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January 27, 2021




AND...Identifying the

Cornerstones for Disease Modification

  • Universal Approach / "Rescue Therapy"

  • Individual Approach / "Cure"

Featured Guest Speaker: 

Alberto Espay, M.D., MSc, FAAN, FANA

JANUARY 27, 2021  |  Time: 3:00pm-5:00pm PST


Basic Format:

A live webinar with 

moderated presentations from our featured guest speakers, followed by a Q&A panel discussion.

Please NOTE: Subject to Change


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WHERE ARE RESEARCHERS? AND...Identifying the Cornerstones for Disease Modification

  • Universal Approach / “Rescue Therapy”

  • Individual Approach / “Cure”

Time: 3:00-5:00pm PST

January 27, 2021

Featured Guest Speaker: 

Alberto Espay, M.D., MSc, FAAN, FANA

Disease modification - A look at the argument in favor of:

     (1) Universal approach of soluble protein replacement as “rescue”


     (2) Individualized approach targeting the molecular biology of

          individuals, as a true “cure”.


The latter category cannot be universalized because PD

(as it is the case with other clinicopathologic labels, such as AD, FTD, DLB, etc.)

is not one disease – and syndromes cannot be cured.

Registration: OPEN NOW

Cost:  $35.00

MDs, PAs & RNs: 2 CME credits (Category 1)

Sponsored by, The Seim Family, an anonymous donor

and funded, in part, by a grant from the

San Diego County Board of Supervisors.

Please NOTE: Subject to change


Jeanne Loring, Ph.D.,


Director & Chief Science Officer, Summit for Stem Cell Foundation.

Professor, Scripps Research Institute

Founder, Aspen Neuroscience

Jeanne F. Loring is the Professor Emeritus at the Scripps Research Institute where she was founding Director of the Center for Regenerative Medicine. She is also founder of two stem cell-based biotechnology companies, Arcos Bioscience (now part of Viacyte) and Aspen Neuroscience, a biotechnology company developing a neuron replacement therapy for Parkinson disease.  Dr. Loring has more than 30 years of experience in both biotechnology and academic research, focusing on stem cells, genomics, embryology and neurobiology. She holds five patents on stem cells and genomics, and has published more than 100 research articles in scientific journals that have been cited in scientific publications more than 14,000 times. She serves on both scientific advisory and bioethics boards, and advises governmental and private granting agencies in several countries. Through her laboratory courses, she has trained more than 400 scientists in stem cell technology.

In addition to her work on Parkinson disease, Dr. Loring investigates multiple sclerosis and autism, and works with the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research in an effort to rescue the Northern white rhinoceros from extinction using stem cell technology.  She is also involved in a project on the International Space Station to study neurogenerative disease.

Dr. Loring is an advocate for patients and an outspoken critic of stem cell clinics that operate outside of ethical or scientific oversight. She speaks out against unregulated stem cell therapies that have  caused severe injuries and even death, and the clinics who convince desperately ill patients to pay for treatments that are not effective.

Thank you!

Alberto Espay, MD, MSc, FAAN, FANA

Featured Guest Speaker

About Dr. Alberto Espay

Dr. Alberto Espay, is professor and endowed chair of the University of Cincinnati James J. and Joan A. Gardner Family Center for Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders. He trained in neurology at Indiana University as well as in clinical and electrophysiology of movement disorders at the University of Toronto, where he obtained a master’s degree in clinical epidemiology and healthcare research.

 He has published over 250 research articles as well as 7 textbooks, including Common Movement Disorders Pitfalls, which received the Highly Commended BMA Medical Book Award in 2013. His most recent book Brain Fables, the Hidden History of Neurodegenerative Diseases and a Blueprint to Conquer them, was coauthored with Parkinson patient and advocate Ben Stecher and published by Cambridge in August. He has served as Chair of the Movement Disorders Section of the American Academy of Neurology, Associate Editor of Movement Disorders, and in the Executive Committee of the Parkinson Study Group (PSG). He currently serves the International Parkinson and Movement Disorders Society (MDS) as Chair of the Task Force on Technology and as Secretary of its Pan-American Section.


About Dr. Espay's Research

The Cincinnati Cohort Biomarker Program* (CCBP) embraces the idea that there are likely dozens of biological pathways that lead to neurodegenerative diseases and that we must find and target each separately if we are ever going to get therapies that can alter these diseases in the individuals affected. The purpose of CCBP is to separate neurodegenerative diseases into their biological subtypes and then match each to therapies capable of slowing disease progression. In the first 5 years, the program will recruit 5000 people (4000 patients and 1000 healthy controls). Subsequent analysis will be anchored on bioassays selected to match people to existing therapies.

*Summit for Stem Cell Foundation provides funding and support for this research program.

Rita Ceponiene, MD, PhD


Director, Summit for Stem Cell Foundation

Dr. Ceponiene is American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology certified member of the American Academy of Neurology and the Movement Disorders Society, with a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience at the Helsinki University, Finland. She has published over 40 peer – reviewed research articles during her academic career. Dr. Ceponiene has since returned to clinical work currently is a movement disorders specialist at Southern California Kaiser Permanente, San Diego. She continues to maintain ties with her academic colleagues and is passionate about educating patients and health care providers about the developments in the field. One of them is the promise of the autologous dopamine neuron replacement therapy that is being developed within a rigorous scientific framework.

Benjamin Stecher ("Ben")


Patient Advocate for Parkinson's disease

Benjamin Stecher was born in Nairobi, Kenya but grew up just outside Toronto, Canada. He studied history and philosophy at the University of Guelph, but as soon as he graduated he took off and spent most of the next decade living and working in East Asia as an education consultant.

All that changed when, at 29 years old, Benjamin was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. The promising future he had been building towards suddenly faded and was replaced by a gloomy fog of uncertainty and despair. As his disease progressed, he realized that he needed to come back home to learn how to better manage his disease.


But, as he started visiting labs and attending conferences, he soon found himself enthralled by the rampant pace at which biomedical science has progressed in the 21st century. He spent the next couple of years traveling the world visiting research centers and pharmaceutical companies to learn from the top minds in the field all that he could about this disease and what therapies were on the horizon.


He now speaks regularly at academic centers and biotech companies on issues related to neurodegenerative diseases, research advocacy and healthcare. He is also the founder of Tomorrow Edition (tmrwedition.com), and a patient advisor to several organizations including the Toronto Western Hospital Movement Disorder Clinic and the World Parkinson's Congress. Benjamin has also authored several peer-review papers and serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Parkinson’s. Ben and Dr. Alberto Espay co-authored the recently released book, “Brain Fables” (published by Cambridge University Press).

Invited Speaker at:


Aligning Science Across Parkinson’s Workshop, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s Neurodegeneration Challenge Network Meeting, StemCellTalks Toronto, Partnerships in Clinical Trials Europe 2018,  2019 World Parkinson’s Congress, 2019 ADPD Congress – Roche sponsored talk, Alkahest, Biolegend, Lysosomal Therapeutics, Abbvie’s Sharing for Better Caring Symposium, University of Toronto Neuroscience Rounds, McGill (multiple classes), EPFL Open Science Summer Camp 2019, University of Cincinnati Neuroscience Rounds, Tanenbaum Open Science Initiative, 2018 & 2019 Rallying to the Challenge at Grand Challenges in Parkinson’s Symposium, 2018 & 2019 Parkinson’s Canada Research Symposium, European Parkinson’s Disease Association’s YOPD Symposium at the European Union Headquarters,  2018 Ontario Brain Institute Research Summit, The Buck Institute, 23andMe, System1 Biosciences, Duke-NUS, NIH Neuroscience Rounds, Aspen Biosciences, Porridge for Parkinson’s.