Provider Outreach Chair, Professional Advisory Board
Susan Swedo, MD Provider Outreach Chair, Professional Advisory Board
Susan Swedo, MD, is ASPIRE’s Provider Outreach chair, ex-officio Board Member. She is the Chief Science Officer for PANDAS Physicians Network. Dr. Swedo recently retired as the Chief of the Section on Behavioral Pediatrics at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). She remains designated as a Scientist Emeritus at the National Institute of Health. Dr. Swedo is a board-certified pediatrician; she received her M.D. from Southern Illinois University School of Medicine and completed her pediatrics residency at Northwestern University’s Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Swedo began her career as a hospital-based pediatrician in Evanston, IL and was later named Chief of Adolescent Medicine at the McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University. In 1986, she joined the staff of the Child Psychiatry Branch at the National Institute of Mental Health. Dr. Swedo and her NIMH team were the first to describe a post-infectious etiology for OCD and define criteria identifying the PANDAS subgroup. In 2002, Dr. Swedo moved to the extramural side of NIMH to serve as Associate Director for Pediatric Research and Director of the Division of Pediatric Translational Research. She returned to the Pediatrics & Developmental Neuroscience Branch in May 2006 to establish a multi-disciplinary, clinical research team focused on the diagnosis and treatment of childhood neuropsychiatric conditions, including Sydenham’s chorea, Tourette Syndrome, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and autism spectrum disorders. Dr. Swedo has authored/co-authored over 100 research publications.
Dritan Agalliu, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Neurology and Pathology and Cell Biology at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. Dr. Agalliu is a neuroscientist with 22 years of research experience in developmental, cellular and molecular neuroscience and specializing in the interaction of brain and blood vessels in the healthy and diseased Central Nervous System (CNS). The lab is investigating the mechanisms of immune cells entry into the CNS in a novel animal model for post-infectious autoimmune encephalitis caused by multiple Streptococcus pyogenes infections, to understand how immune cells induce neurovascular, synaptic and behavioral deficits in the brain. His laboratory focuses on understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate formation of the blood-brain barrier in the CNS and the mechanisms of barrier breakdown in a variety of CNS diseases such as stroke and autoimmune diseases (like Multiple Sclerosis or Autoimmune Encephalitis) having symptoms that include blood-brain barrier failure, using a variety of genetic, molecular, cellular and imaging approaches. They developed novel mouse strains that allow them to visualize changes in structural components of the blood-brain barrier, namely tight junctions, and caveolae, in living animals for several CNS diseases (e.g., stroke and multiple sclerosis) to understand the cellular mechanisms underlying barrier impairment in these neurological disorders.
Nancy H. O’Hara, MD, MPH, FAAP Professional Advisory Board
Dr. Nancy O’Hara, MD, MPH, FAAP is a board certified Pediatrician. Prior to her medical career, Dr. O’Hara taught children with autism. She graduated with highest honors from Bryn Mawr College and as a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. She earned a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Pittsburgh. After residency, chief residency and general pediatric fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. O’ Hara entered general private practice in 1993, and in 1998 began her consultative, integrative practice solely for children with special needs. Since 1999 she has dedicated her functional medicine practice to the integrative and holistic care of children with chronic illness and neurodevelopmental disorders such as ADHD, PANDAS/PANS, OCD, Lyme and ASD. She is also a leader in the training of clinicians, both in the United States and abroad.
Margo Thienemann, MD is the Co-Director for the Pediatric Acute-Onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome (PANS) Clinic and Director of Psychiatric Services at Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital, Stanford and a Clinical Professor in Psychiatry – Behavioral Sciences Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. She has worked as a psychiatrist in private practice and in a clinical setting at Stanford for over twenty years. Dr. Thienemann co-developed the first PANS clinic in the country. She is a member of the PANS Research Consortium, a diverse group of clinicians and researchers from complementary fields of Pediatrics: general and developmental pediatrics, infectious diseases, immunology, rheumatology, neurology, and child psychiatry. Dr. Thienemann is also a lead author and contributor of many PANS publications including the PANS Consensus Statement and the first treatment guidelines for PANS, Clinical Management of Pediatric Acute-Onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome: Part I-Psychiatric and Behavioral Interventions. She also wrote Seeing Your First Child with PANDAS/PANS along with The PANDAS Physicians Network Diagnostics and Therapeutics Committee.
Shannon L. Delaney, MD Professional Advisory Board
Shannon L. Delaney, MD, Director, Child and Adolescent Evaluation, Lyme & Tick-borne Research Center is a neuropsychiatrist at Columbia University Irving Medical Center who is co-investigator with Brian Fallon, MD on studies of adults and children with Lyme disease. Her clinical research has focused on immune and infectious contributions to psychiatric disease, especially psychosis in children and young adults. She completed her NIH-sponsored research fellowship at Columbia University in 2017. Her clinical research has focused on immune and infectious contributions to psychiatric disease, especially psychosis in children and young adults. She specializes in seeing children and adults with complex neuropsychiatric presentations, especially those with suspected Lyme disease or other tick-borne illnesses, as well as those with Pediatric Acute onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome (PANS). She has recently joined an initiative to establish a PANDAS/PANS clinical assessment, treatment, and research center with experts from the Columbia Departments of Neurology, Pathology, and Psychiatry.
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