Meet the Team

Foundation Governance

The Foundation of the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers is committed to operating under the principles of and in compliance with all applicable laws, rules and regulations, including the guidelines and standards set forth by accrediting continuing education providers.

The Foundation of the CMSC agrees:

  • To utilize contributed funds for actual and reasonable expenses of the program or initiative specified in the initial request, with addendums to be filed with grantor’s approval should reallocation be necessary;
  • To use funds in strict accordance with the budget submitted with the grant request;
  • To furnish contributors with reconciliation reports concerning the expenditure of grant funds, supported by appropriate substantiation; and.
  • To promptly report any unused grant funds.

Programs or initiatives supported by the Foundation of the CMSC will not promote individual products, directly or indirectly, with any activity focused on educational content being free from commercial influence or bias.

The Foundation of the CMSC is responsible for designing and conducting programs and initiatives. The Foundation of the CMSC will disclose financial or other relationships between financial contributors and will provide this information in writing. Content development will include input from independent professional and/or scientific sources, and will make selection of presenters(s), faculty or advisory panels based on balance and independence.

The Foundation of the CMSC will ensure a meaningful disclosure is made of financial or in-kind support and any significant relationship between the organizers of FCMSC programs or initiatives and donors or contributors (e.g., employee, grant recipient, principal investigator in clinical trial, on speakers’ bureau, owner of significant interest or stock, etc.).

The Foundation of the CMSC agrees to appropriately acknowledge educational or charitable support in program brochures, syllabi and other materials.

Board of Trustees

Gary R. Cutter, MS PhD, PresidentGary R. Cutter,

MS PhD, President

Dr. Cutter is Professor of Biostatistics in the UAB School of Public Health in the Department of Biostatistics. Dr. Cutter has a major interest in design, analysis and interpretation of clinical trials, epidemiologic studies and evaluation research. Dr. Cutter has over 40 years of experience in coordinating centers, directing numerous centers for national and international clinical trials and cores on program projects and collaborative grants. He is an invited speaker nationally as well as internationally. He is currently directing the coordinating centers of multiple NIH randomized trials: the recently completed trial of Combination Therapy in Multiple Sclerosis (CombiRx) and the Early Biomarkers of Autism Spectrum Disorders in Infants with Tuberous Sclerosis Complex and the randomized Preventing Epilepsy Using Vigabatrin in Infants with Tuberous Sclerosis (PREVeNT trial) all NINDS funded studies. He directs the coordinating center for the NHLBI Chronic Hypertension in Pregnancy (CHAP). He is the PI of the Trial of Thymectomy plus Prednisone versus Prednisone alone in the treatment of non-thymomatous Myasthenia Gravis (MGTx). He is Deputy Director of the Operations Center of the Neurofibromatosis Consortium, which runs multiple studies simultaneously funded by the Department of Defense as well as director of the Data Management Center for the Collaborative Antiviral Study Group, another network designed to run multiple trials within a collaborative organizational structure. He is the Director, Biostatistics/Bioinformatics Resource (BBR) Core Center for Acute Kidney Injury Research, UAB-USC (NIDDK), Director, Center For Aids Research, Biostatistics Core, UAB (NIAID) and Deputy Director, National Center for High Impact Clinical Trials in Rehabilitation Medicine with Dr. Bamman.

He is a member of numerous data and safety monitoring committees for the NIH, Pharmaceutical Companies and foundations as well as advisory committees. He has been active in evaluation and outcome measures, developing the Multiple Sclerosis Functional Composite, a disability measure widely used in MS, serves on the International Clinical Trials Committee of the National MS Society and International MS Societies as well as being on the editorial board of the journal MS and writes a column Statistics for the Neurologist in Practice for Neurology for clinical practice as a contributing editor. He is an Associate Editor of Alzheimer’s Disease Translational Research. He is also a statistical consultant for Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN). He has worked with NINDS on the Common Data Elements project as a participant in the overall advisory committee and on several disease specific development efforts. He has been the PI of an NINDS T32 training grant and co-director of an NHLBI T32 training grant. He is a mentor on numerous K awards from across campus, PhD and master’s students and teaches in various national and international short courses.

Robert P. Lisak, MD, FRCP (UK), FAAN, FANA, Past-PresidentRobert P. Lisak,

MD, FRCP (UK), FAAN, FANA, Past-President

Dr. Lisak has served as Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurology at Wayne State University School of Medicine since 1987 as well as Neurologist-in-Chief of the Detroit Medical Center from 1987-2011. He previously was a member of the Department of Neurology, the Graduate Group in Immunology and as Associate Member of the Neuroscience Institute at the University of Pennsylvania, where he also served as Vice-Chair of Neurology. Having served on multiple editorial boards, Dr. Liask is the Editor of the Journal of the Neurological Sciences, the journal of the World Federation of Neurology.

Dr. Lisak’s research and clinical interests are in autoimmune/immunological mediated diseases of the nervous systems including multiple sclerosis and related disorders, myasthenia gravis, inflammatory neuropathies including Guillain-Barre syndrome and chronic inflammatory demyelinating neuropathies, inflammatory myopathies, CNS vasculitis and neurological complications of system autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosis, Sjogren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, mixed connective tissue disease and others. His research studies include basic science, clinical research including treatment trials and translational research. Over the years his work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the Guillain-Barre Syndrome/CIDP Foundation, the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America as well as by philanthropy and pharmaceutical companies.

Patricia Bobryk, MHS, PT, MSCS, ATP, SecretaryPatricia Bobryk,

MHS, PT, MSCS, ATP, Secretary

Patty Bobryk is a graduate of the physical therapy program at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. She obtained her master’s degree in neuro-dysfunction from the University of Florida in 1991. Since that time she has worked nearly exclusively with individuals with multiple sclerosis for Orlando Health in collaboration with the MS Comprehensive Care Center of Central Florida. She is credentialed as a MS Certified Specialist and has earned her certification as an Assistive Technology Practitioner.

Patty has been active in the Mid Florida MS Society’s Chapter Advisory Committee and has provided educational seminars for professionals and patients nationwide on rehabilitation for individuals with multiple sclerosis. She served as the Chair of the International Organization of Multiple Sclerosis Rehabilitation Therapists since 2008.

Michael K. Racke, MD, TreasurerMichael K. Racke,

MD, Treasurer

Dr. Racke is Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurology College of Medicine at Ohio State University. An international leader in neurological sciences, Dr. Racke is a distinguished scholar known for his research in immunology and multiple sclerosis. Dr. Racke serves on many advisory committees and currently is the chair of the Clinical Neuroimmunology and Brain Tumors (CNBT) NIH Study Section.

He has received the prestigious Harry Weaver Neuroscience Scholarship from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the Young Investigator in Multiple Sclerosis Award from the American Academy of Neurology Education and Research Foundation.

Board certified in Neurology, Dr. Racke’s clinical and research interests are neuroimmunology and multiple sclerosis, specifically studying disease pathogenesis and developing novel therapies.

Aliza Ben-Zacharia, DNP, ANP-BC, Senior CMSC Member-at-LargeAliza Ben-Zacharia,

DNP, ANP-BC, Senior CMSC Member-at-Large

Dr. Ben-Zacharia is dual board-certified, acute care nurse practitioner (NP) by ANCC & adult NP by the Academy of NPs. Dr. Be-Zacharia is an NP with experience in acute care, neurology and rehabilitation. In 2010 she has earned a doctorate degree in nursing practice from Case Western Reserve University. In 2014 she earned a master degree in nutrition from Columbia University. Dr. Ben Zacharia provides direct patient care, follow-up, training/education and counseling for patients with multiple sclerosis and their families. She is the principal investigator (PI) of multiple clinical trials about body mass index (BMI) and progression of MS, association between BMI and brain volume and cognition in MS, quality of life and screening depression in MS.

A skilled educator, Dr. Ben-Zacharia has developed multiple educational programs for patients and professionals and has published articles and chapters about multiple sclerosis, disease-modifying agents, symptom management, and palliative care. She is a certified MS nurse, and is the president-elect of the International Organization of Multiple Sclerosis Nurses (IOMSN) and board member-at-large in the Consortium of MS Centers (CMSC). She is on the advisory board of MS Perspectives, a quarterly magazine for patients with MS and their families. Dr. Ben-Zacharia has won awards for her excellence in rehabilitation and Neurology/MS from Mount Sanai Hospital, and recognition of her educational role by the Hall of Fame, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. In 2015, she won the research award from the IOMSN.