National Ataxia Foundation




Dr. Steven Nowicki currently works at UC Davis Medical Center in the M.I.N.D. Institute, where he works in Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics and is specializing work towards the elucidation of genetic susceptibility loci in autism. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Florida in 1998. He also received his M.D. from The University of Florida in 2000. Dr. Nowicki has been granted numerous awards. Among these awards are: “Department of Chemistry Industrial Affiliates Research Award Recipient” from the University of Florida in 1996. He has worked extensively and published on FX Syndrome and is very familiar with ‘Fragile X-Associated Tremor Ataxia Syndrome’ (FXTAS) discovered at the M.I.N.D. Institute. He is presenting today on the “Research Advances in FXTAS”.


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. Today she will speak on “Update on the Genetics of Ataxia”.


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. Today she will present on “Review of Anti-oxidants and their Role in Genetic and Non-genetic Ataxias”.


Dr. Henry ‘Hank’ Paulson received his Medical Degree from Yale University School of Medicine, and his Ph.D. in Cell Biology from Yale University School of Medicine. Dr. Paulson served his residency in Neurology at the University of Pennsylvania. Currently he serves as a professor of Neurology at the University of Iowa College of medicine. Since beginning his work on SCA3/MJD in 1996, Dr. Paulson’s lab has published many studies on MJD, and is reaching for a treatment or cure. Dr. Paulson is a member of National Ataxia Foundation’s Research Advisory Board and a member of the prestigious ‘Cooperative Ataxia Group’. He has received funding from NAF as well as the Ataxia MJD Research Project and NIH to research SCA3/MJD. Dr. Paulson’s research into Gene Silencing (siRNA) may hold some interesting announcements for all dominant hereditary Ataxias. He is ACARM’s special guest today and comes all the way from Iowa. Today he will talk on “What is RNA interference? And what’s up with it?”.



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