Dr. Brenda Banwell graduated with a degree in medicine from The University of Western Ontario in 1991. She pursued a residency in pediatrics at The Hospital of Western Ontario, University of Western Ontario, from 1991-1994 and a pediatric neurology residency at The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto from 1994-1997. Dr. Banwell then spent two years completing a neuromuscular disease fellowship at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota. In 1999, Dr. Banwell was appointed as an assistant professor of pediatrics (neurology) at the Hospital for Sick Children and University of Toronto. She was promoted to associate professor in 2006 and full professor in 2012. Since July 1, 2012, Dr. Banwell has been Chief of Neurology at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia where she holds the Grace R. Loeb Endowed Chair in Neurosciences. . Dr. Banwell’s clinical and research interests are in pediatric multiple sclerosis and other inflammatory brain disorders. Dr. Banwell is the lead Investigator of a 24 site study of acquired demyelination in children, a study that has been continuously funded since 2004. The Canadian Pediatric Demyelinating Disease study now partners with the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and has collaborative research projects with the US Network of MS Centers. A comprehensive clinical, biospecimen, and research-quality MRI database has been established, serving as a core resource to evaluate biomarkers, as well as clinical-radiographic features of TM, ON, ADEM, NMOSD and MS in children. Dr. Banwell also serves as the Chair of the International Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Study Group and is the Director of the International Medical and Scientific Advisory Board of the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation. In this role, she is involved in advocacy for MS care access, treatment options, and MS information for persons living with MS worldwide. Dr. Banwell has clinical and research expertise in myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG)-related demyelination, as well as autoimmune encephalitis.
Dr. Sarah Hopkins graduated from the University of Arkansas College of Medicine in 2004 and completed residency in pediatrics and neurology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in 2009, where she remained on faculty for several years. Dr. Hopkins came to The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in 2014 and became Section Head of MS and Neuroinflammatory Disorders in 2017. Dr. Hopkins has an interest in inflammatory disorders of the spinal cord and directs the multi-disciplinary Myelitis Clinic at CHOP. She has an interest in acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) and serves as a neurology consultant for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for activities related to AFM Surveillance. She is the site PI for the NIH AFM Natural History Study and the International Pediatric Opsoclonus Myoclonus Ataxia Syndrome Registry. Dr. Hopkins serves as Co-Director of the CHOP/Penn Age Span MS and Neuroinflammatory Disorders Fellowship with Dr. Jennifer Orthmann-Murphy at Penn.
The Demyelinating Disease Program at CHOP is fully integrated with the MS program at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania to create an age-span program for demyelinating disorders, and is recognized as a National MS Center of Excellence. The program has a National MS Society funded MS Fellowship program with a well-organized educational mandate.
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