The Committee


Brunhilde Wirth

Professor of Human Genetics and Director of the Institute of Human Genetics at the Medical Faculty of the University of Cologne, Germany.


Vanessa Christie-Brown

Vanessa was a research scientist, working in the field of immunology, initially at The Royal Postgraduate Medical School (Hammersmith Hospital) and later at Imperial College. She joined The SMA Trust in the UK in January 2011 as Research Co-ordinator and SMA Europe as Coordinator in May 2014.



Kevin Talbot (DPhil, FRCP)

Professor of Motor Neuron Biology, Head of Division of Clinical Neurosciences in the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Oxford and Honorary Consultant Neurologist at the John Radcliffe Hospital. He is Director of the Oxford Motor Neuron Disease Care and Research Centre.

Enrico Bertini (MD)

Paediatric Neurologist, Head of the Unit of Neuromuscular and Neurodegenerative Disorders at the Bambino Gesu’ Children’s Research Hospital in Rome, and Contract Professor in Neurogenetic disorders at the School of Clinical Genetics of the Catholic University of Rome.


Eduardo Tizzano (MD, PhD)

Paediatrician & Medical Geneticist, Director of the Department of Clinical and Molecular Genetics and Unit of Rare Diseases, Hospital Universitari Valle Hebrón, Barcelona, Spain.

Ludo van der Pol (MD, PhD)

Ludo van der Pol, MD PhD is a Neurologist, Associate Professor of Neurology and head of the Netherlands SMA center at the University Medical Center Utrecht (UMCU) in The Netherlands.


Tom Gillingwater (PhD)

Professor Gillingwater is Professor of Neuroanatomy at the University of Edinburgh and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Anatomy and Academic Editor of PLoS One. He also teaches gross human anatomy and neuronanatomy to medical students and MSc students.


Richard Finkel (MD)

Paediatric Neurologist and Division Chief of the Division of Neurology, Department of Paediatrics at Nemour’s Children’s Hospital in Florida, USA.


Arthur Burghes (PhD)

Professor at the Center for Muscle Health & Neuromuscular Disorders, The Ohio State University/ Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, Ohio, USA.


Serge Braun (PharmaD, PhD)

Scientific Director of AFM Téléthon (Association Française contre les Myopathies), France.

Cécile Martinat (PhD)

Dr. Martinat obtained her PhD in 2001 at the Pasteur Institute in the laboratory of Michel Brahic on the cellular mechanisms involved in the persistence of Theiler’s virus within the central nervous system. In 2005, she returned to France to join I-STEM, created by Marc Peschanki, dedicated to the use of human pluripotent stem cells to study and treat monogenic diseases. After two years she was appointed by INSERM as a permanent researcher and obtained from the Genopole an ATIGE program to further develop her research in I-STEM. In 2005, she also became head of INSERM/UEVE UMR 861 in I-STEM.

Laurent Servais (MD, PhD)

Dr. Servais graduated from Louvain Medical School (Belgium) in 1999. He obtained a PhD in Neuroscience in 2005 from the Free University of Brussels (ULB), Belgium. He became a Child Neurologist in 2006 at the Free University of Brussels (ULB) then a Resident in child neurology in the Robert Debré Hospital in Paris, until 2008 when he was appointed as a Child Neurologist at the Institut de Myologie in November 2008.

Stefania Corti (MD, PhD)

Dr. Stefania Corti is a neurologist in Milan, Italy. She is an Associate Professor of Neurology and PI of Neural Stem Cell Lab at the University of Milan. She is the co-supervisor of the motor neuron out-patient service and member of neuromuscular team at the IRCCS Foundation Ca’ Granda University of Milan. Corti’s main research interests are stem cell/molecular therapies for the treatment of motor neurons diseases, in particular, Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), Spinal Muscular Atrophy with respiratory distress type I (SMARD1), and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).
After Board Certification in Neurology, she obtained a PhD in Molecular Medicine at the University of Milan. Since 2004, up to now, she has worked first as research collaborator, then as Assistant Professor and from 2015 as Associate Professor at the University of Milan. In 2014 she obtained the habilitation as Associate Professor and as Full Professor of Neurology. She is a member of the Board of the PhD School of Molecular Medicine and of the Dino Ferrari Center Scientific Committee. The scientific results of Dr. Corti, basic and clinical research have been published in high citation rating peer reviewed journals (>130 articles).

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25–27 January 2018


Auditorium Maximum
Jagiellonian University
ul. Krupnicza 33, 30-001 Kraków