Extended Committee

Introduction to TACT

Annamaria de Luca, as TACT chair, is leading this exciting initiative with the support of the TACT core, nominated committee members and the TREAT-NMD secretariat. TREAT-NMD is confident that the breadth and calibre of the international TACT experts will ensure the quality of the output.

The aim of TACT is to provide transparent and consistent guidance and advice to the neuromuscular community, and applicants, in an educational and directional context, on the readiness of drugs and/or therapeutic targets for trials in neuromuscular diseases.

The remit of the committee is to evaluate the therapeutic potential of drugs based on preclinical data, thereby assisting TREAT-NMD in identifying clinical trials to be run via the network. TACT advice will be helpful for preparing funding applications and investigational drug applications, and serve as an unbiased appraisal to be published for the wider neuromuscular community. We hope that this process would be endorsed by the major funders.

In addition to the expert analysis of preclinical data TACT will also address issues of drug formulation, bioavailability and toxicology as well as possible regulatory requirements and marketing considerations. In close collaboration with the TREAT-NMD clinical trials coordination centre in Freiburg TACT is also dedicated to providing information on rational and economical trial design.  The ultimate goal of TACT is to help pave the pathway for successful drug registration by providing professional and independent advice.

The TACT appraisal process of potential therapeutics for clinical trials will take a maximum of 6 months. TACT will consider more than one drug at a time and therefore will have panels of experts, selected from the TACT members, reviewing the drugs concurrently, with the same chair and core committee for continuity.


Annemieke Aartsma-Rus Annemieke Aartsma-Rus - Preclinical expert

Professor - Leiden University Medical Center

Dr. Annemieke Aartsma-Rus is a professor of translational genetics at the Department of Human Genetics of the Leiden University Medical Center and leader of the DMD genetic therapy group. She was previously Chair of the executive committee of the TREAT-NMD alliance, president-elect of the Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Society and is a member of the Project Ethics Council and TACT Committee.

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Hugh Allen Hugh Allen - Clinical Representative

Professor of pediatrics and medicine - Texas Childrens Hospital

Hugh's  background is in echocardiography and cardiac function analysis, coupled with a large experience with the muscular dystrophy population. Presently he is a Professor of Paediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine, and is Staff Cardiologist at The Heart Center at Texas Children’s Hospital where he directs the care of neuromuscular cardiology patients.

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Dimitrios Athanasiou Dimitrios Athanasiou - Patient Advocate

DMD Patient Advocate, UPPMD Board Member, EMA Patient Expert in DMD - Texas Childrens Hospital

Dimitrios Athanasiou holds a BA in Business Administration and an MBA in Financial Management. He speaks three European languages and has more than 25 years’ experience with international business projects, working in various countries in consulting, developing and reorganizing companies.

When his son was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a fatal and incurable rare disease, he become a strong international patient advocate in Duchenne and Rare Diseases.

Having a passionate personality and technocratic background, he educated himself with basic rare disease and advocacy knowledge via the EURORDIS Summer School and then with the 14 month Patient Expert Course of the European Patient Academy of Therapeutic Innovation (EUPATI) acquiring basic biotech and regulatory knowledge, where he served as a Member of EUPATI’s Course Committee for the next year, representing the patient voice. Being a EUPATI fellow, he established the Greek EUPATI National Liaison Team.

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Fabiola Bertinotti Fabiola Bertinotti

Vice-president of FSHD Europe - Texas Childrens Hospital

Since Fabiola's adopted son was diagnosed with Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy in 2005, Fabiola became deeply involved in the world of neuromuscular diseases. In Italy, Fabiola has been an active member of patient’s association Unione Lotta alle Distrofia Muscolare (UILDM), and has recently joined Coordinamento Associazioni Neuromusculari (CAMN).

At an international level, Fabiola is one of the founding members of FSHD EUROPE, a federation of local FSHD and other Muscular Dystrophy organizations whose main objective is to represent the interests of these European organizations in relation to their various international stakeholders. After serving for three years as president, during which the association expanded its reach to include various European FSHD and other Muscular Dystrophy local associations, Fabiola has been appointed Vice-president with specific focus on patient’s interests and TREAT-NMD. Fabiola is passionate about open science and co-creation and has enrolled into the EURORDIS Summer School program.


John Bourke John Bourke - Clinical Representative

Consultant Cardiologist - Freeman Hospital

John graduated from the University College Dublin, Ireland in 1979. He is currently a Consultant Cardiologist (Electrophysiologist) at the Department of Cardiology, Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, Senior Lecture at Newcastle University & an Associate Member of Institute of Human Genetics, International Centre for Life, Newcastle.

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Arthur Burghes Arthur Burghes - Preclinical Expert

Professor - Ohio State University College of Medicine

Arthur completed his BS in Cellular & Microbial Biology in 1978 at the University of Calgary and his PhD in Biochemistry at University of London.

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Gunnar Buyse Gunnar Buyse - Preclinical Expert

Professor of Pediatrics & Pediatric Neurology - Universite Catholique de Louvain

Gunnar Buyse (MD, PhD) is Professor of Pediatrics and Child Neurology at the University of Leuven (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven), and is deputy clinical chair of Child Neurology at the University Hospitals Leuven. Gunnar Buyse is a Committee Member of the TREAT-NMD Advisory Committee for Therapeutics (TACT).

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Donald Cairns Donald Cairns - Medical Chemistry

Head of the School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences (PALS) - Robert Gordon University

Professor Donald Cairns obtained his Pharmacy degree and PhD from the University of Strathclyde. Following a year as a post-doctoral research fellow with the Cancer Research Campaign, Donald moved to Leicester Polytechnic where he held a five-year lectureship in pharmacy. In 1992 Donald was appointed senior lecturer in medicinal chemistry in Sunderland School of Pharmacy and in 2003 moved to Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen as Associate Head. In 2006, he was promoted to Professor of Pharmaceutical and Medicinal Chemistry, in 2010 he was appointed Acting Head of School and in 2012 he was appointed to his present post of Head of the School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences.

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Paula Clemens Paula Clemens - Clinical Representative

Professor of Neurology - University of Pittsburgh

Paula has a career-long interest in the muscular dystrophies spanning clinical care, basic research and clinical research endeavors. She is experienced as a site PI and study chair for studies conducted by the multi-center clinical trial network comprised of more than 25 centers worldwide, the Cooperative International Neuromuscular Research Group (CINRG).

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Giulio Cossu Giulio Cossu - Clinical expert and cell therapy

Constance Thornley Professor of Regenerative Medicine - University of Pittsburgh

Giulio Cossu is Constance Thornley Professor of Regenerative Medicine at the University of Manchester. He received his MD degree from the University of Rome, then moved as Fogarty fellow at the University of Pennsylvania and in 1992 became Professor of Histology and Embryology in Rome. In 2000 he became Director of the Division of Regenerative Medicine at San Raffaele in Milan. In 2012 he moved as Professor of Human Stem Cell Biology to University College London and in 2013 to the University of Manchester.

He has been working as CAT member at EMA (2012-13). He is EMBO Member, Member of the European Academy of Science, Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and of the Accademia dei Lincei. Giulio Cossu is recognized for his pioneering work on muscle development and on cell therapy for muscular dystrophies. He has published more than 200 peer-reviewed papers and secured grants for more than 10 M£.

Giulio Cossu has no conflict of interest to disclose.

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Cristina Csimma Cristina Csimma - Drug development expert

Principal - Csimma LLC

Cristina Csimma’s experience in the biopharmaceutical, venture capital and academic settings encompasses global development in multiple therapeutic areas including rare neuromuscular diseases, translational through registration clinical studies, and integration of biomarkers and novel technologies into development as well as leadership roles in new company formation and fund raising. Dr Csimma served several years on the Core Committee and has reviewed many of our applications.

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Simon Day Simon Day - Regulatory and Statistical Expert

Independent consultant - based in the UK

Simon is a medical statistician with around 30 years’ experience working in clinical trials. He has worked in many different therapeutic areas and has been involved in academic-run studies as well as many carried out by the pharmaceutical industry. Apart from trial expertise, he also has a lot of experience in the overall drug-development process.

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Beatrice de Montleau Beatrice de Montleau - Patient Organisation Representative

Board of Directors - Association Française contre les Myopathies - AFM

Beatrice de Montleau is the mother of three children, the youngest of whom is affected by Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Beatrice began her volunteer involvement with the AFM (French Muscular Dystrophy Association) by serving on the financial committee, bringing to that service a professional background in internal audit and sustainable development.

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Marianne de Visser Marianne de Visser - Clinical Representative

Neurologist, Professor of Neuromuscular Disorders - Amsterdam Medical Centre

Marianne has been the leader of the neuromuscular group at the Academic Medical Centre in Amsterdam in the Netherlands for more than 20 years. During this time her group has contributed to research on muscular dystrophies, myositis, motor neuron diseases and hereditary neuropathies.

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Sven Dittrich Sven Dittrich - Clinical Representative

Head of the Department of Pediatric Cardiology - Children's Hospital, University Hospital Erlangen

Prof. Sven Dittrich, MD is principal investigator of the German multicentric trial “Effect and Safety of preventive Treatment with ACE-Inhibitor and Beat-Blocker on the onset of Left Ventricular Dysfunction in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy”, which is organized within the MD-Net and the German Competence Network for Congenital Heart Disease. His group also works on Tissue Doppler and cardiac MRI in Duchenne patients.


Alberto Dubrovsky Alberto Dubrovsky - Clinical Representative

Director of Dept of Neurology and Director Neuromuscular Unit - Fundacion Favaloro Hospital Universitario

Alberto Dubrovsky, MD, is currently Director of the Department of Neurology, Director of Neuromuscular Disease Unit of the Neurosciences at Fundacion Favaloro. Since 1983 he has also served as Medical Director of the Argentina Muscular Dystrophy Association. Alberto is a  Professor of Neurology at the University of Buenos and a Full Professor of Neurosciences at the Favaloro University, training as a Neurologist in the field of Neuromuscular Diseases at NIH under the sponsorship of W King Engel.

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Gustavo  Dziewczapolski Gustavo Dziewczapolski

Scientific Director, Cure CMD - Fundacion Favaloro Hospital Universitario

Dr. Dziewczapolski is the Scientific Director of Cure CMD. He plays the role of liaison between researchers, clinicians, pharma industry, patients and families with the aim of accelerating CMD research, diagnostics, care standards, and translation of research discoveries into real therapies.


Michelle Eagle Michelle Eagle - Physical Therapist Representative

Consultant Physiotherapist - Newcastle University

Michelle initially specialised in Rheumatology and gained a masters degree in the clinical evaluation and development of outcome measures in Ankylosing Spondylitis.

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Kenneth  Fischbeck Kenneth Fischbeck - Preclinical Expert

Branch Chief - National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Kurt is an NIH Distinguished Investigator and Chief of the Neurogenetics Branch at NINDS and a TREAT-NMD STAC member. He has experience with preclinical (animal) studies in various neuromuscular diseases including Duchenne muscular dystrophy, spinal muscular atrophy, and spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA), and he has run clinical trials and biomarker studies in Duchenne muscular dystrophy, spinal muscular atrophy, Friedreich's ataxia, and SBMA.

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Call 1-301-435-9318


Kevin Flanigan Kevin Flanigan - Clinical Representative

Professor of Pediatrics and Neurology - Ohio State University College of Medicine

Kevin is the Director of the United Dystrophinopathy Project, an NIH-funded consortium studying the natural history and genotype/phenotype correlations in the DMD gene. 

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Pat Furlong Pat Furlong - Patient Organisation Representative

CEO - Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy

Pat Furlong is the Founding President and CEO of Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD) which she founded together with other parents of young men with Duchenne in 1994.

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Nathalie Goemans Nathalie Goemans - Clinical Representative

M.D - UZ Leuven

Dr Nathalie Goemans (M.D. PhD) is a paediatrician and child neurologist, with certification in rehabilitation medicine and is currently head of the Neuromuscular Reference Centre within the department of Paediatrics and Child Neurology at the University Hospitals Leuven, Belgium, and consultant in neuropediatrics at DVC St Jozef Antwerp, Belgium, a rehabilitation centre with residential setting for neuromuscular patients.

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Heather Gordish-Dressman Heather Gordish-Dressman

Associate Professor of Pediatrics - UZ Leuven

Dr. Gordish-Dressman is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences and the Center for Translational at Children's National Health System and is a statistician focusing on in neuromuscular diseases.


Amelie Gubitz Amelie Gubitz - Pre-clinical representative

Program Director at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke - UZ Leuven

Amelie Gubitz serves as a Program Director at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), USA. Her portfolio includes basic, translational and clinical research on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, X-linked spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy, Friedreich's ataxia and hereditary spastic paraplegia. Amelie earned a Ph.D. in pharmacology from the University of Cambridge, UK, and then completed a Wellcome Trust Fellowship at Harvard Medical School. Subsequently, she worked as a Senior Scientist in the target discovery group for neuropathic pain at Parke Davis, UK. Prior to joining the NINDS in 2006, she studied the molecular pathogenesis of spinal muscular atrophy in the laboratory of Dr. Gideon Dreyfuss at the University of Pennsylvania.

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Elin Haf Davies Elin Haf Davies - Regulatory and clinical trial data expert

CEO, Aparito - UZ Leuven

Elin Haf Davies PhD is the CEO of Aparito, a company developed to support the adoption of technology and innovative solutions for monitoring patients in clinical trials and introducing innovative study designs, and data generation strategies. Prior to Aparito, Elin Haf has 18+ years of clinical, academic and regulatory drug development experience.

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Jon Hastie Jon Hastie - DMD Patient Representative

CEO, DMD Pathfinders - UZ Leuven

Dr Jon Hastie is the CEO of DMD Pathfinders, a user-led organisation of adults with Duchenne. He co-founded DMD Pathfinders in 2014 after working for several years on a transition programme for young people with Duchenne and has been a co-researcher on key social studies of adults with DMD.  As an adult with Duchenne himself he has a detailed knowledge of the condition and its physical, social and psychological impacts in adulthood.

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Eric Hoffman Eric Hoffman - Drug development

Director, Research Center for Genetic Medicine & The Wicker Project for Muscular Dystrophy Research - CINRG

Eric Hoffman, is Associate Dean for Research, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Binghamton University - SUNY, New York, USA and the CEO of ReveraGen BioPharma, Rockville, MD USA

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Joseph Irwin Joseph Irwin - Ethical Input

Consultant - Lakeside Regulatory Consulting Services Ltd

Joseph Irwin became a Member of Spinal Muscular Atrophy Support UK (previously The Jennifer Trust for Spinal Muscular Atrophy) after his first son Toby was diagnosed with Type I SMA. Joseph, who is a biochemist-pharmacologist with molecular biology and cell biology experience, has worked for many years in hospital based research and for the pharmaceutical industry.

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Jill Jarecki Jill Jarecki - Preclinical Expert

Research Director - Cure SMA

Jill is the Chief Scientific Officer at Cure SMA (formerly Families of SMA), and she has worked there since 2005. In this capacity, she has overseen over 40 million in SMA research investments, including in basic research, preclinical drug development, clinical research, and regulatory work.

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Hermien Kan

Associate Professor - Leiden University Medical Center

Dr. Hermien E. Kan is staff member of the C.J. Gorter Center for high field MRI at the Leiden Universtiy Medical Center, where her main focus is on quantitiatve MR muscle and brain in Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophy and high field muscle MR spectroscopy.

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Petra Kaufmann Petra Kaufmann - Clinical Representative

Director, Division of Clinical Innovation - NCATS

Petra Kaufmann, M.D., M.Sc., is Director of the Division of Clinical Innovation at the National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS). In this capacity, she oversees the Clinical And Translational Science Award (CTSA) program, which supports a national consortium of medical research institutions working to transform the way biomedical research is conducted.

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Oliver King Oliver King - Statistician

Assistant Professor - University of Massachusetts Medical School

Dr Oliver King is an assistant professor in the Department of Neurology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School

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Donald Kirsch Donald Kirsch - Research and Development / Drug Discovery Expert

Research and Development / Drug Discovery

Dr Donald Kirsch has almost 35 years of R&D leadership and management experience in the biopharmaceutical industry. He currently runs a biopharma consulting practice in Boston and New York, teaches Drug Discovery and Management at the Harvard University Extension School and courses at MassBio.

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Rudolf Korinthenberg Rudolf Korinthenberg - Clinical Trial Coordination centre representative

Director, Neuropediatrics and Muscular Disorders - University Medical Center Freiburg

Prof. Rudolf Korinthenberg, MD is head of the Department of Neuropediatrics and Muscular Disorders at Children’s Hospital, University Hospital Freiburg. He received his pediatric and neuropediatric training at University Hospital Münster/Westfalia and holds his actual position since 1990.

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Richard Lovering Richard Lovering - Physical Therapist Representative

Associate Professor, Orthopaedics - University of Maryland - School of Medicine

Rich worked as a physical therapist starting in 1886. He returned to school and received his PhD in 2003, which was aimed at elucidating the cellular and molecular changes that occur during eccentric injury to muscle. He performed his post-doctoral work in the Department of Physiology at the University of Maryland (UMB) School of Medicine where he examined the role of intermediate filaments in skeletal muscle. There are many parallels in muscle that is injured, aging, or dystrophic; thus these are foci of work in the Lovering Laboratory. The Lab still maintains a strong interest in measuring muscle function (in vivo contractility) and relating the outcomes to changes at the cell level and to changes seen using non-invasive MR imaging and spectroscopy. The most recent efforts have been focused on elucidating the role of nuclear mobility, position, and function in dystrophic and aging muscles, and relating these findings to overall muscle function.

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Linda Lowes Linda Lowes - Physiotherapist

Director of Clinical Therapies Research - Nationwide Children's Hospital

Linda Lowes, PT, PhD is the director of clinical therapies research and a member of the Center for Gene Therapy at the Research Institute of Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

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Oscar Henry Mayer Oscar Henry Mayer - Clinical Representative

Medical Director, Pulmonary Function Testing Laboratory - Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Dr. Oscar Henry Mayer is an Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at The Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and an Attending Pulmonologist within the Division of Pulmonology at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), where he is the medical director of the CHOP Pulmonary Function Testing (PFT) laboratory.

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Anna Mayhew Anna Mayhew - Physical Therapist Representative

Consultant Research Physiotherapist - Newcastle University

Dr Anna Mayhew is a Consultant Research Physiotherapist at The MRC Centre for Neuromuscular Diseases at Newcastle, Newcastle University.

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John McCall John McCall - Toxicology Expert

President, PharMac LLC - PharMac LLC

John McCall’s expertise is drug discovery, risk minimization, and medicinal chemistry. He has worked in a number of disease areas including acute and chronic neurologic disorders, psychiatric diseases, neuromuscular disease, cardiovascular disease, inflammatory disease, and oncology. He is currently President, PharMac LLC. Dr McCall has served for several years on our Core Committee and has reviewed many of our applications.

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D. Elizabeth McNeil D. Elizabeth McNeil - Regulatory Expert

National Institutes of Health - NIH

Dr. Elizabeth McNeil came to NINDS in 2010, after working for 8 years at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). While at the FDA, she worked extensively on a full range of products, including new molecular entities, new formulations of approved drug products, drug-drug combinations, and drug-device combinations. She worked to develop new scientific, clinical and regulatory standards for the development of certain drug classes and developed initiatives which resulted in standardization and clarification of terminology used in defining claims and endpoints, as well as in increased standardization, precision, and sensitivity in reporting safety and efficacy data.

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Debra Miller Debra Miller

Founder and CEO - CureDuchenne

Debra Miller co-founded CureDuchenne in 2003 with her husband, Paul, after their only son was diagnosed with Duchenne. She relies on her extensive background in sales and marketing to lead CureDuchenne.

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Jenny Morgan Jenny Morgan - Pre-clinical and stem cell expert

Professor - CureDuchenne

Jennifer Morgan is a Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity Professor of Cell Biology in the Dubowitz Neuromuscular Centre, Molecular Neurosciences Section, Developmental Neurosciences Programme, University College London Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health. She is a member of the muscular dystrophy exon skipping (MDEX) consortium where she is involved in the analysis of dystrophin exon skipping and dystrophin protein production in cells and muscles of patients treated with antisense oligonucleotides in clinical trials.  She is also a PI of the MRC Centre for Neuromuscular Diseases, a partnership between the UCL Institutes of Neurology and Child Health and the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, directed by Professor Michael Hanna at the UCL Institute of Neurology.

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Wolfgang Müller-Felber

Associate Professor of neurology, Neurologist and psychiatrist, pediatric neurologist - CureDuchenne

Wolfgang Müller-Felber is a pediatric neurologist at the Dr.  v. Hauner children‘s hospital at the university of Munich (LMU), Germany. He has a longstanding interest in neuromuscular disorders.


Francesco Muntoni Francesco Muntoni - Clinical Representative

Director of The Dubowitz Neuromuscular Centre - University College London

Francesco Muntoni (Professor in Pediatric Neurology, FRCPCH, FMedSci) is Director of the Unit with oversight of both clinical and research activities.

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Kanneboyina Nagaraju (Raju) Kanneboyina Nagaraju (Raju) - Preclinical Expert

Professor of Integrative Systems Biology and Pediatrics - Childrens National Health System

Kanneboyina Nagaraju, DVM, PhD is a principal investigator at the Research Center for Genetic Medicine, Children’s National Medical Center (CNMC) and a tenured associate professor of Integrative Systems Biology and Pediatrics at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

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Ichizo Nishino Ichizo Nishino

Director, Department of Neuromuscular Research - National Institute of Neuroscience - National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry

After having 5 years of clinical neurology training, Dr. Nishino started muscle disease research from 1994 under the tutelage of Dr. Ikuya Nonaka, who remained a steadfast source of inspiration. Later, his postdoctoral research for two years at Columbia University solidified his yearning to focus on research. In 2001, he was appointed directorship of the current Department of Neuromuscular Research and since then, he has been directing his team on the research to elucidate the pathomechanism and develop the therapy for hereditary muscle diseases, including DMRV/hIBM and various muscular dystrophies.


Marie-Christine Ouillade Marie-Christine Ouillade - Patient Organisation Representative

President of SMA Europe - Association Française contre les Myopathies - AFM

Marie-Christine is the mother of a young lady affected by SMA. She is president of SMA Europe an umbrella association of SMA patients organization in Europe  She is also a member of AFM Board of Directors, and GENETHON board of directors.

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Mike Pleiss Mike Pleiss - Pharmacology Expert

Pharmaceutical Research and Development Executive - Mike Pleiss and Associates, LLC

Mike was part of several project teams (and head of the multiple sclerosis (MS) / autoimmune effort) that resulted in several first-in-class therapeutics for Alzheimer’s (AD), MS and other autoimmune diseases.

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John Porter John Porter - Preclinical expert and patient advocacy

Chief Science Officer, Myotonic Dystrophy Foundation - Mike Pleiss and Associates, LLC

John Porter, Ph.D. is Chief Science officer for the Myotonic Dystrophy Foundation, a non-profit focused on improving patient care and developing novel therapies for myotonic dystrophy.  He has a strong interest in ensuring the scientific rigor of preclinical study design, conduct, and the validity of data used to provide rationale for clinical trials, across all neuromuscular disorders, and played a key role in efforts to include such considerations in Federal and non-Federal grant review processes.

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Christoph Rehmann-Sutter Christoph Rehmann-Sutter - Ethical Input

Professor of Theory and Ethics in the Biosciences - University of Lübeck

Christoph Rehmann-Sutter is a philosopher, Professor of Theory and Ethics in the Biosciences at the University of Lübeck in Germany and currently also Visiting Professor at King’s College in London. Born in 1959 he obtained a first training in molecular biology with a Diploma from the Biocenter at University of Basel in 1984, then a second full training in philosophy and sociology with a doctoral degree at the Technical University of Darmstadt 1995. 1997-1998 he joined the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management ESPM of the University of California at Berkeley as a Research Fellow. 1996-2009 he was Head of the Unit for Ethics in the Biosciences at the University of Basel in Switzerland. 2001-2009 he was Chair of the Swiss National Advisory Commission on Biomedical Ethics, elected by the Swiss Government, advising parliament and government.

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Isabelle Richard Isabelle Richard


Since her PhD studies in 1991, Isabelle has been working on Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophies: identification of the genes and study of their protein functions to identify pharmacological solutions, development of animal models and investigation of gene transfer by gene therapy.


Urs Ruegg Urs Ruegg - Pharmacology Expert

Professor emeritus of Pharmacology - University of Geneva

After twelve years of drug research in the Basel pharmaceutical industry, Urs joined the University of Lausanne as Professor of Pharmacology in 1992. Since 2004 he has headed the Laboratory of Pharmacology at Geneva – Lausanne School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Geneva. Since 1992, he has had full responsibility for the entire curriculum in pharmacology for pharmacy students.

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Monique Ryan Monique Ryan - Clinical Representative

Director, Neurology Department, The Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne - The Royal Children's Hospital

Monique is a paediatric neurologist with a long interest into clinical research into the neuromuscular disorders of childhood. She has expertise in the design and performance of clinical trials - both into natural history and of pharmacotherapeutic agents - in muscle and nerve disorders of childhood, as well as a research interest into outcome measures (particularly neurophysiologic and functional measures). She is Director of the Neurology Department at The Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne.

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Lars Sandman Lars Sandman - Ethics

Professor of Care Ethics - University of Boras

Professor Lars Sandman is a philosopher by training and received his PhD in practical philosophy from Gothenburg university in 2002. He is currently professor of care ethics at University of Borås, Sweden, and guest professor at the National Centre for Priority Setting in Health Care at Linköping University, Sweden.

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Jeremy Shefner Jeremy Shefner - Clinical Representative

Professor and Chair of Neurology - Upstate University Hospital

Jeremy Shefner, MD, PhD, is Chair of the Department of Neurology and Associate Director for Barrow Neurological Institute.

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Lee Sweeney Lee Sweeney - Preclinical Expert

Professor and Chair of the Department of Physiology at Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania - Upstate University Hospital

H. Lee Sweeney, Ph.D., is the William Maul Measey Professor and Chair of the Department of Physiology at Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania. He is working to develop therapies for the skeletal and cardiac muscle aspects of muscular dystrophies using both small molecule and gene therapy approaches. Dr. Sweeney is the Director of a Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Cooperative Research Center funded by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.

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Ulrike Schara Ulrike Schara - Clinical Representative

MD - University of Essen

Ulrike Schara is a paediatric neurologist at the university hospital in Essen, Germany. She has a long-standing clinical interest in muscle disorders and CMS. She has recently started to build a patient registry for CMS in collaboration with TREAT-NMD.

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Jeff Towbin Jeff Towbin - Clinical Representative

Professor and Chief, Pediatric Cardiology, Executive Co-Director The Heart Institute - Cincinnati Children's Hospital

Dr. Jeffrey A. Towbin, Executive Director of the Heart Institute and Professor & Chief, Pediatric Cardiology at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, did his Pediatric Residency at Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati.

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Jan Verschuuren Jan Verschuuren - Clinical Representative

Head of Neuromuscular Section, Department of Neurology - Leiden University Medical Center

Jan Verschuuren is a neurologist and professor of Neuromuscular Disease at the LUMC. He is the clinical representative for the LUMC in TREAT-NMD, and president of the Dutch Neuromuscular Centre (www.ISNO.nl).

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Call +31 71 5262197


Maryze Schoneveld van de Linde Maryze Schoneveld van de Linde - Patient expert - Pompe disease

Leiden University Medical Center

On February 1, 2009 Maryze Schoneveld van der Linde joined the ENMC as project manager for TREAT-NMD. In 1995 Maryze Schoneveld van der Linde graduated with a masters degree in Cultural Anthropology at the University of Leiden. Since 1996 she has been working with migrant and refugee women from Turkey and the Middle East Region in empowerment related issues and activities.

Maryze Schoneveld van der Linde has been an active board member of the Dutch Association for Respiratory Support (VSCA, 1997 - 2006) and an active board member of the International Pompe Association (IPA, 1999 - 2006).

Currently she is advisor of the IPA. In 2007 she started a consultancy in health and care called Patient Centered Solutions. With her consultancy she provides clients with experienced based expertise, knowledge and practical insights from a patient's perspective regarding issues related to health and care.


Elizabeth Vroom Elizabeth Vroom - Patient Organisation Representative

Chair, World Duchenne Organisation (UPPMD) - Leiden University Medical Center

Elizabeth is the president of Dutch Duchenne Parent Project and the chair of United Parent Projects Muscular Dystrophy (UPPMD). UPPMD is owned and managed by parent project organisations set up by parents of children with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy in many different countries all over the world. As the chair of UPPMD, Elizabeth can represent the Duchenne parent community on the TACT committee.

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Maggie Walter Maggie Walter - Clinical Representative

Associate Professor of Neurology - Friedrich-Baur Institut, Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich

Maggie Walter is Associate Professor of Neurology at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich. She has trained as a neurologist at the LMU Munich, and is working at the Friedrich-Baur-Institute, the neuromuscular department of the LMU, in leading position. Furthermore, she graduated with a master degree in management of social and health institutions.

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Dominic Wells Dominic Wells - Preclinical Expert

Professor Neuromuscular Diseases Group - The Royal Veterinary College

After several years in general practice he moved to the USA and did his PhD on hummingbird flight. After that he returned to the UK with a lecturer post at the Royal Veterinary College where he first became involved in DMD research. From 1995 he has been based at the Imperial College.

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Raffaella Willmann Raffaella Willmann

TREAT-NMD activity coordinator - Swiss Foundation for Research on Muscle Diseases

Raffaella Willmann studied Biology in Italy and obtained her PhD in Biochemistry in Konstanz (Germany). After a first post-doc position in muscle physiology in Konstanz, she joined the group of Prof. Fuhrer in at the University of Zürich in 2000.

Since 2012, she is affiliated to the Swiss Foundation for Research on Muscle Diseases as scientific assistant.


Meg Winberg Meg Winberg - Preclinical Expert

Independent consultant - based in the USA

In Meg’s former capacity as Director, Discovery Research at the Spinal Muscular Atrophy Foundation she has driven and overseen the Foundation’s efforts in the development and execution of new cell-based assays and drug screens and implementation of standardized drug testing in a mouse model of SMA.

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Minal Jain Minal Jain

Research Coordinator - based in the USA

Minal Jain, PT, DSc, PCS is the research coordinator for the physical therapy section of the Rehabilitation Medicine Department at the NIH Clinical Center.