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MEDICAL FACULTY

Encephalitis411’s medical faculty brings an amazing depth of experience with encephalitis, collectively affiliated with the care of more than 6,000 patients. Their knowledge includes both adult and pediatrics and infectious and auto-immune encephalitis. They have contributed to numerous research studies on encephalitis cases, emerging technology in studying encephalitis, and the benefits or risks of different vaccinations. If there was a “Who’s Who” of encephalitis, we are privileged that these physicians have devoted their time to working with Encephalitis411.

Dr. Karen Bloch

Dr. Karen Bloch is Associate Professor of Health Policy and Medicine (Infectious Diseases) at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Her research interests include encephalitis, infections of the central nervous system and arthropod-borne infections.
She has been an investigator on several Emerging Infections Program (EIP) studies sponsored by the CDC.
She has been awarded the William Schaffner Teaching award in infectious diseases in 2003, 2008, and 2011.
She has contributed to the Infectious Diseases Society of America guidelines on the management of encephalitis (2008) and co-authored the International Encephalitis Consortium recommendations on the case definition for encephalitis (2013).
Dr. Bloch graduated from medical school at the University of Virginia (MD, 1990).
She completed internship and residency at Yale-New Haven Hospital (New Haven, CT) in 1993, and infectious disease fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) in 1997.
She received her Master’s in Public Health (MPH) from the University of California, Berkeley in 1996.
She is board certified in Infectious Diseases.

Dr. Carol Glaser

Dr. Glaser first trained in veterinary medicine at UC Davis Veterinary School and then attended medical school at Tulane Medical School followed by a pediatric residency and then a pediatric infectious disease fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco.
After the completion of her training, she joined the Department Communicable Disease Division where she worked for 20 years.  Over that period, she served in several roles including Medical Officer of the Viral  Rickettsial Disease Laboratory (VRDL), Chief of VRDL and Acting Chief of the Immunization Branch.
During her time at CDPH, she worked on several different public health issues including unexplained encephalitis, acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), unexplained deaths and influenza surveillance, West Nile virus, SARS (SARS-1), Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome, Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, 2009 H1N1 influenza, and Enterovirus-D68 AFM.
She was the Principal Investigator for the California Encephalitis Project and is still active in the field of neurologic infectious diseases.
Dr. Glaser joined Kaiser Permanente where she worked as a pediatric infectious disease clinician and lead of the Pediatric antimicrobial stewardship program for six years.
She has recently re-joined CDPH as the Assistant Deputy Director for the Office of the State Public Health Laboratory Director and Medical Officer for the Infectious Disease Laboratories for California Department of Public Health (CDPH).

Dr. Allan Tunkel

Dr. Allan Tunkel is the Associate Dean for Medical Education at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Dr. Tunkel comes to Brown with an extensive background in medical education, administration, clinical expertise, and scholarship. He had held significant academic leadership positions at Drexel College of Medicine and Monmouth Medical Center. Prior to Brown, he was Chair of Medicine at Monmouth Medical Center and Professor of Medicine at Drexel University College of Medicine. During his tenure in the Department of Medicine he also served as Vice Chair, Vice-Chair for Education, and Residency Program Director.
He has received numerous teaching awards and honors and is passionate about physician training and mentorship.   An undergraduate of Seton Hall University, Dr. Tunkel later pursued a PhD in experimental pathology followed by a medical degree at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, New Jersey Medical School. He completed his residency and chief residency in Medicine at the Hospital of the Medical College of Pennsylvania followed by a fellowship in Infectious Diseases at the University of Virginia. He is widely acknowledged as an international expert in bacterial meningitis and other central nervous system infections.

Dr. Arun Venkatesan

Dr. Arun Venkatesan is the Director of the Johns Hopkins Encephalitis Center and an Associate Professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, in the Department of Neurology, Division of Neuroimmunology and Neuroinfectious Diseases.
Dr. Venkatesan specializes in immunological/inflammatory and infectious diseases that affect the nervous system.
As Director of the Johns Hopkins Encephalitis Center, he oversees clinical activities and research, and has developed a multidisciplinary program devoted to delineating pathogenesis and optimizing diagnosis and management of autoimmune and infectious conditions that affect the central nervous system.
Dr. Venkatesan received his Ph.D. in microbiology/immunology and his M.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles, followed by an internship in internal medicine at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center.
He completed his residency in neurology at The Johns Hopkins Hospital.
He has received funding from the National Institutes of Health, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund.

Dr. Steven Vernino

Dr. Steven Vernino, M.D., Ph.D., is a Distinguished Teaching Professor and Vice Chair for in the Department of Neurology at UT Southwestern Medical Center.  As a neurologist, he specializes in evaluating, diagnosing and treating autoimmune neurological disorders, autonomic disorders, and neuromuscular disorders. He serves as Director of the Autonomic Disorders Clinic, the multidisciplinary Multiple System Atrophy Clinic, and the Autonomic Disorders Fellowship Program. He is also Co-Director of the Autoimmune Neurology Fellowship Program. Dr. Vernino’s research focuses on improving the diagnosis and treatment of autoimmune neurological disorders. The Vernino Lab focuses on the mechanisms of autoimmune disorders of the nervous system and investigating autoantibody testing methods. Dr, Vernino has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and dozens of book chapters. He is a fellow of both the American Academy of Neurology, the American Neurological Association and the American Autonomic Society. He has received numerous awards for his work as a clinician, researcher, and teacher. Dr. Vernino earned his M.D. and Ph.D. degree in neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine. He completed a neurology residency and fellowship training in neuroimmunology and electromyography at Mayo Clinic.

Dr. Michael Wilson

Dr. Michael Wilson is a neurologist specializing in infectious and autoimmune diseases of the central nervous system at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) Weill Institute for Neurosciences. Dr. Wilson has contributed to more than 60 research papers, with many focusing on emerging diagnostic and therapeutic tools for meningitis, encephalitis and multiple sclerosis. He completed his residency in neurology and fellowship in Neuro-Infectious diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital. He got a postdoctoral fellowship in metagenomics and virology at UCSF, Boston University and the National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories. Dr. Wilson has received several awards, including the Award in Neuroscience from the American Neurological Association-Grass Foundation and the Debbie and Andy Rachleff Distinguished Professorship in Neurology from UCSF. His patient base includes people with autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis and autoimmune encephalitis as well as patients with a wide array of infectious diseases that impact the nervous system like HIV, neurocysticercosis, neurosyphilis, viral encephalitis and fungal infections. His laboratory applies metagenomic and immune repertoire sequencing techniques as well as phage display antibody discovery technologies to enhance our understanding of the causes and immunopathogenesis of multiple sclerosis as well as autoimmune and infectious causes of meningoencephalitis.