Dr. Rodger J. Elble,  is presently Director of the Parkinson Disease and Movement Disorders Center at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield, Illinois.  His principal research interests have been the mechanisms, quantification and treatment of tremor disorders, with emphasis on essential tremor, dystonia and Parkinson disease.  His research has led to the development of clinical methods for the characterization and quantification of physiologic and pathologic tremors.  These methods are now used in clinical therapy trials and other research worldwide. His grant from Kiwanis supports genetic studies of essential tremor, and it also supports the development of electrophysiologic tests that distinguish essential tremor from other forms of tremor.  To accomplish these goals, he co-chairs the Tremor Study Group of the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society, and he is a member and past president of the Tremor Research Group.  A copy of his CV can be found at the following web address: https://www.siuhealthcare.org/neuro/faculty/rodger-j-elble.html


Elliot J Roth, MD is Paul B. Magnuson Professor and Chairman of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and Medical Co-Director of the Brain Innovation Center at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, formerly the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. A passionate advocate of the team approach to care, he has an active patient care practice devoted to rehabilitation of people with neurological conditions. A respected authority on neurorehabilitation, he has published nearly 150 papers, managed several million dollars of Federal research grants, served as a member of numerous national expert panels and as Visiting Professor at many institutions, and lectured at many national conferences. He uses Kiwanis support to conduct research on health, wellness, and functional enhancement of people with stroke, traumatic brain injury, and spinal cord injury, including studying the impact of nutrition and physical activity on people with neurological injury. His profile is at: http://www.feinberg.northwestern.edu/sites/pmr/faculty/profile.html?xid=12540.

Dr. David G. McLone, Co-Medical director, Spina Bifida Center at Lurie’s Childrens Hospital; Professor of Pediatric Neurosurgery, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. He is focused on the areas of the cause and improved methods of treatment in Spina Bifida, Hydro-cephalous and My be Meningocele. In a study using an animal model that fails to show proper neural tube closure, resulting in spina bifida, a team led by Drs. David McLone, Tadanori Tomita and Chandra Shekhar Mayanil has shed light on how Folic Acid influences neural cell development.  https://www.luriechildrens.org/en-us/care-services/find-a-doctor/Pages/McLone_David_1806.aspx

Daniel Tranel, PhD, holds joint appointments as a Professor in the Departments of Neurology and Psychology at the University of Iowa.  He is Chief of the Benton Neuropsychology Laboratory and Director of the Neuroscience PhD Program, and he serves as the Associate Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies in the College of Medicine.  Dr. Tranel studies the neural basis of cognition and behavior, using the lesion method and functional neuroimaging in humans.  He also studies Alzheimer disease and related disorders.  Dr. Tranel has used funding from the Kiwanis to support innovative research on patients with Alzheimer disease and on their caregivers.  One series of studies made the important discovery that patients with Alzheimer disease continue to experience and remember emotions, despite forgetting the events that caused those emotions.  This led to important changes in how the patients are managed.  Another line of research showed that a low-cost two-day intervention for caregivers was effective in reducing perceived stress and emotional burden in the caregivers. Dr. Tranel’s CV can be found at: https://medicine.uiowa.edu/neurology/profile/daniel-tranel

Dr. Grayson Holmbeck is Professor of Clinical Psychology and Director of Clinical Training in the Department of Psychology at Loyola University Chicago. He is the current Editor of the Journal of Pediatric Psychology. His research interests include the following: adaptation to physical disabilities and chronic illness during adolescence, developmental psychopathology of adolescence, family relationships during early and late adolescence, and statistical applications in psychology. He is currently a PI on grants from the National Institutes of Health and Kiwanis Neuroscience Research Foundation for studies of youth and young adults with spina bifida. Specifically, his grant from Kiwanis supports research focused on an independence intervention at Camp Independence; support has been found for the efficacy of this intervention with effects maintained for several months after camp.  His CV can be found at the following site: http://www.luc.edu/psychology/facultystaff/holmbeck_g.shtml

Dr. Bradley L Schlaggar is the Head of Pediatric & Developmental Neurology at Washington University School of Medicine and Neurologist-in-Chief at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, both in St. Louis Missouri. He is also the co-Director of the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center at Washington University in St. Louis.  His research uses advanced neuroimaging and behavioral methods to study cognitive development in both typically and atypically developing children. He has a particular interest in disorders of cognition and language. Funding from Kiwanis supports efforts in his laboratory to study the development and plasticity of the human brain after early injury.  Ultimately, Dr. Schlaggar hopes to develop methods that can advance the capacity of clinically acquired neuroimaging data to be used for the purpose of diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment decision making for children with genetic and acquired disorders of brain development.  A copy of his CV can be found at http://www.nil.wustl.edu/schlaggar/


Dr. Andrew Morgan  and his wife Kathy are the founders and directors et al of the Penguin Project Foundation. The Penguin Project ® was conceived by Dr. Andrew Morgan to give children with special needs an opportunity to participate in the performing arts. “Dr. Andy” is a developmental pediatrician and the former Head of the Division of Child Development at the University of Illinois in Peoria. His research strives to demonstrate that individuals with special needs are fully capable of participating in community activities with the same dedication and enthusiasm as others, if given opportunity and support. http://penguinproject.org/

Dr. Robin Bowman is currently the Director of the Multi-Disciplinary Spina Bifida Clinic at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago (formerly Children’s Memorial Hospital). Since early in her career, Dr. Bowman has focused on the care of children with spinal dysraphism (birth defects or malformations of the lower spine and its contents). She became interested in a form of spinal dysraphism called tethered cord syndrome and how it could contribute to permanent disability. She expanded this interest to studies of children with myelomeningocele, lipomas, and fatty filum terminal, which are additional forms of spinal dysraphism. She is an active member of the Physicians Advisory Council of the Spina Bifida Association of America (SBAA) and is the Principal Investigator of the CDC sponsored National Spina Bifida Patient Registry (NSBPR) at Lurie Children’s Hospital. Her grant from Kiwanis supports the study “Long Term Follow up of Patients with Spina Bifida” and the study “Neuropsychological and Psychosocial Outcomes for Children with Myelomeningocele in Relationship to their Shunt Status”. A copy of her CV can be found at the following web address:


Associate Professor Stephanie Ceman is in the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, the Neuroscience program and the Carle Illinois College of Medicine at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign. Her overarching research interest is in identifying the molecular mechanisms for learning and memory. She does this by studying the Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein, FMRP, which is required for normal intelligence. The absence of FMRP leads to the most common form of cognitive impairment, fragile X syndrome, and is also a cause of autism. Professor Ceman has identified important regulatory modifications of FMRP that control its function, like phosphorylation and arginine methylation. Her grant from Kiwanis supports the characterization of a novel FMRP interactor, Mov10. Mov10 is a protein enzyme (an RNA helicase) that is highly expressed in developing brain and is critical for normal development. Her research and a truncated CV can be found at the following web address: http://mcb.illinois.edu/faculty/profile/sceman/ 

Dr. Daniel Llano is Associate Professor of Molecular and Integrative Physiology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology. Dr. Llano is also a neurologist and practices at the Carle Neuroscience Institute, where he specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of aging-related cognitive disorders. Dr. Llano’s laboratory is focused on the organization of the mammalian auditory system and how it changes under certain pathological states, such as during tinnitus and during the aging process. Understanding these mechanisms of auditory cognition will yield great insights into sensory perception and may shape how we develop neuroprosthetic devices in the future. His support from the Kiwanis foundation has been used to probe the details of how brain aging leads to neurological disorders such as tinnitus. A copy of his CV can be found at http://llanolab.com/files/daniel-llano.pdf.


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