Course Director

Katharine E. Alter, MD

Pediatric/Adult Physiatrist 
Mount Washington Pediatric Hospital 
Clinical Assistant Professor, Pediatrics, Physical Medicine Rehabilitation 
AT Still University 
Mesa, Arizona 

Katharine E. Alter, MD, is a practicing Pediatric/Adult Physiatrist in the Washington, DC region of the United States. She is a clinician at Mount Washington Pediatric Hospital, an affiliate of Johns Hopkin’s and the University of Maryland, and is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Physical Medicine/Rehabilitation at AT Still University.

Dr Alter’s clinical and investigative interests focus on the assessment of neurologic, musculoskeletal, and neuromuscular impairments in children and adults. Dr Alter’s clinical and research focus includes the evaluation and treatment of various primary and secondary neurologic disorders including focal dystonias, inherited movement disorders, cerebral palsy, stroke, and other neurologic or musculoskeletal conditions affecting children and adults. A particular focus has been on the assessment and treatment of muscle hypertonia, botulinum toxin and other chemodenervation procedures, andultrasound imaging in neurologic and musculoskeletal disorders.

Course Faculty

Sherry A. Downie, PhD

Professor Emerita
Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Bronx, NY

Dr. Sherry Downie   is a professor emerita in the department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Until her retirement in 2021, she served as director of the Clinical and Developmental Anatomy course for first-year M.D. and M.D./Ph.D. students and director of the Anatomical Donation program. Students highly praised her ability to break down complex anatomical concepts and make them accessible and easy to understand. She continues to teach medical students and residents in program-specific anatomy review courses. Dr. Downie joined the Einstein faculty in 2004, having held successively responsible positions in the Division of Natural Sciences at Mercy College. She is past chair of the Clinical Anatomical Terminology committee of the American Association of Clinical Anatomists and was anatomy consultant for the 16th and 17th editions of Grant’s Dissector, a major textbook in the field. Dr. Downie was inducted into the Leo M. Davidoff Society in 2005 and received the Samuel M. Rosen Award (2007), the Harry Eagle Award (2019), and the Lifetime Achievement Award (2021) for her outstanding pre-clerkship teaching. In 2016, the graduating students chose her as their faculty inductee to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. She was a frequent presenter at regional and national meetings and is the author of 37 peer-reviewed articles on anatomical variation and medical education. Dr. Downie is a graduate of Mercy College and received both masters and doctoral degrees from New York Medical College. She has also received teaching awards from both institutions. In 1996, she completed a research fellowship in the department of pathology at Einstein.

Yeva M. Fernandez, MD

Department of Neurology
Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
New Brunswick, NJ

Yeva Fernandez, MD,  has recently joined the Hackensack Meridian Medical Group team as a board-certified, fellowship-trained neurologist with a specialized focus in movement disorders. She attended Ross University School of Medicine for her medical degree and New York Medical College for her master’s degree. She completed her residency in neurology at Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) in New Brunswick, New Jersey. She also completed a fellowship in movement disorders at Mount Sinai in New York.  In addition to her fellowship training, Dr. Fernandez completed her postgraduate training at the National Institutes of Health Movement Disorders Clinic.

Prior to joining Hackensack Meridian Health, Dr. Fernandez was an assistant professor at Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Her experience consists of research in Parkinson disease, as well as years of resident teaching positions at Rutgers-RWJUH and Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Dr. Fernandez is recognized as a member of the American Academy of Neurology, the Movement Disorders Society, and the International Neurotoxin Association.

Cindy B. Ivanhoe, MD

Clinical Professor
Director, Spasticity And Associated Syndromes Of Movement (SPASM)
TIRR Memorial Hermann
Houston, TX

Dr. Ivanhoe  is board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and in Brain Injury Medicine. She is a senior fellow in the American Leadership Forum (ALF) and currently the director of the SPASM (Spasticity and Associated Syndromes of Movement) program at TIRR. She is a clinical professor in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. She has served as faculty in courses across the United States and abroad. She is most known for her expertise in the treatment of spasticity and its role in functional recovery, medical complications of brain injury of all severities, and as an advocate for healthcare access. Her clinical experience has spanned the entire spectrum of brain injury from developmental disabilities, neurosurgical ICUs, and throughout acute rehabilitation to long term follow up in the community. Her nonprofit, IF (Ivanhoe Foundation) supports endeavors that serve to improve the lives of those with brain injuries and other disabilities in the community.

Dr. Ivanhoe is known for pioneering the clinical use of interventions for spasticity, including Intrathecal Baclofen therapy for which she was an investigator on the studies that led to FDA approval, and the use of botulinum toxins. She is published in articles and textbooks.
Dr. Ivanhoe has served on the board of directors of the International Neurotoxin Association and their educational committees, as well as the board of Mentis Neuro Health until 2017. Dr. Ivanhoe is a member of speakers’ bureaus and/or advisory boards of companies involved in the treatment of spasticity and dystonia, and other aspects of the Upper Motor Neuron Syndrome. She is recognized by US News and World Report Best Doctors and Best Doctors in Texas and has received awards from the Brain Injury Association of Texas; American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine; Baylor College of Medicine for her contributions to advocacy, teaching and education; the service award from the CNS Council of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and the Distinguished Clinician award by the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. She was awarded the Humanitarian Award, Professional Contribution, and Lifetime Achievement Awards by the Brain Injury Alliance of Texas. Most recently she was awarded “Physician of the Year” in 2020 by TIRR Memorial Hermann and awarded the Dean’s Excellence in Teaching award at UT Houston. She is also the 2021 recipient of the Sheldon Berrol Clinical Service Award of the Brain Injury Association of America for outstanding contributions to improving the quality of care, professional training, and/or education in the field of brain injury.

Barbara Illowsky Karp, MD

Program Director, Early Phase Pain Investigation Clinical Network
Division of Clinical Research
National Institute of Neurological Disorder and Stroke
National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD

Barbara Illowsky Karp, MD,  received her undergraduate degree and a master’s in biochemistry from MIT. She received her medical degree from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1980, followed by a residency in neurology at the George Washington Medical Center and fellowship in behavioral neurology at the National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health (NIH). She served as Chief of the NIH/ National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) Neurology Consultation Service and then established the multi-institute NIH Combined Neuroscience Institutional Review Board, serving as its chair from 2006-2019. Her clinical practice and research have focused on movement disorders and therapeutic applications of botulinum neurotoxin. Her research on the use of botulinum neurotoxin for chronic pelvic pain led to her current position as program director of The Helping to End Addition Long-termSM Initiative/NINDS Early Phase Pain Investigation Clinical Network.

Heakyung Kim, MD

Professor & Chair
Kimberly-Clark Distinguished Chair in Mobility Research
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Dallas, Texas

Heakyung Kim, MD, serves as Professor and Chair of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (PM&R) and Kimberly-Clark Distinguished Chair in Mobility Research at the University of Texas Southwestern (UTSW) Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. Dr. Kim joined UTSW on May 1, 2022.

She received her medical degree from the Ewha Womans University College of Medicine in Seoul, South Korea, and was trained at the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine of Yonsei University College of Medicine in Seoul, South Korea, and at the Department of Rehabilitation of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-New Jersey Medical School/Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation. She is a board-certified physiatrist in the United States and South Korea and holds subspecialty boards in pediatric rehabilitation medicine and brain injury medicine.

Prior to UTSW, Dr. Kim served as Vice Chair and A. David Gurewitsch Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine and as Professor of Pediatrics and Orthopedic Surgery at Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC); Director of Pediatric PM&R at Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, Weill Cornell Medicine; and Chief of Physiatry Department at Blythedale Children’s Hospital. She was the founding director of the Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine Fellowship Program at CUIMC-New York Presbyterian Hospital. Dr. Kim also served as Associate Director of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine in the Weinberg Family Cerebral Palsy Center at Columbia University. Dr. Kim joined New York Presbyterian in 2011, prior to which she served as an assistant chief for the Division of Child Development, Rehabilitation and Metabolic Disease; a Medical Director of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine; and a Medical Director of the Cerebral Palsy Program at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia between 1998 and 2010.

Dr. Kim has been recognized as one of “America’s Top Doctors” since 2003 consecutively as well as a “Super Doctor” by the New York Times and selected as one of the Exceptional Women in Medicine and Best of the Best (Top 1% of America’s Most Honored Doctors) by American Registry. She has been an outstanding teacher and mentor and received “Teacher of the Year” awards 4 times.

She specializes in single-event multilevel chemoneurolysis with botulinum neurotoxin and phenol/alcohol injections, botulinum neurotoxin injections to salivary glands, and sexuality and pain management in children and adults with cerebral palsy. Her research interests focus on people with cerebral palsy, especially spasticity and drooling management with botulinum neurotoxin, robotic therapy and exercise for spastic muscles in children with cerebral palsy, and lifespan care for people with cerebral palsy including sexuality. She is nationally and internationally regarded as an expert in pediatric rehabilitation medicine, especially care for people with cerebral palsy, including pain and spasticity management and botulinum neurotoxin injections to salivary glands. She is also a renowned sonographer for muscles and nerves. She is a World Health Organization member of a development group to prepare a Package of Rehabilitation Intervention for people with cerebral palsy. She has been actively providing remote teaching on musculoskeletal ultrasound via YouTube during the COVID pandemic.

David M. Simpson, MD, FAAN

Icahn School of Medicine
Director, Neuromuscular Disease Division
Director, Clinical Neurophysiology Laboratories
Director, Neuro-AIDS Program
Mount Sinai
New York, NY

David M. Simpson, MD, is Professor of Neurology at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, New York. He is also Director of the Clinical Neurophysiology Laboratories and Neuromuscular Division.

Dr Simpson received his medical degree from State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo School of Medicine. He completed an internship in internal medicine at University Hospitals of Cleveland, Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and a residency in neurology at Cornell University Medical Center in New York. He had a fellowship in clinical neurophysiology at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts.

Dr Simpson is author of over 248 original peer-reviewed publications, 96 book chapters; has edited 3 books; and serves on numerous editorial boards. He has been the principal investigator for numerous studies, including the treatment of neuropathic pain in patients with peripheral neuropathy, neurological complications of HIV/AIDS, and treatment of spasticity and limb dystonia and tremor with botulinum toxin. He is Chair of the American Academy of Neurology’s Subcommittee charged with generating evidence-based guidelines for the use of botulinum toxin. Dr. Simpson is a member of the American Neurological Association and the American Pain Society, Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology and the American Academy of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine, and President-Elect of the International Neurotoxin Association. He has also received the Mitchell B. Max Award for Neuropathic Pain from the American Academyof Neurology in 2018, which is granted for outstanding achievements in the field of neuropathic pain.

Laura Wiggs, PT, NCS, CBIS

Harris Health Systems
Rehab Without Walls
Houston, TX

Laura Wiggs received a Bachelor of Science in physical therapy from the School of Allied Health Sciences at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston, Texas in August 1991.

Laura currently works for Rehab Without Walls, Harris Health System as part of the Neurological Residency Program, and has a private practice. She also is on staff with United Spinal Association Houston where she is the Director of Outreach.

Laura is a board-certified clinical specialist in neurological physical therapy by the American Physical Therapy Association. She is also a certified brain injury specialist, and is NDT certified. Her professional activities include committee membership in the Texas Physical Therapy Association as well as membership in the American Physical Therapy Association and APTA Neurology Section.

In addition to her clinical activities, she is a guest lecturer for the University of Texas Medical Branch School of Health Professionals since 2002. She has lectured nationally and internationally on topics such as Predicting Functional Outcomes, Comprehensive Management of Adults with Traumatic Brain Injury, Managing the Agitated Patient , Hypertonicity Management, and Treatment of the Young Stroke Survivor. She has published several articles on the subject of hypertonicity in such publications as Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation. Laura is also a reviewer for Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.