Advisory Board

Internationally renowned experts in their fields serve as advisors for Neurimmune's research and development activities.

John H. Growdon

John H. Growdon is Professor of Neurology at the Harvard Medical School and attending Neurologist at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He graduated from Northwestern University in 1960 and obtained the MD degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in 1965. His post-graduate training was in Internal Medicine at the University of Chicago, Neurology at the Massachusetts General Hospital and neurochemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1984, he founded the Massachusetts Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, one of 5 Centers in the United States initially funded by the National Institute on Aging. He directs the Memory and Movement Disorders Units at the Massachusetts General Hospital. His research interests center on the clinical neurology and neuropharmacology of Alzheimer and Parkinson diseases, along with efforts to uncover biologic markers of these diseases that could lead to improved diagnostic accuracy and treatment.

Franz Hefti

Dr. Franz Hefti is an expert in drug discovery and development for nervous system diseases. He has held senior management positions in several companies, including Avid Radiopharmaceuticals, Rinat Neuroscience, Merck & Co., and Genentech, and he was Professor at the University of Southern California and Associate Professor at the University of Miami, where he carried out seminal research on therapeutic applications of neurotrophic factors. He published over 250 papers on neurotrophic factors and topics in neuropharmacology, as well as a textbook «Drug Discovery for Nervous System Diseases». Dr. Hefti received his PhD from the University of Zurich and did his postdoctoral research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Max Planck Institute in Munich.

Sangram Sisodia

Dr. Sangram Sisodia is currently The Thomas Reynolds Sr. Family Professor of Neuroscience and Director of the Center for Molecular Neurobiology in the Department of Neurobiology at The University of Chicago. He has made several notable contributions in understanding the cellular and molecular biology of the amyloid precursor protein (APP) and presenilins (PS1 and PS2), polypeptides that are mutated in pedigrees with familial Alzheimer's Disease (FAD). The generation and characterization of mice expressing FAD-linked variants of PS1 and APP that exhibit amyloid plaques in the brain and that develop memory deficits has been invaluable for understanding neuronal vulnerability, and the impact of environmental enrichment and exercise in modulating the deposition of amyloid in plaques and adult neurogenesis. Dr. Sisodia has received several awards, including the Potemkin Prize for Alzheimer's Disease Research from the American Academy of Neurology and the Metropolitan Life Foundation Award for Medical Research.

Daniel M. Michaelson

Daniel M. Michaelson is Professor of Neurobiology at the Faculty of Life Sciences at Tel Aviv University. He graduated from the Hebrew university in Jerusalem with a BSc in Physics and Mathematics in 1968 and obtained in PhD in Biophysics form the University of California Berkeley in 1973. His post-doctoral training was in neurochemistry at the laboratory of Professor M.A. Raftery at the California Institute of Technology where he studied the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and it's functional reconstitution. He joined the faculty of life science at Tel Aviv University in 1974 where his research first focused on the mechanisms underlying neurotransmitter release. His current research focuses on Alzheimer's disease and the mechanisms underlying the effects of genetic risk factors of the disease and their crosstalk with environmental factors. Specifically the research focuses on apolipoprotein E4, which is the most prevalent genetic risk factor of Alzheimer’s disease, and on the development of therapeutic approaches to counteract its pathological effects. He was the first director of the Tel Aviv University Rabin Institute for neurobiology and is the incumbent of the Lebach chair in molecular Neurodegeneration.

Marc Y. Donath

Marc Y. Donath is a Professor and Head of the Clinic for Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at the University Hospital of Basel, Switzerland. His main scientific contribution is the description of an inflammatory process underlying the failure of the pancreatic islet to produce sufficient amount of insulin in Type-2 diabetes, with a central role for IL-1ß. On the basis of this, he initiated a pioneering clinical trial in patients with Type-2 diabetes that vindicates his hypothesis and opens the way for a causative treatment and prevention of diabetes. These studies have now entered Phase 3 clinical trials. Furthermore, he identified a new endocrine loop by showing that elevated IL-6 mediates a cross talk between insulin sensitive tissues, L cells and pancreatic islets to adapt to changes in insulin. Recently, Dr. Donath has uncovered the first monogenic form of Type-1 diabetes. Overall this research has contributed to the concept that the innate immune system is part of the regulation of metabolism.

Manfred Windisch

After graduation from the University of Graz in 1985, Dr. Windisch spent several years as head of a neurobiology research group dedicated to brain metabolism and animal model development. For many years, he was involved in University and industry research programs on neurodegenerative disorders in the US, Europe, and Asia, thereby establishing a global network of research collaborations. In 1999, Dr. Windisch founded the CRO JSW-Lifesciences focusing on the creation and standardization of improved transgenic rodent models for neurodegenerative diseases. Besides performing around 80 preclinical studies annually, JSW-Lifesciences was involved in more than 25 clinical trials in AD, MCI, PD and ALS from phase 1 to phase 3. The clinical trial experience included complex study designs using state of the art imaging techniques and CSF biomarkers. Based on his profound experience from more than 30 years in R&D, Dr. Windisch founded “NeuroScios – Neuroscience Optimized Solutions” in 2013, focusing on consulting services for drug development programs including clinical trial designs for CNS disorders such as AD, PD and ALS.

Erich Wanker

Erich Wanker leads the research group of Neuroproteomics at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine Berlin-Buch and is Professor of Molecular Medicine at Charité University Medicine Berlin. He first discovered Huntington’s disease to be connected to the deposition of protein aggregates, a finding that placed the disorder among the amyloid diseases together with Alzheimer and Parkinson. He belongs to the leading international experts in protein misfolding and protein-protein interaction research. He is author of over 100 peer-reviewed publications and recipient of the James Heineman Research Award and the Erwin Schrödinger Prize. After his PhD in biochemistry at the University of Technology Graz in 1992, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Los Angeles and group leader at the Max-Planck-Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin. His research focus is on the relationships between proteins, small molecules and disease mechanisms.

Maria Joao Saraiva

Maria Saraiva currently holds a number of positions at the Universidade do Porto, Portugal: She is Vice Director at the Institute for Molecular and Cellular Biology (IBMC); a Professor of Biochemistryat the Biomedical Institute; and Director of the Molecular Neurobiology Group at the IBMC. She worked for different periods as a Visiting Scientist at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University, New York. Maria J Saraiva  was awarded the Seiva Prize for Services to Science by the City of Porto, in 1996, and the Gulbenkian Prize in Science, in 2009. She has published over 180 articles in peer reviewed journals, several reviews on the subject of Familial Amyloidotic Polyneuropathy and the Biology of Transthyretin. She did a PhD in biochemistry at the University of Porto, and qualified as Professor of Biochemistry in 1991.

Wolfgang Berthold

Dr. Wolfgang Berthold was until 2011 the Chief Technology Officer and SVP Technical Development of Biogen Idec located in Zug, Switzerland. He had special assignments for strategic international interests in supply chain of the company and his responsibilities included Manufacturing Operations, Process Development and Facilities & Engineering. Before he spent five years at Roche, Nutley NJ, heading the Biotechnology Manufacturing and Development, and from 1979 – 1995 he was a major driver for the establishment of biopharmaceutical development at Boehringer-Ingelheim. Dr. Berthold succeeded in bringing many biotech products to the clinic and to international markets. He received his PhD in biochemistry from the University of London, UK, in 1975.