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FD News
February 2008

Changes, Progress at NYU Dysautonomia Center

There have been big changes in the study of FD and the treatment of FD patients at NYU Medical Center. A new endowed professorship in the School of Medicine�s department of Neurology has been established to focus on adult care and clinical research, and the NYU Dysautonomia Treatment and Evaluation Center, which has now been renamed to simply "The Dysautonomia Center," has been completely remodeled and expanded to include a new clinical research lab that focuses exclusively on dysautonomia. 

New Professorship Endowed at NYU School of Medicine

The newly endowed professorship, named in honor of Dr. Felicia B. Axelrod, has been funded by the Dysautonomia Foundation through the generous contributions of FD families and friends of the foundation. Along with the first   professorship, in the department of Pediatrics, this new chair in Neurology will guarantee that there will always be two academic positions at NYU School of Medicine focusing on the study and care of FD children and adults. The new chair will be awarded to Dr. Horacio Kaufmann on October 1st, 2007.

Construction of New  Dysautonomia Center is Completed

In January 2008, construction was completed on the new Dysautonomia Center at NYU Medical Center. The size of the Center has been doubled by joining the existing space with the suite next door. There are now several new offices and a new Dysautonomia Research Lab. The new lab is the only facility in the world constructed specifically for FD-related clinical studies.  The mission of the Center is to enhance FD care and investigate new therapies for FD, with a comprehensive focus on pediatric care, adult care and clinical research. The Center now includes ten full-time members of staff dedicated to providing the best possible care for people with FD.

Back Row: Lucy Norcliffe-Kaufmann, PhD; Felicia B. Axelrod, MD; Horacio Kaufmann, MD;
Svetlana Lenina, MD; Gabrielle Gold-von Simson, MD; Dena Berlin, CPNP;
Front Row: Giselle Gomez, Andrei Voustianiouk, PhD; Maria Tellez, MD

The expansion of the Center and the establishment of the professorship could not have been accomplished without the  generous support of the FD community.

Through the generous contributions from many FD families, along with their friends and associates, an unprecedented amount of over three million dollars was raised for the establishment of the new professorship and construction of the new Center.

To commemorate the generosity of those involved, a Wall of Recognition will be established at the Dysautonomia Center, and several of the new offices will be named in honor of the largest donors.

The Dysautonomia Research Lab, which could not have been built without the extremely generous gift of $300,000 from the family of Barbra Waldfogel and Eric Berg, has been established in memory of their son, Zachary AJ Berg.

The lab has been outfitted with many new features, including sky tiles that simulate a skylight, and new equipment purchased through a grant from the Dorothy B Hersh Foundation.

A patient is examined in the Tilt Table Room at the new Dysautonomia Research Lab. The lab has been outfitted with new equipment and includes "sky tiles" that simulate a skylight in the lab.

Introducing Horacio Kaufmann, MD

Horacio Kaufmann, MD, an eminent researcher and doctor who specializes in autonomic disorders, joined the staff of the Dysautonomia Treatment and Evaluation Center (DTEC) in October 2007.   Dr. Kaufmann officially joined the NYU Dysautonomia Center team on Oct 1st 2007, when he became Co-Director of the Center and the Director of the new Dysautonomia Research Lab. Dr. Kaufmann will be responsible for the care and treatment of FD adults and will lead the new laboratory for FD clinical research. He will be joining the NYU School of Medicine faculty as a Professor of Neurology.
 �We are extremely fortunate to be able to bring onto our staff such a talented and highly qualified colleague� comments Dr. Axelrod, who has been Director of the Center since its inception in 1970. �Dr. Kaufmann�s expertise and insight will significantly enhance our ability to conduct clinical research and provide excellent patient care.�  

Dr. Kaufmann comes with 25 years of experience and exceptional qualifications, having served as Director of the Neurology Clinic at The Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, where he specialized in autonomic disorders.  He received his medical degree from the School of Medicine of the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina.   He trained in internal medicine and neurology and completed his residency at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, where he was a Professor in the department of Neurology.  
From 2005-2007, Dr. Kaufmann served as President of the American Autonomic Society, and is currently a member of the board of directors of that organization. He is on the editorial board of several prestigious medical journals and is the editor-in-chief of Clinical Autonomic Research, the official journal of the American Autonomic Society. Dr Kaufmann is a member of the Clinical Autonomic Research Society and the European Federation of Autonomic Societies.  

�I am delighted to have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of people with FD,� says Dr. Kaufmann, adding �I am looking forward to partnering with Dr. Axelrod, the Dysautonomia Foundation and all the fine professionals who have devoted their efforts to overcoming this devastating disorder.�   Dr. Kaufmann is married to Lucy Norcliffe-Kaufmann. They live in New York City with their son, George.


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