Scientific Advisory Board
Brian Popko, PhD
Expertise in PPP1R15A, Multiple Sclerosis, CMT & neurodegenerative diseases
Dr. Brian Popko is the William Frederick Windle Professor of Neurology and the Scientific Director of the Division of Multiple Sclerosis and Neuroimmunology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. Popko has over thirty years of experience examining various aspects of the myelin sheath, including myriad neurological disorders that disrupt this critical component of the nervous system. His laboratory’s research efforts have shed considerable light on the cytoprotective processes that are activated in myelinating glial cells in response to the inflammatory environment that develops in a number of neurological conditions. Dr. Popko’s studies have contributed to the development of therapeutic strategies that enhance these cytoprotective responses, and he is the holder of nine US patents related to diverse aspects of demyelinating disorders. Dr. Popko is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for the Charcot-Marie-Tooth Association and is a member of the NIH Cellular and Molecular Biology of Glia Study section.
Lucia Notterpek, PhD
Expertise in demyelinating disorders CMT & Multiple Sclerosis
Dr. Lucia Notterpek is Professor and Associate Dean, Department of Physiology and Cell Biology, School of Medicine, University of Nevada, Reno, Nevada. Dr. Notterpek investigates how the loss of glial insulation around axons, called myelin, contributes to the pathogenesis of hereditary and age-related neural disorders. Diseases linked with defects in myelin include peripheral neuropathies, such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth diseases and multiple sclerosis. Recent studies also suggest an involvement of myelin damage in the painful symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia. Current research is focused on understanding the subcellular changes within neural cells that underlie the progressive nature of these disorders and normal aging-associated myelin degeneration. A major effort of Dr. Notterpek’s lab focuses on approaches to maintain healthy myelin during lifespan and/or restore it in disease paradigms. She has authored and co-authored over 70 publications, reviews and book chapters. She currently serves as the Chief Science Officer for the Hereditary Neuropathy Foundation, New York. The NIH, the National Muscular Dystrophy Association, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the Facial Pain Foundation and the Hereditary Neuropathy Foundation have supported her research efforts.
François Bellamy, PhD
Expertise in drug discovery & preclinical development
François Bellamy is a medicinal chemist with 40 years of experience in Medicinal Chemistry, Drug Discovery and Preclinical Development within the pharmaceutical industry and small start-up companies. Before joining the pharmaceutical industry he dedicated 9 years to academic research. His research activities cover various therapeutic areas including cardiovascular diseases, immunology, neuroprotection, anti-viral and anti-cancer. He was responsible for the filing of over 60 international patents, among which 20 as an inventor. He published more than 60 papers in peer reviewed journals and delivered over 100 talks around the world. Under his supervision, 19 New Chemical Entities (NECs) have been launched into preclinical development, all of which entered clinical development: 13 progressed to Phase II studies, one repositioned drug, while 3 have been studied in Phase III; one was approved by EMA (2008) and FDA (2010) as a veterinary medicine (anticancer in dogs) and is currently awaiting approval from EMA for human use. Three have been submitted for registration.
Noelle Callizot, PharmD, PhD
Expertise in drug development in neurodegenerative diseases
Noelle Callizot has a large experience in preclinical development of neuro-compounds with an expertise in neuro-degenerative diseases. Noelle has more than 15 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical development of drug in orphan neuromuscular diseases (3 molecules in ALS and CMT) as well as in Alzheimer and Parkinson diseases. Noelle is co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) of NeuroSys (France). Before joining NeuroSys, Noelle was president and CSO of NeuraDom (France), CSO of Neuron Experts (France) and neuro-pharmacology director of Phytopharm Ltd (Cambridge UK). Noelle was also the co-founder, CSO and business development director of Neurofit SAS (France). She is the current president of the “Pharmacological therapy and translational research” commission of AFM-Téléthon (French association of rare neuromuscular disease, Paris) and a permanent member of AFM-Téléthon scientific board member.
Expertise in PPP1R15A, Charcot-Marie-Tooth & neurodegenerative diseases
Maurizio D’Antonio is the Group Leader (Biology of Myelin Unit) of Division of Genetics and Cell Biology at the San Raffaele Scientific Institute in Milan, Italy. He graduated in Molecular Biology from the University of Milan in 1998. He then moved to University College London (UCL), UK, in the laboratory of Prof. Kristjan Jessen and Rhona Mirsky, where he obtained his PhD in 2005 working on fundamental mechanism of Schwann cell development and myelination. He then moved back to Italy, for a postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. L. Wrabetz, at the S. Raffaele Scientific Institute (DIBIT), where he developed mouse models for the study of hereditary neuropathies. Since December 2014 he coordinates the Biology of Myelin Unit. Maurizio has a long standing interest in myelination, and has been using transgenic mice as models to understand the pathomechanisms of demyelinating Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease. His work has been pivotal in identifying the activation of the unfolded protein response (UPR) as a key mechanism for many CMT mutations, and his laboratory is now devoted to understand how myelin protein misfolding can cause disease, and how the UPR can be targeted for therapeutic intervention.