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Medical and Scientific Advisory Board

  • Linda L. Kusner, Ph.D.
    Dr. Kusner, along with Dr. Burns of University of Virginia, organized the 13th International Conference on Myasthenia Gravis and Related Disorders that was held in New York City with the support of New York Academy of Sciences, National Institute of Health, and Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America.
     
  • Robert Ruff, MD 
    Robert L. Ruff, MD, PhD is the former Chair of MGFA’s Medical Scientific Advisory Board. He is a neurologist and biophysicist. Dr. Ruff is professor emeritus of Neurology and Neurosciences at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and retired from the Department of Veterans Affairs where he served as acting Director of Rehabilitation Research and Development Service and National Director for Neurology. Dr. Ruff has been involved in MG research and treatment for more than 30 years. Dr. Ruff serves as a member of several committees.
     
  • Nicholas Silvestri, MD
    Dr. Nicholas J. Silvestri is an Assistant Professor of Neurology at the University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. He is the Medical Director of the University at Buffalo Muscular Dystrophy Clinic and has been Director of the Neurology Residency Program since 2011.

    Dr. Silvestri completed medical school at the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. He completed neurology residency and neuromuscular medicine fellowship at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA. He is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in neurology and neuromuscular medicine, and by the American Board of Electrodiagnostic Medicine in electrodiagnostic medicine. He has won teaching awards at the University at Buffalo on several occasions, and is a member of both the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society and the Gold Humanism Honor Society. Dr. Silvestri is involved in research in myasthenia gravis and immune-mediated neuropathies.
     
  • Ted Burns, M.D.
    Dr. Ted M. Burns is a past Chair of the Medical Scientific Advisory Board. He is also the recipient of the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America 2011 Doctor of the Year Award, is a Professor of Neurology at the University of Virginia. In 2008, he was named a Harrison Distinguished Chair at the University of Virginia. He is the Medical Director of the Neurology EMG Laboratory, Director of the Clinical Neurophysiology Fellowship. He is Vice Chair in the Neurology Department. He was Director of the Neurology Residency Program from 2004-2013.

    Dr. Burns completed medical school at the University of Kansas. He completed neurology residency and clinical neurophysiology fellowship at the University of Virginia. He completed a peripheral nerve disease fellowship at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. After two years at Lahey Clinic in Burlington, Massachusetts, he returned to the University of Virginia. He has won teaching awards at the University of Virginia, including the Master Educator Award in 2006 and the Dean's Teaching Award in 2005. He is an elected member of the Academy of Distinguished Educators at the University of Virginia. He has been selected as one of the Best Doctors in America annually from 2005 - 2010.

    Dr. Burns' main research interests include the construction and validation of outcome measures in myasthenia gravis. He and colleagues have developed two new MG-specific scales, the "MG-QOL15" and "MG Composite." The MG-QOL15 is a user-friendly scale that measures the quality of life of patients with MG. The MG Composite measures the manifestations of MG. Much of this research was sponsored by the MGFA. Another area of academic interest for Dr. Burns is the use of podcasting to educate physicians, patients and families. He is creator and editor of the American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine's podcast, creator and editor of the Neurology journal's weekly podcast and creator of the MGFA's podcast series designed to educate patients and families about practical aspects of MG. He is also a co-creator of the MGFA's "My MG" app.
     
  • For the full list of Medical and Scientific Advisory Board members, see here.

A World Without MG