The 23rd International
Annual Congress of the
World Muscle Society

CONFIRMED INVITED SPEAKERS

New developments in genetic and acquired disorders of the neuromuscular junction


Markus Ruegg

Markus Ruegg , University of Basel, Switzerland.

Mechanisms of neuromuscular junction maintenance

Markus Ruegg is a Professor at the Biozentrum, University of Basel. His research interests include the molecular mechanisms of neuromuscular junction development and maintenance, signaling pathways regulating muscle size and aging, and preclinical testing of novel treatment options in mouse models for MDC1A/LAMA2 congenital muscular dystrophy.


David Beeson

David Beeson, NDCN University of Oxford, UK.

Molecular mechanisms and therapy for inherited disorders of the neuromuscular junction

David Beeson graduated from Magdalene College, Cambridge, did his PhD at Imperial College, London. He moved to the then Institute of Molecular Medicine, at the University of Oxford, to work on disorders of neuromuscular transmission in 1988. He was made Professor of Neuroscience in 2004 and recently was elected Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.


Jan Verschuuren

Jan Verschuuren, Leiden University Medical Centre, The Netherlands.

From trial-and-error to trials without errors in MG

Jan Verschuuren is an neurologist and Professor of Neuromuscular Diseases at Leiden University Medical Center. He obtained his PhD on experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis, worked as a postdoc at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and is currently head of the department of Neurology at LUMC. His research interests include neuromuscular junction disorders and muscular dystrophies.



Mitochondrial function and dysfunction in neuromuscular disorders: pathogenesis and therapies


Michio Hirano

Michio Hirano, Columbia University, USA.

Dr Michio Hirano is a Professor of Neurology and Chief of the Neuromuscular Medicine Division at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC). After completing his neurology residency at CUMC, he did a neuromuscular genetics fellowship under Drs. Billi DiMauro and Eric Schon. Dr. Hirano’s laboratory studies genetic myopathies focusing on mitochondrial diseases.


Carlos Moraes

Carlos Moraes, University of Miami, USA.

Professor Moraes obtained his Ph.D. from Columbia University working with the groups of Drs. DiMauro and Schon. He established an independent group at the University of Miami, where he focused on developing treatments for mitochondrial diseases. More recently he has adapted the use of DNA editing enzymes to eliminate mutant mtDNA.


Prashant Mishra

Prashant Mishra, Children’s Medical Center Research Institute, UT Southwestern, Dallas, USA.

Skeletal Muscle Manifestations in Mitochondrial Disease

Dr. Mishra is an assistant professor in the Children’s Research Institute and Department of Pediatrics at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (Dallas, TX). Using animal models and patient samples, his laboratory studies how mitochondrial physiology and dynamics differ during disease.

Experimental therapy of mitochondrial disorders


Massimo Zeviani

Massimo Zeviani, MRC Mitochondrial Research Unit, Cambridge, UK.

Experimental therapy of mitochondrial disorders

Author of over 400 scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals (H index 70), he has identified and characterized numerous disease genes associated with OXPHOS defects, contributing to the elucidation of the molecular pathogenesis of mitochondrial disorders. More recently he focused on the development of therapeutic approaches to treat these conditions in experimental models and, eventually, patients.

Advances in the treatment of neuromuscular disorders


Eugenio Mercuri

Scott Harper, Nationwide Children's Hospital, Ohio, USA

Emerging therapeutic approaches for Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD)

Dr. Harper is a molecular biologist who has spent his career working to develop gene therapy approaches for muscular dystrophies and neurodegenerative diseases, including DMD, Huntington’s Disease, and for the last decade with a primary focus on Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD). Dr. Harper was selected as the Outstanding New Investigator by the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy in 2014.


Eugenio Mercuri

Eugenio Mercuri, Catholic University, Rome, Italy.

Treatment of Duchenne Dystrophy: current efforts, bottlenecks and future prospects.

Dr Mercuri earned his medical degree from Messina University Medical School in Messina, Italy, where he subsequently completed a specialization course in child neurology and psychiatry. Dr Mercuri also holds a PhD degree in developmental neurosciences. He joined Catholic University and Policlinico Gemelli, both in Rome, Italy, in 2002.

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