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Professor of Paediatric Neurology, University College London
Francesco Muntoni graduated in Italy in 1984 and completed his training in Child Neurology and Psychiatry in 1989. Since his degree he has worked on childhood neuromuscular disorders. Following the retirement of Professor Dubowitz from the Hammersmith Hospital Neuromuscular Centre in 1996, he was nominated Head of this unit, initially as a Senior Lecturer, then as a Reader, and from 1998, as a Professor of Paediatric Neurology. The unit moved to Great Ormond Street in 2008. It is one of the largest Paediatric Neuomuscular Units in Europe, and is designated by the Department of Health as the National Reference centre in UK for a series of congenital neuromuscular disorders. Professor Muntoni’s areas of interest include the clinical, molecular, genetic and biochemical aspects of childhood neuromuscular diseases. Specific research interests focus on the identification of genes responsible for congenital muscular dystrophies and congenital myopathies.
Emeritus Professor of Paediatrics, Imperial College London President of World Muscle Society
Professor Victor Dubowitz graduated in medicine from the University of Cape Town over 50 years ago in 1954 and came to the UK for postgraduate study. He saw his first case of muscular dystrophy during a paediatric residency at Queen Mary’s Hospital for Children in 1957, and has been involved in clinical and research aspects of muscle diseases ever since. He completed an MD thesis on muscular dystrophy in childhood in 1960 and a PhD of the University of Sheffield in 1965 based on his pioneering histochemical studies with Professor Everson Pearse on Developing and Diseased muscle. He was on the academic staff of the Department of Child Health in Sheffield from 1961 to 1972, when he was appointed Chair of Paediatrics at the Postgraduate Medical School at Hammersmith Hospital, now part of Imperial College London. He established a very active muscle research unit at the Hammersmith, with a multidisciplinary team of scientists, running in parallel with an active clinical muscle program for diagnosis and treatment of muscle disorders in childhood. He has written a number of major textbooks, including Muscle Disorders in Childhood, Muscle Biopsy, A Practical Approach, and a Colour Atlas of Muscle Disorders in Childhood, as well as a monograph on the Floppy Infant. He is founding editor of the Neuromuscular Disorders [1991-] and foundation President of the World Muscle Society, founded in 1995. Since his official retirement in 1996, he has been Emeritus Professor of Paediatrics in Imperial College London and is still actively pursuing his muscle interests. He has also published his memoirs “Ramblings of a Peripatetic Paediatrician”.
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