Medical Leadership

francis walkerFrancis O. Walker, MD, Professor of Neurology and Director of the Movement Disorder Clinic at Wake Forest University, has had significant involvement in clinical care and research in Huntington’s Disease for over 25 years. Following residency training in Neurology at the University of Iowa and fellowship training in Movement Disorders at the University of Michigan, he joined the faculty of Wake Forest University in 1984. HD has been his primary clinical and research interest throughout his career.  Besides providing clinical care for 150 HD patients per year, he also participates in six ongoing active HD-related clinical trials.

Mary EdmondsonMary C. Edmondson, MD is the Medical Director of HD Reach. She has been involved in the care of Huntington’s Disease for most of her life. After graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine and following residency and fellowship training in Internal Medicine at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, she joined the faculty of the UNC School of medicine AHEC program. In 2002 she completed a second residency in Psychiatry at Duke University. While in residence at Duke she established a genetic testing program for individuals at risk for HD and participated in the care of HD patients in the Movement Disorders Clinic. Board Certified in both Internal Medicine and Psychiatry, she is uniquely experienced in managing the psychiatric, behavioral and medical complications of HD. She provides ongoing psychiatric care to multiple HD patients and their family members through the HD clinics of both the Duke and Wake Forest University Medical Centers. After her father lost his battle with Huntington’s Disease in 1995, Dr. Edmondson personally underwent genetic testing. Although fortunate to have tested negative for the gene, her experience with her family’s illness continues to provide a unique perspective in the care of HD.

Burton ScottBurton L. Scott, MD, PhD, Associate Clinical Professor of Neurology at Duke University is a member of the Duke Movement Disorders Clinic.  After the completion of his residency at Duke University and fellowship training in movement disorders at Baylor College of Medicine, he joined the Duke faculty in 1995. Over his career, he has been very active in the care of HD patients and their families.  He was instrumental in creating an opportunity to obtain Tetrabenazine for HD patients as the Principal Investigator of the clinical study “Compassionate Use of Tetrabenazine in Hyperkinetic Movement Disorders”. He has many years of experience in the use of this complicated drug, currently the only drug FDA approved for the treatment of the chorea associated with Huntington’s Disease. He has been very active in Parkinson’s Disease research and clinical care over his career. Recently, he has chosen to expand his work with HD patients and families and recruited many professionals to work in a dedicated Huntington’s Disease clinic.

Victoria HuntVictoria P. Hunt, RN, BSN has worked for over twenty- five years as a Nurse Clinician in the Movement Disorders Clinic in the Department of Neurology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine.  Her duties include clinical outpatient care for patients with Parkinson’s Disease, Huntington’s Disease (HD), Tremor and Dystonia. Although her work is diverse, her love has always been HD patients and their families.  She has contributed as an active and respected member of the Huntington’s Study Group, having served both as an executive committee and steering committee member and a site study coordinator in numerous clinical trials.  Her vast experience with the day-to-day problems facing HD patients and families makes Mrs. Hunt’s expertise an invaluable resource for North Carolina families.

VanKammenDaniel P. van Kammen MD, PhD, FACNP is a pharmaceutical physician executive with 13 years of experience in CNS Clinical Development and Translational Medicine. He is a Board Certified psychiatrist with a Ph.D. in Pharmacology. He was CMO at the CHDI Foundation for 3½ years, where he was responsible for establishing the clinical development strategy and infrastructure for CHDI’s discovery pipeline, including longitudinal observation studies, disease progression and target engagement biomarker assessment, development of needed clinical endpoints such as a novel functional rating scale (FuRST-pHD) and cognitive assessment battery for prodromal/premanifest HD patients (CAB-HD), developing treatment guidelines, overseeing global patient registries and international clinical networks. He organized for EMA the HD part of the ADAD-HD meeting in 2010 on disease modification. Formerly, Dan occupied increasingly senior positions in clinical development at Johnson & Johnson, and was head of Phase 1 and 2 for CNS at Aventis (now sanofi). Before joining the industry in 1998, he was an internationally recognized schizophrenia researcher at the NIMH for 10 years and 15 years at the University of Pittsburgh (professor emeritus). Dan received his training in Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. He has published over 350 scientific papers and edited a book series on mental health research. He is a member of the working group of the NINDS HD Common Data Elements. Dan is presently an independent CNS clinical development consultant with a focus on neurodegenerative disorders. Dan is committed to increasing the quality of care for HD patients and their families, and to improving access to research participation.