Notice of Upcoming Elections

We are in the process of conducting elections for officers and at-large Board Members of the INA for the 2015-2019 term. The proposed slate of nominees for the various open positions for whom you may cast your ballots is shown below. A list of officers and at-large Board members with terms expiring in 2017 is also shown.

There will be a live webcast on March 25, 2015, 1:00 pm (EDT – New York Time) where you can log on and cast your ballot.

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If you are unable to participate in the live webcast, please click on the link below and DOWNLOAD the proxy form, complete your vote and email it to or fax to Rose Puleo at 212-645-1120.  You do NOT need to scan in your signature on the Proxy, just type or write in your name and check off the box if you are “For” or “Against”.

    Proxy Ballot Instructions                                     Proxy Ballot Form

This election is vital for the future of the INA and continued fulfillment of its mission to advance scientific research and foster understanding of botulinum and other neurotoxins.  Your participation in this significant event will be greatly appreciated.

Office Nominee Term Ending
President-elect Giampietro Schiavo 2017
Secretary Cesare Montecucco 2017
Treasurer Cynthia Comella 2017
At-large-Director David Simpson 2019
At-large-Director Andreas Rummel 2019
At-large-Director Ryuji Kaji 2019
At-large-Director Katharine Alter 2019
At-large-Director Mauricio Montal 2019

BoD Members with terms expiring in 2017 (Not on Slate)

President Joseph Jankovic
Past-President Alberto Albanese
At-large-Director Dirk Dressler
At-large-Director Ellen Gendler
At-large-Director Cindy Ivanhoe
At-large-Director Dorothea Sesardic

Biographies for Nominees

Giampietro Schiavo

Giampietro Schiavo, PhD, FMedSci, is Professor of Cellular Neurology in the Institute of Neurology at University College London (United Kingdom) and academic lead of the Alzheimer Research UK UCL Drug Discovery Institute. He studied with Professor Cesare Montecucco at the University of Padova (Italy) and with Professor James Rothman at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, USA. He is a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization and was awarded the International Society for Neurochemistry Young Scientist Award in 1995, and the G. Armenise-Harvard Foundation Career Development Award in 2002, among others. Dr. Schiavo has performed pioneering studies on the mechanisms of action of bacterial protein toxins, in particular tetanus and botulinum neurotoxins, and their exploitation as tools in cell biology.

Cesare Montecucco

Cesare Montecucco, PhD, is Professor of General Pathology in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Padova, Padova, Italy. Professor Montecucco’s research explores the pathogenesis of bacterial diseases, including tetanus, botulism, anthrax, and Helicobacter pylori-associated diseases, as well as those caused by poisonous snakes and insects.

His major scientific discoveries include: a) characterization of the metalloprotease activity of the neurotoxins responsible for tetanus and botulism; b) identification of protein targets of the metalloproteolytic activity of clostridial neurotoxins; and c) the metalloprotease activity of anthrax lethal factor.

Dr. Montecucco has published over 250 articles and edited three books, and is a member of the boards of various leading scientific journals and the scientific committees of several institutes.  He has received several scientific prizes, including the Feltrinelli Prize in 2004, the Redi Award in 2009, and the Ehrlich Prize in 2011.

Cynthia L. Comella

Cynthia L. Comella, MD, is a Professor in the Department of Neurological Sciences at Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois, USA. She is the chair of the executive committee of the Dystonia Study Group and an active member of the Movement Disorders Society. In addition, she is a member of the American Academy of Neurology, and chairs the education committee.

Dr. Comella is on the editorial board of Sleep Medicine and Clinical Neuropharmacology, and has served as an ad hoc reviewer for numerous peer-reviewed journals. She conducts an active clinical research program, performing studies in botulinum toxins, dystonia, Parkinson’s disease, and sleep-related disorders. Dr. Comella is the author or co-author of more than 165 articles, reviews, research papers, abstracts, books, and book chapters about various topics, including Parkinson’s disease, dystonia, and botulinum toxin.

David M. Simpson

David M. Simpson, MD, is Professor of Neurology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, NY, USA and Director of the Department of Clinical Neurophysiology and the Neuro-AIDS Research Program at Mount Sinai Medical Center.

An author of over 325 publications, Dr. Simpson is the lead author of the Report of the Therapeutics and Technology Assessment Committee of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) assessing botulinum neurotoxin for the treatment of spasticity. He is the principal investigator for many studies, including research into the treatment of neuropathic pain in patients with painful neuropathy and treatment of spasticity with botulinum toxin.

Dr. Simpson is a member of the American Neurological Association and the American Pain Society. He is a Fellow of the AAN, the American Academy of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine, and the Royal College of Physicians. He is on the editorial board of AIDS Patient Care and Current HIV/AIDS Reports.

Andreas Rummel

Andreas Rummel, PhD, is Senior Group Leader at the Institut für Toxikologie at the Medizinische Hochschule Hannover (MHH), Hannover, Germany. Dr Rummel obtained his PhD in biochemistry with the thesis, Characterization of the Cell Binding Domain of Clostridial Neurotoxins. In 2003, he joined the Institut für Toxikologie at MHH as a postdoctoral fellow, and in 2004, he joined toxogen GmbH, an enterprise developing clostridial neurotoxins as therapeutics and diagnostic tools.

Dr. Rummel has published 30 original peer-reviewed articles in top-tier journals and 8 reviews on the basic mechanisms of clostridial neurotoxins, and also edited the book Botulinum Neurotoxins. He has also served as reviewer for numerous journals, including Nature, PLoS One, and FEBS. In addition, Dr. Rummel is the holder of 7 patent applications or grants.

In 2006, Dr. Rummel received the start-up award Hochschul-Impuls, and was Scientific
Sub-Committee Co-Chair of the TOXINS 2015 conference.

Ryuji Kaji

Ryuji Kaji, MD, PhD, is Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurology at Tokushima University Graduate School of Medicine, Tokushima, Japan. Dr. Kaji’s research has focused on the pathophysiology, molecular genetics, and functional neuroanatomy of dystonia, especially Lubag dystonia. As an electromyographer, he has a keen interest in motor neuron disorder, and recently published a paper on a new gene causing amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (optn). Dr. Kaji has also published extensively on botulinum neurotoxin therapy of movement disorders and other conditions in leading biomedical journals.

He has served as an elected Trustee of the World Federation of Neurology and has also served on the International Executive Committee of the Movement Disorder Society (MDS), as well as the editorial board of Movement Disorders. Dr. Kaji is also an Executive Board member of the Japanese Society for Neurology and the Japanese Society of Clinical Neurophysiology; a member-at-large of the International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology; and a corresponding member of the American Neurological Association.

Katharine Alter

Katharine E. Alter, MD, is a practicing pediatric and adult physiatrist in metropolitan Washington, DC. She is the Medical Director of the Functional and Applied Biomechanics Section and Senior Clinician in the Clinical Center and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, Maryland, USA.

Dr Alter is a co-investigator on numerous protocols at the NIH, investigating spasticity, movement disorders, upper motor neuron syndromes, botulinum toxin therapy, proprioception, magnetic resonance imaging, ultrasound imaging, and musculoskeletal pain conditions. She has authored numerous peer-reviewed publications related to these projects and, most recently, an atlas on the topic of ultrasound guidance for chemodenervation procedures.

Dr. Alter is an active member of several professional organizations, including the American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine, the American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine, and the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Mauricio Montal

Mauricio Montal, MD, PhD, is Distinguished Professor, Section of Neurobiology, Division of Biological Sciences, University of California San Diego, San Diego, California, USA.

Dr. Montal is the author of many publications characterizing the mechanism of action and basic science of the botulinum neurotoxins. He is the recipient of a K.C. Cole Award of the Biophysical Society for outstanding contributions in membrane biophysics and a Research Scientist Award from the National Institute of Mental Health of the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Montal is also the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and is a Fellow of the Biophysical Society. Dr. Montal has been awarded the Friedrich Merz Professorship at the Goethe-University, Frankfurt, Germany, and the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa by the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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