Professor Laurent Servais appointed to MDUK Oxford Neuromuscular Centre

Professor Laurent Servais has recently been appointed Professor of Paediatric Neuromuscular Diseases at the MDUK Oxford Neuromuscular Centre. Not only does Professor Servais have great general experience of neuromuscular disease, he is also in charge of the natural history study for x-linked myotubular myopathy and dynamin 2.

Professor Laurent Servais

The Oxford Neuromuscular Centre is a partnership between Muscular Dystrophy UK (MDUK) and the University of Oxford, which aims to drive research into potential treatments from the lab into the clinic. The aim of the centre will be to boost capacity for clinical trials while working alongside the major centres in Newcastle and London.

Professor Servais will join the MDUK Oxford Neuromuscular Centre with a wealth of experience within the neuromuscular field, having overseen numerous clinical trials to test treatments for duchenne muscular dystrophy and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). He is also the leader of the newborn screening program for SMA in southern Belgium.

Currently Head of the Institute I-Motion, in Paris and Head of the Neuromuscular Centre in Liège, Belgium, Professor Servais is also a Professor of Child Neurology at Liège University. He will cease his activity in Paris, but will keep an affiliation in his hometown hospital and university as an invited Professor.

Professor Servais will start his tenure with the MDUK Oxford Neuromuscular Centre in September 2019 and will relocate to Oxford from Belgium.

Further information

Dr Alfred J Spiro, 1930 – 2019

Dr Alfred J Spiro, a distinguished neurologist, died 17 April. He was 88. Born in New York City in 1930 and educated at NYU and the University of Bern Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Spiro was trained in paediatrics and then in neurology at the Children’s Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.  In 1966 Dr Spiro published the first paper on myotubular myopathy in the Archives of Neurology.

Persistence of fetal muscle in adolescent boy.

The same year Dr Spiro joined the faculty of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where he stayed his entire academic career and where he worked as a professor of neurology and paediatrics and director of the Division of Paediatric Neurology, until his retirement in 2017.

Dr Spiro was internationally known for his work in muscle disorders, directed the MDA Muscle Disease Clinic and published many scientific papers. He was recognised with several teaching awards and in 2018 received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Child Neurology Society.

Research into centronuclear and myotubular myopathy has come a long way since 1966  and we are grateful to Dr Spiro for his contributions to the science of muscle diseases and taking the first steps that led us to where we find ourselves today.