Prof. Maria Pia Amato
Professor of Neurology
University of Florence
Florence, Italy

Maria Pia Amato is Associate Professor of Neurology and responsible for the Multiple Sclerosis Unit at the Department of NEUROFARBA, University of Florence, Italy. Prof. Maria Pia Amato obtained her medical degree at the University of Florence, Italy, in 1983 and became a board-certified neurologist in 1987. She received specific training in clinical neuroepidemiology as a Research Fellow at the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA, and at the Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


She is actively involved in research on multiple sclerosis (MS) at both national and international level, having published nearly 150 papers in peer-reviewed journals. Her specific research focus deals with clinical epidemiology, treatment and neuropsychology of MS.


Currently, Prof. Maria Pia Amato is the Italian Delegate for MS for the European Federation of Neurological Societies and member of the ECTRIMS Executive Council.


Prof. Amato is member of the Consiglio Superiore di Sanità.

Prof. Alexey N. Boyko
Professor of Neurology, Director of the MS Center
The Pirogov’s Russian National Research Medical University, MS Center at the Neuroclinica of Usupov’s Hospital
Moscow, Russia

Alexey Boyko gained his MD and PhD from the Russian State Medical University, Moscow and has been Professor of the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery at this university since 1997. He was the Chief Neurologist of the Department of Health Care of the Government of Moscow in 2001-2015, Director of the Moscow Multiple Sclerosis Center in 2004-2014 and Director of the MS Clinical and Research Center of Neuroclinic (Ysupov Hospital) since 2015. He was elected as a Honourable Professor of Kazan and Yaroslavl State Medical Universities. Professor Boyko has been a member of the “Oslo International Think-tank on Multiple Sclerosis Epidemiology, Analytical Approaches to Study of the Aetiology” at the Center for Advanced Studies of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters in 1994-1995, and worked at UBC MS Center in 1998 (Vancouver, Canada). He is also a member of the Presidium of the All-Russian Society of Neurologists, Co-ordinator of the Medical Consulting Boards of Moscow and All-Russian MS Societies, President of RUCTRIMS, member of ECTRIMS Council. Professor Boyko has published 14 books, 12 chapters in books and more than 750 original publications and is a co-editor of three medical journals. The main interest is epidemiology and genetic of MS, immunopathogenesis, clinical trials in MS, he is a member of several Advisory Boards of ongoing and finished clinical trials.

Ms. Zoe Burr
Head of Capacity Building
MS International Federation
London, United Kingdom

Zoe Burr is Head of Capacity Building at the MS International Federation (MSIF), a unique global network of over 100 organisations, people affected by MS, volunteers and staff from around the world. MSIF’s mission is to bring the world together to improve the quality of life of everybody affected by MS and to end MS forever.


Zoe joined MSIF in 2006 motivated by her interest in international relations and civil society development. Over the past 11 years Zoe has played a key role in developing MSIF’s capacity building programmes in the MENA region, China and Latin America. With her team she focuses on improving the skills and internal capacity of MS organisations, enabling them to grow and sustain their activities to play a more significant role in supporting people affected by MS in their country.


2017 marks 50 years of the MSIF movement and the start of a new strategy with five ambitious aims; improving scientific understanding and treatments, improving access to treatment, supporting informed decision making, advocating for change and strengthening the global movement.


Together we will tackle the big challenges for people affected by MS in countries rich and poor. Together we’re stronger than MS.

Prof. Nicola De Stefano
Associate Professor of Neurology
Department of Medicine, Surgery and Neuroscience, University of Siena
Sienna, Italy

Nicola De Stefano is Associate Professor of Neurology at the Department of Medicine, Surgery and Neuroscience, University of Siena, Italy. He is also Head of the NeuroImaging Laboratory in the same Department; Adjunct Professor, Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University, Canada; and Honorary Visiting Professor, Imperial College London, UK.


Prof. De Stefano graduated with his MD degree from the University of Siena, Italy, and went on to undertake his internship. After successfully completing his residency in neurology, he went on to pursue postgraduate training overseas in Canada before returning to his alma mater where he obtained his PhD.


Prof. De Stefano’s current research interests lie in multiple sclerosis and other neurological diseases involving the brain white matter. In particular, he is a renowned expert on the clinical application of new neuroimaging techniques in brain and muscle of patients with neurological disease.


Prof. De Stefano is a member of several prestigious professional societies and organisations including the American Academy of Neurology, the European Neurological Society, the Italian Society of Neurology, and the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. Since 2009, he has been co-chairing the MAGNIMS European network for the study of magnetic resonance in multiple sclerosis. He has delivered numerous invited lectures worldwide, and to date, he has published numerous books and book chapters ad well as more than 250 papers in prestigious international peer-review publications in the area of neurology and neurometabolic disorders. He is also currently serving as a reviewer for the most relevant international neurologic journals.

Dr. Mark Freedman
Director, Multiple Sclerosis Research Unit, Senior Scientist, Neuroscience Program, Professor of Medicine, Neurology
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, University of Ottawa
Ottawa, Canada

Dr. Freedman is currently professor of medicine in the field of neurology at the University of Ottawa, as well as director of the Multiple Sclerosis Research Unit at the Ottawa Hospital, General Campus and a Senior Scientist at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. A graduate of the University of Toronto, Dr. Freedman holds his Masters Degree in Molecular Neurochemistry and continued his postgraduate work specializing in neurology and neuroimmunology. His specialized training took him to the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel; The National Hospital, Queen Square, London UK, as well as the Montreal Neurological Institute, where he subsequently was an Assistant Professor. He holds his specialist certification in Quebec CSPQ and all of Canada FRCP(C) and is a Fellow of both the American Neurological Association (FANA) and the American Academy of Neurology (FAAN).


Dr. Freedman has published over 300 pieces, including articles, books, book chapters and abstracts and has been invited to give hundreds of lectures and presentations nationally and internationally. His extensive research includes the area of molecular neurochemistry, cellular immunology, neuroimmunology and clinical studies in MS. He is currently holding peer reviewed and industry related funding for translational research investigating immune mechanisms of damage and repair in multiple sclerosis, with a particular interest in cell-based therapies. He was the lead investigator in the Canadian Bone Marrow Transplant Study in MS, is currently the head of the Canadian Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation in MS study (MESCAMS) and co-director of the International Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation in MS Study Group.


Dr. Freedman has over 30 years of experience in the management of patients with multiple sclerosis and has been the principal investigator on numerous clinical trials with new therapeutic agents for MS. He has experience from serving on several research study steering committees as well as data safety monitoring boards. He serves on the editorial boards for several journals including the Multiple Sclerosis Journal. He has also served on several national and international committees and is currently the Treasurer of the Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in MS (ACTRIMS).

Prof. Riadh Gouider
Consultant Neurologist, Head of Neurology Department
Razi Hospital
Tunis, Tunisia

Pr. Riadh GOUIDER received his medical degree in 1993, a Diploma of Neurology in 1994 and a Master in human genetics in 1999 from the Faculty of Medicine of Tunis. He also received a Diploma of Clinical Neurophysiology in 1993 from the Faculty of Medicine of Paris VI Salpetriere.

Pr. Gouider is currently Professor of Neurology and head of department of Neurology since 2002. He is leading of the project of an MS center in Tunisia.

Pr Gouider is the President of the Tunisian Society of Neurology since 2014.

He is Trustee of the WFN since 2014 and member of the education committee and co-chair of the Task Force e-health in the WFN since 2009.

He is vice President of Middle East and North Africa Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis since 2013 and member of Scientific Council of the International Federation of Multiple Sclerosis since 2003.

He is a Founding member of the Maghrebian Federation of Neurology since 2001 and Honorary President of the Pan Arab Union of Neurological Societies since 2013.

He received several awards from International Societies (American Academy of Neurology, JNLF, Maghrebian Federation of neurology…).

Pr. GOUIDER is the principal investigator of many international clinical trials, mainly in the field of Multiple Sclerosis. He is also member of the International Federation of Multiple Sclerosis (MSIF) and the senior member scientific board Tunisian Association of the patients with the Multiple sclerosis (ATSEP).

He authored and co-authored more than 120 original papers or book chapters.

His fields of interest in MS include principally epidemiology and clinical specificities of Multiples sclerosis in the region.

Mr. Abdelfatah Ibrahim
Capacity Building Manager
MS International Federation
London, United Kingdom

Abdelfatah is a Capacity Building Manager at the MS International Federation (MSIF), a unique global network of over 100 organisations, people affected by MS, volunteers and staff from around the world.


Abdel focuses on the MENA and Pan Asia regions, working with MS organisations, their staff and volunteers, encouraging them to exceed their potential and supporting them to improve the quality of life of people with and affected by MS in their countries.


Abdel has a Master’s degree in International Development (Poverty, Inequality and Development). He has nine years’ experience in the international development and civil society sectors. He is a specialist in organisational development with experience of managing projects in health, education and poverty reduction in MENA and Africa. Prior joining MSIF in 2012, Abdel worked for number of international aid agencies.


2017 marks 50 years of the global MSIF movement and the start of a new strategy with five ambitious aims; improving scientific understanding and treatments, improving access to treatment, supporting informed decision making, advocating for change and strengthening the global movement.

Dr. Mona Al Khawajah
Consultant Neurologist
King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Center
Assistant Professor
Al Faisal University
Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Dr. Mona Alkhawajah is currently a Consultant Neurologist at the Neurosciences Department of King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, Riyadh (KFSHRC-R). She is also the Program Director of the Neurology Residency Training Program at KFSHRC-R and an Assistant Professor at Al Faisal University.


Dr. Mona Alkhawajah received her Medical Degree from King Saud University, Riyadh. She then pursued her residency training in Neurology at KFSHRC-R. After obtaining her Saudi Board in Neurology, she completed her Fellowship in Neuroimmunology at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, Canada. That was followed by a shorter fellowship in Neuromuscular Diseases at Vancouver General Hospital.


Dr. Alkhawajah is currently conducting several research projects in the field of MS. She has established the first Multiple Sclerosis support group in the Kingdom, the first meeting took place in June 2014. She is the organizer of the first (2015) and second (2017) walk for MS in Saudi Arabia, and is actively involved in educating the public about MS.

Prof. Volker Limmroth
Professor of Neurology, Head of Neurology and Chief Medical Officer
University of Cologne, Cologne Hospital
Cologne, Germany

Prof. Limmroth is the Chairman of the Department of Neurology, Cologne City Hospitals, University of Cologne, Germany. After studying in Göttingen, Lausanne and Rio de Janeiro, Prof. Limmroth received his medical degree in 1989 from the University of Göttingen, Germany. He then completed a residency in Neurology with Prof. Hans-Christoph Diener in Essen, Germany. In 1993 he received grant of German National research Society (DFG) and completed from 1993-1996 a postdoc-fellowship with Prof. Michael A. Moskowitz at the Stroke and Neurovascular Research Laboratory, MGH-Neuroscience Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA. After his return to Germany he established his own research laboratory in Essen and became head of the outpatient clinic at the University Hospital in Essen, Germany and in 2002 the Vice-chairman of the Department of Neurology. In 2006 he became Chairman of the Department of Neurology at the Cologne City Hospitals, University of Cologne, Germany. From 2008 – 2010 he also served as deputy Medical Director and from 2010 – 2013 as acting Medical Director of the Cologne City Hospitals. Prof. Limmroth is the editor and co-editor of 21 books, he published over 250 scientific papers and book chapters, has given over 700 scientific lectures and participated in over 50 clinical trials, mainly in MS, pain and stroke.

Ms. Vicky Nassar
Administrative Officer
Abu Haidar Neuroscience Institute (AHNI) and Nehme and Therese Tohme Multiple Sclerosis Center
Beirut, Lebanon

Ms. Nassar is currently the Administrative Officer for the Abu Haidar Neuroscience Institute (AHNI) and Nehme and Therese Tohme Multiple Sclerosis Center. In 2000, she received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the Université Saint Joseph in addition to a Diplome D’Etat Francais. Later she completed her Master’s in Public Health at the American University of Beirut with the area of concentration: Health Management and Policy. In 2005, she received the Best Project Presentation award for their Disaster Planning and Management masters’ project from the AUB-FHS. She is certified by the American Academy of Emergency Medicine for “Hospital Disaster Preparedness”. She worked as a registered nurse at the AUBMC Emergency Department for 5 years; she was then appointed as a Clinical Educator. Afterwards, she was appointed as Nurse Manager for the oncology/medical surgical unit, where she was responsible for staff management and development, patient care management within the framework of the Patient Centered Care, and operational/business.


As AHNI Administrative Officer she is responsible of the Institute operational and administrative projects that serve the mission and vision of the institute’s departments, divisions and centers of excellence. She provides administrative support thorough understanding of the hospital and departmental practices and policies, preparing and updating a variety of financial, workload, inventory and personnel management indicators and statistical reports. She processes routine personnel affairs and purchasing requisitions among other administrative duties that are pertaining to the management of the institute. She is the administrator and organizer of the Friends of MS at AUBMC fundraising activities to support needy MS patients at the Nehme and Therese Tohme Multiple Sclerosis Center.

Prof. Peter Rieckmann
Professor of Neurology, Director of the Neurological Clinic, Department of Neurology
Bamberg, Germany

Dr. Peter Rieckmann received his MD from the University of Göttingen in 1998. After a postdoctoral fellowship in Molecular Immunology at the NIH, Bethesda, USA, he completed his training in Neurology at the National Institute for Nervous Disease, London, UK and the University of Göttingen, Germany. He was Head of the Clinical Research Group for Multiple Sclerosis and Neuroimmunology at the Julius-Maximilians University of Würzburg and holds several positions as visiting Professor across the globe. In 2000, Professor Rieckmann became the MS Society of Canada Research Chair and Director of the MS Program at the University of British Columbia and Vancouver Hospital, Canada.


Dr. Reickmann’s major research interests are disease-modifying factors and regeneration in MS as well as functional aspects of the blood brain barrier in neuroimmunological diseases. Professor Rieckmann’s clinical goals include enhancing awareness and education about MS, developing effective and properly resourced services for MS outpatient care, and providing more customized treatments for patients. He is chairman of the MS in the 21st century steering group, an international MS stakeholder initiative. He serves on steering committees of various international multicenter MS trials (Phase II and III). Professor Rieckmann is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, Canada and has over 200 papers to his credit in peer-reviewed medical journals.

Prof. Mohammad Ali Sahraian
Professor of Neurology
Sina Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences
Tehran, Iran

Dr. Sahraian graduated from Shiraz University of Medical Sciences (Shiraz-Iran). He undertook board of neurology and fellowship in medical education from Tehran University of Medical sciences. Dr. Sahraian had a training in multiple sclerosis at University hospital Basel (Switzerland). He is currently professor of clinical neurology and the director of MS research center in Tehran University of Medical Sciences and vice-chancellor for Iranian MS society.


He has served as an investigator on several clinical trials in neurology and has published more than 170 articles in peer-reviewed journals and presented abstracts on MS at international meetings. He has been invited to deliver several lectures on MR evaluations and disability assessment at different meetings on multiple sclerosis. He has published “MRI atlas of lesions in multiple sclerosis” and has been the author of “Multiple Sclerosis” chapter in Encyclopedia of Diagnostic Imaging. He is one of the authors of MRI Training CD-ROM which was translated into four languages. Dr. Sahraian areas of interests are management of multiple sclerosis and neuromyelitis optica.

Prof. Ilham Slassi Sennou
Professor of Neurology
Ibn Rochd Hospital
Casablanca, Morocco

She earned and graduated her assistant master in Neurology in 1984 at the Medicine and Pharmacy university of Rabat. Then went for a training in Neuro- immunology at the University of Montpellier. Holder of a CES in Immunology and a Master in Neuro – immunology, she returned back to Morocco where she completed on neurology at the neurology department of the UHC IbnSina in 1991. She earned her title of Master of Associate Conference in 1992. In 1997, she joined the University Hassan II and the Ibn Rochd UHC of Casablanca and became head of neurology department and subsequently set on neurology residency, structured its teaching discipline and built up a university research team.


She is part of various learning societies, associations, committees, … She is also a founding member of the Maghreb Federation of Neurology, a member of the Francophone Club MS, a member of The French Academy of Art, Science and letter, a member of the Ethics Committee for Biomedical Research at the Medicine and Pharmacy university of Casablanca, President of the Moroccan Association for the Fightagainst Muscular Dystrophy (Association Marocaine de Lutte contre les Myopathies) (AMM).


Her clinical interests are inflammatory diseases, nervous system’s autoimmune and infectious diseases, neurological disability management. As such, she has made, framed, and participated in numerous works, trials and clinical publications. She also initiated an associative framework in collaboration with a number of colleagues, multidisciplinary management of muscle diseases and neurological disability, and she also created a neurology Moroccan network.

Prof. Bassem I. Yamout
Professor of Clinical Neurology, Director, Multiple Sclerosis Center Clinical Research
American University of Beirut Medical Center
Beirut, Lebanon

Bassem Yamout is currently Professor of Clincail Neurology at the American University of Beirut Medical Center. He graduated from the medical school at the American University of Beirut in 1984, received his training in neurology at the University of Cincinnati-Ohio followed by a fellowship at the Montreal Neurological Institute-McGill University. In 1988 he joined the faculty of the American University of Beirut. His main focus of research is in the field of multiple sclerosis. He is currently president of the MENACTRIMS, head of clinical research at the Multiple Sclerosis Center, fellow of the American Academy of Neurology, and member of multiple regional and international MS advisory boards.


Dr. Yamout is one of the leading experts on multiple sclerosis in the Middle East and Arab region with recent research on epidemiology of the disease in the region, quality of life of patients in the Middle East, novel therapies such as stem cell transplantation and venous stenosis, and the impact of wars on the course of multiple sclerosis. In addition he is currently the principal investigator on several ongoing international multiple sclerosis research trials. Dr Yamout has authored many research and review papers and is currently Chief Editor of the MS newsletter “MS today”, and on the editorial board of “Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders”.

Prof. Magd Zakaria
Professor of Neurology
Ain Shams University
Cairo, Egypt

Dr. Magd Zakaria was born in Cairo, 26 October 1956. Dr. Zakaria attended the English School of Cairo till graduation in 1974. He was a student of the Medical School of Ain Shams University till 1980 where he graduated with honors. Dr. Zakaria completed his residency at the Neuropsychiatric Department of Ain Shams University till 1984. He obtained his Master’s Degree in Neuropsychiatry. He became Assistant Lecturer in 1989 and then after obtaining his MD degree in Neurology in 1989. Dr. Zakaria became Assistant Professor of Neurology in 1994 and Professor of Neurology since 1999 until now. He was Head of the Neurology Department at the Ain Shams Specialized University Hospital in 1990 and Head of the Stroke Unit in 1991. Since 2014, Dr. Zakaria has become the Head of the Multiple Sclerosis Unit at the Ain Shams Specialized University Hospital.


Dr. Zakaria is currently the President of the Egyptian Society of Multiple Sclerosis and a member of the editorial board of the journal MSARD (Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders). He is also a member of the MENACTRIMS assembly board and Egypt’s Brain Health Champion (MS Brain Health Organization.


He was also the head of the Neuropsychiatric Department of the Ain Shams medical school from August 2015 till July 2017.

Prof. Saeed Bohlega
Consultant Neurologist, Professor of Neurology
King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center
Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Dr Bohlega obtained his basic medical training at King Saud University and graduated in 1980. Then in 1982, he went to Canada where he underwent his training in Neurology at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver BC. He developed specialist interest in Multiple Sclerosis, Movement Disorders and did subspecialty training in Neurophysiology.


In 1989, he joined the Department of Neurosciences at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre and worked as a Consultant Neurologist and then was promoted as a Senior Consultant and later was appointed as Professor of Neurology at Al Faisal University.


He is a member of many prestigious neurological societies like the American Neurological Association (ANA) and the British Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons. He worked as a Section Head of Neurology then as Chairman of Department of Neurosciences. Also, he is the founder and a chairperson of the National Saudi Board of Neurology for ten years. He is the Chairman of Saudi Multiple Sclerosis Advisory Group. Currently, he is the President of the Saudi Neurology Society (SNS) and the current President of the PAN Arab Union of Neurological Societies (PAUNS).


He received numerous national and international awards for his clinical and academic contributions.


To date, Dr Bohlega has published more than 140 papers in a peer reviewed journal. He wrote a few book chapters. He also presented more than 200 presentations in various conferences.

Mrs. Therese Burke
Clinical Nurse Consultant Multiple Sclerosis
Westmead Institute for Immunology Research
Sydney, Australia

Therese Burke has been working as a Clinical Nurse Consultant in MS for over 15 years and as a researcher in the MS field for over 20 years, at Westmead, a major Sydney teaching Hospital. Therese is currently in the last months of working full time on a PhD by research using qualitative methodology. The study explores the experience for people living with RRMS in the modern day with so much information, so many treatments and so many choices. Therese has a passion for educating people and families living with MS, particularly at the start of the journey, and has co-authored an international paper on the evolving role of the MS Nurse. In the research sphere, she has been the Principal Investigator on several Nurse-led research projects and co-Investigator on many more. Therese has been involved with the International Multiple Sclerosis International Certification Board as a board member for the last 7 years and is the current Immediate Past President, a role she enjoys very much. Therese is also interested in ethics in MS research and has been an Institutional Human Research Ethics Board member for many years.

Dr. Tanuja Chitnis
Medical Director of the CLIMB Study, Director, Partners Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Center, Associate Professor of Neurology
Brigham and Women’s Hospital, MassGeneral Hospital for Children, Harvard Medical School
Boston, United States of America

Dr. Chitnis is a neurologist specializing in MS and serves as the Medical Director of the CLIMB Natural History study at the Partners MS Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) which follows over 2400 MS patients longitudinally. Here she oversees a team of analysts and postdoctoral fellows working to understand the causes, heterogeneity and response to treatment in MS patients. In addition to her clinical roles, she is an Associate Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School and has a research appointment as a Scientist within the Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases at BWH. Having over 200 publications and reviews related to MS and demyelinating disorders, she heads several projects focusing on predictors and modulators of disease course in MS patients of all ages, including clinical and neuroimaging features as well as immunological and hormonal markers. In her role as the founding Director of the Partners Pediatric MS Center at MassGeneral Hospital for Children and the Chair of the International Pediatric MS Study Group, she has led several initiatives in the study of MS in children. Throughout her career, primary scientific contributions have been in immune mechanisms in MS, pediatric MS research, the CLIMB observational cohort study, hormonal mechanism in MS, and Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO).

Prof. Martin Duddy
Consultant Neurologist
Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals, NHS Foundation Trust
Newcastle, United Kingdom

Martin Duddy studied biochemistry and medicine at Queen’s University Belfast with postgraduate training and research in Belfast and Montreal. He was appointed a consultant neurologist with a special interest in MS at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne in 2003 and is currently Clinical Director for Neurosciences. He is involved in clinical research, participating in a large number of collaborative studies. He recently served as joint clinical lead for the DH Risk-sharing scheme and is editor of the Topical Reviews section of the Multiple Sclerosis Journal.

Prof. Gavin Giovannoni
Professor of Neurology
Royal London Hospital, Blizard Institute
London, United Kingdom

Gavin Giovannoni was appointed to the Chair of Neurology, Blizard Institute, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University London and the Department of Neurology, Barts Health NHS Trust in November 2006. In September 2008 he took over as the Neuroscience Centre Lead in the Blizard Institute. Gavin did his undergraduate medical training at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, where he graduated in 1987. He moved to the Institute of Neurology, Queen Square, London in 1993 after completing his specialist training in neurology in South Africa. After three years as a clinical research fellow, under Professor Ed Thompson, and then two years as the Scarfe Lecturer, working for Professor W. Ian McDonald, he was awarded a PhD in immunology from the University of London in 1998. He was appointed as a Clinical Senior Lecturer, Royal Free and University College Medical School, in 1998 and moved back to Institute of Neurology, Queen Square in 1999. He was promoted to Reader in Neuroimmunology in 2004. His clinical interests are multiple sclerosis and other inflammatory disorders of the central nervous system. He is particularly interested in clinical issues related to optimising MS disease modifying therapies. His current research is focused on Epstein Barr virus as a possible cause of multiple sclerosis, defining the “multiple sclerosis endophenotype”, multiple sclerosis related neurodegeneration, multiple sclerosis biomarker discovery, multiple sclerosis clinical outcomes and immune tolerance strategies. His team focus on translational research and therefore have an active clinical trial programme.

Prof. Nikolaos Grigoriadis
Head, B’ Dept of Neurology, Professor of Neurology
AHEPA University Hospital, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki, Greece

Dr Nikolaos Grigoriadis graduated from the Faculty of Medicine of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. He did his PhD thesis and residency in Neurology in the same institution. He has been specialized in clinical and experimental Neuroimmunology and CNS immunopathology in a number of research centers and institutions abroad.


He is now Professor of Neurology and Head of the of the B’ Dept of Neurology, AHEPA University Hospital, the MS Centre and the Laboratory of Experimental Neurology and Neuroimmunology (www.neuroimmunology.gr, www.ms-center.gr).


Professor Grigoriadis is member of various national and international scientific committees such as the European School of Neuroimmunology, ParadigMS, the subcommittee of ENS for Multiple Sclerosis, the ECTRIMS committee (until 2010), Co-founder and Secretary of the Hellenic Academy of Neuroimmunology and President of the Hellenic Neurological Society. He is Ad Hoc reviewer in international scientific journals, co-ordinator in more than 40 multicenter clinical trials for MS and principal investigator in collaborative research projects for cell therapies in CNS autoimmune demyelination and the remyelination process.


His field of interests are: Neuroimmunology; Multiple sclerosis; experimental models of autoimmune diseases (EAE etc); neurodegeneration; immunomodulation; cell therapies. He has published more than 150 papers in peer reviewed journals.

Prof. Ludwig Kappos
Chair of Neurology
University Hospital Basel
Petersgraben, Basel, Switzerland

Grown up in Athens, Greece Ludwig Kappos obtained his M.D. and a Diploma in Clinical Psychology from the University of Würzburg, Germany, in 1980, where he went on to specialise in Neurology and Neuroimmunology, and became Deputy Chief, Division of Clinical Neurology, Max Planck Society, Clinical Research Unit for Multiple Sclerosis. In 1990 he was elected Head of the Outpatient Department, Neurology/Neurosurgery and since 2008 Chair of Neurology at the University of Basel, Switzerland. Research interests include immuno-logical and molecular studies in neuroimmunological diseases, methodology and conduct of therapeutic studies mainly in the field of MS, standardisation of clinical assessment, use of magnetic resonance tomography in elucidating the pathogenesis of inflammatory CNS disease and as tool in monitoring therapeutic studies. Ludwig Kappos serves as chair or member in several steering committees and advisory boards of Clinical Trials and Organizations active in the field of MS and general Neurology. Ludwig Kappos has published more than 600 original papers, reviews and book chapters.

Dr. Samia Khoury
Associate Dean, Clinical and Translational Research, Director of Abou Haidar Neuroscience Institute and Nehme and Therese Tohme Multiple Sclerosis Center
American University of Beirut Medical Center
Beirut, Lebanon

Dr. Khoury is currently the Associate Dean for Clinical and Translational Research at the American University of Beirut. Since October 2011, she has served as the Director of the Abu Haidar Neuroscience Institute, and the Director of the new AUBMC Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Center at AUBMC in Beirut, the first MS center in the region. She is a professor of neurology at the American University of Beirut. In 2007, Dr. Khoury was awarded the prestigious Kuwait Prize for Sciences by the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences for her work in immunology. She has published over 200 scholarly articles, reviews, and book chapters.

Ms. Joelle Massouh
MS Nurse Specialist
American University of Beirut Medical Center
Beirut, Lebanon

Ms. Massouh is currently the senior Multiple Sclerosis nurse at the Nehme and Therese Tohme Multiple Sclerosis Center, American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC), in Beirut, Lebanon. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the American University of Beirut in 2007 along with a minor in Psychology. Ms. Massouh was awarded the Henriette Sabra Women’s Auxiliary Award for academic achievement, professional integrity, and contribution to professional and university life. She is a member of the Lebanese Order of Nurses since 2007 and a member of the Chi Iota Chapter of the Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) Honor Society of Nursing. As part of her clinical training, she has worked with various populations of patients across the health-illness continuum. Ms. Massouh’s professional experience includes working with adult patients suffering from diverse neurological disorders including Multiple Sclerosis at AUBMC.


She joined the AUBMC MS Center since its inauguration and has since dedicated her professional experience to working exclusively with MS patients. She is certified in administering chemotherapy, and she is a member of the International Organization of Multiple Sclerosis Nurses (IOMSN). Ms. Massouh is the first nurse and healthcare professional in the Middle East to be double certified as a Multiple Sclerosis Certified Nurse (MSCN) by the Multiple Sclerosis Nursing International Certification Board (MSNICB), and as a Multiple Sclerosis Certified Specialist (MSCS) by the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC). She has attended several national and international conferences and workshops in the field of MS. She has also presented many talks, specifically on MS nursing, to nurses, healthcare professionals, and patients at various national and regional congresses and training workshops. Ms. Massouh frequently participates in activities and campaigns aimed at promoting awareness on MS in the community. She is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Nursing, focusing on Neurology with a clinical interest in the Multiple Sclerosis patient population. This year she was invited to become an international delegate/board member representing the Middle East on the MSNICB, which was established by the IOMSN to develop criteria for certification and re-certification and administer the Certification Examination for Multiple Sclerosis Nurses.

Dr. Suzan Noori
Consultant Neurologist, Assistant Professor of Neurology
University Hospital Sharjah
Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

Dr. Suzan Noori is a Senior Consultant Neurologist at University Hospital Sharjah (UHS) & Assistant Professor at the Medical College of University of Sharjah. She obtained her MBBS and her Clinical MD in Medicine from the University of Khartoum. She is a fellow of the Royal College of Physician of Edinburgh (FRCP Edn.); & Member of American Academy of Neurology (MAAN). Dr. Noori holds conjoint academic responsibilities in the Medical College – University of Sharjah, and is an active member in the research group at the university. She also has obtained her post graduate degree in the management of multiple sclerosis from Leeds Metropolitan University.


Her key professional skills and activities include: Botulinum toxin Injections for chronic migraine & Therapeutic Botox for Dystonia and treatment of Spasticity), Intrathecal Baclofen pump refilling and programming for treatment of spasticity. She is a pioneer in using Botox for chronic migraine in UAE. She runs Botox training workshops locally & regionally.


Dr. Nppro is a member of many professional bodies locally; regionally and internationally as well as a member of many quality committees and task forces. She is one of the main founders, and currently; the head of the scientific committee of UAE MS support group. She has been actively involved in different meetings & forums as well as in the media and had coordinated regular campaigns for raising awareness for MS in her community.

Dr. Raed Alroughani
Consultant Neurologist, Director of MS Clinic
Amiri Hospital & Dasman Research Institute
Kuwait City, Kuwait

Dr. Raed Alroughani received his degree in medicine (MD) from Charles University. He underwent his neurology residency at the University of British Columbia and subsequently obtained the neurology certification from the Royal College of Physicians & Surgeon (Canada). He then completed a fellowship in demyelinating disorders at the University of British Columbia. He joined the division of neurology at Amiri hospital (Kuwait) as a consultant neurologist. He currently serves aas a head of MS clinic at Ibn- Sina hospital & Amiri Hospitals.


Dr Alroughani’s fields of interest are principally directed towards the epidemiology and therapeutics of multiple sclerosis. He established the national MS registry and multidisciplinary MS clinic in Kuwait. He is actively involved in research and he authored and co-authored more than 80 papers in the last 5 years. His major research interests are epidemiology and therapeutics.


He is currently the secretary general of MENACTRIMS (Middle East North Africa Committee for the Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis). He is the vice president of the Scientific Leadership Group of MSBase Foundation and an executive board member of ParadigMS Foundation. He currently sits on the executive boards of various scientific associations, steering committees and advisory boards, mainly in the field of MS.

Prof. Sven Schippling
Deputy Head, Department of Neuroimmunology and Clinical Multiple Sclerosis Research
University Medical Center Zurich
Zurich, Switzerland

Sven Schippling is currently Deputy Head of the Department of Neuroimmunology and Clinical Multiple Sclerosis Research (NIMS) at the University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland. He is also the Co-Director of the Clinical Research Priority Program MS (CRPPMS) and Consultant Neurologist at the Department of Neurology at University Hospital Zurich. He is a Senior Group Leader at the Neuroscience Center Zurich of the Federal Technical Highschool Zurich and the University of Zurich. Prior to this, he was Head of the first MS Day Clinic in Germany at the University Medical Center of Hamburg University, Germany. From 2005 to 2006 he was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Institute of Neurology, University College London, UK and the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, London.


Dr. Schippling’s areas of special interest are clinical neuroimmunology, mainly within the fields of multiple sclerosis (MS) and neuromyelitis optica. His research focuses include multimodal imaging methods in MS, such as magnetic resonance imaging and optical coherence tomography, transcranial magnetic stimulation and clinical trials including stem cell therapies in MS (haematopoietic and mesenchymal).


Dr. Schippling is also a member of the steering group for the ‘MS in the 21st Century’ initiative, the multinational OCTIMS and BENEFIT11 trials and has authored numerous peer-reviewed publications.

Prof. Patrick Vermersch
Vice Dean, Faculty of Medicine
University of Lille
Lille, France

Patrick Vermersch studied medicine at the University Hospital in Lille, where he graduated in neurology. He then completed his education in more basic research fields, mainly in cellular biology between 1990 and 1994 with a PhD focused on biochemical abnormalities associated with Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. He has also conducted research related to the characterisations of post-transcriptional anomalies of Tau proteins. His research interests then turned to multiple sclerosis (MS).


Prof. Vermersch is head of one of the departments of neurology at the University of Lille, which deals with MS and other neuroinflammatory diseases. The department’s principal scientific interests are neuroimmunology and markers of disease evolution.


Prof. Vermersch is currently vice-dean of the faculty of medicine at the University of Lille. In the year 2000, he created with colleagues the first MS network in northern France to improve both care and research into MS. His current areas of interest are prognostic markers of MS and neuroimmunology in general. He participates in many therapeutic protocols on MS. He has published approximately 350 scientific papers as author or co-author. His H index (web of sciences) is 48.

Prof. Tarek Yousry
Professor of Neuroradiology
University College of London Hospitals
London, United Kingdom

Professor Tarek Yousry is head of the Neuroradiological Academic Unit and head of the Division of Neuroradiology and Neurophysics at UCL Institute of Neurology as well as head of Lysholm Department of Neuroradiology at National Hospital for Neurology & Neurosurgery in London. Professor Yousry started his medical education at Cairo University. Having received a scholarship, he continued his medical education at the Ludwig-Maximillans-Universität (LMU) in Germany and graduated in 1984. This was also where he completed his training in radiology and neuroradiology. In 1997 he obtained his doctorate in medicine for his work on “Functional Imaging”, and was appointed as professor of neuroradiology and head of Lysholm Department of Neuroradiology in 2001 in London. His interest focuses on establishing MR based outcome measures of various CNS and neuromuscular diseases by defining their histological basis at 9.4T and applying them at 1.5T, 3T and 7T, and on improving treatment outcome through precise identification of anatomical structures. He has published in the areas of MR anatomy, multiple sclerosis, movement disorders, prion diseases (CJD), and stroke and neuromuscular diseases.

Dr. Maya Zeineddine
Pharmacist, MS Specialist
American University of Beirut Medical Center
Beirut, Lebanon

Dr. Zeineddine is currently the Clinical Pharmacist of the Nehme and Therese Tohme Multiple Sclerosis Center at the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC). She graduated from the School of Pharmacy at the Lebanese American University (LAU) in 2010, passed the colloquium exam and joined the Lebanese Order of Pharmacists in August 2010. Then, she was selected by LAU for the Doctor of Pharmacy program and was appointed in 2011 to do her clinical and ambulatory care rotations at Henry Ford Hospital and Karmanos Cancer Center, Detroit, Michigan. In June 2011, she completed her Doctor of Pharmacy program with distinction. Winner of the “Best Clinician” and “Positive Attitude” awards in 2011, she has completed several internships at major hospital and community pharmacies in Lebanon and the US. In August 2015, she successfully passed the Multiple Sclerosis Specialization examination and became the first Multiple Sclerosis Certified Pharmacist in Lebanon and the Middle East.


Dr. Zeineddine is involved in several clinical trials, especially in the field of multiple sclerosis. She has ongoing and completed clinical research projects on teriflunomide in pediatrics, the use of fingolimod in clinical practice, the safety of fingolimod in pregnancy, the rate of anti-JCV virus antibody seroconversion in the Middle East, and the safety and efficacy of reduced fingolimod dosage treatment. She is a member of several national and international professional organizations including the American College of Clinical Pharmacy, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society of Lebanon, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America. In December 2015, she was appointed as Executive Secretary of the Middle East North Africa Committee for Research and Treatment in Multiple Sclerosis (MENACTRIMS).