SCOPE PLANNING COMMITTEE MEMBERS REPRESENT RESEARCH AND CLINICAL PRACTICE WITHIN UNIVERSITIES, HOSPITALS, CORPORATIONS, FOUNDATIONS, AND FEDERAL AGENCIES.
The Planning Committee of the Spinal Cord Outcomes Partnership Endeavor (SCOPE) is a group of experienced individuals, representing a variety of constituencies within spinal cord medicine.
SCOPE leaders are:
John Steeves, Ph.D., Co-Chair
Professor, International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries (ICORD)
University of British Columbia and Vancouver Coastal Health
Vancouver General Hospital
Dr. Steeves is and has been affiliated with several departments in the faculties of Science and Medicine at the University of British Columbia since 1979. Dr. Steeves is the founder of ICORD and was Director for the first fifteen years (1995-2010). Dr. Steeves brings over 35 years experience in SCI and neuroscience. In 2002, he was the inaugural appointment to the BC Leadership Endowed Chair program and has also been a Wall Distinguished Scholar in Residence at UBC. He is the recipient of the Champion of Change Award, a Killam Research fellowship and was a consultant to NASA, the Russian and Canadian Space Agencies. He is or has been an executive member or chair of many national and international committees and organizations concerned with SCI (e.g. ASIA and ISCoS). He has an extensive list of publications and patents. He has started biotechnology companies, and serves on scientific and clinical advisory boards to several pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. His translational activities have focused on clinical trials research and human studies, including the development of: valid clinical trial protocols, neurological and electrophysiological outcome measures after human SCI, and activity-dependent rehabilitation of arm and hand function.
Andrew R. Blight, Ph.D., Co-Chair
Chief Scientific Officer
Acorda Therapeutics, Inc.
Andrew Blight received his Ph.D. from the University of Bristol in 1976. He has been Chief Scientific Officer at Acorda since 2002, involved in management of clinical trials and laboratory research on experimental approaches to neuroprotection, repair and regeneration of the CNS with a focus on multiple sclerosis and spinal injury. Prior to joining Acorda in 1998, Dr. Blight developed research programs at NYU, Purdue, and UNC on the roles of inflammation in acute injury and demyelination in chronic spinal cord injury. Dr. Blight has been an active member of the National Neurotrauma Society since its inception and has served as Secretary Treasurer and Vice President. He is also a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Neurotrauma.
Kimberly Anderson-Erisman, Ph.D.
Research Associate Professor, Department of Neurological Surgery
Director of Education, The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis,
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
Dr. Anderson-Erisman’s research has focused on translational investigations and bridging the gap between basic science, clinical science, and the community of people living with spinal cord injury. Her training spans the spectrum of SCI research, from cellular and molecular studies to human clinical research at the University of California, Irvine, and now at the University of Miami. She recently completed a multi-center clinical study evaluating the reliability and validity of the Spinal Cord Independence Measure in the US healthcare setting. Her current projects focus on 1) aging related changes in bladder health after SCI and 2) determining the minimum amount of exercise and locomotor training required for clinical trials targeting chronic SCI. In addition to pursuing her own research regarding chronic injury, she serves as the scientific interface to the public for the diverse array of research being conducted at The Miami Project and is now also managing their first cellular transplantation clinical trial.
Kenneth C. Curley, M.D.
Neurotrauma Research Portfolio Manager
Combat Casualty Care Directorate
U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command
Dr.Curley received his medical training from Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences (USUHS) in Bethesda, MD. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant and served in various capacities until May, 2009 when he was appointed to the Civil Service in his current position as the Neurotrauma Research Portfolio Manager for the Combat Casualty Care Research Program and Joint Program Committee 6 of the Defense Health Program. He manages a program of over 550 projects funded at over $650M. He is Assistant Professor of Military and Emergency Medicine, Surgery and Biomedical Informatics at USUHS.
Armin Curt, M.D, FRCPC
Professor and Chairman
Spinal Cord Injury Center
University of Zurich
Dr. Curt is both medical director of the Spinal Cord Injury Center at the University Hospital Balgrist and professor and chair in Spinal Cord Rehabilitation at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. His specialties include neurology and clinical neurophysiology and his research has centered around development of neurophysiological and clinical assessment protocols in spinal disorders. He is a founder of the European Multicenter Network in SCI (EMSCI), and has been instrumental in the development of clinical trial protocols and outcome measures being used in a variety of current trials. He is a consultant for multiple pharmaceutical companies in acute and chronic spinal cord injury. He is currently the principal investigator on a study investigating the therapeutic benefit of neural stem cell transplantation after human chronic spinal cord injury.
James Guest, M.D., PH.D., FACS
Professor of Neurological Surgery
The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
Dr. Guest has a career-long interest in spinal cord injury and obtained his Ph.D. under the direction of Richard and Mary Bunge studying the transplantation of Schwann cells to repair the spinal cord. During completion of his residency in Vancouver, he was mentored by Dr. John Steeves of ICORD. Following further clinical and postdoctoral training at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, AZ, he joined the faculty in Miami in 1999. Until 2010, he was the chief of spinal surgery at the Miami VA Medical Center. Since 2010 he has focused his career on the translation of autologous Schwann cell therapy for subacute SCI working with the Miami team to develop an IND and initiating the study. Dr. Guest also has an interest in neuroprotection and is center PI for NACTN, and studies of riluzole and the Acorda AC105 study. His translational research group uses large animal models to test combinatorial therapies such as cellular therapy and exercise, or spinal electrical stimulation in preparation for human translation.
Stephen L. Huhn, M.D.
Vice President, CNS Clinical Research, StemCells, Inc.
Consulting Associate Professor, Department of Neurosurgery, Stanford University School of Medicine
As Vice-President of CNS Clinical Research at StemCells, Inc., Dr. Huhn supervises both the pre-clinical and clinical aspects of the company’s therapeutic activities for a spectrum of CNS indications. He has been responsible for the clinical development, protocol design, preparation, IND submission, and medical monitoring for four clinical trials to evaluate the therapeutic potential of transplantation of human neural stem cells: Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis (NCL), Pelizaeus-Merzbacher Disease (PMD), Spinal Cord Injury (SCI), and Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD). Significantly, Dr. Huhn was responsible for the design, medical monitoring, and interpretation of the first FDA-approved IND Phase I trial of the first in human neural stem cell transplantation (conducted in NCL). Having completed two fellowships, one in neuro-oncology and one in pediatric neurosurgery, he has an extensive background in clinical neurosurgery.
Linda Jones, PT, MS
Craig H. Neilsen Foundation
Ms. Jones manages a research portfolio spanning basic, translational and early clinical research aimed at improving recovery from spinal cord injury. SCI has been the focus of her career since 2000. She worked with Proneuron Biotechnologies, the sponsor of the first Phase 1 cell-based study in SCI and subsequently managed the Phase II trial. In June, 2006, she began working at Geron Corporation, preparing for and managing the first clinical trial in the United States utilizing cells derived from human embryonic stem cells. Her experience is in integrating pre-clinical results into the clinical trial/protocol, assessing the feasibility of trial implementation, and developing the operational infrastructure to execute trials and addressing regulatory challenges.
Steven Kirshblum, M.D.
Medical Director and Director of Spinal Cord Injury Services
Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation
Dr. Kirshblum is currently President of the Academy of Spinal Cord Injury Professionals (ASCIP), and the American Paraplegia Society (APS), a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine, and the Chair of the International Standards Committee for the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA). Dr. Kirshblum has authored over 100 peer reviewed publications, a children’s book on spinal cord injury and is the editor of Spinal Cord Medicine, a textbook on spinal cord injury; second edition in 2011. He has served as a primary investigator for many SCI related research studies.
Naomi Kleitman, Ph.D.
Vice President for Research
Craig H. Neilsen Foundation
Dr. Kleitman serves as the Vice President for Research of the largest private foundation dedicated to improving the quality of life for those living with spinal cord injury by supporting innovative program services, specialty training and research on effective therapies and treatments leading to a cure. From 2001-2012, she was a Program Director at the NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, administering a portfolio focused on translation of fundamental research in spinal cord and peripheral neural repair into clinical studies and the development of rigorous standards for the translation of preclinical SCI research. Dr. Kleitman also served as co-lead for the NIH/NINDS-FDA/CBER working group. From 1989-2001, she was on the faculty of the University of Miami School of Medicine. She served as the Scientific Liaison for the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, facilitating interaction between clinicians and rehabilitation and basic researchers, as well as informing the public, patient groups, and the media about progress in SCI research.
Audrey Kusiak, Ph.D.
Portfolio Manager/Rehabilitation Research and Development Service
Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Research and Development
Dr. Kusiak is a Scientific Program Manager at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Her scientific portfolio includes research on spinal cord injury, neuropathic pain, regenerative medicine and translational neural repair. Prior to her current position, Dr. Kusiak was the acting Director of the Defense Spinal Cord and Column Injury Center at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and a Program Analyst in the Repair and Plasticity Cluster at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. She represents VA ORD on the Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee, the Interagency Working Group on Neuroscience, the Department of Defense’s Spinal Cord Injury Program, and the Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine Integration Panels, the Regenerative and Restorative Medicine Management Team, the DoD/VA Chronic Effects of Neurotrauma Advisory Board, and the Scientific Review Advisory Board of the Paralyzed Veterans of America.
Daniel P. Lammerstse, M.D.
Medical Director of Research
Dr. Lammertse is co-project director of the Spinal Cord Injury Model system at Craig Hospital and past-chair of the NIDRR SCIMS Project Directors. He came to Craig Hospital in 1981 and served as Medical Director for 24 years from 1984-2008. He has served on the Board of Directors of the American Paraplegia Society (APS) and the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA), and was President of the latter from 2001-2003. He was a member of the Spinal Cord Injury Medicine Committee of the American Board of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. He is the recipient of the 2008 APS Excellence Award and the 2012 ASIA Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr. Lammertse has an appointment as Clinical Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University Colorado Denver. He has been Principal Investigator on many clinical trials in SCI and has provided consultation on protocol development and research design to private industry sponsors of SCI clinical trials.
Mary Jane Mulcahey, Ph.D., OTR/L
Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy
Jefferson School of Health Professions
Thomas Jefferson University
Dr. Mulcahey has a background in pediatric medicine, and was Director of Rehabilitation and Clinical Research at the Shriners Hospitals for Children, Philadelphia facility, from 2000-2012. She remains a senior investigator and member of the scientific staff. She is President-Elect of the ASIA, and an Associate Editor of both “Topics in Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation,” and the American Journal of Occupational Therapy. In 2007, she was the recipient of the inaugural Apple Award from ASIA for Excellence in Publishing.
Founder and CEO
DP Clinical, Inc. is a Contract Research Organization. It provides monitoring, data management, biostatistics, auditing, and regulatory services to pharmaceutical, medical device, and biotechnology companies, as well as research institutions conducting Phase 1-4 clinical trials. Ms. Poonian has over two decades of experience in managing and conducting clinical trials in a variety of therapeutic areas such as cardiology, CNS, infectious diseases, vaccines, and oncology. Since its inception in 1994, Ms. Poonian and DP Clinical have successfully produced three NDAs, one PMA, and one BLA. Previously, Ms. Poonian worked for corporations such as Hoffmann-LaRoche and Fidia Pharmaceutical. She has been a co-author on several papers published on results of multi-center trials.
Arthur M. Sherwood, P.E., Ph.D.
International Society for Restorative Neurology and Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Baylor College of Medicine
Dr. Sherwood holds a doctorate in biomedical engineering from Duke University. He is currently Executive Director of the International Society for Restorative Neurology. Previously, Dr. Sherwood was the Science and Technology Advisor to the Director of NIDRR in 2002. In his role at NIDRR, Dr. Sherwood played a significant role in guiding the disability research agenda on a national level. Prior to NIDRR, he was Director of the Center of Excellence on Healthy Aging with Disabilities at the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Houston. He developed a set of laboratories for quantitative studies of motor function, and carried out a series of studies in veterans after spinal cord injury, stroke, and Parkinson’s disease. became Director of Research for the Restorative Neurology Program at Baylor upon its founding and in 1997, became Director of the Center of Excellence on Healthy Aging with Disabilities at the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Houston. He developed a set of laboratories for quantitative studies of motor function, and carried out a series of studies in veterans after spinal cord injury, stroke, and Parkinson’s Disease.
Nancy L. Shinowara, Ph.D.
Program Director/Spinal Cord & Musculoskeletal Disorders & Assistive Devices
National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research
Dr. Shinowara manages a grant and contract portfolio that includes projects involving rehabilitation approaches, technologies and assistive devices for improved functions and quality of life of individuals with spinal cord injury and musculoskeletal disorders. She has been on staff at NIH since 2002. Prior to this time, her academic research affiliations were with Northwestern University, Caltech, NIH/NIA Laboratory of Neurosciences, and SUNY Stony Brook.
Keith Tansey, M.D., Ph.D.
Senior Scientist at the Center for Neuroscience and Neurological Recovery.
University of Mississippi Medical Center’s faculty as a professor of rehabilitation in the Dept. of Neurosurgery and the Dept. of Neurobiology and as a physician in the Spinal Cord Injury Clinic at the Jackson VA Medical Center.
Dr. Tansey is board certified in Neurology, Spinal Cord Injury Medicine, and Neural Repair and Rehabilitation. Dr. Tansey has combined animal model and human research across his laboratories at Emory University and Shepherd. Center. Dr. Tansey is interested in neural plasticity that leads to functional restoration after spinal cord injury. He is working to combine interventions like activity-based therapies or robotics with electrical stimulation, pharmacology, and cell transplantation to improve neural recovery. He is President-Elect of ASIA, and a board member of several other foundations.
Lawrence C. Vogel, M.D.
Chief of Pediatrics, Assistant Chief of Staff, Medicine
Medical Director of Spinal Cord Injury Program
Shriners Hospitals for Children, Chicago Hospital
Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Rush Medical College
Dr. Vogel has been the Medical Director of the Pediatric Spinal Cord Injury Program at the Chicago Shriners Hospitals for Children for over 30 years, and he is Professor of Pediatrics at Rush Medical College. He is the immediate Past-President of the ASIA, as well as, Past-President of the American Paraplegia Society, and is currently Chairman of the Steering Committee of the Consortium for Spinal Cord Medicine. Major interests of Dr. Vogel are the long-term follow up of adults with pediatric-onset spinal cord injuries, and the psychological, educational, vocational and sexual adjustment of youth with spinal cord injuries and their families.
Edward Wirth, M.D., Ph.D.
Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Wirth is most interested in the potential value of cell transplants after neurological disorders such as SCI. He has extensive academic and commercial experience in translational research and clinical development of therapeutics. From 2002 to 2004, Dr. Wirth held academic appointments at Rush Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center and at the University of Chicago. He was Medical Director for the Regenerative Medicine at Geron Corporation from 2004-2011. He led the world’s first clinical trial of a human embryonic stem cell derived product at Geron, which is now an effort of Asterias Biotherapeutics.