Brain & Life Editorial Board


Dr. Orly Avitzur is a practicing neurologist with offices in Tarrytown and Carmel, New York. She is the medical adviser and a medical editor at Consumer Reports and the former editor-in-chief of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) website. She is a fellow of the AAN, chair of the AAN Medical Economics and Management Committee, and a member of the AAN Board of Directors. She is also an associate editor forNeurology Toda​y and has been writing for the AAN news publication since 2001. She has been a frequent contributor to Neurology Now and has served on its medical advisory board. She writes and speaks frequently about consumer health and wellness, health information technology, and medical practice issues. She was recipient of the 2009 American Academy of Neurology Journalism Fellowship Award, a 2011 APEX Award of Excellence in the category of Feature Series Writing, and an APEX Grand Award in 2014 in the category of Best Writing. She serves as a medical consultant for the New York Rangers and holds academic appointments at Yale University School of Medicine and New York Medical College.


Dr. Bruce Cohen is interim director of the NeuroDevelopmental Science Center and director of neurology at Children’s Hospital Medical Center of Akron. He is a professor of pediatrics at Northeast Ohio Medical University. Dr. Cohen attended Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, graduating summa cum laude with a BA in chemistry. He attended the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York and received his MD degree in 1982. Following pediatric training at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia he did his neurology training at the Neurological Institute of New York before returning to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for a fellowship in pediatric neuro-oncology. He spent the next two decades at the Cleveland Clinic before moving to Akron Children’s in 2011. His academic career has centered around clinical trials for treatment of brain tumors in infants and children as well as mitochondrial medicine. He also developed an interest in health care economics and practice management in the early 1990s. Dr. Cohen is a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) and has held leadership positions as the president of the Mitochondrial Medicine Society and the Professors of Child Neurology, chairman of the Child Neurology Section of the AAN, chairman of the Practice Committee of the Child Neurology Society, and chairman of the Coding Subcommittee of the Medical Economics and Management Committee of the AAN. In 2010 he joined the AAN’s Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) team as an assistant advisor to the CPT Panel. He has served on the Board of Trustees of the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation. Dr. Cohen has organized and conducted clinical trials in brain tumors, neurofibromatosis, and mitochondrial disorders and has authored over 80 peer-reviewed manuscripts and delivered over 550 invited lectures.

Dr. Barbara Giesser is professor of clinical neurology at the David Geffen University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Medicine, vice-chair for clinical and educational affairs in the Department of Neurology at UCLA, clinical director of the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Program at UCLA, and medical director of the Marilyn Hilton MS Achievement Center at UCLA. She received her BS degree from the University of Miami, an MS degree from the University of Texas at Houston, and her MD from the University of Texas Medical School at San Antonio. She has specialized in the care of persons with MS since 1982 and trained at the MS Research and Training Center of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine under the direction of Labe Scheinberg, MD, FAAN. In addition to her clinical activities, Dr. Giesser has been active in developing educational materials about MS for medical students and residents, as well as client and professional education endeavors for the National MS Society. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) and is active in AAN educational efforts.

Dr. Gary Gronseth earned his undergraduate degree at Marquette University in 1977. He graduated in 1981 with a degree in medicine from the Medical College of Wisconsin and completed his internship at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Milwaukee in 1982. Dr. Gronseth finished flight surgeon education at the School of Aerospace Medicine at Brooks Air Force Base in San Antonio and subsequently served as chief of aerospace medicine at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana. In 1989, he completed his neurology residency at Wilford Hall Air Force Base in San Antonio. From 1996 to 2002, he was chairman of neurology and director of the neurology residency program at Wilford Hall Air Force Base. In 2002 Dr. Gronseth retired from the Air Force with the rank of colonel. Dr. Gronseth’s career at the University of Kansas Medical Center began in 2002, where he currently serves as professor and vice chair of the Department of Neurology. He is also the program director of the Vascular Neurology Fellowship and chief of the inpatient neurology division. Dr. Gronseth is a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) and serves as the AAN’s chief evidence-based medicine methodologist and is an associate editor of the journal Neurology. Dr. Gronseth has authored over 50 AAN clinical practice guidelines.

Dr. Scott Hirsch is assistant professor of neurology, psychiatry, and child and adolescent psychiatry at the New York University (NYU) School of Medicine in New York City. Dr. Hirsch graduated summa cum laude from the State University of Binghamton with a double major in philosophy and biochemistry and then attended the NYU School of Medicine, graduating in 2001. His interest in the mind-body conundrum and fascination with behavioral neuroscience led him to stay at NYU for the combined neurology-psychiatry residency training program, which he completed in 2007. Through training and his subsequent clinical work and research, Dr. Hirsch has developed expertise in those areas where neurology and psychiatry converge. Dr. Hirsch is a practicing neurologist and psychiatrist who spends much of his time treating patients at NYU-Langone Medical Center. Dr. Hirsch assesses prospective candidates for epilepsy surgery, deep brain stimulation surgery, and left-ventricular assistive device surgery. In addition to consulting on complex cases in the hospital, he provides outpatient supportive psychotherapy and pharmacologic management for people with epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, Tourette’s syndrome, and traumatic brain injury. Dr. Hirsch has participated in clinical research, including clinical trials of s-adenosyl-methionine for treatment of Parkinson-related depression and aripiprazole for treatment of Tourette’s syndrome. He teaches behavioral neurology and neuropsychiatry to medical students, residents, and fellows at NYU.

Dr. Yolanda Holler-Managan received her BS and MD degrees from the University of Illinois. She completed a pediatrics residency at the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin and a child neurology residency at the University of Chicago. She was the medical director of the Brain Injury Program at Akron Children's Hospital from 2007 to 2013. She is currently the medical director of the Autism Program at Covenant Medical Group. She received the 2012 Akron Children's Hospital NeuroDevelopmental Teaching Award and was also chosen for the inaugural Emerging Leaders Forum of the American Academy of Neurology in 2012.

Dr. Jeffrey McClean serves as the chief of electromyography and neuromuscular medicine at the San Antonio Military Medical Center. He is also the associate program director for the United States Air Force’s only neurology training program. He holds an appointment as an assistant professor of neurology with the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS). Dr. McClean obtained his undergraduate degree from Harvard College in 1999 and his medical degree from USUHS in 2005. After finishing his neurology residency at Wilford Hall Medical Center in 2009, he completed a fellowship in neuromuscular medicine at Harvard University in 2010. He is the co-chair of the Association of University Professors of Neurology Undergraduate Medical Educational Committee. He is a recent graduate of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Emerging Leaders Forum, a program designed to identify and train the next generation of leaders for the AAN.

Dr. Jennifer Molano has been an assistant professor at the University of Cincinnati since 2010. After obtaining her undergraduate degree in psychology and Latin at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, she completed both medical school and neurology residency training in her home state at West Virginia University. She further received training in behavioral neurology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and in sleep medicine at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. Her career has also been enriched by numerous activities within the American Academy of Neurology. She is very interested in the evolving interface between sleep and cognition, and she continues to enjoy teaching to medical students, residents, and the community. 

Dr. Teshamae Monteith graduated from medical school at the University of Miami in 2004. While training, she developed an appreciation for the brain and an enthusiasm for the potential of clinical advances to reduce suffering. She went on to complete her neurology residency at the New York University School of Medicine in 2008. During her subsequent fellowship at the Thomas Jefferson University Jefferson Headache Center, she developed a comprehensive approach to headache management. Dr. Monteith pursued a second fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco, from 2009 to 2011, where she was involved in research studies involving human experimental models and functional imaging of migraine. Currently, she is an assistant professor of clinical neurology, chief of the Headache Division, and the headache medicine fellowship director at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine. Dr. Monteith has served as a peer reviewer for several journals and grants, and she has also given regional, national, and international lectures in migraine and other headache disorders. Several honors and awards have been granted to Dr. Monteith, including the Wolff Award and the Rotary Club Thomas McClelland Award. Dr. Monteith has been honored by the American Academy of Neurology as a recipient of the Palatucci Advocate of the Year Award in recognition of her activities on Capitol Hill on behalf of active duty soldiers and post-deployed veterans who suffer from headache. Her recent research focus has been on migraine, cerebrovascular risks, and imaging biomarkers, supported by a three-year National Institutes of Health supplement award to promote diversity in health-related research. Dr. Monteith is a board member of the Florida Society of Neurology. She became a fellow of the American Headache Society in 2014 and serves on the Bylaws and Legislative Committee

Dr. Morris is the Harvey A. and Dorismae Hacker Friedman Distinguished Professor of Neurology, professor of pathology and immunology; professor of physical therapy; professor of occupational therapy; and director of the Charles F. and Joanne Knight Alzheimer's Disease Research Center at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. Dr. Morris’ research interests include healthy aging and Alzheimer dementia, antecedent biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease, and trials of investigational drugs for the treatment of Alzheimer dementia. Dr. Morris has authored 4 books and more than 450 published articles. Dr. Morris is a member of several professional societies, is a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology, and serves on numerous scientific and community advisory boards. He has received many honors and awards, including the MetLife Award for Medical Research in Alzheimer’s Disease (2004), the Potamkin Prize for Research in Pick’s, Alzheimer’s, and Related Dementias (2005) and the Carl and Gerty Cori Faculty Achievement Award, Washington University (2010). In 2013, he received the 2013 Peter H. Raven Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy of Science of St. Louis, the Washington University School of Medicine Second Century Award, and the 2013 Medical & Scientific Honoree from the Alzheimer’s Association. He is ranked in the top 1 percent of investigators in the field of neuroscience and behavior by Essential Science Indicators database.

Dr. Robinson earned her undergraduate degree in ecology and evolutionary biology from Princeton University and her medical degree from Tufts University. She completed her residency training in neurology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, where she was named chief resident in her final year. Impacted by patients with chronic and terminal neurologic diseases whose cases involved complex symptom management, end-of-life care, and existential suffering, Dr. Robinson elected to pursue a hospice and palliative medicine fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, NY. In an effort to integrate the principles of palliative care into the management strategies for patients with neurologic diseases, she completed a neurohospitalist fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL. With a passion to pursue a career in the subspecialty of neuro-palliative care, Dr. Robinson was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship in health services and health policy research through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program at UCLA, where she earned a master of science degree in health policy and management and is engaged in research focused on the intersection of neurology and palliative medicine. She was selected for the AAN Emerging Leaders Forum in 2012 and as a NIH/NMA Academic Medicine Fellow in 2014.

Dr. Joseph (Joe) Sirven is a professor of neurology, chairman of the Department of Neurology at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona, and editor-in-chief of Previously, he served as director of education for Mayo Clinic and as chair of the professional advisory board for the Epilepsy Foundation. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) and currently serves as vice chair for the AAN’s Epilepsy Section and incoming chair of the Communication Council for the American Epilepsy Society. Dr. Sirven was chief medical contributor for NBC Latino, the NBC News English-language website for Latinos. He is currently a medical commentator for KJZZ Radio in Phoenix, the NPR affiliate for Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona. Dr. Sirven has published extensively on epilepsy and its treatment. His interests in epilepsy include status epilepticus, surgical therapy, epilepsy in older adults, and psychosocial issues, particularly those involving Hispanic populations and transportation. His articles have appeared in the journals Neurology, Epilepsia, Lancet, Archives of Neurology, Annals of Neurology, Epilepsy & Behavior and Mayo Clinic Proceedings. He is editor of seven textbooks, including Clinical Neurology of the Older Adult; the American Epilepsy Society’sIntroduction to EpilepsyClinical Epilepsy; and An Atlas of Video EEG Monitoring. He is currently co-director of the Epilepsy Program at Mayo Clinic Arizona.

Dr. Sarah Song is assistant professor and vascular neurology fellowship director in the Section of Stroke in the Department of Neurology at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois. She graduated with honors from Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, and obtained her MD and MPH degrees from the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria. She completed her adult neurology residency at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, DC, her vascular neurology fellowship at University of California, Los Angeles, and a postdoctoral stroke outcomes research fellowship with the American Heart Association. She has served on the editorial board for the Residents and Fellows Section of the journal Neurology and was the advocacy editor for the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) website. She currently serves on the AAN’s Government Relations Committee.

Dr. Lisa Shulman is a neurologist specializing in Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders. In addition to neurology, her diverse background includes training in nursing, education, and health policy. She is the Eugenia Brin Professor of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders, the Rosalyn Newman Distinguished Scholar in Parkinson’s Disease, and the director of the University of Maryland Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) where she currently serves as treasurer of the Board of Directors. Dr. Shulman’s major research interest is the impact of chronic neurologic diseases such as Parkinson’s disease on daily function and quality of life. Related interests include outcomes research, exercise interventions, neurobehavioral problems, and women’s health issues in Parkinson’s disease and related movement disorders. Dr. Shulman is co-author of the reference book Parkinson’s Disease: A Complete Guide for Patients and Families and editor-in-chief of the AAN’s Neurology Now Books series. She is author or editor of 15 books, 30 chapters, 125 peer-reviewed publications, and 150 abstracts.

Dr. David Spencer is professor of neurology at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) in Portland, Oregon, and director of the OHSU Comprehensive Epilepsy Program and OHSU Epilepsy Fellowship program. Dr. Spencer did his undergraduate training at Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts, and earned his MD degree at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. After graduating, he completed both his neurology residency and fellowship in clinical neurophysiology and epilepsy at Stanford University. He has been involved in many areas of neurology and epilepsy education, including serving as editor for the patient section of the journal Neurology. He has served on education committees for the American Epilepsy Society and American Academy of Neurology (AAN) and is a fellow of the AAN. Dr. Spencer’s research interests include neuroimaging, electrical stimulation as a treatment of epilepsy, and neurology education. He maintains an active epilepsy practice and enjoys both medical and surgical management of epilepsy.

Dr. Allan Wu is associate professor at the David Geffen University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Medicine in the Division of Movement Disorders. He is a member of the AAN Practice Management and Technology Subcommittee of the Medical Economics and Management Committee. Dr. Wu is also a physician informaticist at UCLA, where he assists in the design and development of content for a broad range of specialties and has particular interest in interdepartmental referral processes and communications. Dr. Wu’s clinic interests are in the evaluation and treatment of patients with focal dystonia and for providing quantitative insights into movement disorder symptoms from the perspective of abnormal movement (motor) control.  Dr. Wu's research involves using modern brain mapping tools, including transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and functional MRI, to inform translational neuromodulation studies with noninvasive tools.