NORDIC Executive Committee


Laura J. Balcer, MD, MSCE, Chair of Quality of Life Committee

Laura J. BalcerLaura J. Balcer, MD, MSCE, is an Associate Professor of Neurology and Epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia. She received her medical degree in 1991 from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Following a residency in neurology at Penn, Dr. Balcer's postgraduate training included a clinical fellowship in neuro-ophthalmology and a Master's Degree in Clinical Epidemiology, in 1996 and 2000, respectively, also at U. Penn. As chief of the Multiple Sclerosis Division at Penn, Dr. Balcer's primary research focus is on the identification and development of clinical visual outcome measures for MS trials.


Steven E. Feldon, MD, MBA, Director Photographic Reading Center

Steven E. Feldon

Dr. Feldon is an internationally acclaimed clinical and basic scientist with a specialty in orbital disease and neuro-ophthalmology. In 2001, he was appointed chair of the University of Rochester Department of Ophthalmology, and is now Director of the University of Rochester Eye Institute.

Dr. Feldon’s special interest is in the management of patients with thyroid-associated eye disease. Cranial nerve palsies, disorders of the optic nerve, visual field loss, and eye movement problems are all specialty areas. He offers surgical services for orbital tumors, reconstruction, and decompression, as well as paralytic strabismus and correction of abnormalities.

An inventor of ophthalmic instruments and a scientific investigator, Dr. Feldon is involved in a number of local and national clinical trials and basic science collaborations. He oversees a productive relationship between the University of Rochester and Bausch & Lomb, leveraging joint resources to advance scientific knowledge in the field of ophthalmology and helping to establish Rochester as one of the nation’s top 10 centers for eye research and clinical care.

Dr. Feldon earned his medical degree from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He completed his residency at the Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary, Harvard University, along with a research fellowship in neurosurgery at Massachusetts General Hospital, and a clinical fellowship in neuro-ophthalmology at the University of California Medical Center, San Francisco. He is the former president of the North American Neuro-Ophthalmic Society.


Deborah I. Friedman, MD, MPH

Deborah I. Friedman

Dr. Friedman joined the faculty to the University of Rochester in 2002 where she is a Professor of Ophthalmology and Neurology. She is Board Certified in Neurology and Headache Medicine. She has a Masters in Public Health Degree from the University of Rochester with a focus on clinical research.

She is Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology, the American Headache Society and the North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society (NANOS). She serves on the Board of Directors and the Education Committee of the American Headache Society and is the immediate Past-President of NANOS. She is also a member of the American Neurological Association and the American Academy of Ophthalmology. She has been elected to the "Best Doctors in America" since 1998.

Dr. Friedman received her undergraduate degree in Engineer Science at the Georgia Institute of Technology and her medical degree at Tulane University School of Medicine. She completed her Neurology residency at Baylor College of Medicine, and a two-year Neuro-Ophthalmology clinical and research fellowship at the University of Southern California. She served on the faculty at SUNY Upstate University for 12 years.

Her publications include over 50 articles in peer-reviewed journals and 11 book chapters. Many of the articles are related to headache disorders including migraine and idiopathic intracranial hypertension.


Lynn K Gordon, M.D., Ph.D.

Lynn K Gordon Lynn Gordon completed her undergraduate education at Stanford University and received her PhD in Experimental Pathology and MD at Harvard University. Residency and fellowship training were both completed at the Jules Stein Eye Institute where she is currently an Associate Professor clinician-scientist at the David Geffen School of Medicine of the University of California, Los Angeles, Chair of the Applied Anatomy College of the Medical School, and Chief of Ophthalmology at the Greater Los Angeles VA Healthcare System. In 2007-8,she was a fellow of the Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine program for women (ELAM). Her service activities include leadership positions in the Los Angeles Eye Society, Women in Ophthalmology, North American Neuro-ophthalmology Society, the Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies, and a member of the UCLA Committee on Diversity & Equal Opportunity. She is on the executive committee of NORDIC, the Neuro-Ophthalmology Research Disease Investigator Consortium.

Her research grant support has included the NIH, private foundations, Research to Prevent Blindness, the Oppenheimer Family Foundation, and currently the VA Merit program. She is a Heed fellowship alumnus, was a James S. Adams scholar of RPB, and received an achievement award from the American Academy of Ophthalmology, a mentor award from Women in Ophthalmology, and the 2008 teaching award from the UCLA ophthalmology residents. Dr. Gordon's basic science laboratory is primarily involved in two areas of research. One area is the role of epithelial membrane protein 2 (EMP2) in the biology of the retinal pigment epithelium as it relates to proliferative vitreoretinopathy and phagocytosis of photoreceptor outer segments. The other area is the role of programmed death 1 (PD-1), a molecule that is known to play an important role in immune regulation, in retinal and neuronal development and degeneration. Dr. Gordon maintains clinical research interests in inflammatory and degenerative diseases of the eye and vision.


John L. Keltner, MD, Director Visual Field Reading Center & Ocular Coherence Tomography Reading Center

John L. Keltner

Dr. Keltner is Professor and Chair Emeritus in the Department of Ophthalmology & Vision Science, Neurology & Neurological Surgery as well as Director of the Neuro-Opthalmology service at the University of California Davis, School of Medicine in Sacramento, California. He received his Ophthalmology training from Washington University, St. Louis and his Neurology training at the New York Hospital and Bowman Gray School of Medicine, Winston-Salem. Dr. Keltner has been involved with Visual Field Research for over 30 years. He is the Co-Director of the Visual Field Reading Center, along with Dr. Chris Johnson of the University of Iowa, for both of the Optic Neuritis treatment trial from 1987-2008, and the Ocular Hypertension trial from 1994-2008.


Karl Kieburtz, MD, MPH, Director NORDIC DCBC

Karl Kieburtz

Karl Kieburtz, MD, MPH, is Professor of Neurology and of Community and Preventive Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, New York. He received his MD and MPH from the University of Rochester. He received his residency training at Strong Memorial Hospital and was a Fellow in Experimental Therapeutics at the University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry in Rochester, NY. His primary clinical and research interests are in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases affecting the basal ganglia, particularly Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, and HIV related neurologic disorders. He is the principal investigator for the NINDS sponsored trials of neuroprotective agents for PD (NET-PD) and currently chairs the Executive Committee of the Parkinson Study Group. He also directs the Coordination Center for other NIH supported multi-center academic consortia, including the Huntington Study Group. His publications and presentations have focused on experimental therapeutics and clinical research design strategies.



Mark J. Kupersmith, MD, Chair of NORDIC

Mark J. Kupersmith

Mark J. Kupersmith, MD is currently Professor of Ophthalmology and Neurology at Albert Einstein School of Medicine, Director of the Neuro-ophthalmology Services at New York Eye and Ear Infirmary and Beth Israel and Roosevelt Medical Centers, and board certified in Ophthalmology and Neurology. He is a Surgeon Director at New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, completing two years as Chairman of the Medical Board in May 2009. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Academy of Neurology, the American Neurological Association, Association of Research Vision and Ophthalmology, British Isles Neuro-Ophthalmology Club and North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society. Dr. Kupersmith has pursued studies to uncover mechanisms of vision, diseases that alter vision, and treatments of a wide variety of systemic and neurological disorders. He has purposely addressed those disorders that cause specific visual loss in humans and provide insight into how the nervous system 'sees'.

Dr. Kupersmith began his interest in neuroscience with research in growing embryo neurites in culture using phase microscopy methodology as and undergraduate and in medical school he worked in the laboratory of Albert Zeller, PhD (discoverer of monoamine oxidase), evaluating learning and alteration of monoamine oxidase in rat brains, both supported by NSF. He later investigated catecholamine release mechanisms in rat brain in the Neuropharmacology laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Kupersmith was graduated in five years from Northwestern University School of Medicine Six Year Honors Medical Program with Distinction. Dr. Kupersmith continued his interest in neuropharmacology, performing research on GABA receptors at New York University School of Medicine while training in Neurology. By the last two years of Ophthalmology training, Dr. Kupersmith began to perform electrophysiological studies of human retina and brain, to investigate mechanisms of vision function and disease for approximately 10 years.

Since serving on the Executive Committee for the NEI supported Optic Neuritis Treatment Trial, Dr. Kupersmith has helped direct or served as the site principal investigator on early multiple sclerosis, giant cell arteritis, tumor associated vision loss, aneurysm associated vision disturbances, drug toxicity induced vision loss, optic neuritis, ocular myasthenia gravis, non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy. He consults or has consulted for scientific and medical science to numerous pharmaceutical companies.


Michael P. McDermott, Ph.D., Co-Director of NORDIC DCBC

Michael P. McDermott

Dr. McDermott is Associate Professor of Biostatistics and Neurology and Associate Chair of the Department of Biostatistics and Computational Biology at the University of Rochester. He received his Ph.D. in Statistics in 1989 from the University of Rochester. For more than 20 years, Dr. McDermott has been involved in the design and analysis of clinical trials in a variety of neurological diseases, most notably Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, Tourette's syndrome, and various muscle diseases. Much of Dr. McDermott's statistical research has been in the area of order-restricted inference, specifically with regard to developing novel approaches to hypothesis testing problems involving order-constrained parameters. More recently he has been working on problems of inference concerning the accuracy of diagnostic tests, specifically receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves and surfaces.


Neil R. Miller, MD, FACS, Co-Chair of NORDIC

Neil R. Miller

Dr. Neil Miller attended Harvard University, where he majored in biochemistry, graduating Magna cum Laude in 1967. He then matriculated to Johns Hopkins Medical School. After finishing medical school at in 1971, he took an internship in medicine at Johns Hopkins, followed by an ophthalmology residency at the Wilmer Eye Institute and a fellowship in neuro-ophthalmology at the University of California, San Francisco, with Dr. William F. Hoyt.

Dr. Miller joined the staff of the Wilmer Eye Institute of the Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1975 and has been a faculty member at Johns Hopkins since then. He is currently Professor of Ophthalmology, Neurology, and Neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, and also the Frank B. Walsh Professor of Neuro-Ophthalmology and head of the Neuro-Ophthalmology and Orbital Units of the Wilmer Institute. Dr. Miller was president of the North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society from 2000 to 2002 and Chairman of the Executive Board from 2002 to 2004. He has been past president of the International Neuro-Ophthalmology Society on two occasions, in 1982 and 1992, and was co-president in 2008. He is also an emeritus member of the International Orbital Society.

Dr. Miller is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Neuro-Ophthalmology. He has served as a reviewer for numerous journals. He has authored or co-authored over 400 articles, 80 chapters, and 13 books, one of which was the 4th edition of Walsh and Hoyt's Clinical Neuro-Ophthalmology.

Dr. Miller has spoken at numerous meetings around the world and has given 38 named lectures, including the Jackson Memorial Lecture at the 2001 meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the Hoyt lecture at the 2005 meeting of the AAO, and the Doyne Lecture at the Oxford Congress in the UK, in 2006. Many of Dr. Miller's previous fellows hold faculty positions at major institutions throughout the United States and around the world.


Eleanor B. Schron, Ph.D., RN, Program Director, National Eye Institute

Eleanor B. Schron

Dr. Schron is the Director of Clinical Applications at the National Eye Institute (NEI) and is the NEI NORDIC Program Director.

Dr. Schron made significant contributions to the mission of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) over her 27 years of service prior to joining the NEI. Her leadership in multi-site clinical trials was critical to completing studies and reporting outcomes used to establish practice guidelines for patient care, resulting in saving lives and improving delivery of cardiovascular care.

She has earned an international reputation as a clinical trialist by enhancing the value of clinical trials through pioneering the examination of the quality of life of patients, highlighting and expanding the significance of the Data Safety Monitoring Boards, and studying methods for recruitment, enrollment, and adherence of patients in clinical trials. Dr. Schron led protocol development in the area of quality of life evaluation throughout her years at the NHLBI. She has contributed greatly to the field of Protection of Human Subjects in clinical trials as evidenced by her development of a model informed consent for patients enrolled in clinical trials.

Dr. Schron has been recognized for her contributions to the fields of cardiovascular research, clinical trials development and to the roles of nurses in these fields by her selection as a Fellow in the American Heart Association, a Fellow of the Society for Clinical Trials, and as a Fellow of the American Association of Nursing. In addition, Dr. Schron as a Senior Nurse Director, the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, has received numerous awards over her distinguished career in the Department of Health and Human Services and achieved the rank of CAPTAIN, USPHS Commissioned Corps.


Ann Stoutenburg, CCRC

Ann Stoutenburg

Ann Stoutenburg, CCRC, is Senior Project Manager at the Clinical Trials Coordination Center at the University of Rochester in Rochester, NY. She has a general studies Associates Degree from Monroe Community College and an Associates Degree in Medical Assisting from Bryant and Stratton College in Rochester, NY. In addition to her certification in Medical Assisting, she is an ACRP Certified Clinical Research Coordinator. Before joining the CTCC in January of 2008, she was a study coordinator at the University. She spent 5 years in the GI Unit working on Hepatitis C clinical trials followed by 6 years in the Neuro-Ophthalmology department working on a variety of ophthalmic clinical trials and migraine clinical trials.


Michael Wall, M.D., IIHTT Study Director

Michael Wall

Michael Wall, M.D. is a professor of Neurology and Ophthalmology at the University of Iowa. His undergraduate and medical school education was at Tulane University; his neurology residency at Washington University in St. Louis and fellowship at Massachusetts Eye and Ear infirmary.

As a neuro-ophthalmologist he is involved in patient care, teaching and research. He is the author of 79 peer-reviewed journal articles and three books. He has been involved in idiopathic intracranial hypertension research for 30 years and is currently the Study Director of the NIH funded Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension Treatment Trial under the aegis of NORDIC. He is also the Principle Investigator of the VA Merit Review "Mechanisms of Perimetric Variability."