The Neuromuscular Disease Network for Canada

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Meet the NMD4C Team

Steering Committee

The Steering Committee provides overall scientific leadership, direction, and oversight. Its members are responsible for overseeing progress and coordination between the different work strands, operations, administration, budget, and interaction with knowledge users. They are accountable for the delivery of the scientific milestones and the effective administration of the project.

Hanns Lochmüller

NMD4C Working Group(s): Biobanking, Clinical Trial Coordination, Patient Registries

Dr Hanns Lochmüller leads the NMD4C network. He is a neurologist and clinical academic specializing in neuromuscular disorders. He is Senior Scientist at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) Research Institute and Professor of Neurology at the University of Ottawa and the Division of Neurology at The Ottawa Hospital.

James Dowling

NMD4C Working Group(s): Clinical Trial Coordination

Dr. James Dowling is a Professor of Paediatrics and Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto, and a Neurologist and Senior Scientist at the Hospital for Sick Children. He represents paediatric NMDs as a member of the NMD4C Steering Committee, leads on genomics education and curriculum, and participates in trial coordination.

Jodi Warman Chardon

NMD4C Working Group(s): Biobanking, Early Career

Dr. Jodi Warman Chardon is Associate Professor of Neurology at University of Ottawa, Director of the Ottawa Hospital Neuromuscular Centre and co-Director of the uOttawa Centre for Neuromuscular Disease. She represents adult NMDs on the NMD4C Steering Committee and participates in genomics education.

Rashmi Kothary

NMD4C Working Group(s): Biobanking, Early Career

Dr Rashmi Kothary is the Deputy Scientific Director and Senior Scientist at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI). He represents basic science as a member of the NMD4C Steering Committee.

Stacey Lintern

Stacey is CEO of Muscular Dystrophy Canada (MDC). She represents MDC on the NMD4C steering committee. Stacey holds degrees in nursing and non-profit business management as well as a Human Resources Certificate. She has worked in the not-for-profit sector for over 20 years.

Working Group Members

Aaron Izenberg

NMD4C Working Group(s): Clinical Curriculum Development

Dr. Izenberg’s clinical focus is in the diagnosis and management of patients with neuromuscular and neurological disease. He has particular interest in management of motor neuron diseases (including ALS and SMA), myopathy, myasthenia gravis, peripheral neuropathy, as well as urgent neurology.

Bernard Brais

NMD4C Working Group(s): Biobanking

Dr Bernard Brais is Professor of Neurology and Human Genetics at McGill University in Montreal and co-director of the Montreal Neurological Institute’s Rare Neurological Diseases Group. His lab has focused on identifying new genes and mutations that cause hereditary diseases that are more prevalent in the French Canadian population of Quebec due to founder effects.

Craig Campbell

NMD4C Working Group(s): Clinical Trial Coordination

Dr Craig Campbell is affiliated with the Thames Valley Children’s Centre and the Pediatric Neurophysiology Laboratory at Children’s Hospital London Health Sciences Centre. He is a Full Professor in Pediatrics, Clinical Neurological Sciences and Epidemiology at Western University and a Scientist at the Children’s Health Research Institute.

Cynthia Gagnon

NMD4C Working Group(s): Expert Patient Capacity Building, Knowledge Translation

Dr Cynthia Gagnon is a professor at the School of Rehabilitation at the University of Sherbrooke and a researcher at the Centre de recherche Charles-Le Moyne-Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean sur les innovations en santé. Her work aims at improving clinical care and speeding up trial readiness in the most prevalent neuromuscular diseases in Canada. Within NMD4C, Cynthia is lead for knowledge translation.

Daria Wojtal

Dr. Daria Wojtal is the Director of Research at Muscular Dystrophy Canada. In her current role at MDC Daria oversees Research Investments including the design, implementation and monitoring of comprehensive business strategies, budgets, plans and procedures related to the research portfolio and its funding opportunities as well as the generation and review of medical and scientific educational content.

Élise Duchesne

NMD4C Working Group(s): Biobanking

As an independent researcher, Dr. Duchesne’s works focus namely on developing rehabilitation interventions. She carried out original and innovative experimental designs based on her knowledge in muscle physiology and her access to the large cohorts of NMD patients found in the Saguenay–Lac-St-Jean region such as myotonic dystrophy type I (DM1).

Gerald Pfeffer

NMD4C Working Group(s): Biobanking

Dr. Pfeffer is a clinician-scientist at University of Calgary. He did Neurology specialty training at UBC and Genetics PhD at Newcastle University. His clinical and research work focuses on adult-onset neurogenetic conditions.

Hernan Gonorazky

NMD4C Working Group(s): Clinical Curriculum Development

Dr. Gonorazky co-leads the NMD4C’s work in developing a clinical research curriculum for neuromuscular fellowship programs. He completed his residency in adult neurology and afterward he did his specialization in adult neuromuscular disorders. He continued his studies in paediatric neuromuscular disorders at Sickkids in 2014 and became a permanent Staff in 2019.

Homira Osman

NMD4C Working Group(s): Biobanking, Clinical Curriculum Development, Clinical Trial Coordination, Early Career, Expert Patient Capacity Building, Knowledge Translation, Patient Registries

Dr. Homira Osman is the VP of Research & Public Policy at Muscular Dystrophy Canada. Her background is in clinical audiology, neuroscience research and knowledge translation. In her role, Dr. Osman has overall strategic and operational responsibility for all elements of research, knowledge translation, clinical relationships and advocacy work at MDC.

Hugh McMillan

NMD4C Working Group(s): Clinical Trial Coordination

Dr Hugh McMillan is an Associate Professor in the Division of Pediatric Neurology at McGill University. His area of clinical expertise is caring for children and youth with inherited and acquired disorders of peripheral nerve, muscle and neuromuscular junction.

Jason Karamchandani

NMD4C Working Group(s): Biobanking

Dr. Jason Karamchandani is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology, and is a neuropathologist at The Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital. His clinical specialty is neuropathology and anatomic pathology. His laboratory at the Neuro examines pathologies of both the central nervous system as well as neuromuscular disease.

Kathryn Selby

NMD4C Working Group(s): Expert Patient Capacity Building, Knowledge Translation

Dr Kathryn Selby is Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia, Medical Director of the pediatric neuromuscular program of BC and the Yukon, and an investigator at BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute.

Kessen Patten

NMD4C Working Group(s): Knowledge Translation

Dr. Kessen Patten is an Associate Professor at the INRS-Institut Armand Frappier in Canada. The Patten lab uses the zebrafish to model developmental genetic disorders and neuromuscular diseases (ALS and SMA) to understand disease mechanisms and for drug discovery.

Lawrence Korngut

NMD4C Working Group(s): Clinical Trial Coordination, Patient Registries

Dr Lawrence Korngut is a neurologist, clinical neurophysiologist and Director of the Calgary Neuromuscular Program and the Calgary ALS and Motor Neuron Disease Clinic. He is the former chair of the CAN-NMD network and is involved in the NMD4C work on trial capacity building.

Maryam Oskoui

NMD4C Working Group(s): Knowledge Translation

Dr. Maryam Oskoui is a pediatric neurologist, neurophysiologist and epidemiologist. She is a Clinician Scientist and Director of Pediatric Neurology at the Montreal Children’s Hospital, and a Senior Clinical Research Scholar of the FRQ-S with a focus in clinical research and clinical trials in pediatric neuromuscular disorders.

Mona Hnaini

NMD4C Working Group(s): Knowledge Translation

In August 2020, Dr. Hnaini moved to Canada to sub-specialize in Pediatric Neuromuscular at Children’s Hospital London Health Science Centre under the supervision of Dr. Craig Campbell.

Natasha Chang

NMD4C Working Group(s): Early Career

Dr. Natasha Chang is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry at McGill University. She obtained her PhD with Dr. Gordon Shore at McGill University studying BCL-2 family proteins and their role in regulating the cell survival autophagy pathway.

Nicola Worsfold

NMD4C Working Group(s): Knowledge Translation

Nicola is the Director of Research and Advocacy at Jesse’s Journey and the mom of a boy with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Educated in genetics and molecular biology, she spent the last 15 years working in biotech and the pharmaceutical industry in areas of infectious disease and hepatology, and later spent most of her time in medical affairs focused in neurology and rare disease.

Reshma Amin

NMD4C Working Group(s): Knowledge Translation

Dr. Reshma Amin is the Director of Sleep Medicine and Long-term Ventilation and a Clinician-Investigator at the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada. She is an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto. She is also a Senior Associate Scientist in Child Health and Evaluative Sciences at the SickKids Research Institute.. Within NMD4C Reshma is working on the development of clinical care guidelines for NMDs and patient advocacy training modules for NMD.

Rhiannon Hicks

Rhiannon graduated from Western University with a Bachelor’s degree in biology. She is the project manager for the Pediatric Neuromuscular Research Program at Children’s Hospital – London Health Sciences Centre, with 13 years experience with the team.  Her work within the NMD4C will focus on the development of a clinical trial network and comprehensive research curriculum.

Teresa Buffone

Teresa Buffone leads the Ottawa-Gatineau Myotonic Dystrophy Support Group and is an advocate for the US Myotonic Dystrophy Foundation. Within NMD4C she works with MDC and other knowledge user representatives on knowledge translation to the patient community.

Victoria Hodgkinson

NMD4C Working Group(s): Patient Registries

Dr. Hodgkinson is the National Program Manager for the Canadian Neuromuscular Disease Registry, where she oversees the scientific management and coordination of national patient registries in neuromuscular disease.

Network Staff

Erin Beattie

Network Manager

Dr. Erin Beattie is the Network Manager for NMD4C. She graduated with a BSc in microbiology & immunology and an MSc in pharmacology from Dalhousie University, and a PhD in laboratory medicine & pathobiology from the University of Toronto.

James Davis

Communications and Administrative Coordinator

James is the NMD4C Communications Coordinator. He writes and coordinates all network communications including news updates, the monthly newsletter, the website, and the social media (Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn). He also manages memberships and liaises with the many people and sites involved in the network.

Bonnie Wooten

Clinical Trial Concierge

Bonnie Wooten is the NMD4C Clinical Trial Concierge. Bonnie is a Registered Nurse and project lead and decision coach for pediatrics and families affected by NMDs at Children’s Hospital, LHSC.

Patricia Mortenson

Expert Patient Capacity Building Team Project Coordinator

Patricia is an Occupational Therapist at BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver, where she has worked in the Neuromuscular Clinic, among other clinical areas, for many years. In the NMD4C Network, Patricia is involved as Project Coordinator for the Expert Patient Capacity Building Team and will be developing training modules and resources for both patients and researchers to support patient oriented neuromuscular research in Canada.

Samar Muslemani

Knowledge Translation Coordinator

Samar Muslemani holds a Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy and has been practicing in Saguenay, Québec since 2018. She has recently completed a research Master’s Degree in Health Sciences with the University of Sherbrooke with the aim of documenting the independence and social participation of adults living with childhood phenotype of myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1).