2nd RIMS Workshop - Rehabilitation in Progressive MS - 13 December 2019, Milan, Italy
Prof. Marco Bove (University of Genoa, Italy)
University of Genoa, Italy

Marco Bove was born in 1966 and obtained his PhD in Bioengineering in 1995. He is Associate Professor of Human Physiology and head of the laboratory for the study of the sensorimotor integration in humans at the Department of Experimental Medicine (DIMES), section of Human Physiology, University of Genoa, Italy. He has been visiting Professor of Human Neurophysiology at the UFR STAPS, University of Borgogne, Dijon, France (2009 -2011). 

Since 2014, he has been co-head with Dr. Giampaolo Brichetto of the FISM-DIMES Joint Lab, which has the goal to carry out translational activity research in the field of adapted physical activity and motor and cognitive rehabilitation in multiple sclerosis. Since 2015, he has been the coordinator of the Movement and Sport Sciences Program at the University of Genoa. He teaches courses of Human Physiology and Neurophysiology offered to students of Medicine, Movement and Sport Sciences and Biomedical Engineering curricula of the University of Genoa. His research focus is on basic and applied neurophysiology, with specific interest in sensorimotor integration, in the organization of the descending control of spinal reflexes, in the postural control and voluntary movements. Such investigations employ various techniques (electrophysiology, transcranial magnetic stimulation, movement analysis, neuroimaging) and involve both healthy subjects and subjects with multiple sclerosis.
Prof. Bove is author of 116 peer-reviewed papers published in international journals. He has a national patent concerning an MR-compatible prototype for measuring the kinematics properties of finger opposition movements. He is referee for The Journal of Neuroscience, Journal of Neurophysiology, Human Brain Mapping, Neuroimage, Cerebral Cortex, Neuropsychologia, PLOS ONE, Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, Clinical Neurophysiology, Social Neuroscience, Experimental Brain Research, Neuroscience Letters, Human Movement Science, European Journal of Applied Physiology.

Dr. Giampaolo Brichetto (Italian MS Society Foundation, Italy)
Italian MS Society Foundation, Italy

Dr. Giampaolo Brichetto joined the Italian MS Society Foundation (FISM) on March 2009, where he currently holds the position of Coordinator of Research in Rehabilitation. Giampaolo is 44 years old and has 17 years of Research in Rehabilitation experience in the field of neuro-rehabilitation: Parkinson’s disease, stroke, traumatic brain injury and multiple sclerosis; he worked as Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation MD and then as PhD in Neurosciences for the Department of Neurological Sciences, University of Genova, from 2000 to 2007 and then as Head of Traumatic Brain Injury Unit for Ottavia Ferrero Hospital from 2007 to 2009. His whole carrier effort aimed at improving neurorehabilitation strategies both by integrating traditional rehabilitation techniques with bio-tech devices and cognitive rehabilitation strategies and by improving rehabilitation outcome measures for clinical and research purposes. He is author of more than 41 papers in extenso, published on international peer reviewed journals and more than 100 abstracts published in peer reviewed journals.

Dr. Davide Cattaneo (Don Carlo Gnocchi Foundation, Milan, Italy)
Don Carlo Gnocchi Foundation, Milan, Italy

Dr. Ulrik Dalgas (Dep. Public Health, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark)
Dep. Public Health, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark

Ulrik Dalgas is an exercise physiologist specialized in rehabilitation of neurological patients. In particular most of his research focuses on the effects of exercise therapy in subjects with multiple sclerosis (MS). His main research covers the effects of different exercise modalities (e.g. resistance training and endurance training) and aspects of exercise therapy related to selected groups of MS patients (e.g. thermo-sensitive patients or fatigued patients). Much of his ongoing research focuses on understanding the effects of exercise on brain function, and he is trying to determine, whether long-term exercise is a disease modifying intervention in MS. He is previous executive board member and secretary for the European organization Rehabilitation in Multiple Sclerosis (RIMS) and executive board member for the Danish MS Research Association (DAREMUS). Finally, he has authored more than 100 scientific papers and several book chapters on the topic.

Mrs. Francesca De Biagi (Irccs Hospital San Camillo, Venezia, Italy)
Irccs Hospital San Camillo, Venezia, Italy

Francesca De Biagi is a speech and language therapist employed since 2009 at IRCCS San Camillo Hospital (Venice Lido – IT), which is a research institute, and a hospital specialized in neurorehabilitation operating within the Italian National Health Service. Francesca graduated in Speech and Language Pathology at University of Padua in 2009. In 2016 she received the master degree in Rehabilitation Sciences at University of Padua. She is currently a PhD fellow in Applied Linguistics at University of Venice. Francesca is co-chair of the special interest group on ‘Communication and Swallowing’ of the RIMS since 2013. She is currently collaborating in systematic review in dysarthria (RIMS GRANT PROGRAM 2016). Her research interests focus on communication and swallowing impairments in neurologic patients, with a special concern towards persons with MS.

Prof. Vincent de Groot (VU University Medical Center Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
VU University Medical Center Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Vincent de Groot was born in 1971 and obtained his MD degree in 1996. Subsequently, he entered the rehabilitation medicine residency programme, which he combined with his PhD training. In 2004 he started working as a rehabilitation physician at VU University Medical Center Amsterdam. In 2007 he successfully defended his PhD thesis ‘Outcome measurement and functional prognosis in early multiple sclerosis’.

Since September 2014 he has been professor of rehabilitation medicine and chair of the department of rehabilitation medicine at VU University Medical Center Amsterdam. His clinical and research focus is on neurorehabilitation, in particular multiple sclerosis, gait analysis, orthotics of the lower limb and spasticity treatment. He is also deputy instructor of the rehabilitation medicine residency programme and member of the executive board of RIMS (Rehabilitation In Multiple Sclerosis).

Mr. Piet Eelen (National Multiple Sclerosis Center, Melsbroek, Belgium)
National Multiple Sclerosis Center, Melsbroek, Belgium

Piet Eelen is a Clinical Nurse Specialist Multiple Sclerosis working in the National Multiple Sclerosis Center (NMSC) of Melsbroek, Belgium since 1981. He has a post-bachelor degree in Rehabilitation Nursing and Continence Nursing.
From 1990 until 2011 he worked as head-nurse of a rehabilitation unit. Since 2012 he is working as clinical nurse specialist MS, focusing on guidance and support of persons with MS, chronic disease management and lifestyle factors in MS.
He is responsible for education and development off the nursing staff in the NMSC. He collaborates with national and international healthcare associations and advisory boards and organizes and participates in research in MS. He co-published articles on bladder management in MS and guidelines on urological and bowel management in MS. He participated actively in EAUN, ICS and RIMS on urological and catheter management in MS. In 2010 he was awarded as continence nurse of Belgium.
Since 2012 he is the president of the Belgian Association of MS-Nurses. In that perspective he organizes educational meetings for MS-Nurses and neurology nurses in Belgium. Since 2017 he is board member of RIMS and coordinator of Special Interest Groups in RIMS.

Prof. Jenny Freeman (University of Plymouth, Plymouth, United Kingdom)
University of Plymouth, Plymouth, United Kingdom

Jenny Freeman is a Professor in Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation within the Faculty of Health and Human Sciences at Plymouth University.

Her research programme in MS centres on the development and evaluation of complex rehabilitation interventions; reflecting the priority given by health services to providing evidence based management. A key focus is on the rehabilitation of impaired mobility and balance. Her research is grounded on her longstanding clinical expertise in neurological physiotherapy, for which she has an ongoing clinical commitment. She is a member of the executive board of RIMS.

Prof. Daphne Kos (KU Leuven & National MS Center Melsbroek, Belgium)
KU Leuven & National MS Center Melsbroek, Belgium
KU Leuven (University of Leuven) (B), Master of Science in occupational therapy
National MS Center Melsbroek (B), Scientific coordinator Rehabilitation
Daphne Kos graduated as occupational therapist (OT) and movement scientist. She worked as OT practitioner, lecturer and researcher and studied fatigue management and assessment in people with multiple sclerosis in her PhD project. Currently she is coordinator of scientific research in the rehabilitation department of the National MS Center Melsbroek and professor and co-manager of the OT master programme in KU Leuven (interuniversity programme with Ghent, Hasselt and Antwerp). Her research domain is situated in the area of fatigue, occupational performance, life balance, goal setting and assessment, mainly in multiple sclerosis (in all stages). Daphne Kos is president of the international organisation for Rehabilitation in MS (RIMS).

Dr. Margherita Monti Bragadin (Italian MS Society Foundation, Genova, Italy)
Italian MS Society Foundation, Genova, Italy

Margherita took her degree in Medicine and Surgery at the University of Genova in 2005, with a dissertation about diagnosis and treatment of neuropathic pain in rehabilitative diseases. She worked as Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation MD, obtaining later a PhD in Neurosciences, in the Department of Neurological Sciences, University of Genova. Her field of research mainly refers to the rehabilitation of neurological diseases, especially those of the peripheral nervous system and multiple sclerosis. Margherita joined the Italian Multiple Scleroris Foundation (FISM) on December 2017. In FISM, she is a clinical researcher in the field of rehabilitation to promoting the use of new protocols of assessment and treatment in people with multiple sclerosis and to integrate new knowledge into clinical practice.

Dr. Ludovico Pedullà (Italian Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, Italy)
Italian Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, Italy

Ludovico Pedullà is a 34-year-old researcher with a background in rehabilitation and biomedical engineering. Focus of his research is the effect of neurorehabilitation and physical activity on the central nervous system and the processes of neural plasticity. He worked as physical therapist with orthopaedic and neurological patients from 2007 to 2011 and then as responsible for the development of a new software for cognitive rehabilitation in people with multiple sclerosis (MS) in a project founded by the Italian MS Foundation (FISM). In 2017 he obtained his PhD in Neuroscience at the Department of Experimental Medicine, University of Genoa, with a dissertation on neural plasticity in cognitive and sensorimotor neurorehabilitation. After a two-year fellowship supported by FISM on the study of behavioural and neural correlates of dual tasks negotiation in people with MS, he is now a member of the FISM Research Area. He is author of 9 manuscripts published on international peer reviewed journals and more than 30 abstracts presented at national and international conferences.

Dr. Jessica Podda (Italian Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, Italy)
Italian Multiple Sclerosis Foundation (FISM), Italy

Jessica Podda (PhD) obtained her Master’s degree in Psychology from the University of Turin in 2014 with a dissertation about altered sense of agency and body ownership in brain damaged patients. Afterwards she spent a one-year training at the Fondazione Opera San Camillo (Turin) working in a neuropsychological team where she became experienced with neuropsychological assessment protocols and rehabilitation programs. She received her PhD degree in Bioengineering and Robotics in March 2019 at Fondazione Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (Genoa) where she worked on a project exploring the role played by motor skills and action planning in both clinical and non-clinical population by applying an integrated approach based on neuropsychogical tests, behavioral paradigms and motion capture techniques. She is currently enrolled as researcher at the Italian Multiple Sclerosis Foundation (FISM) in Genoa under the supervision of Dr. Giampaolo Brichetto. Her main research interests are focused on kinematics and motion capturing techniques and neuropsychological rehabilitation.

  • Brichetto, G., Pedullà, L., Podda, J., & Tacchino, A. (in press). Beyond center-based testing: Understanding and improving functioning with wearable technology in MS. Multiple Sclerosis Journal, 1-10. doi: 10.1177/1352458519857075 
  • Cavallo, A., Romeo, L., Ansuini, C., Podda, J., Battaglia, F., Veneselli, E., Pontil, M., & Becchio, C., (2018). Prospective motor control obeys to idiosyncratic strategies in autism. Scientific Reports, 8: 13717. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-31479-2. 
  • Ansuini, C., Podda, J., Battaglia, F. M., Veneselli, E., & Becchio, C. (2018). One hand, two hands, two people: Prospective sensorimotor control in children with autism. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 29, 86-96. doi: 10.1016/j.dcn.2017.02.009. 
  • Podda, J., Ansuini, C., Vastano, R., Cavallo, A., & Becchio, C. (2017). The heaviness of invisible objects: Predictive weight judgments from observed real and pantomimed grasps. Cognition, 168, 140-145. doi: 10.1016/j.cognition.2017.06.023.

Dr. Sara Rinaldi (Italian MS Society, Genoa, Italy)
Italian MS Society, Genoa, Italy

Sara Rinaldi joined the Italian MS society (AISM) on June 2004. Before 2004, she started to work with outpatients and, after two years, she started to work at AISM Rehabilitation Center in Genoa as physiotherapist, hydrotherapist and pelvic floor therapist. She obtained a master at: University of Genoa in “Management of MS patient” and a master in “ OMT (Orthopedic Manual Therapist); moreover she obtained a master atUniversity of Pisa master in “ Research in Rehabilitation and Technological Tecniques” and master in “Fascial Manipulation (Stecco®)”. She has been involved in numerous national and international congresses, symposia and professional training meetings.. She is author of same abstract and papers published on internationaljournals within the AISM working group. 

Dr. Marco Rovaris (Fondazione Don Carlo Gnocchi, Milan, Italy)
Fondazione Don Carlo Gnocchi, Milan, Italy

Born on March, 9th, 1966, he achieved the degree in Medicine in 1990 with full marks cum laude and completed his training in Neurology in 1994 at the University of Milan. Between 1994 and 1995 he spent a fellowship period at the Institute of Neurology in London (UK), participating to clinical activity and research studies focused on the use of MRI in the diagnosis and monitoring of multiple sclerosis. Between 1996 and 2008 he worked as a registrar in neurology and researcher at the Multiple Sclerosis Centre and Rehabilitation Unit of the Scientific Institute San Raffaele in Milan.

In 2004 he received the Rita Levi Montalcini award from the Italian MS Foundation, thanks to his studies on multiple sclerosis. Since 2008 he has been working at the Scientific Institute Fondazione Don Carlo Gnocchi in Milan, where he is the head of the Multiple Sclerosis Centre and Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit. He is contract professor at the University of Milan and member of the Italian Neurological Society. He has authored or co-authored more than 250 full papers on peer-reviewed journals.

Mr. Anders Skjerbaek (MS Hospitals, Ry and Haslev, Denmark)
MS Hospitals, Ry and Haslev, Denmark

Anders Skjerbæk qualified as a Physiotherapist in 2005 and holds a Master degree in Rehabilitation from 2012. Since 2008, Anders has been specialized within MS rehabilitation at the Danish MS Hospitals, and currently holds a position as Development Manager.

Anders is involved in strategic planning, scientific work and quality improvement activities. His current research activities involve publication of data from "The Danish MS Hospital Rehabilitation Study". I addition, Anders is a part of the executive board of RIMS and he also serves as a scientific committee member in the Italian MS foundation. Anders is especially focused on exercise- and rehabilitation activities in progressive MS.

Dr. Alessandra Solari (Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Neurologico C. Besta, Milan, Italy)
Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Neurologico C. Besta, Milan, Italy

Alessandra Solari is neurologist in the Scientific Directorate at the Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Neurologico C. Besta, Milan - Italy, where from 2013 she heads the Neuroepidemiology Unit. She received her M.D. from University of Parma School of Medicine (cum laude), her Specialization in Neurologyfrom the University of Parma School of Medicine, Neurology Clinic (cum laude).

Dr. Solari’s main area of research is the validation of instruments and outcome measures (chiefly patient-reported outcome measures) for clinical, epidemiologic, and quality of care studies in neurological diseases, particularly multiple sclerosis (MS). Her other main interests are: the design and conduction of randomized controlled trials on complex interventions; and shared decision making.
Member of the Scientific Committee of the Foundation of the Italian National MS Society (2008-2017), of the Rehabilitation in MS Executive Board (2011-2017), of the European Academy of Neurology (2016 to date), and of the Ethics Committee of Area Vasta Emilia Nord - Italy (2018 to date).Academic editor of Plos ONE and Frontiers Neurology journals, Dr. Solari’s work has been published in over 150 peer reviewed journals and edited books including Brain, Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery Psychiatry, Lancet Neurology, Multiple Sclerosis, and Neurology.

Dr. Andrea Tacchino (Italian Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, Italy)
Italian Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, Italy

Dr. Andrea Tacchino, PhD (male) joined the Foundation of Italian MS Society (FISM) on May 2011, where he currently holds the position of researcher. Andrea is 39 years old and has 15 years research experience in the field of neuro-bio-engineering. His researches are focused on neurorehabilitation in Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Such investigations have involved various techniques such as electromyography, magnetic resonance, and new experimental systems to study the upper limb and hand kinematics. Moreover, his interest is devoted to the application of models for MS progression prediction based on patient reported outcomes. Andrea Tacchino is author of 43 scientific paper in extenso on international journals with referee.