How We Fund Research for HSP and PLS
Our process is simple, time-consuming, but effective. We work with a world-renowned group of scientists that are all experts in the field of neurological disorders such as HSP and PLS. This group of scientists works with us on a volunteer basis, they live all over the world and we call them our Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). Every research proposal we receive is submitted to be reviewed, carefully analyzed, and graded by at least 3 members of our SAB. Once or twice a year, our SPF Board of Directors goes to our SAB and asks them for their recommendations. The manager of our SAB, Dr. Martha Nance, collects, compares and contrasts all of the SAB reports regarding each research proposal and turns in their report card with recommendations to our Board of Directors. We almost always follow their recommendations to support the very best HSP and PLS research in the world. The sad part of this process is that our SAB, in recent years, has graded several more of these research proposals as blue ribbon excellent than we can afford to support. Your donations are greatly needed and will be used in the most cost-efficient, effective method possible.
Medical and Scientific Advisors
John K. Fink, M.D.
Dr. Fink is the Director of the Neurogenetic Disorders Clinic at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He’s also a Professor in the university’s Department of Neurology and is a Physician Scientist at the Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center, Ann Arbor Veterans Affairs Medical Center. His research interests are analysis of inherited and degenerative disorders of the nervous system (including hereditary spastic paraplegia, primary lateral sclerosis, inherited movement disorders, schizophrenia) and regulation of neuronal development.
Dr. Fink received his M.D. from the Medical College of Ohio in Toledo. He did his residency training in neurology and genetics at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. At the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, he did a post-doctoral fellowship in the Developmental and Metabolic Neurology and Medical Genetics departments.
Scientific Advisory Board
Martha A. Nance MD, Scientific Advisory Board Chairman
Dr. Nance graduated with a B.S. from Yale University and an M.D. from the Virginia Commonwealth University School Of Medicine in 1984. Dr. Nance works in Saint Louis Park, MN, having over 35 years of diverse experience, especially in neurology and is affiliated with many hospitals including Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Hennepin County Medical Center, Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital, and St Cloud Hospital.
She specializes in Medical Genetics, Neurology and Psychiatry, is a board certified neurologist and clinical geneticist with special interest in movement disorders such as Parkinson's disease, Huntington’s disease, Hereditary Ataxias, Hereditary Spastic Paraplegias, and other neurogenetic disorders. She has served as the medical director of the Struthers Parkinson's Center since 2000. She speaks English, Chinese and Spanish.
In addition to the care of patients and families with neurologic diseases, she is also involved in clinical research to develop better treatments for Parkin-son's disease and Huntington's disease, and interested in education for both patients and medical professionals. She is a Clinical Professor of Neurology at the University of Minnesota.
Her other current regional and national professional activities include serving as the Medical Advisor to the Minnesota Chapter of the Huntington's Disease Society of America (1992-), Steering Committee, Enroll-HD study, and Executive Committee, Huntington Study Group (2014-2017)
Timothy Angelotti MD, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Medical Director, Life Flight (CCT), Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA.
Corey Braastad, PhD
Vice President and General Manager of Covance Genomics Laboratories, Springfield, MA.
Andrew Crosby, Ph.D.
Professor of Human Genetics, University of Exeter Medical School, RILD Wellcome Wolfson Centre, Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital, NHS Foundation Trust, Exeter, UK
Mark Gudesblatt, MD
South Shore Neurological Associates, Long Island, NY
Michael Kruer, M.D.
Director, Pediatric Movement Disorders & Neurogenetics Programs, Barrow Neurological Institute, Phoenix Children's Hospital; Associate Professor, Child Health, Neurology & Genetics, University of Arizona College of Medicine; Programs in Neuroscience and Molecular & Cellular Biology, Arizona State University.Phoenix, AZ.
Mark S. LeDoux, MD, PhD
Professor, Department of Neurology & Department of Psychology and School of Health Studies, University of Memphis; President, Veracity Neuroscience LLC, Memphis, TN.
Colum MacKinnon, Ph.D
Associate Professor, Department of Neurology, Institute of Translational Neuroscience, Director of the Movement Disorders Laboratory, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
Paolo Moretti, MD
Associate Professor of Neurology; Chief of the Division of Sleep and Movement Disorders, University of Utah; Staff Physician, Salt Lake City George E Wahlen VA Medical Center, Salt Lake City, UT.
Jennifer L. Orthmann-Murphy, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor of Neurology. Co-Director of the Age-Span Fellowship on MS/Neuroinflammatory Disorders, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine, University Park, PA.
Niamh O'Sullivan, PhD.
Assistant Professor, School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science, University College Dublin, Ireland
Melissa Rolls Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; Chair, Molecular, Cellular and Integrative Biosciences program; Director, Center for Cellular Dynamics; Associate Director of the Penn State Hershey MD/PhD program, Penn State, University Park, PA.
Jacinda Sampson, M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Neurology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA.
Filippo M. Santorelli, MD
Director, Department of Molecular Medicine & Neurogenetics IRCCS Fondazione Stella Maris, University of Pisa, Calambrone-Pisa, Italy