LEADERSHIP BOARD

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DR. DEANNA SAYLOR, MD, MHS

PRESIDENT

Assistant Professor of Neurology

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine 

University of Zambia School of Medicine

A medical graduate of Johns Hopkins as well, Dr. Saylor served a medical internship at the Hopkins-affiliated Bloomberg School of Public Health.  As a Doris Duke International Clinical Research Fellow, Dr. Saylor investigated the prevalence of and risk factors for HIV-associated peripheral neuropathy, identifying clinical screening tools for peripheral neuropathy which were applicable to resource-limited settings. More recently, her work investigates the prevalence of and risk factors for peripheral neuropathy and HIV-associated dementia in both HIV+ and HIV- cohorts in rural Rakai, Uganda.  This project explores the impact of HIV subtype and chronic inflammation on the development of peripheral neuropathy and HIV-associated dementia. Her most recent awards include American Academy of Neurology’s Resident Leadership Award, the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections’ Young Investigator Award, and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Neurology Resident Brain Award for Excellence in Teaching. Dr, Saylor has numerous neurological research publications to her credit, and has served for eight years as Volunteer and HIV Educator for HopeSprings, a faith-based HIV-outreach organization in Baltimore.

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DR. PIERO ANTUONO, MD

BOARD MEMBER

Professor of Neurology, Pharmacology and Toxicology

Medical College of Wisconsin

Dr. Antuono currently directs the Dementia Research Center, a facility dedicated to research in Alzheimer’s Disease, and the Memory Disorders Clinic, a center for the clinical evaluation of patients who have memory problems. He directs investigational studies for the development of new drugs for memory, and has also developed tests applying MRI scans to the identification of middle aged people at future risk for development of Alzheimer’s disease. Originally from Florence, Italy where he received his primary medical training, he continued his education at Johns Hopkins University before beginning his work at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Dr. Antuono has received Certification of Commendation for his work in dementia from the Governor of Wisconsin and the State Legislature, and is currently President of the World Federation of Neurology Dementia Research Group. He is also among the very first diplomates of the newly established Subspecialty Board for Behavioral Neurology and Neuropsychiatry.

STAFF

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DR. CARRIE BECKER, PHD, MA

Executive Director

Dr. Becker completed undergraduate work in neuroscience at Colgate University, and graduate training leading to MA and Ph.D. degrees at Harvard University in physiological and developmental psychology. Prior to working with the Foundation, Dr. Becker served for six years as Development Associate to Dr. Theodore Munsat in his tenure as Chairman of the Education Committee of the London-based World Federation of Neurology, assisting in developing and delivering educational resources promoting improved neurological practice to 40 low resource countries.  Focus areas for program development activities included the Neurology Resident Training Program in Honduras and Continuing Medical Education in regions served.  In addition to her work in neurology program development, Dr. Becker provides developmental education and strategic planning consult to New England schools and organizations.

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SOONMYUNG HWANG, BS

Program Associate

Soonmyung graduated from the Johns Hopkins University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Neuroscience and Public Health Studies, and will work towards an MD degree in the near future. Soonmyung conducts basic, clinical and global health research on multiple sclerosis at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. In addition to his scientific interests, he is passionate about serving disadvantaged and underserved populations, especially the refugee and migrant populations. Soonmyung has previously served as a Health and Wellness Program intern at World Relief Chicago, a faith-based non-profit organization that serves the essential needs of refugees and other immigrants. He hopes to cultivate all his interests to become a neurologist specializing in the global health of neurological disorders, especially in low-resourced regions.

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EMERY BUCKNER-WOLFSON, BS

Program Associate

Emery graduated from the Johns Hopkins University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Neuroscience and Spanish for the Professions. She hopes to pursue a medical degree and is passionate about community service. She has been volunteering with underserved communities throughout Baltimore for the past four years, devoting time to health fairs and tutoring with the Latinx community, engaging in therapeutic activities with children recovering from brain and spinal cord injuries, and supplementing elementary school visual arts curriculum with her organization Art Brigade. Emery enjoys encouraging children to express their creativity through art because she has been able to find a voice through art, whether it be studio drawing or graphic design, and hopes to inspire other to so the same.

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DR. HUBERT H. FERNANDEZ, MD

FORMER PRESIDENT, BOARD MEMBER

Professor of Medicine, Neurology

Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine

Dr. Fernandez is an internationally recognized expert in movement disorders who has initiated or participated in over 50 clinical trials and published findings in well over 300 articles and abstracts on Parkinson’s disease, cervical dystonia, blepharospasm, and other movement disorders. Dr. Fernandez is a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology, and a member of the American Neurological Association. He is currently a Counselor for the AAN Movement Disorders Section, Executive Committee Member of the Parkinson Study Group and Dystonia Study Group, and current Co-Medical Editor of the Movement Disorders Society Web site.

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DR. JAWAD AHMAD BAJWA, MD

BOARD MEMBER

Assistant Professor of Neurology

King Fahad Medical City (Saudi Arabia)

Dr. Bajwa’s prior employment includes Medical Director, Capistrant Center for Parkinson Disease and Movement Disorders, Bethesda Hospital; Medical Director, Deep Brain Stimulation program for Movement Disorders, Saint Paul. He served Fellowships in Clinical Movement Disorders, Deep Brain Stimulation and Intra-Operative Neuro- Physiological Mapping Fellowship at Cleveland Clinic, and residencies including Chief Resident Neurology at Georgetown University Hospital; Neurology Resident at Loyola University Hospital; Residency in Preliminary Internal Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine (VA Bronx Medical Center), Bronx, NY. Dr. Bajwa holds memberships in the American Academy of Neurology and Movement Disorder Society, and has numerous publications related to Movement Disorders.

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DR. MARCO T. MEDINA, MD

BOARD MEMBER

Former Dean & Professor, Faculty of Medical Sciences

National Autonomous University of Honduras

Dr. Medina developed Honduras’ first Neurology Training Program at the National Autonomous University of Honduras. He is the current President of the Pan American Federation of Neurological Societies (PAFNS), the former Vice President of the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE), and the President of the Salvador Moncada Foundation for the Development of Science. Dr. Medina also serves as an Editorial Board Member of the Journal of the Neurological Sciences and Epilepsia Open. He is the Regional Director for Latin America for the World Federation of Neurology, and former Chairman of the ILAE Latin American Commission. Dr. Medina has published numerous book chapters, research articles, and other publications. His work has been focused primarily on epilepsy, as well as stroke and the neurological effects of malnutrition.

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DR. KIRAN THAKUR, MD

BOARD MEMBER

Assistant Professor of Neurology

Columbia University Medical Center 

Dr. Thakur served her residency with Partners in Neurology Residency Program, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School. Dr. Thakur is a consultant to the Neurology Atlas Project and member of World Federation of Neurology, Education Committee; American Neurological Association; American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, and American Academy of Neurology Neuroinfectious Disease and Global health section.  Her international work includes Neurology Clerkship Director, Perdana University School of Medicine, and Neurology Consultant, Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, in Malawi. Her numerous publications in Neurology, Journal of Clinical Neurosciences, and Seminars in Neurology.