology and serves as a reviewer for American Institute of Biological Sciences and several peer review journals in the field of MS. 

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    Participated in meetings sponsored by or received honoraria (for lectures, advisory boards, consultations) from pharmaceutical companies marketing treatments for multiple sclerosis: Biogen Idec, Merck (Serono), Novartis and TEVA.
    Receives research support from Biogen Idec and Novartis. 

  • Àlex Rovira (editor)

    University Hospital Vall d’Hebron, Barcelona, Spain

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    Dr. Àlex Rovira was born in Barcelona (Spain) in 1960. He is a full time neuroradiologist, who gained his MD in 1983 at the Autonomos University of Barcelona. After formal training in Radiology at the Valld’HebronUniversityHospital (Barcelona), he undertook a visiting fellowship at ShandsHospital (Gainesville, University of Florida) in 1989. In 1990, he became staff neuroradiologist at the section of Neuroradiology at Valld’HebronHospital (Barcelona, Spain). Since 1991, Dr. Rovira is Director of the Magnetic Resonance Unit, and, since 2011, Head of the Section of Neuroradiology at the University Hospital Vall d’Hebron, Barcelona (Spain). He is also Professor of Radiology at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. 

    Dr. Rovira is specialised in diagnostic neuroradiology and head and neck radiology, with particular interest in demyelinating diseases, stroke, neuro-oncology, hepatic encephalopathy and head and neck tumors. 

    Dr. Rovira is currently President of the Spanish Society of Neuroradiology, Co-Chairman of MAGNIMS (European Multicenter Collaborative Research Network on MRI in MS [Multiple Sclerosis]) and member of the Executive Committee of the European Society of Neuroradiology. He also served on the Lucien Appel Prize Award Jury of the European Society of Neuroradiology from 2006 to 2012. Additionally, he is on the editorial boards of the American Journal of Neuroradiology and Neuroradiology and is past-Editor Neuroradiology of the Spanish Journal of Radiology. 

    Dr. Rovira has authored or co-authored more than 200 original papers, 25 review papers, 25 book chapters or monographs and more than 270 conference presentations. 

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    Serves on scientific advisory boards for NeuroTEC Pharma, AdvanceCell, Bayer, Biogen Idec, Novartis, and OLEA Medical and on the editorial board of the American Journal of Neuroradiology and Neuroradiology.
    Has received speaker honoraria from Bayer, Sanofi Aventis, Bracco, Merck (Serono), TEVA, OLEA Medical, Stendhal, Novartis and Biogen Idec.
    Receives research support from Bayer and has research agreements with Siemens AG.

  • Stephen Ryan (reporter)

    Cork University Hospital, Wilton, Cork, Ireland

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    Stephen A. Ryan, MD, is a multiple sclerosis (MS) researcher at Cork University Hospital in Cork, Ireland.

    He completed his internship and residency in Ireland before moving into full time clinical research. He is currently undertaking a PhD with his main interests being MS epidemiology and immunology. He is also a study site investigator in several MS clinical trials and has published several peer-reviewed articles and abstracts. 

  • Antonio Scalfari (reporter)

    North West London Trust, Central Middlesex Hospital, London, United Kingdom

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    Antonio Scalfari is clinical research fellow at the Department of Neuroscience, Imperial College, London (UK). He graduated in medicine at the University of Messina (Italy) in 1999 and completed his Neurology training in 2004. Since 2003, he has been based in the UK. From 2003 to 2006, he was research fellow at Oxford University. From 2006, he has been working as associate specialist neurologist at North West London Hospital. He completed his PhD studies in neuroscience at Imperial College in 2013.

    Dr. Scalfari’s major interest involves the epidemiology of multiple sclerosis (MS), with particular focus on clinical factors predicting the long-term disease evolution. He has gained extensive experience in the natural history of MS, by analysing the London Ontario database. His previous studies addressed the relationship between relapses and the attainment of late outcomes, and the impact of age on disease progression. He is currently being funded by the UK MS society for carrying out a project, focussing on the extreme of outcomes among MS patients.

    Dr. Scalfari has published several articles on MS natural history and has given numerous talks at international meetings. He also acts as reviewer for international neurology journals.

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    Received travel grants from TEVA and Biogen Idec and will receive compensation as invited speaker at TEVA sponsored symposium in March 2014.

  • Pavel Štourač (reporter)

    University Hospital Brno, Brno, Czech Republic

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    Assoc. Prof. Pavel Štourač is a boarded neurologist and clinician scientist in the field of neuroimmunology and multiple sclerosis (MS) currently heading the large MS center at the Department of Neurology, University Hospital (Masaryk University) Brno, Czech Republic. 

    He is mainly interested in the immunopathology of MS. As an investigator and supervisor, he performed projects concerning the role of T-lymphocyte subsets in MS and their modulation by various drugs and also projects investigating  the role of various genes in MS pathophysiology. He worked as a principal investigator in clinical trials in the field of MS for more than fifteen years. He is also active in the area of autoimmune paraneoplastic neurological syndromes; as such he participated in Phases I and II Paraneoplastic Neurological Network Projects of the European Union. He presents his research results regularly at relevant international meetings such as the European Federation of Neurological Societies (EFNS)/European Neurological Society (ENS), European Committee for Treatment and Research in MS (ECTRIMS) and the American Academy of Neurology (AAN).

    Assoc. Prof. Pavel Štourač is a member of the EFNS, the European School of Neuroimmunology and the Czech Neurological Society. He is also a member of the Board of the European School of Neuroimmunology.

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    Declares to have no conflicts of interest.

  • Carmen Tur (reporter)

    Vall d'Hebron University Hospital, Barcelona, Spain

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    Carmen Tur, MD, PhD, is a Clinical and Research Neurologist at the Multiple Sclerosis Centre of Catalonia, department of Neurology-Neuroimmunology, Vall d’Hebron University Hospital, Barcelona, Spain, which is lead by Prof. Xavier Montalban. During the academic year 2013/2014, she is participating as a student in a Masters Course in Medical Statistics at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (University of London), UK.

    Dr. Tur graduated in Medicine and Surgery at the Rovira i Virgili University in Tarragona, Spain, in 2001, obtained her Neurology degree from the Internal Medical Resident program at the Vall d’Hebron University Hospital, Barcelona, Spain in 2006 and her PhD in Neurology at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain in 2012.

    Dr. Tur’s main interest is in multiple sclerosis (MS). As part of her PhD thesis, she was involved in 2000-2001 in a long-term follow-up clinical trial with interferon-β 1-b in primary progressive MS (PPMS). She is also involved in studies in patients with the clinically isolated syndrome (CIS), evaluating the correlation between gray matter volume loss and long-term clinical disability and the long-term effects of disease-modifying drugs (DMDs) in these patients. Conventional and non-conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques and the correlation of genetic polymorphisms with MRI variables (in PPMS), in cooperation with the Institute of Neurology, London, UK, and patients’ perspective and attitudes towards the risks of DMDs also belong to her areas of interest.

    Dr. Tur has published several articles on these topics/studies and has given numerous talks at national and international meetings. She acts as a reviewer for national and international renowned neurology journals

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    Received honoraria and support for travel from Merck (Serono), Serono Foundation, Sanofi Aventis, Bayer (Schering), TEVA and Novartis.

  • Jeroen J.J. van Eijck (reporter)

    Jeroen Bosch Hospital, 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands

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    Jeroen JJ van Eijk, MD, is a neurologist at the Jeroen Bosch Hospital in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands.

    His major research interests are multiple sclerosis (MS) and neuralgic amyotrophy.

    He received his MD from the University of Maastricht Medical School in Maastricht, the Netherlands. He completed his specialization/residency in neurology at the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre in Nijmegen (NL). Following a clinical fellowship in MS at the Radboud University Medical Centre, he worked as a neurologist at the MS clinic. Meanwhile he works at a PhD on immunogenetic aspects of neuralgic amyotrophy. He joined the department of neurology of the Jeroen Bosch Hospital in 2011.

    Dr. van Eijk was the Nijmegen site co-investigator of several randomized trials on immune-modulating agents in MS and was investigator on an open-label prednisone trial in neuralgic amyotrophy. Currently he is the ‘s-Hertogenbosch site co-investigator of a multicentre, phase III trial of natalizumab in secondary progressive MS.

    He has written several original scientific articles, abstracts and book chapters on MS, neuralgic amyotrophy and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and other related neurological/ neurodegenerative diseases.

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    Participated in advisory boards and/or has given presentations for TEVA, Biogen Idec, Novartis and Merck (Serono).

  • Patrick Vermersch (editor)

    University of Lille, Lille, France

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    Patrick Vermersch was born in 1962 in Bergues (France). He studied medicine at the University hospital in Lille, where he graduated with the medical thesis concerning the correlation between postural and oculomotor disturbances in Parkinson’s disease, under the supervision of Prof. Henri Petit. He completed his medical education in other basic research fields, mainly in cellular biology from 1990 to 1994 with a PhD focused on biochemical abnormalities associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. He has also conducted research related to the characterisation of post-transcriptional anomalies of Tau proteins. Thereafter, his research interest focused on multiple sclerosis (MS).

    Prof. Vermersch is head of one of the Departments of Neurology, University of Lille, France, which deals with MS and other neuro-inflammatory diseases. The principal scientific interests of the department are neuroimmunology and markers of disease evolution. 

    Prof. Vermersch is vice-dean of the faculty of medicine of Lille. He was Vice-President of the Regional Scientific Consultative Committee of INSERM (Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Medicale) from 1994 to 1996. He created in 2000 the first MS network in the north of France to improve both care and research in MS. His current domains of interest are prognostic markers of MS and neuro-immunology in general. He participates in many therapeutic protocols in MS. 

    He is editor in chief of two journals: “Neurones” and “Neurosciences and Sclérose en Plaques”. As author or co-author, he published approximately 290 scientific papers. 

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    Received honoraria and consulting fees from Biogen Idec, Sanofi-Genzyme, Bayer, Novartis, TEVA, Merck (Serono), GSK and Almirall.
    Received research supports from Biogen Idec, Sanofi-Genzyme, Bayer and Merck (Serono).