Movement Disorder Advisory Board

David Higgins, PhD
Current President

Dr. Higgins earned his Ph.D. in molecular biology and genetics from the University of Rochester in New York, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Cancer Institute, before moving to San Diego to start a career in the biotech industry. Higgins is the Parkinson's patient advocate member of the Independent Citizen's Oversight Committee (ICOC), the governing body of the California Institute for Regenerative medicine (CIRM). He leads one of the largest Parkinson's support groups in Southern California - with 70 members - for the Parkinson's Association of San Diego.

Carol Case
Case Giraldi Media Company 

After a diverse career in design and fashion, Carol decided to make a career transition. In 1988, Carol joined Giraldo Suarez Productions as Bob Giraldi's rep and Head of Sales. After many years of success, Carol became a partner in Giraldo and other companies Giraldi and Case set up. Some of the many clients Carol worked with through the years are Nike, Diet Coke, Volvo, Budweiser, Acura, Mercedes, Mazda, Wrangler, Dr. Pepper, AT&T and Visa just to name a few. One of the many Case/Giraldi successes was the notable Will Smith video "Just the Two of Us." Carol executive produced this video and it went on to win the MTV Best Video Award in 1999, the Billboard Pop Music Video and a 1998 Media Shine Award. Along with partners Bob Giraldi and Patti Greaney, Carol opened 149WOOSTER, a diversified media company that focused on the development of feature films, television, and theatrical brand integration. Carol has co-chaired a fundraiser for the Museum of Jewish Heritage in NYC for seven years. She has been the ambassador to the MJFF for the past two years. She is married to Ira Lieberman and has two sons, a "bonus" daughter, and four beautiful grandchildren.

Gene Dantsker,PhD, MBA
Director of Business Development at Qualcomm Life

Gene Dantsker is Director of Business Development at Qualcomm Life. Prior to this role, Dr. Dantsker worked across the spectrum of sensor, therapy and diagnostic technology solutions with broad experience in semiconductor, medical and biotech businesses. Dr. Dantsker was Senior Technical Staff Member at TRW, Inc., Space and Electronic Division where he was responsible for design, fabrication, and integration of microelectronics for space/satellite applications. Subsequently he co-founded Nanostream, Inc., a biotech company and provider of high- throughput bio-analytical instruments to companies involved in drug discovery and development. As VP of Technology, Gene was con-inventor and developer of Nanostream's core technologies based on polymer MEMS microfluidics and converted them onto commercial products purchased by leading pharmaceutical companies. He holds a B.S. degrees in Physics and Mathematics from the University of Maryland, M.A and Ph.D. in Physics from the University of California at Berkeley, and an MBA from San Diego State University, where he was class valedictorian, He in an inventor on over 25 patents.

Mark Lyon
Lyon and Associates

Mark Lyon studied biology at Washington's Whitman College, then moved to San Diego in 1985. After stints as a whitewater raft guide and amateur bike racer, he founded Lyon and Associates with his wife Susan. Mark became an award-winning creative director in print media, then switched emphasis to directing television commercials and short documentary films. He lives in Del Mar, California, where he enjoys paddleboarding, photography, and catching up with his very bright and independent sons. 

Susan Lyon
Lyon and Associates

Susan Lyon serves as Managing Director of LYON & Associated Creative Services, a film company focused on life sciences, health, technology, and financial clients. She co-founded the firm 25 years ago with her husband Mark, and continues to help clients determine how films can help them achieve their marketing, fundraising and recruitment goals. An avid community volunteer with over a decade of service on San Diego non-profit boards, she currently serves on the parent advisory boards for two of the forty Colleges that Change Lives members, University of Puget Sound and Denison University. She holds an MBA with an emphasis in marketing from USC and an undergraduate degree in English from UCLA. 

Kate Carinder
The Carinder Company, LLC

Passion, purpose and persistence have been a constant in Kate Carinder's career. As the lead rainmaker at The Carinder Company, she has a twenty year highly successful career in academic medical fundraising, community foundation leadership and non profit management. As the head of a community foundation she created the organization's first website and guided the board through a successful accreditation process with the National Council on Foundation. In academic medicine she successfully established principal and major gifts for many specialty areas. She is an expert in engagement, strategy and donor relations. She authored three curricula; one on the environment, one on internet technology and was a team author on a biotechnology curriculum, She has publishes over  100 articles on various educational topics. She has chaired four ballot measures, three were successful. "if i can be a small, small part of someday finding a cure for movement disorders, a way to prevent cancer or a way to end blindness, then I'm in!"

Irene Litvan, MD
Director, UCSD Movement Disorder Center

Professor of Neurosciences and Director, Movement Disorder Center; Tasch Endowed Professor of Parkinson's Disease Research. Dr. Litvan has over 25 years of experience in adult neurology, movement disorders and psychiatry. Dr. Irene Litvan was recently elected to serve on the International Executive Committee of the Movement Disorder Society, and is member of several committees of this society.

Fatta B. Nahab, MD
UCSD Movement Disorder Center

Associate Professor of Neurosciences. Dr. Nahab is a board-certified neurologist with subspecialty training in movement disorders and neuroimaging. His clinical knowledge in the diagnosis and management of movement disorders are closely integrated with his research interests. The focus of his lab is to understand how tremor and neurodegenerative disorders impact brain function and the development of novel therapies.

J. Vincent Filoteo, PhD
UCSD Movement Disorder Center

Professor of Psychiatry. Dr. Filoteo has over 18 years experience working with patients with various movement disorders and dementias. He received his Ph.D. in clinical neuropsychology/psychology in 1994 from the SDSU/UCSD Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology. His research and clinical work focuses on the cognitive and clinical neuropsychology of Parkinson's disease.