Program & Committee Chairs
Davide Gabellini, PhD
Davide Gabellini is the Head of the Gene Expression and Muscular Dystrophy Unit, Division of Genetics and Cell Biology at San Raffaele Research Hospital in Milano, Italy.
Davide earned a Bachelor in Biological Sciences and a PhD in Genetic Sciences from the University of Pavia, Italy. He performed his postdoctoral training at the Program in Molecular Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, in Worcester, MA, USA.
His laboratory investigates the molecular and epigenetic determinants of gene expression during skeletal myogenesis in normal conditions and in muscular dystrophy, by using multiple in vivo, ex vivo and in vitro approaches. The objective is to provide a conceptual and practical framework contributing to the diagnosis and treatment of human diseases affecting skeletal muscles.
Nicol Voermans, MD, PhD
Nicol Voermans has been working in the field of neuromuscular disorders for over 15 years. Her current research focuses on clinical and genetic features of facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy, both in childhood and adulthood.
She is involved in the FSHD natural history studies at the Radboudumc (FOCUS and iFOCUS), and has started to study the psychosocial consequences and possible treatments of facial weakness. She started the multidisciplinary FSHD clinic and was one of the authors of the national guideline on FSHD. Together with the department of Human Genetics (Leiden university medical centre) her department constitutes the Dutch FSHD expertise centre.
In 2021, she initiated the FSHD European Trial Network.
Alexandra Belayew, PhD
After a post-doc with Shirley Tilghman (Philadelphia) Alexandra Belayew studied gene expression as a co-PI of Joseph Martial (endocrinology, ULiège 1982-1993), and Désiré Collen (vascular biology, KULeuven 1994-1999) where her team discovered the DUX4 gene. With co-PI Frédérique Coppée her laboratory (UMons; 1999-2015) investigated DUX4 and DUX4c functions in FSHD.
Darko Bosnakovski, DVM, PhD
Darko Bosnakovski is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota. He received his DVM from “St. Cyril and Methodius” University, N. Macedonia, Ph.D. from Hokkaido University, Japan, and completed postdoctoral training at UT Southwestern USA. His long-running research interest is in tissue regeneration and understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms of FSHD.
Katy Eichinger, PhD
Katy Eichinger PT, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Neurology at the University of Rochester. She is involved in neuromuscular clinical care and research across the lifespan. Dr. Eichinger is the lead PT for the FSHD-CTRN. Her interests are in outcome measures, wearable devices/digital health technology, and health and wellness.
Mauro Monforte, MD, PhD
Dr. Monforte is a neurologist working at the Fondazione Policlinico Gemelli IRCCS in Rome, Italy. He has been following families affected by FSHD from 15 years. His main research interest is the identification of imaging biomarkers of disease activity and progression, also in combination with the use of artificial intelligence.
Piraye Oflazer, MD
Piraye Oflazer, Visiting Professor at Koç University and Director of Koç University Hospital Muscle Center, is a clinical Neurologist and a Neuromuscular specialist who had also been trained in and has been performing muscle pathology. Having served as president in international patient organizations, she currently has a task in FSHD European Trial Network.
Alberto Rosa, MD, PhD
Prof. Rosa, MD PhD, is Associate Professor at the National University of Cordoba (Argentina), and Principal Investigator from the Argentinian National Research Council. His medical and research interests include the clinical aspects and the molecular pathogenic mechanisms of inherited neurological diseases. Since 1998, his lab in Cordoba (Argentina) has been contributing to FSHD research.