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Advisory Board

Ali Rezai is currently the Executive Chair at West Virginia University Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute, Associate Dean & John D. Rockefeller IV Professor in Neuroscience in Morgantown, WV. A board-certified neurosurgeon, he has been involved in pioneering the use of brain pacemakers for treating Parkinson’s disease, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder and traumatic brain injury. His current research focuses on developing neuromodulation therapies to treat migraine headaches, asthma, addictions, Alzheimer’s, obesity, post-traumatic stress disorders and autism. He first joined the Neurosurgical faculty at New York University Medical Center, becoming the director of the Center for Functional and Restorative Neurosurgery until January 2000, when he joined the faculty at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. Dr. Rezai was the director of the Center for Neurological Restoration, as well as the Jane and Lee Seidman Chair in Functional Neurosurgery at the Cleveland Clinic until August 2009, when he joined the faculty at The Ohio State University. Most recently, Dr. Rezai was the Director of the Neurological Institute and Associate Dean of Neuroscience at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

He has published more than 175 peer-reviewed articles, including publications in Nature and Lancet Neurology  and more than 40 book chapters. He serves on the editorial board of five scientific journals including Neurosurgery. He has edited a book on surgery for psychiatric disorders and the two volume textbook, Neuromodulation. In addition, Dr. Rezai has been the PI and co-investigator on eight NIH grants and was the PI of the $160M Neurotechnology Innovations Translator (NIT) Center.

Dr. Hauser is the trauma medical director of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and a visiting professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School. He trained in surgery at Harbor/UCLA Medical Center where he went on to become a surgical critical care specialist early in the specialty’s development. He joined the faculty of Los Angeles County Hospital/USC Medical Center in 1986 and moved to the faculty of the University of Mississippi in 1992. Then, he spent 10 years at the UMDNJ-New Jersey State Trauma Center in Newark, where he became a tenured professor. In 2006, Dr. Hauser moved his lab to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center where he helped found the Division of Acute Care Surgery.

He has made many contributions as a clinical surgeon, intensivist and scientist, including publishing more than 300 journal articles, textbook chapters, abstracts and editorials. His works are as likely to be found inNature or the Journal of Biological Chemistry as in the Journal of Trauma or Annals of Surgery.

Dr. Cho has expertise in gait and balance impairment due to neurologic disease. Some of the diseases causing gait and balance impairment are Parkinson’s disease, atypical parkinsonian syndromes, vertigo, Mal de Disembarquement Syndrome (MdDS), normal pressure hydrocephalus and cerebellar ataxia. She has extensive experience in deep brain stimulation for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, tremors and dystonia, and botulinum toxin injections for the treatment of movement disorders and spasticity. Her research focuses on studying gait abnormalities in parkinsonian disorders. She collaborated with Dr. Mingjia Dai on a novel treatment for Mal de Debarquement Syndrome that is now being offered at The Mount Sinai Hospital.

Dr. Raj. K Narayan, MD, FACS, is the Chair of Neurosurgery at North Shore University Hospital and Long Island Jewish Medical Center and Director of the Northwell Neuroscience Institute in New York.  Dr. Narayan is also the Professor and Chairman of Neurosurgery at Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine.

Dr. Narayan completed his neurosurgical residency at the Medical College of Virginia, Richmond, VA in 1982.  He trained in neurosurgical research at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD from 1982-85. He then served on the faculty of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston from 1985-95. From 1995-2002 he was Chair of Neurosurgery at Temple University in Philadelphia, and from 2002-09 served as Mayfield Professor and Chairman of Neurosurgery at the University of Cincinnati. In 2009, Dr. Narayan was recruited to New York to direct the Neurosurgery Department at Northwell.

Dr. Narayan is internationally known for his work on traumatic brain injury. He has published over 120 peer-reviewed scientific papers, over 60 book chapters, and Neurotrauma - the major textbook on head and spinal injury. He also helped develop the AANS/BTF Severe Traumatic Brain Injury Management Guidelines that have been adopted nationally and internationally. Dr. Narayan’s is a diplomate of the American Board of Neurological Surgery and is a member of numerous professional societies.

During his 17-year career with the NASA Astronaut Corps, Dr. Parazynski flew on five shuttle missions and conducted seven spacewalks, traveling over 23 million miles in orbit, spending more than eight weeks in space and 47 hours outside the vehicle. As a shuttle crew member, he served as crew medical officer, shuttle flight engineer, lead spacewalker, assembly and maintenance worker, operator of robotic arms and more.

Since leaving the space agency in 2008, he has worked in senior leadership positions in both the aerospace and medical research industries, and has been instrumental in the development of numerous medical devices and other technologies for supporting life in extreme environments.

Parazynski is a prolific inventor/product developer, and serves on the Boards of several companies. He is Founder and CEO of Fluidity Technologies, focused on the development of revolutionary input devices powered by machine learning to intuitively move through physical and virtual space.

Dr. Deborah Backus, PT, PhD, FACRM, is currently director of multiple sclerosis (MS) research at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Georgia. She is a grant-funded investigator, physical therapist, and educator with over 30 years of experience in neurorehabilitation. Dr. Backus’ research agenda has a broad scope that includes facilitating pharmacologic, device-related clinical trials and other non-rehabilitation interventions for MS, and previously for spinal cord injury. Her research in the Eula C. and Andrew C. Carlos MS Rehabilitation and Wellness Program at Shepherd focuses on the investigation of models of care and rehabilitation interventions to facilitate greater function, health and quality of life in people living with MS. Dr. Backus is currently funded by the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and the National Institute of Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research, and previously by  the Department of Defense as well.  She has presented both nationally and internationally related to this work, and her studies have been published in a variety of peer-reviewed journals (https://goo.gl/dQYCFB). Dr. Backus is president of ACRM, and was honored as a Fellow of ACRM in 2014.