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Board of Directors


A. Jon Stoessl, CM, MD, FRCPC, FCAHS

Vice President:

Marie-Francoise Chesselet, MD, PhD


Patricia Davies


Etienne Hirsch, PhD


Roger Barker, PhD, MRCP

Patrik Brundin, MD, PhD

Yoshikuni Mizuno, MD


Serge Przedborski, MD, PhD

Executive Director:

Elizabeth Pollard, MA

President Emeritus & Founder:

Stanley Fahn, MD (2004 - 2013)



Jon Stoessl, CM, MD, FRCPC, FCAHS Professor and Head of Neurology and Director of the Pacific Parkinson's Research Centre and National Parkinson Foundation Centre of Excellence at UBC and Vancouver Coastal Health, and been tapped to co-chair both the third and fourth World Parkinson Congress. He holds a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Parkinson's Disease and directs the CIHR Team in Parkinson's and a Pacific Alzheimer Research Foundation Centre grant on Overlap Syndromes Resulting in Dementia.

Dr. Stoessl has worked closely with the Parkinson Society Canada as their past Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board for and is well respected among his peers and the community of people living with Parkinson's across Canada.

Dr. Stoessl sits on the editorial boards of numerous journal and has served on a number of scientific advisory boards, including Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Ontario Mental Health Foundation (Chair), Huntington Society of Canada, Tourette Syndrome Association and National Parkinson Foundation. and currently chairs the Interdisciplinary Adjudication Committee of the Canada Research Chairs program. In 2007, he was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada . Dr. Stoessl's research involves the use of positron emission tomography to study Parkinson's disease and related disorders, including the use of imaging as a biomarker, the basis for complications of treatment and mechanisms of the placebo effect. He has published more than 220 papers and book chapters.

Dr. Stoessl is the President-elect of the World Parkinson Coalition ® and will co-chair the WPC 2019 with Dr. Marie-Francoise Chesselet, MD, PhD. He has been a Board member since 2012 and co-chaired the WPC 2013 and WPC 2016.

Marie-Francoise Chesselet, MD, PhD is the Charles H. Markham Professor of Neurology and distinguished Professor in the Department of Neurology and the Department of Neurobiology at UCLA. After receiving her M.D. and Ph.D. degrees in Paris, France, she held research positions in France and faculty positions at the Medical College of Pennsylvania and the University of Pennsylvania, before joining UCLA in 1996. At UCLA, Chesselet chaired the Department of Neurobiology from 2002 to 2013 and is currently the Director of the Integrative Center for Neural Repair, which includes the Center for the Study of Parkinson’s Disease at UCLA she created in 1998. She has directed the NIH-funded UCLA UDALL Center for Parkinson’s disease research (NINDS; 1998-2013) and UCLA Center for Gene Environment in Parkinson’s Disease (NIEHS; 2002-2014), and the UCLA Advanced Center for Parkinson’s Disease Research of the American Parkinson Disease Association since 1998. Chesselet has directed graduate programs at the University of Pennsylvania and UCLA and has directed the NINDS-funded Training Program in Neural Repair since 1998. Her laboratory conducts research on the molecular mechanisms of disorders of the basal ganglia and new treatments for Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases. Currently, her work is supported by, the Department of Defense, the Michael J. Fox Foundation, CIRM, and biopharmaceutical companies. Chesselet is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Chair-elect of its section on Neuroscience. She serves on the National Advisory Environmental Health Sciences Council (NIEHS Council).

Patricia Davies has organized large international conferences for over 35 years. In 1991 she was recruited from her home country, the UK, for a position with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in Washington DC, where for 16 years she managed the joint Bank/Fund Annual and Spring Meetings.

Pat retired in 2007, and in 2009 she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. In 2010 she attended the World Parkinson Congress in Glasgow and was inspired to offer her services to assist. She is now a member of the WPC Steering Committee, and Advocates for Parkinson Committee, and is also Secretary of the Board of the World Parkinson Coalition.

Pat believes that staying as busy as possible is, for her, the best way of dealing with Parkinson’s Disease, and, among other things, she is very involved in working with homeless people in Washington DC. She is currently President of the Board of Georgetown Ministry Center, a day center for the homeless which is open 365 days a year and provides shower and laundry facilities, computers and medical and psychiatric help, as well as food and other kinds of support. She also helps to organize a winter shelter for the homeless, as well as a year-round Saturday night supper program.

Pat is a PF Parkinson's Research Advocate, and a member of a Parkinson's support group. She is interested in working with the newly diagnosed, as well as people with Parkinson's who live alone.

Etienne Hirsch, PhD is a neurobiologist involved in research on Parkinson's disease and related disorders. He obtained his PhD in 1988 from the University of Paris VI (Pierre et Marie Curie). He is currently the associate director of CRICM and head of "Experimental therapeutics of Neurodegeneration” at the CRICM at Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital in Paris. His work is aimed at understanding the cause of neuronal degeneration in Parkinson's disease and is focused on the role of the glial cells, the inflammatory cytokines and apoptosis but also on the consequences of neuronal degeneration in the circuitries downstream to the lesions. He is member of several advisory boards including, French Society for Neuroscience (past-President), Scientific Advisory board at INSERM. He obtained several prizes including Tourette Syndrome Association Award in1986, Young researcher Award, European Society for Neurochemistry in 1990, Grand Prix de l'Académie de Sciences, Prix de la Fondation pour la recherche biomédicale « Prix François Lhermitte » in 1999, Chevalier de l'ordre des palmes académiques in 2009. He is author of more than 200 peer reviewed articles.

Dr. Hirsch is the current Treasurer of the World Parkinson Coalition. ®

Yoshikuni Mizuno, MD is the former Chairman of the Department of Neurology at Juntendo University School of Medicine and currently Professor emeritus of the same University. Having received his MD from the University of Tokyo School of Medicine in 1965, he completed the residency at the Department of Neurology, Northwestern University Medical Center, Chicago, USA in 1973. He returned to Japan in the same year as Assistant Professor of Neurology at the Jichi Medical School, Tochigi, and served as Professor of Neurology at the Juntendo University School of Medicine from 1989 to 2006. After stepping down the chairmanship, he sees patients with Parkinson’s disease and related disorders at different clinics in Tokyo area. Dr. Mizuno has published more than 300 original articles. He is interested in the pathogenesis and treatment of Parkinson’s disease. With his collaborators, he identified the gene (parkin) for the autosomal recessive form of young onset familial Parkinson’s disease. He received many awards for these activities.

Patrik Brundin, MD, PhD is director of the Center for Neurodegenerative Science and the inaugural holder of the Jay Van Andel Endowed Chair in Parkinson’s Research at Van Andel Research Institute in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA. He is an internationally renowned expert in the field of Parkinson’s and neurodegenerative disease research whose career spans more than 35 years, including key involvement in some of the first clinical neural transplantation trials. He obtained his M.D. (1992) and Ph.D. (1988) at Lund University in Sweden where he served as a Professor of Neuroscience from 2000 to 2014. He has published more than 300 papers, coordinated several multidisciplinary, international research networks specializing in Parkinson’s research and was identified as a ISI Highly Cited Scientist in his area. His main current research interests are related to alpha-synuclein acting in a prion-like fashion; animal models of Parkinson’s disease; drug repurposing; and development of disease-modifying therapies in Parkinson's disease. In addition to leading his lab at the Institute, he is co-editor-in-chief of the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease, a member of the World Parkinson Coalition’s Board of Directors and chair of the Linked Clinical Trials committee.

Roger Barker, PhD, MRCP is the Professor of Clinical Neuroscience and Honorary Consultant in Neurology at the University of Cambridge and at Addenbrooke’s Hospital. He trained at Oxford and London and has been in his current position for over 13 years having completed an MRC Clinician Scientist Fellowship just prior to this.

His main interests are in the neurodegenerative disorders of the nervous system in particular Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease. He combines basic research looking at novel therapies (including cell transplants) to treat these conditions with clinically based work on defining the natural history and heterogeneity of both Huntington’s disease and Parkinson’s disease and is the co-ordinator of the FP & Transeuro project looking at fetal cell grafting in patients with early PD.

Professor Barker is the WPC 2019 Program Chair.

Serge Przedborski, MD, PhDis the Page and William Black Professor of Neurology. He holds a joint appointment in the Departments of Neurology, Pathology and Cell Biology and is the Co-Director of the Center for Motor Neuron Biology and Disease and a faculty member of the Center for Parkinson's disease (PD) and Other Movement Disorders at Columbia University. Dr. Przedborski attended medical school at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Belgium, and did his internship and residency in Neurology and Psychiatry at the ULB-Erasme Academic Medical Center, Belgium. He then did a fellowship in movement disorders with Dr. Stanley Fahn at Columbia University, where he became Assistant Professor of Neurology in 1991.

The research conducted in Dr. Przedborski's laboratory is geared toward unraveling the molecular basis of neurodegeneration and devising therapeutic strategies to hamper the processes that cause neuronal death, the source of many debilitating disorders. In keeping with this goal, to what extent and by which mechanisms do cell-autonomous and non-cell autonomous deleterious processes contribute to the demise of specific subpopulation of neurons in neurodegenerative disorders, such as PD represent a main line of research in his laboratory. These research efforts are supported by federal grants from both NIH and the DoD and by private agencies including the Parkinson's Disease Foundation, the Thomas Hartman Foundation, and MDA's Wings Over Wall Street. Dr. Przedborski is a Senior Editor for the Journal of Neuroscience and an Associate Editor of Movement Disorders.

Elizabeth "Eli" Pollard has been with the World Parkinson Coalition ® from its inception in 2004 and helped steer the organization, alongside world renowned Parkinsonologist and WPC founder, Dr. Stanley Fahn. Together they worked to grow WPC Inc. from it's sole purpose, of hosting a triennial global Congress on Parkinson's disease, to it's more meaningful place in the community today, as a hub for many of the global PD organizations to connect and intersect online, on teleconferences, or in person at the Congresses. Eli is thrilled with the opportunity to meet the members of the community, to help build the WPC Legacy, and to watch as leading researchers, clinicians, people with Parkinson's and others work together to bring us closer to finding the cause(s) of Parkinson's and a cure for the disease.

Eli graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor's degree, and the School for International Training with a Master's degree in International & Intercultural Management. She spent most of her 20s living outside the US in Zimbabwe, Switzerland, and Japan with lengthy stays for research or travel in India, China, and Thailand. She lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and two rambunctious children who keep her on her toes when she's not knee deep in WPC work.

Stanley Fahn, MD is the founder and Past-President of the World Parkinson Coalition.® He co-chaired the first three World Parkinson Congresses in 2006, 2010, and 2013. He handed over the reigns of the WPC Inc. at the WPC 2013 after nine years of leading the Coalition.

Dr. Fahn is the H. Houston Merritt Professor of Neurology and Director of the Center for Parkinson's Disease and Other Movement Disorders at Columbia University Medical Center . He is the Past-President of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN). He founded the Movement Disorder Society and served as the Chairman of its Steering Committee and was elected its first president. He was the founding co editor of the journal Movement Disorders, and also served as Associate Editor of Neurology for 10 years.

Dr. Fahn has twice served as Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Peripheral and Central Nervous System Drugs for the Food and Drug Administration. He currently serves on an NIH Oversight Committee to review and give advice on clinical trials on neuroprotection for PD. Dr. Fahn and his scientific colleagues at Columbia University were awarded a Morris K. Udall Parkinson's Disease Research Center of Excellence by the National Institutes of Health in 1999, and it is currently ongoing. Dr. Fahn organized and executed the development of the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) and modified and popularized the use of the Schwab England ADL score for global severity of this disease. Both of these rating scores are used worldwide, the former to determine the severity of PD, and the latter as a measure of quality of life. He has participated in many clinical trials of a variety of pharmacotherapeutic agents for PD.

Along with Dr. Ira Shoulson; Dr. Fahn was co-founder of the Parkinson Study Group (PSG), a consortium of clinical investigators dedicated to conduct controlled clinical trials on the prevention and treatment of Parkinson's disease. He has received numerous honors and delivered many titled lectures at a variety of universities around the world.

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