Dr. Basil T. Darras is Associate Neurologist-in-Chief and Chief of the Division of Clinical Neurology at Boston Children’s Hospital, and the Joseph J. Volpe Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Darras is a pediatric neurologist with advanced training and certification in human genetics and neuromuscular medicine. At Boston Children’s he serves as Director of the Neuromuscular Program, which includes one of the oldest and most active muscular dystrophy clinics in the country and where he specializes in the care of children with neuromuscular conditions originating from inherited or acquired conditions of the motor unit. He has published over 140 original reports in peer-reviewed journals and over 70 chapters, reviews and editorials; his major publications and specific research interests have focused on the molecular genetics, diagnostics, and therapeutics of Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophies and spinal muscular atrophy, and on defining the indications for new diagnostic methodologies in the evaluation of children with pediatric neuromuscular diseases. Basic research, carried out in collaboration with scientists in the research laboratories of Boston Children’s and other institutions, focuses on the description of novel mutations in patients with neuromuscular diseases and the application of new technologies to explore the pathogenesis and treatment of congenital myopathies and muscular dystrophies. Dr. Darras is site PI for the consortium conducting Pediatric Neuromuscular Clinical Research in Spinal Muscular Atrophy, and site PI/PD for the NeuroNEXT NINDS Program. He is currently involved in multiple clinical trials of novel genetic interventions for the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy and Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
Dr. H. Royden Jones was Chair of the Department of Neurology at Lahey Hospital and Medical Center, Burlington, Massachusetts; Director of the Electromyography Laboratory at Boston Children’s Hospital; and Clinical Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Jones completed residencies in Internal Medicine and Neurology and a fellowship in neurological physiology at the Mayo Clinic. He served over 3 years in the United States Army as Chief of Neurology at 5th General Hospital, Bad Cannstatt, Germany. Dr. Jones was Board certified in neurology, clinical neurophysiology, and neuromuscular medicine. Upon completion of his training he joined the Lahey Clinic in 1972. In 1977 he also joined the neurology department at Boston Children’s Hospital, founding the electromyography laboratory in 1979. Pediatric EMG became his major clinical research interest. Dr. Jones was co-editor of three major textbooks on childhood clinical neurophysiology and neuromuscular disorders. He was a co-founder of the biennial International Paediatric EMG Conference based at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital, London, England. Recognized as one of the top neurologists in the U.S., Dr. Jones was an author and editor of several Netter publications including two editions of Netter’s Neurology, The Netter Collection of Medical Illustrations: Nervous System, Volume 7, Part I (Brain) and Part II (Spinal Cord and Peripheral Motor and Sensory Systems), 2nd Editions (volumes in the Netter Green Book Collection). Dr. Jones authored and edited several other Netter publications and contributed over 200 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters. Dr. Jones served 8 years as a director of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, becoming Chair of its Neurology Council in 2004. In 2007 he received the Distinguished Physician Award from the American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine. Lahey Clinic’s Medical Staff Association recognized Dr. Jones in 2010 with its highest honor-the Frank Lahey Award for “commitment to the values of Dr. Frank Lahey: respect, teamwork, excellence, commitment to personal best.” Dr. Jones was named Outstanding Teacher in Pediatric Neurology 2012 - 2013 by the Department of Neurology, Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School. He also received an award in recognition of his many years of dedicated teaching at Tufts University School of Medicine.
Associate Professor Monique Ryan is a paediatric neurologist in the Children’s Neurosciences Centre, Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne Australia, where she is head of the neuromuscular clinical research program and multidisciplinary Neuromuscular Clinic. This clinic oversees the care of more than 500 children with neuromuscular disorders. A/Prof Ryan’s research interests include natural history studies of paediatric neuropathies and clinical trials of new therapies for muscle diseases, neuropathies and myasthenic syndromes of childhood. Her group undertook the landmark initial study of treatment of paediatric Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 1A with ascorbic acid, the first randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled therapeutic trial in paediatric CMT. Other research trials previously or currently undertaken at RCH include trials of novel therapeutics for Duchenne muscular dystrophy and spinal muscular atrophy, a number of studies addressing the natural history of various forms of paediatric CMT, and studies identifying new genes for CMT. A/Prof Ryan is a member of several international neuromuscular research consortia, a board member of CINRG and a member of the extended TREAT-NMD therapeutic advisory committee.
Dr. Darryl C. De Vivo is the Sidney Carter Professor of Neurology, Professor of Pediatrics, and Director Emeritus (1979-2000) of the Pediatric Neurology Service at the Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. He also serves as the Associate Chairman for Pediatric Neurosciences and Developmental Neurobiology, the Founding Director of the Colleen Giblin Research Laboratories for Pediatric Neurology, and the Co-Director of the Center for Motor Neuron Biology and Disease (MNC). Dr. De Vivo was a Director for Neurology and President of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Secretary of the American Academy of Neurology, and President of the Child Neurology Society. He completed postgraduate training in medicine at the University of Virginia Medical School, and residency training in medicine, pediatrics, and neurology at the Massachusetts Memorial Hospital and the Massachusetts General Hospital, and at the National Institutes of Health where he was a Clinical Associate in Neurology. Dr. De Vivo receives federal and non-federal funding, and serves as the Director for the Pediatric Neuromuscular Clinical Research Network (PNCRN) in Spinal Muscular Atrophy. He has published more than 400 original articles and reviews, lectures extensively in the U.S. and abroad, and serves on several editorial boards and advisory committees. He was honored in 2014 by the American Academy of Neurology as the recipient of the Sidney Carter Award in Pediatric Neurology. He has devoted part of his professional career to the study of neuromuscular diseases. In 1967, he studied at the NINDS as a clinical associate under W. King Engel. In 1975, he and Michael Brooke established the Jerry Lewis Neuromuscular Disease Center at Washington University School of Medicine. In 1979, Dr. De Vivo established the Pediatric Neuromuscular Disease Center at the Columbia University Medical Center, and in 2004, with support from the New York-based SMA Foundation, the Center was expanded to include the SMA Clinical Research Center, an intramural affiliate of the MNC. Recently, the PNCRN, established in 2004, has been expanded to six academic sites at Columbia, Harvard, Penn, Rochester, Nemours/Orlando and Stanford. This network is dedicated to the acceleration of clinical trials in search of effective treatments for SMA.