National Ataxia Foundation





Sunday, September 7, 2003


Piccadilly Inn University -- Waldorf Grand Ballroom
4961 N. Cedar, Fresno, California 93726 TEL: (559) 224-4200


9:00 - 10:00am

Coffee - Mix & Mingle

10:00 - 10:40

Gino Cortopassi - "Newest Developments in Friedrich's Ataxia Research"

10:40 - 11:20

Daniel Geschwind - "Overview of Neurogenetics Clinic at UCLA -Services Offered & Research"

11:20 - 12:00

Susan Perlman - "What is Non-Genetic Ataxia?"

12:00 - 1:30pm


1:30 - 2:10

Vicki Wheelock - "Fetal Stem Cell Transplants, Surgical Realities And Hopes"

2:10 - 2:50

David Schaffer - "Stem Cell Research in Neurodegenerative diseases"

3:00 - 4:00

When all presentations are complete they will be followed by a written question and answer period. Written questions will be taken from the Ask-It-Basket at the Literature Table.

To read the speakers presentations, simply click on their name.
You will need to have Acrobat Reader to view those documents. To dowload and install it (free), click here


Dr. Gino Cortopassi is a Professor at UC Davis where he teaches in the Department of Molecular Biosciences. He received his BA from Stanford in 1981 and his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in 1988. His research general interests are in Mitochondrial dysfunction in diseases, which include Friedrich's Ataxia (FRDA). Recently he put out a publication entitled "Frataxin expression rescues mitochondrial dysfunctions in FRDA cells." He will present on the "Newest Developments in Friedrich's Ataxia Research"

Dr. Daniel Geschwind received his M.D. and Ph.D. in Neurobiology at Yale University School of Medicine. He completed his post doctorate work in neurology at UCLA School of Medicine. He has also received numerous honors including: Frontiers of Science Award, McDonnell-Pew Foundation Award in Cognitive Neuroscience, and Jean-Louis Riehl Award for Outstanding Research during Neurology Residency. One of Dr. Geschwind's research specialties is Ataxia. He will speak to us today on "Overview of Neurogenetics Clinic at UCLA -Services Offered & Research"

Dr. Susan Perlman serves as Clinical Professor of Neurology and as the Director of the Ataxia Center at the University of California at Los Angeles. Dr. Perlman has been involved, since 1979, with the evaluation, diagnosis, and symptomatic treatment of people with inherited and acquired ataxia. In the past ten years, over 1,000 patients have been seen. The Ataxia Center at UCLA collaborates with other ataxia research groups and patient support organizations around the country and the world The Ataxia Center professional staff includes Dr Dan Geschwind, Dr Joanna Jen, Dr. Stephen Cederbaum, Dr. Richard Gatti, and Dr. Stefan Pulst. Dr. Perlman has funding from the National Ataxia Foundation for her important ataxia research efforts and she is also a member of the National Ataxia Foundation's Medical and Research Advisory Board.

Dr. Vicki Wheelock received her Biomedical Sciences degree from the University of Michigan. She became an M.D. also at the University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI in 1983. She is the Director of the Movement disorders Program and Huntington Disease Program at UC Davis Medical Center. These Programs in addition to symptomatic treatments have a stereotactic neurosurgery program, which provides presurgical evaluation, deep brain stimulation and stereotaxic functional neurosurgery, and postoperative management. The Movement disorders Clinic serves as the Northern California's referral system for the state funded Genetically Handicapped Persons Program (GHPP). This clinic focuses on patients with Friedreich's ataxia, Huntington's disease, Joseph's disease and other genetically determined diseases.

Dr. David Schaffer of the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute at UC Berkeley will speak on Stem Cells. Dave is an Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering at University of California, Berkeley. He graduated from Stanford University with a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering in 1993. Afterward, he attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology and earned his Ph.D. also in Chemical Engineering in 1998. While at M.I.T., Dave minored in Molecular and Cell Biology. Finally, Dave did a postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Fred Gage at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. His lab is interested in the related areas of gene therapy and neural stem cell biology. This type of research promises to be the future therapies for people with Ataxia and all Neurodegenerative diseases.