Board

RLS Foundation Board of Directors

The Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) Foundation Board of Directors is responsible for setting organizational goals and priorities, monitoring fiscal status and planning for the Foundation’s future.

Carla Rahn Phillips

Carla Rahn Phillips, PhD, Chair

Wimberley, TX

Dr. Phillips was born in Los Angeles, California. She earned her B.A. in History at nearby Pomona College in Claremont and her Master’s and Ph.D. degrees at New York University. She then joined the History Department at the University of Minnesota and taught there for more than 40 years, retiring in 2013 as the Union Pacific Professor in Comparative Early Modern History.

Her teaching, research and writing have focused on Europe, with an emphasis on Spain and its overseas connections in the period from the late 15th to the late 18th centuries.

Now retired and living in central Texas, Dr. Phillips continues her research and writing, as well as being active in several professional organizations. Over the years she has held major offices in the American Historical Association (15,000 members), the Association for Spanish and Portuguese Historical Studies, and the Forum on European Expansion and Global Interaction, among others. She was diagnosed with RLS more than 20 years ago, but the symptoms are currently controlled with medication. She is very pleased to join the board of the RLS Foundation in order to participate in its important work.

Linda Secretan

Linda R. Secretan, Secretary

Eagle, ID

Secretan is an ICF certified life coach, her practice reaching across the U.S. to South America, Australia, Bulgaria, and even Thailand. Her desire to work with adults to discover, refine and realize their goals and make lasting changes – whether in personal flourishing, wellness, or vocation – grew from an academic career spanning a quarter century. Preceded by a graduate degree in Renaissance literature with later specialization in literacy pedagogy and adult education, three years of rigorous coach-specific training and internship led to International Coach Federation credentialing and her subsequent career. She particularly appreciates being able to do pro bono coaching for two groups, Women for Change, accessible to women of limited means across the world, and Stand Beside Them, an organization that provides coaching services to returning service members and their families. Her approach reflects her diverse background and theoretical grounding in evidence-based in Positive Psychology.

Secretan serves on the board of the Professional Coaching Association of Idaho and sings with the Boise Hospice Singers. In the past, she has volunteered for Le Leche League International as a human relations trainer, and served as President and Conference Chair for the National Association for the Education of Young Children in Antelope Valley, California.

Secretan is a long-standing member of the RLS Foundation. She currently leads the Idaho RLS Support Group, and has been on the Foundation’s Board of Directors since 2014. Additionally, Secretan represents the Foundation and RLS community through her service on the Sleep Disorders Research Advisory Board of the National Institutes of Health.

Barrett

Ronald W. Barrett, PhD,Treasurer

Saratoga, CA

Barrett is a scientist entrepreneur with more than 30 years experience in the biopharmaceutical industry. He is the former CEO and a Director of XenoPort, Inc, a neurology-focused company he co-founded in 1999, which was acquired by Arbor Pharmaceutical in 2016. Under Barrett’s guidance, XenoPort advanced five in-house discovered compounds into human trials including mid- to late-stage clinical trials for the treatment of restless legs syndrome (RLS), post-herpetic neuralgia, painful diabetic neuropathy, migraine prophylaxis, alcohol use disorder, spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s Disease. Barrett led the company’s efforts that resulted in the FDA approval of Horizant (gabapentin enacarbil), the first and only non-dopaminergic drug approved for moderate to severe RLS.

Barrett has co-authored more than 50 manuscripts from peer-reviewed journals, and is an inventor of more than 50 issued patents in the U.S. Prior to founding XenoPort, he was Senior Vice President of Research at Affymax Research Institute, where he pioneered the development and use of new drug discovery technology – work that led to 2 FDA-approved medicines. Barrett began his professional career in the neuroscience drug discovery group at Abbott Laboratories. Barrett is currently Executive Chairman of Medikine Inc, and a Director of Concert Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:CNCE). He previously served as a Director of the Youth Science Institute, a non-profit focused on K-8 science education. Barrett received a BS degree in biology from Bucknell University and a Ph.D degree in pharmacology from Rutgers University.

LewPhelps - 115x115

Lewis Phelps, Chair Emeritus

Pasadena, CA

Phelps is a strategic public relations consultant with Sitrick And Company, a Los Angeles-based firm that specializes in handling crisis situations. He has worked in behalf of an international clientele of corporate clients in the transportation, energy, finance, manufacturing, and service industries, and an array of non-profit organizations. Previously, he was head of the public relations function for the nation’s second largest electric utility and for two major U.S. rail transportation companies. Early in his career he was a staff reporter for the Wall Street Journal for 10 years. He served in the U.S. Navy in Vietnam.

Phelps has extensive non-profit board experience in addition to a prior six-year term on the RLS Foundation board. He has chaired United Way campaigns in two cities, co-founded an anti-litter organization in Roanoke, Virginia, was on the board and executive committee of the California Science Center for 15 years, and has served as chair of the board of Pasadena Heritage, one of the nation’s leading local historic preservation organizations.

Ron Anderson

Ronald E. Anderson, PhD

St. Paul, MN

Anderson received his Bachelor’s Degree in psychology from La Sierra University and his PhD in sociology from Stanford University. He went on to become a professor of sociology at the University of Minnesota and continued to teach for nearly four decades. As an academic, his early work focused on social and institutional factors as they relate to the development of technology-based teaching. His interdisciplinary work in sociology, educational research, and computer science has earned him honors and awards for outstanding service from the American Sociological Association, the American Educational Research Association, and the Association for Computing Machinery.

Dr. Anderson is now an emeritus professor of sociology and is the founder of the Foundation for the Relief of Suffering. Since retiring, compassion and human suffering have been his primary interest. This led to the discovery of indicators of compassion and caring in society and the development of Good Societies Index. Anderson has authored numerous scholarly articles and books and continues with these pursuits. He hopes to contribute to the RLS Foundation by focusing on the suffering of those with RLS.

Anderson brings to the board his personal experience with RLS. Although he was diagnosed with RLS over 20 years ago, he suffered from augmentation and struggled to find a healthcare provider that met his needs. After contacting the RLS Foundation he was able to find a physician and receive the appropriate treatment for his RLS, which he states, “transformed my life by giving me freedom from pain and sleeplessness.” Anderson now wishes to give back to the RLS Foundation and the RLS community in return for the help that he received.

Jacci Bainbridge

Jacquelyn (Jacci) Bainbridge, PharmD

Englewood, CO

Bainbridge serves as a clinical pharmacy specialist at the Anschultz Outpatient Pavilion's Neurology Clinic, an extension of the Neurology Residency Teaching Program at the University of Colorado Denver. She is also a professor in the Department of Neurology at the university's School of Medicine, and teaches at the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, where she was awarded Professor of the Year for three years in a row (2010-2012).

Bainbridge manages patients with neurologic disease states such as epilepsy, Parkinson disease, multiple sclerosis, migraine and restless legs syndrome. She is currently involved in research projects funded by the CDPHE using marijuana. In her recent past she has had projects funded by the NIH, spanning subjects such as epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and neuroprotection trials in Parkinson disease.

Marcia Ball

Marcia Ball

Grosse Pointe Woods, MI

Marcia Ball received her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education/Speech from Westminster College and her Master’s Degree in Early Childhood/Special Education from George Washington University. Ball spent her career as an elementary school teacher, taking on major projects such as redesigning and executing a New Resource Room at Walter Hays Elementary School in Palo Alto, California. Although teaching will always be her passion, she began volunteering after motherhood and has been a dedicated volunteer since—actively giving back to the Detroit community where she resides. In recognition for her work, she has been the recipient of several outstanding volunteer awards, including the Junior League of Detroit’s Adult Well Being Award, for her extraordinary service to the senior community.

After having RLS for over 30 years, and seeking care from a knowledgeable healthcare provider when her RLS was untreated for at least 10 years, Ball was particularly drawn to the Foundation’s mission to educate the medical community and the general population on RLS. She plans to use the lessons that she has learned from teaching and volunteering to serve the RLS community.

Jeffrey Durmer

Jeffrey S. Durmer, MD, PhD

Denver, CO

Jeff is the co-founder and Chief Medical Officer of FusionHealth, a healthcare workflow technology company dedicated to providing solutions for people with sleep disorders and sleep problems. Dr. Durmer's current work focuses on applying the neuroscience of sleep and circadian rhythm biology to workplace fatigue and well-being programs, as well as the use of technology enabled population sleep-health delivery systems. His past research spans from uncovering subcortical visual systems involved in blind sight, to developing the first standardized clinical interview tool for pediatric Restless Legs Syndrome. He has served nearly ten years on the RLS Scientific and Medical Advisory Board and has recently joined our Board of Directors.

Steve McCann

Steve McCann

Atlantic Beach, FL

Steve is a seasoned sales executive, specializing in new business development. Currently he is Director of Partnership Development at MECLABS Institute and Marketing Sherpa, and has been involved with Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America for eight years as both a Big Brother and as a member of the Board of Directors.

Greg Oberland

Greg Oberland

Whitefish Bay, WI

Greg Oberland joins the Foundation with an extensive amount of work and non-profit experience that will serve him greatly with his duties as a board member.

Greg was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois and received his undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame. He earned his law degree from Georgetown University and worked for Northwestern Mutual for 36 years, starting as an attorney and eventually switching to the business side of things where he worked his way up to the position of the company president. Over the past 20 years, he has served on five other non-profit boards, and has occupied the role of president for the Milwaukee Red Cross of Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Public Library Foundation, and he is currently serving as the president of the Milwaukee Repertory Theater.

Paruthi

Shalini Paruthi, MD

St. Louis, MO

Dr. Paruthi practices in St. Louis, MO, where she sees patients of all ages. She has a particular interest in sleep disorders of childhood – obstructive sleep apnea, insomnias, narcolepsy, and – of course – restless legs syndrome. Not only do her patients benefit from her extensive study; she is a teacher as well – as an adjunct associate professor of internal medicine and pediatrics at Saint Louis University School of Medicine.

Dr. Paruthi is board-certified in Sleep Medicine and Internal Medicine, and received her medical degree from The University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine. She went on to complete her internal medicine residency and sleep fellowship at The University of Michigan.

Dr. Paruthi’s interest and energy extend to research pursuits as well, extending our understanding of sleep and its many disruptions and diseases. She is Co-Director of the Sleep Medicine and Research Center at St. Luke’s Hospital in St. Louis. She has contributed widely to activities of American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) chairing sleep focused conferences, participating in task forces, serving on committees, including the Education Committee and national SLEEP meeting Program Committee. Currently she is on the editorial advisory board for Sleep Review: the Journal for Sleep Specialists.

Paul Rochester

Paul Rochester

San Francisco, CA

Paul Rochester is an angel investor, Public and Private Board Member, CEO Mentor, and CEO to high tech companies and founders at all stages seeking growth and significance. He is known to be successful at raising money, generating liquidity and creating high performance teams and organizations from 50 to 5000 people with revenues from $5 million to $1 billion.

Rochester is a trusted business advisor to numerous companies and active board member to another half dozen. His interests surround angel or VC partner investments with exceptional founders and providing mentoring and support for all the unique challenges faced by every founder CEO at any stage. Rochester brings to the board his business experience, mentorship, and leadership skills, which are all invaluable to the RLS Foundation.

RLS Foundation Scientific and Medical Advisory Board 

The Foundation’s Scientific and Medical Advisory Board is responsible for monitoring medical and scientific/research issues, reviewing content of all Foundation publications, reviewing research grant applications,and advising the Board of Directors on issues of medical or scientific interest and importance.

 

Meet the Board

Early

Christopher J. Earley, MB, BCh, PhD, FRCPI, Chair

Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center; Baltimore, MD

Dr. Earley is a Professor of Neurology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, where he also co-director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Restless Legs, a certified RLS Quality Care Center. Dr. Earley is board certified in internal medicine, neurology and sleep medicine. Dr. Earley's research interests include RLS and sleep medicine, specifically the pathophysiology of RLS and revealing the value of various treatments. He is chair of the RLS Foundation’s combined Scientific and Medical Advisory Board (SMAB) and an active member of the Foundation's Research Grant Committee.

Becker

Philip Becker, MD

Dallas, TX

Becker is the founding partner and retired president of Sleep Medicine Associates of Texas, P.A., and served as medical director for the Sleep Medicine Institute at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas for nearly 25 years. Becker served as a Clinic Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas until his retirement in 2019. Becker is an active member of the RLS Foundation's Opiates Committee and Quality Care Certification Committee.

Berkowski

J. Andrew Berkowski, MD

University of Michigan; Ann Arbor, MI

Dr. Berkowski is an Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan and an expert in RLS. He cares for patients in the Sleep Disorders Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan; addressing a wide range of sleep disorders in adults.

Before receiving Board Certification in Sleep Medicine and Neurology, Dr. Berkowski earned his bachelor’s degree in religious studies at Stanford University. Next, he returned to his home state of Michigan to study medicine—graduating from Wayne State University School of Medicine. He completed a transitional year internship at Henry Ford Hospital and neurology residency training at the Detroit Medical Center/Wayne State University. Dr. Berkowski completed his fellowship training in sleep medicine at the Stanford University Medical Center.

Buchfuhrer

Mark J. Buchfuhrer, MD, FRCP(C), FCCP

Stanford Health Care, Stanford, CA

Dr. Mark Buchfuhrer is a pulmonologist in Downey, California and is affiliated with multiple hospitals in the area, including PIH Health Hospital-Downey and Stanford Health Care-Stanford Hospital. He received his medical degree from University of Ottawa Faculty of Medicine and has been in practice for more than 20 years.

Chesselet

Marie-Francoise Chesselet, MD, PhD

University of California; Los Angeles, CA

Chesselet is the Charles H. Markham Professor of Neurology and Distinguished Professor of Neurology and Neurobiology at UCLA. Chesselet is a member of numerous scientific advisory boards, including the Hereditary Disease Foundation, the Michael J. Fox Foundation and the American Parkinson's Disease Association. Chesselet's research focuses on Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases, specifically the identification of molecular mechanisms of disease and the preclinical testing of potential neuroprotective treatments. At the RLS Foundation, Chesselet serves as chair of the Research Grant Committee.

Clemens

Stefan Clemens, PhD, HdR

East Carolina University, Greenville, NC

Dr. Clemens is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physiology at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University. His research focuses on investigating the neural networks in the spinal cord, especially their role in neurological disorders, like RLS. He studies the role of dopamine in the spinal cord, and how the interactions between its different receptor subtypes may play a role in augmentation. At the Foundation, Dr. Clemens chairs the Brain Bank Committee and is an active member of the Research Grant Committee.

Connor

James R. Connor, PhD, MS

Hershey Medical Center, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine; Hershey, PA

Connor is a distinguished professor of neurosurgery, neural and behavioral sciences and pediatrics at The Pennsylvania College of Medicine. He also serves as the vice chair of neurosurgery research at the university, as well as the director for the Center for Aging and Neurodegenerative Diseases. His primary areas of research focus on understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which cells regulate their iron status. Connor is an active member of the Brain Bank and Research Grant Committees.

Ferre

Sergi Ferré, MD, PhD

Integrative Neurobiology Section National Institute on Drug Abuse
 IRP, NIH, DHHS; Baltimore, MD

Ferré is chief of the Integrative Neurobiology Section at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, IRP, NIH. He is an RLS Foundation research grant recipient where he researched cortico-striatal transmission in iron-deficient rats as a model for the screening of drugs potentially useful in the treatment of RLS. Ferré's research interests focus on the role of neurotransmitter receptor heteromers as targets for drug development in neuropsychiatric disorders, including substance use disorders. At the Foundation, he serves as a member of the Research Grant Committee.

Hensley

Jennifer G. Hensley, EdD, CNM, WHNP, LCCE

Baylor University, Louise Herrington School of Nursing; Waco, TX

Jennifer Hensley is a certified nurse-midwife and women's health nurse practitioner. She built her clinical scholarship on restless legs syndrome during pregnancy and sleep disorders in women across the lifespan. She is an active member of the RLS Foundation's Quality Care Certification and Medical Bulletin Committees.

Jones

Byron C. Jones, PhD

University of Tennessee Health Science Center; Memphis, TN

Jones is a professor of genetics, genomics, and informatics at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, where he also serves as a member of the university's Neuroscience Institute. At Pennsylvania State University, Jones is a Professor Emeritus in behavioral health. His research interests include:

- Response to chronic and acute stress in adaptation and alcohol consumption
- Toxiogenetics of pesticides and neurotoxins
- Genetics of metal regulation in the brain (copper, iron and zinc)

At the RLS Foundation, Jones is an active member of the Research Grant Committee.

Karroum

Elias G. Karroum, MD, PhD

The George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences, Washington DC

Karroum, MD, PhD is board-certified in Neurology and is an Assistant Professor at The George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences. Dr. Karroum’s clinical interests include sleep disorders in general, movement-related sleep disorders such as restless leg syndrome, and sleep disorders in patients with neurological diseases.

Dr. Karroum serves as the Associate Program Director for the Sleep Medicine fellowship at the Department of Neurology of The George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences. In this post, he assists in training the next generation of doctors in the specialized field of sleep medicine. Dr. Karroum is fluent in Arabic and French in addition to English.

Koo

Brian Koo, MD

Yale Center for Sleep Medicine; New Haven, CT

Koo is the director for the Yale Center for Restless Legs Syndrome, an RLS Foundation certified RLS Quality Care Center, as well as the chief medical director of Sleep Medicine at the Connecticut Veterans Affairs Healthcare System. Koo is an assistant professor of neurology at Yale University, and has been an active member of tasks forces and section committees related to the sleep-related movement disorders in the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. At the RLS Foundation, he serves as chair for the Medical Bulletin Committee. Koo is board certified in both neurology and sleep medicine, and much of his research lies in those categories. His research on RLS and PLMS has included animal modeling, epidemiology and human genetics.

Mancini

Mauro Manconi, MD, PhD

Sleep and Epilepsy Center; Civic Hospital Neurocenter of Southern Switzerland

Manconi is director of the Sleep Center, Neurocenter of Southern Switzerland, a certified RLS Foundation Quality Care Center. He also teaches at the Master School of Medicine at Bern University, the Institute of Communication and Health at the Italian Swiss University of Lugano (USI), as well as at the Professional University School of Italian Switzerland (SUPSI). Manconi's research focuses on sleep disorders, specifically sleep-related movement disorders like RLS and PLMS, and he currently serves on the scientific board of the European Restless Legs Syndrome Study Group (EURLSSG). At the RLS Foundation, Manconi is an active member of the Medical Bulletin Committee

Minot

Emmanuel J. Mignot, MD, PhD

Stanford University School of Medicine; Stanford, CA

Mignot is a professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences as Stanford University, and serves as director of the Stanford Center for Sleep Sciences and Medicine. He is credited with discovering the cause of narcolepsy. Mignot's research focuses on neurobiology, genetics and immunology of narcolepsy. He is also interested in the neuroimmunology of other brain disorders, and the web-based assessments of sleep disorders, computer-based processing of polysomnography and outcomes research. At the RLS Foundation, Mignot currently serves as a member of the Research Grant Committee.

Ondo

William Ondo, MD

Houston Methodist Neurological Institute; Houston, TX

Ondo serves as director of the Movement Disorder Clinic at the Houston Methodist Neurological Institute, a certified RLS Quality Care Center. Throughout his career, Ondo has written more than 250 articles and book chapters. A movement disorder specialist, he is board certified in adult neurology and sleep medicine. Ondo's research specializes in Parkinson's disease, essential tremors, the use of botulinum toxins in treating movement disorders, and restless legs syndrome. At the RLS Foundation, Ondo is an active member of the Opiates Committee.

kathy Richards

Kathy Richards, PhD, RN, FAAN

University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX

Richards is a research professor at The University of Texas at Austin, School of Nursing. As a UT Austin PhD graduate, Kathy has conducted sleep research in Alzheimer's disease for 20 years, and received over $25 million in NIH funding to support her research endeavors.

Her newest project is the NightRest project and the Behavioral Indicators Test for Restless Legs Syndrome in older adults. In partnership with Christine Kovach, PhD, RN, FAAN, a research professor in aging at the Jewish Home and Care Center at The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Richards received a $3.9 million five-year grant from the National Institute on Aging to improve the treatment of nighttime agitation in those with Alzheimer's disease. They hypothesize that RLS may be a cause for nighttime agitation and sleep disturbance in these individuals. This study marks the very first time that a new diagnostic tool will be used in research on nighttime agitation.

Sharon

Denise Sharon, MD, PhD, FAASM

Pomona Valley Medical Center, Claremont, CA

Dr. Sharon works as an independent consultant out of the Sleep Disorders Adult and Children Center of the Pomona Valley Medical Center in Claremont, CA.

Throughout her education, training and work, Dr. Sharon has amassed research experience including, but not limited to, work as a Research Associate/Quantitative Electroencephalographer in the Laboratory of Psychoelectrophysiology, Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior through MCG. Her research has been published in numerous journals, as well as industry supported pieces on Restless Legs Syndrome for Pfizer, Xenoport, Luitpold, and more.

Dr. Sharon has been involved in multiple committees for the American Association of Sleep Medicine (AASM), such as the Center Accreditation, Fellowship Accreditation, Nosology Committees and Movement Disorders Section (vice-chair). She is a member of the International Restless Legs Syndrome Study group and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine Task Force on the update of the treatment of RLS and PLMD; just another way in which she is helping those with RLS.

Silber

Michael H. Silber, MBChB

Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN

Silber is a board certified neurologist and sleep specialist and serves as Director of the Mayo Clinic RLS Foundation Certified Quality Care Center and Dean, Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences.

At the RLS Foundation, Silber is current chair of the Opiates Committee. With a particular focus in neurology, Silber's areas of research include:

  • Relationship of REM sleep behavior disorder to neurodegenerative diseases
  • Drug management and predisposing factors related to restless legs syndrome
  • Epidemiology and pathogenesis of narcolepsy with special reference to the hypocretin system
Trotti

Lynn Marie Trotti, MD, MSc

Emory Sleep Center; Atlanta, GA

Dr. Trotti is an Associate Professor of neurology at Emory University School of Medicine and Director of the RLS Foundation certified Quality Care Center at the Emory Sleep Center. She is board-certified in neurology (since 2008) and sleep medicine (since 2009). In addition to her clinical and research interests in RLS, Dr. Trotti’s work focuses on the central disorders of hypersomnolence and the overlap between sleep and movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease. Clinically, she treats patients with the full range of sleep disorders. She currently writes the “In the News” column for the RLS Foundation’s news magazine, NightWalkers, and serves as an active member of the Foundation's Quality Care Certification and Medical Bulletin committees.

Uhl

George Uhl, MD, PhD

New Mexico VA Healthcare System; Albuquerque, NM

Board certified in neurology -- with a PhD in neuropharmacology and with substantial contributions to clinical trials, human genetics, mouse genetics, neuropharmacology and in vitro studies -- Uhl now manages a research program based at the New Mexico VA Healthcare System and his own laboratory and translational/clinical research. He has long studied the mu opiate receptor, at which several RLS drugs work, and the RLS gene PTPRD, for which he has discovered novel ligands. Dr Uhl also has experience in addiction and Parkinson’s disease. Uhl's major research interests include:

- Translational studies of complex genetics of RLS and other brain disorders
- Mechanisms of RLS, addictions and Parkinson’s disease
- Discovery of novel therapeutic approaches to RLS, addictions and Parkinsons disease

At the Foundation, Uhl is a member of the Research Grant Committee.

Walters

Arthur S. Walters, MD

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine; Nashville, TN

Walters works at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, where he is the director at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, an RLS Foundation Quality Care Center. Throughout his career, Walters has focused his research on sleep-related movement disorders. From 1992-1998, he helped found and served as the first chair of the Foundation's Medical Advisory Board, and continues to serve on the Foundation's combined Scientific and Medical Advisory Board. Additionally, as the founder and first chair of the International Restless Legs Syndrome Study Group, Walters helped establish the universal clinical criteria for the diagnosis of RLS. Walters has played an integral role in the history of the Foundation. Walters was a key player in establishing and validating the first scale to be used for the measurement of RLS severity, a scale that is now the most widely used for measuring RLS severity in both academic and industry sponsored studies. Walters is currently serving as chair of both the Foundation's Pediatrics and Quality Care Certification Committees, and is also a member of the Opiates Committee.

Winkelman

John W. Winkelman, MD, PhD

Harvard Medical School; Boston, MA

Board certified in both psychiatry and sleep medicine, Winkelman treats patients at Massachusetts General Hospital. He specializes in RLS, insomnia, sleep apnea, sleep-related eating disorders and parasomnias. Winkelman's research primarily focuses on:

  • Epidemiology, physiology, cardiovascular consequences and the treatment of RLS
  • Neurobiology and treatment of insomnia

Winkelman serves as chair of the American Academy of Neurology Practice Parameter Committee for the treatment of RLS. At the RLS Foundation, Winkelman is an active member of the Opiates Committee on the Scientific and Medical Advisory Board.