Home            Meet our Board Members
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                    Board of Advisors
 
 
 
Glen Holt
Chairman
 
Glen is a former law enforcement officer and race horse trainer and breeder.  It was through their mutual interest in horses and horse racing that he first met his wife of over 25 years, Annette Funicello.  Only a year following their marriage on May 3, 1986, Annette was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.  Glen immediately began educating himself on the disorder and engaging in ongoing dialogue with both medical professionals and MS patients from around the globe.  What he learned ultimately lead he and Annette to establish The Annette Funicello Research Fund for Neurological Diseases in 1993.  It was created to provide a way to personally have a hand in directing funds to promising clinical research studies.  Further, it was key to both of them that administrative costs be kept to a bare minimum in order to allow nearly 100% of all donations go directly to grant funding.  Today, Glen leads the Research Fund as Chairman of the Advisory Board.  
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Adam Rogers
Website Administrator
 
Adam has been affiliated with the Annette Funicello Research Fund for Neurological Diseases since 2003.  His contributions have been geared toward internet-based fundraising and promotion, as well as the organization of other authorized grass-roots fundraising projects.  He manages AnnetteConnection.com, Annette's first official website, which was launched in 2010 as an ever-expanding celebration of her life and career and a resource for  information on her research fund and it's efforts.
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Carol Schumacher
MS Advocate
 
Carol is a partner in the Mid-Peninsula Animal Hospital in Menlo Park California.  She served in public office with the California Veterinary Medical Board until 2011.  She was diagnosed with MS in 2002 and then CCSVI in 2010, for which she was treated with good results in a pilot study for an anticipated clinical trial at the University of Maryland.  Carol has been attending many of the scientific meetings that have been reviewing CCSVI clinical studies since 2011.  She tries to help patients understand the medical information that is presented there and in peer-reviewed medical journals.  She is a Board member of The Hubbard Foundation and a founding member of the CCSVI-MSketeers, a patient group devoted to working with clinical researchers and government agencies to accelerate acceptance of CCSVI angioplasty as part of the standard of care for patients with MS and other neurological diseases. 
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Sam Schumacher
Public Relations Coordinator
 
Sam is a recent graduate of Emerson College in Boston, where he earned a Bachelor's Degree in Political Communications.  He serves as Public Relations Coordinator for the Research Fund, drafting press releases and letters, planning social media and other outreach.  He is also an avid glassblower, traveler, and environmentalist.  Sam is pursuing a career in communications and aspires towards non-profit management, public service and social advocacy.
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Sharon Baird
Original Mouseketeer
 
Sharon is an actress and dancer, best known as a Mouseketeer on the original Mickey Mouse Club.  A member of the show's 'first string' Red Team, she was among the most recognized of the cast and stood out as an excellent tap dancer.  It was during the long weeks of taping the show that Sharon and Annette established what has proven to be a strong, life-long friendship.  Now semi-retired, Sharon continues to make occasional appearances with other original Mouseketeers.  She has been a strong supporter of The Annette Funicello Research Fund for Neurological Diseases since it was established in 1993.
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Shelley Fabares
Actress
 
Shelley is a well-known actress, best known as Donna Reed's daughter, Mary Stone, on The Donna Reed Show and for co-starring with Elvis Presley in three of his popular films.  She found success in the music industry with her hit single; Johnny Angel, which topped the Billboard charts in 1962.  In 1989 she starred as Christine in the hit sitcom; Coach, which ran for nine seasons.  Shelley and Annette have been close friends since they met in catechism class in the seventh grade.  In addition to serving on the Annette Funicello Research Fund Board of Advisors, she is the spokesperson for the National Alzheimer's Association and President of the Board of Directors for the Donna Reed Foundation.
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                     Science Review Board
 
 
 
 
Clive Beggs, Ph.D.
 
Clive Beggs is a Professor of Medical Engineering at the University of Bradford in the UK whose family was affected by MS.  He read Zamboni's CCSVI paper and realized that he could apply his expertise in fluid mechanics and cell biology to complete an exhaustive review of the relevant literature to test Zamboni's theory against what was known from peer-reviewed science in this area.  His findings compelled him to bring his expertise and "outsider thinking" to help others understand what questions might need to be answered as they design their CCSVI research.  He has submitted his CCSVI findings for publication and peer review.  He funds his own research.
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Michael Dake, MD
 
Dr. Michael Dake is a luminary in the field of cardiothoracic medicine and interventional radiology (IR).  He has been repeatedly honored by his peers for his many innovations and contributions to clinical research, primarily in arterial disease, and holds and Endowed Chair in cardiothoracic surgery at Stanford University where he is also medical director of the catheter laboratories.  It was here that he treated the first American MS patients in a CCSVI pilot study in 2009.  Later this year, Dr. Dake hopes to begin a long-awaited CCSVI clinical trial at Stanford.  He is a founding member of ISNVD and was co-chair of their 2012 scientific program with E. Mark Haacke.  He holds device patents related to arterial stenting, and receives support for his research from device makers, private donors, foundations and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
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Edward C. Feldman, DVM
 
Ed Feldman is a Professor of Internal Medicine and Clinical Researcher at the University of California Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in California.  He is author of over 155 scientific papers and two major textbooks in Internal Medicine and Endocrinology.  He has participated in many clinical studies using naturally occurring animal diseases and he has collaborated with MDs to study health issues shared by dogs, cats and humans.  He is a respected scholar in veterinary medicine.  He is the recipient of the American Veterinary Medical Association's Career Achievement Award in Canine Research.  Dr. Feldman became aware of CCSVI and it's association to clinical symptoms associated with MS through a professional colleague and family friend who has MS and has been treated for CCSVI.  He has observed the benefits of interventional radiology at the veterinary school.  While Dr. Feldman does not participate in CCSVI research, his "outsider" perspectives are valued.
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E Mark Haacke, Ph.D.
 
Mark Haacke is the director of a large MRI research program at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan.  He authored the foundational textbook used to teach MRI physics at universities worldwide.  It is reverently known by MRI geeks as the "green bible".  He invented MR Angiography (MRA), which is now performed in every major medical imaging facility in the world to study arteries and Susceptibility Weighted Imaging to study veins and iron content.  Dr. Haacke was the Gold Medal Awardee of the ISMRM in 2004 in Kyoto, Japan.  He has proposed a new research idea; "The Millenium Project" which recommends examining the veins in the head and neck in 1000 normal people using MRV to better understand the apparently faulty veins in people with MS and other neurological diseases.  He is a founding member of ISNVD and was co-chair of their 2012 scientific program with Dr. Dake.  He funds his research from private donations, the NIH, and foundation grants.
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Ziv J. Haskal, MD
 
Dr. Ziv J. Haskal is a world-renowned figure in the field of interventional radiology (IR).  He is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology, the world's leading journal in the specialty.  Dr. Haskal is a vice chair and professor of radiology and surgery at The University of Maryland.  He has given nearly 500 invited lectures worldwide, written over 400 scientific papers, books,reviews, editorials and abstracts.  He has published his research in journals such as Circulation, JVIR, Hepatology and the New England Journal of Medicine.  His vanguard research and clinical care interests span all image-guided arterial and venous diseases, oncology, liver and kidney disease, gynecologic interventions, etc.  Last year, he co-organized and led the Society of Interventional Radiology research consensus panel on CCSVI.  Dr Haskal receives compensation from device manufacturers for advisory roles or research support, as well as depending on private donations, and foundations for research support.  Dr. Haskal shares the view that CCSVI needs to be scientifically evaluated in a prospective, methodical, and multi-disciplinary approach, so that the many questions MS patients and scientists have about treatment, safety and outcomes can be rigorously answered.  As part of the leadership of the Society of Interventional Radiology, and it's research foundation, he is committed to the highest standards of clinical practice and research and has organized important-open-professional discussions on CCSVI research including neurologists and the FDA.
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David Hubbard, MD
 
Dr. Hubbard is a Board Certified Neurologist focused on clinical research in functional MRI (fMRI) and meditation.  After his son was diagnosed with MS he went to the MS literature for answers and discovered that the neuroimmunology model behind current drug therapies to be under intense scrutiny for it's many shortcomings.  His wife, Arlene found Dr. Paolo Zamboni's paper on Chronic Cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency (CCSVI) online. He started one of the first National Institutional Review Board (IRB) approved clinical studies and registries.  Data from patients who were seeking treatment around the country could now be collected and used to further scientific understanding.  Dr Hubbard applied his understanding of fMRI and neurology to examine the theory in a serious way.  He joined Dr. Zamboni and other leading experts in founding the International Society for Neurovascular Disease (ISNVD), a world-class-multi-disciplinary scientific body examining vascular disease and its relation to neurological disorders.  Additionally, with his family, he created The Hubbard Foundation to bring in more "outsider" thinking to help solve the MS puzzle.  This includes Arlene's passion for the use of nutritional and supplement regimens that have been shown to be effective for some MS patients.
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Bart Locanthi, Ph.D.
 
 
Bart holds degrees in Engineering and Computer Science from Caltech.  He was a research scientist at Bell Laboratories and founder of Silicon Graphics, Responsys, and other startups.  Bart is currently employed at Google, working on large scale computation and at not being evil.  Bart is interested in neurovascular disease at all levels - imaging and information display, data management, fluid mechanics and modeling, and analyzing clinical outcomes across a spectrum of disease, including MS, Parkinson's Disease, and dementia in general.  He is a founding member of CCSVI-MSketeers.
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Sandy McDonald, MD
 
Sandy McDonald is a vascular surgeon, founder and sole owner of Barrie Vascular Imaging in Ontario, Canada.  He pioneered the CCSVI treatment in Canada after receiving thousands of requests a week for scans from patients with MS.  He went to Italy and met with Dr. Zamboni where he learned the ultrasound technique for evaluating CCSVI and began to offer treatment in a pilot program.  He found CCSVI in 75% of MS patients he scanned.  He is currently prevented from performing the procedure at this time by government policy.  However, he has been speaking to Parliment since 2010 as an expert witness on the urgent need for full support of clinical treatment studies and access to angioplasty, at least on a compassionate basis, for Canadians who suffer the ravages of MS, and cannot wait for the study results.  He is a founding member of ISNVD.
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Donald Ponec, MD
 
Dr. Donald Ponec received his B.S. from USC and and graduated from UCSD School of Medicine in 1983.  He did a transitional internship at LAC-USC Medical Center followed by a four-year residency in Diagnostic Radiology at UCSF and subsequently a fellowship in Interventional Radiology at UCSF.  Dr. Ponec currently practices full time Interventional Radiology in North County, San Diego.  His recent research/clinical interests include: Abdominal aneurysm repair (stent grafts), stroke thrombolysys, new thromboyltic agents, drug eluting stents, vertebroplasty, carotid stents, radiofrequency tumor ablation, uterine fibroid embolization, cerebral aneurysm coil embolization and venous intervention for CCSVI.  He has treated hundreds of patients for CCSVI and has participated in several research trials to investigate the clinical response to Jugular and Azygous interventions.
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Marie Rhodes, RN
 
Marie is the author of the well-received and highly praised book on Chronic Cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency, "CCSVI as the Cause of Multiple Sclerosis: The Science behind the Controversial Theory," published by McFarland in April of 2011.  Her book is a strong voice for more research into the venous aspects of Multiple Sclerosis.  As both an MS patient who has experienced CCSVI treatment first hand and a nurse, Marie brings a unique perspective to the Annette Funicello Research Fund Science Review Board.  Her knowledge regarding the history of MS, the current status of knowledge and her many contacts within the MS and CCSVI communities is of unquestioned value.
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Sal Sclafani, MD
 
Dr. Sclafani is an interventional radiologist who was Professor and Chairman of Radiology at the State University of New York, Downstate in Brooklyn from 2002-2012.  He has been an early pioneer in the field of CCSVI and Interventional Radiology and it's applications.  Dr. Sclafani is an active member of ThisisMS.com (TIMS), an online forum where he answers MS patients' CCSVI questions in lively internet "classes".  In 2009, he met with Dr. Zamboni, Dr. Dake and others to better understand the clinical significance of his CCSVI findings and how to best move forward to treat the patients from all over the world who flooded his office for answers.  In 2010 Dr. Sclafani took sabbatical leave from his University position and joined a national vein clinic group called American Access Care (until it's acquisition by Fresenius Vascular Care) in order to gain more clinical experience treating CCSVI patients.  His research interests focus on optimizing technical aspects of catheter based treatments for CCSVI.  He is a founding member of ISNVD and has hosted two symposia on CCSVI in New York in 2010 and 2011.
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Paolo Zamboni, MD
 
Paolo Zamboni is a world-renowned vascular surgeon at the University of Ferrara in Bologna, Italy, one of the oldest and most important institutions of scientific learning in the world.  After his wife was diagnosed with MS, he scoured the medical literature for answers.  In 2002 he came across an Austrian Neurologist, Franz Schelling, who had written a booklet on the vascular theory of MS.  When Dr. Zamboni's wife was found to have the vascular abnormalities consistent with Schelling's research, she was diagnosed with CCSVI, a term Dr. Zamboni created for the syndrome.  Paolo's wife was treated with angioplasty and her condition greatly improved.  He then collaborated with neurologists to test MS patients utilizing ultrasound, MRI and venography. The results were striking.  An astounding 100% of MS patients he tested had CCSVI while 100% of his normal controls did not.  Dr. Zamboni has called for more clinical studies and many have been published by researchers all over the world.  Both negative and positive results have been found.  A meta-analysis, combining all the data from all the studies, performed by Canadian officials in 2011, showed significant support.  He worked with his regional government in Italy to begin studying CCSVI in MS patients in a double-blinded-placebo-controlled-protocol.  He calls his study "Brave Dreams".  He depends on government and private funds for his research.
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Robert Zivadinov, MD
 
Dr. Robert Zivadinov was among the first MS neurologists in the US to take on CCSVI studies in a big way.  He is a professor of neurology at the University of Buffalo in New York; Buffalo having one of the highest MS rates in the US.  His team of "insiders", respected MS experts, and IRs conducted examinations in over 1000 MS patients and reported 62% positives for CCSVI, a lesser percentage than Zamboni.  However he still identified a significant number (62%) of MS patients had venous abnormalities.  He also found CCSVI in some people with other neurological diseases and in normal control subjects.  Dr. Zivadinov is a founding member of ISNVD and just completed a term as it's president.  He presided over the presentation of 58 scientific papers from world class experts and young investigators. The five day forum in February 2012 was an extraordinary accomplishment for such a young organization and a testament to Dr. Zivadinov's leadership.  He receives funding from makers of MS drug therapies and private donors as well as BNAC, and foundations to support his research.
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ANNETTECONNECTION.COM is the official website of Annette Funicello and The Annette Funicello Research Fund for Neurological Diseases.