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Home >> About Us >> Medical Advisory Board

Medical Advisory Board



Dysautonomia International is grateful for the wisdom and guidance provided by our volunteer Medical Advisory Board. These highly accomplished researchers and clinicians keep us updated on the latest developments in autonomic research, diagnostic guidelines and treatment recommendations. They also serve an essential role in helping us decide what medical and scientific research we should seek to fund.

 
Thomas Ahern, MDThomas Ahern, MD
Specialist in Cardiovascular Disease
and Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology
Scripps Health
La Jolla, CA

Dr. Ahern is a graduate of Lehigh University and Hahnemann University School of Medicine. He completed his residency at Hahnemann University Hospital in Internal Medicine in 1984. He completed two fellowships at Hahnemann University Hospital in 1990 and 1991. His first fellowship was in Cardiology and his second fellowship was in Electrophysiology. Dr. Ahern specializes in the treatment of heart disease with an emphasis in caring for patients with abnormal heart rhythms, congestive heart failure, the management of implantable cardiac device technologies that are available now as permanent pacemakers, implanted defibrillators, and the newest devices that pace the two lower chambers of the heart for patients with congestive heart failure.

Dr. Ahern’s fascination with dysautonomia began in the 1990’s when he met a patient with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome who had already had two failed heart ablations. In 2009, he began to see an influx of patients with Dysautonomia. By 2012, Dr. Ahern’s office was seeing hundreds of patients with varying degrees of Dysautonomia. He is particularly interested in pursuing research regarding a potential genetic predisposition towards Dysautonomia. In his practice, he sees several parent-child and sibling similarities in the presentation of Dysautonomia.

Hasan Abdallah, MDHasan Abdallah, MD
Pediatric Cardiologist
Director, The Children’s Heart Institute
Reston, Virginia

Dr. Abdallah is a board certified pediatrician and pediatric cardiologist. His foremost goal in his private practice is to simplify pediatric cardiology science so that families can understand, in simple straight forward language, what is wrong with their child’s health.

Dr. Abdallah is the Director and Founder of The Children’s Heart Institute which includes a specialized clinic, The Syncope and Autonomic Nervous System Clinic. This clinic provides comprehensive evaluation and management of patients with symptoms of autonomic nervous system dysfunction. Dr. Abdallah is highly regarded by his patients and their parents for his clinical expertise in diagnosing and treating POTS and other forms of dysautonomia and for his calm, reassuring demeanor.

Dr. Abdallah completed his residency at the University of Florida in Gainesville and his pediatric cardiology training in Philadelphia. He also has completed a fellowship in Acute Pediatrics. He is board certified by both the American Board of Pediatrics and the American Board of Pediatric Cardiology.

Svetlana Blitshteyn, MDSvetlana Blitshteyn, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor
University at Buffalo School of
Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
Director, Dysautonomia Clinic
Williamsville, NY

Dr. Blitshteyn is a board-certified neurologist who completed her neurology training at Mayo Clinic.  She specializes in dysautonomia and is the director and founder of the Dysautonomia Clinic, where she sees patients with POTS, Neurocardiogenic Syncope, and other forms of dysautonomia.

Dr. Blitshteyn has been awarded numerous awards and honors, including the American Academy of Neurology Student Prize, a Research Award from the Florida Society of Neurology, a Marquis Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare, and a US Human Health Award from the American Headache Society, among others.

Dr. Blitshteyn has been the principle research investigator on several nationally-acclaimed research studies, both at Mayo Clinic and the University at Buffalo, involving women's health. Most recently, she was the principle investigator of a study on pregnancy in women with POTS.  The study was presented at the American Academy of Neurology and the American Autonomic Society meetings, and was published in the Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine.  She also published in other scientific journals on the topic of POTS after vaccination, headache, and other neurologic disorders. Dr. Blitshteyn is the medical editor and a contributing author for the book "POTS - Together We Stand; Riding the Waves of Dysautonomia."  She is also featured in the documentary "Changes: Living with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome".

Thomas C. Chelimsky, MDThomas C. Chelimsky, MD
Chairman and Professor of the Department of Neurology
Medical College of Wisconsin
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Dr. Chelimsky is Chair and Professor of the Department Of Neurology for the Medical College of Wisconsin. Dr. Chelimsky was previously Professor of Neurology, Anesthesiology, and Pediatrics at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland where he served as Director of the Division of Autonomic Disorders at University Hospitals of Cleveland. A graduate of Harvard University (undergraduate) and Washington University (medicine), Dr. Chelimsky completed residencies in internal medicine and neurology, as well as a fellowship in autonomic research, at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Dr. Chelimsky joined the faculty at Case Western in 1990 and rose to the rank of Professor in 2007. He has also directed the University Hospitals of Cleveland Pain Center.

An accomplished researcher, Dr. Chelimsky has published 41 original articles, contributed to 23 books or chapters, and made 36 invited scientific and clinical presentations to regional and national colleagues. A National Institutes of Health-funded investigator with two active awards, he has received public and foundation support for nearly 20 years. His work has focused on the interface between autonomic dysfunction and chronic pain, and his current research focuses on a broad epidemiologic approach to assess genetic links across several autonomic/pain disorders, including migraine headaches, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, and interstitial cystitis. He also works closely with his wife, Dr. Gisela Chelimsky, a pediatric gastroenterologist, on pediatric functional disorders. Dr. Chelimsky is a highly experienced teacher and mentor of medical students, fellows and junior faculty members as well as an accomplished physician. He was listed as one of the Best Doctors in America™ yearly since 2001. He has served as the chair of both Autonomic and Pain Sections of the American Academy of Neurology where he directs the primary course on Autonomic Disorders for neurologists.

Kamal Chemali, MDKamal Chemali, MD
Assistant Professor of Neurology
Eastern Virginia Medical School
Director, Neuromuscular & Autonomic Disorders Program
Sentara Neurology Specialists
Norfolk, Virginia

Dr. Chemali is a neurologist who trained at the Lebanese University Faculty of Medical Science in Lebanon and the Facultes Universitaires Notre-Dame de a Paix in Belgium, before moving to the US to study at Staten Island Uniersity Hospital and Case Western Reserve Univerity. He then completed a Fellowship in Clinical Neurophysiology, Electromyography, and Neuromuscular Diseases at Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Chemali is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, and the American Board of Electrodiagnostic Medicine, and he is a member of the American Autonomic Society.

Dr. Chemali specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of autonomic and neuromuscular disorders. He has published peer reviewed journal articles on Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, music therapy in neurological disorders and electrodiagnotic testing. Dr. Chemali is also a conservatory trained pianist, and he has taken an interest in music as a therapeutic as a tool to improving pain percention and gait disorders, and language recovery after stroke.

Roy Freeman, MDRoy Freeman, MD
Professor of Neurology
Harvard Medical School
Director, Center for Autonomic and Peripheral Nerve Disorders
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Boston, MA

Dr. Freeman focuses his clinical practice and research on disorders of the autonomic nervous system and small fiber neuropathies. He is a leading authority on the neurological complications of diabetes, Parkinson's and multiple system atrophy. Dr. Freeman has served as President of the American Autonomic Society Chairman of the Autonomic Nervous System Section of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN). He has authored over 120 publications and serves as a reviewer or editor for several journals including Neurology, Annals of Neurology, Brain, Autonomic Neuroscience, and the American Journal of Physiology.

Dr. Freeman graduated from medical school at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. He completed his internship in internal medicine at Tel Hashomer Hospital in Israel, residency at Brigham and Woman's Hospital in international medicine, and his residency and fellowship in neurology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. Dr. Freeman is board certified in neurology and clinical neurophysiology.

Paola Sandroni, MD, PhDPaola Sandroni, MD, PhD
Professor of Neurology
Mayo Clinic
Rochester, Minnesota

Dr. Sandroni is an accomplished researcher in the field of autonomic neurology, peripheral nerve disorders and pain medicine. She has authored over 100 peer reviewed journal articles and many book chapters on these subjects. Her research is focused on autonomic disorders, specifically Pure Autonomic Failure (PAF), Postural Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) and autoimmune autonomic neuropathies. She has also pursued resarch on erythromelalgia and Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.

Originally from Italy, she graduated from Milan Medical School and then came to the U.S. to study at the Mayo Clinic. She joined the Mayo Clinic faculty after completing residency in Neurology, a fellowship in peripheral nerve disorders and a pain medicine scholarship. Dr. Sandroni has served as the Chair of the Autonomic Section of the American Academy of Neurology, and is an active member of the American Autonomic Society.

Julian M. Stewart, MD, PhDJulian M. Stewart, MD, PhD
Professor of Pediatrics, Physiology and Medicine
Director of the Center for Hypotension
New York Medical College
Hawthorne, NY

By training, Dr. Stewart is a pediatric cardiologist (Cornell University Medical Center) and integrative physiologist (University of Chicago). He has been studying and treating the cardiovascular and neurovascular pathophysiology of orthostatic intolerance for more than 13 years under the auspices of grants from the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Stewart's focus is on acute and chronic orthostatic intolerance (OI) in the young, ranging in age from 14 to 29 years. Acute OI is known as postural Vasovagal Syncope, while chronic OI is known as Postural Tachycardia Syndrome, or Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS). We have identified POTS as being the most common form of OI seen in patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS or CFIDS). Dr. Stewart and his colleagues at the Center for Hypotension have published widely in the field and have recently discovered connections between ventilation, angiotensin-II, nitric oxide, oxidative stress, cognition, cerebral blood flow, baroreflex function, peripheral modulation of sympathetic activity, and impaired splanchnic vasoconstriction and venoconstriction in these patients. Most recently they have found direct connections between autonomic dysfunction, OI and neurocognition in POTS patients, suggesting a connection between reduced neurocognitive performance and dysfunction of the neurovascular unit.

Satish R. Raj, MD, MSCI, FACCSatish R. Raj, MD, MSCI, FACC
Associate Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine
University of Calgary
Calgary, Canada

Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine
Vanderbilt University
Nashville, TN

Dr. Raj grew up in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He graduated from Queen’s University Faculty of Medicine (Kingston, Ontario, Canada) in 1993. He then completed residency training in Internal Medicine and Cardiology at Queen’s University before moving on to a clinical and research fellowship in Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology at the University of Calgary.

In 2002, Dr. Raj moved to Nashville, Tennessee as a Research Fellow in Clinical Pharmacology at Vanderbilt University. While at Vanderbilt, he also successfully completed a Masters of Science degree in Clinical Investigation, graduating in 2004. After 10 years at Vanderbilt, Dr. Raj moved back to Canada in 2014 to take a position at the University of Calgary.

His primary research interests relate to understanding the cause and finding more effective treatments for the Postural Tachycardia Syndrome and Neurally Mediated Syncope, as well as disorders of autonomic nervous system failure. He is Board certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiology, Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology, and Autonomic Disorders.

<b>Steven Vernino, MD, PhD</b>Steven Vernino, MD, PhD
Professor and Academic Vice-Chair
Director, Clinical Autonomic Laboratory
Dr. Bob and Jean Smith Foundation Distinguished Chair in Neuromuscular Disease Research
Department of Neurology & Neurotherapeutics
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Dallas, Texas

Dr. Vernino completed his residency and fellowship training at the Mayo Clinic and served on the faculty at Mayo until 2004 when he moved to Dallas. He is currently an academic neurologist with an interest in autoimmune disorders (including paraneoplastic syndromes), neuromuscular disorders, autonomic disorders, and neurology education. He is a fellow member of the American Neurological Association and the American Academy of Neurology and a member of the American Autonomic Society. He also serves on the advisory board of the Multiple System Atrophy Coalition and the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America. He is an associate editor of JAMA Neurology and serves on the editorial board of Clinical Autonomic Research and Autonomic Neuroscience.

Dr. Vernino has published over 100 articles and presented his research all over the world. Much of his research has focused on the role of the immune system in causing neurological disorders. In particular, Dr. Vernino discovered that antibodies against the ganglionic acetylcholine receptor can cause a type of severe autonomic failure. He has also had an interest in autonomic testing including the use of infrared pupillometry to measure pupil responses in patients with autonomic dysfunction.


Argentina


Dr. Daniela Saadia
Buenos Aires

Dr. Raul Norberto Garillo
Buenos Aires

Australia


Dr. Chris OCallaghan
Heidelberg

Professor Murray Esler
Victoria
Melbourne

Austria


Dr. Robert Winker
Vienna

Canada


Dr. Satish R. Raj
Alberta
Calgary

Dr. Carlos A. Morillo
Ontario
Hamilton

Dr. Juan Guzman
Ontario
Hamilton

Dr. John Stewart
Quebec
Montreal

Dr. Jean Cusson
Quebec
Greenfield Park

Dr. Ronald Schondorf
Quebec
Montreal

Dr. Maxime Lamarre-Clich
Quebec
Montreal

Denmark


Dr. Jesper Mehlsen
Copenhagen

Dominican Republic


Dr. Rafael David Hernandez
Santiago

Dr. David Hernanadez
Santiago

Finland


Juha Tapani Korpelainen, M.D., Ph.D.
Oulu

Germany


Prof. Wolfgang Jost
Wiesbaden

Professor Carl-Albrecht Haensch
Wuppertal

Professor Max J. Hilz
Erlangen

Dr. Jens Jordan
Hannover

Dr. W. Fogel
Wiesbaden

Israel


Dr. Jacob Giris
Haifa

Professor Gadoth
Kfar Saba

Italy


Dr. Paolo Alboni
Cento (FE)

Furlan Raffaello
Milan

Professor Alberto Albanese
Milan

Dr. Pietro Cortelli
Bologna

Japan


Dr. Zenji Shiozwa
Tamaho

Wakayama Medical University Hospital
Wakayama

Dr. Haruiko Abe
Kitakyushu

Dr. Hidetaka Tanaka
Osaka

Dr. Kohei Kita
Tokyo

Sumiyoshi Masataka
Shizuoka
Takata-Gun

Mexico


Dr. Antonio G. Hermosilla

Dr. Andrei Kostine

Netherlands


J.W.M Lenders

New Zealand


Dr. Ian Crozier
Christchurch

Dr. David Jardine
Christchurch

Dr. Lain Melton
Christchurch

Portugal


Dr. Joao Freitas

Scotland


Dr. Karen McLeod
Glasgow

Slovenia


Dr. Viktor Svigelj

Taiwan


Dr. Li-Chu Hsu
Taipei

USA


AL


Dr. Ross Davis
Auburn

Dr. Sawyer Nancy
Birmingham

Dr. Cecil Coghlan
Birmingham

Dr. Philip Watkins
Birmingham

Dr. Paula Moore
Birmingham

AR


Dr. Christopher C. Erickson
Little Rock

Dr. Stephen Greer
Little Rock

Dr. Kaitalin Juhasz-Pocsine
Little Rock

AZ


Dr. Brent Goodman
Scottsdale

Dr. Timothy Ingall
Scottsdale

CA


Dr. Thomas Ahern
LaJolla

Dr. Safwan Jaradeh
Palo Alto

Dr. Karen Friday
Palo Alto

Dr. David Cannom
Los Angeles

Dr. John Thampi
Fresno

Dr. Aaron Banks
Bakersfield

Dr. Stuppy William P.
Los Angeles

Dr. David Scmidt
Oxnard

Dr. Andrew White
San Diego

CT


Dr. Frederick Nahm
Greenwich

Dr. Jeffrey Kluger
Hartford

Dr. Christopher Scott Snyder
New Haven

DC


Dr. Alan Pocinki
Washington

Dr. Jeffrey Moak
Washington

FL


Dr. William Cheshire
Jacksonville

Dr. Fred Kusumoto
Jacksonville

Dr. Charles Randy Thompson
Pensacola

Dr. Sinana Gursoy
Naples

Dr. Stephen L. Moore
Naples

HI


Dr. Irwin Schatz
Honolulu

IA


Dr. William Talman
Iowa City

IL


Dr. Janice Gilden
North Chicago

Dr. Barbara Deal
Chicago

Dr. Alexandru Barboi
Chicago

Dr. William Nazari
Glenview

Dr. Kendra Ward
Chicago

Dr. Peter Heydemann
Chicago

Dr. Rod Passman
Chicago

Dr. David Thoele
Park Ridge

Dr. Stephen Neuberger
Park Ridge

Dr. Brad Tinkle
Park Ridge

Dr. Frank Zimmerman
Park Ridge

Dr. James Curran
Chicago

Dr. Peter Sand
Evanston

KY


Dr. Amir Zia
Bowling Green

LA


Dr. Sarah Palliyath
New Orleans

MA


Dr. Roy Freeman
Boston

Dr. Lawrence Rosenthal
Worchester

Dr. Anna Hohler
Boston

Dr. Paul LeLorier
Boston

Dr. Dorothy Kelly
Holyoke

Dr. Peter Novack
Worcester

MD


Dr. Peter Rowe
Baltimore

Dr. Emmanuel Nash
Salisbury

Dr. Ramesh K. Khurana
Baltimore

Dr. James Russell
Baltimore

Dr. Hugh Calkins
Baltimore

Dr. David Goldstein
Bethesda

MI


Dr. Ching Man
Berkley

Dr. Sid Gilman
Ann Arbor

Dr. Felix Rogers
Trenton

Dr. James Russell
Ann Arbor

MN


Mayo Clinic
Rochester

Dr. David Benditt
St. Cloud

Dr. Scott Sakaguchi
Minneapolis

Dr. Fei Lu
Minneapolis

Dr. Paola Sandroni
Rochester

Dr. Phillip Low
Rochester

Dr. Adrian Almquist
Minneapolis

Dr. Robert Fealey
Rochester

MO


Dr. Laurence Kinsella
St. Louis

NC


Dr. Laura A Black
Charlotte

Dr. Caroline Klein
Chapel Hill

Dr. Ivor Hill
Winston Salem

Dr. John Fortunato
Winston Salem

NE


Dr. Pariwat Thaisetthawatkul
Omaha

NH


Dr. Jeffrey A. Cohen
Lebanon

NJ


Dr. Nicholas Tullo
West Orange

NY


Dr. Svetlana Blitshteyn
Williamsville

Dr. Julian Stewart
Hawthorne

Dr. James Riviello
New York

Dr. Louis Weimer
New York

Dr. Norman Latov
New York

Dr. Felicia Axelrod
New York

Dr. Mark Gudesblatt
Patchogue

OH


Dr. Blair Grubb
Toledo

Dr. William Suarez
Toledo

Ohio State - Autonomic Reflex Laboratory
Columbus

Dr. Gerald E. Grossman
Cleveland

Dr. Fetnat Fouad-Tarazi
Cleveland

Dr. David O. Martin
Cleveland

Dr. Mark OConnor
Toledo

Dr. Monica Young
Toledo

OR


Dr. Emilia Arden
Portland

PA


Dr. Michael W. Consevage
Wormlesburg

Dr. Leonard Ganz
Pittsburg

Dr. Qaiser Shah
Upland

Dr. Michael J. Guiliani
Pittsburgh

Dr. Richard Malamut
Chester

Dr. Susan Baser
Pittsburgh

Dr. Jeffrey Borris
Philadelphia

Dr. Ramani Ravi
Pittsburgh

Dr. Mark Magnusson
Philidelphia

RI


Dr. Pradeep Chopra
Pawtucket

TN


Vanderbilt University Autonomic Dysfunction Center
Nashville

Dr. Italio Biaggioni
Nashville

Dr. David Robertson
Nashville

Dr. Hani Rashed
Memphis

Dr. Gregory Jones
Kingsport

Dr. Arun Rao
Kingsport

Dr. James Merrill
Kingsport

TX


Dr. Imad Jarjour
Houston

Dr. Steven Vernino
Dallas

Dr. Gil I. Wolfe
Dallas

Dr. Amer Suleman
Dallas

Dr. Shmuel Inbar
Odessa

VA


Dr. Kamal Chemali
Norfolk

Dr. Hasan Abdallah
Annadale

Dr. Patrick Callahan
Fairfax

Dr. Dominic Sica
Richmond

VT


Dr. Robert E. Shapiro
Burlington

Dr. Robert W. Hamill
Burlington

WI


Dr. Thomas Chelimsky
Milwaukee

Dr. Gisela Chelimsky
Milwaukee

Dr. Ryan L. Cooley
Milwaukee

WV


Dr. Robert Hoeldtke
Morgantown

United Kingdom


Dr. Arnold Deering
Cheltenham

Prof. Christopher J. Mathias
London

Dr. John Bayliss
Hertfordshire

Prof. Julia Newton
Newcastle Upon Tyne


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