National Doctors’ Day is celebrated annually on March 30. As a part of Women’s History month, it is a great time to celebrate the many ALS clinicians and scientists. These dedicated individuals work tirelessly for people living with ALS and their families, while advancing the search for effective treatments and cures for ALS. They are also leaders, teachers, and mentors – training the next generation physicians and researchers. Many of them also volunteer in communities of need – not just within the Golden West Chapter’s service area, but across the nation. We encourage you to take a moment to learn more about these incredible women who are making a difference every day for the ALS community.
Margaret Adler, MD
UCLA ALS Clinic, Harbor
Dr. Margaret Adler is a Neurologist at Harbour Medical Center and specializes in Neurology and Psychiatry. Dr. Adler graduated from the Emory University School of Medicine in 2008 and now is the Medical Director for the Harbor-UCLA ALS Clinic.
Leila Darki, MD
Keck Hospital of USC
Dr. Leila Darki completed a residency in neurology, as well as a fellowship in clinical neurophysiology and electromyography at Keck Medicine of USC, where she subsequently joined as a faculty member in the Neuromuscular division. Her clinical interests include ALS, myasthenia gravis, acquired and inherited muscle disease and neuropathies. Dr. Darki is a collaborating physician and active member at the keck Medicine of USC ALS Clinic.
Karen DaSilva, MD
The Queen’s Medical Center, Honolulu
Dr. Karen DaSilva has been practicing medicine since 2006. She worked at the Sansum Clinic since 2011, and then transferred to The Queen’s Health Systems. Dr. DaSilva received her medical degree from the University of California, Irvine Medical School. She completed her Internal Medicine internship at Kaiser San Francisco and went on to complete her Neurology residency and Neuromuscular/Clinical Physiology fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. DaSilva is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and is a member of the American Academy of Neurology. In 2017, she was recognized for her incredible contributions to the care and support of people living with ALS as the 2017 Champion of Care honoree at the 14th Annual Ventura/Santa Barbara County Walk to Defeat ALS®.
Namita Goyal, MD
UCI Health ALS & Neuromuscular Center
Dr. Namita Goyal is a UCI Health neurologist with board certifications in neurology, electrodiagnostic medicine and neuromuscular medicine. She currently sees patients at the UCI Health ALS & Neuromuscular Center. In addition to her clinical and research work, she is a mentor to neurology fellows and residents and serves as director of the neuromuscular medicine fellowship program at the UCI School of Medicine’s Department of Neurology.
Neelam Goyal, MD
Stanford Neuroscience Health Center
Dr. Neelam Goyal is a Clinical Associate Professor of Neurology at Stanford University Hospital in the division of neuromuscular medicine. Dr. Goyal specializes in the diagnosis, management, and electrophysiological testing of neuromuscular disorder (including SFEMG), with expertise in immune-mediated disorders (myositis, myasthenia gravis, CIDP, and vasculitis) and ALS. She serves as the co-director of the MDA/ALS Clinic.
Viktoriya Irodenko, MD
Professor of Neurology at UCSF
Director of Multidisciplinary ALS Clinic at
San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center
Dr. Viktoriya Irodenko obtained her medical degree in Ukraine. She completed residency in Neurology at Baylor College of Medicine and fellowship in Clinical Neurophysiology and Neuromuscular Disorders at UCSF. She began practicing medicine after her medical license was issued in the state of California in 2005. She specializes in Neurology and Psychiatry and is board certified in Neuromuscular Medicine.
Nasheed Jamal, MD
UCLA Medical Center
Dr. Nasheed Jamal is a neurologist in Los Angeles, California and is affiliated with UCLA Medical Center. She received her medical degree from Georgetown University School of Medicine.
Liberty Jenkins, MD
ALS Clinic at Forbes Norris MDA/ALS Research and Treatment Center
Dr. Liberty Jenkins is a neuromuscular specialist and medical director of the Forbes Norris MDA/ALS Research and Treatment Center. Dr. Jenkins specializes in ALS, neuromuscular disease and electromyography (EMG). Her most recent publication is a book on the diagnosis of ALS that she co-authored with Martin Turner.
Nanette Joyce D.O., M.A.S.
Dr. Nanette Joyce is the Co-Director of the Multidisciplinary ALS Clinic at UC Davis. She completed a clinical research fellowship sponsored by the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine working to develop a stem cell therapy for patients diagnosed with ALS. She continues to be part of a translational stem cell team, at the Institute for Regenerative Cures, that is dedicated to bringing stem cell therapies to clinics for patients with neuromuscular disorders. In addition, her clinical research interest focuses on developing better diagnostic strategies and treatments for patients with ALS and other neuromuscular diseases.
Lynda Lam, MD
Kaiser Permanente San Rafael Medical Center
Dr. Lynda Lam is a neurologist in San Rafael, California and is affiliated with Kaiser Permanente San Rafael Medical Center. She received her medical degree from Michigan State University College of Human Medicine in 2002. Dr Lynda Lam helped establish ALS Multidisciplinary Care Teams at Kaiser Permanente San Rafael, San Leandro, San Francisco, and Sacramento medical centers, so that all of the approximately 250 ALS patients in KP Northern California would be able to see all the providers they need to see on the same visit, and in the same exam room. Her efforts were celebrated by the Golden West Chapter, along with other Kaiser physicians, with the 2016 Essey Commitment to Care Award. She was later honored with the 2017 Sidney R. Garfield Exceptional Contribution Award in 2017 for her significant impact on care management for ALS patients.
Catherine Lomen-Hoerth, MD, PhD
University of California, San Francisco
Dr. Catherine Lomen-Hoerth specializes in treating patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. She is Clinical Director of the ALS Research and Treatment Center at UCSF.
Dr. Lomen-Hoerth is particularly interested in research involving electrophysiological and genetic predictors in ALS. Her patients have the opportunity to participate in research projects or clinical trials of new treatments. She also is interested in the overlap of ALS and frontotemporal dementia, a related disease involving degeneration of the nervous system.
She earned her bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from the University of Arizona. She earned her medical degree and a doctorate in neurosciences at Stanford University School of Medicine. At UCSF, she served as chief resident in neurology and completed a fellowship in electromyography and neuromuscular disorders.
Laura Rosow, MD
University of California, San Francisco
Dr. Laura Rosow earned her medical degree at Harvard Medical School in 2010 and completed her residency at UCSF in Neurology in 2014. The following year, Laura finished her fellowship in neuromuscular medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital—an affiliate of Harvard Medical school. She is currently a neurologist and Associate Director at the ALS Research and Treatment Center at UCSF where she cares for patients with various motor neuron diseases including people living with ALS.
Leslie M. Thompson, PhD
Chancellor’s Professor, University of California, Irvine
Dr. Leslie M. Thompson completed her PhD in 1989 at UCI. She has studied Huntington’s disease for most of her scientific career. Thompson has achieved international acclaim for her accomplishments as a Huntington’s Disease researcher. She is renowned for her studies into the pathogenesis of HD and has been at the forefront of utilizing stem cells to model HD. Thompson is the founding co-editor of the Journal of Huntington’s Disease and the principal investigator of NeuroLINCS, one of six national centers creating a database of human cellular responses and imaging to speed efforts to develop new therapies for motor neuron diseases including ALS. She is also an active member of the California ALS Research Network. Dr. Thomspon served as the local host for the group’s annual Research Summit in 2019, and played a major part in organizing an annual patient education event hosted by the Golden West Chapter.
Martina Wiedau-Pazos, MD
Co-Director, ALS Center, UCLA
Dr. Martina Wiedau-Pazos is an Associate Professor of Neurology who directs the UCLA ALS Clinic and Research Center. She has been studying disease mechanisms in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis for more than 20 years. Dr. Wiedau-Pazos also participated in one of the first projects to study disease mechanisms of mutations in superoxide dismutase linked to familial ALS. She is also an active member of the California ALS Research Network.